What to Order When You’re on Different Diets

Sometimes you just need to grab food quickly. Learn what to order at popular restaurants when following the keto, Scandinavian, or high-protein diet.

You’re working hard to stick to your new, healthier way of eating but let’s face it, life gets busy. No matter how much you plan or cook ahead, sometimes you just need to grab food quickly. Learn what to order at popular restaurant chains when following the keto, Scandinavian, or high-protein diet.

Eating healthy when life is on-the-go 

Balanced and healthy eating is all about learning how to make it work with your busy schedule, not against it. It’s best to prepare meals at home whenever possible, to increase fiber and vitamin intake while saving on calories and processed ingredients (1). But relying on a better fast food or take out option can still work with your plan.


The standard keto diet consists of 70% fat, 20% protein and 10% carbohydrates (2). The very low-carb and high-fat nature of this diet can make it tricky to find options when eating out, but here are keto-friendly picks for some of your favorite restaurants:

  • Chipotle: A bowl, served on a bed of lettuce will be your best bet. Top with cheese, guacamole, red salsa and your choice of meat including chicken, barbacoa or chorizo.
  • Sweetgreens: Go for the Kale Caesar Salad which only has six grams of net carbs or for a fish dish, try the Asian Steelhead Salad for five grams net carbs.
  • Shake Shack: Grab a classic hamburger or cheeseburger, have it on a lettuce wrap instead of the bun and you’ll stick to zero grams of carbs. You can also add bacon, pickles, tomato and herb mayo. 
  • Panera: Order the Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT with no bread and tomato or the Tuna Salad with no bread. Both only have two grams of net carbs.

El Pollo Loco: They have lots of keto options including the Keto Burrito. Even though it does have a low carb tortilla, it still contains nine net grams of carbs. For even lower carb, try the Original Pollo Bowl with no rice or beans at one gram net carbs.


The Scandinavian diet includes lots of fish, whole grains, leafy greens and fermented foods like yogurt or kefir while decreasing processed foods such as deli meats, chips, cereals and sweets. Options for those popular restaurants include:

  • Chipotle: Go for a bowl served on lettuce or whole grain brown rice. Top with fajita vegetables, your choice of salsas and black or pinto beans.
  • Sweetgreens: Try the Shroomami Bowl which includes tofu, beets, wild rice and fermented miso sesame ginger dressing. 
  • Shake Shack: The Veggie Shack on lettuce wrap is the perfect option since it's made with grains, greens, and herbs and topped with avocado, tomato and lettuce. 
  • Panera: Order the Mediterranean Bowl which is made of cilantro lime brown rice and quinoa, arugula, grape tomatoes, Kalamata olives, cucumber, tahini dressing, feta and Greek yogurt.  
  • El Pollo Loco: Order the Original Pollo Bowl with pinto beans, rice, pico, onions and cilantro, but sub the chicken for avocado and have it with brown rice. 


The high-protein diet is determined by your personal weight with a recommendation of about one gram of protein per pound (or two gram per kilogram) of body weight. To determine the exact amount to have on this plan, download the Lifesum app. In general, this diet focuses on lots of high quality protein such as eggs, chicken, fish, low-fat dairy products, tofu and beans. 

  • Chipotle: Depending on your macro goals, you can choose either a bowl with lettuce (for lower carb), brown rice or tacos. Focus on beans and your favorite protein. Double up on protein combos such as sofritas or your meat of choice and beans.
  • Sweetgreens: The Hot Honey Chicken Plate wins for highest protein content at 53 grams but another great option is the Chicken Pesto Parm at 37 grams protein. 
  • Shake Shack: Go classic with the Single ShackBurger which provides about 29 grams of protein. If you’re looking to reduce your carb intake, try it on a lettuce bun.
  • Panera: Go green and get lean with protein by trying the Green Goddess Cobb with Chicken for a total of about 40 grams of protein.
  • El Pollo Loco: The Double Protein Avocado Bowls are an excellent option. The Double Chicken Bowl has a whopping 66 grams of protein.

Consistency is key

To live healthily and happily while working towards your goals, remember that consistency is key. There may be times when you can’t cook or are fresh out of options at your local restaurants. Just try your best. It’s a nutrition myth that one meal ruins your overall progress and success. Reaching your goal is all about sticking with it in the long term. 

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All of the content and media on Lifesum is created and published for information purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Users should always consult with a doctor or other health care professional for medical advice. If you have or think you are at risk of developing an eating disorder, do not use the Lifesum app and seek immediate medical help.