Hello and a question about Keto living in the city with a busy job

(Adam) #1

Hi there, my name’s Adam and I started the transition to keto about a week ago inspired by reading Tom Watson’s Downsizing book. I’m T2 diabetic, diagnosed at the age of 20 and I am 120kg / 5ft11 with an HBA1C of 72.

I live in central London and I’m a primary school teacher which means I have a busy life. Not too busy to cook but busy enough that, a few times a week, I would like to be able to buy a prepared lunch or go out to dinner.

What sort of options can your recommend in your typical lunch places? I stood in Pret a Manger today staring at a wall of carbs and started to think about all the places I would have eaten before my lifestyle change only to think the same, they’re all a wall of carbs. Any suggestions, especially in Leon, Pret, Tesco Express etc. would be really, really helpful.

TIA, Adam

(bulkbiker) #2

Pret still does salads right?
M&S do lots of meaty low carb snack boxes (bloody expensive though).
Most mini supermarkets will have cold meats.
pork scratchings, hard boiled eggs, the list goes on…
You’d probably be better prepping something the evening before though and bringing it with you (cheaper as well).

(Adam) #3

Ah I didn’t even think about pork scratchings, I cannot believe I can eat those!

All the Pret salads looked okay but then they were on a bed of rice or grains which, obviously, you could leave but you’d not have much left over.

I do prep a lunch most of the time but, especially whilst I’m getting over keto flu, I’d love to be able to buy lunch on my way to work when I’m feeling like crud.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #4

Hi, Adam. Hope all goes well for you.

Just a little thing. Carb withdrawal affects different folks differently. Some none at all, some lots and most somewhere in between. Don’t fear it. Most symptoms are alleviated at least to some extent by staying hydrated and keeping up your electrolytes. If you get symptoms, they will pass. Most folks report going through symptoms for only a few days to a couple weeks. Only very few endure it for longer. I haven’t read anyone here report that they were incapacitated.

(Alex ) #5

Hi Adam, I used to work in Holborn and always found that the Sainsbury’s & Tesco hot food counter was the safest bet for lunch, obviously not a restaurant, but. good fix otherwise. Ribs/chicken etc

Eating out wise Google Preto, it’s a Brazilian Rodizio place, they bring skewers of meat to your table and there’s a massive salad bar on a self serve basis available within the restaurant. Expect meat sweats!

(Alex ) #6

Therss another one in Islington that I can’t remember the name of, that I’ve been to (epic) that’s worth looking at.

Rodizio food is perfect for keto though.

(Adam) #7

Rodizio is such a good idea! It’s so bizarre because when I’ve gone on a health kick before it’s all been about asceticism and self-denial and I would never consider the hot food counter at Sainsbury’s or the Brazillian rodizio place because they’re things I actually love!

Thanks so much for the advice.

(bulkbiker) #8

At a real pinch MaccyD’s and BK both will serve burgers without buns or fries… you might even get a knife and fork to eat them with…5 Guys is another fave of friends who do carnivore in another forum.

(Alex ) #9


If you find any good restaurants, please post up feedback! I will check them out next time I am in London with work.

If you ever get to Manchester, I highly recommend the following…


(Natasha) #10

How about hard boiling a load of eggs at the beginning of the week and keeping them in the fridge? Other things I like to do for easy lunches on the go:

  • pork crackling
  • cheese strings
  • pepparami sticks
  • mini peppers
  • ham and cheese roll ups
  • roasted salted peanuts

Eating out, I love Nando’s, they do awesome skin-on thigh fillets which I order with a side salad and their long stemmed broccoli. Nando’s do real butter so I usually drown my broccoli in that!

Subway salads are a great option too. My favourite is chicken and bacon!

McDonalds Saver menu… at 99p you won’t feel too bad about throwing away the bun!

Pizza Hut do a protein range now - chicken breasts loaded with pizza toppings, plus unlimited salad bar.

Anywhere that serves an all-day breakfast is a safe bet, although watch out for budget sausages, they can contain quite a bit of wheat/rusk as a bulking agent.

Hope you find some options that work for you! :grinning:

  • All large ASDA, Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons etc have hot food counters where you can buy grilled chicken, sausages, pork, ribs etc

  • Gregg’s (before 11am) have a “hot breakfast” where you can get omelletes, bacon, sausages. Usually served in a baguette but you can ask for it without.

  • Above also applies to West Cornwall Pasty shops

  • All Nandos have grilled chicken and currently also grilled steak, steamed greens like brocolli, grilled steak, fresh sliced avocados

  • At a pinch, places like 5 Guys, GKB etc will do a burgerless bun

  • Mexican takeaways - Can get a meat/chicken/pork fajita without the tortilla.

  • Sharwama ( the meat thing on the stick) available on every corner

  • M&S : Have microwaveable ready meals that are just protein in some sort of sauce e.g their chicken tandoori. They also do small packs of things like finger sausages, roast chicken, boiled eggs etc

  • Carribbean takeout shops : Just ask for some meat, fish or seafood in “stew”. It’s usually a safe bet.

Really just explore a bit…so many options.