- Eat out as often as you wish but be on guard for hidden carbs in gravies, sauces and dressings. Gravy is often made with flour or cornstarch, and sugar is sometimes an ingredient in salad dressing.
In an effort to keep it real, rule eight establishes that it's perfectly reasonable to eat out, with a caution to be aware of ingredients used in food preparation. As one more rule, it again repeats an underlying theme within all the rules - take responsibility for what you do eat.
Simply put, do not assume anything in a restaurant is acceptable unless you ask or ingredients are clearly stated on the menu! Where ingredients are not disclosed on a menu, learning how to ask and actually taking the time to ask about ingredients and food preparation is something you'll become accustomed to over time - and in the long-term will be an invaluable asset in your tool-box of strategies to insure you're eating controlled-carb for life!
When you eat out, in addition to the food you get, you're paying for a service - to have your food prepared - so be fully prepared to expect to be served acceptable food for your diet. Start by asking that things be prepared in a way that is acceptable for you or ask for guidance as to what else is acceptable if the chef cannot prepare something without particular ingredients. The basic ingredients, at minimum, you must insist are not included in your meal because of carbohydrate content are sugar, corn starch, arrowroot, potato starch and flour. The standard food ingredients to not be included are bread crumbs, breading, rice, pasta and potatoes, sugar based marinades, high carbohydrate salad dressings, etc.
In addition, you also want to be careful to avoid dishes prepared with shortening, margarine and other fats high in trans-fats. This isn't explicit to the rule above, but given our current knowledge, it's something to avoid when eating out.
If a restaurant is having a difficult time accomodating you, choose a simple salad wth oil and vinegar for your dressing, have a basic protein grilled (no marinade) baked or broiled, and some steamed vegetables.
In all the years I've restricted carbohydrate in my diet, I've never been unable to find something on a menu that's acceptable. Sometimes it means being a bit creative, but as long as a restaurant has basic foods, you can find something to eat as a meal while you're there.