Where to Eat Out While On a Cut (Best Restaurants & What to Order)

Developing a beach body physique takes discipline and consistency.

That is true of your workouts in the gym but it is even more important when it comes to your diet.

After all, getting that ripped, cut physique is 90 percent about what you put into your body — the workouts are just a bonus!

The best approach for most people is what’s called flexible dieting, or If It Fits Your Macros. The idea is that you can eat “whatever” you want as long as you eat the proper number of calories for weight loss and get a sufficient balance of protein, carbs, and fat.

The good news is that means you can still eat out at restaurants while you’re cutting, you just have to know where to go and what to order.

You can find good meals for cutting and dieting at almost any casual, formal, or fast food restaurant, but some of the best restaurants for cutting are:

  1. McDonald’s
  2. Arby’s
  3. Applebee’s
  4. Carl’s Jr.
  5. Longhorn Steakhouse
  6. Denny’s

I know, these sound like weird choices! Just hear us out and check out what to order at each one, plus why they’re surprisingly good choices for eating out while on a cut.

What to Do to Get Cut (Quick Guide)

Getting cut, or ripped, is what bodybuilders refer to when they want to strip the maximum amount of body fat from their physique in order to reveal their lean, defined muscle mass.

So, how do you get ripped?

There’s a lot of fancy science and fad diets floating around these days, but most people have the most success following a flexible dieting approach.

Your goal is to eat in a caloric deficit, forcing your body to tap into fat reserves for energy.

The exact number of calories you should eat each day for weight loss depends on your body composition and activity levels, but your bodyweight in pounds x 12 is a good starting point for most people.

From there, aim for high protein intake — around .8 to 1.2g of protein per pound of bodyweight per day.

Fill the rest of your diet with a balance of fats and carbs.

Pair this simple eating strategy with regular strength training. The resistance training will encourage your body to preserve or even build muscle mass while you lose fat, resulting in a dramatic transformation!

It sounds simple, and it is, but it can be tricky to stay disciplined in the real world. 

Whether you’re short on time, money for healthy foods, or have trouble staying on target in social situations, there are lots of ways to trip up during your cut.

Eating out too frequently, and the wrong way, is a huge reason many people have trouble losing fat and keeping it off.

Let’s get into our guide to some good restaurants for cutting and, more importantly, the strategies and thought processes to use so you can eat out anywhere and still successfully lose fat.

The 6 Best Restaurants for Cutting & Getting Ripped

You can eat at any restaurant on a cut if you know what to order.

You’re looking for dishes that won’t put you over your daily calorie goal and give you a good amount of protein.

Usually to keep calories down and protein high, you’ll have to look for lower carb dishes or meals that aren’t overly fatty.

Here are some of our favorite spots for lifters on a cut. You might find the choices surprising, but we want to show that you don’t only have to stick to “healthy” restaurants!

1. McDonalds

Image via quotecatalog.com

No, this is NOT a joke.

McDonald’s really does offer some great low carb options that will help you to get cut.

Over the last decade, they have adjusted to the public mood by offering a range of customizable healthy burgers, wraps and salads, along with fruit and vegetables.

For breakfast after a big morning workouts, try a hash brown and two bacon and egg mcmuffins.

For a solid lunch or dinner that should fit most people’s macros, we recommend going for the Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken.

As well as being low in carbs and high in healthy fats, it’s also got black beans to provide the fiber that is essential for healthy fat loss. There’s also 27 grams of protein to ensure that you retain your muscle mass as you burn off the body fat.

2. Arbys

Arbys is one of the most popular sandwich restaurants in the United States.

They also offer sandwich free options which are great for the low carb crowd.

The best offering as far as we are concerned is the Roast Turkey Farmhouse Salad.

This tasty dish combines iceberg and green lettuce salad with pepper bacon, cheddar cheese and sliced turkey. Nix the dressing to keep that carb, sugar and sodium count down to an absolute minimum.

The salad clocks in at just 230 calories with over 20g of protein.

3. Applebee’s

Jason Burrows/Flickr

Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill + Bar is a 40 year old casual dining restaurant that focuses on mainstream American dishes.

Their menu features such offerings as chicken, riblets, pasta, burgers and salads — while the atmosphere is casual and fun. It’s a great place to meet friends or family for a bite, so if you’re looking to keep an active social life while cutting Applebee’s might be a good choice.

The menu features a ‘Lighter Fare’ section, which is definitely where those intent on getting ripped should put their focus.

Better still, avoid the menu all together (see our eating out tip #1 at the bottom of the page) and go for the Cedar Grilled Lemon Chicken and Thai Shrimp Salad.

4. Carl’s Jr

Carl’s Jr is an international fast food restaurant that was started in 1941. It now has more than a thousand locations across the United States and is to be found in 28 countries around the world.

Carl’s are famous for their tasty burgers and fries.

However, they also cater to the keto and low carb dieter by allowing customers to swap out their burger bun for a large pair of lettuce leaves. By doing this, you can go for the ever popular Famous Star Burger.

Just be sure to tell your server to hold the mayo and cheese — but you can go for extra lettuce. This will give you a total of 390 calories, 3 grams of fiber and 23 grams of protein.

Hardee’s is the east coast version of Carl’s Jr. They are famous for their made from scratch biscuits but, as a person who is trying to get as ripped as possible, you will want to stay away from that particular part of the menu.

Bet you never thought you could eat a fast food burger on your cut!

5. Denny’s

Photo vs Flickr

Denny’s began life in 1953 as Danny’s Donuts.

Denny’s now follows the modular 1950’s style dining them and operates all over the world, with more than 1,700 locations.

Denny’s were one of the first to embrace the healthy eating craze and now offer a Fit Fare menu.

A great option is the Fit Fare Loaded Veggie Omelet. This tasty breakfast fare is more from protein rich egg whites and stuffed with mushrooms, tomatoes and onions.

It is served with fruit and an English muffin. Simply give the muffin a miss and you’ve got a delicious high protein low carb breakfast offering.

If you’re hitting Denny’s in the evening, ask for the FitFare Tilapia Ranchero with avocado and pico de gallo. This one also comes with mashed potatoes and broccoli so ask the waiter to hold the potatoes to keep your carb count within your limits.

6. Longhorn Steakhouse

A steak — or really any high quality cut of delicious meat — is a perfect meal for cutting.

It’s so good on its own you can simply pair with some potatoes, a salad, or some vegetables and get a delicious and satisfying meal that fits your meal plan.

Longhorn Steakhouse is the place to head if you’ve got a craving for a juicy healthy steak but want to stay low carb.

They’ve been delighting steak lovers since 1981 with their expertly crafted grilled steaks.

But if you’re truly serious about getting ripped, we suggest you forget the steak and order their grilled salmon with steamed asparagus and char grilled mixed vegetables. Just ask them to hold the baked potato.

5 Tips to Follow When Eating Out on a Cut or Diet

When you are on a cutting diet, you need to be on top of your game when eating out.

Here are 5 things to keep in mind to ensure that you don’t blow it:

Plan Your Meal Ahead of Time

When you walk into a restaurant, it’s a little like negotiating a series of land mines.

You are going to be surrounded by tempting, aroma enhancing treats that will completely derail your cutting diet.

That is why you need to be laser focused. Know what you will be ordering ahead of time. That means that you don’t even have to look at the menu while you’re there, avoiding a major impulsive decision.

Stick with Water

Don’t fall into the trap of ordering a low carb meal and then blowing it with a calorie and sugar laden drink.

Play it smart and stick with water. As well as reducing your carb intake it will also reduce the size of your bill!

Nix the Sauces and Condiments

There is a surprising amount of sugar in sauces.

Sauces and condiments are also high in sodium and they will ramp up the total calorie count of your meal — if they’re served on the side or self-served, they won’t be included in the menu calorie count and can completely wreck your plan.

Do yourself a favor and stay away from them.

Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask your waiter some important questions.

Find out how the various components of your meal have been cooked.

After all, there is quite a difference between grilling and frying a chicken breast.

Same thing with rice – steamed rice will have around half the caloric count as the fried version.

Coffee Dessert

It can be difficult sitting there twiddling your thumbs when you fellow diners are scoffing in on a delicious but high sugar dessert.

If there is nothing on the dessert menu that applies to you, order a black coffee.

It won’t be quite the same but at least you’ll be doing something with your hands and mouth while the person across from you gets more and more out of shape!

Wrapping Up

To get cut or ripped, you will have to make some sacrifices — giving up or cutting back on carbs, alcohol, sugar, and some of life’s other indulgences.

But it doesn’t mean you have to be miserable and avoid restaurants like the plague.

You can eat anywhere on a cut if you know how to order. The 6 restaurants for cutting listed above can serve as a guide for how to find good diet meals no matter where you go.

Look for lower carb options with plenty of protein, avoid sugary drinks and sauces, and you’ll be fine!

For more guides like this, check out:

Hope this helps!