As its name suggests, Whataburger is a 24/7 takeout specializing largely in burgers. While eating fast food should never be your first choice on the ketogenic diet, there are ways to make it work during emergency situations.
Staying keto at Whataburger takes some careful ordering and customization. Some of our top low carb Whataburger options include bunless burgers or the cobb salad.
In this guide, we will provide you with helpful tips and suggestions on how to eat low carb at Whataburger. We will cover menu options, ingredient swaps, and other strategies that can help you stay on track while enjoying a treat meal.
Fast-Food: Should You Or Shouldn’t You?
While you might be able to find something low carb to eat at Whataburger, it’s always best to cook your food at home using high-quality meats and keto-friendly ingredients.
Keep in mind that eating low-carb is not the same as eating keto. To obtain the best results, make sure you follow a keto plan that is designed to help you achieve your goals.
Tips for Eating Low Carb at Whataburger
If you find yourself without food for the day or in need of something quick to get you by until your next meal, then you can definitely find something low-carb to eat at Whataburger to sustain your diet.
We’ve prepared some tips to help you keep it as keto-friendly as possible while eating at Whataburger.
#1. Stick with a burger
Your best bet when trying to order low-carb at Whataburger is to stick with a burger and hold the bun and sauce.
They have quite a few different burger options, which you can see by viewing their menu on their website. They also have some great toppings that are keto compliant, such as bacon, cheese, and avocado.
According to the website, every Whataburger comes with mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and diced onions on a five-inch toasted bun.
Some sandwiches, such as their avocado bacon burger, come with a creamy pepper sauce, so you’ll always want to ask for no sauce just in case.
Mustard is usually safe as it usually only contains mustard seeds and some spices, but most generic brands also contain added food colors such as yellow 5. This means that you don’t want to make mustard a habit if you’re trying to eat clean.
As long as you hold the bun and sauces and just eat the insides of your burger, you’ll have a low-carb meal every time.
#2. Get a side salad
A lot of people don’t get enough vegetables on the ketogenic diet, so it’s important to sneak them in whenever you can to avoid nutritional deficiencies. A side salad is a great way to do that, and Whataburger offers one. You can keep it low-carb by ordering it dry or with a low-carb dressing, like ranch or oil and vinegar (if they offer it).
They also offer a cobb salad that contains a Whatachick’n filet, hard boiled egg, shredded cheese, bacon slices, grape tomatoes, grated carrots, and a red roma blend. Make sure that the chicken filet is grilled and not breaded/fried, and use a low-carb dressing (like ranch or oil and vinegar).
Here is a list of salad dressings offered at Whataburger and how many carbs are in each:
- Balsamic vinaigrette: 10 grams carbs
- Buttermilk ranch dressing: 3 grams carbs
- Fat-free ranch dressing: 13 grams carbs
- Honey BBQ sauce: 22 grams carbs
- Honey mustard sauce: 15 grams carbs
- Jalapeno ranch dressing: 2 grams carbs
- Low-fat herb vinaigrette: 15 grams carbs
- Thousand Island dressing: 8 grams carbs
As you can see, ranch dressing is your best choice. You can also ask if they have oil and vinegar, as this would be another good option. Better yet – add more low-carb toppings to your salad and hold the dressing altogether!
#3. Beware of breading and hidden milk
Whataburger has a couple of different chicken sandwiches, but most of them are breaded and should be avoided by anyone on the ketogenic diet. If you’re ordering a chicken sandwich, then you’ll want to make sure to ask for grilled chicken. They also offer a Whatacatch fish burger, but this sandwich is breaded, too. Stay away!
While doing research on the Whataburger website, we also noticed that they add nonfat milk to their eggs as a way of making them appear soft and fluffy.
Lots of restaurants (especially buffets) do this, but it adds to the carb and sugar count of your eggs. Keep this in mind if you order a breakfast sandwich from them.
#4. Go with breakfast
Whataburger has a breakfast menu that is open from 11 PM until 11 AM daily (this might vary by location). We like breakfast sandwiches because they tend to be easy to convert into a low-carb meal.
They don’t usually come with sauce and you can easily ask for no bread or bun. Plus, they tend to include keto-friendly ingredients like meat, cheese, and eggs.
Note: Whataburger offers a Lighter & Smaller menu, but you will still need to customize these food items with the tips we provided because they come with breading, buns, and sauces that aren’t allowed on a low-carb diet.
Bonus tip: if you’re ever unsure about the ingredients at Whataburger, you can always check the nutritional information on its website here.
Related: How To Order Low Carb at McDonald’s
What To Order at Whataburger For Every Meal
One of the nice things about Whataburger is that they are open 24 hours a day. This means you always have a meal or at least a snack available to you when you need it.
We’ll show you how to order low-carb at every meal.
Despite being a burger joint, Whataburger has a nice collection of breakfast foods that you can grab on your way to work.
Here’s a list of what to order and how to keep it low-carb.
- Taquito with cheese (this wrap comes with your choice of bacon, sausage, or potato, so always go with bacon or sausage and ask to hold the flour tortilla or just eat the insides)
- Breakfast on a bun (ask for no bun)
- Biscuit sandwich (ask for no biscuit)
- Breakfast platter (ask for no hash brown sticks or biscuit and get a double order of bacon or meat instead)
- Egg sandwich (minus the bun)
- Egg and cheese biscuit (minus the biscuit)
- Jalapeno cheddar biscuit sandwich (minus the biscuit)
- Biscuit with bacon or sausage (no biscuit)
Most folks don’t mind eating something lighter at lunch. Whether you’re looking for a light lunch or just a snack, these options will work:
- Grilled chicken sandwich (minus the bun and zesty whatasauce)
- Chicken fajita taco (minus the flour tortilla)
- Grilled chicken melt (no bun)
- Justaburger (minus the bun)
- Cobb salad salad (no dressing)
- Cobb salad with chicken (choose the grilled chicken option)
For dinner, we recommend getting one of the following burgers along with a side salad (no dressing).
Keep in mind that you can also double your meat, cheese, or bacon if you’re really hungry. Whataburger also has fresh avocado, so don’t be afraid to ask for some!
The main thing to remember when ordering a burger is to hold the bun and sauce or ask for a lettuce wrap instead.
- Whataburger (no bun)
- Double and triple meat Whataburger (no bun)
- Jalapeno and cheese Whataburger (no bun)
- Bacon and cheese Whataburger (no bun)
- Whataburger Jr. and double meat Whataburger Jr. (no bun)
- Avocado bacon burger (no toast or creamy pepper sauce)
- A1 Thick and Hearty burger (no A1 sauce or bun)
- Monterey melt (no ranch sauce or bun)
- Sweet and spicy bacon burger (no sweet and spicy pepper sauce or bun)
- Whataburger patty melt (no creamy pepper sauce or bun)
- Chop house cheddar burger (no creamy steak sauce or bun)
- Green chili double (no bun)
- Mushroom swiss burger (no bun or sauce)
High-Carb Foods To Avoid at Whataburger
While you can customize many of the food ideas at Whataburger to make them low-carb, there are some that are simply not worth your trouble.
They either contain too many carbs that can’t be swapped out or they contain added sugars and cheap ingredients that you can’t get away from. Refrain from ordering anything on this list:
- Chorizo taquito (contains white corn flour, hydrogenated soybean oil, and nonfat milk)
- Pancake platter
- Honey butter chicken biscuit (there is nothing remotely keto about this sandwich!)
- Honey BBQ chicken strip sandwich
- Biscuits and gravy
- Cinnamon roll
- Hash brown sticks
- Chicken strips and bites
- Grilled cheese
- Apple slices
- Whatacatch (fish burger)
- Whatachick’n sandwich (unless you can get it with grilled chicken; also hold the savory sauce and bun)
- French fries
- Onion rings
- All cookies
- All shakes and sweetened beverages
While it’s important to make sure most of your meals come from high-quality ingredients that you prepare at home, it’s OK to dine out every once and awhile during emergency situations.
The best way to eat low-carb at Whataburger is to order one of their many beef burgers without the bun or sauce. If you’re extra hungry, get double or triple the meat and ask for extra slices of cheese and a side of avocados.
We also suggest grabbing a side salad without dressing as a way to increase your vegetable intake on the keto diet. If you go for a breakfast sandwich, beware that there is nonfat milk in the eggs, which increases the carb and sugar content.
*Image credit: Terry Ross
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