The answer to all of the questions above is “yes.”
Many people lose weight and get healthier on the keto diet—and some even manage to eat at McDonald's from time to time in the process.
How Does Keto Work?Keto works in large part because the way people lose weight on keto isn't the same as on other diets.
Instead of simply restricting calories or eating specific foods, you enter a state of ketosis, a natural state your body enters when it's deprived of carbohydrates for a period of time.
Eating a diet that’s about 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs causes your body to burn stored fat for energy instead of sugar. In other words, your body turns into a 24/7 fat-burning machine.
And while you should place an emphasis on eating wholesome, nutrient-dense foods most of the time (like any other diet), you can technically stay keto compliant while occasionally eating fast food.
The key to doing it successfully is to go there with a plan, and steer clear of any non-keto culprit items (you might be shocked to learn what is and isn't a culprit).
Here's everything you need to know to craft your own McDonald's keto menu.
Can You Eat McDonald’s if You’re Keto?Yes, it's possible to stick with your keto diet while eating at McDonald's. But you're still trying to stay in ketosis, which means eating less than 50g of carbs per day. You won't be able to order everything on the menu, and may also need to make some modifications.
Here are 5 McDonald's keto menu guidelines to help make it easy:
- Avoid breaded and fried foods (they'll have too many carbs, and most fried foods are cooked in unhealthy oils).
- Avoid sauces with added sugar, even ketchup (ketchup is a sneaky culprit).
- Your two best bets are either a salad or bunless burger (or burgers).
- Cheese is okay. (Rejoice!)
- A side salad is likely the only side item that's keto (that could change one day, but it’s the case for now).
How to Eat Keto at McDonald'sFortunately, McDonald's is transparent about their offerings. You can figure out exactly what's keto and what isn't by using the online McDonald’s Nutrition Calculator.
- Click the “Nutrition Calculator” link above. Select the category of the food you'd like to review.
- Select the food option you'd like to check. For this example, we'll use Burgers.
- You will see the nutrition information for all of McDonald's popular hamburgers and cheeseburgers. Choose the food item you want, then scroll down and click the “Edit Ingredients” icon.
- Here you can select which ingredients you want to eat and which you don’t. (This is how you'll eliminate the non-keto culprits from your meal.)
- After selecting your ingredients, you will get the new nutrition information. See below for an example.
Ideally, do all of this before going to McDonald's. If you're on a road trip and know you may be eating there along the way, plan out your order before you even go in.
This way you already know what you're going to order and don't feel tempted to "guess" what's healthy. (If you're hungry, you might err on the side of foods that aren't actually keto-compliant.)
What are your Keto Options at McDonald’s?For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, here are your best bets for staying keto at McDonald's:
Keto Breakfast OptionsWhile these are technically "breakfast," McDonald’s now serves its breakfast items all day. You can order these at any time if you aren't in the mood for a cheeseburger.
Sausage Biscuit (without biscuit)
Nutrition Stats: 7g protein, 1g carbs, 19g fat, 200 calories 
Sausage McMuffin (without English muffin)
Nutrition Stats: 9g protein, 2g carbs, 24g fat, 260 calories 
Sausage Biscuit with Egg (without biscuit)
Nutrition Stats: 12g protein, 2g carbs, 23g fat, 270 calories 
Sausage McMuffin with Egg (without English muffin)
Nutrition Stats: 16g protein, 3g carbs, 29g fat, 340 calories 
Egg McMuffin (without English muffin)
Nutrition Stats: 12g protein, 3g carbs, 11g fat, 160 calories 
Bacon, Egg & Cheese McGriddle (without griddle cakes)
Nutrition Stats: 14g protein, 4g carbs, 12g fat, 180 calories 
Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddle (without griddle cakes)
Nutrition Stats: 15g protein, 4g carbs, 26g fat, 310 calories 
Keto Lunch/Dinner OptionsYou have a handful of options later in the day, too, and they aren't limited to just a bunless cheeseburger. Be sure to also take ketchup off the order when removing the bun!
Hamburger (without bun and ketchup)
Nutrition Stats: 7g protein, 1g carbs, 6g fat, 90 calories 
Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich (without bun)
Nutrition Stats: 29g protein, 2g carbs, 4g fat, 160 calories 
Cheeseburger (without bun and ketchup)
Nutrition Stats: 10g protein, 3g carbs, 10g fat, 140 calories 
Double Cheeseburger (without bun and ketchup)
Nutrition Stats: 20g protein, 4g carbs, 20g fat, 280 calories 
Quarter Pounder with Cheese (without bun and ketchup)
Nutrition Stats: 25g protein, 4g carbs, 25g fat, 340 calories 
Big Mac (without bun)
Nutrition Stats: 18g protein, 7g carbs, 25g fat, 330 calories 
Non-Keto McDonald’s Menu Items to AvoidWith 13 options to choose from, let's look at the foods you should absolutely avoid when trying to stay low-carb at McDonald's.
This may seem unbelievable, but pound for pound, ketchup contains as much sugar as soda does .
- Honey Mustard Sauce
- Tangy Barbecue Sauce
- French Fries
A few condiments do work on keto. They are:
- Spicy Buffalo Sauce
- Creamy Ranch Sauce
- Tartar Sauce
McDonald’s on Keto is Okay if You’re CarefulThere are many benefits to following a keto diet, and one of them is that occasionally you can enjoy fast food from places like McDonald's without deviating from your nutrition plan.
No, it's not a good idea to eat McDonald's every day on keto. But that's going to be the case no matter what diet you follow.
Use this McDonald's keto menu guide to make the best choices possible when you do go, so you don’t go off track and get knocked out of ketosis.
In general, it’s always better to cook your own meals when you're trying to lose weight. That way, you know exactly what goes into your mouth. Pop over to our keto recipes section for inspiration and delicious meal ideas you can make at home, such as our portobello bacon cheeseburger!