Can Keto Chinese Food Make You Gain Weight? Weight Woes or Wellness?

According to keto diet expert Dr. Eric Westman, “It’s possible to enjoy Chinese cuisine and still stay in ketosis.” 

As someone who follows a keto lifestyle, I’ve found that you can indulge…

… in Chinese takeout favorites without derailing your weight loss goals.

The key is knowing what to order and how to modify dishes to fit your macros.

With a few simple substitutions and smart menu choices, you can still…

… savor the iconic flavors of Chinese food while keeping carbs low and avoiding unnecessary calories.

I’m excited to share my go-to keto-friendly Chinese orders and …

…easy recipe swaps that let you continue losing weight, even when takeout temptation strikes.


Yes, when chosen wisely, keto Chinese food (1) can be part of…

… a weight-conscious diet, offering delicious options with potential health benefits.

However, portion control and mindful choices play a crucial role in achieving desired outcomes.

Does Keto Chinese Food Cause Weight Gain?

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Source: James Pattinson

A common concern for those following a ketogenic diet (2) is whether eating Chinese food can cause weight gain.

The answer depends on food choices.

While some Chinese dishes are high in carbs, it is indeed possible to…

… enjoy Chinese cuisine and stay in ketosis.

It’s true that staple ingredients of many Chinese meals like rice, noodles and sauces contain carbs.

However, the protein and fat content of options like…

… meat, seafood and eggs can fit well within a low-carb keto diet when selected carefully.

Focusing on these protein-centric dishes is key.

Some good low-carb choices at Chinese restaurants include…

… stir-fries featuring beef, chicken, shrimp or lamb.

Teriyaki and hoisin sauces should be avoided due to…

… their sugar content, but oil, garlic or spicy sauces offer flavor without carbs.

Vegetables like bok choy and broccoli also provide nutrition without…

… wrecking ketosis when served instead of or alongside rice or noodles.

It’s also important to beware of hidden carbs.

For example, foods like egg foo young and fried dumplings contain wheat flour.

Even seemingly clean dishes can use thickeners that impact blood sugar.

Asking about ingredients and opting for buffer bar meals you build yourself allows for maximum control.

The bottom line is that keto Chinese food does not have to cause weight gain when the right choices are made.

With some carb-conscious tweaks like prioritizing meat and veggies…

… over starches, it is very possible to enjoy Chinese cuisine occasionally while staying in ketosis.

As with any diet, moderation and awareness of what’s being consumed is key.

Keto-Friendly Chinese Food Options

Can Keto Chinese Food Make You Gain Weight 2

Protein-Based Dishes

BEEF WITH BROCCOLI is a classic option that’s low in carbs and big on flavor.

The vegetable-to-meat ratio makes it very keto.

CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI provides a tasty protein punch as well.

EGG dishes like EGG FOO YOUNG can work if made entirely of eggs rather than containing wheat.

SEAFOOD like steamed FISH or buttery SHRIMP are also good low-carb choices.

Vegetable-Centric Dishes

For those keeping it strictly plant-based, STIR FRIED VEGETABLES like…

… broccoli, bok choy and mushrooms can satisfy that Chinese food craving.

BOK CHOY is super low in carbs yet packed with nutrients.

MUSHROOMS provide a satisfying umami flavor without the carbs.

Broth-Based Soups

As long as they’re not thickened with STARCH like cornstarch, brothy soups…

… allow you to enjoy that Chinese flavor.

HOT AND SOUR SOUP (made without sugar) can totally work, while…

… nourishing EGG DROP SOUP makes a comforting light meal.

When ordering Chinese takeout or eating in, remember these proteins and…

… veggie-focused dishes that work well for a KETO or LOW-CARB lifestyle.

STAY AWAY FROM foods high in wheat and sugar like FRIED RICE, noodles and…

… sauces with added sugar.

Learning to “SPEAK KETO CHINESE” unlocks a whole new world of Chinese flavors perfect for any diet.

With some adjustments, you definitely don’t need to give up Chinese food!

Tips for Ordering Low-Carb Chinese Takeout

Can Keto Chinese Food Make You Gain Weight 3

When you’re craving Chinese but want to stay keto, getting takeout can work…

… if you’re savvy about menu choices.

Here are some of my best tips for successfully navigating Chinese takeout on a low-carb diet:

  • ASK FOR SAUCES AND COOKING OILS on the side. Many sauces are very carb-heavy due to sugars, but you can control amounts.
  • AVOID dishes centered around RICE, NOODLES or breads which are pure carbs. Instead…
  • CHOOSE meat or seafood plus veggie dishes that offer protein and nutrients like STIR FRIED CHICKEN WITH BROCCOLI.
  • BE AWARE that even seemingly innocent ingredients like SOY SAUCE are quite high in natural sugars, so use sparingly.
  • Opt for low-sugar cooking methods instead of deep frying when possible.

Armed with these strategies, you’ll find Chinese takeout doesn’t have to…

… equal a derailed diet or unwanted WEIGHT GAIN.

With some menu savvy, you can totally enjoy your Chinese food cravings while staying keto.

Remember – meat and veggie-centric dishes, sauces and oils on the side, and…

… beware hidden carb surprises.

Have fun getting creative with your Chinese MEALS!

Homemade Keto Chinese Recipes

For those wanting Chinese flavors without eating high-carb takeout, these tasty keto recipes let you enjoy Chinese cuisine at home.

Keto General Tso’s Chicken

Can Keto Chinese Food Make You Gain Weight? Weight Woes or Wellness?

Marination Ingredient: 1-2 pounds chicken thighs 1/4 cup coconut aminos 2 tbsp rice vinegar 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce 1 tsp grated ginger 1/2 tsp five spice powder


  1. Place chicken thighs in a bowl. Pour in coconut aminos, rice vinegar, chili garlic sauce, ginger, and five spice.
  2. Marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.


  1. Heat avocado oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Remove chicken from marinade and place in the pan.
  3. Cook for 10-15 minutes, flipping occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and crisp on the outside.
  4. The marinade will coat the chicken and caramelize into a sweet and savory sauce.


  1. Serve the chicken over cauliflower rice.
  2. Enjoy the sauce on the side for dipping.

Low Carb Egg Drop Soup

Can Keto Chinese Food Make You Gain Weight? Weight Woes or Wellness?


  1. 4 cups chicken or veggie broth
  2. 2 beaten eggs
  3. 2 chopped scallions


  1. Bring the broth to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. While whisking constantly, slowly pour the beaten eggs into the simmering broth.
  3. Remove from heat immediately after adding eggs.


  1. The broth will cook the eggs into delicate ribbons.
  2. Stir in the scallions. Enjoy!

Shanghai-Style Baby Bok Choy

Can Keto Chinese Food Make You Gain Weight? Weight Woes or Wellness?


  1. 1 pound baby bok choy
  2. 2 Tbsp oyster sauce
  3. 1 minced garlic clove
  4. 1/2 inch grated ginger
  5. Pinch red pepper flakes


  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add halved bok choy and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in oyster sauce, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes.
  4. Toss to coat and cook 1-2 more minutes.

Serving: Arrange the brightly colored stir-fried baby bok choy on a serving plate.

Enjoy its fresh, healthy flavors either as a nutritious side dish or light meal.

Can Keto Chinese Food Make You Gain Weight 4

With these homemade MENU ITEMS, you need not miss out on classic Chinese flavors…

… while following a KETO or low-carb LIFESTYLE.

They prove CHINESE CUISINE fits perfectly into any healthy WOE focused…

… on losing WEIGHT and improving heart health – without ever touching RICE or NOODLES.

You don’t have to compromise taste or tradition!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I eat at a Chinese restaurant on keto?

While most traditional Chinese dishes contain ingredients like soy sauce and starch which…

… are higher in carbs, many Chinese restaurants can accomodate…

… keto diets by making modifications or substitutions.

Be sure to communicate your needs clearly when ordering keto friendly Chinese food…

… or making a keto friendly Chinese meal.

Options like zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice, pork belly, and beef and broccoli…

… are great choices when eaten with sauce on the side to control net carbs.

What are some keto friendly Chinese food options?

Some keto friendly Chinese foods that work well for a low carb and keto diet…

… include stir fried meats and vegetables like…

… beef and broccoli, kung pao chicken, moo shu pork without the pancakes, and…

… chop suey made with bean sprouts instead of noodles.

Dishes like pork belly, chicken with broccoli, and eggplant with garlic sauce are also…

… low in carbs if ordered without rice or noodle add-ons.

Communicate your diet needs when ordering keto Chinese food to find tasty options that fit your macros.

How can I order keto Chinese food without gaining weight?

When ordering keto friendly Chinese food from a restaurant, ask that any sauce…

… or caramelized ingredients like soy sauce be served on the side instead of mixed into the dish.

This allows you to control portions and net carbs.

Be aware that many Chinese dishes contain fillers like cornstarch or wheat flour…

… so communicate clearly about ingredients.

Steer clear of traditionally high carb dishes like sweet and sour pork or fried rice.

Stick to protein and non-starchy vegetable combos like a stir fry…

… made with zucchini noodles instead of traditional Chinese noodles for best results.

Can eating Chinese takeout cause heart disease?

While traditional Chinese foods are prepared with soy sauce, cornstarch and…

… other thickening agents are generally higher in sodium, fat and carbs…

… which can raise heart disease risk factors over time – eating keto friendly Chinese food…

… occasionally is unlikely to directly cause heart issues.

Focus on whole, single ingredient options prepared simply like a stir fry of chicken with broccoli or moo shu pork without pancakes and sauce on the side.

Paying attention to overall diet quality and limiting processed meals is a better strategy…

… for heart health than completely avoiding all Chinese foods.

Moderation is key with any treats.


In summary, enjoying your favorite Chinese dishes does NOT have to kick you out…

… of ketosis or lead to weight gain on a keto diet.

The key is making strategic ingredient swaps and low carb substitutions when ordering takeout.

Opt for lettuce wrap appetizers, chicken and broccoli entrees, cauliflower fried rice instead of noodles.

Customize orders to skip sugary sauces and add extra veggies.

With a little planning and creativity, you CAN indulge in Chinese cuisine while remaining firmly in ketosis.

Stay satisfied and on track with your weight loss goals.

Let me know in the comments your favorite go-to keto Chinese orders… 

…and recipe adaptations! I love exchanging ideas on keeping this cuisine low carb yet delicious.



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