Your Guide to Eating Healthy at a Mexican Restaurant
Stressed about trying to eat healthy at a Mexican restaurant? Don’t be! Mexican restaurants are actually a great place to dine out since many of the ingredients and sides are single-source macronutrients.
Adee and Dani are taking a trip to popular Texas food-chain Lupe Tortilla to share their favorite hacks for staying on track when ordering at a Mexican restaurant.
Set your table up for success.
If you know that you want to stay low-carb or plan on ordering a main dish that contains a majority of carbs, then you’ll want to strategize how you approach what Dani calls the biggest obstacle of Mexican restaurants from the start: chips! Ask your waiter to remove the bowl of endless tortilla chips completely or portion a serving that you’re going to eat and ask them to take the rest.
Make protein a priority.
Adee and Dani’s go-to option at a Mexican restaurant is fajitas — and it’s not just because it comes out on a sizzling plate that makes everyone’s heads turn. Fajitas give you a lot of flexibility to be able to hit your macros. You basically get to build your own meal, so put your estimating skills to the test.
Steak in a fajita dish is almost always a leaner cut of beef, but chicken is more predictable in terms of fat content if you’re unsure and want to be more accurate.
Pro tip: If you’re worried about the fat content in your chicken, don’t be afraid to ask what cut it is (aka white or dark meat). White meat contains considerably less fat.
Choose your vessel.
If you’re worried about the carbs in your tacos or fajitas, ask the waiter for corn tortillas rather than flour. Corn tortillas are generally going to average around 10 g of carbs per tortilla, where flour tortillas are nearly double in size and can be close to 40 g of carbs for one.
Think about it. One flour tortilla = four corn tortillas.
Pro tip: If you want to go extremely low-carb, ask your waiter for a large leaf of lettuce instead of a tortilla for variation!
Weigh your food, not yourself.
One thing to note about Mexican food is the sodium content. You could be as accurate as possible in your tracking, but the naturally high sodium content of Mexican food is going to add extra water retention the next morning. Adee and Dani suggest skipping the scale altogether the next day and resuming your normal routine.
If you’re wondering how to track your Mexican meals in MyFitnessPal, what menu items to avoid completely or are interested in more swaps, watch the full video above for all of Adee and Dani’s best Mexican restaurant hacks. If you want an easy go-to reference, download our PDF for macro-friendly hacks at a Mexican restaurant for tips you can screenshot and take with you when you’re going out to eat.
If you're ready to take it a step further and work with an online nutrition coach who can personally help you achieve your goals, then let’s get started.
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