Okay, you’re trying to eat healthy, but you don’t have time to make dinner and need to grab something quickly. What do you do? Chipotle can be a great healthy option that has restaurants in many cities across the country, but most people choose to make unhealthy choices when eating there. Like, let’s be real, is eating a burrito that’s the size of a small baby healthy? Probably not.
I’ve learned that it can be hard to find low-carb options at fast food restaurants. However, I’ve found that Chipotle is one of the easiest fast food places to make healthy choices. This is how I do it.
Brown rice or no rice.
Rice is totally fine in moderation, but choosing brown rice over white is an easy swap that makes your meal so much healthier. Basically, brown rice is the whole grain, whereas white rice is the same grain that’s been through more processing to remove bran and most of the germ, giving it much less fiber and nutrients than brown rice. Think: empty calories.
For me, I can do without the rice or with very little. I’ve noticed that Chipotle gives HUGE servings of rice, so if I just can’t suppress that craving, I’ll ask for a very small scoop. Otherwise, I’ve found that I can do without it at all.
Make it a bowl.
Getting Chipotle bowls over burritos are beneficial in two ways: they’re significantly less carbs and can easily be taken to go. Carbs are totally fine in moderation, but Chipotle is known for having burritos with an extravagant amount of carbs. That’s because the rice + tortilla combo (even if you choose brown rice) clocks in at about 85 carbs. Yikes.
On the other hand, bowls are super easy to put a lid on and save for later, which brings me to my next point…
Take some of it home.
If we really took the time to listen to our bodies, most people will be full and content with about half a serving of a Chipotle burrito or bowl. Taking it to go makes it into two meals (which cost less than $4 apiece) that fill us up without making us feel disgusting afterwards.
Fajita veggies are free nutrients.
Even if you’re not getting a salad or vegetarian option, fajita veggies at Chipotle are free. They’re a fantastic way to get some more nutrients (bell peppers are packed with vitamins and fiber) and add a distinct flavor to your meal.
Get free double meat.
This is an age-old trick that everyone should know. If you ask for half and half of two meats, they only charge you for the price of the most expensive one, but you end up getting double meat. When you ask for half and half, the workers almost always give you one scoop of each. For example, I usually get half chicken, half chorizo. They charge me for a single serving of chorizo, but I get one serving of chicken and one serving of chorizo. See what I did there? Adding more meat gives you more protein (to keep you fuller longer) and gives more substance to your two meals.
Half of the dairy is totally okay.
Asking for half of the cheese and sour cream saves you from an upset stomach after eating too much. Even if you’re not lactose intolerant, it’s common to feel bloated after eating too much dairy. Asking for less of the heaping spoonful of sour cream and aggressive handful of cheese will save you the bloating and give you a more reasonable serving of dairy.
Obviously there are a million more ways to make Chipotle healthy, but these are just a few that I’ve found to be helpful. While eating out can sometimes be a pain for me, I can always count on Chipotle to give me a veggie and protein packed meal in a pinch.