When it comes to losing weight, one of the most challenging activities is eating out. Ordering a low-calorie dish is impossible in some cases!
If you like Mexican food, this task may be even tougher. From tacos with refried beans topped with sour cream to giant burritos, there are many mouth-watering options that are not recommended if you want to eat healthy food and lose weight.
However, finding healthy options at Mexican restaurants is entirely possible. Here’s all the information you need about it.
What to Order When Craving Mexican Food
If you visit a Mexican restaurant, you are likely to find gigantic portions. That’s common in these eateries because they expect to give you the most food for your precious money.
However, these huge portions can pack up to 1,500 calories, even if it’s just an entree. Fortunately, there’s low-calorie Mexican food with delicious flavors that you can try if you want to eat out with your family.
You only need a few simple ideas to order a delicious but low-calorie dish in a Mexican restaurant. Find some tips below.
Order Corn Tortillas Instead of Flour Tortillas
Tacos are among the most emblematic dishes of Mexican cuisine. If you’re craving them, you can ask the chef to replace the traditional flour tortillas with corn tortillas.
Unlike those made with flour, corn tortillas have fewer calories and fat content. Also, they’re lower in sugar and sodium.
If you follow this advice, you’ll have low-calorie Mexican restaurant food on your next outing with your friends or family since you can enjoy tacos’ delicious flavor while keeping them low-calorie.
Don’t Eat Deep Fried Chips
It is impossible to eat fewer calories if you order deep-fried chips and salsa, which are a staple in Mexican food.
Both chips and salsa are high in calories and are not recommended for people who want to lose weight.
However, if you’re in the mood for them, instead of saying no to chips and salsa, you can limit the amount you eat. Instead of eating a whole basket yourself, share this dish with other people.
Veggies Instead of Deep Fried Tortilla Chips
You can also order some raw vegetables instead of chips. Even if you eat them with salsa, they are much lower in calories and more filling.
If there are no vegetables, a side of plain corn-based tortillas might be a good option if you’re looking for low-calorie dishes.
Opt for Low-Sugar Drinks Instead of a Classic Margarita
When you visit a Mexican restaurant, it’s also hard to skip alcoholic drinks. The classic margarita is one of the most popular beverages in their culture! However, most are full of sugar and calories that can hinder your weight loss journey.
In these cases, it’s better to get a skinny margarita with less sugar. Generally, these drinks only have 90 calories.
If the restaurant you’re visiting doesn’t have skinny margaritas, you can also order a tequila with a splash of lime juice and zero-calorie sweetener. This drink alternative is even better if you want to lose weight.
Omit Sour Cream and Other Toppings
When you eat Mexican food, one of the easiest ways to add calories is by asking for additional toppings.
Cheese, tortilla chips, and sour cream are common in many Mexican dishes. However, both options are high in calories. The same is true for guacamole, although you can ask for a healthy version if there’s low-calorie Mexican food in that restaurant.
Instead, you can add pico de gallo to your main dish. This option is healthier and low in calories.
Other Tips to Eat Low-Calorie Restaurant Food
Besides choosing some healthier foods instead of traditional options, you can also follow these tips when visiting your favorite Mexican restaurant.
Choose Better Quality and Healthier Foods
Instead of ordering calorie-laden entrees, such as cheese-covered ground beef nachos or fried fish tacos, chalupas, chimichangas, or taquitos, you can choose grilled options.
Ideally, choose dishes with brown rice, seasonal vegetables, and black beans. Also, order the ones that contain lean meat and are high in protein. Some good options include the following:
- Grilled chicken tacos or burritos without sour cream and guacamole
- Grilled fish tacos with black beans
- Grilled shrimp salad
- Taco salad (without tortillas)
- Tortilla soup with beef or chicken (without the fried shell) and a corn tortilla instead of flour tortilla chips
Ground beef can also be a regular choice but is high in saturated fat. Therefore, it is better to choose other types of meat.
Are Refried Beans Good Options?
If you love refried beans, pinto beans may be a better option. Besides giving your dish a similar taste, they are low in fat and healthier!
Size Your Portions
Choosing nutritious food instead of traditional dishes is a good option, but you can also put together your own combos.
Instead of eating corn tortillas with toppings, order a beef burrito or grilled chicken with vegetables.
You can also order grilled vegetables as a side dish with grilled chicken breast and rice if you are looking for a healthier option. Bowls are delicious and great for low-calorie diets!
Ask for Extra Condiments on the Side
Mexican seasonings can also be high in calories. Therefore, instead of ordering nachos loaded with melted cheese, you can order corn tortillas with salsa or pico de gallo.
When you substitute cheese for sauce, your dishes can have up to 300 fewer calories. It’s a smart move if you’re on a diet to lose weight!
Final Thoughts: Can I Eat Mexican Food If I Want to Lose Weight?
Eating healthy food at Mexican Restaurants is completely possible! You only have to be creative and choose options with fewer calories if you want to lose weight.
Fried foods are full of saturated fat, sugar, and calories that can ruin your weight loss efforts. However, some alternatives can help you lose those extra points while enjoying a night out with your loved ones.
A dish with steak, black beans, and pico de gallo has about 450 calories, for example. Lettuce grilled chicken tacos may have around 370, while two grilled fish tacos have only 450-500 calories.
As you can see, there are many healthy options! I’m a professional nutritionist, and I love visiting Mexican restaurants! However, I know that I must make better choices. If you follow the tips listed above, you can do it, too!