Raise your hand if you’ve ever left a Chipotle restaurant while unbuttoning your pants. *Lifts hand sheepishly.* While the Tex Mex-inspired fast food chain allows you to customize your orders and pile on the produce and lean proteins, it’s easy to get a little too queso and guac happy, if you know what I mean. These delicious nutritionist-approved healthy options at Chipotle will fill you up without the post-meal food coma.
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Nutrient-packed bell pepper and red onion make the fajita veggies a healthy and delicious way to get your greens. While they’re lightly fried in oil, it’s one of the good kinds, according to Kelli McGrane, RD for Lose It!. “Sunflower oil is low in saturated fat and high in polyunsaturated fats,” she says. “It’s also rich in vitamin E, which has antioxidant properties.”
Per serving: 20 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 5 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 25 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 0 g protein
Chipotle offers a perfectly balanced and vegan-compliant meal made with brown rice, beans, sofritas (a saucy shredded tofu blended with spices), and a healthy helping of veggies. “By incorporating a few meals each week that use plant-based proteins, you can get heart-healthy fiber and antioxidants,” says McGrane. A vegan or even flexitarian diet can also reduce your risk of chronic disease, she adds.
Per serving: 600 calories, 19 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 88 g carbs, 12 g sugar, 1,840 mg sodium, 17 g fiber, 23 g protein
This no-BS bowl is packed with muscle-building barbacoa (shredded beef seasoned with chipotle chili) and fiber-filled veggies. And you don’t have to be on a strict paleo diet to enjoy it either. “Adhering to the paleo diet a few times per week could help encourage more whole foods and limit overly processed ones, like pre-packaged desserts, chips, and soda,” says McGrane.
Per serving: 445 calories, 29 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 21 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 1,1315 mg sodium, 9 g fiber, 28 g protein
I know it’s extra, but this green goodness is totally worth it. Packed with healthy monounsaturated fats and fiber from avocados, it’s a great option for non-processed, sodium-free flavor. “[It’s] also a good source of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, several B vitamins, and vitamin E.” She adds that many people don’t know a serving of avocado contains more potassium than a banana.
Per serving: 230 calories, 22 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 8 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 370 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 2 g protein
Whole30 Salad Bowl
Anyone adhering to the Whole30 diet knows just how frustrating it is to find a meal—let alone a fast food dish—that’s free of ingredients like dairy, grains, added sugars, and alcohol. “The main benefit of the Whole30 diet is eliminating overly processed foods and focusing on whole food sources,” says McGrane. “It can be a helpful way for some people to adjust their taste buds and experiment with new foods or recipes using whole ingredients.” This bowl contains carnitas, lettuce, fajita veggies, fresh salsa, and guac for a satiating meal.
Per serving: 495 calories, 34 g fat (10.5 g saturated fat), 19 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 1,525 mg sodium, 9 g fiber, 27 g protein
Keto Salad Bowl
Tucking into this veggie-rich salad (with keto-approved and very necessary Monterrey jack cheese) is a great way to stay on track with the ketogenic diet. “The Chipotle keto salad is made to specifically fit the macronutrient distribution for a keto diet, taking the guesswork out of the equation,” says McGrane. “It’s high in fat, fiber, and protein, while being very low in carbs and sugar.” She notes, however, that one serving contains more than half your recommended daily sodium limit, so be sure to plan the rest of your day’s meals accordingly.
Per serving: 590 calories, 42 g fat (15.5 g saturated fat), 15 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 1,515 mg sodium, 8 g fiber, 32 g protein
Kid’s Cheese Quesadilla
Pretend you’re ordering for your kid, and reap the benefits of delicious comfort food that’s perfectly portioned. “Ordering off the kids menu at Chipotle is a great way not only to keep portion sizes in check, but it can also save you money,” says McGrane. Since the calories in the cheese and tortilla alone are so low (190!), you can add ingredients like chicken and black beans for extra filling protein. This meal also comes with a smaller side of chips than a standard meal, as well as a side of fruit for extra vitamins and antioxidants.
Per serving: 315 calories, 12.5 g fat (5.5 g saturated fat), 30 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 550 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 18 g protein
Fresh Tomato Salsa
Definitely add salsa to your taco, salad, burrito, or bowl. According to McGrane, salsa is a great low-calorie way to add some serious flavor to your meal. This version uses fresh chopped veggies like tomato, jalapeño, red onion, and cilantro for an added dose of vitamins.
Per serving: 25 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 4 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 50 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein
This vegetarian bowl features brown rice, pinto beans, a boatload of veggies (that amount to nearly a day’s worth of fiber), guacamole, corn salsa, and sour cream. “Sour cream counts as a good source of calcium, which is essential for bone and heart health,” says McGrane. “It’s also a good source of phosphorus, which is another important mineral for bone health.”
Per serving: 805 calories, 40 g fat (11.5 g saturated fat), 92 g carbs, 11 g sugar, 1,830 mg sodium, 21 g fiber, 20 g protein
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