I gave you The Eating Out Survival Guide back in August, which gives general tips for eating out while trying to lose weight. Sometimes some restaurants can be more confusing than others- especially when you aren’t as familiar with the cuisine, and what goes into it.
Today we tackle Mexican Restaurants: everyone loves them, but rarely does anyone know exactly what goes into the dishes- except for thousands of calories.
The biggest concerns with Mexican cuisine is the huge portions, the over load of fatty, calorie dense cheese, and the preparation of most of the food: ie. frying.
Some other insider tips- the beans are almost always made with lard, weighing in at about 640 calories per cup (which is about 2 of those little free dishes you get with your chips), taco salads often contain more than 1,000 calories, especially if you eat the shell, and the extra condiments are usually where the trouble lies: beans, cheese, sour cream and guacamole can all add up to hundreds and hundreds of extra calories.
When going to a Mexican restaurant, beware of these menu words:
* Rellenos (stuffed, usually with cheese)
* Chorizo (Mexican sausage, very fatty)
* Con Queso (with cheese, lots of it)
* Combination (usually a very large portion of many different things)
* Crispy (fried, especially shells and wraps)
and pass on these dishes:
* Cheese Quesadilla: around 900 calories
* Refried Beans (Frijoles): around 640 calories per cup
* Nachos: around 800 calories and as much as 65g fat
*Cheese Enchiladas: around 980 calories
*Chicken Tostada: around 935 calories
There are a few safe choices, however. Mexican food is a great way to get your veggies and leans proteins.
Chicken fajitas– ask for no butter (that’s what makes ’em sizzle) and corn tortillas with contain less fat than flour. Skip the guac and sour cream, and load them up with salsa.
Gazpacho- The cold tomato soup has green peppers and cucumber. It’s fat-free, full of vitamin C and beta carotene, and only has 60 calories.
Ceviche (fish or shrimp cocktail marinated in citrus, sometimes with tomato and avocado) is delicious, fresh and low in calories.
Shrimp tacos and fish tacos- as long as they aren’t deep fried! Ask for no breading.
Taco salads- skip the shell, and make sure there are no beans. A fresh bed of lettuce, fresh tomatoes and a little cheese over shredded chicken can be delicious and low in calories if you skip the extra stuff.
You can still eat at your favorite restaurants- just educated on those tricky extras that add thousands of calories to your meals.