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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Meal Makeovers

One of the questions I get asked most by my clients and students is, “What do YOU eat?” Well, I tend to share a lot of my food adventures and “likes” in The Diet Dish, but I don’t cook every night. Like most couples, my hubby and I go out a few times a week, and when we do, I nearly always have to modify my order it to make it Cynthia-approved. I love eating at locally owned restaurants, but there are a few chains I frequent. One of my favorites is Chipotle.

My husband and I both love Mexican food and appreciate Chipotle’s simple menu, fresh food, and “food with integrity” philosophy. Plus they have great guacamole! But, I still have to Cynthia-ize my order. Here’s how, and how many calories I save:

Vegetarian Fajita Burrito Bowl
-Cilantro-lime rice – 240 calories
-Black beans – 130 calories
-Sauteed peppers and onions – 100 calories
-Salsa – 25 calories
-Cheese – 110 calories
-Sour cream – 120 calories
-Guacamole – 170 calories
-Lettuce – 5 calories
Grand total: 900 calories!!!!

Vegetarian Fajita Burrito Bowl (Cynthia-ized):
-No rice
-No cheese
-No sour cream
-Half the guacamole
-Double lettuce
Grand total: 350 calories

That’s a savings of 550 calories. Slashing that many calories just once per day is enough to prevent gaining over 50 pounds in one year’s time (think 200 sticks of butter worth of body fat). And, this meal has what I call the Goldilocks effect – exactly what I aim for. It makes me feel “just right” - full but not too full, satisfied (especially from the beans and yummy guacamole), and energized. My version also saves 15 grams of artery clogging saturated fat!

Fortunately, Chiplote publishes their Nutrition Facts. Does your favorite restaurant? Check their web site to find out. In my opinion, this is a case where the phrase “knowledge is power” definitely rings true! Happy surfing!

photo courtesy of Geek Philosopher
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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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