3 Tips For Eating Mexican Food Without Blowing Your Diet

Posted on: 8 February 2017


Eating out can be difficult when you're trying to stay on a diet. It can be hard to stick with low-calorie foods when you're looking at a menu full of delicious food. And depending on the cuisine, it can be hard to find anything you like that meets your dietary requirements. However, if you like Mexican food, you're in luck. It's easier than you might think to order diet-friendly Mexican food, just by making a few little tweaks to your normal order. Take a look at some tips that can help you preserve your diet while enjoying a night out at your favorite Mexican restaurant.

Skip the Chips

You know that bowl of chips on your table that you can dip in salsa or guacamole while you're waiting to order? Not only can those chips spoil your appetite, they're also not great for your waistline. It's just too easy to go through a lot of them without even thinking about it. Ask the waiter to take the chips off of your table, or not to bring them in the first place.

That doesn't mean that you can't have an appetizer, though. Instead of chips, ask for a plate of cut vegetables to dip in fresh salsa or guacamole. Both salsa and guacamole are actually pretty healthy – the avocado in guacamole is even good for your heart – and with some fresh raw veggies, you'll have a light, healthy appetizer that will whet your appetite without spoiling your meal.

Modify the Margarita

It may not seem like Mexican food without a margarita, but that one drink can be the source of a lot of calories. An 8-ounce margarita on the rocks can have more than 450 calories, while a 12-ounce margarita comes close to 700. Some frozen margaritas are made from mixes that are even higher in calories. If you don't want to end up drinking more calories than you eat, it's time to make some changes to your drink order.

Cut the calories by cutting down on the Cointreau or triple-sec and eliminating the sweet-and-sour syrup and sugar. Ask for fresh lime juice instead of sweetened lime juice, and have the bartender add some soda water if the drink needs to be bigger. Or you can skip the margarita entirely and just order tequila on the rocks with a slice of lime – that way you'll get the flavors of the margarita, but only a fraction of the calories.

Forego the Flour Tortilla

Tacos and burritos are actually a great way to order a portion-controlled amount of food. Make them healthier by skipping the flour tortilla, which is often made with lard. A corn tortilla is a healthier choice, and corn tortillas are usually gluten-free, which is an advantage if you're gluten-sensitive. (make sure to ask before you order, though – sometimes, corn tortillas are dusted with flour that contains gluten).

Don't like corn tortillas? You can skip the tortilla entirely – as for your burrito or taco without a shell. Have the cook put it into a bowl instead. And speaking of bowls, if you order a taco salad, you should have it placed in a regular bowl, not one of those deep-fried shells. The fried salad bowl shell is worth about 420 calories. Another option for your taco or burrito is to ask for it to be wrapped in a lettuce leaf instead of a taco or burrito shell. Many Mexican restaurants have lettuce wraps on the menu now, but even if yours doesn't, they'll probably be happy to make the substitution for you.

Even a person on a diet deserves a night out and a break from cooking now and then. Eating out while on a diet doesn't have to be stressful and it doesn't have to ruin your diet. With a few simple changes in the way that you order, you can get a great Mexican meal with far fewer calories. Fell free to check out the Mexican restaurants you want to go to on their websites beforehand.