Keep Your Diet on Track Eating Your Favorite Mexican Dishes

Mexican Food

What is it about eating at Mexican restaurants that’s just so good? It’s it the Dos Equis? The chips and salsa or guacamole? Is it just the food in general? So much of it fried and teeming with sour cream and other things that just make you want to clog an artery and get fat and happy? It’s just so good. It’s an indulgence and something most of us just can’t pass up. Even if we don’t love all Mexican foods, eating at Mexican restaurants is hard to pass up because of the (chips and salsa) atmosphere and the music and the festivities that come along with dining in a great place.

However, Mexican food just isn’t always all that healthy. It can be, but usually not when you’re out to eat. If you’re interested in keeping your waistline slim and your body healthy, you’re going to have to do some major rearranging when it comes to what’s on your dish, what you order and how you eat when you head out for Mexican. Because we understand it’s impossible to pass up on occasion, we’ve decided to tell you to go and enjoy. All you have to do is implement a little change here and there to make your meal a bit healthier. Follow our tips to keep yourself from overindulging in your favorite Mexican dishes.

Order a Smaller Portion

It’s so simple to order a smaller portion. Most restaurants offer a lunch portion to begin with, so just get that one. It’s healthy because it’s so much less. If you have a dish that’s 700 calories whole, order half of it and you just knocked 350 calories off your plate. How simple was that? So simple it should be illegal, in our opinion. If you can’t order a smaller portion, ask immediately for the server to box up half your dish. It’s a great way not only to have lunch tomorrow or dinner another night, but to keep you from overeating because there is still food on your plate and grazing is an issue. If you don’t want to do that, you can also share with a friend. It’s so easy to decide on a dish you want, eat half and let someone else eat the other half. Bam; you just saved half the calories (and half the bill).

Skip the Extras

It’s another simple method you can implement to make your next Mexican dish healthier. Most dishes come with a lot of sauce, cream and others. Ask for all of it on the side or just have it left out all together. Do you have any idea how many calories are in one little bite of sour cream, for example? A lot; and we think you should skip it to make your meal a little healthier and a lot more enjoyable.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to skip the fried chips. Ask for something else instead, such as veggies instead of chips. It’s so much healthier. Additionally, it’s also helpful to ask your server for tomato based sauces verses cheese sauces.

Go Shell-less

What is Mexican food without the shell? You might think it’s not that good, but it’s actually amazing. You can eat the tacos without the shell, the salad without the fried shell and so much more. Of course, if you insist on eating a shell when you order Mexican food, you should order the hard shell over the soft shell. The hard shell has far fewer calories than the soft one, but it’s still an issue if you really want to lose some weight and save yourself the calories. If this is the case, order taco salads without shells and save yourself the calories that are associated with the meal. It’s a simple and effective way to make the meals at Mexican restaurants that much healthier and more delicious.

Make Substitutions

Most Mexican restaurants will give you the choice of either fish or meat; and it’s always healthier to go with the fish option than it is to go with the meat option. Do this. Of course, this is not an option when you do fast food Mexican, but that’s not really healthy in any way, shape or form. You want to go to a real Mexican restaurant and sub your meat for fish to get a little more protein, a little less fat and a lot more health. You can do this in several dishes, and you’ll likely be surprised just how good the flavor and how great the taste.

Another great substitution you can make when you choose to eat Mexican is fajita vs. quesadilla. They’re both delicious, but the fajita is so much healthier and more delicious than the quesadilla. Go with the fajita. It’s not a difficult choice in the grand scheme of things. It’s actually not even a choice that seems difficult as far as flavor and taste goes. Quesadillas are delicious, it’s true. However, they’re made of cheese and meat and flour tortilla. Fajitas might have the same flour tortilla around it that the quesadillas have, but they don’t have all the cheese and all the stuff that’s inside. They’re filled, instead, with veggies. The fresher those veggies, the better the meal will be. Additionally, if you leave off the cheese and the sour cream, you’re going to end up with a meal that’s much healthier.

The Drinks

When you think Mexican, you think tequila. Stop. It’s not good for you – on so many levels. Your best bet, if you have to go with a cocktail, is something like a light beer with the fewest calories and fat grams. Otherwise, just go with water. It’s just as good for you even if it’s a little boring in comparison. Of course, you can’t always skip the fun stuff, but when it’s an issue, water will always be the drink of choice as far as calories and other things are concerned. Do yourself a favor and save the calories for something better.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images


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