high protein chipotle

Fast Food Hack: Healthy, High Protein Chipotle

Chipotle is either the highest-calorie fast food store in the world, or it is a dieter’s haven. It all depends on what you order. You can order a taco that contains only 670 calories (with 51g of protein) or you can order a taco that is 2,110 calories. It’s not about the company, it’s about the food choices that you make. High protein Chipotle is possible, but you have to be smart about it. 

How does this order sound to you? 3 soft flour tortillas with steak, rice, black beans, queso, salsa, sour cream, cheese, guacamole, and a side order of chips and Guac as an accompaniment. Sure it’s a big order, but you probably know somebody (if not you yourself) who has ordered similar in the past.

Here’s how to order a medium calorie, high protein taco that contains a lot of veggies and keeps the fat content to a reasonable 19g (compared to 113g in the other example).

Our Order

The first thing to do when ordering your taco is to choose between 3 soft flour tortillas or 3 crispy corn tortillas. Most people would choose the flour as they are easier to hold and eat from, but the calorie difference between the two is startling. There are 50 calories more in the soft flour tortillas (250) than there are in the crispy corn versions (200). If you’re a bodybuilder on 4000+ calories per day then you can justify that, but if you are on less than 1600 you really can’t.

Why a taco rather than a burrito? Purely because it is almost impossible to have a low-calorie burrito, the flour tortilla alone comes in at 320 calories – and that’s before we add any ingredients!

After that, you have a selection of Chicken, Steak, Carnitas (pork), Barbacoa (shredded beef), or Sofritas (tofu). Out of the five choices, the tofu is the lowest calorie, but it is also by far the lowest protein option (8g compared to 32g for the highest). The pork is the highest calorie option (210) and has 23g of protein per serving. Next, we have the shredded beef which has 24g of protein and is only 170 calories. Steak is quite low in calories (150) but also surprisingly low in protein (21g). The final option, chicken, is 180 calories but it contains 32g of protein per serving. So, chicken should be our choice of filling as it is quite low in calories and very high in protein.

Next, we have the meat, and we will (controversially) be ignoring the rice completely. We are already getting 40g of carbs from the corn tortillas, so adding a further 40g of carbs from rice seems redundant. Instead, we will be adding the black beans and pinto beans which both contain 8g of protein and 21g of carbs. Totals for both beans together come to Cals 260, Protein 16g, Fat 3g, Carbs 43g. If you wanted you could only use 1 serving of beans and remove 130 calories.

For toppings, we are going to swerve the high-calorie options such as queso (120), sour cream (110), cheese (110), and guacamole (230) and instead go for the low-calorie fresh tomato salsa (25) and romaine lettuce (5). We’ll avoid the high-calorie extras (chips and a topping of your choice) and have it with a bottle of water.

Final Thoughts

Our taco meal comes to 670 calories, 51g of protein, 19g of fat, and 74g of carbohydrates. If we drop one of the beans the meal becomes just 540 calories, with 43g of protein, 17.5g of fat, and 52g of carbohydrates. This meal will be filling, healthy, and delicious, and could save you 700-1500 calories compared to other orders.


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