Best food choice when eating at Mexican Restaurant

mlrtri Posts: 425 Member
edited September 2017 in Food and Nutrition
I am meeting some friends for dinner at a Mexican restaurant tonight. I have cut eating out since I started working on losing weight and the restaurant does not have calories listed on website (it is a small local business).

I would appreciate some advice on what to order so I can keep my calories under control. I am allowing for more calories at dinner tonight (cutting back on breakfast/lunch) but I can't go crazy. I plan to keep mints in my mouth to keep from going crazy on chips/salsa so it is selecting a good entre I need help with.

Thanks for your advice!


  • cathipa
    cathipa Posts: 2,992 Member
    Skip the chips and salsa. Fajitas are my go to when I'm trying to lose. Sometimes they have decent salads as well. Enchiladas sans any cheese sauce (or get it on the side) aren't too terrible. I typically will practice intermittent fasting on a day I know I will be going out to eat.
  • seltzermint555
    seltzermint555 Posts: 10,742 Member
    I usually get 2 a la carte tamales and completely avoid the chips/salsa completely when I don't have a ton of calories to use that day.

    Otherwise, I just get in extra walks/hikes and then get whatever I want, honestly, because Mexican food is one of my "worth it" splurges. I usually do leave 1/2 of the beans and rice uneaten if I'm getting quite full from the entrée item.

    There is one Mexican restaurant near me that does a special which is basically a TON of steamed veggies with fajita chicken or steak, on a bed of rice with queso poured on top. I have ordered that with queso on the side a million times but then suddenly they started adding way more salt so I never did that again. Not sure if it's a common item or not.
  • Tweaking_Time
    Tweaking_Time Posts: 733 Member
    Agree with above - but also consider the is a pork roast like dish that shreds easily. Usually served with lettuce, tomato's and onions - guac, sour cream too. It makes some very tasty filling for taco's or burritos.
  • Old_Cat_Lady
    Old_Cat_Lady Posts: 1,193 Member
    Refried beans are often made with lard. Just something to know in case you are watching calories.
  • cadpro78
    cadpro78 Posts: 125 Member
    I usually go for a shrimp taco salad....inside a crisp taco bowl. The bowl though you have to watch out for as that is the bulk of calories. Grilled shrimp and avovado with light to no sour cream is da bomb...
  • Tulip9
    Tulip9 Posts: 143 Member
    I love Mexican food too. I occasionally eat some at a restaurant. I try to keep my calories lower during the day. I usually have just a few chips with salsa. Maybe count out 5 or 6, and eat them slowly. I usually order a la carte items, or at least only half the rice and beans that come with a combo. I love enchiladas, so I get one cheese or chicken one. Then I also get a steak or grilled shrimp taco on corn tortilla (not fried). Sometimes I ask for a little extra lettuce and pico de gallo On the side. Drink a lot of water. The higher sodium will bump my weight up for a bit, but it's not too bad. Enjoy!
  • RaeBeeBaby
    RaeBeeBaby Posts: 4,245 Member
    I love Mexican food and our local place is delicious!

    A couple things I order to keep the calories down:

    Carne asada with corn tortillas (skip the rice and beans)
    Ala carte tamale or chicken enchilada (or both if I have the calories to spare)
    Shrimp fajitas

    I can't skip the chips and salsa, so I count out 14 of them (a typical serving size) and eat as much salsa as I want. Sometimes we'll have guac and sour cream. Guac is a little higher in calories, but good for you. Sour cream really isn't that many cals, especially if you just use a dollop.

    Enjoy your dinner!
  • KetoZombies
    KetoZombies Posts: 63 Member
    Fajitas with avocado
  • natruallycurious
    natruallycurious Posts: 359 Member
    I love Mexican food, and chips and salsa are my downfall. I get chicken fajitas. I don't eat the tortillas at all, though if you have to, corn tortillas are lower cal than flour. I pour a little bit of the salsa on the fajitas and eat them straight from the skillet - it's actually really low calorie to eat them that way. You can add a little bit of cheese/sour cream/guac, but those will all shoot the calorie content up
  • mlrtri
    mlrtri Posts: 425 Member
    Thank you all for your suggestions!!!
  • NUTS!!!
  • quiksylver296
    quiksylver296 Posts: 28,443 Member
    My favorite Mexican restaurant does a stuffed avocado - stuffed with shrimp and krab and topped with a bit of cheese. So freaking yummy. A bit calorific, but totally worth it!
  • Some mom and pop Mexican restaurants serve veggie fajitas! That is my go to. Also guacamole salad on a bed of lettuce and a side of charro beans is fairly healthy.
  • cadpro78
    cadpro78 Posts: 125 Member
    Basically, you should just enjoy going out to any restuarant. It is suppose to be a time of joy and happiness hopefully in your life, so live it up. And only go out on occasion... maybe once a week or once every 2 weeks...
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,879 Member
    I go out for New Mexican food about once per month...I just enjoy it as it's not a regular occurrence and it brings me great happiness...
  • DX2JX2
    DX2JX2 Posts: 1,921 Member
    edited September 2017
    If it's an authentic restaurant, you'll be fine with the fajitas (grilled veg and protein, build yourself so portions are easy to control) and tacos (authentic tacos are served on soft non-fried tortillas, do not usually have guac, cheese, or sour cream, and each taco is a very manageable size). Skip burritos since it's harder to control portion size and fillings. Straight up entrees (grilled proteins, etc.) should be pretty manageable as well though watch the portion sizes.

    If you want a side of beans/rice, skip the refried and stick with the whole black beans. The rice will generally be fine despite a little bit of extra added fat.

    If you're going to a chain restaurant like On the Border or something similar, then most of the entrees will be smothered in cheese/sauce/sour cream as a matter of fact. Just try to find the healthiest option available. They may actually have an entree that's designed specifically for calorie counters and other dietary restrictions and it will be pretty obvious either through name or description.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,372 Member
    I love taco salads so I often go for that... it usually ends up around 600 calories if I don't use dressing (I use salsa instead)... more obviously if I eat the bowl.

    But 3 tacos should run you around 600 calories (as long as it's corn tortillas).
  • Tabbycat00
    Tabbycat00 Posts: 146 Member
    I always order two chicken soft tacos on corn tortillas with no guacamole. I count each taco to be 400 calories (chicken, cheese, lettuce & tomato with one or two corn tortillas) to be safe. No chips, no alcohol, but lots of salsa and hot sauce.
  • kwtilbury
    kwtilbury Posts: 1,234 Member
    cathipa wrote: »
    Skip the chips and salsa. Fajitas are my go to when I'm trying to lose. Sometimes they have decent salads as well. Enchiladas sans any cheese sauce (or get it on the side) aren't too terrible. I typically will practice intermittent fasting on a day I know I will be going out to eat.

    This. I usually pick fajitas because I know what I'm getting and I can easily control the individual ingredients.
  • gamerbabe14
    gamerbabe14 Posts: 876 Member