If you know me, then you know that Mexican is my favorite type of food! Chips, queso and margs?! What more could I possibly want? However, it can be easy to veer away from those goals when eating out often, especially with delicious Mexican. Here are a few tips that I use when ordering at a Mexican restaurant.
1. Chips and Salsa
It is no secret that the chips and salsa brought out at the beginning is to die for. The chips are fried in unhealthy fat and it is easy to overeat them. I recommend asking for the smaller appetizer plates for portion control. Place a small handful of chips on the plate and then push the basket away. I also recommend sticking with salsa instead of queso or a small guacamole. Guacamole has great healthy fats but can be high in calories and add up fast.
Again, it’s no secret that margaritas make everything better, but the mixes that the restaurants use are extremely high in sugar. This is how I recommend ordering a margarita:
Fresh squeezed lime juice
Lightly salted rim (if they put a ton on there, wipe some of it off to help with sodium)
I also love to add an orange slice
A lite beer such as corona lite can be another healthier option. Pair an alcoholic drink with water and mostly drink the water while eating to help with digestion.
Mexican restaurants tend to cook everything with vegetable oil or lard, which is pig fat. Unfortunately, that means even the chicken is cooked in some form of fat. Chicken will absolutely have less fat than beef and steak options still. So that means focusing on portion sizes will be the best option for control. Whatever meal you order, which will most likely be a large portion, try to split it in half and push it off to the side. That way your eyes won’t be eating for you.
I like to order a plate of grilled chicken, lettuce, and tomatoes with a side of corn tortillas so that I can put together my own taco. I will add some salsa or a little guacamole from our starters to spice it up.
Chicken fajitas will also be a good option to get some micronutrients in. You can ask to cook in little oil to decrease some of the unhealthy fats being used.
Another option if you are not as hungry, is to order a la carte. You could do one or two grilled chicken tacos, on corn tortilla with no sour cream and add a side of beans. If the restaurant has whole black beans instead of refried, choose that option. Portion size will be larger so try to portion this out as well.
The main thing to remember when eating out at a Mexican restaurant is portion control and making healthier options when possible! I love Mexican cuisine and it is not going anywhere for me. I do try to make healthier choices when I go out to eat there because it can add up very quickly.
Eat slowly and enjoy each bite. Try to not converse and have the chip bowl right in front of you because we all know what distracted eating and Mexican cuisine can do (: