Well, I’m headed south of the border for lunch today…my co-workers and I are going out for Mexican!

Some Mexican dishes can be a healthful eating nightmare – think chips, cheese…and more cheese! Here are my tips for making healthier choices when dining out Mexican style:

  • Choose soft shell tacos over hard shell. Hard shells are fried, whereas soft shells are not.
  • Do yourself one better and ask for corn tortillas over flour tortillas to save even more fat and calories.
  • Order black or pinto beans over refried beans, which are often made with lard or bacon.
  • Skip the cheese dip for your chips. Use the gratis salsa that usually comes with your meal instead.
  • On the topic of chips – hello – I could mindlessly eat an entire basket if I’m not careful! Ask for a small plate and portion out a set amount. Try and make those last for your entire meal.
  • If you still don’t think you can control yourself around the chips, ask your server not to bring them out.
  • Try to avoid deep fried dishes like chalupas, taquitos and chimichangas.
  • Opt for healthier items like grilled chicken or shrimp and chicken or veggie fajitas.
  • If you’re in the mood for a taco salad, order it without the deep-fried taco bowl. It’s basically one, big, fried tortilla chip!
  • Do yourself another favor and use salsa as salad dressing.
  • Ask for the sauce that would usually come slathered over your burrito or enchilada on the side, so you can dip your food into it.
  • Chug water. Some Mexican food can be very salty – you’ll thank yourself later by staying hydrated throughout your meal!
  • Every once in awhile…go all out. Life is short. Mexican food is delicious. :D

I definitely do not follow all of these rules when dining out in Mexican restaurants – half the fun is eating those crunchy, fresh tortilla chips and dousing your enchiladas in red sauce. Pick and choose where you can give and take, and I promise your experience will be even more rewarding!


What’s your best healthy eating tip for dining out at restaurants?