I am going to start a new series of articles called "On the Road Eats," which is my top picks for finding healthier food options away from home. Being in outside sales for 9 years, I have eaten thousands of meals at restaurants so I have a large sample size to pull from. What I've found is that no matter where you eat, you can make it work. The key is to first understand the foundations of how food works in the body (hint- calories in vs. energy expended). Then, you can apply those principles to any situation.
CHIPOTLE aka #godsgift, takes the top spot in my "On the Road Eats" power rankings.
What Is There to Like About It?
- Satiating, whole foods. You hear me preach it all the time but I don't chase "clean" food, I chase food that keeps me full for a long time. Whole, unprocessed food choices are the best at that. Think lean meat, veggies, rice.
- High food volume to calorie ratio. You've heard of Time Under Tension (TUT) in weightlifting. Well in food talk, I judge meals by Time Under Chewing (TUC). The longer the better! Not to pick on McDonald's (because I eat there too), but 500 calories at Chipotle gets you a massive, overflowing burrito bowl that takes 20+ minutes to eat while Mickey D's gives you small fries and 6 McNuggets which can be eaten in the blink of an eye. Tip- other than meat or guac, there is no charge for doubling or tripling pretty much anything else so ask for more veggies, salsa, etc. to increase food volume.
- Completely customizable menu to fit any goal. Having the ability to get meals ranging from 200 calories to thousands of calories means that Chipotle is "season proof" and can be eaten at anytime of the year. The choice factor can be slightly overwhelming for Chipotle first timers (it's hilarious to watch them order), but once you go a few times you'll develop Go To's.
What Should I Order?
*Classification system borrowed from the homies at www.eatcleanbro.com
Lean. 6 pack food
- Salad bowl with meat of choice, fajita veggies, and salsa
- Calories: 230 / Macros: 7.5g Fat, 6g Carb, 33g Protein
- Burrito bowl with meat of choice, rice or beans, fajita veggies, cheese, and salsa
- Calories: 545 / Macros: 20g Fat, 46g Carb, 43g Protein
- Burrito with flour tortilla, double meat of choice, rice, beans, fajita veggies, cheese, and salsa
- Calories: 1,145 / Macros: 37g Fat, 116g Carb, 87g Protein
What Should I Watch Out For (W2W4)?
- Guacamole. The servers have a heavy hand and tend to scoop 2-3 serving sizes instead of 1. If you are going to order it, ask for it in a to go container which ends up being the exact serving size.
- Chips. To me, they are just not worth it for 570 calories, 27g fat, and 73g carbs. I'd rather eat Tostitos with a single serve Wholly Guacamole at home later for much less calories.
- The Mexican specialty aka high carb meals. This goes back to understanding how food works. Flour tortillas, rice, and beans are all carbohydrate sources. If you get all 3 at once, that is easily over 600 calories right there. Pick one carb source per meal if you are trying to lose or maintain weight.
Let me know what you think of this article series guys. That will determine how often I write these. Thanks!