How To Eat Mexican Food And Not Gain Weight

It seems like every woman at some point in time, is trying to maintain their weight or lose weight by cleaning up their diet and eating healthy. However, a big fear can then be that you can never eat out again. Not true! You just have to know how to order. 

This article will steer you in the right direction when you are out at a Mexican restaurant and don’t know what to order without derailing your diet.

Below lists what to order and what to avoid at the Mexican restaurant:


The worst:

Avoid chips at all costs! They make those chips salty and tasty for a reason – so you’ll eat more and drink more! You can eat an entire days worth of calories from the chip bowl, just say no. Chips are sneaky because they look innocent compared to a quesadilla, but they are just as bad.

The best:


Scoop out a couple spoonfuls and add to your plate and eat with a fork – it’s really not that weird to eat it without chips! It’s just as if you were eating avocado with a fork, right?! Guacamole has enough flavor, you don’t need to add chips to make it taste good.


Add salsa to your guacamole or eat with a spoon or fork as well. It’s basically just eating chopped up tomatoes and peppers. The spiciness will also help to slow you down and keep you full.


This is basically very high-grade raw fish that is paired with chopped tomatoes, onions, avocado, and other veggies. Bottom line is that it is super delicious and definitely will not derail your diet.

Main Course

The worst:

Avoid anything wrapped in a tortilla. Simple.

The best:

Burrito bowl

Everything you love about a burrito in a bowl? Yes please! This is generally a very good choice, just be sure to add the right ingredients and omit the fatty ones. For example, if I were to order a burrito bowl I would ask for the base to be leafy greens, then ask for grilled vegetables (or steamed – but that might be asking a lot :)), pico de gallo, salsa, guacamole or avocado, grilled chicken, and then maybe add some black beans.

Grilled chicken

With lots of vegetables. Skip the rice here as well, instead add add a side of avocado or black beans.

Grilled seafood

With lots of vegetables. Skip the rice here as well. Top with salsa or consider adding a side of avocado or black beans.


With lots of grilled vegetables, pico de gallo, and salsa as a topping to add flavor. Skip the rice and tortillas and see if they can substitute in extra veggies instead. If you are feeling like you need to carbs then go for black beans rather than refried beans. Black beans are much less processed and contain more nutrients and fiber compared to refried beans. If you are eating low carb, skip the beans and ask for a side of avocado or guacamole instead.


The worst:

Never order a drink straight from the cocktail menu without looking at the ingredients. Unless the cocktail or margarita specifically states “skinny cocktail” or something of that nature, best to just avoid all of them. Restaurants want their drinks to be tasty, meaning they will add a ton of processed sugary fillers to the drink to make it taste good. Skip.

The best:

Sparkling water with lime

Water is of course your best option, but you can make it more exciting by asking for sparkling with a lime! It tastes great and the bubbles over ice give the drink a look and feel of a cocktail.

Tequila on the rocks or with water

Can’t go to a Mexican restaurant without having some tequila? No problem!. Order a higher-end tequila on the rocks or with water, and sip on it. In this way you won’t be able to drink it very fast, and because you ordered a higher quality tequila it won’t need any added sugars to make it taste better.

Light beer

I’m personally not a fan of beer and I never drink it, but I know there are many beer lovers out there! Full beer is like eating a loaf of bread – it’s dense in carbs and calories, and is definitely a diet disaster. Go for light beer because it will be lower in carbs and sugar and won’t derail your diet.

Main takeways…

Use the above as a guide next time you are eating Mexican food. If you want just one simple tip – avoid all food items that contain a tortilla.

About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy league trained Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner licensed in California with an expertise in women’s health and preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab.

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