5 secret Chipotle hacks to make your food healthier

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 25: A sign marks the location of a Chipotle restaurant on October 25, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. Chipotle stock fell more than 14 percent today after a weak 3Q earnings . (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 25: A sign marks the location of a Chipotle restaurant on October 25, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. Chipotle stock fell more than 14 percent today after a weak 3Q earnings . (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) /

Eating at Chipotle doesn’t have to ruin your diet. These secret hacks can keep your order healthy every time you go.

Here at Guilty Eats, we believe all food is good food. So we would never tell you that you can’t treat yourself to some spicy, delicious Chipotle every now and then.

But just because you always deserve to indulge doesn’t mean you have to “go all in” every time. It’s possible to choose healthier options along with your go-to order so that you can both enjoy your food and gain some minor health benefits from it.

Here are a few secret Chipotle “health hacks” that might come in handy.

Go easy on the guac

Guacamole is made with avocados, and avocados are technically a healthy fruit. But just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean you can empty an entire container of guac on your salad. It’s tempting. We’ve all done it. Try not to.

If you still want to enjoy your guac — as you should — simply ask for one small container and divide it between different parts of your meal. Even better, you can share it with a friend if you’re eating together. Everyone wins.

Eat your veggies

It’s very easy to step up to the counter at Chipotle and pile on the meat, beans, and sour cream. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing: Even sour cream is fine to put on your burrito bowl as long as you’re not overdoing it on a regular basis.

But here’s one thing to keep in mind: If there’s no green in your bowl, you’re missing out on some important ingredients. (And no, adding more guac doesn’t count — see above.)

You don’t HAVE to order a salad to eat healthy at Chipotle. But you should swap out at least some of your meat, cheese, and toppings for fajita veggies, lettuce, even salsa — or maybe some combination of all of the above.

Eat half your meal and save the rest for later

Sometimes, leftover fast food is almost better than eating it fresh — at least that tends to be the case with restaurants like Chipotle, which offer fresher ingredients that feel a lot like eating a home-cooked meal on the second day if you don’t eat it all at once.

Here’s a secret: Even if you end up ordering a large Chipotle meal, you don’t have to enjoy your food all in one sitting. You can divide the food you get in half (or in thirds, or whatever you prefer) and eat some of it right away. Then you can save the rest for later.

This strategy offers two benefits. First, it prevents you from overeating, since many of us eat too quickly to give our bodies time to realize we’ve had our fill. Second, you get to enjoy the glorious taste of your burrito bowl not once, but twice. YESSSSS.

Make it spicy

What’s the first thing you reach for when you want to add flavor to your food? Probably condiments or toppings. At Chipotle, this usually means sour cream and guac. Again — not the worst ingredients in terms of fast food as a whole. But there are still healthier alternatives. One option: salsa.

Salsa actually isn’t terrible for you. It’s made with tomatoes, and compared to copious amounts of guac and sour cream, it’s an alternative that will not only partially fulfill your veggie requirement (it’s a stretch, but we’ll let it slide), but will also cut down on calories.

Bonus benefit: Eating spicy food will force you to eat more slowly. Remember how we mentioned it’s common for people to eat too much too fast — before they realize they’re full? Eating slowly can help to solve this problem.

Skip the chips

Chips and guac are a Chipotle staple. We know. We’re not trying to ruin your life.

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But there’s no denying that even food lovers with years of practiced and refined self-control can’t just eat a few handfuls of chips and call it quits. Once you eat one, it’s over. They’ll be gone before your body realizes you’re full.

One of the best things you can do to cut down on extra calories is to skip the chips altogether. They’re tasty, but they aren’t great for you in massive amounts. Some people swear by ordering hard taco shells instead, but the choice is really up to you.

Technically, you can still get chips and try to only eat a few (saving most for later is always an option). But you know yourself best. If you know you won’t be able to resist, don’t purchase the temptation.

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What’s your go-to “health hack” when you eat out? Do you think about the ingredients you add to your Chipotle orders?