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Is Chipotle a Good Option After Bariatric Surgery?

Note: Whether you’ve had bariatric surgery or not, you’ll likely visit a fast-food or fast-casual restaurant at some point. With our rushed and busy lives, fast food may cross our minds. Often, we can get something to hold us over without destroying the diet, but it’s important to choose right. Speak to your bariatric practice and dietician for guidance…do not rely on this guide alone.

Is Chipotle a good option after weight loss surgery, or should it be avoided? Places like Chipotle can be a convenient way to keep up our energy and stay fed – if you choose the right options.

As with just about any restaurant, whether fast food or fine dining, Chipotle can be a good option if you choose right or decidedly bad if you’re not careful. So, let’s jump in and see the best way to maximize a visit to Chipotle after bariatric surgery. First and foremost, the Chipotle menu is comparatively healthy compared to similar restaurants.

Note: You should not eat solid foods, especially meat, before reaching the appropriate phase of your postoperative diet.

Moving on! What is already healthy can be turned into something even better with some basic advice:

Avoid the Tortilla

With all the veggies, beans, and lean meats, tortillas stand out as one of the few problematic foods at Chipotle. The large tortilla contains upwards of 320 calories and 50 carbs. Unfortunately, it’s not a great option, so relegate the burrito to a once-in-a-while status.

Instead, consider getting a bowl as your vessel for the upcoming deliciousness. Choosing the bowl allows you to pile in the good stuff.

Choose Your Rice Carefully

Rice is a big part of the Chipotle experience and can affect your caloric intake. Chipotle offers a choice of white and brown rice; you guessed it, we encourage you to choose brown whenever possible. Brown rice is more nutritious and helps regulate your blood sugar. If you splurge on white rice, try getting a half portion. Opting for no rice can save over 200 calories.

Now, to the Choice of Proteins

Choosing the right protein/meat is essential. Fortunately, most of the Chipotle meats are grilled or stewed, which can be very healthy. Chicken and beef are better than pork, but it’s worth checking the nutrition information to understand which Chipotle proteins are best for you. And hey, while you’re at it, try them all to see what tastes best.

Chipotle Also Offers a Choice of Black or Pinto Beans

This is entirely up to your taste. Beans offer good protein, fiber, and nutrition. Just remember they have lots of carbs, so don’t overdo it!

Toppings

Most of the sauces are just fine for toppings. We encourage you to minimize the shredded cheese, queso blanco, and sour cream you put in your bowl. Any vegetables and guacamole are excellent! Don’t worry about the fat in the guac…it’s good for you!

Sample Bowl

The following bowl was enjoyed at the author’s recent trip to Chipotle.

  • Double Chicken – 360
  • White Rice (1/2) – 105
  • Black Beans – 130
  • Fresh Salsa – 25
  • Corn – 80
  • Cheese – 110
  • Sparkling Water – 0

Total Calories 810
Total Fat 27g
Total Protein 83g
Total Carbs: 62g

Chloe’s Tip: A better option may have been:

  • Regular Chicken – 180
  • White Rice (1/2) – 105
  • Black Beans – 130
  • Fresh Salsa – 25
  • Corn – 80
  • Flat Water – 0

Total Calories 630
Total Fat 12g
Total Protein 45g
Total Carbs: 62g

The Last Step

Once we get to the end of the line, we are tempted by the bad stuff—soda, beer, caloric juice-style drinks, and tortilla chips. We always encourage you to get flat water —it’s free to boot! Of course, you should avoid all the sugared and diet sodas.

Why Not Diet, You May Ask?

Artificial sweeteners trick your brain into craving more sweetness and can worsen blood sugar issues, not to mention weight gain, despite not having any calories. This is also an excellent time to understand more about tortillas, guacamole, and melted cheese options. Tortilla chips are typically made from fried corn and aren’t the healthiest. These chips may taste delicious but should be enjoyed very much in moderation.

Remember that the spices used may also affect your pouch and digestion after bariatric surgery. Be sure to try a small amount of Chipotle before you commit to eating the whole dish. We suggest sharing some with a friend or loved one the first few times. Evaluate how it does in your stomach and see if you can tolerate it.

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Surgeons, practitioners, and hospitals wishing to be included in the Bariatric Surgery Corner directory can do so by submitting their listing to us.