Build a Healthier Burrito at Chipotle

17 Oct

Chipotle restaurants have become enormously popular.  And, why not?  Their food is tasty, convenient, and (for the most part) they use fresh, healthy ingredients.  But there’s also a potential downside.  The average Chipotle burrito contains over 1000 calories!  Most of us, including athletes, don’t need that many calories at one sitting.  There’s a smarter, healthier way to eat at Chipotle.

Chipotle Nutrition Facts


  • 13″ tortilla (soft, burrito shell) = 290 calories; 44 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein.


  • White rice  = 130 cal; 23g carbs; 2g protein.  Brown rice is about the same, with the addition of 2g fiber.
  • Black (or Pinto) beans = 120 cal; 23g carbs; 11g fiber; 7g protein.
  • Fajita vegetables = 20 cal; 4g carbs.


  • Barbacoa = 170 cal; 24g protein; 7g fat.
  • Carnitas = 190 cal; 27g protein; 8g fat.
  • Chicken = 190 cal; 32g protein; 7g fat.
  • Steak = 190 cal; 30g protein; 7g fat.


  • Tomato = 20 cal; 4g carbs.
  • Corn = 80 cal; 15g carbs; 3g fiber.
  • Red (hot) = 40 cal; 8g carbs; 4g fiber.
  • Green (medium) = 15 cal; 3g carbs.


  • Cheese = 100 cal; 8g protein; 9g fat.
  • Sour cream = 120 cal; 2g protein; 10g fat.
  • Guacamole = 150cal; 8g carbs; 6g fiber; 13 g fat.
  • Lettuce = 5 cal.

Tips for Building a Healthier Burrito

  • Skip the rice.  Or, at least go light on the rice.  Chipotle burritos are about 1/2 rice (by volume), providing nutritionally scarce calories and carbs.  Recently, they’ve started serving brown rice, but it’s only marginally better.  You’re better off without it.
  • Add beans and veggies.  As opposed to rice, black and pinto beans add nutritionally dense calories, protein, and fiber.  Fajita vegetables are low in calories and provide vitamins and other micro-nutrients.
  • Go for the chicken.  Although all the meats are relatively good choices, chicken is your best bet for lean protein.
  • Like it hot.  The hot salsa can improve digestion, boost your metabolism, and help you burn more calories.
  • A little cheese is OK.  8g protein is a fair trade-off for 100 calories.
  • Say no to sour cream.  I’m all for dairy, but 10g fat is not a fair trade-off for 120 cal.
  • Say yes to guacamole.  Vitamins, minerals, fiber, and a dose of healthy (unsaturated) fats.
  • Saw it in half.  Save the other half for another meal.
  • Eat it naked.  Refuse the wrap, eat it in a bowl, and save almost 300 calories and 44g carbs.

Get Stronger, Get Faster!

Your thoughts?

8 Responses to “Build a Healthier Burrito at Chipotle”

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