Chipotle Burrito Bol Nutrition - Zone Diet Analysis

I have discovered something truly remarkable. As anyone who knows me knows, I am a big Chipotle fan. My Chipotle of choice is a Chicken Fajita Burrito. Of course, this type of fare is not what one would usually consider “diet food”. I think a Fajita Burrito weighs in around 2 lbs. At least it feels like 2 lbs. in your stomach once you’ve eaten the Fajita Burrito.

Last summer I emailed customer service at Chipotle via a questions form on the Chipotle website. I asked them for a nutritional breakdown of a typical Fajita Burrito. The reply I got stated that they did not have a nutritional breakdown for their products and did not have plans to have one done. I was less than chuffed to hear that but assumed that most people really didn’t want to know what they are doing to their bodies when they eat a 2 pound burrito.

So I took it upon myself to figure it out. I am the proud owner of the fantastic program NutriBase, Clinical Edition. This is the version that dietitians use to figure out - to the nth detail - what their clients should eat, are eating, etc. I created a new “meal” in the system and added all of the ingredients of my Chipotle Chicken Fajita Burrito to the meal. Actually, I calculated the Burrito Bowl not the actual Burrito as I have given up the tortilla. For reference, I added the following ingredients in the listed amounts:

  • 1 cup of grilled chicken breast, chopped

  • 1.5 cups of white rice

  • 12 cup of yellow corn, unsalted

  • 12 cup of lettuce (negligible effect on the nutritional content)

  • 3 tablespoons of sour cream

  • 12 cup of queso chihuahua

The results were quite surprising. The nutritional breakdown is as follows:

Calories: ~910

Carbohydrates: ~95 grams

Protein: ~67 grams

Fat: ~19 grams

The shocking revelation is that these calories are in the 40-30-30 ration prescribed in The Zone Diet by Dr. Barry Sears. While the total overall caloric intake is about double the maximum for a given meal, the ratio is exactly right. Get a Chipotle Fajita Burrito Bowl for lunch, eat half and save half for dinner and you are good to go. Adding 12 cup of tomatoes (the way my wife likes her Chipotle) adds only about 20 calories to the entire meal. Adding the tortilla, however, adds a ton of carbs and pretty much ruins the Zone ratio.

Anyway, so the next time you have a craving for Chipotle and feel like you are going to blow your diet, don’t beat yourself up. Chipotle serves great food and, in moderation, its quite healthy.