Does it Work? - Taco Bell?

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01-03-2010, 12:07 PM
OK, I don't think this is a good food from Taco Bell as a low calorie option? Apparently, you order al fresco items from the menu BUT it's not being touted as a diet! How is ordering fast food supposed to help you lose weight? Are you seriously not going to be tempted to order a side of nachos? Have you ever seen ground beef look that compact anywhere else? I'm not sold on it - what's your take?

01-03-2010, 12:17 PM
I've never heard anyone say Taco Bell is diet food. The "al fresco" is a joke, adding a couple tomatoes and some lettuce doesn't make it healthy. I had a bean burrito 'al fresco' a couple of months ago. We were on the road and there were really only taco bells and burger kings for 100s of miles (hello middle of nowhere). I used to love their bean burritos and knew it was 300 calories and I was ok with it but it didn't taste like I used to remember and actually made me feel a bit sick.

If you want healthy, mexican style food, try chipotle. They have nice salad options (I skip the dressing and use their salsa instead). Just avoid the cheese, sour cream and have guacamole on the side if you get it.

Although I will say that it is up to the individual. I never liked fast food much although I did used to like the taco bell bean burritos. If you watch your calories, you can eat fast food and lose weight. That doesn't mean you are eating healthy though.

01-03-2010, 12:46 PM
I just saw that commercial the other day for the Taco Bell diet .... ridiculous! The actress on the commercial claims she lost all this weight by eating the El Fresco choices at Taco Bell.

Advertisers will do anything to make money!

01-03-2010, 12:54 PM
Yeah, "Drive Thru Diet". It seems a response to Subway's push, an attempt to ride their coattails.

01-03-2010, 01:13 PM
I've found the "al fresco" options to be useful on road trips, when other options are far, far worse.

We don't have a Chipotle here. Alas....

Calorie control is central to most weight loss plans, and some people can fit these choices into their days/months and make it work.

01-03-2010, 02:38 PM
yeah i saw that commercial the other day... i was waiting for the punchline

01-03-2010, 02:47 PM
I'm sorry. When I eat taco bell it's a treat and I'll just eat a couple soft tacos. If you keep it simple and just get tacos it's not as bad. I think the tacos are around 200 calories each and if you get one of their burritos (the new 5 layer one specifically) it's like 550 calories for one.

I think these options are handy when you have to eat out, but don't take it at face value. Look at the website's nutritional info. The first time I lost weight I was working at McDonalds and ate one meal from there every day I worked there. Of course I ate a lot of chicken, some salads, but if I wanted a small chicken sandwich I would have fruit or something else with it. You just have to do your research! :)

01-03-2010, 02:53 PM
As far as I can see, the items are just TB's regular fare without the cheese, sour cream, or guacamole. Or, put differently, a corn or flour tortilla, meat, lettuce, salsa, and in some items, beans. Nutritionally, I'd guess you're getting more protein and fewer carbs in a TB item -- esp the chicken soft taco -- than in a Subway sandwich, if only because tortillas are a lower-carb and lower-calorie vehicle for Stuff than bread. (Subway's nutrition counts are misleading, because they typically don't include any mayo, mustard, ketchup, dressing, or whatever else people put on sandwiches to make them palatable.)

Would I rather have homemade? Sure: it would allow me to use higher-quality ingredients, including whole wheat tortillas. (I avoid refined flour.) Still, relative to what's available in many small and/or freeway-centered towns in the US, TB's menu looks pretty healthy to me. I'd certainly choose it over Subway.

Be strong

01-03-2010, 02:57 PM
I was pleasantly surprised last week when DH and I went to Subway. They have spinach for a salad base! I had spinach, lots of veggies, and the Philly cheesesteak meat. It was really satisfying.

01-03-2010, 03:55 PM
Taco Bell is about the only fast food place I find relatively easy and affordable to make a decent choice. I do use the Fresco menu, but I also ask for substitutions that aren't on the menu at all. For example, choosing hard shell saves about 50 calories, Fresco can save you 20 to 40 calories, depending on the item. Getting extra low-cal high fiber sides of onions, jalapeno, pico de gallo, lettuce... can bulk-up a meal without adding a lot of calories (and usually the cost of sides is minimal).

I've also made my own Taco Bell Salad by topping my own salad with a hard-shell taco that I mash into the salad. Even during road trips, I'll put a couple cups of lettuce in a ziploc bag, then I'll add the hard-shell taco (fresco or not) and any sides I ordered, squeeze in a packet of hot sauce and a bit of reduced-calorie ranch dressing (my homemade that I put in little tupperware-type containers).

I then close the bag and shake and squeese the bag to distribute the dressing
and break the taco up into the salad.

I love doing that. And it's surprisingly easy to eat a salad out of a ziploc bag. I close the zipper and turn the bag upside down (make SURE the zipper is sealed) and then roll down the bottom (which is now at the top) to almost where the lettuce begins. Then turn the bag upright and unseal the zipper - you've got a shallow "bowl" so you don't have to reach your hand deep into the bag to get out a forkful of salad.

As much as I'm willing to go to Taco Bell occasionally, eating there frequently enough to make a diet out of it, would drive me insane. There's absolutely no food or type of food that I'd want to eat that frequently. Even eating an apple every single day would eventually drive me off apples.

01-03-2010, 05:04 PM
I think Taco Bell just wanted some of the money that was made by Subway and Jared. I love the Salads from Subway. Easy to point on WW, too.

01-03-2010, 06:30 PM
I couldn't believe the commercial the first time I saw it and I'm glad I'm not alone! I'd much rather have a beef taco in romaine lettuce instead of a taco shell any day WITH all the good stuff (low fat and home made of course) over one trip to TB.
Is there anyone out there, besides the endorsed woman on the commercial, actually try to do this drive thru diet?

01-03-2010, 06:57 PM
Wow, I have missed this commercial. But I am not a big TB fan... my take is if you eat TB you will loose weight cuz you will get the trots! Just kidding! I couldn't one blast me, PLEASE!

Metal Chick
01-03-2010, 10:31 PM
I had fresco soft tacos from TB last night. My boyfriend wanted Taco Bell and I always get them when we have it for dinner. Well, I get soft tacos without cheese, really. So it's just tortilla, ground beef, and lettuce. But close enough. I still consider it junk food since I don't get energy from eating them and they jack up my stomach. :|

But then I don't eat a lot of junk food. I think it's a good alternative to some of the stuff out there if you're a regular junk food eater.

01-03-2010, 10:48 PM
I think it's a good idea for those who cannot cook and take their lunches/dinners with them to work. I have friends who are sales people who are in their cars all day, and have to eat out for lunch, and this is perfect! But in moderation! Don't order four tacos at one sitting...that defeats the purpose. Wonder how many people actually do that?

01-03-2010, 11:26 PM
I think the idea of some low calorie TB options is a good idea but "Drive Thru Diet", .....I just can't see it.

TB is actually one of my favorite pick-up places. I go once or twice a month. Like kaplods, I use it to make a Taco salad. I pick up a bag of shredded lettuce at the grocery store and break up a crunchy taco to add to it. The regular crunchy taco is 170 calories so I can have a large salad with a few calories. Sometimes I get 2 tacos and make a really huge salad.

Me Too
01-07-2010, 10:58 AM
Taco Bell for breakfast, lunch and dinner, after a week you would lose weight by not eating that stuff anymore.
I do like a taco and pinto beans once in a while, everything in moderation. A few tacos are better than a quarter pounder.

Metal Chick
01-07-2010, 06:59 PM
It seems that Fast Food Packs More Calories Than Nutrition Labels Suggest ( gest).

(Yes, I am going to post this on every fast food thread.)

01-08-2010, 03:23 PM
Anyone remember when KFC tried to advertise their fried chicken as diet food during the atkins craze? KFC - carb free - loose weight!! It's another example of buyer beware.

01-08-2010, 03:25 PM
Anyone remember when KFC tried to advertise their fried chicken as diet food during the atkins craze? KFC - carb free - lose weight!! It's another example of buyer beware.

Isn't their fried chicken breaded?

01-13-2010, 07:29 AM
I actually love the fresco menu. I am a big salsa, tomatoes type person so I don't miss the cheese and other stuff at all. I think the burritos are actually very tasty, and some of them are like 160 calories, so you can get two--like the chicken and the steak-- and still have a fairly low calorie lunch.

As for this diet thing, I dunno. I don't have cable so I haven't seen the commercial, and the only place I'd seen info on "the drive thru diet" is here. Eh, whatever, I like the fresco menu as a change of pace every once in awhile.

Latchkey Princess
01-13-2010, 04:49 PM
If you watch the commercial, the woman says she replaced her usual fast food with TB's fresco menu. They also say right on the commercial that the drive thru diet is not a weight loss plan. I think if you eat fast food once in a while, it's probably not a bad idea to replace a burger and fries with a fresco taco or two. :)

01-14-2010, 10:02 AM
I would not trust this diet. Your adding a couple of vegetables and calling it healthy? I don't know. I mean obviously chicken is healthy, but I don't know how healthy it can be when you start adding in all the other ingredients they use.

01-14-2010, 02:45 PM
I think that people are mistaking this for a regular diet plan? I looked at the website and this is what they said:

As you know, the Drive-Thru DietŪ menu is not a weight-loss program. It's about making different choices. For me, I didn't want to cut out my fast food so I started choosing Fresco items from the Drive-Thru DietŪ menu and making other sensible choices. I reduced my daily calorie and fat intake by 500 calories to 1250 calories a day, and, after two years, I ended up losing 54 pounds! These results aren't typical, but for me they were fantastic!

What she says is she replaced her old fast food habit with the healthier items AND she started making other sensible choices including cutting 500 calories out of her diet per day.

And with doing that, she loses 54 pounds in two years.. so basically, Taco Bell is just saying that you can include their healthier options in your diet program and lose weight.. not that you eat just their food and lose weight.

Given how Subway's weight loss craze was forever long ago, I really don't think this is a response to it but rather a way of keeping up with other fast food places offering healthier options.

As someone said.. it's all in how you see fast food. If it's a rare treat then this probably won't be a huge benefit to you.. but if you are a trucker or someone who is on the road a lot and literally eats out all the time then this could make a big difference.

01-14-2010, 02:52 PM
I've also made my own Taco Bell Salad by topping my own salad with a hard-shell taco that I mash into the salad. Even during road trips, I'll put a couple cups of lettuce in a ziploc bag, then I'll add the hard-shell taco (fresco or not) and any sides I ordered, squeeze in a packet of hot sauce and a bit of reduced-calorie ranch dressing (my homemade that I put in little tupperware-type containers).

Thank you for planning my dinner tonight! LOL! I think I may have DH drive through and pick up a few hard shell tacos and we can crush them over a bed of lettuce. Boy does that sound good? (It doesn't help that I'm hungry)

I'm very glad TB has the Fresco options. No, it's not a "diet", but they have healthier items than a lot of places AND their nutritional information is big and bold right on their drive up window menu! Easy. I applaud TB for that.

01-14-2010, 03:17 PM
I really like the Fresco type items at Taco Bell. They are not advertising it as a diet, but as a replacement for other fast foods. A couple people already posted that. A couple of tacos or burritos for 160 or 170 each versus a Nachos Bell Grande at 750 or so. that is something I would have eaten at one time. I'm definitely saving in the calorie department. another meal that I used to eat: Big Mac and fries at McDonalds 590 + 210 It adds up. I can live with 350 - 400 for 2 items at Taco Bell.

01-15-2010, 11:03 AM
another thing about TB is the sodium...its kinda high. as for chipotle, i really don't want a 5lb, 1000+ calorie burritto

01-15-2010, 11:17 AM
as for chipotle, i really don't want a 5lb, 1000+ calorie burritto

Oh come on, why not? :D But seriously, you can do a burrito-less burrito, meaning it's in a bowl. I love it with just lettuce, rice, chicken, cheese, and salsa. If I eat just half of it I can have it for around 250 calories. You have to play with it, but it can be a healthy meal. It's when you add the guacamole, sour cream, cheese, beans, etc. and wrap it in a 300 calorie largest-I've-ever-seen tortilla that it becomes a problem.

01-15-2010, 01:05 PM
Actually, even though I don't like Taco Bell, if you sit and think about it, of course these things wouldn't be bad for you. Someone above said that 'adding tomatoes and lettuce doesn't make it healthy' or something to that effect- actually, the fresco items use chicken instead of beef, no cheese, no sour cream, AND add veggies.

Pure common sense would tell you that if you remove beef, cheese and sour cream from a taco, it is going to have fewer calories. If i liked Taco Bell, I would have no issue ordering fresco items...I just don't.

01-15-2010, 01:12 PM
Actually, even though I don't like Taco Bell, if you sit and think about it, of course these things wouldn't be bad for you. Someone above said that 'adding tomatoes and lettuce doesn't make it healthy' or something to that effect- actually, the fresco items use chicken instead of beef, no cheese, no sour cream, AND add veggies.

I mentioned that I had ordered a bean burrito 'fresco' which has no beef/chicken/meat but I don't eat meat so I wasn't aware that fresco meant chicken for other items.

Also in the bean burrito I had, I had to search for the tomatoes/lettuce, really I could barely tell they were in there.

And someone else mentioned Chipotle, you can get a nice filling meal with lots of veggies there for under 300 calories, that is why I love Chipotle. I don't eat the burritos anymore when I go but when I did, I'd split it in half and share it with my husband. It was a good, cheap meal.

01-15-2010, 01:16 PM
ah...I was actually referring to what celilgirl88 said a few posts above, but I didn't realize that about the burrito, either.

I like Chipotle, too! Good stuff, very fresh.

01-15-2010, 01:23 PM
kaplods, thanks for that taco salad idea. Sometimes I crave a taco salad but don't want to put together all the ingredients I need, but that is a great easy solution!

01-15-2010, 01:31 PM
Oh and for those of you that are concerned about Chipotle/want a better alternative, use to plan your calories.

I just used it to build the burrito my husband and I used to share, it came out to 685 calories. Although I usually liked it without rice which is 555 calories.

01-15-2010, 03:42 PM
I just do this :rolleyes: everytime I see that commercial. Or this :no:

01-16-2010, 08:50 PM
One great thing about chipotle is the price. when I was in Austin there was a large homeless community and at about $5 a pop, I could buy a couple, hand them out, and take heart in the knowleger that those people were getting a filling meal.

01-17-2010, 12:29 AM
LOL, price has never been my favorite thing about Chipotle!

02-26-2010, 06:43 PM

I took my son into Taco Bell before Christmas. They had a sign about the diet, but in small lettering underneath, it mentions something about not really being a replacement for healthy diet and exercise, etc. I can't remember the exact wording, but that was the gist. I assumed this was just all a publicity joke?

02-27-2010, 06:35 PM
I have a problem with the salt even in the fresco it still gets to me.

03-01-2010, 06:15 PM
Taco Bell is fine in a pinch - there are healthier options everywhere really if you add and take off the items we know aren't the best. But if I were to go to somewhere like Taco Bell, the question becomes why and would I order just one taco?

That's why I make my own: pico salsa is just red onion, lime and tomatoes with some s&p. Guacamole fan? Mash some avocado with a potato masher then add two tablespoons of the pico to it, a dash more lime and mix. Use 93%+ lean ground beef or chicken breast and make your own taco seasoning (chili powder, cumin, corriander seed, cayenne and some pepper). Add some FF refried beans andtop it off with RF sour cream and a whole wheat tortilla and you have a 350/400 calorie meal where you control the soldium and fat!

03-07-2010, 06:51 PM
Their fresco menu kind of sucks. It's not great, but it's not terrible I guess. I got a burrito from there a couple days ago cos I needed food on the go, and it was pretty wimpy and lacking flavor. I could make my own burrito, that tastes way better, for a loooooooooooooot less calories.

But I agree, it's better than some of the options out there.

Cherry in STL
05-18-2010, 07:10 PM
The Fresco Menu doesn't make for a diet ... they're just highlighting their healthier options. I am unashamed in my love for Taco Bell and will often get the Fresco chicken soft tacos or crunchy tacos. They are a much better choice than what I used to order when I wasn't trying to lose weight.

10-31-2010, 05:35 PM
I love the fresco chicken soft taco. Subway sandwiches are too heavy on the bread for me....I dont like the taste

11-04-2010, 02:12 AM
I like eating frescos in moderation. not daily, but i don't think it hurts too too much.

11-04-2010, 04:03 AM
I eat a taco or two for lunch every once in awhile. That in itself doesn't affect me (as far as I've been able to tell), but I'm bloated for a day or two from the sodium. As long as you don't make it a daily habit, it shouldn't be much of a problem.

11-20-2010, 02:10 PM
why not just order the chicken tacos and ditch the shells, that would cut down the cals, carbs and sodium.

ms mack daddy
02-22-2011, 07:38 PM
i love taco bell and can eat it daily....
i make up my own menu...
i dont get anything on a tortilla or shell i ask for them to put my burrito on a platter and shell on the side.... that saves a lot of calories and they seem to add more lettuce... i always get fresco... that takes away a few calories and i love the fresco anyhow... i dont really eat the beef i usually get the chicken...
taco bell website gives you nutritional info and you can arrange it the way you want to... my favorite is chicken burritos on the 99 cent menu made fresco on a platter and i usually order 2 unless i am very hungry i get 3 and have them put them all in one tray its like a chicken salad... next fav is chicken taco fresco style (1.49) made without shell... usually 2 of them... it beats mcdonalds or subway.. i usualy order my big macs without bun and extra lettuce is like a meat salad but i would rather have taco bell... and i have lost weight...

06-24-2011, 06:11 PM
I don't know about all that, but I DO know that according to WeightWatchers, items from Taco Bell have fewer points than items from other fast food places.

Of course, it's still fast food. :)

07-07-2011, 01:01 AM
I can eat Taco Bell on my program. I had it tonight. Two crunchy tacos with a large cup of water.