Use the Chipotle Calorie Calculator For a Dose of Reality

January 18, 2008 · 12 comments

I’ve mentioned numerous times before how a part of my current diet strategy is taking my old standard meals that I am used to eating and optimizing them to find the perfect portion sizes that still satisfy me.  See Even More Paring Down at Noodles & Company as an example.

Another restaurant where I eat quite frequently at is Chipotle.  Now this can be a dangerous place to eat because their food is so good, and they love to make BIG portions.  It’s pretty much a burrito place, although they do have a few other items you can get.  But those BIG stuffed burritos are what they are famous for.

I used to get a burrito and a bag of chips and now I just get a Burrito Bol (it’s a burrito in a bowl without the tortilla) without any rice or beans either.  I thought I was doing well.  Not well enough though.  Lisa from IowaAvenue recently wrote about the Chipotle Calorie Calculator which is an interactive calorie counter that allows you to see very quickly where your calories start to stack up as you add ingredients to your burrito.  It’s really very cool.

I ran a couple of recipes through the calculator.

First up, my old standard - the loaded Barbacoa Burrito with tostada chips with a side of salsa and guacamole.

13″ Flour Tortilla, rice, black beans, shredded spicy beef, tomato salsa, hot red tomatillo salsa, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, romaine lettuce, chips, side of guacamole side of hot red tomatillo salsa

According to the calorie counter that bad boy clocked in at 2141 calories with 103g of fat and a shocking 5,094mg of sodium. (I’m not turning into a sodium nut, I’m really not.  Just been writing about it lately!).  That’s obscene.  Glad I stopped eating those!

Here is the Burrito Bol I have been eating lately:

a bol, peppers, onions, shredded pork, tomato salsa, hot red tomatillo salsa, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, romaine lettuce

That one is 785 calories with 55g of fat and 3,146mg of sodium.  That’s still surprisingly bad!  I have some additional optimization to do on this meal and the Chipotle Calorie Calculator will help me determine how best to do it.  Sour Cream is definitely going, that’s 120 calories right there.  We’ll see where it takes me.

If you eat at Chipotle, check out the calorie calculator.  How does your burrito stack up?

(as an aside, I missed a great investment in Chipotle.  As a frequent visitor to their restaurant I should have known their IPO a couple of years ago would have done well.  Could have made 6x my money if I had invested in them then.  Bleh!)

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Steve v4.6 January 18, 2008 at 8:55 am

I love that place. I order the pork burrito bol minus the rice and half the beans when I go (which is more often than I should). The trick is to always leave something on the plate. Tough to do but doggy-baggin’ half of it spreads out the calories throughout the day.

Diana the Scale Junkie January 18, 2008 at 5:31 pm

WOW, I’m really glad I’ve never tried this place. I’m sensitive to sodium and that would leave my fingers and ankles swollen for a day or two. I’ve been spending a lot of time making lists of acceptable foods at places where I like to dine. CalorieKing is a great site for restaurant calories too.

Cammy January 18, 2008 at 8:14 pm

Ouch. There went my taco salad plans for the weekend. :) Thanks for the link. It’s interesting to see how the calories add up. Disappointing, but interesting.

IAAdmin January 18, 2008 at 11:01 pm

I never got into the burritos there, always eating the Burrito Bol. But, after I saw the calculator, I won’t be putting the cheese on anymore.

I’m surprised you don’t eat the beans, a great low-fat source of protein. They’re always the base of my Bol, with lots of lettuce. Yum, yum.

BTW, John, thanks for the plug…………………:)

workout mommy January 19, 2008 at 12:15 am

ouch, that is a crazy amount of calories for one meal!!!! The tortilla alone is terrible for you, so if you must go there, choose a bowl. (or bol?)

Michelle January 19, 2008 at 8:58 pm

Ugh…I wish I had known about this calculator BEFORE I went to Chipotle last week…but now I know what my regular is (chicken burrito bol - 849 calories)…just as bad as the taco salad in our work cafeteria…blah…

Realtor In Ohio January 20, 2008 at 3:05 am

I lost 50+ pounds with no carbs. The burrito bol was a part of my diet along with a taco salad at taco bell with no beans no shell but extra everything else, bunless whoppers, and something at every other fast food chain.

Since my job requires me to run like mad and drive around all day on last minute appointments, regular fast food did me in as with many.

It does work only if you’re strict about no carbs. You can literally eat as much fat as you want and still lose weight even without exercise.

I have a large appetite and I require larger portions which I know is awful. It’s one or the other for me.

Don’t give up on your favorite foods, just try to modify them and everything else you consume.

I’ll keep watching this blog. =) Good luck.

Daissy January 30, 2008 at 10:36 pm

I’m interested to have the Chipotle Calorie Calculator. I think it is a good habit to know the total calorie of our food…Thanks for the info.

JOJO July 9, 2008 at 10:09 pm

This calculator is kind of inaccurate. The portion sizes that chipotle actually gives you for some of these things doesn’t reflect the calculator. For example, the calculator says rice is 210 calories….when I go to chipotle they give you like a 3-4 0z spoon full of rice…..hate to brake it to you but 3-4 oz of even moderatley buttered rice is not 210 calories…..a lot of stuff here is blown much out of proportion…

Matthew October 20, 2008 at 11:35 pm

Try this website:
You can actually get a decent burrito bowl under 400 calories with black beans, chicken, red sauce, and lettuce. The beans are very good for you, lots of fiber and protein. Skip the rice and the tortilla, as well as the sour cream and the cheese (if you can handle skipping cheese), that’s where most of the empty calories come from. Guacamole will add about 140 calories, but it’s actually pretty good for you. It has good fats in it, just don’t go overboard.

Will May 5, 2009 at 7:43 pm

When I went vegetarian (excluding fish), there was no way I wanted to give up Chipotle. Now I get the Bol with black beans, rice, tomato and green salsas, lettuce and cheese. Add some chipotle-flavored tabasco to make a great and filling lunch or dinner at about 400 calories. The beans are a great source of protein and I don’t feel stuffed afterwards. You can also mix and match salsas, as they don’t add up to many calories. I also ask for small amounts of cheese of guac (when I get it). Thanks for sharing and best of luck!

NB: For my veggie-headed friends, the pinto beans contain pork but the black beans are still ok.

bt July 1, 2009 at 11:55 am

Interestingly, you get much different results if you use the calculator linked from Chipotle’s website: E.g., my veggie fajita burrito with guac is 750 acc. to that calculator, but 1150 (!) acc. to the calculator linked to here. The one linked to in this blog post says it is based on 2006 nutritional information, so I am just going to assume that Chipotle has improved its ingredients…

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