If you’re like most Americans, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve spent at least one lunch break at Chipotle, scarfing down a burrito the size of your head.
And that means you’ve probably returned to Chipotle, where you probably scarfed down another burrito the size of your head.
But could you eat there for 100 days straight?
That’s the feat (or major life low, depending on your perspective) accomplished by 30-year-old Mark Rantal, who has knocked back the same exact meal at the Colorado Springs Chipotle for over 105 days—and counting. His daily go-to: a burrito bowl with white rice, pinto beans, fajita and sofritas (which consist of shredded tofu braised with pepper sauce), mild salsa, corn salsa, medium salsa, cheese and lettuce, plus a bag of chips, according to ABC News.
Rantal also admitted in a Reddit AMA that he’d gained 14 pounds by day 100, although he said he’d hoped to put the weight on after a vegetarian diet “kinda freaked” him out.
“Every time I hit a milestone it was very easy and convenient to imagine hitting the next,” Rantal said. “Plus, it’s a little ridiculous.”
Ridiculous, for sure. And look, we here at Men’s Fitness aren’t suggesting you attempt the same feat. But if it sounds even a little tempting—or if you eat there more often than you’d like to admit—there are plenty of good options to keep the calories down while still filling up. We combed the Chipotle Nutrition Calculator for the best options around.
The Bare Minimum: 365 Calories
Let’s assume you wanted the lowest possible calories in your Chipotle dish, but still wanted to enjoy each of the options on the assembly line—a main protein, rice, beans/veggies, and a salsa.
We did some testing in Chipotle’s meal builder and settled on this option: a burrito bowl with sofritas, white rice, fajita vegetables, and medium tomatillo green-chili salsa, all for a pared-down total of 365 calories, 14.5 grams of fat, 1355 mg of sodium, and 12.5 grams of protein.
Of course, you could obviously scale this back even further. Skip the rice, or maybe drop the salsa, for an even more bare-bones approach.
A Vegan Option: 480 Calories
Whether you’re vegan or a sirloin fanatic, Chipotle’s vegan options make for a fairly healthy option. Sofritas are the lowest-calorie protein option and a solid choice for vegans.
Slap some sofritas on a salad with brown rice, black beans, and some medium green-chili salsa, and you’re looking at 18.5 grams of protein and only 480 calories—but still nearly a pound (14 oz.) of food to tide you over.
The Paleo Pick: 360-420 Calories
Let’s say you’re a paleo dieter, but you can’t escape the Chipotle craving. We’re here to tell you that it’s okay: Paleos have plenty of options.
Here’s one: Load up steak, black beans, fajita vegetables, romaine lettuce, and mild tomato salsa into a burrito bowl. That combo packs a wallop of protein—around 40 grams—with only 360 calories and 8 grams of fat.
And if you eschew legumes and beans, that’s fine too. Swap the black beans for an extra order of chicken, and you’ve upped that dish to 65 grams of protein with 420 calories and 14 grams of fat.
The Mark Rantal Special: 690 Calories
Rantal’s daily dish—a burrito bowl with white rice, pinto beans, steak and sofritas, mild salsa, corn salsa, medium salsa, cheese and lettuce—isn’t too unhealthy of an option, with around 750 calories and 35-plus grams of protein, depending on the balance of steak and sofritas. But add chips, and suddenly the calorie count balloons to 1275, plus 47.5 grams of fat.
And Rantal’s daily go-to also packs a ton of sodium: 2370 mg, to be exact, which exceeds the FDA’s recommended daily amount of 2300 mg. And that’s in one meal.
Toppings to Avoid
By now you’ve probably noticed a few Chipotle favorites have been notably absent from the list. It’s no accident. Some run-of-the-mill tortilla chips, for example, pack a staggering 27 grams of fat and 570 calories—that’s more than double an extra order of carnitas on your burrito bowl, with barely any of the protein in all that steak.
Another sneaky calorie bomb? The Chipotle vinaigrette, with 270 calories and 25 grams of fat in a paltry 2-ounce serving.
And yeah, we decided against burritos and tacos. A single burrito-sized flour tortilla enveloping all that goodness contains 300 calories and 10 grams of fat. The taco-sized tortillas—which come in sets of three—aren’t much better, with 85 calories each.
There is one consolation: Chipotle’s famous guac is actually fairly good for you, if its famous recipe (some avocados, lime juice and spices) is any guide. Fit guys have nothing to fear from healthy saturated fats, which avocados have in spades. But if you’re really trying to cut down on the calories (there are 170 in one serving), probably best to leave it out.