American/Mexican Food

Eating Out on a Diet: American and Mexican Food

By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD

Many American and Mexican restaurants feature fast food – with meat and fries making up the bulk of the dishes.

For example, Planet Hollywood, TGI Friday’s, the Hard Rock Café and many traditional diners all include burgers, steak and ribs on the menu.

The advantage is that in many places these are flame grilled rather than fried – and chicken or turkey is often on offer, too.

On the downside, everything comes with chips!

In reality though, it’s the huge portions that will do the most damage to your weight so stick to your guns and only eat as much as you need.

Huge portions

Eating out American or Mexican style usually involves big portions.

You’ll often find ‘eat-as-much-as-you-can’ offers, too, which might sound like a good deal when it comes to paying, but they’re disastrous in terms of keeping your weight steady.

Avoid ordering extra chips, deep-fried potato wedges or onion rings as most meals come with accompaniments anyway.

And remember – you don’t have to finish everything on your plate.


Steaks are popular and a potentially healthy option if you go for the smallest size available and chop off any visible fat.

Choosing flame-grilled or barbequed rather than pan-fried will help to keep fat intakes down. Ideally, choose rump steak rather than fillet or sirloin as it’s slightly lower in calories.

Well-done steaks also have a lower calorie content than rare steaks because the longer cooking time allows more fat to drip out of the meat.

Plus, do your figure a favour and team your steak with a salad instead of fries.


This plate of tortilla chips topped with melted cheese and dips such as guacamole, salsa and sour cream is packed with calories and fat.

The only sensible solution for your waistline is to share!


Loads of oil is used to fry this combo of beef or chicken with peppers and onions so that by the time you’ve added in the soft tortilla wraps, traditional dips and grated cheese, you’ve got a meal that will break the calorie bank.

American and Mexican Food Calorie Content Chart

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