Eating out is an enjoyable social experience that you shouldn’t have to miss out on for the sake of your health journey. Many people worry that going to restaurants or cafes means overindulging, however, it is possible to eat healthily when eating out.
Guzman Y Gomez is one of Australia’s favourite restaurants, serving Mexican cuisine with fresh, Australian ingredients. Due to their use of corn, flour and legumes, Mexican meals are often traditionally high in carbohydrates. However, Guzman Y Gomez also offer lower carbohydrate options for when you find yourself eating there.
Science suggests that a reduced carbohydrate diet is the most effective diet for weight loss. Lower-carb diets are particularly effective for those who struggle with blood glucose control (for e.g. people with type 2 diabetes). On top of this, eating plenty of non-starchy vegetables (e.g. broccoli or capsicum), protein (e.g. meat or fish), and healthy fats (e.g. olive oil or nuts) has many health benefits.
It’s also completely ok to enjoy a higher carbohydrate option when you really want one. The important thing is that this isn’t a frequent indulgence, and you focus on finding the motivation to get back to your healthy habits afterwards.
To save you time and stress, our Accredited Dietitians have gone through the Guzman y Gomez menu and picked out the healthier options. Not all the options are strictly low-carb, but provide the best-balanced meals on offer. Vegetarian options are marked with a (v).
If weight loss is your goal, these options will leave you satisfied and can be included as part of a lower-carb eating plan:
1. Salad with any meat, vegetable (v) or barramundi option
2. Soft shell tacos with any meat option*
3. Hard shell tacos with any meat or vegetable (v) option*
- Guacamole (v)
- Pico de gallo (v)
- Sour cream (v)
- Tomato salsa (v)
- Queso (v)
5. Breakfast options:
- Scrambled eggs with any topping
- Breakfast taco with bacon or chicken chorizo*
* 1 taco is equal to one complex carb serve on the Second Nature program
These options are all balanced meals but are slightly higher in carbohydrates:
1. Salad with sauteed vegetables and guacamole (v)
2. Soft shell tacos with sauteed vegetables (v) – 1 taco is equal to 1 complex carbohydrate serve on the Second Nature program
3. Burrito bowl – swap the rice for extra vegetables
4. Breakfast options:
- Toast with avocado or guacamole (v)
- Breakfast taco with sauteed vegetables (v)
Enjoy less frequently
It’s also completely fine to mindfully enjoy a more indulgent meal from time to time as part of a healthy and balanced diet. We’ve listed out the less balanced Guzman Y Gomez options below which are higher in carbohydrates and lower in both protein and vegetables. Some of the options may also be fried in oil.
- Burrito bowl with rice
- Nachos or nachos fries
- Sides including fries and corn chips (v)
Once you have chosen a balanced meal, it’s important to focus on your drink option. The drinks on offer at Guzman y Gomez include soft drinks, iced tea and juices, which are high in added or naturally occurring sugars. To keep your meal lower in carbohydrates, we recommend opting for water. However, if you’d like to enjoy a sweetened drink, it’s okay to do so on occasion.
Second Nature recipe swaps
Another great alternative to takeaways is cooking your own Second Nature ‘fakeaway’ at home! The great thing about a fakeaway is the recipe can be adapted to improve its nutritional content, and we know exactly what goes into the meal. There’s a number of recipes on our app that could make a delicious Guzman Y Gomez fakeaway, including:
- Mexican pork bowls
- Mexican stuffed pepper (v)
When eating out, it’s important to be mindful of your portion size and check in with your hunger cues. Restaurant portions are often much larger than we would eat at home so don’t feel pressured to eat everything. You can always take leftovers home in a doggy bag for lunch or dinner the following day.
Take home message
- Enjoy a burrito, nachos or burrito bowl when you really want one, then focus on staying motivated to return to healthy habits afterwards.
- Reduced carb diets seem to be the most effective for weight loss.
- If you don’t want to indulge, there are a number of healthier, lower-carb options you can order.
- Be mindful of drinks that contain hidden sugars.