Can two hamburgers equal one burrito?
Fitness channels on social media love Chipotle. Despite recent food poisoning issues, I should invest my entire life savings in Chipotle based on the sheer number of mentions. Rich Piana seemingly injects it, Matt Ogus probably meditates about it, Maxx Chewning tries to recruit it and Matty Fusaro likes it better than Moe’s. The message is clear: shove a giant burrito/bowl down your esophagus to replenish the blood, sweat and tears that you tried to wipe up with your germ-infested gym towel while forgetting to re-rack all your weights. I’m only kidding, I always re-rack all my weights after curling in the squat rack and maintain good hygiene by washing my gym towel at least once a year.
It’s all about calories in versus calories out says both real science and bro-science. I absolutely agree, and that’s why it’s critical to make the right nutrition choices even when dining at Chipotle. According to a New York Times article, the average Chipotle meal has approximately 1,070 calories! Keep in mind that the recommended daily caloric range for most adults resides between 1,600 and 2,400 calories. In other words, it’s extremely easy to overeat at Chipotle, where the tortilla alone is about 300 calories.
Which brings me to Big Macs. Maintaining the right calories and macros is where I struggle the most and I definitely retain an affinity for the two juicy, all-meat patties that form the Big Mac’s foundation. Most people wouldn’t think of a Big Mac as being an ideal food for fitness, but consuming two (note the two) Big Macs will yield approximately 1080 calories. That’s right, the average meal at Chipotle is calorically comparable to eating two Big Macs at your local Golden Arches. It’s not all apples to apples as you’ll probably get a lot more fat (and other stuff) in your macros from the Big Macs, but you get the point.
Bringing up McDonald’s from a nutrition standpoint will probably cause some people to recall the movie “Super Size Me,” where Morgan Spurlock suffers massive weight gain and significant health problems from a 5,000 calorie diet based on McDonald’s alone. It’s important to note that 5,000 calories for Morgan is probably more than twice the number of calories he would normally need on a daily basis. He also consciously chose to forgo any type of serious workout regimen. There’s even a post on Reddit where a former McDonald’s employee gets shredded while combining food from McDonald’s with regular workouts at the gym. It is Reddit, so take it with a grain of salt (forgive the pun, I couldn’t resist). Again, you get the point.
I’m not advocating that the road to big gains and deep cuts resides within any specific restaurant’s offerings. What I‘m advocating is that individuals have to make responsible diet selections regardless of public perception or opinion. A responsible diet that contains the proper nutrition is critical in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Just because you’re eating something from Chipotle doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily eating responsibly. Conversely, an occasional Big Mac may not completely destroy a decade’s worth of effort in the gym. There’s a lot of nutrition and diet information out there (If It Fits Your Macros, Intermittent Fasting, Keto, Paleo, vegan, etc.) and you just have to find one that works for you.