Drive Thru Diet? Seriously?

I see a lot of stuff on TV that leaves me scratching my head? I wonder.. who believes this stuff? And then I remember the millions every year who get scammed, hoodwinked, bamboozled or otherwise relieved of their pocket change. As PT Barnum said, there’s a sucker born every minute.

The latest thing that caught my eye was the Taco Bell commercial for the “Drive Thru Diet” about the lady who didn’t want to give up her “fast food” so she switched to Taco Bell’s Fresco menu and lost 20 pounds.. or 40.. or whatever. This has to be a joke right? Just a clever way to advertise the menu? “Results not typical” indeed.

The Fresco menu is lower fat, because it forgoes cream based sauces and sour cream and the like.. but it still has the same greasy meat and probably cheese… how much better can it be?

For Comparison:

Crunchy Taco Supreme: Shell, Meat, Lettuce, Cheese, Sour Cream

200 Calories, 100 calories from fat, 12 g of fat and 5 g saturated fat.

Fresco Crunchy Taco: Shell, Meat, Lettuce, Fresco salsa

150 Calories, 70 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 2.5g saturated fat.

This isn’t too bad, almost 50% reduction in fat and exactly 50% in Sat. Fat.

Based on 65 grams of fat and 20 grams saturated fat as the recommended daily allowance, the Fresco Taco isn’t too bad roughly 10% for both. But that is a little high for a “diet” food… and well.. you have to eat like 3 of them.

Maybe the Fresco items aren’t so bad.. but there is something hideously wrong with even suggesting that you can lose weight at a fast food joint. Next someone is going to sue them because they ate one Fresco taco a day (along with non-Fresco items like Nachos Supremes and deep fried Chulapa’s) and then wondered why they ballooned up to 500 pounds. Just watch.. it will happen. Taco Bell opened the wrong can of worms with this one.

I love Taco Bell as much as the next guy.. where else can you get food at 2AM and only spend 3.16$. It’s great, but healthy it’s not. The only thing not deep fried is the meat and it’s swimming in a jacuzzi of it’s own grease. If it drips down your chin like a memphis pork rib.. delicious it may be, but low fat it’s not!

Saving money and losing weight.

I haven’t posted a blog in a while (mostly due to a 2 week lose of computer access) but I wanted to share this.

At the same time I’m trying to eat healthy and lose weight I’m also trying to save money and pay off debt. I wanted to share my little shopping trip today where I used some tricks I learned online.

I’ve read several websites and blogs about saving money and clipping coupons for groceries including extreme examples of people spending 10$ or less on 100$ worth of items etc. One of the big keys is using a coupon to buy something on sale and boy did I hit it big today.

I went to Food Lion and bought a loaf of bread, a 6-pack of applesauce cups, 3 boxes of Hamburger Helper, a gallon of milk and a bottle of ketchup. I spent $8.99 and my coupon savings were 7.53. I almost paid half price for everything. The bulk of the savings came from the Hamburger Helper.

Regular price $2.16 per box. Food Lion sale 10 for $10. Coupon .75 cents off 3 boxes.

3 boxes regular price – $6.48
3 boxes @ $.75 each $2.25
Savings = $4.23

Plus, the applesauce was half price (buy one get one) savings – 1.23$
the ketchup was 10 for $10 = regular price $1.42, savings $.42
The bread was 1.79 (40 cents off) and a 1$ coupon with the bread and milk dropped the milk to $2.52 for a gallon.

It was a small trip, but it shows what you can do if you plan it out right. I saved around 45% on my total bill, but plenty of people out there have done way better. Multiple coupons, bigger sales etc and you can save a ton.

Makes up for some of that healthy food being so darn expensive.

  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.