Last Updated on May 21, 2023 by Michael Brockbank
Taco Bell is perhaps one of my biggest Achilles heals when trying to curb caloric intake to lose weight. And the new $7 Deluxe Cravings Box may sound like an awesome deal when considering the price. But what is the real damage you need to consider?
Well, it comes packed with all of the goodies that your doctor might tell you to avoid.
Don’t get me wrong, knowing it’s not the healthiest food hasn’t stopped me from ordering it three times in the past month and a half. But I think I’m done with clogging my arteries.
At least for now.
Why is the Deluxe Cravings Box a Bad Idea?
One of the biggest reasons why so many people are overweight is because of convenience. It’s easy to simply sit in your car at the drive-through and have your meals prepared for you.
It’s this convenience that is doing the most damage to your arteries. But as I said during a recent podcast, humans are “reactive.” This means we have no intention of changing habits and actions unless there is a direct and immediate consequence after the fact.
Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at why the Deluxe Cravings Box may propel you into more deluxe clothing materials.
What’s in the Deluxe Cravings Box from Taco Bell?
The Deluxe Cravings Box comes with quite a bit of food for only $7. Currently, it comes with:
- A Chalupa Steak Supreme at 350 calories.
- A Beefy 5-Layer Burrito at 490 calories.
- The Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos at 170 calories.
- A serving of chips and nacho cheese sauce at 220 calories.
- And your choice of medium fountain drink, which ranges 0 to 280 calories depending on the drink you order.
As you can see, nearly every element in this one meal is more calories than you’ll consume in something like a Lean Cuisine or other frozen health-food dinner. And although the Cravings Box is cheaper per volume, the sheer amount of damage it’ll do to a diet (and your colon) is astronomical.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not completely bashing Taco Bell, here. It is one of my go-to, guilty pleasures, after all. Still, it’s not like you’re ordering the healthiest thing you can eat on any given day.
The Calories Are Off the Chain!
In general, I try to keep my meals between 250 and 350 calories. Then, I’ll wind up having a few snacks. While on my Net 600 Calorie diet, I’ll eat about 1500 to 1700 calories for the day.
The count of the Deluxe Cravings Box without a drink is 1,230 calories. For most people, this is a single meal such as a lunch during break or something quick to pick up for dinner.
That is more than my breakfast, lunch, and dinner combined.
Now, you can always try to portion out the box to eat throughout the entire day. Or, perhaps share the combo with a friend or family member.
But realistically, do you know anyone who does this? I know I don’t. Most of us will eat the “meal deal” in a single sitting. Then, we’ll still have the other two meals of the day in addition.
Today, I am strategizing my dinner to try to keep myself under 2000 calories after hitting Taco Bell for lunch. This also means no alcohol tonight, chocolate ice cream, or peanut butter cups.
Well, unless I can keep active enough to burn the excess.
Overloaded with Carbs
Not only is the meal loaded with calories, but you’re also looking at roughly 130 grams of carbohydrates. And I’m not talking about the good kind.
This is where physical activity comes in handy, though. If you’re keen on keeping yourself moving throughout the day, the carbs are easy to burn. But if you don’t, you can expect all of that to eventually convert into fat stores.
When I’m actually being good and sticking with my workout routines, I can usually “afford” to eat a Deluxe Cravings Box. This is because I work myself up into a sweat a few different times throughout the day.
That’s not including the days when I head out to the gym.
My point is that sitting sedentary while eating copious amounts of food is only going to add on the pounds. Considering how many carbs are in this meal, you’ll have to do some major cardio work.
Incredible Sodium Content
A lot of us have to keep an eye on sodium intake. Especially those who need to watch blood pressure and stress. In this box alone, you’re looking at around 2,460 mg in a single sitting.
That’s well beyond the limits for a lot of us who struggle with high blood pressure.
Now, it’s true that you need a certain amount of sodium every day to keep healthy. In fact, a lot of us can feel lethargic after a workout until we get a bit of sodium and electrolytes in our systems.
For most people, a healthy amount of sodium is anything less than 2,300 mg. This means the Cravings Box just sent you over the “healthy” limit. And this doesn’t include anything else you eat on that particular day.
Decent Amount of Protein in the Deluxe Cravings Box
So, I do need to give credit where credit is due. The Deluxe Cravings Box does have a decent amount of protein. That’s going to be a given considering how much ground beef and steak slices that are in the meal.
At any rate, you’re looking at around 43 grams of protein. This is higher than a lot of things you could eat, in reality. Still, the additional protein may not be worth the sodium, carbs, calories, and fats that you’ll consume.
There are much better alternatives that won’t come with all of the extra baggage.
For example, a cup of chopped chicken will provide around 38g of protein while having 0 carbs with which to contend. Not to mention the low level of sodium ranging from about 115mg.
Using Cardio to “Burn Away” the Deluxe Cravings Box
I’ve demonstrated in the past that you can still eat a lot of tasty foods and lose weight. In fact, I lost the first 20 pounds in a month and a half while still eating pizza, cookies, and peanut butter cups.
The trick I used was to keep myself active enough to burn away all of the excess junk I was consuming.
For example, if I wanted an extra slice of pizza, I would walk for about 30 to 40 minutes until I burned enough to keep within my calorie goals according to MyFitnessPal.
It’s much easier to lose weight and burn fat when you reduce the carb and calorie intake, but you can still drop the pounds without restricting your diet.
Well, at least that was the case in my situation. As long as I can work myself up into a sweat and burn the excess, I could still be lighter the next day even after eating a Deluxe Cravings Box or worse.
It all comes down to a balance of intake and physical activity. For most of us, just going into a caloric deficit can help us burn fat relatively quickly.
And we can do all of this without overly restrictive diets or fasting routines.
What’s Your Favorite Guilty Pleasure in Food?
Yes, I kind of gave Taco Bell a bit of a bad name in this one. Although the meal deals are truly not worth $7 when compared to the damage you do to your body, the brand is still my go-to guilty pleasure.
I know I shouldn’t eat it, but I just can’t help myself. Maybe we should have the Deluxe Cravings Box tested for heroin.
In any case, I’m truly going to limit what I get from Taco Bell from now on. After writing this post, it’s just not all that appealing to me. Besides, I could do some amazing cooking from Walmart for less than $7.
What’s something you love that you know you shouldn’t eat because of how bad it is?