Is the 'Drive Thru Diet' too good to be true?



Posted on January 15, 2010 at 6:45 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:44 AM

If your New Year's resolution involves losing weight, you might be enticed to think outside the bun. Fast food chain Taco Bell is asking you to try its new "Drive Thru Diet." But is it too good to be true?

If you haven’t seen her yet, you will.

Christine Dougherty is all over the latest Taco Bell TV commercials, claiming she got her bikini bod by following what the company calls the “Drive Thru Diet.“

But can you really lose weight this way?

"Your nutrients may be compromised, your fiber almost certainly will be, but you could lose weight," says dietitian Lisa Richardson.

"The Drive Thru Diet" is a nickname for the seven items, each with less than 9 grams of fat.

Most of the diet items only shave off 20-100 calories, often by substituting salsa for cheese.

Christine claims they did the trick, although she admits she also exercised and stuck to a 1250 calorie diet.

Don’t want to make a run for the border?

No problem. Nutritionists say you can stick to a low-calorie diet at almost any fast food restaurant.

But will the weigh loss last?

"We need variety to meet all our nutrient needs, so any type of diet that is too limiting, you will not be successful in the long run. It may work short term, but in the long run you’ll get bored, you won’t stick to it and you’ll regain," said Lisa Richardson, registered dietitian.

Still, if life in the fast lane has you veering into the drive-thru, at least now you have healthier options. But remember, variety is key and fast food is no replacement for a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and lean protein.