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Taco Bell’s Drive Thru Diet

by Meghann on January 4, 2010

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the folks at Halls to sample their new Halls Refresh products.


Boy, did these babies arrive in the nick of time!


I have been sucking the Halls Refresh all morning, in hopes they will coat my throat and make it a lot less dry and a lot more bearable.

The Halls Refresh are not cough drops, but are in fact mouth moisturizers that are intended to make your much water.

They are great for taking the edge off of my dry throat, but the minute they are gone the mouth watering effect they created fades too. 🙁


Thanks to all your comments I plan to stop at the drug store on the way home to pick up some of your suggested cold remedies. 🙂

I have never been one of those people whose appetite fades when they are sick.  In fact, I am quite the opposite – my appetite tends to grow when I am sick. I have been all morning.

I broke for snack time early and nibbled on a serving of trail mix.


Then went home for lunch and made a beautiful salad.


  • Hummus
  • Tabouli
  • Spinach
  • Carrot
  • Zucchini
  • Olives
  • Tomato


with warmed pita wedges on the side


Drive Thru Diet…

Has any one seen the latest advertisements for Taco Bell and their ‘drive thru diet’?

Here’s one I found on YouTube

And here’s a copy of the print ad I stumbled on in my People yesterday.


Subway has Jarrod and now Taco Bell has Christine. I wonder if McDonald’s will find a spokesperson soon? Quick! Someone find a way to loose a lot of weight eating McDonalds. You’ll make millions!

At first I thought these ads were a joke, but they are sadly the real thing. I’m all for Taco Bell advertising their lower calorie options, but to put a picture of a girl in a bikini in the ads and say you can look like her if you eat their food is a bit much.

I think the part that really annoys me is how they reveal she lost the weight on a 1250 calorie diet. 1250 calories?!?!?! I would starve!


They also fail to mention staying active until you read the fine print on the bottom where they actually state this is not a weight loss program.


What are your thoughts on the drive thru diet? Are you suddenly craving Taco Bell?

1 kbwood January 4, 2010 at 2:39 pm

this is crazy-you couldnt pay me to go on a taco bell diet!
haha under 1300 calories? thats so not healthy!! no thanks! that doesnt set a good example either

2 blueberrymuffins January 4, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Drive thru? You can’t even stop in for a nibble? Lame.

3 Kayla January 4, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Omg we saw this commercial the other night and thought it was a joke a first too! That is a crazy calorie amount, I would so starve.
But I was thinking from my history of Taco Bell (haven’t had anything from there in forever) and I’m thinking that you might drop a few pounds if that’s all you ate – but only because your stomach would rebel and you’d be spending all your time in the bathroom! Eww.

4 Dawn January 4, 2010 at 2:44 pm

I cannot take those Taco Bell ads seriously – I actually thought it was all a joke up until now.

5 Dotsie January 4, 2010 at 2:44 pm

I think it’s ridiculous. However, if I MUST stop for fast food, I may stop at a Taco Bell to get something from the lower cal menu…or, I will stick with my usual stop at the local grocery’s salad bar and veggie up 😉 -it’s like fast food, but more fun-I can create the salad of my choice!

I hope you feel better soon!

6 kristen January 4, 2010 at 2:45 pm

I’m with Dawn- until I saw the commercial multiple times, I genuinely thought it was a joke.

7 Evan Thomas January 4, 2010 at 2:45 pm

She probably hasn’t eaten at a Taco Bell in as long as I haven’t. And 1250? At that, life wouldn’t even be worth living, not like you would be living for long.

8 Heather @ The Joyful Kitchen January 4, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Way too good to be true…besides, how boring would it be to eat Taco Bell all the time? 1250 calories are definitely not enough for people to healthfully lose weight (most people anyway). It kind of makes my heart sad that there will be people trying to follow this diet 🙁

9 Samantha January 4, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Personally, I think the Taco Bell Diet is total junk! Granted they are a step up from their 5-layer burrito, but it is by no means a way to lose weight. I am sure if you asked anyone, they could name a grocery store they could stop at to get a salad or stuff for sandwich.

For the cold, I would recommend lots of hot tea, and rest!!

10 Katie January 4, 2010 at 2:50 pm

I also thought this was a joke at first. I can’t believe they would advertise this!

11 Becky January 4, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Um, I’m pretty sure it IS a joke…and VERY effective advertising. It made you take notice, and that is what advertising is all about.

12 melissa January 4, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Go to the website it’s not a joke. Sadly.

13 RhodeyGirlTests January 4, 2010 at 2:52 pm

This is bullshlt!!!


I never get overly mad about things like this, but SERIOUSLY?? Eat Taco Bell and you will look like her? I hate Taco Bell even more after seeing this ad!

14 Hayley H January 4, 2010 at 2:53 pm

I think it’s absolutely ridiculous. Makes me sick! People just don’t seem to understand that a balance of healthy food choices that emphasize vegetables and lean protein- not tacos- combined with exercise is the key to weight loss/a healthy balance/maintaining a healthy weight. Sure, it took me a long time to realize this and it’s not as easy as it sounds, but it’s so sad that JUNK food companies are capitalizing off the “healthy lifestyle” trend. Reminds me of how bags of skittles have “cholesterol free!” written on them, as if that makes them healthy. Ugh!

15 Ali January 4, 2010 at 2:53 pm

HAHAHAHAHA! I totally thought that was a joke! It is real? OH MAN!

16 Island Girl Eats January 4, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Try having a very hot bath tonight with a cup of Epsom Salts thrown in. The Epsom Salts will help you to sweat it out. Stay in the bath for at least a half an hour and wrap up warm when you get out. You will really sweat when you get out! I swear by Epsom Salts – you can get them at your local pharmacy.

I am paranoid about getting sick! I am running the Disney Marathon as well this weekend. I have been taking multi-vitamins and Berocca tablets in water – they are full of all the B vitamins.

Hope you feel better soon!

17 Rosey Rebecca January 4, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Gah! I hate when unhealthy food chains try to act like eating their food will help you lose weight. It’s sending the wrong message completely and it’s why Americans are obese.

Feel better!!

18 Danielle January 4, 2010 at 2:58 pm

They also fail to mention that you’ll be shoving a ton of weird checmicals into your body, you’ll raise your cholesterol, and you’ll go broke for eating out every day. Seriously, it’s just white tortillas and beef! Oh, and a smidge of veggies disguised as a “fresca” topping 😉

19 Tracey @ tropicalhappiness January 4, 2010 at 3:01 pm

I saw the commercial yesterday for the first time. The first thing I thought is that Taco Bell is trying to pull a “Subway” and promote their food as healthy.

I think it’s crazy.

Yes, losing weight is a matter of calories in vs calories out. However, eating 1300 calories of JUNK (aka Taco Bell) might make you skinnier, but it won’t make you healthier. Eating a reasonable amount of healthy foods like fruits, veggies, salads, lean meats, lean dairy, etc WILL make you thinner AND healthier. Sooooo many people out there are looking for a quick fix.

The timing of this campaign launch isn’t coincidental- they are trying to grab all of those people who are saying “I want to lose weight but I don’t want to do anything.” Plus, they are banking on those same customers to buy other things off their menu, soon spoiling their “diets.” Just another fad….

20 angnxd January 4, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Wow that’s crazy! Its even more sad that people are probably going to try it.

21 Betsy January 4, 2010 at 3:09 pm

A bit late on the remedy – but you should try a neti pot. It totally helps drain out the sinuses. I kick most colds with it.

22 megan January 4, 2010 at 3:10 pm

I’m not outraged by this, I actually think it’s a very effective marketing campaign. (as long as they are being honest…if they’re not, then yes, I’m outraged). Maybe someone did lose weight by eating taco bell. There are worse choices than eating the healthier stuff off their menu. It wouldn’t be my first choice, but I am glad there are healthier options there. I don’t know if anyone would actually look at that and think “If I eat taco bell every day, I will look like her!” If they do, then more has gone into their thinking that taco bell’s advertising. If they have healthier options, why shouldn’t they promote them? If they think their tacos fit into a healthy diet, find someone who did just that and prove it.

Am I being crazy? I just can’t get all that worked up over this.

23 megan January 4, 2010 at 3:10 pm

plus my mom eats around a 1200-1300 calorie diet. It’s what works for her body. It’s not unhealthy if that’s what your body wants…

24 RunToTheFinish January 4, 2010 at 3:11 pm

this drive thru diet is killing me…seriously I guess because Subway did it now everyone wants to do it. but yes if you eat LESS then you are going to lose weight, oye!

25 verbalriot January 4, 2010 at 3:13 pm

I also thought it was a joke when I first saw the commercials. It’s absolutely ridiculous!

26 Molly January 4, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Im not gonna lie, Taco Bell was my go-to fast food of choice. Now, it just kinda grosses me out. I sometimes have to stop myself while driving by from stopping in for a taco, basically because I KNOW they arent going to be as good as I envision in my head.
but as far as the diet plan goes. Heck no. Subway is one thing…Taco Bell is still beyond processed and fried…just plain NO.
I could never do this diet. andyone who does, and succeeds…well then I guess congrats to you. I feel it would kill me first tho haha

27 genesis January 4, 2010 at 3:16 pm

google this – is taco bell drive thru duet serious?
then read the LA Time Article regarding the diet. The Fresco meals are only 50 calories less than their counterparts…

28 pickyeaterruns January 4, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Shame on you, Taco Bell! So many people will just see these ads and assume that all Taco Bell food is healthy. It’s completely taking advantage of people. Should be illegal!

29 Becky January 4, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Is that Taco Bell’s fault? Or the person’s fault? The information is out there..and as Meghann pointed out, it is even included in the actual advertisment! Albeit, small print, but it is still there

30 melissa January 4, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Most people are uneducated about nutrition. Hence the “Standard American Diet” of fast-food. Taco Bell is taking advantage of naive people.

31 Andrea January 4, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Ah. Melissa makes a very good point.

32 Courtney January 4, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I think it is giving out one more bit of misinformation to an already misinformed public. Anyone looking for an excuse and a justification to eat fast food will point out that commercial and say “but that girl did it” But how many people would really order the lower calorie items and then eat healthy the rest of the day and exercise. YES you can lose weight on a low calorie diet. But, you will not get that body without strength training, cardio and clean eating. I think it is too bad that people will have one more excuse to continue eating unhealthy and then wonder why they are obese, have heart disease and diabetes.
adventures in tri-ing

33 Alison January 4, 2010 at 3:22 pm

I think it’s amazing advertising. Someone is going to make millions because obviously they’re doing their job – we’re all talking about it! I think they tried to cover all their bases saying her results aren’t typical, quantifying her calorie intake, and saying that she made substitutions from the Taco Bell menu…not that she ate it every day. That being said, I definitely don’t think Taco Bell could be labeled “healthy” or “fresh,” I just don’t see how it’s a huge deal. Really nasty, chemical laden things are advertised a million times a day…

34 Chelsea January 4, 2010 at 3:23 pm

I’m the same way when I get sick-I get ravenous!

As for the drive through diet-it’s RIDICULOUS. This is the same company that has big signs that say “The FOURTH Meal-Open Late”

35 Lily @ Lily's Health Pad January 4, 2010 at 3:27 pm

I thought it was a joke at first too.

It makes sense. You can eat whatever you want and lose weight as long as you control calories.

Too bad you’d be missing out on some serious nutrition if you ate Taco Bell for lunch and dinner every day.

I think most people are smart enough to realize this.

36 Cait (Cait's Plate) January 4, 2010 at 3:31 pm

My boyfriend was actually outraged at the Taco Bell thing. He just thought it was so ridiculous. And I’m really inclined to agree with him the more I learn about it (I’m actually reading that People right now 🙂 ) – fruits and veggies people! It’s all it takes!

37 rungirlrunn January 4, 2010 at 3:36 pm

I think the taco bell diet is going to confuse some easily-susceptible people, which in itself is very sad

38 Whitney @ Lettuce Love January 4, 2010 at 3:41 pm

I thought the Taco Bell ads were a total joke. I thought they were making fun of Subway. I didn’t think they were real until I say an article on cnn. The idea of eating Taco Bell and wearing a bikini is insane!

39 meyergirl January 4, 2010 at 3:56 pm

I originally thought this was a joke, too!! So crazy!

40 Neely January 4, 2010 at 4:12 pm

I think if someone is “outraged” by Taco Bell they must get pretty bothered by a lot of things in life. It’s a smart marketing campaign. That’s all.

Off to try these Halls thingies. They sound good.

41 Eliza January 4, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Mmm those Halls refresh look refreshing..;)

42 crazycaits January 4, 2010 at 4:24 pm

I saw this commercial for the first time last night and I could not believe it! At first I was laughing because I thought it was a big joke but they are for real! These are the kind of “diets” people fall for and then can’t maintain. My mom is a personal trainer and she says that people will stick with these and unrealistic weight loss resolutions only until about feburary 15th because of unrealistic expectations. OH and yes I would STARVE on 1250 cals too! Sorry for the vent, but agreed, this is ridiculous!

43 Liz January 4, 2010 at 4:33 pm

I’m in the minority here but I think Taco Bell, like all corporations, can use marketing techniques however they choose. I don’t think that the onus should be on for-profit companies to teach the public how to live a healthy life. I haven’t seen these ads before reading about them here but I don’t find them anymore “outrageous” than all other ads that try to connect a certain lifestyle/image to their particular product.

44 Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life January 4, 2010 at 4:34 pm

The drive thru diet is complete crap. It’s annoying that this is even airing.

45 Lindsay January 4, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Yuck. I just would not eat Taco Bell. Of course the excercise part is in fine print. hahaha

46 Robin January 4, 2010 at 4:41 pm

My husband and I laughed for a while when we saw the ad last night, it is ridiculous!

47 melissa January 4, 2010 at 5:03 pm

I personally think it is funny. But that is because I am well-educated about nutrition and I know that calories aren’t the only factor that should be looked at in a food or diet. Sadly, many Americans aren’t educated and will just look at it as a cheap, fast way to eat.

48 melissa January 4, 2010 at 5:03 pm

* aren’t AS educated

49 Jenna January 4, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Delicious salad! I haven’t heard of the taco bell drive thru diet. It seems weird though!

50 thefitbridesmaid January 4, 2010 at 5:10 pm

I thought it was a joke as well! I kept waiting for a punch line or else it was Saturday Night Live.

I’m going to stick with my own healthy diet (that has never included Taco Bell since I don’t like it).

51 Lacey January 4, 2010 at 5:13 pm

My mom was a nurse and has pounded into my head the phrase “Feed a cold and starve a fever” so I guess it’s good you still have a healthy appetite!

I hate how in diet ads the girl is always wearing really high heels with a bikini. How convenient for the beach/pool lol.

52 eaternotarunner January 4, 2010 at 5:27 pm

1250 is a ridiculous amount of calories. Way too low! Also Taco bell is gross haha

53 krittie January 4, 2010 at 5:46 pm

First off, I believe the reason they got the 1250 calories is because she apparently didn’t participate in any physical activity. I would never say that 1250 is a good calorie amount, but if she ate her 2000+ calories and didn’t do anything she would never lose any weight. Typically there has to be a 500 calorie deficit per day to lose a pound a week-so if she wasn’t doing any type of activity I can see where they got this crazy number from. Unhealthy yes, but I see where they got the number from.

Second, it’s is a ridiculous advertising campaign. Anyone who actually thinks they will lose weight by eating taco bell is crazy-not a balanced diet at all. If you like taco bell, you can surely have it in moderation, but to build a diet out of it is insane!

54 Gracie January 4, 2010 at 5:56 pm

I have mixed feeling about the Taco Bell ad. Obviously I think that it’s a) incredibly misleading (unfortunately, so many people are going to think they can just eat Taco Bell every day and lose weight and b) it’s BEYOND unrealistic. Like you said – 1250 calories is way too low. Barely anyone can actually maintain that. And the “diet” fails to teach people anything about healthy eating, exercise, etc. It’s the classic case of dieting versus learning a HEALTHY lifestyle.

With that being said, I’m glad to see that Taco Bell is at least offering healthIER options. We all know that fast food is one of the huge reasons contributing to obesity in America, so maybe having healthier choices will make some sort of difference with that.

55 Nicci@NiftyEats January 4, 2010 at 5:59 pm

I’m waiting for the ”Pizza Diet” to come out. Eat pizza all dayand lose weight. lo. What is sad is someone out there will try this crazy diet.

56 Tay January 4, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Seriously – it’s one thing to advertise that you have healthy meals that can aid in a weight loss program. But quite another to advertise pictures of a bikini clad lady wearing high heels. Please.

57 Jennifer January 4, 2010 at 6:05 pm

I am not outraged by this at all. I think it is our duty to be informed consumers. Did she lose weight by eating mostly Taco Bell? I think she did. While this is not a good way to maintain or even to lose weight, anyone can do it. I could eat just cheeseburgers from McDonalds and lose weight. Is it the healthiest? No. Is it balanced? No. Could I sustain this type of lifestyle? Probably not. However, I think it is great that Taco Bell is offering some other options and when I do get fast food, I might think of some of their fresh options AFTER I do my own research about nutrition facts.

I think that the marketing is very clever and good for the girl that they featured – I do believe that she lost the weight over 2 years which increases her chance of keeping it off. And hey, she has her 15 minutes of fame now which was probably her intent!

58 Amy January 4, 2010 at 6:22 pm

I would be concerned as to what only 1250 calories of taco bell is… 3 tacos? I would be angry at life…

59 Rachel January 4, 2010 at 6:23 pm

I heard about this campaign a couple of weeks ago and think it’s ridiculous. Of course, anyone who REALLY believes they can lose weight in a healthy way via FAST FOOD is a little out of touch with reality anyway.

60 Matt January 4, 2010 at 6:24 pm

I think the drive thru diet is rediculous. Just because something is low in calories, doesn’t mean it is “good for you”. It is still a bunch of junk.

61 biz319 January 4, 2010 at 6:36 pm

That is so insane! I knew a fellow WW who ate about 16 points in candy bars every day, yet still came in at the amount of points she was given for the day. Did she lose weight? Yep! Is she healthy? Nope!

Clean food, calorie control and exercise – that’s the only way!

BTW, hope you feel better!

62 Teachermama January 4, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Taco Bell completely grosses me out. I’m soooo disappointed- mostly in the woman who agreed to be the spokes-person. I feel like there is a lot of reading between the lines and I’m completely bummed out that fast food is attempting to convince people eating it is a good thing. Ugh!

63 Kristine January 4, 2010 at 7:04 pm

I seriously thought that ad was a joke when I first saw it. I thought I was on the comedy channel or something. Soooo weird!

64 lindsayruns January 4, 2010 at 7:04 pm

I know it is nasty nasty stuff, but I still crave it sometimes. Even if I don’t go anymore. That being said, the ads are ridiculous…but they are doing their job. Americans have Taco Bell on the brain now, and for those who keep the place as an option on their mental menu, are gonna be visiting a lot more often.

65 anutritionisteats January 4, 2010 at 7:37 pm

I checked this out on their website over the weekend and it is ridiculous, but I guess they feel like if Subway can, they can too! I wouldn’t be surprised if McDonald’s comes out with something soon. Who wouldn’t lose weight eating 1,250 cal/day!?!?!

66 Hangry Pants January 4, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Just a LOL moment – I am trying to lose some LBs and I looked up home many calories I “should” eat to do this – yeah it said 670. Nice.

67 usfmeg25 January 4, 2010 at 9:03 pm

I’m sure these “healthy” items at taco bell may seem “good” to the uneducated, but I bet if you took a real close look at the nutritional content you will find that it’s super high in sodium, low in protein and more than half of the calories are coming from fat.
What is good about this diet is that most chains are making “healthier” options available to the public but what is scarey is that more and more people are going to run (or drive!) to a fast food restaurant and think that they can loose weight. This fad diets on TV do not teach anything about portion control or the importance of exercise.

68 Lauren January 4, 2010 at 9:12 pm

OMG I thought these were a joke too! The commercials are a bit satirical so I couldn’t tell. Wow, this is so sad to hear it’s for real.

Ugh, makes me a little sick to hear that people are claiming that eating this way is healthy. Sure, if the only thing I ate all day was a teeny 200 calorie taco, I would loose weight too, but I would also loose muscle, nutrients, and my sanity! Why don’t they include that in the disclaimers?

69 bobbi January 4, 2010 at 9:24 pm

wow what has the world come to! I can’t believe this!!!

70 Christy January 4, 2010 at 10:47 pm

Ahh, the taco bell “diet”… too funny. Being healthy is a lifestlye, not a quick fix! 🙂

71 Katie O. @ Fit to Wed January 4, 2010 at 11:12 pm

I have to say I’m not surprised by this advertising campaign. It’s just sad that people will fall prey to the type of marketing. This sort of thing will only contribute to America’s eating problem.

72 Macrae January 4, 2010 at 11:50 pm

It’s funny…look at the nutiriton facts for the regulat items vs. the Fresco items and they are really not THAT much different. THe bean burrito only has 30 less calories, cruncky taco only 20 less, and so on. If you’re going to eat Taco Bell, go all out 🙂

73 jenngirl January 4, 2010 at 11:58 pm

I never lose my appetite when sick either, which I guess is good because in reality we should be eating very well to keep our immune systems in top shape!

I commented on another blog about this “Taco Bell diet”…I HATE the way they market this. It’s a complete exagerration of healthy eating that sadly the general public believes to be true. For example, the misunderstanding that the word “salad” denotes a healthy option. Not so all of the time. The only redeeming quality is that it’s nice to know that there are smarter options available at fast food places. If I’m ever stuck at a Taco Bell, at least I can get some food 🙂

74 Therse January 5, 2010 at 10:32 am

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe in the ad she said she lost the weight by “replacing her occasional fast food with Taco Bell’s lighter options” or something to that extent. I don’t believe that the company is claiming if you eat Taco Bell all day every day you will lose weight.

I majored in marketing and honestly think it’s a great campaign for the company. They picked a target market–people looking to lose a few pounds after the holidays–and very effectively reached them. If that average american who is so ‘uneducated’ when it comes to health and fitness (as most here claim) is going to eat fast food REGARDLESS, why not point them to the healthier options??

75 Sarah (from See Sarah Eat) January 5, 2010 at 11:42 am

Ugh, I hate this. Like people need MORE excuses to eat crappy fast food?

I do think it is good for companies to point out their healthier options but calling it a “diet” is just ridiculous.

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