A Man Ate Chipotle Every Day For 3 Months And Somehow Lost 20 Pounds

A nutritionist weights in on whether his method is actually healthy.

  • Tyler Marinelli says he lost 20 pounds while still eating Chipotle every day for three months
  • The 26-year-old followed a combination of intermittent fasting and macronutrient tracking
  • A nutritionist warns that Marinelli's diet isn't a balanced meal plan

    What do you think would happen to you if you ate Chipotle every day for three months? Probably not what happened to this guy.

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    Tyler Marinelli, 26, ended up losing 20 pounds and whittling his body fat down from 30 to 22 percent — a total loss of eight percent body fat — by incorporating Chipotle into his diet every day for three months. He highlighted exactly what he did on a post, which included a breakdown of exactly what he ate and how he exercised. He also talked to MensHealth.com about his impressive weight loss.

    The sales manager from Parkland, Florida, explained how he was always a fit guy, but never watched what he'd eat. "I would eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and however much of it I wanted," he said in an email. "I'm talking two Domino's pizzas in one sitting."

    In 2018, he decided he wanted a fresh start. He followed a combination of intermittent fasting and macronutrient tracking, or IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros — .) He gave himself an eight-hour window every day to eat, and fasted for the other 16.

    He wanted to find a way to work Chipotle into his new diet, because he loved the food, and thought it was a better option compared to some of his other fast food favorites. But after gaining a better understanding of macronutrients, he realized his typical Chipotle meals — usually loaded with chips, sour cream and cheese — weren't exactly healthy.

    So he ate only a few specific ingredients from Chipotle — typically just chicken and rice — to compliment whatever he was eating that day.

    "I knew that if I just ate [chicken, rice, beans], I could fit it into my macros and enjoy the diet a lot more while still losing weight," he said.

    Marinelli also kept a close eye on the number of calories he was taking in, eating 1,800 calories on the the days he was working out, and dropping down to 1,200 calories on his rest days. (On his workout days, Marinelli focused on heavy lifting. The other four days were typically either complete rest or some sort of cardio, like a short run or quick bout of jump rope.)

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    He stuck to pretty much the same foods every day, which included egg whites, black beans, yogurt, and, of course, his Chipotle chicken and rice.

    Should you try Marinelli's Chipotle diet?

    Not necessarily, says Susan Berkman, RD. While she isn’t surprised Marinelli saw so much success in his weight loss, considering the calorie restriction, she saw a couple of things missing that would make this specific diet tough to stick out long-term.

    “This diet is extremely high in protein, with no mention of any fruits or vegetables,” Berkman told MensHealth.com. “While eating this way is technically calorie-controlled for weight loss, it is not a balanced eating plan and could lead to long-term complications and nutrient deficiencies.” (As it turns out, .)

    The drastic cut in calories certainly helped with weight loss, but in the end, cutting calories to such excess can do more harm than good, because it can ultimately slow down one’s metabolism. A slower metabolism means your body burns less calories at rest, which can make it harder to both lose and keep off weight. (A lot of people think they understand , but most don't. .)

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    Smith Collection/Gado

    Marinelli’s experiment was more of a lesson in being able to eat foods you enjoy and still see weight loss.

    "I am always surprised to see what anyone's body is capable of when you really watch what you eat," Marinelli said. "In my before picture, I was still working out four to five days a week, but eating whatever/whenever. It truly shows you that diet is the major factor in changing your physical appearance."

    And as far as intermittent fasting goes, research has shown it’s not any more or less successful in weight loss than traditional calorie restriction — it’s more about which method is more suited to an individual’s lifestyle.

    Ultimately, Berkman's recommendation for a long-term weight-loss plan is a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. "I often recommend something similar to a ," she says.

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