8 tips for eating at Taco Bell on WeightWatchers

It’s one of the most-tracked restaurants in the WW app for a reason—and it’s easier to stay in your Budget than you think.
Published May 29, 2023

Taco Bell may not be thought of as a paragon of nutrition, but in recent years, the chain has enlisted the help of registered dietitians and expanded its menu to include vegetarian, high-protein, low-calorie, and low-fat options. It's also reduced the use of artificial colorings and flavors, removed artificial trans fats and high-fructose corn syrup, and, since 2008, has reduced sodium levels across the menu by 15%.

There are also plenty of lower-Points® options to be had on the Taco Bell menu, like soft chicken tacos, which clock in at just 4 Points a piece. To help with your next order, we enlisted the expertise of Dr. Lisa Young, Ph.D., RDN, adjunct professor of nutrition at New York University, to find the best ways to enjoy a meal at the chain restaurant while sticking to your Points goals.

Make it “fresco”

This little word holds lots of good-for-you power. When you ask for your order to be made "fresco style," ingredients that are higher in fat and calories (mayo-based sauces, cheeses, and sour cream) will be replaced with freshly diced tomatoes. You’ll get a meal packed with more veggies and fewer Points.

Customize, customize, customize

Taco Bell allows you to tweak your order to make it work for you (something that’s especially easy to do when you order through the app). To stick to your Points goals, ask to go easy on higher-Points options (like sour cream or cheese) and request extra black beans, lettuce, and tomatoes. You can also skip ingredients entirely (removing the seasoned rice, for example).

Skip the soda

Instead of a sugary soda, get water, says Young. This way, you’re not drinking away your Points on something that does nothing for your hunger levels.

Load up on sides

Black beans, guacamole, salsa—the sides at Taco Bell are loaded with protein, fiber, and healthy fats. That means they’re also lower in Points and can help keep you satisfied. One side that isn’t as Points-friendly, however, is the nachos, says Young. Even if paired with something healthier, like guac, the chips are fried, high in sodium, and lacking in nutrients—a combination that may lead you to overeat yet feel unsatisfied at the end of your meal.

Add some sauce

The sauce options are perfect for adding flavor without a lot of extra Points. The nacho cheese sauce is only 2 Points per serving, and the creamy jalapeño sauce, chipotle sauce, avocado ranch sauce, and spicy ranch sauce are all just 1 Points value per serving. (The sauces are a great way to add heat to your meal without spending any Points on Taco Bell’s famous hot sauce packets.)

Order the taco

You never have to say no to getting the taco—especially if you order it in the most Points-friendly way possible. A soft taco with chicken, for example, has 4 Points, and you can make it a more satisfying meal by adding on ZeroPoint® vegetables, like jalapeños, tomatoes, and onions.