We conducted an investigation to see how accurate Chipotle's calorie counts really are

Chipotle posts its nutritional data online, so it seems fairly safe to assume that you can guess how many calories are in your burrito bowl.

But someone claiming to be a Chipotle employee on Reddit said the actual servings contain far more calories than people realise.

“One serving of rice is supposed to be 4 oz which should fit perfectly into those clear containers used for getting something on the side,” the alleged worker wrote. “If you don’t believe me, see for yourself.”

We were curious to find out if this was true, so we went to a nearby Chipotle to see what the deal was for a typical burrito bowl with black beans, white rice, sour cream, cheese, chicken, corn salsa, and regular salsa. If you use Chipotle’s nutritional calculator, the burrito bowl should have 800 calories.

We first acquired a food scale and measured how much the containers weighed.

Then we checked the rice.

It’s true — you get more rice than you might have accounted for.

For the record, Chipotle claims a serving size of rice should be 4 ounces. Subtract the bowl (.038 ounces) from this, and the serving is bigger than what Chipotle says it should be.

The rice weighed roughly 6.59 ounces, which means it’s certainly more than the 185 calories Chipotle says is in a serving of white rice.

Here’s how much rice you should really be getting.

Yes, just a small cup.

For comparison, here’s the cup of rice plus the extra rice Chipotle gave us.

Beans, on the other hand, were stingy.

According to Chipotle’s nutritional data, a serving of beans should be 4 ounces.

But with the carton, it was 3.2 ounces, which is already less than what Chipotle says it serves.

Chicken was also paltry.

A serving of chicken is supposed to be 4 ounces. We checked to see how much chicken we got.

Without the carton, that’s about 2.9 ounces.

So while we got a generous serving of white rice, protein was more sparse.

As for sides, Chipotle stays pretty on the nose to what it claims its serving sizes are.

We asked for these condiments on the side, which probably helped our server stay close to the serving size guidelines.

The cheese, sour cream, and corn salsa didn’t fill up the containers completely, which seemed suspicious at first.

Chipotle’s nutrition data says a serving of salsa should be 3.5 ounces. Here’s what we got:

Subtract .08 for the cup, and you get 4 ounces, which is slightly over what Chipotle claims it serves.

A serving of corn salsa is also supposed to be 3.5 oz.

Subtract the .008 for the cup, and you get 2.9 ounces. Pretty close, Chipotle!

A serving of sour cream is supposed to be 2 ounces.

After subtracting the cup, this comes out to roughly 2.3 ounces — just slightly over what Chipotle says it serves.

Cheese is supposed to be just one ounce.

After subtracting the cup, this comes out to around 1.02 ounces.

In general, Chipotle’s portion sizes were fairly true to our real life experience.

The general rule for eyeballing portion sizes seemed apparent: if you’re watching your waistline, everything should be able to fit in the little plastic cups.

But if you’re not counting calories, we’ve highlighted an outline on how to get bigger portions at Chipotle.

That said, it might be wise to ask for “light rice” next time if you’re counting your carbs.

NOW WATCH: The ugly secret behind why J. Crew’s sales have tanked

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.