November 10, 2010 // Franchising.com // IRVINE, Calif. – Nine months ago, Christine Dougherty had never run more than a mile in her life. Now, thanks to a daily road routine, a training coach – and Taco Bell's® Drive-Thru Diet® Menu, with great tasting, quality items containing nine or less grams of fat – yesterday Christine completed one of the largest marathons in the world, based in New York City, with a time of 4 hours, 29 minutes.
"I have tried exercise in the past, but it was hard for me to stay focused and stick to a routine," said Christine, 28, of Pensacola, Fla., who shed 54 pounds in two years by reducing her daily calories while eating from Taco Bell's Drive-Thru Diet Menu starting in January 2007. Making better food choices through Taco Bell's Drive-Thru Diet Menu has helped me lose weight and feel better about myself. Now I can use that energy to take on new challenges, such as running a marathon.
"As soon as I crossed the finish line in Central Park on Sunday, I immediately thought of the people that helped along the way: my loving husband – and the folks at Taco Bell, who've supported me and given others a way to maintain a balanced lifestyle."
Due to an on-the-go lifestyle that fueled the need for her convenient-yet-satisfying food choices, Christine had only participated in two competitive races this year prior to this weekend's marathon in New York City. In June she ran the Sand Shaker 5K in the business consultant's hometown of Pensacola Beach. Then in an exciting show of improvement, she set a PR (28:08) at the Blueberry Chase 5K in Brewton, Ala. in July, where a powerful start helped her break out of the pack and put her first among female runners in her age division (20-29).
"Christine's commitment to better eating and exercise hit on a unique and winning combination of nine months of training and a balanced diet that included Fresco-style items with nine or less grams of fat," said Taco Bell's Chief Marketing Officer, David Ovens. "With the Drive-Thru Diet® Menu, Christine could still enjoy the Mexican-inspired flavors, and the variety and value that is inherent to Taco Bell. Her story is about being real and chasing goals, which we hope will inspire millions of Americans."
Ovens went on to mention that nearly nine in 10 Americans (89 percent) would like to try better choices of their favorite menu items if they were offered, based on a recent "America's Drive-Thru Survey" commissioned earlier this year by Taco Bell®. Taco Bell, he said, has offered Fresco items since 2002.
As the spokesperson for the Drive-Thru Diet Menu, Christine is a real-life Taco Bell customer who serves as an example of how to make better choices when ordering at a drive-thru. During a two-year period, Christine achieved exceptional results by consuming only 1250 calories per day, a 500 calorie/day reduction, and replacing her regular QSR meals with Taco Bell's innovative Fresco menu offerings.
Christine's Drive-Thru Diet Menu meal, which she's eaten consistently three-to-four times a week, typically consisted of two "Fresco-style" items. During her marathon training, Christine added a single menu item to her meals, fuel that helped her switch gears on the course. Her favorites include:
The other four items on Taco Bell's Drive-Thru Diet Menu are the Fresco Burrito Supreme® Chicken (8g of fat; 340 calories), the Fresco Burrito Supreme® Steak (8g of fat; 330 calories), the Fresco Soft Taco (7g of fat; 180 calories) and the Fresco Grilled Steak Soft Taco (4.5g of fat; 160 calories).
Training videos and race/post-race photos featuring Christine are available at www.drivethrudiet.com.
Taco Bell Corp. ("Taco Bell"), a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., (NYSE: YUM), is the nation's leading Mexican-style quick service restaurant chain. Taco Bell serves tacos, burritos, signature quesadillas, Grilled Stuft Burritos, nachos, and other specialty items such as Crunchwrap Supreme®, in addition to the Why Pay More!® Value Menu. Taco Bell serves more than 36.8 million consumers each week in nearly 5,600 restaurants in the U.S.