The McDonald’s diet

McDonalds Diet

Before and after 3 months of eating 2000 calories/day at McDonald’s

The food snobs and nutrition police are certainly didn’t welcome this news.  An Iowa high school teacher lost 37 pounds in 3 months eating nothing but McDonald’s food.  Wasn’t McDonald’s food supposed to supersize people?

Well, only if you gorge on calories.  In the propaganda documentary film “Supersize Me”, the star-writer-director supposedly proved that eating McDonald’s food every day would cause weight gain and poor health.  So how is it possible someone actually lost almost 40 lbs eating at McDonalds?

Answer: it’s the calories, stupid.

I’m not implying that you are stupid.  No, that honor goes to the “Supersize Me” film and the assorted food elitists who jumped on that bandwagon, concluding that the film proved that fast food was inherently unhealthy.  They’ll look for any reason to disparage fast food, even if they have to make it up.

The actor-writer-director of SuperSize Me deliberately overate calories, which will always eventually result in weight gain.  No matter what you eat.  You could overeat Ben ‘n Jerry’s ice cream or saintly Chipotle burritos or organic potato chips from Whole Foods or locally made granola.  It doesn’t matter.  It’s the calories.

John Cisna, the newly slimmed down Iowa school teacher, reportedly ate a variety of foods from the McDonald’s menu, but limited his total intake to 2000 calories a day.  And predictably, his weight loss also caused a drop in blood cholesterol.  When overweight people lose weight, cholesterol typically drops, blood pressure goes down and glucose control improves.  The Kansas professor who went on the 1800 calorie Twinkie diet has similar results, even though he was eating mostly junk food.

Actually using a fast food restaurant to help control calories is nothing new.  Subway’s famous Jared lost weight and became rich and famous eating only Subway sandwiches.  There are probably other people who have successfully used this technique who aren’t written up in the main stream media.  Why fast food?  Standardized portions make it easy for the companies to give fairly accurate information about calories.  The food is strictly portioned out, making it easy for someone to look at the online menu listings and put together a day’s worth of food that meets the calorie limits.  McDonald’s has a handy Meal Builder tool online which makes the process easier.

How healthy is it?  Mr. Cisna tried to pick a variety of foods to improve nutritional balance, but he also included some desserts.  Whether you go for Subway, McDonald’s, Wendy’s or some other fast food restaurant (or a combination of several), there are menu items like fruit, yogurt, salads, vegetables on sandwiches, fruit juices, grilled (not fried) meats and so forth.  The choices are up to you.  The restaurant staff can’t force people to make healthy choices, despite what nutrition police want to think.

When it comes to weight loss, there are probably as many ways to stick to a low calorie diet as their are dieters.  Using fast food restaurants has a lot of benefits:

  • portion control
  • no leftovers
  • convenient
  • no cooking involved, no cleaning up, no grocery shopping

The only possible drawback would be lack of variety, but again, it’s up to the dieter to make the choices.   There is some thought that too much flavor variety overstimulates tastebuds and makes people eat more than they should.  For some people (like Subway’s Jared), lack of variety was actually helpful, perhaps proving that point.

Should you go on a McDonald’s diet?  Well, the first consideration is whether you like McDonald’s food.  Next is whether you’re committed to ordering a variety of foods off the menu, not just fries and cheeseburgers.  Finally, whichever restaurant(s) you might incorporate into your diet plan, you have to research the calories and plan to stick to a limit.  The restaurant can’t make you do that.


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