Now this is what I call a dream diet. John Cisna, a school teacher from Iowa, ate only at McDonald’s for three whole months and managed to lose 37 pounds (16 kilograms)! He even made a short documentary on his experiences.
John’s project was inspired by the 2004 documentary film, Supersize Me. It featured an American filmmaker, Morgan Spurlock, who also ate only McDonald’s food for 30 days. At the end of that period, Spurlock reported a drastic deterioration of his physical and psychological health. Which is why John’s findings are almost unbelievable. In spite of eating for a longer period of time at the fast food chain, he reported better health and weight loss. In fact, there has been a large improvement in his blood cholesterol after the three-month period.
How could it be that two experiments, so similar to each other, reported such different results? Simple. John followed a much smarter plan that Spurlock did. John and his team of students formulated a plan that would allow him to eat fast food and still stay healthy. “I can eat any food at McDonald’s I want as long as I’m smart for the rest of the day with what I balance it out with,” he said.
Photo: video caption
So for 90 days, John ate at McDonald’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But he was strict about daily nutritional limitations – he stuck to 2,000 calories a day. He also tried to stay close to the recommended daily allowances for nutrients like proteins, carbohydrates, fat and cholesterol. Using the McDonald’s nutritional information provided online, John and his students constructed daily meal plans. At breakfast, he ate two egg white delights, a bowl of maple oatmeal and one percent milk. For lunch, he stuck to salads, and splurged at dinner time with the traditional value meals.
“So this isn’t something where you say, ‘well he went to McDonald’s and he only had the salads. No, I had the Big Macs, the quarter pounders with cheese. I had sundaes, I had ice creams cones,” he said. John was also smarter about exercise. While Spurlock abandoned his daily work-out routine, John began to walk for 45 minutes every day. At the end of the 90 days, he reported that his weight dropped by 37 pounds and his cholesterol went from 249 to 170.
Photo: video caption
He isn’t the least bit surprised about the weight loss, because he wasn’t exercising or watching his calories before. But he is certainly surprised that his blood is better, now that he is getting the required amounts of nutrients.
The best part about the experiment – he got all the McDonald’s meals for free! The owner of a local franchise was so interested to see the results that he offered John meals at no charge for three months.
I think that John has made a very important point with his 90-day experiment. You can’t just blame fast food or aerated drinks for rising obesity rates. It’s all about choices. According to John, “The point behind this documentary is, ‘Hey, it’s a choice!’”
“It’s our choices that make us fat, not McDonald’s.” Well said, John, well said.