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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 8:43 EDT

Can An All McDonald’s Diet Lead To Weight Loss?

January 7, 2014

Bryan P. Carpender for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online

If you eat McDonald’s every day for ninety days, can you actually lose weight? A teacher in Iowa wanted to test that theory – and the results may surprise you.

John Cisna teaches theory science at Colo-Nesco High School. He came up with an interesting experiment this past fall, and had three of his students help him. “I can eat any food at McDonald’s (that) I want as long as I’m smart for the rest of the day with what I balance it out with,” Cisna said. With that in mind, they set out to test that theory.

Cisna approached the owner of a local McDonald’s and proposed a 90-day experiment where he would eat McDonald’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The local franchise restaurant owner was interested enough in the idea that he agreed to provide the ninety days’ worth of meals to Cisna at no charge.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner at McDonald’s for ninety days? That’s a whole lotta Mickey D’s. But Cisna asked his students to help him take a more balanced approach – literally.

The students were tasked with using McDonald’s online nutritional information to construct daily meals for their teacher that provided some kind of balanced diet. He imposed strict nutritional limitations on their plan, forcing them to adhere to 2,000 calories per day.

The meals they designed also had to provide the recommended dietary allowances of protein, carbohydrates, fats and cholesterol. That meant that Cisna wasn’t eating two sausage McGriddles for breakfast every day. Instead, a typical breakfast would be two Egg White Delight McMuffins at 250 calories each, along with a bowl of maple oatmeal and 1 percent milk.

Unlike the thousands of people who enjoy a Big Mac Value Meal for lunch, Cisna’s students chose a sensible salad instead. His dinner would then commonly be one of the traditional value meals.

“So this isn’t something where you say ‘well he went to McDonalds and he only had the salads. No, I had the Big Macs, the quarter pounders with cheese. I had sundaes, I had ice cream cones,” he said. Balance truly is key.

After seeing Morgan Spurlock’s award-winning 2004 documentary Super Size Me, Cisna was inspired to make his own amateur documentary and see if he could achieve drastically different results. It appears he succeeded.

By combining this rigorously balanced diet with 45 minutes of walking every day of the ninety day experiment, Cisna saw some dramatic results: he lost 37 pounds and saw his cholesterol drop from 249 to 170.

Cisna’s weight loss wasn’t all that surprising. By his own admission, he wasn’t eating right, watching his daily caloric intake, exercising regularly prior to the experiment.

“The point behind this documentary is, ‘Hey, it’s (a) choice. We all have choices. It’s our choices that make us fat, not McDonald’s,” he said. “I can eat any food at McDonald’s (that) I want as long as I’m smart for the rest of the day with what I balance it out with.”

Cisna’s before and after photos tell the story. (NOTE: Cisna’s post-experiment results photo is on the left, while his “before” photo is on the right, thus making it an “after & before” comparison)

The moral of this story is not that you should eat more meals at McDonald’s. Rather, when you have your daily nutrition dialed in and incorporate exercise, you can have a positive impact on your overall health, inside and out.

You can even have fries with that – just not at every meal.


Source: Bryan P. Carpender for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online