Yeah! You read that right! And no, I haven't lost my mind. Let me explain.
A few months ago I was watching the Today Show, as I do most mornings while getting myself together. They were doing a piece on some teacher who lost weight on a strictly McDonald's diet. Of course I had to stop what I was doing and watch this nonsense! I mean, who in their right mind would attempt to make McDonald's a healthy place to lose weight! I was so ready to jump on Facebook to blast this a--hole for claiming McDonald's is a great place to eat and lose weight! But, because I like to know more about the things I bitch about before I socially bitch about them, I went online to watch this guy's documentary. You can watch it here. It's not long, only about 19 minutes.
The guy's name is John Cisna and he is a high school science teacher. He definitely needed to lose weight. He decided to do an experiment and recruit a couple of his students to help. Cisna had the students create a meal plan for him using only food from the McDonald's menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He gave them parameters for the meals: had to be within a certain calorie count each day, had to contain certain nutrients, sodium levels, etc. For 90 days, Cisna ate all of his meals from McDonald's. He also began incorporation exercise into his daily routine. He lost 56 lbs and even lowered his cholesterol levels.
Here's the thing: Cisna isn't trying to say go eat at McDonald's to get healthy. He makes the point that it's about the choices we make when we eat. He didn't just go and arbitrarily grab whatever food he felt like eating for his meals. He had a plan.
The common thought with losing weight is that we need to restrict everything we eat to salads and water. I'm sure you all know that diets which are super restrictive don't work, especially for the long haul. I have always been a champion of eating healthy foods (veggies, fruits, lean meats) and allowing some "naughty" foods here and there. When we are told we can't eat something, man do we want it more! The key is to make smarter choices in our daily diet and then allow some of the junk at times so that we don't deprive ourselves into junk food gluttony.
So how can you incorporate McDonald's into your weight loss program (if you really like the stuff and feel you'll go crazy if you can't have a Big Mac and fries)? Eat healthy about 90% of the time. On the days that you want to meet up with friends at Mickey D's or just feel like driving through the drive-thru, think ahead of time about what you may want. Look to see what the calories and nutrients are. Eat well the rest of the day and get your workout in. Enjoy the meal, slowing down to actually taste and savor the food. No guilt, because guilt will lead to throwing up your hands, feeling like you've failed, and making poor choices again later.
It's all about the choices you make. Make them smart choices so that you can enjoy a little splurge without the guilt!
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