Anyone who watched Morgan Spurlock’s groundbreaking documentary Super Size Me — where he ate nothing but McDonald’s for a month and saw his health deteriorate — can tell you that there seems to be a direct proportion between how much McDonald’s you eat and how much weight you gain. But one Iowa science teacher ate a McDonald’s diet for three months straight, and lost weight.
John Cisna, who made a documentary about his experiment, ate three meals per day at his local McDonald’s, but, as opposed to Spurlock, who ate most of his meals "Super-Sized," Cisna stuck to a strict 2,000-calorie-per-day diet and hewed as closely as possible to recommended dietary allowances for fat calories, protein, carbohydrates, and cholesterol. But that doesn’t mean he ate only salads; his usual breakfast would be two Egg White Delights, oatmeal, and milk; lunch was usually a salad; and he’d have a value meal for dinner. He also boosted his exercise regimen, walking for 45 minutes per day.
By the 90th day of his experiment, Cisna had lost 37 pounds, and his cholesterol dropped from 249 to 170.
So what’s the lesson here? It certainly isn’t to eat more McDonald’s; it’s to just make sure that what you do eat, no matter where you are, is healthy and that you don’t go overboard. And even if McDonald’s is your only option, if you make healthy choices it’s not going to kill you.