Recently, it was reported in the news that a man from Colo, Iowa lost fifty-six pounds eating McDonalds. What are particularly interesting were his medical test results. This raises the question can you eat healthy eating fast foods and lose weight safely?
John Cisna lost weight eating McDonalds meals for every meal for ninety days losing fifty-six pounds. His test results showed his cholesterol had gone from 249 down to 170. His BMI went from 38 to a much better 30. Clearly, his McDonalds diet worked for him.
My cousin once weighed in at 330 pounds. He decided to go on a diet based on one of his favorite foods, pizza. Everyday, he ordered a large cheese pizza totaling 1200 calories. Some days he would add vegetables to the cheese pizza. He ate a pizza a day for several months, which jump-started his weight loss. After several months and succeeding at losing a great deal of weight, he changed his eating habits to chicken or fish and raw cut up vegetables for every meal. He continued to lose weight until he reached his goal of 200 pounds.
When I asked him why he chose pizza, he said to me that being a single man, alone, he wanted something that was easily assessable and that he liked to eat, and he didn’t want to cook or think about what he was going to eat. It was easy for him. I asked him if he ever got sick of pizza, and he admitted by the end of three months, yes, he was sick of pizza. By that point, he felt so good about his weight loss he knew he could stick to healthier fare with more variety without much effort. The pizza was just a way of learning to eat less (before he could consume a large pizza in one meal) using a food he loved, thus he did not feel deprived.
Mr. Cisna used his diet to teach his biology students a lesson in nutrition. The students had to researched appropriate needs for the body of carbs, fat, and protein and formulate his 2000-calorie a day meals based off of McDonalds menu.
The lesson to all of us is that we have choices. For us all or nothing people, we can learn moderation, and we can learn to change our relationship with food. We all know which foods are healthier for our bodies and which foods are frivolous calories. We can teach ourselves to enjoy a variety of foods, even the foods on most no-no lists by changing our mindset about food.
Deprivation is almost a sure bet to failure in trying to diet and get healthy. I love Aaron’s way of thinking. By weaning ourselves away from foods that add pounds onto our bodies and trading those foods for foods that nourish and empower our bodies, we can lose weight, develop a new relationship with food, build skills that will carry us through difficult moments when we may struggle, and indulge occasionally in foods we normally avoid.
Aaron has shared with me that he lives low carb six days a week. On day seven, he allows himself a “cheat”. It might be donuts or cookies or whatever he chooses. Eating healthy seven days a week with one meal being his cheat meal, Aaron has accomplished his goals of maintaining his weight loss successfully. Most importantly, he is healthy, and he has a beautiful physique. He found his path to managing his diabetes by managing his weight, by exercise, and by changing his mindset.
Remember, he started developing his change by cutting back a little at a time of the foods that were detrimental to his health until he was able to quit them all together except one meal once a week. It’s working for him, and it can work for us too.
Find what works for you. I don’t advocate McDonald meals or eating a pizza a day. The real point is we have choices even if we eat fast foods. Healthy options do exist, and if we stay within certain guidelines meaning eating proper amounts of protein, healthy carbs, and healthy fats, and keeping within certain amount of calories a day, we will lose weight. Cutting out frivolous foods does not mean we will never eat them again. What it comes down to is we take control of the foods we eat and not allow these foods take control of us.
Until we meet again, this is Linda Misleh Wagner, Future Former Fatty.