Iowa Teacher Loses 37 Pounds on McDonald’s Diet

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Could eating at McDonald’s become the next weight-loss fad?

In a recent experiment, John Cisna, a science teacher in Ankeny, Iowa, lost 37 pounds after dining at the fast-food chain for 90 days straight. His cholesterol dropped from 279 to 170, he said.

The purpose of a documentary he made about the experiment was to prove a point: “It’s our choices that make us fat, not McDonald’s,” he told KCCI.

Over the three-month period, Cisna was limited to 2,000 calories per day. The meal plan, which was designed by three of his students, was closely aligned to the recommended dietary allowances. He typically had two Egg White Delights, a bowl of maple oatmeal and a glass of 1 percent milk for breakfast, salad for lunch and a value meal for dinner, reports KCCI.

“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 cream cones,” Cisna said. He also exercised for 45 minutes each day, which he admitted to not doing before the experiment started.

The experiment painted a much brighter picture than that of the “Super Size Me” documentary released in 2004, in which Morgan Spurlock consumed about 5,000 calories daily for 30 days by eating McDonald’s for each meal. And every item from the menu was selected at least once. The results were not pretty. He said he experienced poor health and rapid weight gain.

Since then, McDonald’s has added healthier options to the menu.

Does this experiment change the way you view fast food? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

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Comments & discussion

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  • Bill D

    2000 calories is 2000 calories. It’s not just about the calories, it’s about the nutritious makeup of thse calories. If he’d eaten 2000 calories of twinkies he’d still have lost weight but would you consider him healthy? It’s about nutrition density versus calories. i’d like to see his cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. He’s well on his way to having a stroke, weight loss or no weight loss. His body did not get the nutrients it needed, only empty calories. You do a disservice to those oout there gullible enough to read this and looking for any reason to eat crap. He’d have been better off eating 200calories of leafy and green vegetables.

    • Alexander Bell

      Did you read the article?
      “His cholesterol dropped from 279 to 170.”
      “He typically had…salad for lunch…”
      Take the fast food rage someplace else.

      • Bill D

        Fast food rage? How about crap food? Good on him if he ate mostly salad. That’s not what McD’s is known for. Gee, I ate a salad at McD’s, therefore McD’s is good. No, SALAD is good. If McD’s served only salads I’d agree with you. If anything it proves my point. Eat your veggies and ignore the other crap. How many people do that? Rage has nothing to do with it. If you wanna eat crap go ahead. Lose some weight, “improve” your health if that’s what you think you’re doing. Come see me after your stroke. You’re focusing on the typical media BS about BP or BS as a single factor. Are you seriously contending that just because you have a “normal” BP/BS you can forget about the effact you are having over the long term by eating sugar laced, saturated fat garbage? Sure, maybe McD’s was better that what he was eating before (God help him no doctor can), but over time he’ll be right back to square one if he veers from that salad. How much crap dressing did he put on it? What were his COMPLETE labs before and after McD’s? The story is incomplete. My wife has terrible BP and eats vegetarian. Does that mean McD’s would help her? It would only make it worse. Markers such as BP, blood sugar, triglycerides, the condition of your veins and arteries, blood platelt counts etc…. it ALL makes up your health profile. To focus on one or two determinants is inaccurate and dangerous. Just because your old car has two new tires doesn’t mean it’s safe to drive and is going to last much longer. Sounds to me like you’re looking for an excuse to eat garbage. Glad Im not your doctor because I’d drop you. If you don’t care about your health why should I? No wonder the health care industry is in shambles.

  • dragon

    All this proves is that any reasonably healthy person that limits calorie intake and starts to exercise for 45 minutes a day will lose weight. This is not an excuse to eat fast food daily. This eating plan would have been much better if the food was prepared fresh at home and not at Mcdonald’s

  • Jared Young

    lost weight because of the lack of sugar