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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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McDonald's Diet

Did you hear about the guy who has lost 85 pounds by eating nothing but McDonald's for 6 months? His name is Chris Coleson and he is a 42 year old man from Virginia. He started out at 278 pounds and got down to 199 pounds in 6 months by eating two meals every day at McDonald's. He reportedly doesn't eat breakfast or snacks, so those two meals were the only food he ate. He had grilled chicken salads, wraps, apples without the caramel, and occasional hamburgers. He did not have french fries, Big Macs, fried chicken, or shakes. I saw him being interviewed the other day on The Today Show, and he said he just decided to do this on his own and McDonald's corporate had nothing to do with it.

Jared made losing weight by eating fast food (Subway) popular many years ago, but how healthy is it? I think it depends on what you choose, of course. You can get salads, lean meats (grilled chicken, turkey breast, etc.), sliced tomatoes on sandwiches, and sides of fruit at many fast food/sub places. But it is still not enough of the foods we want to fill our bodies with. Where are the whole grains? While some do offer whole grain breads, many do not. All too often sauces and mayo are added to sandwiches and the vegetables they do offer are covered in dressing, mayo, or deep fried. And the fruit is paired with high sugar dippers.

I applaud the fast food giants for offering healthier options. For those people eating at fast food restaurants occasionally, they can find a decent meal. However, if you are eating out often, you are going to be hard pressed to get at least 3 servings of whole grains, 9 servings of fruits and vegetables, 3 servings of low fat dairy, and lean meats. That is without getting extremely burned out on grilled chicken salads and apple slices.

Bottom line
You can find some healthy choices at fast food restaurants, but don't try to eat fast food every day or twice a day. Pack a lunch or cook at home to get better nutritional quality.

Photo courtesy of trungson
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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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