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Man loses 56 pounds after eating only McDonald's for six months

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Man loses 56 pounds after eating only McDonald's for six months

Old 07-13-16, 09:29 AM
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Seattle Forrest
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Man loses 56 pounds after eating only McDonald's for six months

If anybody has any doubts that weight (loss, gain, maintenance) has everything to do with calories and nothing to do with woo like what kind of calories, what hour of the day they're eaten, or how they're justified, this should put all doubt to rest. We're not talking about nutrition, and it's still important to have a balanced diet; the point is that meat doesn't make you fat, processed food doesn't make you fat, carbs don't make you fat, not "eating clean" doesn't make you fat. Eating more calories than you burn makes you fat. Full stop.

John Cisna, a high school science teacher in Colo, Iowa, who gained national attention for his experiment, says he has lost 56 pounds, lowered his cholesterol and lost a total of 21 inches off his chest, waist and hips while dining only at the fast food emporium.

...

As Cisna first told TODAY in January, he followed a 2,000 calorie diet, using the daily recommended allowances for carbohydrates, proteins, sugar and fat; and he walked 45 minutes a day.

Man loses 56 pounds after eating only McDonald's for six months - TODAY.com
I'd expect a diet like that to kill you, but the article points out a big improvement in "bad cholesterol" levels. Apparently obesity is a bigger risk factor than McDonalds.

We should all be eating a balanced diet, and we're cyclists here so we should be eating to fuel our exercise.
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Old 07-13-16, 09:38 AM
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He likely lost his will to eat after a couple of days .
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Old 07-13-16, 09:45 AM
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not exactly a robust data set.

basing any conclusions on the results of ONE person's dietary regimen is pretty unscientific.
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Old 07-13-16, 12:18 PM
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Good thing no one is doing that.

People have known for a long time that maintaining a healthy weight is 100 % to do with calories, we didn't learn it from McDonald's guy. His story should dispel any doubt among the peanut gallery.
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Old 07-13-16, 12:34 PM
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A man lost weight while carefully monitoring what he ate. Stop the presses.


This certainly does not prove that weight loss is 100% dependent on calorie-counting. It shows that closely monitoring what you eat every day helps you stop over-eating and lose weight.
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Old 07-13-16, 12:43 PM
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Diet and exercise? No way people are going to go for this. Someone needs to invent a fat-absorbing couch. They'd make billions.
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Old 07-13-16, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by GoWolfpack View Post
A man lost weight while carefully monitoring what he ate. Stop the presses. This certainly does not prove that weight loss is 100% dependent on calorie-counting. It shows that closely monitoring what you eat every day helps you stop over-eating and lose weight.
Yeah, I don't see what the big deal is. Although I think he did it to show that you can also have a semi-sensible diet with McDonald's. He set out to show that "Supersize Me" was a bit unfair. And I think that he did that. Not an ideal place to go for a diet, but given the proper tools he showed that it can be done. Had to laugh to read that the first non-McDonald's meal he was looking forward to was fish and some rice pilaf.
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Old 07-13-16, 12:46 PM
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The story says he consumed 2000 calories /day from McDonalds . You can eat anything you want but at the end of the day it all comes down to the amount of calorie consume . Yes , in order to lose weight you must count the amount of calorie consume each day .
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Old 07-13-16, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by GoWolfpack View Post
This certainly does not prove that weight loss is 100% dependent on calorie-counting. It shows that closely monitoring what you eat every day helps you stop over-eating and lose weight.
Nobody claimed otherwise. Weight loss is 100 % dependent on eating fewer calories than you burn. You don't have to count them to do that.

Originally Posted by ptempel View Post
Yeah, I don't see what the big deal is.
Sadly, there are a lot of myths about how weight works in people. There are a lot of folks who want to lose weight and there's a lot of confusion about how to do it. People waste (get it?) a lot of money on woo. People follow a lot of dumb and occasionally dangerous diets. People think weight loss requires things like:
  • Don't eat sugars, both natural (no apples or raspberries) or artificial, but eat all the butter you want
  • You have to avoid all processed foods to lose weight
  • You can't eat anything after 7 pm
  • Etc
I agree this is nothing earth shattering. I'm simply pointing out that the earth isn't flat.
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Old 07-13-16, 03:44 PM
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IMO this is very cool. It was a kids' science experiment with the teacher as subject. Here's the video:

It includes an ersatz Mark Twain quote:
"If you don't read the internet you are uninformed.
If you do read the internet you are misinformed."
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Old 07-13-16, 05:11 PM
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Weight loss is 100 % dependent on eating fewer calories than you burn.

Do you discount out of hand the numerous stories of people losing weight while eating 4000 or more calories per day of fats and proteins?
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Old 07-13-16, 05:59 PM
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Lol at this thread.

"My single person example is better than your single person example."
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Old 07-13-16, 06:46 PM
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It's a misleading premise. Because you can lose weight on 2000 calories of junk food has nothing to do with how much weight you might lose eating 2001+ calories of real food. And I agree that he probably lost his will to eat after a few meals, and probably struggled to keep down more than 1000 calories per day.
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Old 07-13-16, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by GoWolfpack View Post
Do you discount out of hand the numerous stories of people losing weight while eating 4000 or more calories per day of fats and proteins?
What stories?

As to Cisna, one of the key factors was he walked 45 minutes a day. He was well and truly in calorie deficit.
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Old 07-14-16, 01:15 AM
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A McDonald's big Mac meal with large coke and fries is 1359 calories...a refill of coke will get you up over 1500.

I generally get the smaller burgers and large fries, and I'm still hungry afterwards. I start stealing my kids' food...

Conclusion: 2000 calories a day from McDonald's must have left this guy starving.

A normal breakfast, lunch, and dinner order at McDonalds probably totals 3500 calories or more...that's why it makes people fat: junk food doesn't fill you up as well as real food.

Eat 2 whole Apples (about 100 calories each) back to back and you'll likely feek as full as that 1350 big Mac meal.
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Old 07-14-16, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Northwestrider View Post
He likely lost his will to eat after a couple of days .
This is quite possible.

Some people might actually lose the will to live, especially if there was no other choice.

Industrial waste, repackaged as happy meals, Bon Appétit !
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Old 07-14-16, 09:17 AM
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I seem to remember hearing about a guy who lost a bunch of weight (50 pounds?) on a strict regimen of Twinkies. Same story: keep the caloric input down to 2,000 calories a day (or whatever is appropriate for the individual), and you lose weight.


To be fair, though, there's reasons to go for the fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc.:
1. The plant-based diet fills you up, so you don't have to rely on willpower.
2. It's probably healthier over the long term.
3. After one has changed their diet, it's easier to stick to.
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Old 07-14-16, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by sprince View Post
It's a misleading premise. Because you can lose weight on 2000 calories of junk food has nothing to do with how much weight you might lose eating 2001+ calories of real food.
For weight purposes, 100 calories of junk food = 100 calories of real food. It's like how $100 that you made at work have the same buying power as $100 you won in a bet.
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Old 07-14-16, 09:36 AM
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I think under the watchful eye of the media and adding in exercise, which I am sure involved drinking lot's of water and not to mention the fear of failing, most anyone would lose weight.

I think it was a nice twist to do it using McDonald's and the guy probably got some under the table payoff too. Not matter how you slice it, a calorie is a calorie. There are no good/bad calories once they're digested and in your system.

Win/Win!
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Old 07-14-16, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
To be fair, though, there's reasons to go for the fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc.:
1. The plant-based diet fills you up, so you don't have to rely on willpower.
2. It's probably healthier over the long term.
3. After one has changed their diet, it's easier to stick to.
Absolutely true. Nobody should do the McDonald's diet. It's good that one person did it as an experiment and to demonstrate a long-known truth that a lot of people (including in this thread) don't understand. But that's all it was. Don't try this at home.

People should eat nutrient-dense foods, a balanced and mostly healthy diet. They should also have a few snacks in moderation.
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Old 07-14-16, 10:04 AM
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There are several dozen studies published on pubmed that seem to disagree with most of what you've stated in this thread.

This series compiles most of them.
Calorie Cage Match! Sugar (Sucrose) Vs. Protein And Honey (There Is No Such Thing As A ?Calorie?, Part VI)

A calorie is not a calorie when you eat it at a different time of day.
A calorie is not a calorie when you eat it in a differently processed form.
A calorie is not a calorie when you eat it as a wholly different food.
A calorie is not a calorie when you eat it as protein, instead of carbohydrate or fat.
Controlled weight-loss studies do not produce results consistent with “calorie math”.
Calorie math doesn’t work for weight gain or weight loss.
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Old 07-14-16, 10:18 AM
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^ That site looks like quackery.
Quote: "Calorie counts on food eaten away from home are off by over 10%, with the lowest-calorie and most “healthy” items most likely to be underreported."
That doesn't say 100 calories of this equal 200 calories of that. It says there's some uncertainty in how many calories you're eating, which is news to nobody.
Quote: "Even when cooking at home, our estimates of portion size and calorie content, both immediate and retrospective, are wildly inaccurate: the average error exceeds 50%."
Again, this does not invalidate "calories in, calories out."This is really the same thing as the previous quote. Except they've thrown in a number, based on nothing, because it's scary.
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Old 07-14-16, 10:30 AM
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Maybe Wendy's, Burger King and Taco Bell should conduct similar studies, LOL

Probably the least significant part of this so called "experiment" was the brand of food.
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Old 07-14-16, 11:11 AM
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The diet followed in this experiment was nothing more or less than the small portions diet. He was probably hungry the first couple of weeks, until his system adapted to eating less food at any one time. If one were to watch the video, one would learn that he likes McDonalds food (still) and still eats breakfast there every day. He loves their french fries. His students made sure to give him a serving of french fries every day. That little bag of french fries in the video is pretty small! He did get a small financial benefit because when that McDonalds manager became aware of what he was doing, he got all his food there for free. Not that it had anything to do with the experiment: he had already committed to doing the experiment with his students. One wonders what the total food cost for the 6 months was.

A big reason for doing the experiment at McDonalds was that the the vertically integrated production of the food there is well controlled. McDonalds is thus able to publish reasonably exact nutrient profiles for every serving on the whole menu. And apparently they're fairly honest about it or the experiment wouldn't have worked.
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Old 07-14-16, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
^ That site looks like quackery.
It does, however the studies linked in each article do not.

This seems to refute one of the very first things you wrote in this thread, study linked from the site above:

Greater weight loss and hormonal changes after 6 months diet with carbohydrates eaten mostly at dinner. - PubMed - NCBI
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