Day 1: When you tell people that you're going on a McDonald's-only diet, they're more than willing to offer advice, suggesting which items you should skip and which foods are a good choice. The problem is that a lot of it is misinformed.
Unsolicited advice that has been offered to me since I announced this diet plan:
- You should skip the fries at all times.
- You can't have any dressing on the salad.
- You'll have to remove the buns and just eat the meat from the burgers.
- You won't possibly feel full even after eating all that food.
- You're going to feel extremely ill really quickly.
The reality is rather different.
What I Ate: Day 1
Here's my day 1 menu, complete with calorie count. (I'd normally favour using kilojoules, but the original US experiment used calories so I'm sticking with that.)
|Breakfast: Bacon & Egg McMuffin||297|
|Small orange juice||135|
|Lunch: Big Mac||493|
|Dinner: Crispy Noodle Grilled Chicken Salad||255|
For many people, the big source of shock in this menu would be that I wasn't automatically heading for nothing but salads and water. I had a hash brown and a McMuffin at breakfast. I ate fries and a big Mac for lunch. I even had an orange juice. (Yes, I know, fruit juice isn't as good as fruit. But hey, vitamin C and variety.)
We're so used to the idea of fast food being loaded with calories that we constantly forget the key thing: it's the total that you consume each day that matters. You can indulge in more calorie-laden stuff as long as you strike a balance with other elements and keep track. With all those selections, I still only consumed 1616 calories — well below my target of 2000 for the day.
When I made the meal plan, I actually allowed for the possibility that I might want to eat something else — a cheeseburger, say — at my evening meal if I still felt hungry. But I didn't. That dinner-time salad filled me up entirely, even after my 45-minute exercise session for the day. (I did go for the lower-calorie grilled option, but I didn't skip the noodles. And again, I didn't need to.)
So Day 1 went fine, but I know it will get harder. There will be less novelty in the whole experience on Day 2, and quite a few of the same foods will recur. I'll take it as it comes.
Random observations from the first day:
Super-sizing is still a thing. When I ordered my breakfast, my server immediately asked: "Would you like to make that a large orange juice?" No thanks.
I need to allow time for lunch queues. Our office is in Circular Quay, it's school holidays, everyone is out enjoying the sunshine. So this was the lunchtime queue I encountered (and this is only half the counter area):
I'll try and get down there earlier today to avoid the hassle.
Hints? Thoughts? Food recommendations? Share them in the comments.