McDiet Day 2: I’m Not Hungry, But I Am Poorer

Despite an apparent widespread belief that there’s no way I could possibly feel full while eating nothing but a calorie-controlled diet of food entirely from McDonald’s, hunger has not been an issue. At no point has my stomach felt unacceptably empty. My wallet? That’s another story.

This diet has been costing me around $25 a day, and that’s going to stay consistent throughout the week. Sure, you can spend a lot more than that dining out, but as a man who has proved more than once that you can eat OK on $25 a week, it seems a slightly indecent amount of money.

What’s particularly irritating is that the healthier options are often more expensive. I really enjoy the grilled crispy noodle chicken salad, but it costs $7.95 on its own. For that amount, you can get a small value meal, including a burger, fries and a drink (water or a low-calorie soft drink, obviously).

I like the salad very much , but many consumers are going to choose the combo because it has “more stuff”. That leads to waistlines having more stuff too. (That said, you do have the option of subbing in the basic garden salad and water with a value meal, though the pricing structure varies slightly.)

What I Ate: Day 2

Here’s the day 2 menu, complete with calorie count.

Food Calories
Breakfast: English McMuffin 148
Vegemite 9
Whipped Butter 81
Lunch: Angus McOz 643
Small Fries 255
Dinner: Grilled Crispy Noodle Chicken Salad 255
Total 1403

The reason the calorie count is so ridiculously low (I’m aiming for 2000 a day, after all) is that I went with the lowest-calorie option on the McDonald’s breakfast menu: the English McMuffin. Even with whipped butter and vegemite, that comes in at just 238 calories. Vegemite on toast is something I quite often eat for breakfast in my normal diet, on those days when muesli just doesn’t seem appealing, so I found this quite satisfactory. I plated it up, but let’s face it: when you have Vegemite, black coffee and white crockery, there’s not a lot of variety happening.

I had originally planned to have a garden salad with lunch, but I genuinely didn’t feel that hungry, and the Angus McOz has a fair selection of vegetables on it anyway. It’s one of the slightly more calorific burgers, but given my light breakfast, that wasn’t a problem.

Come dinner time, I could easily have indulged in a cheeseburger or a serving of fries without going anywhere near my target, but I was full after eating the main salad.

Random observations from the second day:

My local McDonald’s is going to think I’m strange. Exactly the same staff were working the dinner shift on Day 2, and I ordered exactly the same meal. This made me weirdly self-conscious, so I decided to take my salad home rather than eat it on site. Downside: couldn’t enjoy the free Macca’s air conditioning. Upside: carrying the salad back to my place meant the ingredients were mixed much more thoroughly.

The vexed question of nutrition. For everyone who has been wondering and discussing this in the comments on other posts in this series: tomorrow, I’ll discuss the sodium, fat and protein challenges this diet presents. I’ll also give everyone the chance to vote on what I eat for one of my meals.

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