McDiet Day 4: All The Things That Suck

When you’re on a diet that has restricted calorie counts and specific rules, sacrifices are involved. I’m not going to pretend these are always easy to ignore. This is what I’m not enjoying about my McDonald’s-only diet.

[related title=”The McDiet Challenge” tag=”mcdiet” items=”9″]

Top of the list? I miss having a glass of wine with dinner, which is one of my longer-standing habits. I could actually get away with this and still stay under my 2000-calorie total, but I want to stick to the rule of only having McDonald’s calories entering my mouth. Drinking orange juice from a wine glass is simply not as good as a nice cold sauvignon blanc. Part of me wishes I lived in Germany, where beer is available on the menu (though not wine, as far as I can tell).

I miss eating with other people. A mate rang up earlier in the week and wanted to catch up, but I couldn’t convince him to join me at Macca’s. When my colleagues head out to grab lunch, no-one is going to come to McDonald’s with me. (Actually, renowned takeaway addict and fellow Lifehacker writer Chris Jager did express an interest one day earlier this week, but then he remembered he’d actually brought lunch in that day.)

I miss arriving home from work and knowing that I won’t have to head out again. I’m not big on dining out, but having to eat McDonald’s for dinner means a 10-minute walk there and back every time. I don’t mind the exercise, but I do mind crossing a major thoroughfare in the middle of a heatwave.

I miss pasta with a simple tomato-based sauce. That’s my favourite meal. I will be making that on Monday when this experiment is over.

What I Ate: Day 4

Here’s the day 4 menu, complete with calorie count (calorie-free drinks not included).

Food Calories
Breakfast: Bacon & Egg McMuffin 297
Hash Brown 153
Small orange juice 135
Lunch: McSpicy 468
Small Fries 255
Dinner: Crispy Crunchy Noodle Chicken Salad 366
Total 1674

After breakfast, my meal plans went somewhat awry. Luke Hopewell from Gizmodo eats Mexican food for lunch most days, and this gave me a serious craving for something spicy. So I switched from my original plan of a Chicken ‘n’ Cheese (one of the items on the bargain-priced Loose Change menu) and went with a McSpicy. This wasn’t very logical for two reasons.

Firstly, I’d had the McChamp the day before, and the McSpicy is basically the same thing with added salsa. Secondly, the McSpicy was on the reader poll for what I should eat on Friday, so there was a risk I’d have to eat it two days in a row. But sometimes you just need the fire.

My dinner was supposed to be, predictably, the grilled chicken salad with crunchy noodles. However, the order got messed up and I was ended up the crispy version instead. I took this home to eat and didn’t realise until I got there, so I couldn’t exchange it.

In the end, that didn’t matter — while it’s 100 calories more than the grilled, I had plenty of headroom in my daily total, as you can see. And having the change of meal is something I should welcome. That said, I prefer the grilled version.

Random observations from the fourth day:

What am I going to eat? From early on in yesterday’s poll to vote on what I should have for lunch, there was a clear leader: the Quarter Pounder. The Filet-o-Fish was a popular alternative — either because it was Friday or because people wanted to make me suffer with the blandest and smallest burger on offer — but in the end, a Quarter Pounder it is. I can’t remember the last time I ate one of those.

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