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.

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.


    quarter pounder - gotta go the double, add bacon then lettuce

    makes a great burger awesome

    NO PICKLES, and diet coke....

      I was right there with you until you put the lettuce on...... why add empty calories like that to such a wonderful creation?

        gives me something to tell my girlfriend to get her off my back....! hey I didn't completely ruin it right... no tomato?

        i've been banned from doing the One Pounder anymore... miss that burger :-(

        Where else would you get your vitamin L?

          vitamin L????? BARP!!! that was a damn sweet burger.... lunchtime inspiration!

    i hope you meant your favourite meal is pasta with a TOMATO-BASED sauce, and not actual 'tomato sauce'

      I did indeed. Thought the word 'simple' made that clear, but will edit to avoid doubt.

    apologies for my ignorance... is there a exercise plan (or a pedometer) calculating what you are burning off?
    It is a bit bias just to eat McDs and not do anything to burn off (taking extreme)
    Can you at least state how much you walk to and from McD, any other walks at all, if you drive to work, etc.

    The extreme sense of this would be: working from home, only getting into a car to a Maccas Drive thru. and the only form of socialising being online gaming/facebook.

    Moderate: you walk/catch public transport; work all day, socialise with people (doing some form of activity that requires any form of movement).

    - Good luck health wise.

      Read the originating article, your answers are in there.

        Thanks mate... so far exercise wise, I gathered you walk to maccas. and probably doing the 45min of "exercise" based on rereading your first article (for a week, i wouldnt even try crossfit - just pass the meds or give me a Dr's certificate for no stress or pressure by the boss)
        So again, what is the exercise you are doing? - legit question.

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