Science Teacher Loses 37 Pounds After Eating Only McDonald’s Food For 90 Days

Remember that documentary Super Size Me? You likely do — the one where filmmaker Morgan Spurlock ate only McDonald’s for a month, gained a bunch of weight and basically felt like crap? A science teacher in Iowa decided to basically redo that experiment, but this time he balanced out his only Mickey D’s diet very carefully and ended up losing 37 pounds in 90 days. And of course, he made a documentary about it as well.

It’s probably a good idea to put the “Don’t try this at home” disclaimer on the whole story because it sounds like the science teacher and his students put a lot of work into making sure that he followed strict guidelines while eating McDonalds, reports KCCI News.

“I can eat any food at McDonald’s (that) I want as long as I’m smart for the rest of the day with what I balance it out with,” the teacher explained.

He and three of his students laid out strict daily nutritional limits of 2,000 calories per day and tried to stick with recommended dietary allowances for things like carbohydrates, proteins, fat calories, cholesterol.

It also helped out the experiment that a local franchise owner agreed to provide all 90 days of three meals per day for free, just because he was interested in how the whole thing would shake out.

The students put together their teacher’s meals using the guidelines they’d come up with together, and it sounds like his days were somewhat varied. For example, if he had a breakfast of two egg white delights, oatmeal and 1 percent meal, he’d have a salad for lunch and then eat off the value meal for dinner.

“So this isn’t something where you say ‘well he went to McDonald’s and he only had the salads. No, I had the Big Macs, the quarter pounders with cheese. I had sundaes, I had ice cream cones,” he said.

Added in to all that McDonald’s was exercise — he started walking 45 minutes a day. By the end of the trial, he’d shed 37 pounds, he says, and his cholesterol dropped from 249 to 170.

So is McDonald’s some kind of magical diet place, have we been all wrong about fast food? Well, no. It’s all about paying attention to what you eat.

“The point behind this documentary is, ‘Hey, it’s (a) choice. We all have choices. It’s our choices that make us fat not McDonald’s,” he said.

Science teacher creates documentary based on McDonald’s diet [KCCI]

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  1. SuperSpeedBump says:

    I think it’s important to note that the menu at McDonalds has changed quite a bit since Super Size Me was released. Most notably, they are no longer pushing the Super Size option, they’ve added “healthier” options, and they’ve stopped trying to hide their product’s nutritional information. If it wasn’t for documentaries like Super Size Me, those options would likely not be available, which would make this teacher’s experiment a whole lot harder.

    Additionally, I think that this 1 case has some issues with it’s implementation of the scientific method. For example, the teacher received all of his food for free. This skews the experiment a lot as many Americans have income restrictions that would not allow them to make a healthier choice when it comes to choosing their food. And it would have been nice to see this experiment done without the extra daily exercise, and then again with the extra daily exercise. This would better show the impact of exercise + diet compared to just diet.

  2. DaddyBee says:

    This experiment should not be compared to Super Size Me, as the parameters are almost completely different in each case.

    Spurlock did not exercise, and did not plan out his meals according to healthy objectives. His experiment attempted to duplicate the McDonalds lifestyle – the average person who eats mcdonalds often does not exercise, and doesn’t try to mix and match meals for the most healthy effect.

    What this science teacher did is interesting, but it is not a redo of Super Size Me, and shouldn’t be seen as such.

  3. AdamStew82 says:

    This basically just shows that it really doesn’t matter WHAT you eat. It’s all about HOW MUCH. Just staying within the nutritional maximums and minimums to be healthy, is enough for a person to manage their weight.

    You can lose weight eating nothing but snickers bars and mountain dew. Calories consumed < Calories burned = Weight Loss. It matters not if that was 2000 calories worth of celery or 2000 calories worth of lard.

    The average human male, of a healthy weight and average physical activity, will burn about 2000 calories a day. If that average male consume 2000 calories or less a day, he will lose weight until you get to a healthy weight.

    Each person is different…different heights, body types, gender, and specific health issues will all play a role in the correct caloric intake. A doctor or nutritionist will be qualified to tell you how much you should be eating.

    • BikerGeek79 says:

      That’s not only not true, but dangerous.

      Eating, as you say, nothing but snickers bars and mountain dew would play havoc on your body’s systems. You need balance in your diet. It’s not just as simple as “Calories consumed < Calories burned = Weight Loss."

      Take for instance the Atkins diet, or it's root method for success: Ketosis. That's where you eat no carbs whatsoever and your body will shift over to burning fat and protein for energy. Trouble is, it's incredibly hard on the liver and kidneys if you do it long-term.

      Also, your body can survive and pack on plenty of pounds eating < 2000 calories a day. Your body switches to starvation mode and saves anything you eat. You end up feeling lethargic and strung-out, and you gain weight. It's an evolutionary holdover so that you didn't starve and die when food was scarce.

      Thirdly, if you'd read the article you'd have seen that it was EXACTLY about WHAT you ate. The teacher and his students carefully planned out a diet so he met nutritional guidelines. The fact that burgers and ice cream fell within those guidelines just proves that there's some flexibility there, but he didn't just eat whatever he wanted as long as it added up to 2000 cals.