Everything I learned about losing weight, I learned at McDonald’s

A couple of weeks before I started this blog I took a trip to my local McDonald’s for a McRib.

Between bites of the elusive pork rib-shaped patty, I read over the nutritional guide provided by McDonald’s for its customers.

Not surprisingly, many of the sandwiches weren’t easily incorporated into a healthy diet — a burger, fries and a Coke can suck up nearly all of one’s daily calorie allotment if you get the right wrong things. Surprisingly, there was some legit information to be taken from the guide as well.

Overall, I read that a person should eat, on average, three 600-calorie meals and two 100-calorie snacks per day.  I’ve been asked by people what diet plan I’m following, and I’ll happily tell them I’m on the McDonald’s plan, though I have altered it a bit.

I try to start my day with a few glasses of water, just to get everything in there moving around. I’ll border on giving a little too much information in saying that you really know what you’re eating once it makes its way out.

I’ve noticed the difference fruits and vegetables have on my body in comparison to chicken nuggets and cheeseburgers. So what am I eating? Fruits (grapefruit, apples, bananas, grapes, pomegranate), vegetables (carrots and celery sticks, broccoli, and whatever veggies Chef Brian puts in the recipes) and nuts (one handful of almonds each day). I finish each day off with a 100-calorie dark chocolate bar from Trader Joe’s.

I’m not counting calories because I don’t care about calories. As long as I stick to portion sizes of non-processed foods — mostly fruits and vegetables — I don’t have to worry much.

Other than constantly eating, I make sure to walk at least 30 minutes six days a week. That’s it. It’s literally the laziest I’ve ever been while trying to lose weight. And, though it’s only been a week, it’s already working a little.

I started at 258. And this morning I was at 252.6 lbs. That’s a loss of 5.4 lbs.

Healthy weight loss should be between 1 and 2 lbs. per week, but everyone is different, and people who need to lose weight tend to lose bigger chunks up front.

Week 1 is in the bag. Week 2 here I come.

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17 thoughts on “Everything I learned about losing weight, I learned at McDonald’s”

  1. I didn’t have too hard a time after my first pregnancy, but this time around the weight is proving to be more stubborn. Probably because I’m getting old 😉
    Breastfeeding helps a great deal, that torches calories like crazy, but it also makes me hungry. The challenge is not to keep eating like that when I stop nursing my son. The other challenge is to find time for exercise! It’s getting easier now that baby is sleeping through the night and I’m not a sleep-deprived mess any more.

  2. So … what you’re saying is … I don’t even need to be walking for 30 minutes, that I could just breastfeed and lose weight!?!

    Thankfully I’m not a woman, and can never get pregnant because I’d probably baloon.

  3. Way to go Niyaz! Keep on the fantastic work. Aren’t you totally proud of yourself? Your meals look excellant as well. I am making that Gryere Polenta tonight. I usually use marscapone and P.R but I might have to give the old Polenta a French (or is that Comte?) twist. Even though I can’t indulge, I’ll make it for my mother.

    1. Thanks for the words of encouragement Sabrina. I just had a great bite that was strawberry wrapped with proscuitto, stuffed with marscapone and topped with a small piece of fig. It was awesome.

      Let me know how the polenta turned out. Brian made polenta for me once and it was a win, but I’ve always managed to fail at it.

  4. I’m enjoying your posts Niyaz, and I like the 100-calorie dark chocolate bar before bedtime idea. Thanks! Keep up the good work!

  5. SERIOUS?! 5.4 pounds?! I wish it were that easy for me! I’m happy for you! I should probably weigh myself too.. I haven’t done that since the last time I went to the doctors!

  6. So glad you’re making the effort to get healthy!

    I embarked on the healthy quest almost 3 years ago and have lost 22lbs. It was a combo of not eating crap and cooking fresh food at home (like you), using a calorie counter (loseit.com rocks!) and optimistically aiming to semi-vigorously exercise 7 days a week (which ends up being 4-5 days).

    I still want to lose about 10 more by February to meet my goal.

    Eventually, if your focus shifts to losing weight (after you’re feeling all healthy and seeing results, goals tend to change), you’ll have to end up restricting your calories a little. I think when I was at my largest, I was eating 2000 calories a day-what you said is average.

    Another semi-passive way to get healthier, by losing weight, is to get a decent Heart Rate Monitor. If you keep your heart rate at a certain number while you are walking, you’ll lose more fat. Talk to a dietician or nutritionist or personal trainer to get your “fat burning heart rate”. The HR Monitor is effortless and it’s worn as a watch! If you’d like to know which one has been recommended to me, please let me know. I recently lost 3 lbs in 2 weeks by changing my target heart rate while exercising!

    You’re definitely an inspiration and I’ll be cooking up some of your recipes!

  7. Gosh–I screwed up in that previous post about “if your focus shifts to losing weight”. After re-reading your first post, I can see that that is your goal. You should def get a HR Monitor–all you have to do is check it every once in awhile to see if you’re in the zone.

    I also wanted to add that though “counting calories” doesn’t always work for most people, I found that it worked very well for me, especially in the beginning because I had nooooo idea how many calories things had–and how quickly they add up!! After seeing how many calories each thing had, I would make better decisions (wasa crackers over saltine crackers, apple over a candy bar, etc, etc).

    Trust me, this was all new to me to–but I got educated quickly over the last couple years and am living healthier because of it!

    1. kz: Thanks for taking the time to type out lenghty responses to me.

      I think the heart rate monitor is a fantastic idea actually. I’ll look into that, and into what my target rate should be for omptimum fat burning (keep in mind though, my only form of exercise for this first year will be walking … or power walking, lol).

      As for calories, I decided not to count them, but because of previous attempts to get this belly off, I’m pretty good at estimating the calorie content in food items.

      Taking that a step further though, basically I know what I should eat (or not eat) on regular days, and that pretty much keeps me in line.

      Great for you too, for keeping off the weight for so long. Once upon six years ago I dropped like 40 lbs. but that was with eating like a champ and going to the gym for two hours a night, six days a week.

      I’m back at this point because I’m not good at keeping up with such a high-impact effort. Hopefully this “low and slow” approach will do it for me.

      1. Actually, I think I remember you embarking on that quest “once upon six years ago”. When you worked at a certain home furnishings store, you became friends with my neighbor and we hung out a couple times.

        I remember her telling me that you were writing for the Register and I’ve been following your hilarious postings because I love food and I love humor.

        Let’s get skinny!

          1. haha! No need to feel like a dick…it was just a couple times!

            Do you have an email address that I can use to let you know who it was? Don’t know if you want their names plastered all over your site. :)

  8. The polenta was great! I used a cup of polenta so I used 2 cups water and 2 cups of milk. Everyone loved it. next time, Italian Fontina! :)

    That strawberry sounds delish!

    Your meals look awesome! Nice work with the photograps and the cooking!

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