3 possible fast food diets under 2,000 calories a day
Is it actually possible to lose weight on a diet of only fast food?
A former science teacher from the US claims it is possible after saying he shed 27kg after 90 days of consuming nothing but menu items from McDonald's.
Mr John Cisna of Iowa devised the experiment with his students and wrote a book published last year titled My McDonald's Diet: How I lost 37 pounds in 90 days.
After his story went viral, McDonald's hired Mr Cisna earlier this year as a brand ambassador and sent him to give talks in US schools about his experience.
However, the move has sparked outrage among health advocates who believe the fast food chain is aggressively marketing their product under the guise of healthy eating.
According to one of his YouTube videos, Mr Cisna said he restricted himself to 2,000 calories a day while taking daily walks as a form of exercise.
According to the Singapore Health Promotion Board's (HPB) website, adult males who are moderately active have a recommended daily calorie intake of around 2,500 calories on average while females should consume around 2,000 calories – well within the range of Mr Cisna's limit.
HPB describes people who are moderately active as those with slightly more active occupations or people who participate in regular leisure time activities for several hours a week.
With that in mind, we scoured through the nutritional information from three local fast food joints and put together daily fast food menus that fall under the 2,000-calorie limit that could potentially lead to weight loss...
THE 'FAST FOOD DIET'
DISCLAIMER: All the menus on this list are based on the amount of calories only. Other factors such fat, sodium and cholesterol content have NOT been taken into account. Always remember to eat in moderation!
BREAKFAST: Sausage McMuffin with Egg Delight 500 meal: Sausage McMuffin with Egg, 3oz corn cup, coffee (434 kcal)
LUNCH: Double Cheeseburger Delight 500 meal: Double Cheeseburger, garden side salad, bottled water (461 kcal)
DINNER: Filet-O-Fish meal: Filet-O-Fish, medium fries, medium orange juice (909.3 kcal)
CALORIE COUNT: 1,804.3 kcal
McDonald's might have a bad reputation for serving up unhealthy food, but they do make things a lot easier for people trying to cut back on their calories.
For starters, they serve Delight 500 meals – entire meals that weigh in at under 500 calories each – to simplify things for conscious eaters that substitute calorific items like french fries and soft drinks for healthier alternatives.
For breakfast, you can have the Sausage McMuffin with Egg meal that comes with coffee and a corn cup while having the Double Cheeseburger version with a Garden Side Salad and bottled water for lunch.
Since the two meals don't even scrape the 1,000-calorie mark, you can afford to indulge a little for dinner and have a Filet-O-Fish meal that comes with a medium fries and medium orange juice – without upsizing, of course.
However, do note that these calculations were made without taking condiments into consideration, which means you'll have to forego your chilli sauce, ketchup and curry sauce to stay within the calorie limit.
Yes, this also means no sugar with your coffee, salad dressing or butter for the corn – I didn't say it'd be completely pain-free...
KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN
BREAKFAST: a.m. Porridge (221 kcal), Tea (1.2 kcal)
LUNCH: Shrooms Fillet Burger (385.82 kcal), large fries (367 kcal), brewed coffee (58 kcal)
DINNER: Original chicken keel (304 kcal), Original chicken drumstick (149 kcal), regular whipped potato (51 kcal), Florida Natural fresh orange juice (130 kcal)
CALORIE COUNT: 1,667.02 kcal
With the words fried chicken in its name, KFC hardly seems like a place anyone should go to when trying to diet.
However, if you pick your items right, it is possible to have a day's worth of Colonel Sanders and still stay on the right side of 2,000 calories.
Most of your calorie savings would come at breakfast, where you can have KFC's porridge and a cup of tea (without sugar), which weigh in at a whopping total of 222.2 kcal (time to buy 4D, perhaps?).
For lunch, you can perk yourself up with some coffee (again, without sugar) to wash down a Shrooms Fillet Burger coupled with a pack of large fries.
And what's a KFC diet without fried chicken? Treat yourself to two pieces of chicken (breast and drumstick) along with a regular whipped potato and some refreshing orange juice for dinner.
Sorry, pal. You're not getting that entire plate of chicken to eat... PHOTO: KFC.COM.SG
BREAKFAST: Sausage, egg and cheese sandwich (281 kcal)
LUNCH: Meatball marinara sub with cheese (395 kcal + 39 kcal), chocolate chip cookie (210 kcal)
DINNER: Cheese steak sub (376 kcal), peanut butter cookie (220 kcal)
CALORIE COUNT: 1,527 kcal
Before we begin, I'd like to point out that Subway's Singapore website didn't include drinks in their nutritional information, so I'm going to assume that only water (yes, only water) will be consumed as a beverage with each of these meals. No mercy for soda guzzlers here.
Anyway, breakfast is pretty straightforward with a sausage, egg and cheese sandwich, which you can substitute with any of Subway's other breakfast menu items to snip more calories off your calculations.
With soft drinks out of the equation, I've picked out two of Subway's tastier subs and even thrown in a cookie allowance for each meal.
For the meatball marinara (above left) and cheese steak subs (above right), do note that the values provided by Subway include multigrain bread, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, green peppers and cucumbers.
Also, these are for six-inch subs, not foot-longs. And again, no sauces included.
Remember, folks, that this is just a guide – one based on numbers from the websites above.
Please enjoy your food in moderation, cut down on sugars and fatty foods (and especially sugary drinks!), and exercise often – that's probably the best way to lose weight if you really want my two cents.
I will not be responsible if you fail to attain that six-pack you desire or fit into the smaller dress that you really want to wear if you follow this 'diet'.
(However, if you do try it out and if it does work, let me know so that I can hit the next fast food joint I see guilt-free!)