Super-sized: Man loses 56 lbs eating nothing but McDonald’s

posted at 4:01 pm on March 7, 2014 by Allahpundit

A personal responsibility parable for you on a slow news Friday. Turns out this guy was first in the news two months ago, when he’d lost 37 lbs on the all-McD’s diet. (The “Today” clip below was recorded in early January.) It worked well enough for him that he kept going with it. Two months later, he’s at 56 lbs and counting.

Is that normal, by the way? Averaging 10 lbs per month in weight loss after you’ve already dropped nearly 40? I thought weight loss slows down as a diet advances.

“It’s kind of scary to realize that in nine days, I’ll have spent half a year of my life eating nothing but McDonald’s,” he told TODAY.

“I’m not bored of the food, but I am missing other foods. I am craving seafood. In fact, my first night when I am done with this, I’m going to have some shrimp and some scallops and some salmon. Maybe some asparagus on a bed of rice pilaf.”…

While enjoying his weight loss, Cisna is particularly excited about the results of his blood tests: He says his total cholesterol dropped from 249 to 190, including a 25 percent decrease in his LDL or “bad cholesterol.” Despite concerns that he was eating too much salt, Cisna said his sodium levels and blood pressure are normal…

Cisna said he’s not a paid spokesman for McDonald’s, though local franchises donated his food. He was largely inspired to do the experiment by Morgan Spurlock’s 2004 documentary, “Super Size Me,” which Cisna called “irresponsible journalism.”

It’s not a perfectly well-balanced diet, with little fiber and lots of salt, but it gets the job done. Turns out what you’ve known since you were six years old is true: if you eat less (2,000 calories a day, being careful to hit your RDAs in protein, carbs, sugar, and fat) and exercise regularly (Cisna walked 45 minutes daily), you will lose weight — regardless of where you’re eating. As the man himself said, “It’s our choices that make us fat, not McDonald’s.” I’m surprised he didn’t land a speaking spot at CPAC.

All of which means that Spurlock’s movie is nonsense, right? Well, yes and no. Here’s a typical daily menu for Cisna. Is this what the average McDonald’s diner is ordering?

Breakfast
Minute Maid OJ
Sausage Burrito
Fruit and Maple Oatmeal

Lunch
Fruit and Yogurt Parfait
Premium Southwest Salad
Apple Slices

Dinner
Large Diet Coke
Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich
Hot Fudge Sundae
Small Fries

Lots of fruit by McD’s standards and none of the ol’ McMuffin/Big Mac favorites. Cisna did eat some of those, he says in the clip, but they pushed him towards the recommended daily allowances so quickly that he had to cut calories overall to stay within the guidelines. That doesn’t defeat his basic point — eat wisely no matter where you are and you’ll control your weight — but it does mean that losing weight on a traditional McDonald’s menu would be more … challenging. (One of Spurlock’s very stupid self-imposed rules for his own experiment was that he was required to say yes if the McDonald’s worker taking his order asked him if he wanted to supersize his meal.) I expect that’s how Spurlock’s defenders will end up spinning this. If not for “Super Size Me,” they’ll say, McD’s never would have phased out supersizes and never would have introduced the healthier menu items that Cisna’s benefiting from. Fast-food places have cleaned up their act over the last 10 years as the public’s grown more aware of health problems related to obesity. Cisna’s just riding the wave that Spurlock helped set in motion.

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Long-term non-stop diarrhea will do that…..

dentarthurdent on March 7, 2014 at 4:05 PM

How dare he exhibit personal responsibility, who the H does he think he is?

slickwillie2001 on March 7, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Maybe some asparagus on a bed of rice pilaf

Enh, stick with the McDonald’s.

Stoic Patriot on March 7, 2014 at 4:08 PM

on a 2000 calorie diet for a 6 foot man about 2 pounds per week is very reasonable until you get within 10 percent of correct weight.

he is still in the obese catagory and easily can still lose about 10 pounds per month.

gerrym51 on March 7, 2014 at 4:09 PM

The premium chicken wraps are awesomeness.

John the Libertarian on March 7, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Guess this guy never heard the saying,

“Flush hard, it’s a long way to McDonalds”

ToddPA on March 7, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Vegan is an old Indian word for bad hunter, eat meat!

Sven on March 7, 2014 at 4:14 PM

And did you know that you can do this with cat food, too?

de rigueur on March 7, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Yuck. What’s the point of eating that garbage only other than trying to wrangle a Jarrett-Subway sort of deal, the rice pilaf and asparagus isn’t exactly a mound of candy.

Bishop on March 7, 2014 at 4:14 PM

rice pilaf and asparagus isn’t exactly a mound of candy.

Bishop on March 7, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Hey – it works for Moochelle – well, with a big old lobster on top and a bucket of butter….

dentarthurdent on March 7, 2014 at 4:17 PM

I think it reasonably plausible that someone could find a meal plan that they could live with even at McDonalds. It would mostly require sufficient determination and preserverance to stick with it.

Russ808 on March 7, 2014 at 4:18 PM

“All natural foods are better because they are more expensive and the workers pee on them in the field.”

Portland Farmers Market Vendors

portlandon on March 7, 2014 at 4:18 PM

…Mooch is going to be pissed…when she reads about this in the paper!

KOOLAID2 on March 7, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Vegan is an old Indian word for bad hunter, eat meat!

Sven on March 7, 2014 at 4:14 PM

My food poops on your food.

(to the vegans – not you Sven)

dentarthurdent on March 7, 2014 at 4:20 PM

And did you know that you can do this with cat food, too?

de rigueur on March 7, 2014 at 4:14 PM

My fat old cat, Colonel Mullingham, disagrees.

Valkyriepundit on March 7, 2014 at 4:20 PM

It’s sad to see so many McD bigots and haters here. I’m lovin it.

faraway on March 7, 2014 at 4:21 PM

“All natural foods are better because they are more expensive and the workers pee on them in the field.”

Portland Farmers Market Vendors

portlandon on March 7, 2014 at 4:18 PM

I’m glad I said:

My food poops on your food.
dentarthurdent on March 7, 2014 at 4:20 PM

and not pees on your food….

dentarthurdent on March 7, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Krusty: Listen, about the Ribwich. We won’t be making them anymore. The animal we made them from is now extinct.
Homer: The pig?
Otto: The cow?
Krusty: You’re way off. Think smaller…think more legs.

Chuck Schick on March 7, 2014 at 4:23 PM

It’s sad to see so many McD bigots and haters here. I’m lovin it.

faraway on March 7, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Well, the jokes are easy…
But must confess, I was a McD’s burger flipper in high school, and I actually liked the company. At least back then, they really did promote from within.

dentarthurdent on March 7, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Get that man a Filet ‘O Fish! Stat!

drewwerd on March 7, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Chuck Schick on March 7, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Ya – I remember that great fake scandal about McD’s using worms as filler in their hamburger.
They had a great and simple response – at the time, the price of worms was double or triple the price of beef….
Why would we pay more for a filler?

dentarthurdent on March 7, 2014 at 4:27 PM

My fat old cat, Colonel Mullingham, disagrees.

Valkyriepundit on March 7, 2014 at 4:20 PM

My dog would agree with your cat. If I’d didn’t keep him running.

de rigueur on March 7, 2014 at 4:27 PM

It’s sad to see so many McD bigots and haters here. I’m lovin it.

faraway on March 7, 2014 at 4:21 PM

agreed!

Sachiko on March 7, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Is this what the average McDonald’s diner is ordering?

Oh Hell No! I saw this guy’s interview on FNC back then (which is why I figured that it must be a slow news day- what with Drudge topping the page with the possibility that Obama might not get to stay the weekend at Key Largo due to pressing “world events” stuff- would not want to be on the plane with Mooch after that cancellation).

The whole point of this was a science experiment. How you could lose weight by eating at McDonald’s. But it was all about managing caloric intake very closely. You don’t get that when you order the large version of one of the Value Meals. And BTW, this is exactly what Jared Fogel did with Subway.

Happy Nomad on March 7, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Was there any mention of what he spent for his meals over all? Since he lists 3 meals a day at McD’s it would be interesting to know his budget, but I don’t go there often enough to know the prices for his choices.

CitizenEgg on March 7, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Despite our marxist Pope, I’m getting two fish sandwiches at either BK or McD’s on the way home.

Molon labe.

Yes, that works with my sandwich, not just firearms.

You hear that NSA? Suzy Rice? Beuler?

KirknBurker on March 7, 2014 at 4:33 PM

If you need a laugh: Whole Foods; America’s Angriest Store

slickwillie2001 on March 7, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Molon labe.
Yes, that works with my sandwich, not just firearms.
You hear that NSA? Suzy Rice? Beuler?

KirknBurker on March 7, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Moochelle?
She’ll be all over you boy….

dentarthurdent on March 7, 2014 at 4:38 PM

…Mooch is going to be pissed…when she reads about this in the paper!

KOOLAID2 on March 7, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Obama will be madder. (sorry that one never gets old in my world). ;0

On a more serious note I will say that I don’t order “salad” at a fast food place. That stuff has a tremendous shelf life which means it is sprayed with all sorts of preservatives. I’m not on any particular diet regimen but do shop with this rule of thumb- buy the stuff closest to it’s natural state. In other words I shy away from processed stuff when there are other options.

Happy Nomad on March 7, 2014 at 4:41 PM

When I first saw that pic, I thought AP was being mean to Ed…LOL.

d1carter on March 7, 2014 at 4:47 PM

If you need a laugh: Whole Foods; America’s Angriest Store

slickwillie2001 on March 7, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Ok – now that was darn funny.

dentarthurdent on March 7, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Take up jogging 5 or more miles a day and eat what you want. Save up for the knee and hip surgeries in later middle age though.

Ruckus_Tom on March 7, 2014 at 4:48 PM

You can lose weight eating anything.

It’s a matter of portion control.

ConstantineXI on March 7, 2014 at 4:51 PM

This is a repeat of the documentary Fathead. It is on Hulu. This guy used the exact same diet and exercise plan from Fathead. I liked Fathead better, the documentary tackles the political aspect of nutritional science as well. If Cisna were doing this he would not have been on the Today show.

To answer this question:

“All of which means that Spurlock’s movie is nonsense, right? Well, yes and no. Here’s a typical daily menu for Cisna. Is this what the average McDonald’s diner is ordering?”

Yes. Supersize is BS. Watch Fathead. The documentary goes through the weight gained by Spurlock in supersize me AND calculates the calories takes it get there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ccdfzq2M1Ec

Theworldisnotenough on March 7, 2014 at 4:52 PM

You can lose weight eating anything.
It’s a matter of portion control.

ConstantineXI on March 7, 2014 at 4:51 PM

What?!? You sound like some fad diet nut spouting nonsense like “eat less and exercise”…
Or more worser yet “all things in moderation”.
That’s just crazy talk.

dentarthurdent on March 7, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Take up jogging 5 or more miles a day and eat what you want. Save up for the knee and hip surgeries in later middle age though.

Ruckus_Tom on March 7, 2014 at 4:48 PM

My next door neighbor started walking about 10 miles a day or more, about a year or 2 ago (and no he’s not 3000 miles away now… :)). Over that time he has gradually worked off what I would estimate as about 40 or 50 pounds.
Walk for a bit more distance than running or jogging and you get the same benefit without destroying your knees or other joints.

dentarthurdent on March 7, 2014 at 4:59 PM

So I take it Allahpundit hasn’t heard of Fat Head?

You can do this without the “healthy” menu option.

Herod on March 7, 2014 at 4:59 PM

The only place to eat in walking distance to my office is a Burger King. They have a wonderful menu of salads and decently healthy sandwiches. Even the Whopper Jr. is not that bad in terms of fat and calories.

You can also “blow” your diet occasionally and have a fish sandwich if you are really craving fish. Or a milkshake once in a while. :-)

rockmom on March 7, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Suck it Spurlock, sultan of smug.

thebrokenrattle on March 7, 2014 at 5:12 PM

The whole point of this was a science experiment. How you could lose weight by eating at McDonald’s. But it was all about managing caloric intake very closely. You don’t get that when you order the large version of one of the Value Meals. And BTW, this is exactly what Jared Fogel did with Subway.

Happy Nomad on March 7, 2014 at 4:32 PM

He was also making use of the evil, liberty destroying, mandatory company provided nutritional information including calorie counts to help plan his diet. The students helped do the calculations and pick the meals.

talkingpoints on March 7, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Herod on March 7, 2014 at 4:59 PM

I’m not the only one!

Theworldisnotenough on March 7, 2014 at 5:22 PM

This isn’t what people eat at mcdonalds. Big Mac, large fries, chocolate shake.
Nice try, though.

Cheese Wheel on March 7, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Someone buy a stack of McDOnald’s gift certificates for the delightful Michael Moore.

Maybe that execrable reptile can FINALLY lose some of his eclipse-producing bulk.

orangemtl on March 7, 2014 at 5:25 PM

A little antidote to the lefty anti-capitalist mania. McDonald’s serves food, sort of like any other food. I know the foodies and the food cult will blow a gasket. But guess what food is food, there isn’t that much difference.

And the Cheddar Burger with braised onions is a steal at $1.

Viator on March 7, 2014 at 5:26 PM

I want to second Theworldisnotenough about Fathead. Though if I recall correctly that was an all fast food diet, not just restricted to McDonalds…

The point still stands though that self control and making smart choices was the answer, not banning fast food. I was also surprised as the fathead guy went over the history of the food pyramid and diet research in the 70′s and 80′s how similar the corruption of science was to what we see today with all the man made global warming hysteria…

Anyhow, it’s definately worth a watch

Rufi on March 7, 2014 at 5:39 PM

He was also making use of the evil, liberty destroying, mandatory company provided nutritional information including calorie counts to help plan his diet. The students helped do the calculations and pick the meals.

talkingpoints on March 7, 2014 at 5:14 PM

True! What I got most out of the interview I saw on FNC was this. You, the individual, have the power to determine what goes into your body in the name of nutrition.

Mooch Obama loves to talk of “food deserts” in the more urban areas of the US. She claims that mothers (never fathers) have to take two busses, a train, and trip on the space shuttle to feed their kids a salad. The reality is that you could have a taco stand, a KFC, a McDonald’s on three corners of an intersection with a grocery store on the fourth and you’d still have those mothers feeding their kids fast food value meals. As to the grocery- probably driven out of business by shoplifting and the attacks on employees closing up at the end of the day.

My point is this. Bad eating habits are cultural and not something you can regulate.

Happy Nomad on March 7, 2014 at 5:40 PM

This isn’t what people eat at mcdonalds. Big Mac, large fries, chocolate shake.
Nice try, though.

Cheese Wheel on March 7, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Dude. Come on. Are you one of the new folks?

hawkdriver on March 7, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Theworldisnotenough on March 7, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Yep. Sperlock is a charlatan.
In any case, people don’t go to McDonald’s for the fruits & vegetables. Assuaging the nanny-staters probably hurts their bottom line, makes it harder to give their low wage workers raises.

Herod on March 7, 2014 at 5:42 PM

This isn’t what people eat at mcdonalds. Big Mac, large fries, chocolate shake.
Nice try, though.

Cheese Wheel on March 7, 2014 at 5:22 PM

You missed the point…another fail by our newbies.

CWchangedhisNicagain on March 7, 2014 at 5:44 PM

He was also making use of the evil, liberty destroying, mandatory company provided nutritional information including calorie counts to help plan his diet. The students helped do the calculations and pick the meals.

talkingpoints on March 7, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Not evil. Just superfluous. But downloading an app or (heaven forbid) lugging around a pocket-size calorie-counting book is too much of a burden for your modern American.

We need gov’t to insulate us from life’s minor inconveniences, don’t we?

Herod on March 7, 2014 at 6:03 PM

everything in moderation? what? whoever heard of such of thing?

brushingmyhair on March 7, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Comes out to roughly $21 a day.
Times 7 days is around $150.
Approximately $600 per month.

FireBlogger on March 7, 2014 at 6:07 PM

This isn’t what people eat at mcdonalds. Big Mac, large fries, chocolate shake.
Nice try, though.

Cheese Wheel on March 7, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Not even close. Have you ever really been to a McDonalds?

slickwillie2001 on March 7, 2014 at 6:13 PM

All of which means that Spurlock’s movie is nonsense, right? Well, yes and no. Here’s a typical daily menu for Cisna. Is this what the average McDonald’s diner is ordering?

No, but the average McDonald’s diner doesn’t eat there three meals a day, nor do they supersize every meal.

Spurlock’s movie has always been nonsense.

JannyMae on March 7, 2014 at 6:17 PM

Finally some bold, unadulterated corporate toadying! Let’s all have a big Mac while swimming in fracking-fouled waters and shooting our guns.

Constantine on March 7, 2014 at 6:26 PM

The average person is making a huge mistake if they think they should aim for 2000 calories a day. My 6’0″ husband and I (5’2″) should not both target 2000 calories. And, with our desk jobs, we shouldn’t target the same calories that people with similar body types (but more active jobs) should target.

If you’re serious about weight loss you should find out what your basal metabolic rate is so you know what your body burns each day just to keep you alive. At that point, you can calculate how much you burn in addition to that with your daily activity.

If you’re trying to lose weight, eat less than that number.

JadeNYU on March 7, 2014 at 6:30 PM

This isn’t what people eat at mcdonalds. Big Mac, large fries, chocolate shake.
Nice try, though.

Cheese Wheel on March 7, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Close – for me it’s (usually) a double quarter pounder, regular fries and a sweet tea. And I do that about once every 3 months or so – when I’m running errands around town on the weekend and just looking for something fast and cheap.

Sushi tonight.

dentarthurdent on March 7, 2014 at 6:39 PM

This is a repeat of the documentary Fathead. It is on Hulu. This guy used the exact same diet and exercise plan from Fathead. I liked Fathead better, the documentary tackles the political aspect of nutritional science as well. If Cisna were doing this he would not have been on the Today show.

To answer this question:

“All of which means that Spurlock’s movie is nonsense, right? Well, yes and no. Here’s a typical daily menu for Cisna. Is this what the average McDonald’s diner is ordering?”

Yes. Supersize is BS. Watch Fathead. The documentary goes through the weight gained by Spurlock in supersize me AND calculates the calories takes it get there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ccdfzq2M1Ec

Theworldisnotenough on March 7, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Seconded.

So I take it Allahpundit hasn’t heard of Fat Head?

You can do this without the “healthy” menu option.

Herod on March 7, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Already seconded? Oh, fine! Thirded, then.

I want to second Theworldisnotenough about Fathead. Though if I recall correctly that was an all fast food diet, not just restricted to McDonalds…

The point still stands though that self control and making smart choices was the answer, not banning fast food. I was also surprised as the fathead guy went over the history of the food pyramid and diet research in the 70′s and 80′s how similar the corruption of science was to what we see today with all the man made global warming hysteria…

Anyhow, it’s definately worth a watch

Rufi on March 7, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Oh, all right. I’ll settle for Fourthed!

As I recall, though in Fathead he only followed a McDonald’s diet for a few months, just to prove it was possible to lose weight that way without a lot of trouble. He dropped about 10 pounds in the process, but about the only things he did that were atypical for McDonald’s was skipping some of the fries and soft drinks.

So this was a little different, in that the man went to a lot more restricted diet to lose weight, and dropped a lot more. Both prove the same thing: McDonald’s food is not necessarily fattening.

There Goes the Neighborhood on March 7, 2014 at 6:50 PM

vegetables are what Food eats.

go Low Carb!

down 30 lbs and continuing … over 2 years.

WaldoTJ on March 7, 2014 at 7:01 PM

Lots of fruit by McD’s standards and none of the ol’ McMuffin/Big Mac favorites.

Finally some bold, unadulterated corporate toadying! Let’s all have a big Mac while swimming in fracking-fouled waters and shooting our guns.

Constantine on March 7, 2014 at 6:26 PM

Jesus Christ. We all knew you were challenged but I don’t think a single one of us ever before grasped just how utterly thick you really were.

Give us crr6 back. Heck, give us liberal4life back. Yes, I said it. At least her stupidity was amusing and had a unique flavor to it.

Your stupidity isn’t even quirky or unique, or amusing in a “so bad it’s good” kind of way. It’s just the same tired inanity we could get from half a dozen other run-of-the-mill trolls.

RINO in Name Only on March 7, 2014 at 7:21 PM

Comes out to roughly $21 a day.
Times 7 days is around $150.
Approximately $600 per month.

FireBlogger on March 7, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Thanks for that. Was wondering what it would cost. Goes to show you can supplement, but smart eating is a choice, regardless of your tax bracket.

CitizenEgg on March 7, 2014 at 7:57 PM

Take in less calories than you need and you will lose weight.
Plain and simple.
Unless some medical condition is present.

Do a google search for “twinkie diet”
A guy ate nothing but twinkies, but stayed under his daily caloric needs and lost weight.

MityMaxx on March 7, 2014 at 9:29 PM

@WaldoTJ on March 7, 2014 at 7:01 PM

U don’t have to do low carb unless u like it….

A lot of people lose weight on low carb diets because when they cut out carbs, they are cutting back on calories, without realizing it.

But congrats on weight loss.

MityMaxx on March 7, 2014 at 9:33 PM

@JadeNYU on March 7, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Completely agree. :)

MityMaxx on March 7, 2014 at 9:33 PM

If you need a laugh: Whole Foods; America’s Angriest Store

slickwillie2001 on March 7, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Priceless.

AesopFan on March 7, 2014 at 11:07 PM

McDonalds food is putrid. I can see why someone would lose weight just from the diarrhea one would get from eating so much of it.

But, I’m betting the man also has cancer. Not joking.

Diluculo on March 8, 2014 at 2:25 AM

“Yes, if you take out the burgers, fries, soda, and desserts….mcDs really isn’t so bad!”

Hilarious how much of your brains you guys are willing to turn off to defend cororate interests.

everdiso on March 8, 2014 at 9:22 AM

I keep saying I’m going to try the Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad but I never get around to it.

Cindy Munford on March 8, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Hilarious how much of your brains you guys are willing to turn off to defend cororate interests.

everdiso on March 8, 2014 at 9:22 AM

But I don’t have any problem with corporate interests.

Cindy Munford on March 8, 2014 at 11:12 AM

A girlfriend of mine became sick as hell on a McDonald’s diet. She didn’t like to cook. It is simply insufficient for good health. Losing weight is one thing and killing yourself slowly another.

bour3 on May 11, 2014 at 6:15 PM