Tuesday, 30 April 2013

If you want to lose weight, all you have to do is up your activity levels, right?  You can carry on eating the same, if you just exercise more?  Right?  

Sooooooooo wrong!  Here's why!

So, a couple of my very lovely Nutrition Management clients came for coffee today and we discussed what had gone well and what had gone awry and how they can move from conscious competence to unconscious competence etc. and I'm thinking perhaps I need to get myself a little booth to sit in as sometimes Nutrition Management sessions are a little like confessions!

This week, one of my clients 'fessed up to having had...a McDonalds at the weekend!

Once I had fully recovered, she explained why this had not been her fault!  She was talked into nipping out to get her husband a handy burger meal and as he had been hard at work in the garden all day, she felt obliged to acquiesce.   The smell, I have been assured, was overwhelming and my client was forced to purchase an additional burger for herself.

Now, the interesting part.

Firstly, I do not like scales or calorie counting at all but both can be useful once in a while to check on progress and to highlight some surprising facts about the foods we consume.

So, my client had a look at the calories that she had consumed in a rather unassuming cheeseburger meal with a coke zero (shudder).  That's a burger, fries and a diet coke, so no calories in the drink.

874 calories.  
That's 874 calories on a burger and some fries!

Add on the apple pie she had as well:

1124 calories!  

That's nearly enough calories for a person to live off in ONE DAY!
This was ONE MEAL!

Now let's have a look at what my husband might have consumed at McDonalds a couple of years ago - before his lifestyle change!

A McDonalds Big Mac Meal with coke comes in at:

1160 calories.

Already nearly enough for a whole day's calories.

Add onto that the chicken sandwich he might also have had:

385, brings it to:  1545 calories.

And it's not complete without a portion of onion rings:

190 calories

Bringing that to a total of 1735 calories.  
That's 1735 calories in one meal!

If you then add on breakfast, lunch and snacks, sugars in tea, there's no way there are enough hours in the day to work off that amount of calories in the gym or running.  No way!

Not only have you consumed way more calories than necessary in one meal, the calories are such poor quality that your body is going to tell you it's hungry again much more quickly than had you had the same calories but higher quality sources.

Think you could just work this off, perhaps an hour in the gym or go for a little jog?  

You would need to run for nearly 4 hours to burn this off!

It may seem extreme to say, in the 21st century, when we have access to fast food 24/7/365, but really, McDonalds has NO place in a healthy, balanced diet!  It really doesn't.  These sorts of calories are not going to do you any favours.  they will not nourish you, they will not boost your daily energy levels, they will not make you feel good.

They will make you fat, sluggish, lethargic and unwell. 

Next time your husband asks for a McDonalds, hand him the car keys and make yourself something much nicer!


  1. I wish I read this post much earlier. As many americans I like fastfood, and I used to eat a lot of this s**t, so I became very fat. Now I have to take phentermine, because my doctor told me so.

  2. Weight-loss drugs treat the symptoms, not the cause. Cutting flour and sugar is my number one tip for the easiest way to change your life.
    You can make the change permanent by addressing your nutrition. Drugs are temporary and not a healthy way to approach weight loss.
    I don't condone the use of drugs when there is a natural alternative that actually works better.