Health

Iowa Teacher Finishes McDiet Experiment, Loses 61 Pounds In Six Months

| by Jonathan Wolfe

Iowa teacher John Cisna made headlines in January when it was revealed he lost 37 pounds in 90 days while only eating McDonald’s. Last week, the Press Citizen gave an update on his story that revealed he ended up losing 61 pounds during his six months on the McDiet.

Cisna’s diet started out as an experiment by his students, who wanted to see if it was possible to become healthier while eating McDonald’s. Though the answer to that question is a resounding “yes” – Cisna lost 61 pounds and his cholesterol dropped 79 points during the experiment – he didn’t get there by binging on Big Macs and fries.

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Cisna’s students drew up his daily meals from the McDonald’s menu. His calorie intake was capped at 2,000 calories and their choices had to meet 15 daily nutritional guidelines given by the FDA. A quick look at a sample menu of Cisna’s shows he was eating health-conscious choices like fruit parfaits and salads. He also exercised by taking 45–minute walks four to five times a week.

After a successful first 90 days on the diet, Cisna added a second phase to the experiment. He let students include indulgent choices like burgers and milkshakes in his daily meals, and he matched these high-calorie items by engaging in more vigorous exercise. Though his students found it difficult to meet the FDA’s daily guidelines once the calorie-dense choices were mixed in, Cisna continued to shed pounds.

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Now, with the experiment over, Cisna hopes to share his journey with the world through an e-book called “My McDonald’s Diet.” The book will chronicle his weight loss journey and include his daily menus.

In January, Cisna told the Huffington Post that the dietary experiment has had a great impact on students at his school.

"What is cool is when you see one kid say, 'It's not McDonald's that makes you fat. It's your choices that make you fat,'" Cisna said. "That right there is when we knew that the kids understood."

Sources: Press Citizen, Huffington Post