Quantity vs. Quality

a/k/a How I lost weight eating nothing but Happy Meals® for 2 weeks

I get asked a lot about my diet, mainly, “What are you eating that’s helping you lose the weight?”

Honestly, I don’t even know how to answer that half the time. You see, I tried the fad-dieting thing. I tried cutting out carbs. I even tried eating more veggies, less fats, etc. So I can’t really tell you exactly where it was that I found success, mostly because I had nearly-zero patience when it came to my weight loss. However, I will say that the one thing that really and truly worked for me was counting calories. It seemed really stupid at first. I think I thought that way because it was just so damn tedious to track my meals.

So let’s back track. It’s early 2016 and I am on an Advocare 24-Day Challenge. I’m towards the end of the challenge and I am craving all the unhealthy food I haven’t eaten in weeks. It is here where I’ve decided that I am going to splurge on McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets when this is all over. I needed them. Like, my body was going through serious withdrawals for these stupid nuggets.

And then the challenge ended. I’d lost a decent amount of weight and inches, but I wasn’t satisfied yet. I needed to lose more. So I stayed on my product regimen and kept trying to eat healthy. But still, in the far back of my mind, were those damn nuggets. Keep in mind, I am still counting calories at this point. Part of me knew it’d be impossible to fit those nuggets in and it work out for my dieting purposes, but I was determined. And so I did a quick Google search for the calorie count of a 10-piece nugget meal, and sure enough – yikes – 780 calories! That wasn’t going to work into my 1500 calories/day plan. Maybe if I didn’t have breakfast, I could splurge a bit for lunch, right? No, I needed to be good! So, I looked at the Happy Meal options. The 4-piece and 6-piece meals are both under 500 calories! REJOICE!

Long(er) story short, I ended up eating a 6-piece nugget meal from McDonald’s, which sits around 400 calories. (Side note: This calorie count includes the nuggets, apple slices, and a kid’s fries, but no drink. I drank strictly water during this time.) My heart was so happy; it’d been forever (okay, like a month) since I’d had nuggets. So then I thought, well, this meal falls in the calorie count, I could just eat happy meals for all my meals, right?

SPOILER ALERT, I did, sort of.

For the next two weeks, I started my mornings with either a small bowl of oatmeal or a meal replacement shakes. For lunch, I’d have a 6-piece nugget meal, and dinner was the lighter, 4-piece nugget meal (which is about 310 calories, give or take.) The plus side of all this was that Happy Meals, unlike normal meals, have apple slices (or Go-Gurt, you choose) that give you that little sweetness at the end of your meal. It was awesome. I was still working out on occasion, nothing too crazy though. Usually just some cardio and light weights. And at the end of these two weeks, I had lost 12 pounds!

It was because of this little experiment I was able to conclude that it is the number of calories, and not the food itself, that really affected my ability to lose weight. I stayed low-cal for awhile, and continued to lose weight. But, alas, I fell off the wagon, and I put a good chunk of that weight back on. But I am not giving up. I’m willing to give calorie counting another shot. It worked before, so who’s to say it wouldn’t work again?