Tuesday, August 4, 2009

You can eat healthily anywhere - McDonalds

Following my previous post and continuing with the challenge that you can eat healthily anywhere, for this post, I decided to cover McDonalds.

Who doesn’t love McDonalds and even their tagline says “I’m Lovin’ it”.

Again, my usual disclaimer before I proceed with showing you how to eat healthily there.

“If you only eat in this place once in awhile, then I say go ahead and enjoy. But if your visit this place regularly, then you might want to follow these tips carefully to ensure your gym workouts don’t go to complete waste.”

OK… so how do you eat healthily in McDonalds? Simple. Follow the tips below and you will be surprised at just how healthily you can eat.

1) Change your drink to Coke Light. This will instantly shave off a good 200 plus calories from your meal. Avoid the Milo and Ribena at all cost if possible. I can’t tell the difference between Coke Light and normal Coke, but I know some die hard Coke fans call Coke Light an insult to the Coke brand.
2) Stay away from the fries – Fries is a whopping 300 to 400 calories and poor fill up factor. Fill up factor is how full you feel after eating a certain food. So if you had to choose 2 different kinds of food which both have 400 calories, you want to choose something that is more filling – ie higher fill up factor.
3) If you are hungry, instead of whacking fries to fill yourself up, it is better to eat a burger (or maybe half). Burgers in McDonalds is around 400 to 500 calories (almost the same as fries, but higher fill up factor). Being a glutton myself, I usually eat 2 burgers at McDonalds, as 1 burger just ain’t enough. But since I rarely eat McDonalds, I guess its OK to enjoy properly every once in a while
4) I have friends who will buy 2 Fillet-O-Fish burgers, throw away the buns for one of the burger, and the other burger becomes a double patty burger. Good protein, less carbs. Good technique, I tried it once, and didn’t quite like it. But if you are one who lifts heavy and going for size, this is a good way to get in your protein intake at McDonalds, while reducing the carbohydrate content.
5) Generally, the food in McDonalds isn’t all that bad as people say. What makes it bad are the Fries, drinks (Ribena, Milo & Coke) and the portions are small, which causes us to overeat. So be weary of this and order wisely. If you can slip in a healthy snack before you hit McD’s, you will be partially full and less likely to indulge full on. This way, just one burger might be enough and you won’t have to whack your fries or chow down that second burger.

How often should you eat McDonalds where you can just eat and enjoy? Well it really depends on your total activity per day (exercise and any other activity like walking etc) as well as your age and body make up. If you workout regularly, then its ok to indulge in this every week and not see any difference to your waistline. If you are just a couch potato who drives to work, sits on the office chair for 8 hours, drives home and sits on the couch to watch TV, then once a week will make your waistline grow. Of course we also have some people who may be couch potatoes but have high metabolic rate, so even eating it everyday won’t make a difference.

My advice – Eat whenever you want to and try to be healthy like mentioned above. If you feel your waistline growing, then you know you need to cut down somewhere or do more exercise. It all comes down to balancing everything. A good benchemark to start with is once a week. If you feel once a week doesn’t make a difference, then maybe you want to try twice a week and see what happens.

So now you can eat healthily even in McDonalds. Of course its not the healthiest choice for eating, even when you eat carefully like suggested above, but its still better than just eating eating away without knowing some tricks and facts. Also, we all need to enjoy every once in awhile… so enjoy and as usual, I look forward to your comments.


Kerp (Ph.D) said...

good tips bro, as always. very practical. but nowadays i seldom eat at any fastfood joints anyway. i'd say twice a month at most, and sometimes i dont at all. but the crave for their burger can be unavoidable, and thats when i'd wallop and only think of the consequence once fully stuffed.

eh rajan, why do you say Milo is bad?

Rajan said...

Kerp: If you going to eat once in awhile, i say just go ahead and whack only and enjoy. But if you eat it weekly or more frequent, then kena jaga2-lah.

Milo is pretty high in calories as it is an energy drink meant for athletes...so unless you are active enough, drinking too much Milo will add in the pounds. So better to cut down where possible lah.

The Corporate Athlete said...

Bro, I'm a slave to fastfood, McD per se. I just make sure that I signed up for many endurance races to enjoy these food guilt-free.

My must-have - BigMac with Large Size Upgrade, and a Choc Sundae. That makes my day!

Bernard said...

Fook McD...I've not stepped into one for at least a couple of months & that also as a treat for the kids. If I get a craving for burgers, its the Mat Burger stall for me - burger daging cheese special!

Milo? I only have that in the morning as I tend to skip brekkies, but might down one just before my twice weekly gym session.

Rajan said...

CA: that is a very good tip as well.
i rarely visit McDs these days, so when i go, i go all out.

Bernard: no doubt Mat Bruger is the best burger.... we should have a poll on which stall has the best. :-)
problem with Mat Burger's burger.... its a more sinful than McD's... but if its once in a while... why not man... go all the way.

Milo for breakfast... good choice, but you should consider eating something as well... will go a longer way, so when it comes time for lunch, you will be less hungry. try it and see.

anfield devotee said...

Fook noooo. McD's is fooking evil la. American imperialism blah blah! But worse yet, its fooking shite!

Anyone seen 'Supersize Me'?

Do check out the extras & see how the fries refuse to go bad despite being exposed fer 10 weeks!!!

If that doesn't scare ye . . .

Rajan said...

AD: never knew you were so against McD's. Anyway, i am not promoting McDs or anything. Just saying that if you are going to eat McDs, there is a healthy way of doing so.

PS: Never saw supersize me.... heard it was pretty disgusting.

anfield devotee said...

Not disgusting dude. Scary.

Please explain how fries did NOT go moldy after 10 weeks?

Am pretty sure those aren't fooking potatoes mate.