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Feature: What to eat at _________: McDonalds?

December 8, 2010

Today is the beginning of a new feature here at You Are Not A Fit Person.  I call it What to eat Wednesday.  Contained in the book are several charts of what to eat at fast food and casual dining restaurants.  These lists were far from exhaustive as a book could be published on these items alone.  In fact there are similar books for sale now, including the Eat This, Not That series.  Unfortunately that series is terrible as it appears that they find the worst things on the menu and just pick something better.  Voila, book made.  The thing is, better isn’t necessarily good, and many of the suggestions made in those books are terrible.  Rather than substitutions, what we need is a list of how to eat well at fast food and casual dining restaurants.  So, each week I will list the foods you can eat at a different restaurant.  You can browse the list by clicking on the category: What to Eat at…  The entire list will be there.  To start with, here is what you can eat at McDonalds.  This list, Burger King, Wendy’s and KFC can all be found in the book.

According to the book, You Are Not A Fit Person, you should be eating 4 meals a day.  As I have said many times, this isn’t some magic number, but a compromise between eating as many small meals a day and actually managing your life.  I love 4 meals because I am awake for about 16 hours a day, I eat at 8 when I get up and noon, so adding a meal at 4 actually works and keeps me from feeling hungry by my 8 o’clock dinner.  It also helps me with workouts.  All of this is in the book of course, but you need to know that to be fit you should eat four meals a day of between 400 and 500 calories each.  Each meal below fits these requirements.

In any case, today it is McDonald’s turn.  I used the Nutrition calculator to develop good, filling menus between 400 and 500 calories.  You can make your own meals and if they fall between those two spots and fill you up, go for it.  Some general tips here:

  • Do not eat french fries. Don’t.  Give them up, they aren’t worth it and chemically, they really don’t look all that healthy.
  • Never, ever, ever drink sugared pops.  Don’t drink Milkshakes or iced coffees either.
  • Do not eat desserts, but no matter what, do not touch a Flurry!
  • Avoid the McMinis.  They are very small but could be substituted for a cheeseburger.  Still, you won’t get full eating them.
  • I could list off all of the other things not to eat, but there are so many.  Just eat from the menu list below and consider everything else verboten.


Breakfast is a tough meal to eat healthy, but there is one healthy breakfast option.  If you like tomato, ask them to add a slice of tomato to the Egg McMuffin.  I have never asked for this, but A&W have an Egg McMuffin Sandwich with a tomato slice that tastes excellent.

  • Fruit n’ Yogurt Parfait
  • Egg McMuffin Sandwich
  • Have this with a cup of coffee, skim milk no sugar

Lunch and Dinner

Menu #1:

This is a good choice if you need a burger (or sandwich, nuggets or wrap).  Eat the savoury item slowly and enjoy every bite.  You probably won’t be full after this meal, but you shouldn’t be hungry for the next 4 hours.

One of:

  • Cheeseburger
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich
  • Chicken Snack Wrap
  • 6 piece chicken nuggets with 1 dipping sauce
  • Chicken Fajita


  • Side Garden Salad w/Mediterranean dressing, balsamic or Raspberry vinaigrette.
  • Large Diet Coke or large water

Menu #2 :

This is my personal favorite because it is remarkably filling and comes with a sweet dessert.  The Yogurt parfait is a very good snack option.

  • Mediterranean salad with warm grilled chicken
  • Mediterranean dressing (or either of the vinaigrettes)
  • Fruit n’ Yogurt Parfait
  • Diet Coke

Menu #3 :

I don’t recommend the caesar salad, but if you must, you can eat one for lunch.

  • Caesar salad with warm grilled chicken
  • Light Caesar dressing
  • Coke zero

Good luck.  I know these meals are insanely small for most of you.  I too have considered the chicken nuggets an appetizer and couldn’t imagine not finishing my meal off with a sundae.  I find the salad meals the most effective because, although it is punishment to eat them instead of a quarter pounder with cheese meal, they do fill me up and I feel strong and proud afterwards.   As well, the choice gets easier over time.  Just struggle through at first and feel proud of your willpower.

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