Getting Your McMotivation

Over 6 months a man named Chris Coleson lost 80 pounds eating food from McDonald’s. It’s great when someone is that successful in changing their body composition. I think the story is LESS remarkable when the McDonald’s thing is added in but I have little doubt that we would have heard anything about Chris Coleson’s weight loss had it not been for him eating only McDonald’s because Chris wouldn’t have lost the weight.

The McDiet itself amounts to an almost starvation diet – Chris was eating about 1400 calories per day down from close to 5000 per day. He was weighing in around 275 lbs and would have needed around 2400 calories per day to maintain his weight. A 1000 calorie per day deficit is huge and isn’t anything that I could recommend that someone do for very long. It would have been unpleasant and very difficult to do.

It is pretty unlikely that you have ever eaten 5000 calories in a day more than a few times in your life. It’s pretty tough to do. When I am bulking, I’ll increase my food intake to around 2500-3000 calories per day and I’m basically force feeding myself. I have no concept of what it would be like to double my food intake and make it a daily habit to eat that much. But I can guarantee this: IF I was able to make it a habit to eat 5000 calories per day it would be one tough habit to break and I doubt that I would have the will-power to reduce my food intake by 75%. Chris did exactly this.

“I would literally sit at the refrigerator and just eat out of the refrigerator,” he said. “I would attack the kids’ school lunches that [my wife] had prepared the night before.”

I think it would be safe to say that Chris had some compulsive eating behaviours before he made the decision to drop the weight. Another factor that makes his accomplishment so interesting. For some reason, his belief that he would lose weight eating only McDonald’s was enough for him to stop his compulsive eating and enter into an almost starvation diet for 6 months. Why would this thought be the catalyst for Chris’ success?

Chris knew all along that his behaviour was what was making him obese but like many people who have consumption disorders he had likely given up on his ability to do anything about it. He also knew that his obesity was shortening his life given the family history of heart disease but again, he had likely given up hope of doing anything about it. He had lost control and needed something external to help him find the motivation to make things right. Setting the goal of losing weight by eating only McDonald’s was the external factor he needed.

I think that is the lesson that we should take out of this: you may need to set an unreasonable goal in order for you to achieve the really tough things in life. Good for you Chris!