Man Eats Only McDonald’s For 100 Days To Lose Weight: What a Dietitian Thinks
Eating fast food to lose weight might seem like an oxymoron, but one TikTok user is causing quite a stir with his surprising weight-loss strategy.
After hitting 238 pounds recently, Kevin Maginnis, a 56-year-old business coach in Nashville, Tennessee, announced his plan to eat only McDonald's for 100 days in an effort to lose some pounds.
In the viral TikTok video, Makinis called his weight “absolutely unacceptable” and said he planned to lose weight by limiting his portion sizes and eating half of each McDonald's order.
After starting his 100-day weight loss challenge on Feb. 21, the TikToker stopped by the TODAY show on March 2 to share an update on his progress. Maginnis has lost 12.5 pounds and says he feels motivated.
“My belief is (I will) lose 50 pounds by the end, my health will be better, my blood work will be better. If you don't believe me, go ahead,” he told TODAY's Carson Daly and Sheinelle Jones .
Before starting the challenge, Maginnis had blood work done, and he said several markers were “in the wrong direction.”
Maginnis said his strategy has “definitely worked” so far, explaining that he only eats half of what he orders so he can reduce his calorie intake. He saves the uneaten half for the next meal.
“The idea of calorie restriction, losing weight (associated with this approach) at any point in my life. I'm actually a wrestler, and I box in the military. So sometimes you have to gain weight and cut calories, ’ he explained.
Sheinelle admitted that she initially thought Maginnis would have to survive on nothing but salad and water, but shared an example of what he eats on an average day. Yes, burgers, fries and desserts are on the menu. But Maginnis swaps out soda for water and doesn't snack between meals.
Sharing his weight loss journey with TikTok users has helped hold him accountable to his goals, especially since he now weighs himself daily and shares it with his audience, Maginnis said.
Like many, Carson was curious as to why the TikToker chose to eat McDonald's specifically for 100 days in a row.
“Because I'm big (and) my name is Maginnis, the Big Mac nickname gets thrown around sometimes. I think, ‘Why not take it?' I love McDonald's,” he said, adding that the fast-food restaurant The chain didn't sponsor him.
Maginnis said people often ask him if he's hungry because he's limiting his food intake.
“The answer is, well, of course. You have to get to the part of your stomach where you have some heat,” he said. “They call it starvation, I call it turning on my incinerator to burn off all the excess fat.”
What do nutrition experts think about Maginnis' McDonald's diet?
McGinnis said doctors took issue with his diet in comments on his TikTok videos.
“There are cardiologists who love it and there are cardiologists who hate it,” he said.
Registered dietitian Frances Largeman-Roth told TODAY.com that losing weight while eating fast food is possible, given Maginnis believes his health will improve by the end of the challenge. But she stresses that weight loss isn't all about calorie restriction.
“While the plan seems to be working for Kevin right now, the weight loss will eventually plateau and he will need to increase his physical activity or make additional changes to his diet to maintain his weight loss,” she explains. “Let's remember that health is not just about the number on the scale. It's also about cardiovascular fitness and other measures.”
Fast food isn't usually something experts recommend eating often, but Largeman-Roth said Maginnis' diet is safe “in the short term.”
“However, everything health experts know about how to stay healthy over time is missing from McDonald's foods and other types of highly processed foods,” she added. “A daily intake of 25 to 30 grams of fiber, including legumes, nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables, and fatty fish, can contribute to longevity.”
Because of the lack of key nutrients, Maginnis did nothing to reduce his risk of heart disease, colon cancer, stroke or diabetes, Largeman-Roth said.
“Also, even though Kevin halved his meals, he was still consuming more than the recommended 2,300 mg of sodium per day. A bacon, egg, and cheese cracker had 1,330 mg of sodium and a Big Mac had more than 1,000 mg , without ketchup or mustard,” explains the nutritionist.
Before anyone embarks on a diet similar to Maginnis', Largeman-Roth recommends considering long-term health goals and how eating fast food every day might affect them.
“It's not so much about you eating burgers and fries, it's about what you're eating. It's about what you are no Eat for 100 days straight — fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds,” she stresses.
Largeman-Roth also recommends consulting a healthcare professional before starting any weight loss program. She did give Maginnis a big kudos, though.
“I do like that Kevin sticks to water instead of soda — it's a no-brainer,” says Lagman-Ross.