One of the approaches I used successfully when I first had some weight loss success on this journey of mine was to continue eating at all the same places I always had but to scale back how much I was eating. I pretty much know my battle is to reduce consumption and having a focus on that really seemed to make a difference.
As my weight has ballooned back up I've forgotten all the good habits I had started to establish as it pertains to portion size. One of the first things I did back then was to dramatically reduce how much I was eating at McDonald's, which is probably not the first time a fat guy like me has said that. McDonald's is generally not great for a diet, particularly if you have a problem with portion size.
I've never had success in daily tracking of calories but I have had some success in researching a few key meals so that I have a good understanding of what is OK or what is not. (hint, a foot long Tuna combo meal at Subway is NOT!).
I've sort of forgotten what's OK at McDonald's and what is not so I thought I would grab a nutrition sheet and dig in:
McDonald's Sausage Egg McMuffin
Prior to starting this journey a couple of years ago I had developed a habit of enjoying two sausage egg mcmuffin's and a hash brown for breakfast. The good news is I know that is SO bad and grossly filling that this time around I have been staying away from that meal. Let's see if there is any combination of this that could possibly work for a not-so-bad breakfast.
According to the McDonald's nutritional info:
2 Sausage Egg McMuffins and a hashbrown: 1,050 calories. 2 Sausage Egg McMuffins: 900 colories. 1 Sausage Egg McMuffin and a hashbrown: 600 colories. 1 Sausage Egg McMuffin: 450 calories.
Maybe the occasional sausage egg McMuffin wouldn't be a terrible thing but anything beyond that and you are really starting to dig into your daily caloric intake.
This breakfast sandwich is their original classic and from what I remember reading it really isn't so bad from a calorie standpoint. But let's see how bad:
2 Egg McMuffins and a hashbrown: 750 calories. 2 Egg McMuffins: 600 calories 1 Egg McMuffin and a hashbrown: 450 colories. 1 Egg McMuffin: 300 calories.
300 calories isn't bad at all, I easily eat more than that with a "good" breakfast. Of course that includes fruit, dairy and other good things for you – I am ignoring all of that and just focusing on calories which of course isn't healthy either. But what I'm trying to determine here is "what is a relatively filling, cheap meal that I can grab on the go that isn't go to blow my diet." It's not 2 Sausage Egg McMuffin's and a hashbrown but perhaps it is a single Egg McMuffin.
Sausage Breakfast Burrito
Diving into this analysis I was mostly interested in this one because it is something I have become used to eating and I've never before research how bad they were for me. So I was really interested. The problem is that for some reason the nutritional sheet I got at McDonald's didn't show this one, it only showed the bigger McSkillet Breakfast Burrito. So I had to use the numbers I found on the Internet:
2 Sausage Breakfast Burritos and a hashbrown: 750 calories. 2 Sausage Breakfast Burritos: 600 calories 1 Sausage Breakfast Burrito and a hashbrown: 450 colories. 1 Sausage Breakfast Burrito: 300 calories.
So it's basically the same as the regular Egg McMuffin. The problem is that the value meal this comes in, the #11, includes 2 burritos, so by default that's the 750 calories pack. You can order the ala-carte but again I'm not sure if just one will be enough. I do know that I really don't like just 1 regular egg McMuffin as I never feel like that meal keeps me going, but perhaps a single breakfast burrito will. I'll have to try.
For all of you who are no doubt thinking, "don't go to McDonald's, make yourself something at home," you are probably right. But convenience is golden.