I sat here eating my take out burrito yesterday, and my thoughts went back to Morgan Spurlocks Super Size Me, where he decided to eat nothing but McDonald’s for 30 days, eating three meals a day there. Morgan put on a huge 11 kilos in the month, which is just ridiculous, and clearly proved that this was the most unhealthy sort of diet that any human being could go through.
Meanwhile, I’m chomping down on this huge, delicious sour cream filled burrito, and I’m thinking to myself “Thank goodness it’s not maccas” . Well, then, actually, I thought, stopping mid-chew, damn, his experiment was flawed, and missing so much data it’s not funny.
See, the problem is, he just proved that eating maccas for a full month was unhealthy. I think that eating out anywhere for 30 full days would be just as unhealthy. It’s sort of obvious, isn’t it, but I am surprised that this wasn’t up on every single blog out there.
So here’s a potential experimental protocol, without restricting to a single restaurant. To eat out at a restaurant for 3 meals a day, for 30 days, with the rules that you have to eat a ‘full meal’ as defined by the restaurant. Participants are only allowed to eat what the waiter recommends at any given restaurant, and if there is no waiter, they must choose a meal that they see the person next to them eating. That’s it. The price of the restaurant doesn’t matter either, it can be (and should!) be a variety of cheap to very expensive locations.
My claim here is that, at any restaurant today, the portion sizes are so large that eating anywhere 3 times a day for a month is guaranteed to lead to weight gain. It doesn’t matter that it’s MacDonald’s, or anywhere else, where someone eats; The fact is that our culture of eating out, and the pressure on restaurants to satisfy us has meant that restaurant meals are bigger.
I spoke to a few friends last night, who said that on the weekends they would typically not eat at home at all, but would just eat out; Several people mentioned that this meant they’d typically have just 2 meals on those days: A brunch and dinner sort of thing, with coffee snacks in between.
So in other words, the challenge is on. Who’s going to take it. Not me!