The Fast Food Diet is a book written by Stephen Sinatra, MD, a cardiologist. The premise behind the book is that it is possible to lose weight without having to stop going through the drive-thru or devote a lot of your time to preparing meals and snacks from scratch. The forward was written by Dr. Barry Sears, author of the Zone Diet.
How Does the Fast Food Diet Work?
The concept is relatively straightforward. The Fast Food Diet tells you what type of menu item is allowed from a quick service restaurant. Those items must be the only type of food selected for 80 percent of what you eat. This leaves 20 percent of your remaining food to choose as you’d like.
On this program, you will have three meals and two snacks every day. These can all be purchased from various quick service and chain restaurants as well as convenience store chains.
What Types of Foods Are Allowed?
It’s important to note that when the book describing the Fast Food Diet was published, it was 2006. The menus have changed quite a bit since that time, which could make it challenging to be able to make choices based on the recommendations in the published version.
Among the options the book recommends include the Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken from McDonald’s, the Beef and Broccoli from Panda Express, and even the Double Chocolate Chip Cookie from Subway or the French Toast Sticks from Burger King.
That said, the plan doesn’t include any of the fried foods, so if you’re a huge fan of French fries and other deep-fried foods, you’re out of luck. Same can be said of anything with high-fructose corn syrup in it, such as sodas and pancake syrup (so be careful what you put on those French Toast Sticks!).
That said, alternatives for deep fried items and those containing high-fructose corn syrup are suggested in the book.
Alcohol is permitted on this strategy, though in moderation. It is seen more as an occasional treat than something regularly allowed.
Easy but Not Necessarily Nutrient-Dense
For dieters looking for convenience first and who know that they will not be able to give up their take-out habits, the Fast Food Diet is considered to be a low effort, simple plan to follow. After all, while it may require some different choices from quick service restaurant and convenience store offerings, the routine can stay the same. A croissant breakfast sandwich, pizza and cheeseburgers are all allowed, after all.
That said, it is important to note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be meeting all the nutritional requirements that your doctor would prefer that you consume. If you do decide that this is the type of program you’re most likely to follow over the long term, remember to try to make choices that will include vegetables and fiber into your meals and snacks on a regular basis.