At first glance, you might think this book is a McDonald’s publicity stunt, or at least an attempt by the chain to undo the damage caused by the Super Size Me movie.

It’s neither, and in fact, McDonald’s was in no way involved with the writing, marketing, or even the idea behind the book. Even the burger on the cover is not a McDonald’s burger because they have very strict copyrights on anything related to their brand.

This is a book written by Mark Austin, a certified personal trainer and performance nutrition specialist who works out of his gym based in Switzerland.

Mark Austin specializes in rapid and sustainable weight loss based on a diet and exercise regimen that he has perfected over 27 years in the health and fitness industry. The waiting list to join their gym says it all, and once you’re in, you have to push yourself, so to speak, or you’re politely asked to leave to make way for the next desperate customer.

The motivation behind the book was a response to all the excuses Mark has given his clients over the years to avoid weight loss: Nothing else to eat at the restaurant…It was a special occasion…it was cooked especially for me…didn’t want to offend the host…didn’t have time…etc, etc.

He decided to write a book to show that even if you ate nothing but fast food for a month, you could still lose weight if you sensibly met your body’s nutritional needs and exercise program three times a week.

How to use this book

My suggestion is that you read it twice to understand the dynamics of weight loss based on nutritional needs and linked to a progressive exercise program. Study the photos of the exercises and watch the video that accompanies almost all the exercises on the provided website.

The book is written in an engaging and easy-to-understand conversational style, with all expert-backed statements or research findings listed on the back. All non-everyday terms are explained as they are used and followed up again with a glossary at the back.

Then, assuming your doctor clears you for both a new diet and exercise regimen, take the book to your nearest trusted gym and sign up or log in. Follow the photos of the exercises and note your progress in the training table provided. On the way home, stop at a convenient McDonald’s and order your first meal for the next 30 days.

It is better to do the exercise correctly with a lower weight than to strain the body with too heavy a weight used incorrectly. If you’re not ready for weights, you can start at home by doing flexibility and mobility exercises. The instructions labeling the photos are very clear and provide several variations of the exercise depending on your fitness and flexibility. Once you can master an exercise with ease, it’s time to “progress” to the next level. Do you need something easier? You can also “go back” one level.

Advantages of eating McDonald’s

The main advantage of basing the foods to be eaten on a standardized source is that there can be no unconscious cheating. McDonald’s was the obvious choice because there are many branches in every major city.

Dieting is traditionally associated with deprivation, while “eating out” is associated with a treat. The main reason people go out to eat is because of its simplicity and convenience. Not having to buy, prepare and weigh “diet food” is already a time saver and a psychological boost.

If you’re ordering takeout from McDonald’s, you can’t be on a diet, right? So get rid of all the well-intentioned family, friends, and colleagues who are waiting to tell you that you’re going to fail, once again. It tastes good and there is a lot of variety. Each item in your diet has been assigned its caloric value, so no calculations are required.

Meals become something to look forward to rather than a test of your creativity with a limited number of low-fat options.


The McDonald’s Diet is a slim 225-page book (67 of those pages are made up of exercise photos) that fits easily into a gym bag and into a life. It is one of the few books I have seen that devotes equal page space to both exercise and diet, the two components that are an integral part of any weight loss program.

It covers in a few pages the essentials of weight loss, nutrition before and after exercise, and why yo-yo dieting never works and is a danger to your mental and physical health. The reason it can be so slim and affordable is that no recipe space has been wasted – your meals are waiting for you ASAP. It is written for people who really want to lose weight, without harming their health. It retails on Amazon for $14.

So now it’s your turn.

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