McDonald's Calories
Don't Eliminate...Reduce

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If you love the taste of your McDonald's calories but are concerned with the consequence to your health and/or waistline, never fear...

Order this instead of this Calories
hamburger cheeseburger 50
cheeseburger double cheeseburger 140
quarter pounder quarter pounder with cheese 100
quarter pounder big mac 130
premium grilled chicken classic sandwich premium crispy chicken classic sandwich 130
med. fries large fries 190
small fries med. fries 130
6 pc. chicken mcnuggets 10 pc. chicken mcnuggets 170
egg mcmuffin sausage mcmuffin 70
regular breakfast sizes large breakfast sizes 60-90
vanilla reduced fat ice cream cone hot fudge sundae 180
12 oz. triple thick shake 12 oz. mcflurry with M&Ms 200
1 choc. chip, oatmeal, raisin or sugar cookie mcdonaldland cookies 95
med. coke large coke 100
large 1/2 diet, half reg. coke large coke 155
choc. chip cookie large iced coffee, caramel or hazelnut 120
large coffee + 2 sugars + 2 creams 20 oz. nonfat latte 80

...your personal nutrition guide is here.

You can have your hamburger and eat it too.

Here'e the approach I suggest:

Enjoy your McDonald's calories using a cutback approach...

...not a cutout approach.

That means...

Seek out small ways in which you can make calorie savings each time you eat fast food.

If you can't be "best," (which means NO fast food in Dietitian Dreamland), you can always be "better" (which means making better choices most of the time).

And by "better," I mean choosing:

  • Slightly smaller options
  • Slightly less added "stuff" (ie., less cheese, sauces, dressings, syrup, jam, butter, etc.)

These small changes will result in calorie reduction and, as time goes by, your small calorie savings will add up and make a difference. Excess calories are the cause of excess weight and health problems. (Read more about why calories matter.)

Here's what my cutback approach looks like at the drive thru window:

Love fries? How about ordering a medium instead of a large? That's a 190 calorie savings. If you eat fries 3x/week, that would save you 29,640 calories in a year, or ~8.5 pounds!!

Don't take the drastic approach that you won't be able to stick with...such as having NO fries. When eating excessively, reduce!

Ordering your Quarter Pounder without Cheese saves you 100 McDonald's calories. That adds up to a 3 pound weight loss over one year if you eat Quarter Pounders twice a week.

And how about the compounding effect? If you order a Quarter Pounder and medium fries vs a Quarter Pounder with Cheese and large fries, you're making a savings of almost 300 McDonald's calories everytime you order. If this is your daily workweek lunch, that savings would result in a 22 pound weight loss over 1 year!

How quickly condiment calories add up at McDonald's:

1 pat margarine 40
1 jam/preserves 35
1 pkg. hotcakes syrup 180
ketchup packet 15
BBQ, honey, hot mustard or sweet-n-sour sauce 50-60
spicy buffalo, creamy ranch, tangy honey mustard or southwest chipotle BBQ sauce 190
1 pkt. lowfat dressings 40-90
1 pkt. regular dressings 100-190
1 pkt. sugar 15

And we haven't even talked about beverages yet. If you simply replace 1/2 your large regular Coke with 1/2 Diet Coke, you'll save 155 calories, or 16 pounds/year if this is a daily habit for you.

And look how fast added sauces and condiments add up:

Got it? All you have to do is make small cutbacks, consistently...

...and let time go by!

Small cutback in calories + time going by = weight loss, better health, better job, great home, faulous vacations, man/woman of your dream....oops, I got carried away!

Check out the charts to see where you can bring yourself to make some cutbacks!

See my McDonald's Nutrition Guide for more McDonald's meal suggestions.

Look up the McDonald's calories in your favorite foods.

Back to Personal Nutrition Guide Home.