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Man who lost 37 lbs on McDonald's diet will continue diet for 3 more months

An Iowa man who lost 37 pounds by following an all-McDonald's diet for 90 days will continue his fast-food diet through mid-March.

John Cisna, an Iowa teacher, lost 37 pounds by following an all-McDonald's diet for 90 days.
John Cisna, an Iowa teacher, lost 37 pounds by following an all-McDonald's diet for 90 days. KCCI

"The first part is done, but it's going so well [that I want to continue]," John Cisna told the Today Show Jan. 6. "One of the things I want to try differently is continue with the diet through March 15, but now do exercise that I'm capable of doing."

Cisna made headlines after revealing his amazing 37-pound weight loss on a 2,000-calorie-a-day McDonald's diet.

After three months, the 6-foot-tall John slimmed down from 282 pounds to 243 pounds. He lost seven inches from his waist (from 51 to 44 inches), and his cholesterol dropped from 249 to 170.

Cisna, a 54-year-old biology teacher from Ankeny, Iowa, got his students involved in his weight-loss project. They planned his meals and monitored his progress, including his blood work.

A typical daily menu consisted of egg-white delights and oatmeal with one-percent milk for breakfast, a chicken salad at lunch and a value meal for dinner.

One major change for the previously sedentary Cisna was that he started walking 45 minutes every day, which he admits was hard in the beginning. “I thought I was going to die," he said. "I couldn't even walk 45 minutes carrying that 280 pounds."

John said he knew he would lose weight by restricting calories, but was surprised that his blood levels got healthier as he progressed in his McDonald's diet.

Everyone's paying attention to the weight loss. That's not the big deal. I knew I was going to lose weight. Math tells you, if you only eat two thousand calories a day, your body has to use more calories than that just to operate. I knew I was going to lose it.

What came out really nice in this experiment was the blood levels. I was so concerned about it. We took my blood halfway through it and I told the kids, ‘Now even though I’ve lost 20 pounds, if this blood-level stuff doesn't come back good, we're pulling the plug.’”

Fitness experts attribute Cisna's improved health to his dramatic weight loss — and not to the quality of his McDonald's fast-food diet — which no nutritionist would recommend.

But John is happy not only with his weight loss, but with his increased energy and improved vital signs. Now that he's able to walk for 45 minutes a day, he wants to amp up the intensity of his workouts for the second part of his weight-loss journey.

Cisna, who was a longtime couch potato, hopes his story will motivate others to get active. "Not everybody can jog or lift weights, but everybody can walk," he said.