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Iowa educator sheds over 60 pounds with 'McDonald's Diet'

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Iowa educator sheds over 60 pounds with 'McDonald's Diet'
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Marathon County, WI (CNN) - A teacher from Iowa challenged his students to design his diet plan about a year ago. But the food they had to design the diet around isn't your typical health food.


John Cisna decided it was time to lose weight. He also took it as an opportunity to teach his biology class a lesson. Rather than dieting with fruits and veggies, he lost weight from eating fast food from McDonald’s.

John Cisna - High School Educator: "This basically was a simple experiment to make sure that we could teach the kids how to use critical thinking skills in determining the right types of foods to eat."

Now Cisna travels the country to share his experience.

John Cisna: "You see this project isn't about McDonald's; this project isn't about John Cisna; this project is one that helped kids develop critical thinking skills in making choices about what they eat."

The students had to design a diet plan where Cisna only ate 2,000 calories a day. The first three months, he walked 45 minutes a day. As he lost weight, he changed his workout plan. After 90 days, his students had to combine McDonald’s fatty foods like big macs and quarter pounders.  

Today, Cisna is 62 pounds lighter, his cholesterol has lowered 79 points, and his blood pressure is 121 over 78. He still eats McDonald’s at least once a day, but he doesn't market McDonald’s as a diet plan.

John Cisna: "I wouldn't advise anybody eat McDonald's every day."

He says it's up to you to decide what you are putting into your body.

John Cisna: "The point of this experiment is showing that, it's not the fast food industry that's getting us in the shape we are today."

Kristina Schoh - Spokeswoman, Courtesy Corporation McDonald's: "It's not where you eat, but what you eat, and how much you ultimately choose to eat."

Audience members agreed.

Whitney Fude - Family & Consumer Sciences Teacher: "I've lost 45 pounds in a year myself and I still eat out, but you gotta make the choice."

Cisna says he will go back to the diet if he gains weight again.

Cisna ate 540 McDonald’s meals during the experiment. He says a production company in California is working on a documentary on his journey. His team hopes that will be ready in September.