Superstar Marathon Runner Only Ate at McDonald's

Emily Abbate

McDonald's Joe D'amicoFast food is our nemesis. Yes, our determination for a thinner physique can and will conquer our hamburger hankerings. What if I told you there was a way to indulge in some fast food-y goodness and still be physically fit? Actually, not just physically fit. Athletically dominant.

Meet example A: Joe "The McRunner" D'Amico. Last Sunday, Joe came in 29th place overall in the Los Angeles Marathon. A HUGE accomplishment within itself, and that's not even the coolest part. McSpeedy geared up for his race by carbo loading, like the rest of them. But then he upped his cholesterol and his fat intake and, well, everything by eating ONLY McDonald's for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for one month prior to the race.


The McRunner logged his daily food intake on his personal blog, Confessions of a Drive Thru Runner, and it's astounding. Of course, he enjoyed some of the fast food giant's healthier options, like the fruit and yogurt parfait and fruit and walnut salad. However, he's also into the fries, full sugar sodas, a fan of the McChicken, and -- blast -- while he may have avoided the McRib, he did have some of a Shamrock Shake on St. Patrick's Day. That's my man. 

Over the course of his month-long journey, D'Amico landed himself 24,000+ Facebook fans and raised more than $27,000 for the Ronald McDonald House. Really, if there was ever an experiment worth sacrificing your health for, well -- it seems that this is it. In total, he indulged in 3 Filet-o-Fish, 91 hotcakes, 24 servings of oatmeal, 23 hamburgers, 24 chicken snack wraps, among other McFavs from 32 different McDonald's locations. You can see the whole list here.

My first thought: Man, that's a lot of McCalories. But ladies -- the man ran more than 340 miles in the four weeks leading up to the race. And then my next thought: He's active alright, but his blood work has to be a mess, right? Wrong. A blog post releasing the details of his blood work shows that his cholesterol actually went DOWN 28 points over the course of the month. In fact, so did his levels of triglycerides, HDL, and LDL. Could this be? The man ate McDonald's for an entire month and ended up healthier? It's official, the McRunner is my McIdol.

What I'm really thinking: It might be time to take a good ol' page from the McRunner playbook. Really, while healthier foods and adequate vitamin intake are important leading up to a big race, D'Amico's food journal and race results prove that there are tastier other ways to be successful. I'll be running in the Women's Half Marathon next Sunday in New York City, and I'm thinking it's time to gear up. Anyone want to meet me at McDonald's?

Can you imagine eating McDonald's for a month? What do you think of Joe's success story?

Image via Vacacion/Flickr

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