I Stopped Eating McDonald’s For 6 Months And This Is What Happened

Nicole
5 min readApr 8, 2023

Stories from a girl just trying to do “better.”

McDonald’s chain restarant sits in photo’s distance while the sun sets, creating a cotton candy sky.
Image from Unsplash

I used to love McDonald’s.

I’m not even joking, but I wish I was. I probably ate McDonald’s more than 30 times last year.

If you’ve seen the documentary, “Super Size Me,” you know exactly what happens after 30 days of eating at McDonald’s. Granted, I didn’t consume it every day for 30 days, but still — the habit was bad.

I spent the entire summer adventuring. I think I might’ve been home for maybe a total of a month last summer.

Constantly on the road, in different states, in different homes, in hotel rooms, you name it. I was constantly eating out.

When the fall soon approached, I ended up experiencing a vast array of mental and physical health problems. I was eating terribly, not getting any sleep, stressed out beyond belief, and putting way too much on a plate (both physically and metaphorically).

I had to stop.

But what happened after, completely changed my life.

My Relationship With Food

Not to trauma dump on the internet, but I’ve never had the most “solid” relationship with food. Growing up, I was given mainly healthy options to pick from in my home. I was always one of the “bigger” girls in my elementary school…But I mean, when you’re 8 years old and need prednisone because you have terrible asthma and lung issues, what else do you think is going to happen?

I started to severely develop an unhealthy relationship with food as I got older. Without getting into detail for this story’s sake, let’s just say I found fast food again on my own terms and once you have a car — it’s game over.

If you haven’t picked up from my previous posts, I also struggle with terrible anxiety. Mix unhealthy eating habits with anxiety and you have yourself a ✨stress eater.✨ This is where McDonald’s comes in.

Gif from giphy.com

McDonald’s was my go-to.

I mean we can talk about the convenience all we want, but the prices? How can you beat those? A Sausage McMuffin from the Dollar Menu… COME ON!

So taking the prices and the convenience of being able to just DoorDash my meals, McDonald’s became pretty prevalent in my life.

Once I noticed my healthy habits were starting to become non-existent, I knew I needed a change. Starting with the most prevalent thing in my life, I cut out McDonald’s immediately.

Gif from giphy.com

Was I Addicted to McDonald’s?

The following weeks were miserable. I cut out almost all processed food, junk, and sugar. I was grumpy, feeling nauseous all the time, and super overwhelmed trying to find meals for myself.

Some people can call this withdrawal. I think it was a mixture of pure annoyance and frustration (with maybe a little withdrawal and other health side effects). I don’t think I was addicted to McDonald’s.

I think I was addicted to the feeling I got when I ate a “satisfying” meal.

What Happened Next?

After a few weeks, I developed more of a routine. If I wanted a McDonald’s Sausage Egg and Cheese McMuffin, I would go and make my own sausage egg and cheese with real ingredients from my home and whole wheat English muffins. (I’m not saying McDonald’s doesn’t use real ingredients, but… do your own research for that one.)

This pattern soon turned into more of a lifestyle. Suddenly, I started to WANT to eat better. I only wanted healthy options. I made it a GAME to see how long I could go without eating McDonald’s.

I didn’t get to have McDonald’s often as a kid. All of that caught up to me in high school as I soon realized the Sausage Egg and Cheese McMuffin was one of my all-time favorite meals ever.

Staying away from McDonald’s (or any fast food) was HARD. I slipped up here and there trying Nathan’s or Taco Bell a time or two. Turns out, when you don’t eat fast food for months you actually lose interest in eating from those places!

So What Came Out of This?

By not eating McDonald’s for 6 months, I have trained myself to consciously pick “better” eating choices. Am I perfect? Absolutely not. Do I still sometimes pick a fast food location and regret it afterward? YUP! But even having that ping of regret, shows me I’m able to make conscious choices now and not beat myself up over them afterward either.

Not only that, but I’ve proven to myself that I no longer need to eat McDonald’s (or any fast food) as nearly as often as I thought I did. I can MAKE all of the same meals in my own home with organic or healthier ingredients! Since stopping my fast-food ventures, I have picked up on cooking some of my favorite meals and I continue to learn every day!

I have also increased my workouts, get daily exercise in, and picked more protein options to eat and my stress has significantly dropped! (Granted, this is not all due to stopping fast-food eating, but this did help!)

Cutting McDonald’s out of my life for 6 months was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Will I try it again soon? Probably. This time, with a clearer head, and a more conscious mindset.

If you’ve cut fast food out of your life, how did it make you feel? Let me know if the comments below! As always, take care, and see you next time!

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Nicole

Freelance writer, travel & lifestyle blogger, artsy human, and full of thoughts.