Ryan Williams has always enjoyed physical fitness, but the 29-year-old postman from the United Kingdom wanted to put his body through a much different kind of test.

After seeing advertisements for the 50th anniversary of the McDonald’s Big Mac, and remembering the 2004 Morgan Spurlock documentary Supersize Me, Williams got an idea. He had always thought the documentary—where Spurlock ate only McDonald’s for a month and gained 24 pounds in the process—was being unfair towards the fast food giant. He wanted to prove weight loss was less about what you were eating and more about calories consumed vs. calories burned. He decided he would only eat McDonald’s for the entire month of October, documenting the entire process on his YouTube channel.

Williams’s goals going into the challenge were to:

  1. See if he could maintain a fit and active lifestyle while only eating McDonald’s
  2. See if he could actually lose weight and get in better shape on this McDonald’s-only diet

Williams explained this is the anti-Supersize Me challenge. His plan was to consistently work out while consuming only McDonald’s, in contrast to Spurlock’s documentary where he didn’t actively try and work off the calories consumed. This meant going to the gym for an hour every weekday morning. Instead of solely consuming Big Macs, he often opted or the fruit and salad options from the McDonald’s menu.

At the end of the month, Williams weighed 16 pounds lighter and reduced his body fat percentage by two points.

He began the month consuming 2,500 calories a day, the recommended amount for an adult male. During the second week, he dropped this number to 2,300 calories. By the end of the month, he reduced his caloric intake again and began consuming his meals in one large sitting and fasting throughout the rest of the day.

On different days, Williams would challenge himself to only eat certain foods for his one big meal, such as consuming his daily calorie intake exclusively in McFlurries or Big Macs. At 508 calories per Big Mac, Williams could consume five and only be 40 calories over his daily limit.

For Williams, this challenge was a way for him to get back into shape. He had been more active in his younger years, but fitness had recently fallen by the wayside. Williams told the Daily Mail he was eating around 5,000 calories a day at one point, so he thought this would be a great challenge to get him back in the gym. While he doesn’t recommend everyone try this challenge, he wanted to raise awareness that it’s not necessarily the type of food you are eating that is hindering your weight loss—it’s the amount of calories.

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