Two Guys Lose Weight: NFL playoffs and foods to avoid

The following is a blog documenting two Los Angeles Times editors’ attempts to lose weight (even on an NFL playoffs weekend).  It all began on Jan. 10.

For those on a diet, here are some of the meals you may want to skip today.

The KFC Double Down received much attention when it was unveiled last April.  At 540 calories, 32 grams of fat, and 1,380 milligrams of sodium, the chicken sandwich has been the ire of nutritionists across the country.

Despite the outcry, I thought it was great.  Los Angeles Times music writer Gerrick Kennedy had a different opinion.


“Sadly, within 10 minutes the sandwich caused some physical distress,” he wrote.   “What more would you expect after eating two fried chicken breasts, a sauce that we still can’t identify, a mix of cheeses that we’re not comfortable confirming as pepper jack or Monterey Jack, and bacon that got a quick zap in the microwave?”

We loved the question that Salon writer Thomas Rogers put to an industry analyst.

Why, in God’s name, would KFC create something like the Double Down?

“It’s unique, it’s shocking, it will appeal to younger generations, and people will talk about [it],” said the analyst. “But it’s also a product they can create without adding new elements to their restaurants -- it can exist within the existing kitchen.”


Coldstone created something within its existing kitchen that you might want to avoid Sunday as well: the PB&C milkshake (that’s peanut butter and chocolate, FYI).   

What do you get with this creamy drink?  More than 2,000 calories.  For perspective, Men’s Health writer David Zinczenko notes it “has more sugar than 12 Fudgsicles, as much fat as a stick and a half of butter, and more calories than 37 Oreos. Oh, it also has three days’ worth of saturated fat.”

Hearing about the drink, TV chef Jamie Oliver tweeted, “There are no words.”

There are plenty of words to describe the ‘7 pound burrito’ at the Jack-n-Grill restaurant in Denver, Colo.  ‘Gut-buster’ being one of them.  

So monstrous is this dish (3,764 calories), it’s one of the few foods that actually toppled Adam Richman of ‘Man v. Food’ fame.

Fans of the show are used to seeing Richman hork down ungodly amounts of food to packed restaurants filled with cheering fans.  But even the fan support couldn’t help the TV host.  The burrito beat him down.  “I can’t climb this mountain,” Richman woefully told the owner of the establishment.

One much smaller guy was victorious, however, and documented his ‘success’ on his blog along with weigh-ins before and after.  He went from 149 to 154 pounds in one sitting.  By the way, if you’re a female and can put it down?  You’re set for life at Jack-n-Grill.  Free food forever.

Finally, the Fifth Third burger is probably something dieters will want to run away from.  And they should be able to.


This monster burger is only offered at a Michigan minor league ballpark.  Coming in at 4,800 calories it makes the KFC Double Down look like a garden salad.  

Think about it.  You could eat eight (EIGHT) Double Downs and it wouldn’t equal one Fifth Third burger.

CNBC honored the burger as the ‘Concession Item of the Year’ in 2009.   Noted writer Darren Rovell, the offering is “believed to be the single most caloric item ever offered at a ballpark.”

Richman had better success with this one.  He beat it.  “This is the biggest burger I’ve ever conquered,” he said in a ‘post-game’ press conference.  “So I’d like to hold that as a point of pride.”


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