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"I Lost Weight on a Fast-Food Diet"

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Day 3: "I'm Actually Hungry!"

Breakfast: Burger King

On Wednesday morning, I breakfast on deep-fried French Toast Sticks from Burger King but skip the syrup and at first eat just half because I still feel bloated and full from the nearly 3,000 milligrams of sodium -- double a day's worth, according to some recommendations -- I had the day before. As I make myself continue eating, I remember a statistic I dug up in preparation for this story: One-quarter of Americans eat fast food every single day. I marvel at their stamina -- and the state of their arteries.

Research shows that too much dietary sodium can up your risk of hypertension and eventually put a strain on your heart. Avoiding it, however, is nearly impossible in fast-food restaurants. At many establishments, you can ask for no-salt fries, but the server has to cook you a fresh batch, which sort of negates the "fast" part. Unfortunately, the most effective way to cut down on your sodium consumption at the drive-through is not to order.

Lunch/Dinner: Wendy's and Taco Bell

After a lunch consisting of the other half of Tuesday's sub and more soup, I stop at Wendy's for a fruit bowl. Amazingly, I'm actually hungry for dinner at Taco Bell, but my Fiesta Taco Salad turns out to be covered in beans -- one food I absolutely can't stand. When did I sign up for this? I have a few bites and decide they're not going to kill me, and, in fact, they're pretty tasty. "Trying new foods is one of the most important things a dieter can do -- on any plan," says Mercer. "It prevents boredom, so you're better able to resist cravings. By varying your meals and trying new foods, you make sticking to your diet plan easier." Thanks, Taco Bell!

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