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Fast Food 30 - the story behind the book

Fast Food 30 - the story behind the book



Fast Food 30 is a new book that tells you how to lose weight by navigating your way through the world of fast food and quick service meals. It was based on Limbo's research.

When I joined Limbo, I had some weight to lose: 30kg (I’ve got 5 to go). I had to completely reset my relationship with food, but unlike other Limbo members, I got to peek behind the curtain to see how the system works. This meant I could see all the meals members had logged in our system and I was slightly surprised. I kept noticing burgers, kebabs (the shaved elephant leg ones, not the ‘healthy’ ones) and even found fried chicken in there. It made no sense to me but when I asked a colleague to look at the data to tell me whether people are successfully losing weight while eating fast food, that’s when the real shock came.

Limbo has a lot of busy professional types and entrepreneurs who are always on the move and working long hours. Many of the members that were successfully losing weight were regularly eating at fast food and quick service restaurants but losing up to 5 kilograms a month. This sounded as absurd to me as it must to you, but they had obviously cracked some type of code. I had to investigate.

In January 2023, Liton released Fast Food 30 on Amazon.  Then he ate fast/quick service food for every meal throughout January to show you could lose weight if you make the right decisions.


A survival guide

First, Limbo’s chief scientist laughed at me because he’s been teaching people how to navigate their way around fast food, slow food and just about any food for his entire career. He’s not surprised by much. Then he promptly marched me to McDonalds and ordered for me. Next thing I knew, I was eating TWO (adapted) triple cheeseburgers and not sure if he was winding me up. He explained the science behind why I could do this, gave me some guidance on how to do it and it just seemed so obvious.

I then got talking to Limbo members about how they cope when travelling. Travel is a really difficult time for anyone in the process of losing weight and I suddenly found myself travelling all the time. I was in airports and planes every other week. I was also driving a lot and finding myself with terrible options when it came to meals in all of these situations. I found some of the tips and tricks I got from Limbo members so useful that I found myself losing 5kg a month while sustaining this lifestyle.

I took what I learned and turned it into a guidebook for people who weren’t as lucky as I was. Through my own experience, my newfound study of nutrition and glucometabology I was able to come up with some initial guidance. Then I got the boffins at Limbo to analyse over 300,000 diary entries and 13.5m data points from Limbo members. They found that members who lost the most weight, and kept it off, were eating fast food items at least once a week. I’ve included tips from many of them in the book.

Fast Food 30 book
Liton eating a burger
Burgers - on from Leon and another from Shake Shack
Leon's 'healthy fast food' plant burgers are more likely to stop you losing weight than Shake Shack's naked triple cheeseburger.

Based on a personal journey

I started using Limbo in April 2022 when I started working for the company. I weighed 95kg / 208 pounds / 14 stone 12 lbs which meant I was obese. I was physically having a miserable time and just didn’t feel like myself. In just over 6 months, Limbo guided me through losing over 25kg/55 pounds. That’s the equivalent of a whole sack of potatoes of extra weight I was trying to run up the stairs with. No wonder I was out of breath at the top.

I had tried what felt like everything to lose weight and finally managed by embracing the science of how fat is stored and burned. Then I changed my habits. I used the same method Laurie Holden used when she was getting in shape for The Boys, but had to adapt it to work for a busy executive and father of twin toddlers who is travelling constantly. The result was my book, Fast Food 30.

Before and After Litton copy

It’s definitely not a diet

Diets don’t work, long-term. The Fast Food 30 is an everyday survival guide - not a diet or a plan to make you lose weight. It’s a bit like a Lonely Planet or Rough Guide that guides you round the real world situations you face as you’re walking out of your office and down the high street and faced with food choices. These choices are stacked in favour of the companies peddling you well-designed and profitable foods rather than trying to fill you up and make you healthy. It’s not unlike a forager’s guide which might tell you which areas of a forest to find food in, alongside what’s edible and what is not.

The book is available on Amazon now but Limbo’s also made the ebook available free on this site: www.fastfood30.com. I'm also putting my mouth where my money is - with a personal 30 day challenge to eat only fast food. My Limbo feed  is live on the site, displaying all my meals and the impact they have on my body. You’ll also be able to track my weight to see whether I manage to lose weight. I started eating fast food for every meal on the 1st of January and will finish on the 30th January.

The book has a catchy name and was released at the start of the year to make it sound like a fad diet to get some attention. But Limbo backed my project to help draw attention to the science behind weight loss. Although it's a useful guide, the book is more about science than fast food. It’s also full of nuggets I was served by Limbo's members – both through conversations and through access to their data behind the scenes.

If you read it, let me know what you think and share your #FastFood30 pictures with me on social media: @litonali and @litonphotos.