The Worst Food in America (Plus: Sydney Launch Party)

This could feed 10 Victoria’s Secret models for 10 weeks.

If you want to follow the opposite of my slow-carb diet for fat-loss, I suggest the following:

The Worst Food in America

Outback Steakhouse Aussie Cheese Fries with Ranch Dressing

2,900 calories

182 g fat

240 g carbs

It’s the caloric equivalent of eating 14 Krispy Kreme doughnuts before your dinner arrives. And we blame genetics for our fat asses.

“Even if you split this ‘starter’ with 3 friends, you’ll have downed a meal’s worth of calories.” (Source: Men’s Health with hat tip to Lee McPeck)


Sydney Party this Friday at 6pm! Sign up ASAP…

The location is still TBD, but the Sydney launch party will be this Friday from 6-9pm. The London bash had more than 150 people show up, and the limit on this one is just 50-100, so please be sure to sign up here ASAP:

Sign up today or tomorrow, as sign-up ends at 3pm AUS time on the 15th. It’s going to ROCK, so bring lots of joie de vivre for one hell of a party 🙂

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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89 Replies to “The Worst Food in America (Plus: Sydney Launch Party)”

  1. “Cheese Fries with Ranch Dressing” – sounds very American to me, not Australian at all. In fact, I’d never heard of “cheese fries” until I went to America. And, I could be wrong, but I don’t think we have a direct equivalent of Ranch – at least my sister couldn’t find one back here in Australia.

    It’s a shame you’re not going to Brisbane, I’d see you in a heart beat! Have fun in Australia!

  2. Interestingly, there is no “aussie outback steakhouse” in australia. Nor would they be seen dead selling ranch cheese fries…..

    Now, Kangaroo steaks, emu and croc’s? hell yes. but cheese fries? only in America.

  3. Wow, that looks disgusting! Would it even be possible to take them one by one or do you have to use a knife and cut it into little pieces?

    If people would be aware of the amount of calories in that food I guess no one will ever order it again.

  4. I’m glad I don’t eat that stuff. Been cutting fat for a while. I’ll have to take a look at your low-carb plan.

  5. But they taste sooooooo good! Eh, I’ll still be getting them, split among friends or not. I’ll eat what I can, eat what I can of the entree, then box up what’s left and that’s dinner or lunch the next day!

  6. I’ve been told by an insider that Outback Steakhouse uses lard in all of their foods, so I’m not that surprised by the nutritional content of their cheese fries.

  7. Man! I’m working this Friday night, where’s the notice? Hmm, probably my fault.

    And there’s nothing aussie about those fries.

  8. I read Ray Kurzeweil’s “The 10% Solution” when I wanted to lose weight, and followed that with his “Fantastic Voyage”. (Warning, the latter is very heavy on nutritional science.) Just from the 10% Solution I learned that we overeat fat calories – the government’s recommendation for calories from fat is 30%, whereas most doctors would recommend 10%. This knowledge alone caused me to start reading labels, to learn more about food, and to lose (and keep off, for two years now) fifty pounds.

    I’m working on adding some of it back in as muscle, concentrating on eating protein, only good fats when possible, and using the recommendations that Tim has put forth. It’s working, and while I don’t seem to have the “stick-to-itiveness” to make it to the gym four times a week like I want to, I still make it at least two and the results are still showing. (I am planning changes to my schedule for June that will allow me to meet my goals.)

    It’s funny – there’d have been a time when those cheese fries looked appetizing. Now they just horrify me!

  9. Wow, that’s insane. I was disappointed when I recently read that the Classic Italian sub at Quiznos was ranked the 15th worst food for your health, because I love that sub! But they were talking about the large size, which I couldn’t possibly eat even on a dare. Even the medium is pretty darn big! Why do we have to eat so much?

  10. Of course its genetics Tim! The settlers all experienced spontaneous gene mutations while crossing the Atlantic.. It’s clearly not due to a gluttonous lifestyle.

    As a former Outback server.. I can confirm they use lard in all their food. Theres stacks upon stacks of squishy white digusting lard in the kitchen at all times..

  11. Tim – Love your book and your blog! Spekaing of your slow carb diet, I have been following it for 3 weeks now and have lost 10 pounds. It seems I have hit a pleateu. What do you do when this happens? Any suggestions? Thanks!

  12. I’ve never tried those, and haven’t been to Outback for 4 or 5 years – next time I’m there I’ll have to remember to give those a try.

  13. Funny, I was just reading that Men’s Health article yesterday 🙂 I used to wait tables at a place that served fries and so many people would say “can I get cheese on those, and chili too?” blech.

    Okay Outback servers, so if order grilled fish are they putting lard on that too??? Sigh.

    “And we blame genetics for our fat asses” – so true. I think a lot of people are stuck in a “feeding pattern” that their parents and mostly all the marketing in America has crammed down their throats all their lives…and it’s very hard to break those addictions…

  14. Tim,

    What type of phone/pda do you use and what service? I am interested in what the best service is to use for the type of travelling you are currently doing.


  15. Pffff, what a ripoff of a poutine. You should try one next time your in Quebec Tim. It might be bad for your health but its great for the soul!


  16. And to think, I used to down at least half of one of those babies every time I went to Outback when I was a kid.

  17. In Canada, this is called Poutine (poo-teen) – cheese curds on greasy fries smothered with gravy.

    There is also a delicacy called “Oreilles de Cris” (translated as Christ’s ears) which is made from strips of fried pig skin, rolled in salt. (i.e. deep fat fried fat).

    Some people also spread “cretons” on their toast. Creton is spiced and rendered pork fat turned into a spread.

    You couldn’t PAY me to eat that stuff.

  18. Tim,

    Things like this are always a good reminder that people who cite “genetics” are almost always ignorant of what a phenotype is and how their lifestyle determines how their genotype is expressed.

    And I’m not one for food discrimination in the context of sound eating habits, but you couldn’t eat much of that as part of any reasonable daily diet. Oy. Vey.



  19. That Outback meal has been widely reported in the press but I *think* it’s either urban legend or somebody has their math wrong.

    I mean, don’t get me wrong – it’s calorie death – but 2,900 is quite a ridiculous number.

    It’s hard to tell exactly how big a portion it is in the picture, but it looks like a regular plate, so let’s look at this logically.

    One large portion of fries is what? 300 grams? Let’s go with that. (NB: A ‘supersize’ McDonalds fries is 198g and 610 calories.)

    300g of fried thick-cut fries = 693 calories.

    How much cheese? A cup?

    One cup of cheddar cheese = 532 calories

    Ranch Dressing? Looks about a cup again.

    One cup of Ranch dressing = 467 calories.

    So that totals 693+532+467 = 1,692 calories, which is about the same as two Big Macs, large fries and a Coke. Again, not the healthiest of meals, but you’ll be positively svelte compared to the (IMO, exaggerated) nightmare above.


  20. Come to Melbourne! Please! Your book has changed my life … and my 4-hour workweek is nearly set-up. Would love to thank you in person.

  21. Tim,

    I certainly wouldn’t eat that!

    You should come to Melbourne. I have told like 5 of my friends about your book and they have all bought a copy as well. We all love it and talk about the techniques etc over coffee/lunch all the time.

    I’m still working on my passive income streams, however things are picking up!



  22. I think I’d choose the 14 Krispy Kreme doughnuts. 2900 calories is a ton! If you were going to consume that many calories before a meal, I think you should look at alternatives… such as beer… and I’m sure it would be a lot more fun and you probably won’t reach the 2900 calorie mark.

  23. Aussies have ‘chips’ not ‘fries’ and ranch dressing is an import. I think this one belongs with other Aussie classics perpetrated on ‘Septic Tanks’ like Hoop Snakes and Drop Bears 🙂

    Damn shame you aren’t heading north of Sydney across the Queensland border .. much better place to spend the remains of a 4hww!

  24. Hey Tim,

    I’m soo ticked that I can’t make it to the party in Sydney on Friday, I have to fly to Perth from Brisbane on Thursday night, otherwise I would have flown down to meet you! Are you in Australia long and are you available to meet up any other times in any other cities?

    I’d really recommend coming to Queensland and checking out the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.. Brisbane is in the middle of the 2.


    Paul Pichugin

  25. Tim,

    I was doing a little reading about nutrition and came across a site featuring a quote from you about the ill effects cheese has on you, namely it makes you sleepy. I share these sentiments. For instance, i just ate a bunch of bacon and eggs. Had i added cheese, i would be hitting the snooze button right now. Other dairy products like butter and cream do not induce sleep in me, probably because they contain little calcium, unlike. Any other foods that you avoid because they put you into a coma?

  26. I wonder how much calories is a poutine but I’d say that it is most likely healthier. Not as healthy as a salad of course but when you live up north, you need a little fat to survive those long lasting winters!

    Anyway, that thing looks like taking a bite and having a heart attack… truly discusting

  27. Hi Tim, I just heard one of your lectures and was wondering how could I apply this to school? Furthermore, when I graduate from college, if I do end up going, what do you suggest I do for income? (I originally wrote living but have decided that that is not how I will live my life.)

    Thanks, Gustavo

  28. Ok, it would take 3-4 NYF Poutines to meet those calorie and fat levels, but still a vote for Poutine as far as culture and taste of bad for you foods go!

  29. If you happen to be in Adelaide this weekend and want your tango fix, then come up to the Mount Osmond Golf Club for a traditional Buenos Aires style milonga on Saturday night.

    Un abrazo,


  30. @ peter – that was a comment on one of Tim’s posts, not a quote from Tim 🙂 he has posted about eating pizza with cheese and a whole post about chocolate…

    Random question, Tim, some tips about dealing with jet lag? You’re on the other side of the earth – how do you sleep? 🙂


  31. I believe that the Canadian equivalent to this would be poutine – a good heaping portion of fries with whole cheese curds topped with hot gravy….mmm artery clogging…mmmm…..

  32. The most decadent hive of carbohydrate villainy I’ve encountered on one of my annual six month sabbaticals was ‘The Beacon’ in Spartanburg,SC They put your juicy grease-laden burger on a dinner plate and then pile it so high with fries half of them end up on the tray. It was amazing and worth a few weeks of extra running to burn it off. On that trip we also passed through the south. Louisiana and Savana,GA added a few extra pounds too!

    — Greg

  33. Hey Tim, looking forward to meeting you on Friday night. If you have time it would be great to get a few shots of you for a martial arts magazine that I freelance for. I’ve bounced the idea off the editor for an article on your worldwide training experiences including that hysterical chinese kickboxing experience, if you are interested



  34. Tim:

    A bit off topic but I’m wondering where that gun range in Vietnam was that i remember you visited. I’m currently in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and they offer a similar service but at a price that could feed them for years, fix their roads, etc. I’m headed to Vietnam in a couple days and think maybe I should wait until then… Let me know! Thanks man.


    PS Got some good Muay Thai in, in Thailand… wish i had more time to train.

  35. Cheesey fries, get them (or dont) from your local fish an chip shop =]

    Registered one the 2nd intake for the Friday meet!!

  36. FOR TIM – the Jam Room has a dress code, it might not be a bad idea to send another email to the list, so they don’t get turned away and spoil your debut…Jim…0412 214 005

  37. FOR TIM – I just called to ask, the Jam Room has a dress code, you might want to send another email to the list, letting them know…Jim 0412 214 005

  38. Hi Tim,

    Was at you book launch in Sydney earlier this evening. Unfortunatelty I arrived an hour and a half late :-/ Did manage to meet some very nice / interesting people though.

    I left my job in an IT sweatshop six months ago and in that time I’ve done this…

    Look forward to reading your book. Enjoy Oz and check out Melbourne if you can.



  39. Wow, that’s insane. I was disappointed when I recently read that the Classic Italian sub at Quiznos was ranked the 15th worst food for your health, because I love that sub! But they were talking about the large size, which I couldn’t possibly eat even on a dare. Even the medium is pretty darn big! Why do we have to eat so much?

  40. …just back from California where hospital beds are being redesigned to cope with tonnage (i.e.seismic impact from above as well as below). the piled-high boxes of Krispy Kremes being carted onto west-bound planes out of Sydney by increasingly portly passengers indicates Australia is romping rapidly into chubsville at an impressive rate as well

  41. …just back from California where hospital beds are being redesigned to cope with tonnage (i.e.seismic impact from above as well as below). the piled-high boxes of Krispy Kremes being carted onto west-bound planes out of Sydney by increasingly portly passengers indicates Australia is romping rapidly into chubsville at an impressive rate as well

  42. Looks almost like Carls Jr. chili fries. I got them today for the first time, ironically, but could not finish them. I guess I should fast for the next 10 days.

  43. DAMMIT!

    I’m in Sydney on a mini-retirement and JUST saw this, one day late!!!

    Will you be doing anything else in Sydney Tim???

  44. Hi Tim,

    Fun party at Jam last night. Great to meet you and discuss your views on the effect social media has had on your success.

    I have posted here on the topic.

    Have a great stay Down Under and keep up the great contrarian thinking.


  45. I really really like the book! I am reading it over and over! I am having a problem, however, finding a product to resell. I cannot seem to get started! Any ideas I have had are scattered. Could you suggest how to get in gear?

    Thank you

  46. What a waste!, I mean, thats not even FOOD…, you have to come back to Argentina to enjoy some good food Tim!



  47. Outback was conceived by a University of Maryland student, it is not an Aussie franchise. It’s comical that many Americans tend to mention Outback as the first thing they can relate to Australia.

  48. Hi Tim,

    Would love to have a beer, if your still in Sydney many very interesting concepts to talk about.

    I cant believe I missed you this time around, I’m hopeing that Twitter is inaccurate and your still in sydney.


  49. You all don’t know what you’re talking about. Those cheesefries are so tasty, and well worth the calories.

  50. I can has melted cheez?

    I miss the shape I was in when I lived on Venice Beach and worked out at Gold’s Gym. But I love the cheese fries. And the fried cheese. I haven’t ever been to Outback Steak House, but that picture makes me want to go.

    Now, if only I could have both.

  51. Hello Tim,

    Are you crossing the Tasman when you’re over in Oz?

    People here in New Zealand would very much like to meet you.



  52. HiTim,


  53. Was house-hunting in Silicon Valley, my realtor mentioned with pride how he found me a home near an Outback, so I could eat Aussie food.I’m a homesick Aussie, but not as sick as that stuff they call ‘food’.

  54. I hate to tell you this but Outback has an even worse one than that. The bloomin onions are pure fat and breading and an astounding 3148 calories.

    Nutrition Facts

    Serving Size: 1/4 Onion With Dipping Sauce


    Amount per Serving


    Calories 787 Calories from Fat 632


    % Daily Value *

    Total Fat 70.3g 108%

    Saturated Fat 10.9g 54%

    Cholesterol 77mg 26%

    Sodium 1261mg 53%

    Potassium 266mg 8%

    Total Carbohydrate 33.2g 11%

    Dietary Fiber 2g 8%

    Sugars 6.8g

    Protein 8.1g 16%


    Vitamin A 15%

    Vitamin C 7%

    Calcium 14%

    Iron 24%

    Thiamin (B1) 30%

    Niacin (B3) 23%

    Folic Acid (Folate) 38%

    Magnesium 9%


    Est. Percent of Calories from:

    Fat 80.4% Carbs 16.9%

    Protein 4.1%

    To top it off, they aren’t even good, the dipping sauce is the puke from people who ate too many chili fries.

  55. I believe this is an Americanized version of “Poutine” a Canadian Dish. Yummy, but I believe as we have seen, an example of how NOT to eat

  56. Alright, but here’s the real question: Can this be eaten on the “day off” each week while on the Tim Ferriss Diet?? According to the dieting rules, it would seem like a viable option on that day…

  57. Hi there,

    2,900 calories! That is absolutely insane! Do people actual eat that in one go! As you said, even if you split that between 3 people, you still have eaten way too much saturated fat!

    High cholestrol will be a major problem there I think if you eat that often. Great blog by the way. Really informative and I enjoy reading your posts. They are very helpful

    Hope you to hear a lot more from you.


  58. I’m from the south and my mom cooked with lard her whole life.Lard is much better to cook with than vegetable shortenings.Lard makes food taste much better.Using lard to make pie crust and biscuits;will be the best tasting you will have ever had.Both my parents lived to be in their 80s.Their diet isn’t what killed them!If you have ever owned a fry daddy or any other type deep fryer;have you ever noticed the dirty crusted part around the top.You can’t get it clean without taking a knife or something sharp to scrape it off and it looks like plastic.Think of that in your arteries;at least lard stays melted and moves through your system.

  59. Hi Tim! Everything with fries is typically American to me. My wedding shall be in an american country style and I’m trying to achieve that with the food you mentioned and the Hochzeitsdeko (decoration for the wedding). I’m from Germany and thank you very much for the help! [Moderator: link removed.]