Advantages and disadvantages of Dieting, How to recover when the diet slips

What do you do if the diet goes pear shaped

Welcome back.  Hopefully, you’ve been reading this series of articles and are now embarked on this plan for losing weight.

How is it going?  Love to hear how you’re doing.

This article discusses:

  • What to do if you miss your day’s target completely, you find yourself in a situation where you cannot count the calories or the wheels totally come off.
  • How to count calories when cooking meals yourself or for the family. Things you may not be counting (that make a difference).
  • Foods that lose you calories when you eat them.
  • Things you can look forward to, and
  • The albeit not to bad disadvantages of successful dieting.

What to do when the wheels come off

So first off, the big question – it was all going swimmingly and then you just had that bad day or couple of days – what do you do?

Well don’t give up.  Its not the end of the world, and it won’t make that much of dent in your diet.  I found that as long as I didn’t do this more than twice a month, it didn’t make much difference at all, as long as I didn’t go crazy and eat everything in sight.  I’d even suggest that if you haven’t had unplanned days off, you try to schedule one every two weeks, so you can have a break from the regime.  The key thing is to return to the diet the following day, and you’ll find yourself rededicated to keeping to your planned calories.

If you have more than a day off of the diet, its going to be a bit more difficult and this is largely  because it takes a fair bit of discipline to return to the regime and get yourself back to eating within your calorie limit.


Holidaying on a diet is difficult, especially on all inclusive holidays.   I found it impossible.  You’re there to relax – so enjoy yourself but don’t go mad.  Return to the diet when you return.  You’ll have lost a little ground, but your body and mind will have had a break from the regime, and as before you’ll be eager to get back to the lifestyle which for you, is becoming ‘Normal’.  You may find that returning to your diet feels surprisingly good, and you’ll find yourself on the way to being back on track.

Fresh Cooking

This calorie counting malarkey’s okay for someone who has time to count calories and isn’t cooking for a small tribe but how do you do it if you are, or you cook up meals in larger serving amounts for freezing?


Photo by Matt Alaniz on Unsplash

Count the calories for everything that goes into the meal, and then, as best you can work out how much of the meal you think that you’re likely to eat at one sitting.  If for example that’s a fifth then divide the total calories for the meal by 5.  Lets say the whole thing is 4000 calories.  Dividing this by five will give you 800 calories.  With family meals, remember that you’re likely to eat less than other people, not because you have to, but because you’ll feel full up faster.  If you find, shock horror! that you have left some of your own portion, work out how much this is of your portion and then subtract it.

I think the key here is to be sensible and not get too stressed about the maths.  Some days you’ll over estimate and others you’ll under estimate – its likely to balance out in the end.

This may not work for you.  I’d be interested to hear what you think on this.  If you have alternatives that have worked successfully, please post them in.

Calories you may be missing out, or including when you don’t have to

I found that there were quite a few things that I failed to realise that I had to include when I started calories counting.


Do you drink tea or coffee? If you use milk or sugar you should include the calories from these.  I add 20 calories for milk and 50 calories per sugar.  If you like coffee house coffee, Latte is astronomical – Starbucks Grand Latte is 190 calories.  Sites like Fat Secret will give you the lowdown on similar.   Drink five or six teas or coffees a day and it soon stacks up.  Add sugar each time and your calorie count will go through the roof.


If you eat bread or toast, you want to add 10 calories a slice if you use spread, and 20 calories if its spread on toast. (It soaks into the toast as you spread it so you use more).
If you use Jam or Marmite, check the pots for the calories and add appropriately.

If you think fruit is free, think again.  As examples, a satsuma is around 15 calories, an average apple is 55 calories and large bananas can be up to 150 calories.   Tinned fruit in juice is expensive calorie wise, because of the juice that accompanies it.

Alcohol is surprisingly high in calories.  A small wine is 95 calories and a premium lager is around 240 per pint.  Watch out for orange juice as well – lovely to look at and drink but high in calories.  The good news is that drinks like Diet Coke have very low or zero calories, so you can go to town on them.

All these are just examples.  I’m sure that you can work out your own list of food and drink that sneaks in under the radar.

Calories it probably isn’t worth working out

The following are so low in calories, that unless you eat vast amounts of them its hardly worth working it out, especially as the energy you expend eating them is probably more than you get from them.  If I’m cooking or have these in a salad, I just don’t count them.


Some of the things you can look forward to

Ok, we’re looking long term here – at least halfway into your weight loss plan.  If you stick to the calorie limits, these are some of the things that will will make it all worth while.

  • You’ll have a much lower risk of suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, and certain cancers.
  • You’ll be able to buy slimmer clothing.  The grin that you get when you realise that you dropped 2 inches off of your waistline is priceless! (and of course if you then do it again).
  • You’ll be able to move with less effort and get tired out less easily.  Handy for those shopping trips buying new slimmer clothes.
  • People who you haven’t seen you for a while may not believe their eyes.  You can experience this yourself if you look at famous celebrities who’ve lost a lot of weight.  Some examples are John Goodman, Jonah Hill, Christina Aguilera and Ricky Gervais.
  • You’ll be able to go to the beach, and enjoy that slow walk out of the waves reprising Daniel Craig or Halle Berry in the Bond films.
  • You can go to parties and not have to breathe in when someone fit passes by.
  • Your food bill will be lower. (but you’ll spend the money anyway – see below).

There are some disadvantages too

  • Throwing out clothing with waistline that cannot be altered.  I had to throw out a black tie suit because Moss Bros couldn’t alter the 7 inches I had lost off of my waistline.  (I bought it when I was bigger than my photo in About).
  • Buying all your clothes again.  I have to say though, that the grinning is worth the cost.
  • Customs and the Police may give your old passport and driving licence a double take.  Lets hope you don’t get into that last one.

Next Time

The next article shows how exercise can allow you to eat more and get away with it, enjoy a boosted metabolism more of the time and benefit from the positive feelings which come from your body producing endorphines as and after you exercise.

Also, you don’t have to go mad with the exercise to get benefits.  Simple things like walking to the shop instead of taking the car, and using the stairs instead of the lift can make a real difference, and if you’re already taking your dog out for a walk, you’re already exercising.

If you find this series of articles is helping you, please use the LIKE button.  (The more likes it has, the more people will see this blog, and hopefully the more that will benefit from it).

Oh – in case you were wondering – Halle Berry walked out of the water in in Die Another Day and Daniel Craig repeated it in Casino Royale.  For those with longer memories, they were both repeating what Ursula Andress did in Dr No in 1962.




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