We All Have The Hills We Will Die On...... (I just want my effing half and half)....

(photo courtesy of mateusz feliksik)


It’s very hard not to become hyper-focused on food when you are dieting, especially on a calorie deficit diet because the focus is calories. It’s probably similar to a fashion designer mentally critiquing the outfit of every person passing by their vision. This focus isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it keeps you focused on the goal, but after you’ve eaten your 100th serving of grilled chicken breast, it can get old.


Others around you may also get tired with your food/calorie focus and see it as obsession and try to get you to stop being so focused. Ignore anything that tries to pull you off your plan. Stick to your daily calorie goal as best you can. If you have a bad day, shrug it off and do better the next day. Don’t beat yourself up and don’t look back. You do not have to do this perfectly. One bad day does not erase days and/or weeks of successfully following your plan.


I have learned to be logical about calorie consumption based on my personal relationship with food. I want to feel full so I have to find foods that I can consume in large quantities for few calories. If this is your goal as well, then you have probably figured out you are going to eat a lot of vegetables to get the most impact for the least amount of calories. You can consume a pile of vegetables that fill you up with fiber for few calories. If you don’t particularly like vegetables, then try hard to find the least distasteful ones you can tolerate and find low calorie, tasty ways to prepare them. Stick to things you like. I have an in depth post about vegetable tips and tricks:


I Just Wanna Veg…. (It’s Not Easy Eating Green) (


What about high calorie foods? We all have those foods we are simply not going to give up on a diet. Myself, I want half and half with my coffee, not milk or coffee creamer. I measure one tablespoon every day, still, seven months into this diet. You might think this is ridiculous, but two tablespoons is 40 calories and if I were to dump it in my coffee straight from the container, without measuring it, I could easily put 100 calories of half and half in my coffee without realizing it (because I’d ignore how light-colored my coffee was… la la la la la).


That extra half and half would be 80 calories more half and half that I need. I would rather measure it and use my 80 calories on a container of Greek yogurt that I can have as a snack later on. Over the course of a week, that extra 80 calories of half and half is 560 calories. Over the course of a month, it’s 2,400 calories, which represents over a half of pound of extra calories that I’d have to burn off. All because I didn’t want to measure my half and half. Can you see how a tiny change can make impact over the course of a month?


Another change that I made on this diet was alcohol consumption. It was something I could live without, so it was easy for me. I do know someone who refuses to give up alcohol on their diet. They found a 55-calorie beer they could drink instead of eliminating alcohol. If you want to consume alcohol on this diet, there are several low calorie options. I have a post about consuming alcohol on this diet that includes calorie counts:


Without a doubt, I believe that anyone on a calorie-deficit diet should measure the high calorie, low volume foods (like half and half). The main reason is that we can unknowingly sabotage ourselves by consuming too much of these foods. You will probably eat salad on this diet so what do you do about salad dressing which is high in calories? The standard serving size seems to be two tablespoons and the calorie count can range from 35 to 130 per 2 tablespoons. Always measure salad dressing, oils and spreadable fats. It will depress you as it seems like you will never get your salad coated in dressing, but you have to do it else you will sabotage yourself.


One trick I learned with salad dressing is to make your salad in a bowl that is much bigger than you need. Then you can mix the salad much easier after you dressed it to distribute the dressing over more vegetables.


I haven’t said much about refined sugar because I don’t use it. If you are one of those sugar addicts, I feel for you. Can you at least try to start weening yourself off sugar? Try using less and see if your sugar use is more of a habit than taste.


The other night I was at a birthday party for an 80-year old neighbor. I watched another neighbor pick up a salt shaker and dump a stroke-inducing amount of salt over a pasta dish when he hadn’t even tasted it. Several of us were horrified and asked him how he knew it needed salt if he hadn’t tasted it and he said he always does that. Habit, not taste.


When I started drinking coffee, I was using a teaspoon of sugar. I reduced that eventually to a half a teaspoon and then one day I tried using no sugar at all and didn’t miss it too much at first and now I’m just used to coffee without it. If you must have that sweetness, try a natural substitute like Stevia or mung fruit sweetener.


The one thing I’m relieved I don’t have to give up completely is bread. I would choose garlic bread over chocolate cake every single time if those were my choices. Thankfully, there are plenty of low calorie option breads out there. I like the bread that is 45 calories a slice and I buy a sandwich wraps that are less than 100 calories. I do not use butter at all.


Before I started this diet, when I was eating ‘healthy’ and not losing weight, I avoided fruit because of sugar. After doing some research,, there are fruits that I now eat because they are low in calories per serving and contain vital nutrients. I have added blueberries, raspberries, apples and sometimes watermelon to my snack list. Those are the only fruits I currently eat. I have a post on fruits that includes calorie counts on several popular fruits:


Fruit – OMG!!! SUGAR!!! (


Another food that’s hard to avoid on a diet is eggs. They are one of the best sources of low calorie protein. Eggs are a great food to eat on a diet because they are filling, low in calories and have a lot of vital nutrients. I eat them probably six days a week for breakfast. If you are not an egg eater, maybe you just need them elevated enough for you to find them tasty. I have a post that is all about eggs that has a lot of tips and tricks to prepare them and make them a little more tastier:


I’m Having a Crisis (An Eggxistential One) (


If you are a desert person, then you are going to have to explore low calorie options that work for you. There are a lot of recipes but watch portion size and calorie count carefully. I’m content with my berries, granny smith apples and Greek yogurt for desert. That may not be the case for you. I will probably do a desert post at some point.


Be careful about those touted ‘healthy’ recipes. They are everywhere and not always calorie-friendly. My husband makes these very filling ‘healthy’ pancakes. They have whole wheat flour, almond flour, protein powder, butter, blueberries, etc. I was eating those on my ‘healthy’ diet (the healthy diet where I lost 0 pounds). One day I input the recipe in my My Fitness Pal and discovered that they were over 500 calories per serving after I’d totaled all the ingredients! That is a lot of calories. I don’t eat them anymore. There are foods that are good for your health but not for your calorie count. Avocados and chick peas are great examples. I’m sad about this because I love avocados in my salad and in guacamole. I also love humus with my raw vegetables.


Use this journey as an opportunity to stretch your taste buds, really learn what foods you can live without, or reduce the consumption of. Take a chance and experiment with foods you think you don’t like and to be proactive in what you eat. You might find more foods that you can enjoy but never had the excuse to try.





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7th Decade Redhead
7th Decade Redhead

I'm 60+ years old female retiree who is finally figuring out why she's been struggling with losing weight her whole life. I want to share the lessons I learned so others can help themselves with their own weight loss struggles earlier in their lives.

60 Pounds by 60 Years
60 Pounds by 60 Years

My final weight loss attempt after 40 years of different diet failures. No shakes, no supplements, no surgery, no crazy food, no purchased meal plans, no fasting. Creating a healthier relationship with food and facing the painful truth about my relationship surrounding food. No BS, just common sense. And it worked.

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