Ageist Old People
A Website For Elders

Weight Loss Follow Up

Several people emailed with questions similar to those in a comment Bia Redko left on last week's story about my weight loss:

I loved your diet and trying to follow it.
You do not have any milk?
And eggs?
And coffee and tea?
And about water?
Thanks for the inspiration.

I didn't intend that post to be a step-by-step diet for anyone else, especially since I believe everyone needs to be guided by their individual strengths and weaknesses, tastes and health issues.

For example, I cannot have ice cream in the house. Period. It sits in the freezer (not for long) and calls my name until I eat it. All of it. When I am substituting ice cream for one of my 21 meals per week, I buy only as much as I am going to eat so none is left over.

Similarly for cheese. I purchase a good-sized portion for that one meal and finish it all in one sitting.

Eggs: Occasionally, I use only the whites of boiled eggs cut up in salads. A boiled egg holds about 80 calories. The white is about 15 or 20 calories. When weight loss depends on shaving only 200-300 calories per day from a maintenance diet, every calorie counts and egg yokes don't give me anything I need that I can't get elsewhere.

Coffee and tea: I drink two to three cups of coffee every morning while I read the news, answer email and make notes for future blog posts. I drink it (and tea) black; I don't need the additional 100-200 calories from sugar and milk nor do I like coffee that tastes like candy.

Particularly when I'm working in the afternoon, I take a green tea break but only decaffeinated. No caffeine after 10-11AM for me. I don't want anything in my body that would contribute to my sleep difficulties.

I hardly ever use milk. When, now and then, I need it for something I'm cooking, I always use no-fat. But if it's calcium anyone's concerned about, it seems that I get plenty from the wide variety of vegetables I eat, from no-fat sour cream and no-fat yogurt and my occasional cheese meal.

My physician is not concerned. But as I've noted, you should not follow my lead on getting enough nutrients. Each of us is different.

There is usually a glass of water on my desk or nearby wherever I am working. Old peple don't always feel thirst when our bodies need hydrating so it's important to drink a glass of water several times a day even if we think we don't need it.

I never drink soda of any kind. That's just a personal quirk that has nothing to do with weight loss – I've never liked the bubbles.

On rare occasions – and I do mean rarely – I eat something with an astronomical calorie count but is yummy. French toast (with whole eggs including the yolks) with sausage and – the point of the meal for me – real maple syrup.

Although in general, I don't eat meat anymore, two or three times a year I cook up a couple of lamb shanks – I really like lamb – and about once per winter, I make a beef stew although recently, I've been experimenting with substituting mushrooms for beef.

A point about occasional pig outs: We often lament, in old age, how fast time seems to speed by but during this weight loss program, I have discovered an upside to the phenomenon.

If I've satisfied my craving for ice cream today and start day-dreaming about, for example, French toast - it will feel like almost no time at all until I can indulge myself a week from today.

All right, that's all the time I can stand to be upright this morning (Monday).

Remember last Thursday when I said I was afflicted with some bodily disturbance and ennui? Apparently, it was only a prelude.

Since Saturday morning I've been in bed with most of the classic flu symptoms and a temperature of 100-plus. I can't see how it's really a flu since I had the shot and it was formulated for the strain of flu that is making the rounds this year.

Oh, well. There are all sorts of unidentified bugs willing to make their homes in our bodies and I'm going back to bed now.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Carl Hansen: Uncle Charlie's Good Deed


Hi...Thanks for your sensible weight loss plan. Just curious...what is your height?

I appreciate your dragging yourself out of your sick bed to write your blog. Sorry you're feeling awful. Regarding milk, I substitute almond milk whenever milk is called for (30 cal/cup) and it works fine--also has calcium.

Yup, even with the flu shot, I had that same problem over Christmas........which I cancelled. Felt like a truck hit me & could barely get to the BR. Lasted only 3 days, but what a PIA. No fever, but stay on top of that if it goes up on you. Be well, soon. Dee

You are absolutely correct in that there is no one diet, exercise schedule, or food focus that can be the miracle weight loss solution. Each person has to decide what they can live without. What they can't, they then have to ration that food as if it was $500 an ounce. Then they have to move as much as possible.

Get back in bed!! This time, too, will pass quickly....

So sorry about the flu. Yup, get back in bed.

Yes, your weight loss plan sounds a lot like Weight Watchers. It's sensible yet allows for ice cream attacks. Bravo.

Get well soon!

I hope you are well soon. So sorry, that was what happened when I caught the flu too. Several days of low energy and being disengage. Be careful.

Get well soon...I need your blog daily! An inspiration for just life.

Wait a second. Ice cream isn't good for you? Who said that?!?

But otherwise I agree with you. More water, more vegetables; less meat, no soda pop. And plenty of time in bed when you're sick. Get well soon!

Rice milk works for us as a sub for the "real" stuff.

I'm sorry you are sick. It's no fun and I hope you recover rapidly.

You are a brave soul to write a post daily when feeling punk. I would just stay in bed and whine. Thanks for your sacrifice.

Please get well soon -- can't imagine a day without your column...

Get well soon, dear!
I look for you every day.
I gained almost 10 pounds when my examens showed a kind of anemia, five months ago.
I started to have meat, that I was not eating for 15 years, and havein vitamins and vitamins my doctor prescribed. But the extra weight is putting pressure on my spine, and I am cuttind my food intake according your prescriptions and my doctor. The milk is being a long habit because osteoporosis, but I am starting to cut it also. But you have a anemy to win, you feel desperate for give enough nutrientes to your body. Regards and thank you!

Best wishes for a speedy recovery! Unfortunately, even an annual flu shot isn't a 100% guarantee, as quite a few TGB readers apparently have experienced. Speaking selfishly, I sure hope it works for me.

As far as dietary issues, I've enjoyed milk all my life and am probably not going to give it up at this point. I don't have a weight problem, but I drink 1% milk and have for the past 25+ years. Otherwise, I eat primarily salads and other low-cal foods. (I lost 70+ lbs. in my early 20s and, although I've managed to keep it off, one thing experience has taught me is that there's no magic bullet!)

" I drink two to three cups of coffee every morning while I read the news, answer email and make notes for future blog posts."

Coffee is a vital part of any nutritional breakfast. It's loaded with vitamins, minerals and anything else that makes you strong, intelligent and beautiful.

Well ... maybe I exaggerate some but I got's to have my coffee in the morning.

We had the flu shot as well, and my 73-y-o beloved, who is medically fragile caught it anyway. Our 48-y-o son who is healthy (and did not get the vaccine) gave it to him. Son was sick sick sick for over two weeks. Creaky Papa was back up in three days, still coughing but okay.

The vaccine may not keep you from catching it, but it seems to lessen the intensity.

Get well quick Ronni!

Forget about the diet Ronni. I just got back from a rare outing to the "Cheesecake Factory" where I pigged out on a delicious lunch and dessert. As soon as they have room I'm leaving this place and moving in there, seriously, I am.

Losing weight is simply a matter of common sense. Eat less calories on a regular basis and you will lose weight. As you said. I guess some people just like to have everything written down in black and white. One tool that helped me was to actually write down each thing I ate as I ate it. On a daily basis. That way I knew how many calories were taken in each day.
I got the flu about this time last year and I think it was one that was not covered by the flu shot. Since then I make it a habit to keep at least six large bottles of Gatorade on hand for just in case. I live alone and at the time I got dehydrated because there was nothing but water in my house.
Feel better!

The doctors here said that a person can still get the flu when they had the flu shot but that it is not as bad as if they had not got the shot. This year's flu, they say, is like "a flu on steroids" for those who did not get the shot. Get well.

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