Experimental recipes 1500 calorie diet: You’ll never know you’re dieting


Breakfast Extravaganza (numbers are calories)

600 Calorie Oatmeal: microwave for 2 to 2 ½ minutes:

  • 150 – ½ cup oatmeal
  • 030 – 1 cup unsweetened vanilla natural almond milk

Then mix in:

  • 130 – ¼ cup raisins
  • 105 – 1 sliced up banana
  • 060 – 1 tblsp chia seeds
  • 050 – 2 tblsp milled flax seeds
  • 075 – 2 tblsp protein powder (because it was a gift)

I’m sure it’s not good for me, but I also down lots of coffee (zero calories).

Lunch on the Run

  • 000 – green tea / ginger root tea in a thermos. Stay away from Kava and any “detox”, comfrey or any herbal teas, though hibiscus is good and is often combined with ginger root and lemon. This may well be enough after such a breakfast.
  • 085 – perhaps for a snack, maybe an individually packaged skim milk string cheese.


You still have 900 calories or so to play with. Good things include broccoli, eggs (though I’m a bit allergic), chicken (white meat), split peas, kale, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar. For a desert, you might mix blueberries in with 1 cup of zero-fat plain Greek yogurt. The yogurt clocks in at 22 grams of protein and just 180 calories.

Suggestions from those in the know (this is a whole different universe for me) are much appreciated. I know nothing about cooking at all. (That’s why I’m now on a diet.)

I’m guessing it’s good to stay far from antibiotic meat, processed meat, canola / vegetable oil (except olive oil with its zillion calories), margarine, soda pop diet or regular, white rice and pasta and potatoes and white bread. Moreover, processed sugar and especially alcohol of any kind, but especially liquor, acts like a poison and I perceive it that way, feeling like a chemical waste dump for days after just one drink offered to me at whatever get together with priests and/or families of the parish. It’s true I’m not a drinker, but things get especially tricky when on a diet.

So far, I’m losing a pound a day. But that always happens at the beginning and doesn’t mean much at all. That loss will slow down very quickly indeed.

The doctor said: My doctor called me up about the results of my Shrove Tuesday visit (after years of not going to see him). He got my blood pressure down to 118 over 74. Sweet. Speaking of sweetness, he said I’m no longer pre-diabetic as the three month blood assay put me in the normal range of blood sugar.

However, he did say that my bad cholesterol is a bit high and the good is low. He was surprised to hear that all my doctors around the world, including the Mayo, told me that exact same thing with the exact same levels my whole life, adding that they don’t know why that’s the case. He wants to experiment with me, having me down a tablespoon of Flax Seed Oil every day. This is in place of cold water fish oil, which has some really bad side effects, including bleeding if you take a bit too much. He also offered that hemp oil would be an alternative! However, mind you, hemp oil has tons of side effects that I don’t want to have anything to do with. Blech! Spit spit spit. Acchhh…. spit. I’ll just get a jug of Flax Seed Oil if I can find it. So far, I’ve been unsuccessful. Just the milled seed.

Exercise? My doctor says it’s overrated! I have plenty of physical conditions that really make exercise impossible. But maybe, maybe, things will change a bit as I loose weight.

I’m not alone: A priest friend, a famous canon lawyer in the universal Church, wrote:

  • I’m an inch taller and was 10 pounds heavier than you but i have lost 30 pounds since November. Now 251 and can’t  seem to lose more. Am eating mostly vegan except when i go out. Feeling much “healthier” and hoping to lose another 50.  Oremus pro invicem…

Yes, well, as a kid I was 1.75″ taller than I am now. I had a spine compression event of five vertebrae a few years ago, and I’m also older now. Just wait! The weight I gave of 271 included 6 pounds of clothes at the doctor’s office. Today, I weighed myself and I was 260, meaning I’ve lost a pound a day so far. That will slow down after a while.

I’ve been warned about the plateaus beyond which it seems impossible to descend. EVERYBODY’s got their way to do diets I’m finding out very quickly, and it’s all very emotional (as it involves change), and everybody’s right about what they do and everyone else is wrong!

I’m thinking the “JUST EAT LESS” method sounds reasonable. Counting calories is a pain but it’s also kind of interesting to see what’s what in different foods. You can rearrange what you normally eat less of accordingly. This method slows down as you lose weight because the ratio of what you need to maintain weight vs. losing weight becomes smaller. However, if the calculation about eating 500 less calories than is needed to maintain weight is correct, eating only 1500 calories a day will get me to the desired goal for my height, etc., 189 pounds. I’m thinking this will take a year.


Filed under Diet

18 responses to “Experimental recipes 1500 calorie diet: You’ll never know you’re dieting

  1. Fr. George, this is a great place for healthful recipes that keep you full and you don’t have to join it to get them. https://fullplateliving.org/

  2. pelerin

    ‘A pound a day’ – that sounds a bit drastic? Don’t lose too much at once Father – nobody will recognise you.
    You write that it is interesting to learn what is in different foods. When I dieted many years ago I joined in something called ‘Weightwatchers’ and being with others, and having to be weighed and recorded each week and having to say how much I had lost that week for all to hear really helped! I had been eating lots of salads previously thinking that would make me lose weight. But no. And it was at Weightwatchers that I learnt the calorific value of oil – I had been making my own vinaigrette for the salads – oil vinegar mustard chives – and had no idea that it was the oil which was making me put on weight all the time thinking I was eating healthy salads.

  3. Dumbest Ox

    Fashionable ladies of the 19th century used to swallow tapeworms in order to achieve a pleasant frame, though I can’t say I’d recommend that. :) However, in all fairness, I can’t say that oatmeal is that much more appetizing!

  4. Nan

    I’m right there with you, pre-diabetic, cholesterol okay but bad a little high, good a little low, glucose levels questionable, advised to have re-screening in 2-3 mos but am advised to lose weight to change it.

    I’m at a point where I can move more, and have been told to walk, so I can keep up on pilgrimage. I’ll walk one of the lakes tomorrow.

    Because I have 3 wks before departure and stuff to take care of, I’m eating yogurt in the morning, fruit and a frozen dinner for the day. I don’t frequently weigh myself but clothes are looser. The objective is for jeans that are one size too small to fit again

  5. In my humble opinion, I think I would replace that flaxseed oil with some good healthy olive oil. Some of the uses of flaxseed oil are as a paint binder, putty binder, wood finish and preservative, and it is used to manufacture linoleum. In hardware stores it is called linseed oil: the oil of oil painters. Olive oil is the better choice. If you want the fish oil, have some Salmon for dinner!

  6. sanfelipe007

    I totally agree with northernhermit. Olive oil. Pelerin is right, as well, a pound a day is very drastic! But I suspect that it is nothing more than water weight loss that you are experienceing, hence the tapering off.

    I am an adherent of the Atkins diet. You will want to read the book by Dr. Atkins which explains it, before trying it. I have done the diet, correctly, and I report that I have felt the best, lost the most weight, and kept it off longer than any other diet I have tried.

    Every human is different, but not so different that they do not fall into a general category for which a diet has been devised; I fall into the “carbs are my enemy” category. There it is. YMMV*

    *Your Mileage May Vary

  7. Avoid salt, check labels or sodium content because it causes fluid retention which equals more weight on the scale. An excellent source of healthy fat is avocado, salmon, and walnuts. 1 cup yogurt, half cup of fruit (blueberries, raspberries) and a fistful of walnuts make a good breakfast.

    Or do as Joan Rivers said, ” if it tastes good spit it out!” (sorry, I couldn’t resist – too much seriousness makes my mind cloud)

  8. Cathy

    I don’t know if you like spicy, but salsa, you can get mild, and is a tasty addition to eggs and lowfat cottage cheese.

  9. Nan

    Note that sodium hides in prepackaged foods and condiments.

  10. Christina miller

    This may or may not be for you, but it may be worth your while to look into it. My doctor recommended a program called “the whole30”. It is based on scientific research of which food groups cause a variety of health issues. Although it is not a weight-loss program, the testimonials about the huge amounts of weight people can lose on the program are inspiring. The testimonials also include major turn-arounds in health issues after being on the whole 30. Basically for 30 days you eliminate the types of food that cause issues (as well as detrimental additives found in our highly processed foods), which cleans out and resets your system. Then you can systematically re-introduce those problematic food groups to see which ones give you difficulties. Go to http://www.whole30.com to check it out. Read the testimonials and the simple rules. For $17 I purchased the book called “The whole 30 – The 30 day guy to total health and food freedom” by Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig for $17 on amazon. An easy read with simple instructions and great tasting recipes my entire family enjoys. You can also get plenty of this info for few on the website. I was never hungry and desired no snacks between meals. It may not be for you but a quick look on the web may well be worth checking out.

  11. elizdelphi

    I agree about the just eat less thing. One amazing thing I have found by eliminating sugar for Lent (which I have not done before, at least not nearly so strictly) is that I feel sooner that I am finished eating. I find that I haven’t even eaten as much as I intended to eat and yet I do not feel inclined to keep eating. This is not like me but I am finding that apparently the way I usually am is attributable largely to sugar causing feelings of craving more food. On Sunday when I had some sweets I was back to craving more than I needed. I didn’t even realize how sugar was affecting me since I always had something sweet. I think after Lent I am going to be more inclined to save sugar for special occasions. Some people erroneously think I am a health nut of some kind but I live more of a poverty diet that is somewhat heavily dictated by what foods I can get for free or on deep discount. Frequently I obtain in this way a lot of sugary foods. Poverty today isn’t what it used to be in the day of St Francis of Assisi! I am reading the classic novel “The Perfect Joy of Saint Francis.”

  12. For a desert, you might mix blueberries in with 1 cup of zero-fat plain Greek yogurt.
    Don’t you mean BLACKberries Father??? Or maybe not!
    All jokes aside I do wish you the very best with your diet.

  13. elizdelphi

    my dinner tonight turned out surprisingly tasty, I had made a turnip-apple-raisin-cinnamon bake Thursday that was not quite perfect because I walked over to church while it was baking and let it get overdone. But tonight I took the turnips and apples (leaving out the raisins which were the most burnt element) and put them in the blender with some water and part of a vegetable bullion cube and added some black pepper. Made a really fantastic soup, I almost want to call it luxurious, to eat with whole grain bread spread with almond butter. Not much penance in that! On the other hand I got to confession today so I am feeling unburdened and thankful.

    Turnips are a new vegetable to me, that I am liking. I had been given some very huge ugly looking ones by a food pantry. This is the kind of thing that I love about getting stuff from food pantries, great stuff that I would never buy, and somebody has to eat it or else it would go to waste. Fortunately they keep a long time in the refrigerator, I have made 2 casserole size dishes with them and have enough left for a third probably similar sized.

  14. mk

    Impressive Fr George! We wondered how you would manage given your lack of culinary skills. I like to have Greek yogurt in the morning for the protein boost. I have heard the green giant cauliflower rice stir frys are good and very lo cal but my grocery store is always sold out :(

  15. elizdelphi

    update: I now believe that what was represented to me as “turnips” by the food pantry (complete with multiple photocopied recipes for cooking turnips) may have been white sweet potatoes that weren’t pretty (indeed strange enough looking that it wasn’t apparent to the food pantry what they were) or weren’t the right size for retail sale.. This helps me know how to replicate the soup! It was so good I might make it for my book study group for next week.

  16. sanfelipe007

    HAHA! a turnip turns out to be a white sweet potato. This reminds me of an episode in my university days when my host (at an off-campus party) sent one of his guests to purchase a head of lettuce, who returned with a head of cabbage! Our gracious host thanked the “city boy” (as he called him) and then proceeded to improvise and made tacos with shredded cabbage – yum!

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