Shelley Bassett



Pumpkin soup with fresh basil and crusty bread

Counting Calories Week 3: How Not to be Sick

March 5, 2018

I've been really sick this week, and it's had a direct impact on my diet

Like most of the human population, I hate being sick. Unfortunately, it happens fairly regularly due to a combination of shitty immunity and sinuses that don’t drain properly. But this week is the first time I’ve noticed my health having an impact on my diet. And based on this data and my knowledge of myself, I’m going to suggest something similar happens every time I’m ill.

So what’s the big deal? Well… I’ve overeaten almost every day this week. And it made sense to do so. Let’s break down what happened, and why I’m not beating myself up over it.

Calories In = Calories Out

The CICO (calories in/ calories out) method is the reason I’m tracking my food consumption. The idea being I only put into my body what my body can use. So far I’ve been pretty good with this and even seen a little bit of weight loss. This week though, my calories out has been all over the show. Being sick has forced my body into overdrive as it tries to fight off the infection. This has left me tired, grumpy, and hungry. Everything is taking more effort, and that includes eating.

The tired/grumpy/hungry combination has made everything difficult, and on the days I made it into work, I came home exhausted and just flopped. This has meant I’ve achieved no cooking and no cleaning… So my house is a mess and I’ve been living off food from my freezer. I thought freezer food would be okay. It’s all home made and packaged into single serves. But they were made before I started counting calories. The two curries I ate were easily 500 calories.

Sick Food

This is the tired/grumpy/hungry brain at work again. Sick food is awesome. It’s warm, comforting and nutritious. But it also tends to be high in calories. I’ve been having extra toast with my soup, so a meal that would normally have 200 calories suddenly has 350+. The serves of emergency food in my freezer are rice or pasta based, and that’s high in calories too. I’m still a firm believer in freezer food, but I’m going to have to re-think some of my recipes.

I also tend to eat a lot of pre-packaged food when I’m ill, just because it’s convenient. Anything frozen that can be quickly microwaved so I don’t have to cook. Everything is done to conserve energy.

Soup and Toast

My favourite of all the sick foods is soup and toast. Which would be okay, but I ate a lot of toast this week. Bread, which is mostly carbs, isn’t great for the reduced calories diet I’m trying to maintain. The soup is still almost nothing. But at least 2 (and regularly 4) pieces of toast with a meal is not doing me any favours.

Pumpkin soup with fresh basil and crusty bread

Pumpkin soup with fresh basil and crusty bread

All in all, I didn’t do too badly this week. Despite overeating, the habits I’m forming are already helping me make better choices. By some miracle, I didn’t gain weight this week. So now I know it’s possible to stick to the diet while sick, I need to make sure I stick to the diet through any difficulty.