Diet......for a carer

Might be in the wrong place but being a carer for my mum who has dementia has taken its toll on my health and I have started gaining weight due to stress eating
I’m sure if I could loose a few stone it would help my back aches and shoulder pains from lifting etc…

Does anyone have any experience of a diet I can follow something like Weight Watchers but I wouldn’t be able to attend classes as I have no spare time…I need a online type scheme ?

Told you it was a bit weird but thought someone might be able to help ?

Hi Linda,

There was a thread started in June on Best way to lose weight. I am sure there were others - you are not alone! Here is the link:

Weight Watchers can be done online too, so you could look at their website. I haven’t reread the suggestions now but i need to lose quite a lot more.

Not weird at all, lots of us have weight/health issues, me included.
If I was free to do what I wanted I’d sling my rucksack on my back and go for a walk every day. The boundary to the New Forest National Park is literally the white line in the centre of the road right outside my house! Instead, I attend endless stupid meetings that achieve nothing, write endless emails that are ignored, and spend lots of time doing things for my son with LD that the support staff are supposed to do, but are too idle!

I too comfort eat, am nibbling at the moment, not easy but you just need to cut down food and exercise more, that’s what the nhs says.

Really look at your diet, fat free yoghurts you think they are healthy but often loaded with sugar , fizzy drinks have loads of sugar in, switch to diet drinks or just water. I have a one litre bottle, I fill with water, try and drink one litre every day.

Multipack crisps are just a temptation, a 20 pack for £3 often gone by the end of the week, clear your cupboards of junk food, it tastes nice but simply bad for you.

Alcohol, a glass of wine can be 250 calories, you have 2 a day thats 500 calories, again try and cut down.

I have said before dog walking, gets you out of the house and a bit of exercise , realise you might not have any free time, but one of my carees has a dog and thats one job that needs doing, walkies every day.

I have heard of people chopping up chocolate bars and freezing , to get the taste of chocolate but not the calories.

Try not to be too drastic, cutting about 500 calories a day is reasonable if you cut food too much, the body goes into starvation mode trys to keep the weight so slow and steady.

Both Weight Watchers and Slimming World have online groups for those that can’t get to meetings - just checkout their websites.

And as others have said even small changes can make a big difference ! Just cutting out those biscuits with morning coffee/afternoon tea can save anything from 100 - 500 calories a day. 3000 calories equals roughly 1lb in weight terms so just by cutting 500 calories a day from your intake will result in a loss of 1lb per week.

Thanks all have joined Weight Watchers online and have a handy App on the phone that counts my score. It’s good because I can still have a odd pack of crisps if i want one. I cleared out my car of all my sweets which are to tempting when stuck in traffic. Two days in and all going well so far x x

I tend to think that I don’t overeat at all but eat the wrong foods. I now have lodgers living with me , both young and slim, and I can see they eat very differently to me- types of food, quantity of food, & frequency of food.

It is a hard slog getting back to a normal shape and routine.

Comfort eating while caring is SO typical alas. A friend of mine says ‘Show me a carer and I’ll show you someone with weight problems!’. SO right I fear.

We comfort eat as it is an ‘instant fix’ and so often the ONLY ‘fix’…we sacrifice our own lives, and food is the only thing we can ‘grab back’ for ourselves.

All best Henrietta - it may be a long haul, but you’ll get there in the end. Hope you start copying the slim lodgers!!!

Also wondering what time of day you are eating/snacking - if you leave it too late in the evening it’s a lot more difficult to keep the pounds off.

Actually, my own recommendation for when I was severely stressed caring was Marks & Spencer ready meals - are they called Balanced For You? I always forget. They’re not cheap - although you can get 3 for £10 - but they do seem to be healthier than most ready meals you get in other supermarkets, and you can just shove them in the microwave, assuming you have one.

The calorie counter ready meals are usually inedible! Yuk yuk yuk.

Better just to eat meat and veg and no starch!!!

However, the key is to eat what suits us, as in, if the calorie counter ready meals are OK for you, then great. So long as our ‘overall’ calorie intake is down, doesn’t really matter ‘where’ they are coming from (within reason - no point being on the two bars of chocolate a day diet!!!)

Balanced for You and Count on Us (?) are two different ranges. I don’t think the former is very high in calories, but it does try to be healthy.

Not saying it isn’t healthy - just horrible to eat!!! But then most ‘low-cal’ foods are horrible to eat. I tried half fat crème fraiche recently and it was hideous!

In the end, it boils down to quanity vs quality. And that is person. Are you someone who prefers ‘bulk’ even though it tastes dreadful, or ‘taste’ even if you can’t eat much of it because it’s so calorie laden.

I’m probably more the latter than the former. I certainly never now ‘waste’ my calorie allowance on cheap chocolate! If it isn’t poshie Belgian choc I don’t want to know!

I think one also needs to know one’s ‘weaknesses’ as well - mine is dairy fat. I can pass by bowls of crisps (vegetable fat and potatoes), but a cream cake isn’t safe within a five mile radius!!! If you cut me I bleed cream…

Yes, Jenny, I am with you for once - I prefer full-fat food. Actually the low-calorie frozen foods from Cook! really are good, but that’s because they’re small, so described as ‘a light lunch’, so one feels the need for something else.

I would prefer to cook for myself and want to try cooking really nice things, including fat and full-fat crème fraiche, but not eating enough for two or three people.
Aldi now has some low-calorie meals and like the Iceland ones, I found they put lots of chili in but they’re still really boring. The foxes liked them. But not everything luxurious is good. The crows finished Heston’s ‘dark chocolate and sour cherry jam’ so-called mince pies - rock hard and dry.

Either the crows eat Heston’s mince pies a lot, or I was talking to Greta a couple of days ago! I suspect it’s the former. Someone definitely told me about crows eating Heston’s mince pies, though.

We like Hestons choc and cherry mince pies BUT they do need warming, it softens them nicely. Even better with a little cream

Sorry this is on a diet thread. Tips to cut calories in mince pies :
Add grated apple to the mincemeat
Don’t put full tops on, just a shape or no top at all
Make them small

Remember Mary Barry’s advice that one bite satisfies a taste, 2 bites satisfy a craving. Anything more is just greed.

Too sweet for me.


I lost half a stone in a month last August before I went to Crete. It was so easy. I was looking forward to my holiday and making lots of dresses.
Dressmaking is great, because whilst I’m doing it I’m concentrating on what I’m doing, not worrying about my son with LD and his useless paid support staff.
I tend to nibble most in the evening, but don’t if I’m sewing, away from food.
So whilst I’m not advocating everyone takes up dressmaking, I am suggesting that if you can identify when you nibble most, and then try to do something different at those times, it might help.

Re the ‘expensive isn’t necessarily good’ (sadly!) (but on the other hand, comforting in its way - think of the money you’ll save NOT buying expensive horrible food!!! :slight_smile: )

I found the same recently with a Waitrose lemon pie - reduced form something like a fiver to £1.50 in the ‘gannet gondola’ (where they reduce the off-date food - mind you, what Waitrose considers a reduction, not many would - sometimes it’s a question of prawns reduced from £4.50 to £3.95…STILL way too expensive!).

Anyway the Tarte Au Citron or whatever it was fancifully called was too good a bargain to misss, so I bought it. Oh dear, serves me right - quite ‘horrid’ .Actually, very ‘good’ but FAR too lemony! Like rich lemon curd. Yes, I know, why buy it if it’s called lemon tart and you dont’ like lemon curd that much?

The crows liked it though. And the magpies (they like my cat’s left over stale food a treat!)