I wrote a diet book back in 2013, and have gone up and down in weight a couple of times since then. I recently decided that I would go down in weight again, and this time work to maintain my new, skinny body. I started counting the calories in mid March, about a month and a half ago. I started my latest diet weighing almost 200 pounds, with my belly bulging over my jeans and pushing them down. I also got out of breath after climbing a flight or two of stairs. I’m down to 180 pounds now, which is still far from my goal weight but heading in the right direction.

The Mindset Diet Read The Mindset Diet

If complex diet plans and fitness regimens have never worked for you, and you are constantly losing the mental battle to steer clear of junk food, then the Mindset Diet may be for you. A combination of old-school calorie counting and insights into the psychology of appetite are combined to give you the best possible chance of losing weight, available at this link.


I could probably have been losing weight more speedily if not for some debauchery at Easter with chocolate eggs. I survived them, though, and I am starting to feel like more of a diet book writer and less of a giant fraud as the weight comes off. I’m following the advice in my book, and it is working.

One of the things I talk about in my diet book at some length is the enormous importance of getting an accurate calorie count on whatever it is you are either about to cram in your mouth or have just crammed in your mouth.

If you are underestimating the calories in your food, you will hit your daily calorie target, but you will be surprised to find that you still fail to lose weight. In a best case scenario you might still gradually lose weight, but with a bunch of seemingly endless plateaus between each minuscule drop in pounds or, if like me you are very adept at lying to yourself, you may even do your maths so badly that you end up gaining weight.

Calories are a pretty simple concept to grasp, at least theoretically, and it should therefore be quite easy to find the correct calories for everything you eat. After all, a Twix has the number of calories written right there on the wrapper, so what is the difficulty? A Twix is 250 calories by the way.

The difficulty comes when you put together more than one ingredient. For example when you make yourself, or buy yourself, a coffee. Coffee is hugely problematic when it cones to calories. Some people say black coffee has zero calories, while others say even black coffee has a handful. Then if you add milk of some description, for example rice milk, almond milk, soy milk, or some version of cow milk, like skimmed, UHT, full-fat or what have you, the calorie count can start to slowly clime.

If you get your coffee made for you, there is an incentive on the fast-food joint you choose to put some extra sugar and fat in there. Products with extra sugar and fat sell better, unsurprisingly. So they use cream instead of milk, or sweeten the milk, or add caramel syrup, or marshmallows, or all of the above and serve it in a cup the size of a chicken bucket, and suddenly you are having more calories rammed into your face than you can find in a slice of brownie.

Most people on a diet aren’t going to fall for any of this, I hope, and should know that fast-food places are to be avoided like the plague, but even a mug of morning Joe is hard to get the measure of. Ordinary coffee, without the syrup and marshmallows, doesn’t seem so bad but if you get your maths wrong, you may have 20 to 50 more calories than you budgeted for, which doesn’t seem much. But what if, like me, you have three coffees per day, or even more. Suddenly we’re looking at possible plateauing, or even weight gain.

The safest thing is to put in he work, do the research, and try and get an accurate idea of how many calories there are in that coffee, made just the way you like it. First let’s look at cup size. I drink coffee in two different sizes of cup, the fancy little cup my local coffee bar uses, which is probably six ounces in size, and a mug of probably twelve ounces in size. As a side note, Starbucks uses a fourteen ounce design of mug that is similar to what one manufacturer calls their “soup mug.” Do not drink coffee there, it is liquid cake and you get a very generous slice of it.

Anyway, let’s see how many calories are in my 6oz cappuccino. Most websites list the calories in coffee according to the average USA coffee cup size, which is 8 oz, and give a scattering of calorie estimates based on whole milk that seem to range from 50 to 80 calories. If I drank whole milk I guess my smaller serving would be something like 40 calories. But I’m vegan, I think dairy is scary, so I like soy milk instead. It’s an acquired taste but I’ve managed to get used to it. I have the coffee bar put soy milk in my cappuccino, something they are quite happy to do, even in Italy. Soy milk comes in unsweetened or sweetened varieties, by the way, and guess which my local supermarket foists on me. Yeah, they pack some sugar into it.

It turns out the calories in soy milk is the same as whole milk. My morning cappuccino is therefore 40 calories, or maybe more depending how heavy they are on the milk. Sheesh, I’d been guesstimating it at 20 calories, tops. It just shows that you have to do the maths.

My mug of coffee poses its own problems in terms of getting an accurate calorie count. I don’t measure the soy milk I put in it, I just pour until it looks about the right color. Messing about with a measuring jug, I estimated my pour to be 100ml - I like it milky, you see. This translates to 40 calories. Again I had been guesstimating between 15 and 20 calories.

To my credit, I had guessed that my relatively tiny morning cappuccino would have as many calories as my mug, but I had underestimated them both by a huge margin. This is why I go on at such length in the book about an accurate calorie count. My mind tricked me with my uninformed coffee estimates, and it will trick me again if I allow it.

Some people might think it’s a little crazy to put so much thought into how many calories are in a cup of coffee, but those people are going to have more trouble losing weight, especially if they drink more than one cup of coffee per day, and they won’t even know why.

The Mindset Diet Read The Mindset Diet

If complex diet plans and fitness regimens have never worked for you, and you are constantly losing the mental battle to steer clear of junk food, then the Mindset Diet may be for you. A combination of old-school calorie counting and insights into the psychology of appetite are combined to give you the best possible chance of losing weight, available at this link.