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is it a bad thing to eat the same foods every day?

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Old 01-11-2010, 04:18 PM   #1
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Default is it a bad thing to eat the same foods every day?

I tend to not have all that much variety in my diet, particularly breakfast and lunch. breakfast is 2 nutrigrain waffles (need something quick and easy that I can take to work and cook there). Lunch is a big tossed salad with chicken and/or avocado and/or hard boiled egg (sometimes all 3) along with a small portion of rice, potato or pasta in the salad. I do vary my dinners a lot more, although probably still a rotation of about 4 or 5 different things for the most part.

I think it's a generally healthy mix and one that is managable for me in terms of shopping and cooking (single mom of a young child working full time outside the home so not a lot of spare time). But I'm just wondering if I should be trying for more variety? In other words, is food like exercise in the sense that my body gets used to it, and I won't lose as efficiently if I'm eating the same things all the time? I'm happy with what I'm eating in terms of enjoying it, but wondering if I should try harder to mix things up more?
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:27 PM   #2
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It should be ok as long as you don't get bored with it. I tend to eat the same few things for breakfast and for lunch then getting a bit more creative for dinner. The only time I think your body would get used to it in a way that stops your from losing then it's just time to reevaluate your calorie target for the day.
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:29 PM   #3
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Variety may be good but only if it helps you stay on plan.

I looked at the old posts from some of the success stories on here and it looks like a few of them, at one point or another on this journey, ate mostly the same thing on a regular basis. I knew a lady once who had a three-day rotational meal plan that she just continually repeated. It worked for her because it kept her from bingeing and it had helped her keep off over 100 pounds for over two years.

I think the key is to eat healthy foods that fit into your lifestyle.
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:32 PM   #4
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For the most part since Ive been counting calories I pretty much eat the same foods, I may not eat them every single day but I eat the same foods all the time, for instance I may eat something three or four times per week. Since I shop at BJ's its much easier for me to purchase my healthy foods in bulk. Like the other poster said once you get bored you will have to figure something out.
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:32 PM   #5
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Our food nourishes us and with saying that I would try to vary your food somewhat just so that you get a good mix of nutrients. I've had long periods of time where I ate a lot of the same things because it was easy but I'd mix it up somewhat.

Also, one thing I do is make food ahead in bulk so that I don't have to cook every day. I eat a lot of beans and grains and one thing I do is make sure I rotate the type of beans/grains I eat. I also eat a variety of veggies but make sure I buy a variety. It is pretty easy to steam any veggie so that is usually how I prepare them or I roast them in the oven.
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:35 PM   #6
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Ideally, variety is pretty important - especially in terms of fruits and vegetables (the different colors are associated with different micronutrients). So if you only eat dark green vegetables, but never eat bright yellow or red fruits and vegetables, you're getting shortchanged.

I try to aim for a lot of variety, but more so in terms of produce than other food types - in regard to proteins I don't pay as much attention, as cost is a larger determiner than variety in proteins for us (hubby and I are on disability income).

I tend to go on jags though. Mostly because of buying practices to save money. Fruit and vegetables are often cheapest in larger quantities, so if I get a good deal on a huge bag of apples or oranges, I'm going to be eating mostly apples or oranges as my fruit (but next shopping trip I'll try to find another variety of fruit on sale).

My recommendation "do your best and forget the rest."
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:36 PM   #7
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I think it depends on your habits. I tended to eat the same things for breakfast and lunch over and over before I started on this lifestyle........ Hardee's chicken biscuit with hash browns for breakfast.....lunch included Snickers, potato chips, Cheetos, ....

Then when I start trying to eat healthier, I thought that I had to have variety at every meal. One day I realized that I was making it harder on myself. I started eating just a couple of different breakfasts and lunches and have my variety at dinner, just like I used to do with the unhealthy foods.

I am happy and I lose weight so, why not?
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:41 PM   #8
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I think it's fine to eat the same thing. As long as you still enjoy it and don't feel "tied" down to it, you'll be fine.
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:42 PM   #9
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I eat a lot of the same things day to day. This idea from Dr. Oz stuck with me when I heard it:

"Variety may be the spice of life, but it's also a contributor to weight gain, says Dr. Oz. He points out that when people eat the same thing for at least one meal a day, they lose more weight than people who mix it up. "It's easier to slip out of good eating habits when you try for too much diversity in every meal," he says. "By decreasing the variety of foods you eat throughout the day, you'll decrease the chance for the hedonistic rampages that can be so dangerous." In other words, limit your choices and it'll be easier to take off the weight. His trick: Find a lunch you like -- a salad with grilled chicken or vegetables or a pita stuffed with veggies and canned salmon -- and stick with it."
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:17 PM   #10
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I rotate between the same things most of the time, and I'm happy with it.

Except for the occasional carb/treat breakfast, I alternate between the same 3 breakfasts (it was same two breakfasts until I introduced oatmeal recently).

Same (though more than 3) lunches. I eat a yogurt every day, for example.

Dinner holds the most variety for me as well.
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:22 PM   #11
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I eat the same staples. My fruits and veggies vary because I buy what is cheap and usually in season. I have my favorites as far as my staples are concerned--sockeye salmon, quinoa, raw almonds, oats, grilled chicken, egg whites, almond milk, coffee. I eat them again and again and haven't tired of them so far.
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaplods View Post
Ideally, variety is pretty important - especially in terms of fruits and vegetables (the different colors are associated with different micronutrients). So if you only eat dark green vegetables, but never eat bright yellow or red fruits and vegetables, you're getting shortchanged.

I try to aim for a lot of variety, but more so in terms of produce than other food types - in regard to proteins I don't pay as much attention, as cost is a larger determiner than variety in proteins for us (hubby and I are on disability income).

I tend to go on jags though. Mostly because of buying practices to save money. Fruit and vegetables are often cheapest in larger quantities, so if I get a good deal on a huge bag of apples or oranges, I'm going to be eating mostly apples or oranges as my fruit (but next shopping trip I'll try to find another variety of fruit on sale).

My recommendation "do your best and forget the rest."

I agree with what you have said kaplods. (Great minds think alike! )
You have a lot on your "plate" (pun not necessarily intended) and it seems like you are in a routine with it. I wouldn't mess with it at all. If you want to do anything, I'd say add in some more fruit and maybe different veggies. I am also on a limited budget and buy most everything on sale. I just bought a bag of oranges and next time I hope it's apples.

I am new to this and every other time I have tried to get going with a weight loss thing I thought I needed elaborate foods and this time I am realizing it can be simple. For lunch the last three days I have had a big iceburg salad with light italian dressing and radishes. I have varied what I put with the salad. One day it was a sandwich, another day it was a single serving pizza, and today was a sweet potato and cottage cheese.

I think you are doing great!
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:35 PM   #13
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I eat lots of the same foods all the time, but it is things that I love, and I haven't gotten bored yet .
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:51 PM   #14
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thanks everyone! I am so glad to know that eating the same foods is not only ok for weight loss, it is even recommended!

As for the variety/micronutrients issue - my salads are a rainbow, with red, yellow, green, orange and purple in there, so definitely not just some leafy greens. Lunch is my big/main meal of the day, and even though it's the same, I look forward to it every day. I do use different varieties of salad dressing so that helps keep it interesting for me. I think I will try to find some new grains to try with it though. That small serving (like 1 oz dry of pasta) of some sort of starch in the salad tastes yummy and also gives my lunch lots of staying power, but since it's mostly a big salad and protein, no big meal hangover afterwards and I'm always energized in the afternoons.

I generally have 1 or 2 pieces of fruit most days and an additional veggie at supper so I think I'm getting all the good colors/variety in of that.

I can always mix things up more when and if I get bored with what I'm eating, but it's really a relief to me to know that this routine I've got going is not a bad thing in terms of weight loss.
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:05 PM   #15
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Variety is a good idea for two reasons - it makes it more likely you will not be deficient in certain nutrients and it prevents development of most food sensitivities.

I had a healthy diet I ate almost every day several years back, and loved it, but I noticed I would feel 'off' after eating, especially breakfast, and I had tons of migraines, stomach upset, etc etc, that I had not ever had before.

Come to find out, by eating the same foods every day, I had actually developed food allergies to many of them and that 'off' feeling was my immune system attacking my body and the irritants (which were foods I ne'er had issues with before). By phasing those foods out of my diet for several months and introducing them back in MUCH more slowly, and infrequently, I was able to desensitize my immune system again and enjoy those foods in moderation.

Ideally having a three-to-seven day diet rotation, especially among grain and protein types, can be similar enough that you don't fall off the wagon but varied enough that you will not aggravate any sensitivities you may have. I had never had an allergy or food issue in my life and was VERY healthy, and yet through a lack of variety in my diet I ended up not being able to eat wheat, dairy, eggs, almonds, oats, and any brewers or bakers yeast product. It was awful, since those were among my core foods in my diet, and I learned my lesson on adding in less sensitizing food and more variety.

Caveat emptor, I'd suggest keeping your vegetables the same or similar each day, and just rotating the grain, dairy, and protein sources, so that you are eating meals of similar basic composition, but with a spectrum of nutrients. Good luck!
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