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Old 12-31-2012, 10:16 AM   #1  
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Default Limitations on food variety to control calories and stay on track

Does anyone here really limit their food variety in order to better control their calories and cheating? I friend once went on a very restrictive diet, which really only had two or three food options to pick from a day, and she stayed on it religiously for six months and lost 60 lbs. My weakness is that even though I pick good foods, variety tends to be my downfall. I think I would do better if I reduced my food choices so I would know exactly what I'm eating calorie-wise, and there would be no tendency to cheat with something else, and I'm making this change this week to see how I do.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:20 AM   #2  
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Very restrictive food choices leads down a bad path, like to eating disorders. I wouldn't do it.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:07 AM   #3  
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As they say, 'variety is the spice of life'.

I try to keep it varied in places, but much of my food is the same from day to day during the working week. It's just easier in terms of buying it, planning it and sticking within my calorie limit.

I mix it up more in the evenings and at weekends, but my weekday breakfast/daytime snacks/lunch are pretty much the same and have been for months. If I get too bored, I switch it up a bit. E.g. swap lunchtime soup for salad.

I think it's important to find a balance, so having a selection of simple go to options for each meal works best for me.

Last edited by 1987; 12-31-2012 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:13 AM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tricon7 View Post
Does anyone here really limit their food variety in order to better control their calories and cheating?
I have tried this at different points since I started losing weight, for me personally it typically leads to binges. Obviously that's just my personal experience though as different things do work for different people. I've found, for myself, that since I really and truly do love food, that allowing myself to eat foods I actually enjoy (in reasonable quantities) manages my hunger and usually keeps me from binging, which is something I've struggled with a lot.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:13 AM   #5  
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I limit the foods I choose, but probably not the way you are thinking about it.

I allow myself a protein, and vegetables for my lunch and dinner. But that "limit" is really limitless. There are so many different proteins and so many different ways to prepare them. The same goes for veggies. Learn to use spices and fresh herbs. Having different flavor profiles really makes eating enjoyable for me. I look forward to flavorful, healthy, nutritious meals. Yet, I am still limiting myself.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:15 AM   #6  
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Originally Posted by CanadianCutie View Post
Very restrictive food choices leads down a bad path, like to eating disorders.
That's a VERY general statement, and it just simply isn't true as a catchall.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:15 AM   #7  
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That is one of the reasons I count calories, my food choices are almost limitless. I plan my meals for the day staying within my calorie count and do not get bored as I would eating from only 2 or 3 options a day, to me that is the road to a binge.

Last edited by bargoo; 12-31-2012 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:09 PM   #8  
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I do, because otherwise all the planning gets overwhelming after long periods of time. I know there are going to be times when I get stressed out and really want to just say stuff it, I can't do this right now. Having a core of go to meals I can rotate through makes it so much easier. Honestly, once I am contemplating all sorts of foods to eat, what do I want out of everything, what might be good, what's the best I can possibly get, what's worth the effort of buying and making, I'm kinda getting into potential binge territory.

If I want to make an effort and try something new, I do it (usually on the weekends, actually). And I do make variations of meals, seasoning them differently, have different veggies, etc. But overall, I kind of want my diet to be boring! I don't want food to be a big source of entertainment for me. I want it to fall into the background mostly, so I can focus on other things.

I'm not saying I eat things that taste bad (at all). I still truly love the foods I eat right now. And if I didn't, that would just create the opposite problem. But I feel less restricted if I don't have to think about it very much.

LOL sorry for the novel here... this is just the conclusion I've come to. I'm sure it's different for different people, but lack of variety works for me.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:51 PM   #9  
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Restricting food choices to only a few can also lead to poor nutrition.
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:09 PM   #10  
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i think there's a difference between "limiting variety" like the OP said and "restricting food choices"...when i "restrict" myself and say i will never ever ever eat this again, i'm guaranteed to fall face-first into it at the first opportunity

however i do "limit variety" for several reasons...i LIKE my routines, i like the foods i've chosen to eat for weight loss, i don't have the time/money to shop for endless varieties...although i do rotate through things as i feel like it....for instance in cold winter months i prefer my oatmeal for breakfast and on warm (not hot - it is alaska after all) summer days i'd rather have a protein smoothie...
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:00 PM   #11  
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I find that I do my best when I stick to:
  • the same boring hot cereal for breakfast (any 1 of 3 different kinds I keep on hand)
  • an enormous salad for lunch (using whatever variety of veggies & cheese that I have on hand) with maybe some homemade soup
  • a medium sized salad along with a small portion of whatever I make the family for dinner.
  • snacks of protein smoothies and/or nuts and/or fresh fruit


When I do that, I'm eating food that I love and a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and protein, and lose weight the quickest.

When I'm going out to restaurants for meals, I lose the slowest.

Everything else is in between.
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:05 PM   #12  
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I agree with you.. I had a friend who ate nothing but chicken, strawberries, cucumbers, and one more green (forgot which one) , rapidly lost a bunch of weight and kept it off.. so I think it varies person to person.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:50 PM   #13  
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I tend to have the same breakfast, lunch and snacks every day but my dinner always varies. I think as long as you are getting plenty of nutrients and not getting bored, then it's fine. I, for one, don't have enough money to have a bunch of different choices in my cupboards.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:59 PM   #14  
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I think you have to be careful but it is a good idea. I myself just went on a very restrictive diet (medically supervised) with only 5 choices (although you could make different recipes with the food) and I lost 60 lbs. I found it easier to have no decisions about food.

Oh and I don't have an eating disorder.

But, the food was formulated to give you all your nutrients and it had a multivitamin supplement. Also, it was very protein heavy and so you do have to be careful.
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:09 PM   #15  
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Whatever works is good! I try to buy only nutritionally dense food, and of course there is lots of variety in that. If that's all I have on hand, that's all I can eat. Unfortunately, my devious mind finds ways to get junk on occasion, but for the most part this works for me.
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