Is Eating The Same Thing Every Day Boring Or Smart?
Oatmeal for breakfast and a sandwich for lunch every day may sound boring, but it can be very exciting for metabolism and bank accounts. People who eat the same things every day might be onto something.
I usually start the day with some form of Special K cereal sometimes mixed with Chex because I want healthy carbs to fuel my workout. Some days I'll mix in a banana and almond butter. For lunch, I'll usually have a protein drink, an apple, and some frozen grapes, along with the last few bites of whatever the kids don't finish. And then for dinner, it's usually a salad, a salmon dish, cauliflower rice with something crunchy mixed in, or carrots and hummus. And I can always work in avocados and crackers. I love crackers.
I started feeling insecure about my lack of food variety, so I did a little reading and found out that I'm not alone with the food routine, and in fact, the lack of variety can be a good thing.
Benefits of eating the same foods every day, according to The Today Show:
It creates healthier habits. Eating patterns help establish routines for getting the daily recommended amounts of vegetables, fruit, nuts, whole grains, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and omega-3 fatty acids and limiting processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, trans fat, and sodium.
It may reduce calorie intake. The experts call it "food habituation." When there are many foods available to sample, we tend to increase the amount of food we eat and delay feeling full because we want to keep sampling. If we already know what we're going to eat, we quit when we reach our pre-planned limit.
It can save money. Getting through all of the produce before it goes bad is a fun game, and sticking to that game plan keeps us from eating out so much. Wanna go out for lunch? No, my avocado is ripening!
It reduces stress. The Today Show puts it this way. "Have you ever scrolled through Instagram looking for dinner inspiration for what seems like hours, only to pick up the phone and order your usual? Figuring out what to eat three times per day can be exhausting, and stress can lead to uncontrolled and emotional eating. This is where having a few staple meals on rotation can help."
For many of us, it's just a matter of finding out what works and what tastes good and sticking with it, while finding ways to work in some cheese pizza, Nutella, and ice cream once in a while too of course. Not having to think of new menus all the time sure does make life easy.
Now, can we talk those variety-loving families of ours into eating the same things every day? That may be the most challenging part.