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A Helpful Tip?

15 Mar

I read a lot. For the most part I read whatever I think looks interesting, which, given my innate curiosity is pretty much everything lol. Something I read a fair amount of are articles, books, studies etc on eating healthy, fitness, getting in shape, losing weight…anything that somehow relates to leading a healthier lifestyle.

I read all these articles, books and studies for a couple reasons. One is because deep down I am still hoping for some sort of miracle-super-easy-quick-fix to my fat problem. Hey, if I can find something that can actually legit get me in shape faster than what I am doing now sign me up! Also, I read these various pieces for information, to learn what is best for my body, what I might be doing that is actually causing harm, tips and tricks, ideas…things like that. There is no way any one person can know everything about a topic, definitely no way I know everything about getting fit, so why not keep reading everything you can get your hands on? Keep learning, keep expanding your ideas, keep opening your mind to suggestions, keep trying new things…what could it possibly hurt?

So the other day I am reading an article titled: 8 Clever Tips For The Body You Want. If you read enough of these articles you’ll find they mostly all say the same things. Apparently there aren’t that many easy suggestions to pass along *rolls eyes* but one of the suggestions in this article caught my eye, caught it enough I took a screenshot of it so I would be able to reference it later.

my screenshot

my screenshot

The gist of this tip is, ready for it? Dun-dun-dunnnnn…eat the same things daily. Repeat the same exercises over an over. Basically bore yourself to tears by doing the same things over and over again. Apparently, “in one study, less food variety was associated with successful weight loss maintenance” and according to Dr. Oz (yeah, that guy from tv) “research is showing that putting a cap on the variety of foods and tastes you experience will help you control your weight. Find a healthy lunch you like – salad with grilled chicken and olive oil…and have it every day…”

Every.Day.

Basically bore your taste buds into submission. Oh and doing the same workout over and over? Suuuuure, I mean it’s not like you have to worry about your body getting minimal benefit from an oft repeated workout because our bodies are smart and quickly figure out how to get through a workout routine they recognize by doing the least amount of work….oh wait, yes we do have to worry about that! *rolls eyes*

Seriously Dr. Oz? Seriously??

I don’t know who came up with this particular article, I didn’t screenshot that part, oops! But I am baffled by this tip.

How is a person going to learn how to live a healthier lifestyle if their main way of eating is to eat the same thing everyday? All you’re doing is finding a couple healthy meals and hitting the repeat button every time you enter the kitchen. Sure, that may work for a little while, but what happens when that person goes to a potluck? To a restaurant? To a birthday party? To a work function where there is food? Basically, any social situation where you do not get to pick the exact meal put on your plate? How does someone navigate these food danger hot spots? If I only eat salad with grilled chicken for lunch and then my work puts on a lunch function and there are soooooo many tables of super tasty foods in front of me, how have I picked up the skills needed to help me (1) make a healthy food choice using the foods available to me and (2) resist all the super tasty but bad for me foods that are there?

Maybe it is just me but if I was eating the same thing day after day then was put in a situation ( like the work lunch function, or a potluck at a friends place etc) I’d cave faster than a dog that smells steak and basically eat whatever looked tasty. For me, if I deprive myself of the majority of foods out there then am exposed to them I have no willpower to resist them because it’s been so long since I’ve tasted something different than my routine food. I will want nibbles of everything and we all know those nibbles add up quickly! *cough*stupid nibbles*cough*

Granted, this could just be because I have ridiculously weak willpower but I feel it is a valid point.

Wouldn’t it be better to learn one new healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner meal per week, slowly integrating the new healthy meals in to your life so that you get to eat healthy, experience new foods (or at least foods cooked in different ways than before) and bonus you actually enjoy eating instead of dreading it because you’ve been eating the same foods day in and day out?

When I did my super strict Paleo Plan I ate the same foods everyday, in the same order, cooked the same way, nothing ever varied. Did I lose weight? Well, technically yes, I actually built muscle so I lowered my body fat % but my scale had me going up a bit (ya know, cause of that whole muscle vs fat thing). Did I enjoy my food? No. It became a thing I had to do, had to deal with, and I couldn’t wait for each meal to be done because by week two I was so bored. For a while my willpower saved me from cheating. If I was out for dinner I’d order a salad, no dressing, grilled chicken breast on top. I can’t believe I’d pay $16 or so for something so basic but I did, all because it was as close as I could get to what I “should” be eating. I hadn’t learned from my strict Paleo Plan how to navigate eating in a restaurant, what to do if I was at a friends, how to grab something to eat on the go. All I had learned was to eat the same thing over and over and when I was in a situation that varied from my normal day-to-day schedule the Plan abandoned me to figure things out on my own…it’s like kicking a kitten to the curb when it isn’t yet weaned, no way I had the skills or know-how to figure things out on my own.

Sidenote, the kitten to the curb analogy made me look at my cat and get all “oh that’s such a mean thought” so I paused to cuddle my cat…something he doesn’t appreciate cause I woke him up lol 😛

Realistically, how long can a person eat the same foods on a daily basis?

I have to say I think this point, written up how it was written, is flawed. If they had said eat the same meals daily for two weeks than slowly add additional healthy meals that’d be ok. But this makes it sound like you should be eating the same foods daily for ever.

It’s way healthier to learn what foods are healthy, then learn how to cook a variety of dishes using those foods, eventually ending up with an arsenal of go-to meals that are healthy, tasty and varied enough you aren’t (1) bored to tears or (2) so deprived of taste variety you end up going overboard food-wise when put in a situation that is full of temptations. Well, in my opinion anyways…I’ll stop ranting now lol

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2 Responses to “A Helpful Tip?”

  1. Antonieta Reyes March 15, 2014 at 4:55 am #

    You are so right, I think. It’s probably the reason I’ve never liked menu diets. I get cranky when I don’t have the freedom to pick my own meals. On the other hand, now that I have been at it for over 7 months I notice that lunch is my most varied meal, that and eating out which is seldom. Breakfast, dinner and snacks are pretty consistent. Not exactly the same meal but pretty much the same food. For example, breakfast is usually carb and protein (sandwich or quesadilla) and coffee or tea with milk. Somedays I have banana bread because it was made. Dinner used to be cereal and milk but since the calf strain I eat fruits and nuts. Just this week started adding cheese because I needed something salty. Snacks are usually nuts. I believe that consistency does help but you’re right: can’t get to boring either.

    • shrinkingwmn March 15, 2014 at 10:46 pm #

      I find the same thing, when I am on track with my healthy eating I do tend to stick with a lot of the same foods but that is by my choice and mostly because it is easy and appeals to my lazy nature lol I think teaching people to eat the same thing over and over again right from the start is failing to teach them how to choose healthy foods and as soon as they diverge from the “approved foods” they could feel like they are cheating or even failed.
      I used to love having cereal for dinner! Mmm! I don’t eat cereal anymore though, sigh, too processed. 😦

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