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Your Weight-Loss Meals:"Limit Your Menu"

Posted Nov 07 2012 11:12am
Many people think that they can make weight loss fun by introducing variety into their diets. There are thousands of recipes available for healthy meals, and it would seem that trying a lot of them would help you lose weight and keep food interesting at the same time. It works that way with exercise. Adding variety to your workout regimen through interval training, cross-training and combining resistance training with aerobic workouts not only keeps exercise interesting, but it also introduces “muscle confusion” and improves long-term results. Unfortunately, the data suggests the opposite is true with your diet. A study published in the Psychological Bulletin in 2001 found that more food variety is associated with higher body weight. And more limited menus predict a greater reduction in fat and calorie intake as well as more weight loss. It makes sense if you think about it. A high-variety diet stimulates your senses, and therefore, your appetite. The fewer choices you have, the less you will ultimately eat. Spend a few minutes watching the customers at a Las Vegas buffet or any all you can eat buffet style meal (from a safe distance!) and you’ll see what I mean. 

Limiting your menu is a fairly novel concept in dieting, and it might seem to go against the idea that we should eat for pleasure. But don’t worry, you can still enjoy your meals. By picking a few staples that you can live with, you’ll eat more consistently. Less choice means fewer opportunities to make mistakes. Less choice means less spontaneity – which is the last thing a dieter needs. Less choice means planning your meals in advance. Finally, less choice usually means limited portions. Lunch is one of the easier meals in which to limit variety, because you tend to have a routine during the day at work or home. For the next month pick 3-5 lunches you like to bring from home or to eat out and rotate them throughout the week.

I have always eaten only a few set items and have always stuck to them and especially when I diet down for competition or photo shoot. I  didn't always know that my boring, limited way of eating was actually helping me in leaning my body down for competition and for photo shoots. I do it because it's the way I have always eaten and I find a few items I enjoy that are healthy for me and I stick to them day in and day out. Like, skinless, boneless chicken, lots egg whites and few yolks for some fat. salmon, tuna, fresh fish and spinach lettuce, celery with my tuna and lots of watermelon and strawberries. I would just stick to these items every day without really getting bored of them. The only item I may add once in a while is a nice lean filet Mignon which I love, other than that I would and do stick to basic set of  healthy foods I know work for me in leaning out my body. Even when not crunching down on my diet I tend to stick to these basic foods as a staple in my diet. 
If you are eating a wide variety of foods and you feel this is something you could try you should give it a try. Pick a handful of items that you enjoy and know you won't get sick of eating them everyday and stick to them and see how you feel and how it effects your body. You may find you like it and it may also help your body lean down if that is what you're after. You will never know until you give it a try and see how your body reacts to limiting the amount of food choices you eat on a regular basis. If you do try this, then keep a food diary of what foods you choose and how you eat them, how much you eat and when. This way you can log down how your body reacts to eating these limited healthy foods and how your energy level is for your training and just your overall reactions to eating a limited set amount of foods everyday. If you get bored try to remember it's about eating to live and be healthy, not just living to eat. You can be perfectly happy eating a smaller, limited amount of healthy foods without being bored. Give it a try!

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