* Disclaimer: I don’t like the word “diet” — but unfortunately it’s what most people trying to live a healthy lifestyle relate to.
Let’s face it — we’re creatures of habit and most often eat the same things over and over again. And whether you’re trying to lose weight, maintain your healthy lifestyle, or have a healthy relationship with food, it can get pretty boring.
I know even for myself, though I’ve overcome my battle with dieting, poor body image, low self-esteem, and avoiding parties because I felt fat and like crap — and though I do lead an overall healthy lifestyle (chocolate included!) I sometimes find myself in a rut and not enjoying my food or exercise routine.
So What Causes This Rut?
Simply put: Boredom. Ourselves, our bodies, and our tastebuds get fed up. They’re saying: Another lunch of chicken breast, green beans and brown rice AGAIN?
In addition to just the overall boredom of our tastebuds — by eating the same foods over and over again your body may start missing out on some essential vitamins and nutrients. So it could be your body’s way of saying “time to shake things up!”
Though strange as it may seem — sometimes I don’t even realize I’m in the rut. Sometimes it’s the fact that I’ve gone to the candy jar 5 times today (yes, I do sometimes keep candy in my house) and still don’t feel satisfied. Or it’s the fact that I haven’t wanted to go to the gym for the last 3 weeks, because if I get on that treadmill one more time I feel like I’m gonna lose it!
So here are some easy tips to help get you out of that rut and start feeling good again:
1) Eat a new food — something you’ve never tried before — at least once this week. Now when I say “food” I mean a whole food, not the newest version of Snickers with Almonds. There’s an abundance of real, whole foods out there, but when we go grocery shopping we generally get the same old things. Try something easy and basic. Instead of green beans try butternut squash. Instead of starting your meal with a salad — try an avocado (just cut it in half — so one half per person — add some salt, pepper and a bit of dressing on it and viola!)
2) Eat something that’s in Season. I love it when the seasons change as usually by the end of the season I’m tired of the same old things. Now that Fall is here it’s time for things like squash, cauliflower, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, apples, pears, cranberries, and pomegranates — just to name a few. So take a look what’s in season in your area, and usually when food is in season it’s cheaper too.
3) Eat the same food, but prepared in a different way. Always steam your green beans and just add butter and salt? Add some blue cheese and walnuts to them instead. Or maybe try adding some zest from an orange and sliced almonds. Ditto for your meat or proteins — dig into some of the recipe books you have and try a new way of preparing chicken (try chicken thighs — they’re much cheaper and tastier than chicken breasts). You might be surprised and find some new favorite recipes. So do this once this week — prepare your favorite food in a different way.
4) Try a new way to move your body (ie find a new way to exercise). Always going for a walk, or doing those exercise DVD’s (maybe not!) or only go to the gym a few days a week? Try something new! Even if it’s just one day a week. Try swimming, biking, hiking, dancing, ice staking, yoga, pilates, zumba, kickboxing (you get the idea). But make sure it’s something that’s FUN for you. Not only will it help relieve the boredom but you might just find your body responds better by getting firmer (because when you do the same exercises over & over again your muscles aren’t challenged anymore and could hinder any weight loss).
So getting out of the rut really is quite simple. Sure it will take a bit of extra effort but it’s minimal and definitely worth it! Some of my favorite foods are things I tried for the first time I went abroad, and then when I lived in France, and even some are new things I’ve tried within the last year or two. And I’m always discovering something new.
So get out and try something new. Your tastebuds and your body will thank you for it!