Should you eat a variety of foods, or stick to the same?
There is a benefit to both eating a variety of foods and sticking to the same foods regularly.
If you are regularly eating the same foods, it will give you much more control over your diet in many ways. A regular eating pattern will mean you are eating a similar number of calories daily and weekly. This means you can adjust to lower or higher calorie amounts much easier than somebody who has a large daily or weekly variance in their calorie intake.
Also, when you are eating less variety of foods, you can identify the effects foods have on you much easier. If you feel lethargic after a meal, or bloated the day after trying something new in your diet then you can easily trace that issue back to the new food, whereas with lots of variety in your diet, there are multiple things that could be causing issues, making them much more difficult to identify and eliminate.
Eating the same foods often also eliminates much of the potential stress around healthy eating. If you find several healthy meals which become your ‘go-to’ options, it means you aren’t constantly having to think about what healthy options you have, it just becomes second nature which makes sticking to a healthy eating lifestyle much more doable.
However, there are also arguments that can be made for eating a large variety of foods within your diet.
Including a variety of foods greatly reduces the chances of you becoming bored of what you eat. This is important as if you become bored and don’t enjoy the meals you have it will become increasingly difficult to stick to the plan and work towards your goals. It is important to find a way of eating that works well for you, and if you’re somebody that is easily bored by regularly having similar foods, then you should prioritise getting variety within your diet.
Also, when eating a larger range of different foods, you have much less chance of having nutrient deficiencies as every food contains different types and amounts of nutrients. If you aren’t eating a variety of food, it can be very difficult to balance out all your nutrient intake, so this is a big bonus for more variety. Nutrient deficiencies can cause a host of different problems from regular colds, to tiredness, drowsiness, or depression, to dry skin and brittle nails – so it is clearly important to cover all your bases.
Overall, there are benefits and drawbacks to both approaches. The best way to go about it is to be flexible and try different things, then find what works for you. Some ways will require more thought and planning, but that’s okay if that’s what works for you.
This was just one of the questions covered in our latest “Let’s Talk: Nutrition” evening. Our next talk is being held this Friday 28th February at 7pm with Ash. This event is free to members and can be booked now via FitSense or at reception.