LIVESTRONG.com’s "One GREAT Answer" series takes your health and fitness questions to the world’s smartest experts.
“Does eating the same type of meals every day cause a weight loss plateau or bring on food allergies or sensitivities?”
-Juan David Foronda, via Facebook
If you’re looking to get out of eating fruits and vegetables every day, this excuse isn’t going to cut it. There’s no evidence to support the idea that having the same things each day will bring on food allergies or food sensitivities. And eating similar foods regularly can actually help you drop pounds.
In fact, research from the National Weight Control Registry found that people who successfully maintain significant weight loss (those who have maintained a 30 pound weight loss for a minimum of 1 year) tend to consume a consistent diet from day to day.
The reason is simple. By limiting variety, you are better able to manage calories and create the caloric deficit needed to lose weight.
Think of it this way: It’s much easier to overeat at a buffet than at a traditional sit-down restaurant, where you order a single item off the menu.
That said, eating the same “health” foods could be problematic if they become so repetitious and boring that you want to rebel against your diet. A good eating plan is one that keeps you interested enough to stick with it over the long haul. So add variety where you can, while keeping your total calories per meal fairly steady.
For example, if you make an omelet every morning, change up the vegetables you mix in. Just don’t swap your tomatoes for calorie-dense chorizo – that’s not an even trade.
By keeping your meals consistent, but mixing up the individual foods within those meals, you can control calories and get more essential nutrients from your diet. That will keep you clear of food allergies, and help you reach your weight loss goals.
ABOUT THE EXPERT
Kara Mohr, Ph.D, R.D, is a nutritionist and co-founder of MohrResults.com.