Why variety is a myth

DP / 17 April 2019


Often when people have begun to make changes to their food and exercise, a few weeks in, something happens

The initial enthusiasm has subsided a bit, the focus starts to wander

They will think or say something like:

“I'm bored with my food - I think I just need a bit more variety”

I understand why

Marketing messages tell us we should be eating a “balanced and varied diet”

(Still no-one actually agrees what a balanced and varied diet is by the way)

But if we look a bit closer I do find this a little strange

Many people have eaten the same breakfast cereal for 23 years straight

Maybe they switch things up at lunchtime occasionally by branching out into a different sandwich filling

But if we look at our nutrition habits objectively you will see we tend to eat the same things over and over

Is this a bad thing?

Of course ultimately it's good to try new foods and get as many different nutrients as possible (and there can be problems with eating the same foods over and over)

But first things first  

If you are trying to change your lifestyle or lose some weight


You don't need to eat a different breakfast everyday

Or have 7 different types of green leaves with your dinner

If you analyse the habits of most people who have been successful - with pretty much anything -  not just their health, guess what you see?

Repetition, repetition, repetition

Maybe this sounds boring?

But it gets results

Especially in the initial stages

Too many choices are usually more of a problem than too few

Adding more variety is a development for later on when the initial changes have become...habits

So if you're hearing a voice saying, “I'm bored, I need more variety” just double check

Do you really, or might it be better just to push on for a while yet?


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