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Eating the same thing every day?

sampson2010sampson2010 Member Posts: 23 Member Member Posts: 23 Member
The last three months have been a real success for me -- I've managed to find the right caloric intake to lose an average of just over one pound per week, and I'm not struggling with hunger or fatigue (both of which often lead to binging for me). I've also made regular exercise a habit. I'm feeling pretty good about myself right now.

I normally work a regular Monday to Friday 9 to 5 schedule, but I'm currently prepping for a six-week stretch in which I expect to be working 14-hour days five days a week. Decision fatigue can be a problem for me, and at a time when my brain needs to be fully engaged in work tasks, I don't want to have to think about what to pack for lunch and supper every day. I also don't want to find myself distracted by hunger pangs because whatever I threw in my lunch bag that morning wasn't enough to get me through the day. I'm considering playing around with my diary to come up with one "perfect day" (calories on target, with enough fat and protein to ensure satiation and all my required micronutrients) and just eating that same thing for six weeks.

To be clear, this isn't a "diet trick" I'm touting, nor is my plan really about weight loss. I just want to get through the next six weeks without spending a lot of mental energy on food and without falling back into any bad habits (e.g. stopping at the convenience store at 10:30 p.m. and eating a family-size bag of chips during the 20-minute drive home from the office).

I'm not necessarily seeking advice on the specifics of my diet, which is why I didn't include my stats, my daily caloric intake, or my dietary restrictions. I'm just curious if anyone has done something like this short or long term, and if so what the experience was like for you.
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Replies

  • mjbnj0001mjbnj0001 Member Posts: 960 Member Member Posts: 960 Member
    For the last few years, 90% of the time I eat the same thing for breakfast: old-fashioned oats, nutritional yeast, unflavored whey and, about 50% of the time, wheat germ. I consider this my "foundation" for the day - sort of keeping with the old "breakfast is the most important meal ofthe day" motto. This gives me the ability to be creative with dinner plans, and to a lesser extent, lunch. This last year, with covid-impacted restricted shopping, my lunches have generally fallen into a rut of nut butter sandwiches on homemade bread or plain yogurt with dried fruit and/or homemade museli. Prior, lunches were usually all sorts of fresh-produce-based salads and leftovers from the prior evening's grilled/baked proteins. I'm on a gradual weight-loss, commonsense-moderated diet plan, which combined with cycling, summer ocean swimming and winter gym (pre-covid), have netted me an 85lb weight loss. 66yo, male, 2100 cal/day plan (excepting "exercise calories"). 50lbs more to target range. Good luck on your path; I can empathize restricting decisionmaking as long as you're getting all nutrients and can deal with the ensuing boredom (but it sounds as if your other life aspects make up for that). At the onset of the covid quarantine, I ordered some unflavored Soylent as a meal replacement strategy as contingency to supplies shortages. The interesting thing about that product is the originators developed it as a "no-brainer" meal plan which didn't distract from their work in the tech sector. BTW, I didn't have any negatives with it, but it wasn't compelling enough to me to continue past two months with it as a 1-2/day meal alternative. Plus, I was able to get some groceries in again. The product name is a riff on the old Charlton Heston movie, "Soylent Green."
    edited April 3
  • Diatonic12Diatonic12 Member Posts: 26,402 Member Member Posts: 26,402 Member
    I know someone who uses the mono-meal approach to weight loss. There's not much difference between the mono-meal and protein shakes and/or food service. The rubber meets the road when you transition into maintenance.

    You said you just want to get through the next six weeks and create the perfect day. The best diet is the one
    that improves your health. You choose, you decide but see how maintenance goes and adjust accordingly.
  • sampson2010sampson2010 Member Posts: 23 Member Member Posts: 23 Member
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your experience with Soylent. I have to say that meal replacement shakes or drinks have never appealed to me, but I suppose I can see why/when some people might appreciate that option.
    mjbnj0001 wrote: »
    For the last few years, 90% of the time I eat the same thing for breakfast: old-fashioned oats, nutritional yeast, unflavored whey and, about 50% of the time, wheat germ. I consider this my "foundation" for the day - sort of keeping with the old "breakfast is the most important meal o fthe day" motto. This gives me the ability to be creative with dinner plans, and to a lesser extent, lunch.

    It's funny -- I never even mentioned breakfast in my original post because for me there's no decision-making required. I've eaten the same thing every morning for years. (The only difference is that now I weigh and measure the ingredients.) Aside from the fact that I find it tasty and it keeps me full until lunch, I can basically prepare it in my sleep. And yes, having a consistent breakfast gives me the opportunity to be creative with my other meals.
    mjbnj0001 wrote: »
    I can empathize restricting decisionmaking as long as you're getting all nutrients and can deal with the ensuing boredom (but it sounds as if your other life aspects make up for that).

    Yeah, I honestly don't think boredom will be an issue, although maybe I'll be proven wrong. I know I would definitely get bored if I tried to do this long term. I like cooking; I like being creative in the kitchen; I like trying new things. And I just really like food! But during these particular stretches of work, I'm not sure that my brain would even register the difference between champagne and caviar versus cold gruel and ditchwater. For that short period of time, it's just about fueling my body and brain with the nutrients I need to keep going, and putting the least amount of effort into doing so.
  • callsitlikeiseeitcallsitlikeiseeit Member Posts: 7,365 Member Member Posts: 7,365 Member
    i could never do that.

    i dont even like eating leftovers for dinner.
  • sampson2010sampson2010 Member Posts: 23 Member Member Posts: 23 Member
    Diatonic12 wrote: »
    I know someone who uses the mono-meal approach to weight loss. There's not much difference between the mono-meal and protein shakes and/or food service. The rubber meets the road when you transition into maintenance.

    You said you just want to get through the next six weeks and create the perfect day. The best diet is the one
    that improves your health. You choose, you decide but see how maintenance goes and adjust accordingly.

    Oh, I absolutely agree that this is not a sustainable way of eating in the long term (at least not for me). I'm reasonably confident in my slow and steady approach to weight loss and in my ability to transition into maintenance when the time comes. But six weeks feels like kind of a blip within a full year, and my goal here is simply to continue to fuel myself in a healthy way without expending too much mental energy in the process.
  • yirarayirara Member, Premium Posts: 6,105 Member Member, Premium Posts: 6,105 Member
    I kind of eat the same every day until dinner. Oats with skyr, pure yoghurt or quark, raisins and whatever fresh fruit I have at the moment. And during the day a couple of slices of bread, with a choice of two things.
  • sampson2010sampson2010 Member Posts: 23 Member Member Posts: 23 Member
    i could never do that.

    i dont even like eating leftovers for dinner.

    My husband feels the same way!
  • paperpuddingpaperpudding Member Posts: 6,515 Member Member Posts: 6,515 Member
    what do you do with leftovers if you dont eat them?

    Or do you cook so precisely that you never have any left over?

    Anyway, back to OP - on work days I eat same breakfast - and it doesn't even get weighed any more- 3 weetbix, roughly same amount of milk and 1 tsp sugar 4 or 5 days a week.

    I take a packed lunch to work - and it has more or less same 6 things most days, slight variation - maybe 10 things altogether of which 6 are any given day

    I dont purposely do it so it is easy to log, (although it is) I am just a creature of habit.
  • GummiMundiGummiMundi Member Posts: 317 Member Member Posts: 317 Member
    Some people do fine with eating always the same thing, others not so much. So here's a suggestion, if you don't mind... instead of creating only one "perfect day" plan, as you called it, create two or even three different ones, as a back-up. You can spend the first week eating according to plan #1, and see how you feel by the end of that week. If you realize you don't want to spend week #2 eating the same thing again, you can move on to plan #2. On week #3, you can either go back to plan #1, or go to plan #3. And so on, and so forth, until you finish those hectic six weeks you're about to have. I hope this makes sense?
  • sampson2010sampson2010 Member Posts: 23 Member Member Posts: 23 Member
    GummiMundi wrote: »
    Some people do fine with eating always the same thing, others not so much. So here's a suggestion, if you don't mind... instead of creating only one "perfect day" plan, as you called it, create two or even three different ones, as a back-up. You can spend the first week eating according to plan #1, and see how you feel by the end of that week. If you realize you don't want to spend week #2 eating the same thing again, you can move on to plan #2. On week #3, you can either go back to plan #1, or go to plan #3. And so on, and so forth, until you finish those hectic six weeks you're about to have. I hope this makes sense?

    That absolutely makes sense. Thank you! (I'm only slightly embarrassed that I didn't think of it myself.) I think by Sunday I should have the mental energy to decide what my plan for the next week will be. So if and when I feel like changing it up for the week, I will. I just don't want to have to make those kinds of decisions at 10:30 at night or at 6:30 in the morning during the week.

    Thanks also to those who shared that they are creatures of habit, with fairly consistent breakfasts and lunches. I think it was the prospect of packing *supper* in addition to lunch that threw me for a loop. Having given some thought to my options, it's feeling less overwhelming.

  • hiparihipari Member, Premium Posts: 1,111 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,111 Member
    what do you do with leftovers if you dont eat them?

    Or do you cook so precisely that you never have any left over?

    My husband also hates leftovers and won’t eat them, mostly for two reasons: he hates the microwave and for some reason thinks microwaved food tastes bad, and if he has to take out a pan to heat something he prefers just making something fresh that’s different from yesterday. He’s softened his stance a little bit after a year of remote work with no access to restaurant/cafeteria lunches at work...

    We usually cook precisely enough that we don’t have leftovers, and when we want something we know will leave leftovers we usually plan it so that I’ll be home next day to eat the leftovers. Pre-covid, it usually meant making letover-leaving foods the night before my husband went out for the night and I had leftovers for dinner, now it just means I have lunch prepared for next day.

    I do have to admit that most of our ”precise” cooking is just both being raised to eat everything and what we cook is close enough, but if we cooked less we’d eat smaller portions and be just fine.
  • yirarayirara Member, Premium Posts: 6,105 Member Member, Premium Posts: 6,105 Member
    I cook precise as I adjust the calories during cooking. But, living alone I do eat the same often for 2-3 days. It’s not worth cooking for just one day, also because I can’t get ingredients in small enough quantities
  • nanastaci2020nanastaci2020 Member Posts: 883 Member Member Posts: 883 Member
    I have a lot of repetition. It just depends on how much you can handle. If you think the same day repeated for 6 weeks is too much, then come up with some minor variations. Perhaps just in your snacks.
  • NVintageNVintage Member Posts: 182 Member Member Posts: 182 Member
    Harvard has already done all the research for you. If you're going to eat the same thing every day this has all the nutrients you need! :)

    Breakfast: 8 ounces nonfat yogurt with a cup of papaya and kiwi and 14 walnut halves

    Lunch: 1 small whole-wheat pita with a green salad including 1 cup of dark green lettuce, a red pepper, 1 cup of tomatoes, ½ cup edamame, and unsalted sunflower seeds sprinkled on top. Don't despair! You can add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and pepper as dressing.

    Dinner: 4 ounces broiled wild salmon (about the size of your palm) with a yogurt sauce. On the side, a ½ cup of barley and lentils with a cup of steamed asparagus or baby bok choy.

    https://www.inc.com/robin-camarote/this-extremely-simple-1-day-meal-plan-will-increase-your-productivity-mental-health.html
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member, Premium Posts: 25,223 Member Member, Premium Posts: 25,223 Member
    NVintage wrote: »
    Harvard has already done all the research for you. If you're going to eat the same thing every day this has all the nutrients you need! :)

    Breakfast: 8 ounces nonfat yogurt with a cup of papaya and kiwi and 14 walnut halves

    Lunch: 1 small whole-wheat pita with a green salad including 1 cup of dark green lettuce, a red pepper, 1 cup of tomatoes, ½ cup edamame, and unsalted sunflower seeds sprinkled on top. Don't despair! You can add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and pepper as dressing.

    Dinner: 4 ounces broiled wild salmon (about the size of your palm) with a yogurt sauce. On the side, a ½ cup of barley and lentils with a cup of steamed asparagus or baby bok choy.

    https://www.inc.com/robin-camarote/this-extremely-simple-1-day-meal-plan-will-increase-your-productivity-mental-health.html

    I was curious so I logged this menu on Cronometer. Assuming 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of yogurt with dinner, this would be about 1,231 calories and doesn't meet the RDA for choline, vitamin D, calcium, iron, or potassium (the calcium and iron are female-specific, this may meet the RDA for men). In the context of a varied diet, I wouldn't worry too much about days where one failed to meet the RDA for those things -- but if you are eating the same thing every day (as is suggested here), it could be relevant.

    Basically, this is the foundation of a very healthy diet, but if Harvard is saying this particular diet will provide everything you need (the article isn't 100% clear if this menu comes from Harvard or not), then they're not being completely accurate.
  • pancakerunnerpancakerunner Member Posts: 5,917 Member Member Posts: 5,917 Member
    NVintage wrote: »
    Harvard has already done all the research for you. If you're going to eat the same thing every day this has all the nutrients you need! :)

    Breakfast: 8 ounces nonfat yogurt with a cup of papaya and kiwi and 14 walnut halves

    Lunch: 1 small whole-wheat pita with a green salad including 1 cup of dark green lettuce, a red pepper, 1 cup of tomatoes, ½ cup edamame, and unsalted sunflower seeds sprinkled on top. Don't despair! You can add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and pepper as dressing.

    Dinner: 4 ounces broiled wild salmon (about the size of your palm) with a yogurt sauce. On the side, a ½ cup of barley and lentils with a cup of steamed asparagus or baby bok choy.

    https://www.inc.com/robin-camarote/this-extremely-simple-1-day-meal-plan-will-increase-your-productivity-mental-health.html

    I was curious so I logged this menu on Cronometer. Assuming 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of yogurt with dinner, this would be about 1,231 calories and doesn't meet the RDA for choline, vitamin D, calcium, iron, or potassium (the calcium and iron are female-specific, this may meet the RDA for men). In the context of a varied diet, I wouldn't worry too much about days where one failed to meet the RDA for those things -- but if you are eating the same thing every day (as is suggested here), it could be relevant.

    Basically, this is the foundation of a very healthy diet, but if Harvard is saying this particular diet will provide everything you need (the article isn't 100% clear if this menu comes from Harvard or not), then they're not being completely accurate.

    on top of that, that sounds like kind of a sad meal plan tbh
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member, Premium Posts: 25,223 Member Member, Premium Posts: 25,223 Member
    NVintage wrote: »
    Harvard has already done all the research for you. If you're going to eat the same thing every day this has all the nutrients you need! :)

    Breakfast: 8 ounces nonfat yogurt with a cup of papaya and kiwi and 14 walnut halves

    Lunch: 1 small whole-wheat pita with a green salad including 1 cup of dark green lettuce, a red pepper, 1 cup of tomatoes, ½ cup edamame, and unsalted sunflower seeds sprinkled on top. Don't despair! You can add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and pepper as dressing.

    Dinner: 4 ounces broiled wild salmon (about the size of your palm) with a yogurt sauce. On the side, a ½ cup of barley and lentils with a cup of steamed asparagus or baby bok choy.

    https://www.inc.com/robin-camarote/this-extremely-simple-1-day-meal-plan-will-increase-your-productivity-mental-health.html

    I was curious so I logged this menu on Cronometer. Assuming 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of yogurt with dinner, this would be about 1,231 calories and doesn't meet the RDA for choline, vitamin D, calcium, iron, or potassium (the calcium and iron are female-specific, this may meet the RDA for men). In the context of a varied diet, I wouldn't worry too much about days where one failed to meet the RDA for those things -- but if you are eating the same thing every day (as is suggested here), it could be relevant.

    Basically, this is the foundation of a very healthy diet, but if Harvard is saying this particular diet will provide everything you need (the article isn't 100% clear if this menu comes from Harvard or not), then they're not being completely accurate.

    on top of that, that sounds like kind of a sad meal plan tbh

    Yeah, food satisfaction is highly specific but personally I couldn't take more of a day or two of this . . . and I'm someone who loves vegetables.

    The "Don't despair" at lunch is pretty telling . . . :D
  • SuzanneC1l9zzSuzanneC1l9zz Member Posts: 51 Member Member Posts: 51 Member
    I'm tiny and at a healthy BMI (still a bit heavy for my frame) and that's less than I'm eating in a deficit!
  • ninerbuffninerbuff Member, Greeter Posts: 44,769 Member Member, Greeter Posts: 44,769 Member
    I did it for 12-16 weeks at a time several times for contest prep. Boring chicken, broccoli and rice, with some hardboiled eggs and some other lean meat thrown in at dinner.
    But the reality is the BODY doesn't know the difference in what you're eating. It just absorbs the nutrients you're giving it and doesn't distinguish if it came from chicken or steak.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png
  • ninerbuffninerbuff Member, Greeter Posts: 44,769 Member Member, Greeter Posts: 44,769 Member
    Now if SUSHI was all I could eat daily AND AFFORD..............................I'd do it for life.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png
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