When Structure Starts to Slow You Down
“Just tell me what to eat, and I’ll eat it.” The overused line we all use when we are ready to diet and sick and tired of being sick and tired. It simplifies things and provides structure and is the true test of self-discipline.
And while this attitude provides a sense of security that results will be maximized, the truth is, that this kind of structure also has it’s cons that need to be considered. You see, some people will define dieting success as someone that sheds their unwanted fat, but we would like to think of it as someone that not only sheds the fat but can also keep it off long term.
Enter the dreaded word for the type A, no-nonsense dieter: variety. I know, I know…but you don’t like variety or you don’t really care about eating the same thing every single day for the rest of your life.
But you do. Understanding why variety is important for long-term success is the first step in actually having variety in your food.
Variety curbs cravings:
It is human nature to try and create routine even where there isn’t routine. For most people, structure and routine provide comfort and makes us feel confident and organized. When it comes to our bodies, when we do the same routine over and over again, we will start to eventually crave that particular routine. Let’s put this into phase 1 terms: if every night you like to sit down, have a hot cup of tea and savor in your restricted Ideal Protein food, you will eventually create a habit, which will then turn into a craving, creating a new problem during maintenance.
Variety will make you feel more satiated:
Whether it’s you or your picky eater family member, whenever you can change the temperature, color and texture of your food, you are more like to enjoy your food more. For example, if you’re looking a big pile of two cups of broccoli you will likely get burned out halfway through that meal. However, if you have a cup of vegetable medley and then a small cold salad, you will likely eat more vegetables and also enjoy them too!
Variety provides variety:
The wider the range of vegetables and protein, the wider the range of vitamins and nutrients you get from your food. The best way to get your natural “multi-vitamin” is through a variety of foods.
A few good ideas to try to break the routine of eat-and-repeat. Try adding a new vegetable to your salad, maybe using lime instead of lemon, or even cooking your foods a different way. Take a look at the Ideal Protein foods to and try to vary the time of day that you have your restricted and also switch from salty to sweet.
In the end, variety in food choices (including the Ideal Protein foods) leads to more success and life-long changes. It makes for a happier and more enjoyable experience through the journey of a healthy lifestyle. So take out that list of vegetables and shake it up a bit. Challenge yourself to try at least one new vegetable each week. And just when you find yourself doing the same thing every day, change it up. And while this may be the most difficult part of our protocol for some of you, enjoy letting go of routine and structure.