Food Rut: Beware of Boredom (cont.)

She says the key to losing weight on a varied diet is to choose foods with low calorie density and avoid those with lots of calories packed into a small serving. For example, 1/4 cup of raisins has 100 calories. Their low-density counterpart is grapes, which have 100 calories in 1 2/3 cups.

Variety Is the Spice of Life

Are you boring yourself silly with your eating rut? Think about it from a historical perspective. A few centuries ago, people would have killed to break the monotony of the same-old, same-old. In fact, they did. They fought each other in the Spice Wars.

But you don't have to go to such extremes. Here are some ideas for getting out of the rut:

  • Next time you go to the grocery store, venture out of the familiar aisles. Buy brown or wild rice instead of white, pita pockets instead of white bread, and pears instead of bananas.
  • Challenge yourself to try one new food each week.
  • Pick up a healthy dinner from a restaurant instead of having pizza delivered.
  • Have the sandwich you usually choose for lunch for breakfast instead.
  • Try slight alterations to your old standbys: accessorize your sandwich with spinach leaves instead of lettuce, stir sliced veggies into your scrambled eggs, choose a new type of cheese for your casserole.
  • Don't say "Yuck" when friends want to try an ethnic restaurant that serves unfamiliar cuisine.
  • Visit a farmers market.
  • Have a healthy potluck at home or work with a theme: Tex-Mex, Mediterranean, Chinese, etc.
  • Take a cooking class.
  • Buy a new cookbook or get a subscription to a healthy cooking magazine.

And don't forget to enjoy the adventure!

Originally published Sept. 2, 2003
Medically updated Sept. 1, 2004.

SOURCE: Patrick O'Neil, PhD, director, Weight Management Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston; spokesman, North American Association for the Study of Obesity. Barbara J. Rolls, PhD, Guthrie Chair in nutrition, Pennsylvania State University, State College. WebMD Medical News: "Diet Shakes Can Help People Control Their Weight."

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