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Trying to Lose Weight? A Surprising Reason Why You Struggle

Updated on June 4, 2014

Do You Have a Hard Time Trying to Lose Weight?

You're not alone! Trying to lose weight can be difficult, especially if you're not enjoying enough food variety in your diet.

Weight-loss plateaus and fatigue are common complaints among those who make the switch from a high-carbohydrate Standard American Diet to nutrient-rich, real foods.

This is a frustrating place to be in your journey toward improved health: you eat all of the right foods, but the honeymoon stage of your lifestyle change is clearly over.

This is often the result of a repetitious diet that lacks variation. Healthy foods packed with nutrients can suddenly transform into sources of empty calories.

As explained by nutrition expert and author Dr. Cate Shanahan:

". . . Even if you eat plenty of nutrient dense foods like meats and dairy you may, if you are eating the same things over and over, be forcing your body to convert many of those repeated nutrients into fat."

If you stay in this pattern it can be detrimental to your weight loss goals--both physically and mentally--as the discouragement of a flabby waistline tempts you to give up and revert to old habits.

Real Food Resources

Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food
Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food

A fascinating book about how food affects your genes--and those of future generations


A Healthy Diet Needs Variety

Nutritious whole foods like wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef, and organic vegetables are always better than vegetable oils, processed soy burgers, and hot fudge sundaes. But if you want to enjoy optimal health and body fat, you should include a variety of foods.

It is easy to get caught in a rut. With an abundance of poor choices available in the supermarket, there is always the temptation to stick with certain foods as your safety net.

But too many calories from one particular nutrient, like a certain amino acid or natural fat, can become too much for your body to use and ends up stored in your fat cells.

Avoid Lack of Nutrients By Eating Different Foods

Diets that contain processed foods lack essential nutrients, so the switch to real food promotes quick weight loss and a greater sense of well-being.

But these benefits can fade when repetition leads to excess in certain nutrients and a deficiency in others.

Nutritional deficiencies can cause problems like skin rashes, digestive problems, and fatigue. Establish food variety by consistently making changes to your personal menu, creating assortments of food choices that bring about a balance in both macronutrients (carbs, fats, proteins) and micronutrients (like vitamin C and fat soluble vitamins).

The Natural Human Diet Has Always Included a Variety of Foods

In the past, people included a greater selection of foods in their diets than we do in modern industrialized nations.

All parts of an animal were consumed, not just the lean muscle meats.

Foods like organ meats and bone stock were also included. Seasonal vegetables and fruits weren't available year-round as they are today.

A nutritional array is found in traditional diets around the world. They all include meats cooked on the bone, fermented foods, raw foods, and/or organ meats, but vary depending on cultural practices and local availability.

Full access to a wide assortment of foods has its pros and cons, especially if you're trying to lose weight. Having almost everything available at all times is a good thing, but it can also lead to repetition and excess in some nutrients and deficiencies in others.

Eat seasonally and maintain food variety to support good health and make nutrition fun!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 5 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Thank you, jezebellamina! I'm the same way--I stick with the same sorts of meals over and over. You're not lazy, you just want to hurry up and escape the madness that is your local grocery store! Hah! I try to add something to my list that's different each week, not changing my entire menu, but adding something and taking something else away now and then. Thanks for commenting!

    • jezebellamina profile image

      Jessica 5 years ago from Dallas, TX

      Very interesting! I have heard of this referred to as "mono-eating" and am guilty of this myself. I'm sure most of it stems from laziness - it's nice to go to the same grocery store and go the same route and just pick up what I need basically on 'autopilot' with only a few special things written down on an actual list.

      I hate grocery shopping and just want it to be as quick and painless as possible. I think I avoid branching out while I'm there because I have to think too hard about what else I might need to go with any unplanned purchase (I don't like to think I'll get home & find the perfect recipe but have to get back to the store for some missing ingredients...ugh!) I need to do a better job of planning ahead and building more variety into that plan.

      Voted up, useful, & tweeted. Cheers!