How Too Much Variety in Your Diet Will KILL Your Weight Loss Goals

Too many choices increase the chances you’ll make a bad one.

Photo by Ulysse Pointcheval on Unsplash

“The secret of happiness is variety, but the secret of variety, like the secret of all spices, is knowing when to use it.” — Daniel Gilbert

EDITORIAL DISCLAIMER: Any advice or recommendation given in my writing is what works for ME and may not be the best regimen for you based on your psychological or physiological makeup and stability. Please consult a doctor when making decisions about your health.

My wife doesn’t mind cooking for me.

It’s not because she’s an old-fashioned, women belong in the kitchen type of person (I would say she is closer to the opposite, as she decided to keep her last name after we were married), but it’s because I am pretty much as simple as they come.

While some people say that variety is the spice of life (and I definitely can see that in a number of things), I am more in the school of variety in your diet can be the death of your fitness goals.

I came to this conclusion probably about a year and a half ago at the beginning of the pandemic when I began working to improve my overall fitness health.

What I discovered was that, as I began to measure what I ate each every day and tracked what was working for me and what wasn’t, it was rather challenging when I decided to eat different stuff all the time.

As I got deeper into analyzing this, the concept of keeping a repetitive diet emerged as truly beneficial for a number of reasons.

Ease of Preparation

As shared, my wife doesn’t mind doing the bulk of our food prep each week.

But even if I wasn’t lucky enough to have a wife to do this for me each Sunday, I could do it myself because of the simplicity of my diet.

Since I have reduced my meat consumption dramatically (more to come about that in a future post), I only need about a 2–3 lb package of chicken to last an entire week.

To make things more efficient, we typically buy twice that amount now to cook enough to last two weeks.

For me, spicy chicken is the best chicken, so my wife seasons it with some type of chipotle spices and cooks it up in about 15 minutes.

Couple that with the baking of a few large sweet potatoes and that’s all I need for the entire week.

I have the exact same meal on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and the exact same meal on Sunday and Thursday.

Tuesday is my mid-week cheat meal day, while Saturday is my full-blown cheat meal day, so they are different.

Most weeks, my Saturday meal is the same, but I will change it from time to time if I’m on vacation or just have a craving for something different that day.

Regardless, this consistency makes it easy for me to know exactly what I’m having that night, and I don’t have to spend any time thinking about it or making sure I have everything I need for a meal.

I already know what I have and can proceed using my brainpower on other things.

Ease of Tracking

When it comes to tracking your meals, I believe in this religiously.

If you truly want to be successful in controlling your weight and understanding how your body responds to different food and exercises, this is a must-do, so you’re not guessing all the time.

As shared in a previous article, I’m an avid user of MyFitnessPal and would recommend it to anyone who wants to get serious about understanding their body and be in control of their weight gain/loss.

There is a function in MyFitnessPal that allows you to create meals that are based on whatever you eat on a consistent basis.

This has often been one of the reasons individuals get tired of tracking everything that they eat; they just become exhausted at always having to type and search for all the different things they may have at any given meal.

Since I only eat about five different meals at any given time, this makes it extremely easy for me to go in there and put in whatever I’m having that day.

Instead of spending about 3–5 minutes trying to find everything I’m eating and making sure it is the right portion size, I’m able to click a pre-created meal and add it to my day in 10 seconds.

If you add this up for each meal and multiply it by seven days a week, you are talking about some significant time savings over the course of a week, month, or year.

And with so many things that can deter an individual from tracking their daily caloric intake, this will eliminate lack of time as being one of them.

Ease of Analysis

Lastly, as we think about how helpful and important it is to track what you eat to understand what is working and what isn’t, by reducing the amount of variety in your diet, you’re able to really get a feel for this as it relates to your body.

With any good experiment, you must have a control group that allows you to isolate a single variable to understand that variable’s effect on a given output.

In this scenario, that output would be either your weight gain or loss.

To create a control group then, you need to establish a baseline to understand how the body reacts in this “base” state. This would be your consistent diet done over a few weeks to get a feel for how your body reacts to your chosen foods.

Then, to truly begin to analyze how you can tweak things to gain or lose weight (depending on your goal), you then change one variable to see how that affects the end of the week’s results.

This one change would then allow you to understand if this is helping you get closer to your goals or further away, something that so many people unknowingly get wrong and cannot understand why.

Staying committed to being consistent in what foods you eat each day will help in this endeavor tremendously and yield dividends to ensure you are moving in the right direction of where you want to go with your fitness journey.


As we look at the great travel show of someone like Phil Rosenthal, the concept of eating a variety of different foods is exciting and seems to be one of the great joys of living.

And even though eating all types of food is definitely the type of thing you want to do on vacation, doing that in everyday life can make it a bit challenging to stay committed to hitting your fitness goals.

By keeping your variety low, you give yourself a number of advantages to making your health journey so much easier in the long run.

And while it might be a bit boring sometimes always eating the same thing, the sacrifice will generally be well worth it when you take a peek at the results in the mirror.