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Should You Eat the Same Thing Every Day? Learn the Pros and Cons

Repeating your meals can help simplify meal planning and counting calories, but it could also lead to boredom and nutritional deficiencies

Person prepping mason jars with meals

You make thousands of decisions every day, from what you say to what you wear. Why not take one decision off your plate and eat the same meal you ate yesterday (and the day before that)?

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Many people eat the same thing regularly out of habit. Some celebrities and online influencers say that repeating meals is a healthy hack. But is meal monotony good for you? Registered dietitian Carly Sedlacek, RDN, LD, explains whether it’s healthy to eat the same thing every day.

Should I eat the same food every day?

You can eat the same meal or snack every day. But should you? That depends on whether the meal you’re repeating:

  • Is nutrient-dense. “Our bodies need a variety of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy,” says Sedlacek. “If you’re eating the same food every day, that food needs to be nutritious. Fruits and vegetables are the best nutrient-dense foods that everyone can — and should — eat every day.”
  • Meets your health needs. If you have a health condition, you might have certain dietary needs. And eating food every day that isn’t ideal for your health needs could lead to health issues over time. “If you have diabetes, make your repeated food something lower in added sugar and aim to balance your plate,” Sedlacek advises. “The same goes for eating low-sodium foods if you have high blood pressure.”

Pros of eating the same food every day

There may be some advantages to pressing “repeat” on your healthy food choices. When you eat the same thing every day:

Healthy habits could become easier

For those focusing on a healthy eating plan, having a go-to healthy food can help you stick to your goals.

“Maybe you’re replacing potato chips with raw vegetables to satisfy your crunch craving,” Sedlacek illustrates. “If eating carrots every day is easier than switching to peppers and celery, stick to your daily carrots. Eating the same veggie every day is still better than chips.”

Calorie counting isn’t as complicated

Counting calories can be helpful if you’re trying to lose weight, but it isn’t as simple as reading the nutrition facts label. You have to determine your serving size and include everything on your plate — and you must repeat the process every time you have a meal or a snack. But when you have the same meal, you count those calories once and carry on.

“Many people find calorie counting time-consuming and tedious,” Sedlacek notes. “But if you already know how many calories are in your repeat meal, keeping track of your daily intake is easier.”

You save time and energy

Grocery shopping takes time — and meal planning can be a job in itself. Having the same bowl of oatmeal for breakfast or salad for lunch can simplify shopping and planning.

“A meal repeat can be a safety net when you’re too busy to get creative with healthy foods,” says Sedlacek. “If you have a go-to healthy meal, you can fall back on it when you’re exhausted and short on time instead of resorting to less healthy — but more convenient — choices.”

You might eat less

Variety is the spice of life, but studies suggest it can also make it easier to overeat.

“If you tend to eat more when you have more choices, then meal repeating might work in your favor,” Sedlacek suggests.

Cons of eating the same food every day

But eating the same thing every day isn’t right for everyone. Consider the potential drawbacks of meal repeating before you adopt this practice.

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Your gut needs variety

Even if you enjoy the same food every day, your gut microbiome may not.

Studies have shown that your gut requires many different foods to achieve a healthy balance,” says Sedlacek. “The good bacteria in your gut rely upon many different foods to achieve a diverse and strong population.”

Why should you consider your microbiome when meal planning? Good gut health isn’t just about healthy digestion. Your gut is responsible for up to 80% of your immune system and allows your body to use hormones, vitamins and minerals. A healthy gut may also play a role in mental health.

You might miss nutrients

If you're not careful, eating the same thing every day could lead to nutrient deficiencies. No single food can give you all the vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and protein your body needs.

According to Sedlacek, repeating just one meal or snack a day likely won’t cause an issue as long as you change up your other meals. But when you eat the same two or three meals every day, you risk becoming deficient in vitamins, minerals or other key nutrients.

You could get bored

Food boredom is a real thing — and some people are more likely to experience it than others.

If you find yourself getting bored with your eating plan, take that as a sign that you should switch up some of your food choices.

“Getting into a food rut can ruin your motivation to prepare and eat healthy foods,” Sedlacek explains. “As a result, you might resort to takeout or processed foods that are easy to grab but less nutritious.”

Mini changes to make if you eat the same thing every day

There’s no need to stop if you’re in a groove with your repeat meal and it’s meeting your nutritional needs. But making some tiny changes to that meal can add nutrients and prevent burnout:

  • Add herbs or spices. “Adding spices to your usual meal can beat food boredom and add some extra nutrition to boot,” Sedlacek says. Cumin, garlic and ginger are a few examples of spices that offer health benefits along with a punch of flavor.
  • Change just one ingredient. “If you eat a salad every day, add one new vegetable or fruit to your usual recipe,” suggests Sedlacek. Opting for a different color can give you different vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.”

And if you want to try eating the same thing every day, find what works for you — not for someone you saw on social media.

“Eating the same thing every day isn’t necessarily the key to health or weight loss,” Sedlacek emphasizes. “Consider your preferences and health needs before changing your eating plan. And if you need guidance or support, your healthcare provider is the best person to ask.”

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