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Why I Had to Break Up With Variety to Get Results

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After plenty (I can't emphasise this enough) of trial and error I came to the realisation that variety in my diet and I don't get along — we're just not pals. For years I tried to make it work but in the end we just weren't seeing eye to eye and I had to end it — swiftly I moved on to structure. The good news is, structure and I are doing so well, I'm sad I didn't ditch variety sooner.

While variety is what keeps things exciting (it's the spice of life, isn't it just), when I included variety into my diet, results were harder to come by — it didn't matter how much I exercised.

For me, breakfast would range from avo toast to yoghurt, oats and berries to eggs. Lunch was often a salad sandwich or wrap or chicken and veggies. And dinner would see me tuck into meat, veggies and salad or a stir-fry. All good things. I was eating a balanced diet, that satisfied my hunger and was kind to me nutritionally, but all together my daily diet wasn't doing me any favours. I couldn't understand why.

It wasn't until my trainer suggested I write everything I eat down and create (and stick to) a meal plan — that included more, but smaller, meals throughout the day I noticed results. This is where I should point out that this isn't a diet (I'm 100 percent done with those), rather mindful, structured eating.

Structured eating helps to keep a closer eye on what you're fuelling your body with and prevents inconsistency, which was the biggest issue for me. Switching to structure was exactly what I needed to make my meals and my gym sessions work better together.

Although my meals are similar each day (and make me sound like the most boring person alive), I still manage to sneak variety in by choosing seasonal produce and making my salads massive — I'm talking seven ingredients, at least! The key to acing this way of eating is to have your fridge stocked at all times. And because you're eating similar meals each day a trip to the shops is never an issue.

Here's what a typical day looks like on my plate:

Breakfast

  • 1 x boiled egg
  • ½ avocado
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes
  • Squeeze of lemon juice

Snacks

  • 3 tbs Greek yoghurt
  • Handful of berries
  • 3 tsp chia seeds
  • 7 almonds

Or

  • Capsicum or carrot with some sliced turkey

Or

  • 2 x Ryvita slices
  • 1/2 avocado

Lunch and Dinner

  • Beef, chicken, tuna or turkey salad. Salad includes: kale, quinoa, tomato, avocado, cucumber, beetroot, fetta, capsicum, sweet potato, fresh chilli, seasonal herbs

Dessert

I eat each of my meals at the same time every day. Breakfast at 9 a.m., mid-morning snack is always at 11 a.m., lunch sees me eat at 1:30 p.m., my afternoon snack is usually around 4 p.m. and dinner is no later than 8 p.m. When I stick to this meal plan, things seem to work. I'm not skipping meals, I'm keeping my body fuelled and ready for a workout each day. For me it's all about routine and without it I fall of the wagon hard. Sounds obsessive but it's how I get the results I need, especially after a Christmas of over-indulging.

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