T Nation

Eating the Same Thing All the Time


I am spending the summer studying in the UK (I am an American). The university dining hall is crap from a nutritional perspective and I am trying to improve body comp this summer so I buy my own food. My go to is deli sort of meat--plain turkey or plain chicken, or roast beef--on whole wheat bread (I think they call it wholegrain here in the UK...it's brown, uncoloured, and tastes like it), with a bit of mustard to flavor things up. I eat this and green olives 90% of the time. I buy it in the food store and prepare it myself in the kitchen in my residence. Post work-out I also have a protein shake (protein powder & water)

So far, the effects on body comp have been very good. Do you guys think I will run into any issues from a body comp perspective? For the record, to get my micronutrients in, I will soon start taking multi-vitamins. What I'm considered about is eating the same thing all the time.


So you're diet entirely consists of deli sandwiches and protein shakes? I'm assuming you are unable to cook for yourself/living in residence?? Do you not have access to cans of tuna or other canned meats that don't need to be refrigerated?

I've heard cases of people developing allergies and intolerances to certain foods based on repeatedly eating them, I'm not sure if this is possible with what you're eating but I'd still advise you to find a way to bring a bit more variety to your diet, for sanity's sake alone.


i started eating goolash no less than 5 days a week, 2-3 meals EVERY DAY for 5 years starting in grade 11. worked great for me. cheap source of carbs,fats and protein. plus its cheap as hell, keeps well, you can make shitloads of it at once, and you can make it all kinda of ways. in school i alternated wekks of goolash with weeks of chicken and potatoes. had a buddy workin in a chicken plant so i got 10 kg box's for 25 bucks!

as long as you can stomache it you'll be fine. i went threw periods where the smell of goolash made me gag literally. but 2-3 weeks of something else fixed it up.


Probably won't kill you, but you certainly could work on getting other foods in; fruit, veg, eggs, beans, nuts, cottage cheese, oatmeal... All minimal prep, cheap, and nutritionally more variable, which would at least let you get a better micronutrient intake.


I ate the same thing every day for a year in a half. Breakfast was eggs and oatmeal, lunch was chicken breast (different seasoning every day) and rice and almonds, protein shake for PWO, then a nice meat and carb dinner, 90% of the time was chicken or pork with pasta/rice. Worked great, easy to track calories. After a year though eating the eggs and chicken got pretty hard. My body didn't want to keep eating them for some reason. So I think your body can build up an intolerence to food but I would say everyones different. Also, I've been drinking at least a half gallon of milk a day for over 2 years and still love the stuff.

Depends on your body. Im guessing you'll get sick of eating the same thing long before you build up an serious intolerence.


I dont think many animals vary their food sources much, if at all...

lol :slight_smile:


Saw an interesting news article that reminded me of this post:


carefull bout the brown bread over here, 99% is as crap as white


Deli meats represent the bottom rung of the ladder, but are better than nothing.


I would agree with those who are telling you to get a little bit more variety in your diet.
Can you not cook a dinner? Get some eggs for a start, and why not some broccoli and steak? You should be able to get half decent steak fairly cheaply twice a week.
If you are to go ahead with your proposed meal plan then you might want to get some ZMA, as you are likely to run into a deficiency.


I think deli meats are one of the main reasons eating red meat has gotten a bad rep. Unlike unprocessed meat, deli stuff tends to be packed with cancer-promoting nitrites as well as ridiculously high levels of sodium.

I sometimes buy deli meat simply for the sake of convenience, but I try to stick with the uncured, minimally processed stuff. This is becoming increasingly easy to find in supermarkets. Still, if it's an option, it's better to stick with an actual steak or some turkey than to eat that same stuff chopped and pressed and conveniently sliced.


Meat sandwiches olives and protein powder only? Sounds like a disaster to me.

You are missing out on veggies, fruit, nuts, fruits, beans, herbs, eggs.

Sounds like you are motivated by mostly by convenience and circumstances. Your intelligent brain has been hyjacked towards the goal of convenience! If i was you I would check my motivation and steer towards a healthy balanced diet as the primary goal and then focus on making that more convenient.


interesting article from ethanwest



Do you have access to a fully equipt kitchen?. Its possible to eat great foods with minimal preperation

Most of my meals take less than 5 mins to prepare. (I might have to wait 30 mins for the meat to cook but actual time spent in the kitchen is less than 5 mins) the cooker and dishwasher do all the hard work.

Try boiling some free range organic eggs and brocoli for one meal. Try cooking your steak by sealing it in a hot pan then putting it in the oven, steam or boil some potatos and veggies while you wait for that.


since you're in a university setting the biggest thing is going to be what you have access to. are you able to use a stove of any kind? what about a microwave? fridge?

if you absolutely can't cook anything, i'd consider looking into canned chicken breasts, tuna (can purchase in pouches too), beans, bags of salad mix, nuts/nut butter, maybe some beef jerkey. is eating prepared canned foods on a regular basis like that optimal? obviously not, but I'd sure as hell rather do that at least a few times per week versus eating sandwiches and drinking protein shakes day in and day out. if you have a microwave you could also cook potatoes, turkey bacon, so on so forth.

what kind of foods are available at the dining halls? usually you can find something that's not going to 'kill' your progress if you know what to look for. When I was at Penn State, most dining common had at least a salad bar and at dinner would have chicken breasts almost everyday so i'd make huge salads with chicken breasts, hard-boiled eggs and olive oil/vinegar. I know it's going to be different at every school but you can usually find something to fit your goals.