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Do you find yourself eating the same foods every day? Do you stick to certain foods because you know they won’t give you trouble and they fit in your balanced diet? Are you getting tired of the same flavors and textures day after day? If you answered yes to these questions then you may be stuck in a food rut. Food ruts can be a common problem for anyone but it is especially easy to get into a food rut when you are trying to lose weight and stick to a healthy diet.

Having go to meals can save time and make daily life a bit easier but they can also lead to food burn out and even drive you to binge or eat foods that you have been working hard to avoid. Having a diet rich in a variety of foods is important for meeting your vitamin and mineral needs. Trying new foods can help keep you motivated to stick with your weight loss journey. Incorporating different foods can make eating a very enjoyable experience that you can look forward to. Here are some tips to help you break a food rut and make eating fun again:

Make a meal plan.
Finding time to cook can be challenging, plan what meals you want for the week in advance. Complile your recipes and make a shopping list to put your plan into action.

Prep in advance.
Prepping meals on one or two days a week can make the task of cooking much less daunting. Trying new dishes will be easier and will add variety and fun to your routine.

Shop the sales.
Check the sale ads for sales for fruits, veggies, and meats that you don’t typically buy. It can be fun to try new products, recipes and cooking techniques with food items that are not typically part of your diet.

Remix the basics.
Talk to friends and neighbors or search the internet for new recipes that put a spin on your favorite foods. Try culturally inspired dishes such as Asian shrimp, Greek chicken, or Brazilian smoked beef.

Be ready for an adventure!
Make an effort to step out of your food comfort zone, while staying balanced. Accept that you may not like everything you try. Eating should be fun! Food may be necessary for life but trying new foods can brighten up even the most boring of diets!

Article courtesy of Courtney Marques, University of Illinois Dietetic Intern