Do you eat the same food for three to four days in a row or eat the same food at the same meal day after day? Perhaps you simply must have your beloved peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch every day. Or you love peanuts for a morning, afternoon or evening snack. Sound familiar? Chances are, you've been a "rut eater" at some point in your life, but you probably didn't know that rut eating could cause weight gain.
The reasons people rut eat are varied. Some folks believe they are simply too busy to cook a different meal every day; it's easier to eat what's available. Five body types: Pancreas, Spleen, Stomach, Liver and Brain are generally more susceptible to this eating pattern, tending to eat the same thing one meal a day (usually breakfast). For other people, eating the same foods at the same time every day is an ingrained habit. How about the relative who must eat a huge bowl of ice cream while zoning out to the television?
The problem with rut eating is that it initially stimulates then ultimately exhausts the pancreas gland by depleting the enzymes necessary for digesting that particular food. When the body can't digest its food properly, it stores it until the right enzymes can again be produced. Over time, this accumulated stored food becomes unwanted fat and weight gain - a side effect most of us want to avoid.
Let's say you prepared scrambled eggs and rice each morning for breakfast. The first day you ate it, your body easily digested your food and your pancreas secreted the appropriate enzymes. By the third or fourth day however, things would change drastically. After consuming scrambled eggs and rice for several days, you'll find your favorite breakfast choice less appealing. You may think it's because you are getting tired of your food choice, but actually it's the pancreas' way of warning you that it is out of the necessary digestive enzymes. As a result, your scrambled eggs and rice are stored for later digestion. Net result, you gain weight.
Rotating your food does take some planning, but the benefits are worth your time. In order to give your pancreas sufficient time to replenish enzymes, you need to give yourself a four-day break from any one food. So instead of eating the same breakfast every day, you can select four breakfast meals from the menus in Different Bodies, Different Diets and rotate them.
Another way to rotate foods is varying the time you eat them. For example, if you eat scrambled eggs for breakfast on Monday, eggs ideally shouldn't be eaten again until Friday. However, you could eat eggs for lunch or dinner on Wednesday, which still relieves the pressure on your system without you scrambling for an egg alternative.
The new eating plan worked great! I lost five pounds the first week and maintained the loss the second week. My energy has improved and I'm sleeping and concentrating better.
Martha J., San Diego, CA