Eating the Same Thing for Lunch Every Day Might Actually Be Good for You

updated Jun 12, 2019
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Have you ever watched your co-worker pull a turkey sandwich out of her bag every single day and thought, “what a boring existence,” even as you spent a full 30 minutes debating whether to eat the leftovers you brought in or walk down the street for a taco? What, oh, I mean no, me neither.

Well, apparently that co-worker’s eating habits aren’t just boring — they’re also probably pretty good for them, according to NBC News. The article (spun off from a piece on The Atlantic talking to people who ate the same thing every day) cites studies showing that people who eat the same thing every day are more productive. It’s like Steve Jobs and his whole black turtleneck thing, going off the idea that having to make decisions decreases our physical stamina. So by making fewer decisions, we are less drained and distracted.

The second benefit is that when you eat the same thing every day, the decision of what to eat for lunch is made long before the hunger clouds your judgement and impulses lead you to less healthful decisions. So, generally, eating the same thing every day leads to a more healthful lunch choice — though that depends, of course, on what your everyday lunch is, and assuming that you eat a varied diet the rest of the time.

Within reason, yes, the consistency is a good thing, but the article also points out there are limits — it shouldn’t be a rigid, unbreakable rule: change up details and also go out with friends every once in a while, the experts say. So, like — don’t exactly eat the same thing every single day.

In other words, yes, it can be good for you to have a little consistency, but nobody needs you to be a boring lunch zombie. It almost seems as if — like so much else in life and food — there’s a middle ground of moderate planning to help take the strain of decision making out of the picture that is actually the best way to lunch.