My friend lost 12 pounds by eating the same meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for two weeks. Could it work for me?

Eating the same food every day can indeed help you lose weight: In a study at the University at Buffalo, women given macaroni and cheese for lunch and dinner for five days straight consumed 27 percent fewer calories over the course of the week than those who were offered more variety in their meals.

I advise proceeding with caution if you try this strategy, though. Over time, a lack of variety can lead to nutritional shortfalls that trigger cravings, fatigue and weight gain. Instead, try rotating between two or three go-to meals for breakfast and lunch, then change up your dinner every night. For instance, one week you may have a whey protein smoothie for breakfast and chili for lunch, then the next week a veggie omelet for breakfast and a large salad for lunch. This will provide you with enough variety to ensure that you’re getting the nutrients you need but still deliver enough of a routine to help cut calories.

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