…except mine isn’t. Back in November I decided that I was going to completely swear off buying bread. I have been baking specialty breads for a couple of years now, and when motivated, made regular bread for sandwiches. But I decided that in my quest to improve all the food in my life, bread had to be one of the first things to be revamped. In this case, this means making it all myself (dealing with the whole commercial flour concerns will be tackled later in the year – one thing at a time).
Well, bread-making slacked off over the Christmas period, and as a direct result, we have simply been eating less bread…a lot less. Of course over Christmas, there were festive foods; rich desserts, chocolate fudge, and just generally eating until completely full. So, a week ago, curious about how much Christmas added to my weight, I dusted off the scales and took a look. Imagine my surprise to see that not only had I NOT gained weight, but my weight was even slightly down (not that much, because I slacked off on the exercise over Christmas as well).
But the interesting thing about this non-weight gain is that it is almost entirely attributable to diet, simply because the exercise has been sketchy. The only major changes in my diet have been the extreme reduction in bread consumption, as well as no cereal (I have been eating fruit and greek yoghurt for breakfast), and very little pasta and rice (we have either one or the other maybe once a week at best. I haven’t given up carbs completely, because they are necessary for a balanced diet, but I have been obtaining mine from potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn and other vegetables. All of which contain a bunch of other nutrients and fibre as well.
Now, I am not advocating the “No-bread diet” as the newest way to lose weight. I dislike fads of any kind and I won’t promote them. But, my observations so far, seem to indicate that a reduction in bread, and other highly processed carbohydrate rich foods, in the diet, is not a bad thing. Obviously, if I were a lot more active at present (i.e. undertaking ninety minute workouts) then I would definitely require more carbohydrates. But a post-workout banana smoothie, or a baked potato with some bacon and cheese (yum!) are two ways to get those carbs in a less processed form.
As I always say, if you are wondering if you are eating too much of a particular food (or if you say “I only ever eat that occasionally”) then please keep a record of your food intake for a fortnight. Write down every single thing that goes into your mouth, whether food or drink. Don’t bother about counting calories or anything like that at this point. At the end of the two weeks, get some highlighters, and categorise the foods; e.g. protein, carbs, fruit & veg, etc. If you find that you are eating a lot of carb rich foods, and are also struggling with weight, then restructuring your diet to reduce processed carbohydrate foods, and increase some of the other foods might be worth a try. Just remember…do nothing to excess, such as eliminating carbohydrates altogether.