“I’m on a low carb diet and I miss bread.” There, I’ve said it. It sounds a bit like the declarations made at the 12-step programs that help people overcome addictions.
There’s something about the smell, the spongy texture, and the slatherings of delicious toppings that make bread such a popular food. Of course, I’m not talking about the mass-produced supermarket varieties. Real, artisan breads with crunchy crusts and flavourings such as olives or walnuts or seeds. And don’t get me started on sourdough.
Enough dreaming. The fact is that bread makes my bottom rather large.
It may be the same for you. Or perhaps bread causes a larger tummy, or bloating, or heartburn or acne or auto-immune problems. Maybe is starts a cycle of getting hungry, grabbing a couple of slices of bread, and running off to do whatever needs to be done. At the end of the day, you realise you’ve eaten half a loaf. Where did that all go?
The bottom line is that every body is different. What works for me may not work for you in the same way. This is why flexibility with any dietary strategy is so important.
Are we against bread?
Absolutely not. When it comes to deciding what’s going to help you make the changes you want for your body, there’s only one real expert: it’s not us. It’s not you. It’s your body.
When you’re looking to make changes to your dietary patterns, there are two drivers that you have to deal with: habits and environment. Over time, we all develop habits of what we eat and when. Plus, our food environment (at home, while travelling, and at work) fuel those habits.
To break existing habits and create new ones, you have to be proactive. Pre-plan your meals and snacks, and make sure that you’ve got the right foods ready.
Give yourself an extra 10-15 minutes to prepare a cooked breakfast. Think adequate protein and adequate volume. Protein may be eggs. Instead of one egg on toast, think 2 eggs with some green veggies or avocado. Flavour it up with herbs or spices: My boss’s favourite is egg mash with chilli and turmeric – just like bubble and squeak.
Cook double (protein and non-starchy veggies) at dinner and save enough for lunch the next day. This means no extra cooking time.
Try to eat dinner earlier so you’re not tempted to satisfy your hunger with some pre-dinner bread. Eating dinner earlier has other weight loss benefits.
These tips are great, but sometimes I really miss bread. I love a great slice of bread spread with butter. So, I have three outstanding options:
Changing habits is never easy, but discovering some excellent substitutes for old favourites can make the process a lot easier – and more enjoyable. I’m happy to say that even at the start of my low-carb eating pattern, bread cravings were not a problem. I had replaced bread with a lot of really nutrient-dense food and so I was not hungry and didn’t have cravings. During the 15 or so years since, the times when I’ve wanted to enjoy a slice of bread have been easy with these wonderful options. They don’t affect my weight – or my bottom!