So here’s my deep, dark secret…I’m addicted to bread. I used to have very clear and not overly sympathetic ideas about people who struggled with smoking, overeating, and every other kind of addiction going, and then I realized I had my own. I run (well, I’m starting up again after being sidelined for a couple of months) and I workout and am in pretty good shape. I suspect I’m addicted to running, but that one isn’t likely to kill me…just cause injury. The bread one is scarier. I don’t think I’ve gone a day without bread in, well, years. Toast in the morning, sandwich at lunch, some kind of roll at dinner, and if not that, definitely carbs in the form of potatoes. Now that I’m getting back to my running (and oh what a glorious feeling it is!) I want to use the opportunity to tackle my eating habits, too, and I’ve decided to target bread and carbs. My girlfriend is a very healthy eater and has been a big help in both setting an example and offering me sound advice. Now I want to step it up a notch and see if any of you have kicked this habit, and if so, find out how you did it.
As I write this I’ve been eating a toasted English muffin. Help me!
gradual moderation is best
Okay, I may not have kicked my habit altogether, I have taken it down quite a bit, but it’s still a lot. But I can give you ideas that my husband used.
You have to remember, there are good carbs and bad ones. Due to tons of food allergies, I can only eat the bad carbs (not wheat or grainy breads for me, just good old white or sourdough bread).
If you like bread and can eat grains, switch to one good multi-grain bread for your morning toast and a different one for your lunch. My husband likes those wraps from La Tortilla Factory. They have different flavors and 12 grams of fiber per wrap and some can have about 8 grams of protein. Of course, the flavored ones will have more calories and the one my husband has is roughly 100 calories per wrap, which isn’t really bad when you consider the other benefits you get.
As for potatoes. It isn’t the potato that can do you in, but what you dump on it (butter, sour cream, cheese, etc.)
Before you decide if breadless is really right for you, you need to determine how much fiber you intake on a daily basis and how much of that fiber comes from your breads and starches. If you don’t you could be in for a world of hurt because that sudden change in fiber in take may cause you to become constipated.
Also, ask yourself this: If I go breadless, will I have to add fiber in the form of Metamucil or Benefiber? If so, why cut out the bread, the fiber your body is already used to?
If after all of this, you have determined that breadless is definitely the option for you, then do it gradually. I say gradually because you may end up craving the bread, the way a junkie craves a fix and it can be disastrous.
Plus, sweet potatoes can be a good substitute for white potatoes. They come in fries and boxed form.
You can always try the “Dr. Atkins” trick and see if it works or helps – substitute mashed cauliflower for mashed potatoes. Of course, you’ll have to flavor them, but this only works if like cooked cauliflower to begin with.
Another way to help you cut your bread intake is by having only one piece of toast with bacon, ham or peanut butter (the protein helps to defray some of the hunger). And, you can also eat an open face sandwich for lunch. If you take two sandwiches, make one with double the toppings (same amount you’d have in two) because then you’re only using two slices.
Eventually, when you’re comfortable with that, you can take it a step further and start eating open face sandwiches.
Gradual is best for another reason – eating bread is a habit, one you have to “unlearn”. Since you didn’t “learn” it in one day, you can’t expect your body to “unlearn” it in one.
I hope this helps!
Carrie (from Wisconsin)