Losing weight is not easy. If it was we’d all be a lithe 12 stone, with bags of energy and cheekbones as sharp as razors. Instead, many of us weigh the same as a baby elephant, get breathless going to the fridge and have cheekbones about as sharp as marshmallows.
If we can find diets that work or neat little tricks that can help when shedding the excess weight, we should grab them with both pudgy hands. One such trick is removing bread from your diet. No more toast for breakfast, sarnies for lunch or rounds of bread and butter with your tea – it’s time to think outside the box. Warning: this post contains sexy photos of bread.
Why we love bread
I’m not going to lie, I love bread. Sandwiches, burgers, baguettes, paninis, toasties, I love them all. It has been a staple in the British diet for over a thousand years.
And why has it remained such a big part of our diets? Put simply, it’s tasty. Toasted white bread, buttered whilst it’s still hot is one of life’s simple pleasures. Bread warm from the oven, crusty on the outside, and soft, warm and slightly moist on the inside leaves the mouth watering. And is there anything better than a sausage or bacon sandwich on sliced white Hovis (other brands available) with lashings of ketchup or brown sauce on a lazy Sunday morning?
It is also hugely convenient and versatile. It takes roughly 2 minutes to make a sandwich. If you’ve got a loaf of bread and some cheese you can whip up a perfectly acceptable supper of cheese on toast. With a loaf of bread and some fish, you can feed 5000 (but only if you’re called Jesus, have a penchant for sandals and aren’t fussy about handing out small portions). Despite this, bread isn’t always quite as good as it’s cracked up to be.
Why we should cut down on bread
Bread, despite its convenience, isn’t all that good for us. Often bread we eat is high in calories but low in nutritional value. In other words, what you’re eating isn’t registering or impacting much on hunger and any feeling of fullness or satisfaction is superficial and will last about as long as Sam Allardyce as England manager. Trying to get full on bread is a bit like trying to get hammered on Bass Shandy.
It is also rather alarming that you can buy a standard loaf of sliced, white bread on Monday, and still use it the following weekend. On the other hand, if you buy a loaf of freshly cooked bread from the bakers on a Monday, you could feasibly use the same loaf as a weapon by the following weekend and you could use a baguette as a makeshift bat in a game of rounders.
Why does the average supermarket loaf stay fresh? Because it is laced with more chemicals than a Russian assassination kit. Major companies are obsessed with speedy, mechanised production, churning out loaf after loaf of cheap, tasty, pointless bread. Obviously, nutritional value is not top of their priority lists and as such, a lot of bread is surprisingly high in sugar, with many loaves having as much as 3g of sugar per slice.
Refined starches such as white bread also play havoc with your body’s glucose control, which is why those with type 2 diabetes are generally told to avoid white bread. If you’re a bread fiend, it might be worth you making the switch to wholemeal.
So what are your alternatives?
- If you’re out and about you can pick up pasta pots from the major supermarkets for the same price as a sandwich. This will go a great way further to keeping hunger at bay for longer.
- Eating smaller snacks more regularly will be more effective for keeping you full than eating a sarnie. A banana and an apple late morning followed by some nuts and raisins mid-afternoon will see you through to teatime better than 2 slices of white with some ham and cheese in the middle.
- Before going out to work, do that extra bit of preparation and make yourself a salad with some chicken. This is fewer calories than a sandwich and it will give you more energy and less hangry outbursts.
So give it a go. I guarantee it’ll be harder than you think, but if you stick to it, you will reap the rewards.