Eating bread, whole wheat or white, seems to have become an American rite of passage. Entire meals have been built around the consumption of carbs, and if you ask most people whether they would give up eating bread products, most would give you an emphatic, "NO!"
I, personally, do not consume a lot of bread and did not find it particularly difficult to give up, but there are some individuals, even entire cultures, whose whole diet revolves around the world of wheat and bread products. Don't believe me? Just look at these bread-crazy statistics:
- •Most Americans consume a loaf and a half of bread a week.
- •An estimated 87,000 slices of bread are consumed by individuals over the course of their lifetime.
- •Along with loaves of bread, Americans also eat 5,000 hot dog buns.
- •Americans consume approximately 12,000 hamburger buns in a lifetime.
That's a whole lotta whole wheat! These numbers don't take into account hoagie rolls or pastries either, so factor those two categories in and you can see that bread is something that we Americans just can't get enough of.
I whole-heartedly believe that the high consumption of processed white or whole wheat bread is one of the leading contributors to America's increased incidence of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
So, how can you break the bread habit?
- For breakfast, incorporate high quality proteins instead of bread.
Try a breakfast scramble with organic eggs and sauteed vegetables and garlic. If eggs aren't your thing, a quality brand of full-fat Greek yogurt sprinkled with fresh berries and sliced almonds will do the trick. Hard boiled eggs are also a great, high protein alternative to bread and will do a much better job at filling your tummy in the morning. My personal favorite protein packed breakfast is Chocolate Almond Butter Banana Oatmeal.
- Think breadless sandwiches and other alternatives for lunch.
You don't necessarily have to have bread to make a sandwich. The definition of sandwich is: structural material consisting of layers. That structural material does not have to be bread. Try using lettuce, spinach, or cabbage leaves to encase your organic grilled chicken breast with a grilled pineapple slice. If you want to be a little more adventurous and branch out of your sandwich rut, try salads or leftovers from last night's meal. A great vegetable soup is also an excellent alternative - just stay away from the crackers!
- Pack snacks to eat throughout the day.
A lot of people turn to breads when they get past the point of being hungry and are in the starving zone. To prevent this from happening to you, keep healthy snacks around you all day long. Cut up raw veggies and fruits, a little bit of raw, organic nut butter for dipping and you should be good to go. Oh, and don't forget the water. Dehydration is sometimes confused for hunger, leading to mindless eating. Therefore, I recommend drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water, per day. So, if you weight 140 pounds, drink 70 ounces of water throughout the day along with healthy snacks.
Not ready to ditch bread? Here are some healthy alternatives to white and whole wheat bread:
- Try sprouted whole grain (SWG) breads instead.
Unless you suffer from Celiac Disease or gluten-intolerance, I suggest you look into stocking your fridge with sprouted whole grain bread. This bread usually still contains gluten from wheat, but the sprouted version makes it more nutritious and easier to digest. When the grains are allowed to sprout, vitamin content is increased and phytic acid - an inhibitor of proper nutrient absorption - is neutralized. Because sprouted grain breads (such as Ezekiel or Genesis) are so nutritionally sound and milled in such a way as to keep their nutrients readily available for our bodies to use, they never have to be fortified like most commercial breads. You can get sprouted grains in other forms such as pitas, tortillas, and English muffins as well.
- Make your own!
Not all bread promotes weight gain. Gluten-Free Homemade bread recipes that consist of anti-inflammatory, whole, real ingredients such as almond flour, cinnamon, pure sea salt, coconut oil, raw walnuts, bananas, and more, are totally acceptable on the Beyond Diet program.
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You don't have to give up your favorite foods and lose weight, you just have to choose better ingredients and always eat in moderation. Try swapping out a hamburger bun for a romaine lettuce wraps or try a Beyond Diet homemade bread recipe, and I know that in 28 days you won't even miss the processed bread products that kept you feeling bloated and fatigued day after day.