As I said in Part 1 of what I learned in 2009, I had a post planned for carbs. Then I started rambling, and like most of them, it got out of hand. Quickly. I wrote this part about bread first, and by the time I got done, I realized it was a full length post itself. Gosh, I am sooooo good at things!
Ok, so what IS my deal against bread? I don’t like it for any reason other than trying to gain weight or every once in a while when you’re just maintaining. Nutritionally speaking, bread is fine as long as you eat it within your dietary plan guidelines and take heed to the things I mention below. As you’re reading, keep in mind that these things are just food for thought so that you can form your own conclusion. This is not meant to be scientific by any means. Ok, go!
1) It’s a processed food and marketers are good at their jobs. Buyer beware.
– You take some flour, mix it with some other stuff (that may or may not be good for you), bake it, and call it done.
If only it were that simple. Food companies have amazing marketing skillz. On the front of the bag you’ll see “100% whole wheat”, and think to yourself, “Oh, great; it’s healthy.” Then you buy it, trot home, and make 8 peanut butter and jelly sammiches (excellent idea by the way). But did you look closely enough? Check out the actual ingredients listed. Do you see the words bleached, enriched, or high fructose corn syrup anywhere? Wait, high fructose corn syrup?! In bread?! GTFOH!!!! (Get The F*ck Outta Here, for those of you that…whatever, you know, I’ve done this a million times.) Yup, the shit’s so cheap they put it in everything…including bread.
So, the only time I actually trust that I’m getting good bread is when I, personally, buy the 100% stone ground flour, mix everything together, and bake it at my house. That, my friends, is a dirty lie. I’ve never baked bread. But if I were going to, that’s exactly what I would do.
1b) [Opinion] Our digestive systems haven’t adapted to our Western Civilization diet yet.
– Whichever half-man/half-gorilla we evolved from, they’ve been around for a-bajillion years. Western culture has been around for, what, 300? And all of a sudden we have adapted in record time? (Historically speaking) Doubt it.
I realize that for every study that I could present that says our digestive system has not yet adapted, some of you could probably find a study that says “stfu, bread is fine”. And that’s cool. I just know that I’ve read enough to convince myself that bread should be avoided…along with a plethora of other foods.
2) It’s not a “one-word” food.
– Again, look at that long list of ingredients. Shit, there’s even words on the label that you can’t pronounce or know why they’re on there!
If you’re dieting to lose weight, my rule of thumb is to stick to foods that are one word long. In the case for carbs, those choices could be: sweet potato (yeah, yeah, that’s two words; shoot me), oatmeal, rice, quinoa, couscous, veggies, pancakes (ya’rly!), fresh or frozen fruit,…..all that shiz. You know exactly what you’re getting and where it came from. Not only that, but you can eat quite a bit of it (voluminarily speaking) while staying within your caloric restrictions. Presumably, when trying to lose weight, hunger is a huge issue. So, you can either eat a ton of veggies or 1 piece of bread. Which one do you think will leave you more satiated (no, that’s not a goofy mispelling of “satisfied”)?
– I’ve never heard of an e coli breakout from bread like there has been with veggies, but let’s look at the handling processes.
In the case for fruits and veggies: They are harvested, shipped, packaged, and shipped. There may be an intermediate cleaning step in there somewhere, but I doubt it. That’s why they always tell you to wash that shiz before you eat it.
I’m not a processing expert, but the bread process could look like this: harvested, shipped, shelled, ground, packaged, shipped, made into bread, packaged, and shipped. I know there are health regulations at each of those steps to insure public safety, but I don’t like the idea of my food being handled that much.
“So why is it ok if you’re trying to gain weight, then?”
Ok, it’s not that there’s anything inherently bad about bread. It has been around since the beginning of time (damn near). I just don’t prefer it. The key concept for gaining weight is that you have to eat more calories than you burn throughout the day. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to eat 3500-4000 calories of “clean”, one-worded foods, but it is damn near f*cking impossible. I was in digestive, force feeding hell when I tried it. So if you need carbs and you need calories, bread is a great choice. You’re already stuffing your face all day long and are NEVER hungry, so why pick something that is going to fill you up even more? A 1/2 cup of oatmeal is 27g of carbs, where 1 piece of bread (depending on the brand) has 19. Now, when you’re already feeling fat, stuffed, and bloated, would you rather eat a 1/2 cup of oatmeal, or nice, small one-and-a-half pieces of bread for the same amount of calories and grams of carbs? If I ever decide to do a dedicated bulking cycle again, I will be doing it much differently, bread included (along with ice cream and pizza. Ya’rly!).
Which brings me to my last point: always pull out. Oh wait, wait, wait, wait. That’s part of a different post. My bad. My last point is that I’m not 100% super no bread Nazi all the time. It’s not like you’re going to eat 1 slice of garlic bread and be diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, high cholesterol, and a heart condition. There’s always a balance, and whilst I’m pretty much in dieting maintenance mode, I have been known to eat some frozen pizzas and go out to dinner from time to time. The difference is, I do that about once a week, not once every meal. During the week if I’m not hanging out with anyone, I’m definitely that 100% No Bread Nazi.
So there you have it. As promised, my reasoning for the bannination of bread from fatloss diets is not scientific. Well, actually it is, I just didn’t site any sources or provide any links. Do your own damn searching, you lazy bastards. But, if you want to get all sciency about it, there are ways to lower the glycemic index of bread by simply freezing it and then toasting it (yes I did just reference a T-nation article, but that’s ok because the interview is with Dr. Lonnie Lowery; apparently he knows his shit). But again, I choose sweet potatoes and brown rice.
Don’t Miss Your Chance
I was stuck in Corporate America for 9 years. I was miserable.
Then I took control.
You can too, and it starts right here.