Reducing Bread

In session this week, my client, Jane, told me she was eating too much bread (which was translating into too many calories per day).  I asked Jane when and how much bread she was eating, and she said she had a roll with lunch most days and often a roll with dinner too, especially on the nights she ate out.  I discussed with Jane that we didn’t need to go from 1-2 bread items a day down to zero, because that would be all-or-nothing. And while all-or-nothing usually works well for weight loss (meaning, having no carbs, or no sugar, etc.), it almost never works for long term weight maintenance, simply because not eating something people really love doesn’t work forever.  If someone cuts out all bread, but she really loves bread, chances are very high she’s going to eat it again. And if she doesn’t know how to eat it in moderation, once she starts again, she’s going to get off track with it and be at high risk for gaining weight back.sliced bread

I asked Jane how much bread would feel reasonable to her, and Jane decided that having it between once a day and once every other day felt right.  That way, she wouldn’t be depriving herself, but she also wouldn’t be overdoing it.  Jane and I then discussed how she would put this plan into effect. She told me that she always had a roll with lunch and again almost always when she ate out for dinner.  “Why do I always eat bread in restaurants?” she asked me.  I reminded Jane that so many of our actions are dictated by our habits. She may think she’s making the conscious decision to have a roll at dinner, but likely she’s not putting very much thought into it at all.  Eating bread at restaurants is what she does, so she continues to do it, without much deliberate decision making.

With this in mind, Jane and I decided that her goal for the next week would be to make all bread decisions deliberate decision, and not as a result of habitual actions.  Before she ate bread, Jane would ask herself three questions:

  1. Does it make sense to have bread right now?

  2. Does it work for my day to have it (i.e. Have I already had it, or am I planning to have it at a later meal?)

  3. Is this a premium bread experience?

In our discussion this week, Jane also realized that she ate a lot of bread that just wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t very good (and Jane knows good bread), but she ate it because it was there and she was used to eating bread at that time.  Jane made it a separate goal this week to focus on really good bread (only premium experience bread), and not having it if it’s subpar and not worth it.  If Jane is at a meal and wants bread but has predetermined not to have it at that time, she will remind herself, “I’ve had bread before and I know what it tastes like.  I don’t need to take every opportunity to have bread because I will have it again.”

Jane felt ready to institute her new, more moderate bread plan!

3 replies
    • Edel McAndrew
      Edel McAndrew says:

      I think the last sentence of ‘I don’t need to take every opportunity to have bread because I will have it again.” is common to most dieters and over eaters. That sense of “I have to have it now becasue it is here in front of me, ‘I can”t waste it, I may not get the chance again, It can’t hurt that much if I have it when I don’t need it’ and so on. All such thoughts lead to temptation and regret afterwards. These thoughts can be so powerful but planning beforehand to cope with such scenarios is key to success and being mindful that this food is not a one off experience and can be postponed ultimately leads to empowerment and success. Practice makes perfect and those wanting to lose weight regardless of how much or how little all experience the same self-sabotaging thoughts and regret afterwards. Planning to succeed rather than failing to plan leads to weight loss and great control which are ultimately much more powerful than the taste of that last cake, biscuit or chocolate etc.

  1. Dana
    Dana says:

    I’m going to incorporate these tips into my everyday life. I am a self-professed BREAD LOVER, but i know it is NOT good for my weight loss efforts AT.ALL. I see the success of my friends who are doing Keto and avoiding ALL bread, but i know that lifestyle will not be sustainable for me. BUT these tips i can definitely incorporate into my life and not feel deprived.


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