It’s pretty much common knowledge at this point.
If you want a 6-pack, or even just a lean body, you gotta give up bread.
Well, it’s simple to understand even without any complex medical jargon.
In this article, we’ll walk through bread’s impact on your ability to get 6-pack abs.
But first, does this sound familiar?
Bread and the vicious cycle of feeling full, then starving
Ever started your morning with a piece of toast?
You cannot beat the smell. You cannot beat the taste. And you cannot beat the satisfaction of eating crunchy (peanut butter or jelly-covered) toast.
So you eat your toast and quickly feel full.
A few hours later, you’re hungry again.
But not just hungry.
Well, not starving starving. But pretty damn hungry.
So what do you do?
You get a sandwich.
That sandwich fills you up, and you feel full.
By 3:00, you’re starving again.
Fast forward to dinner. You eat the free bread while dining out because a) it’s delicious, and b) you’re starving!
It fills you up.
The next morning, you wake up. You guessed it… starving.
So hungry, in fact, that you want just a little more toast than you had yesterday.
The cycle repeats itself.
On and on and on…
Full, starving, full, starving.
Let’s talk about why the vicious bread cycle happens in the first place.
IV’s and your digestion system: Why bread causes such huge swings in hunger
Doctors and nutritionists will talk about insulin, blood sugar and the glycemic index when explaining bread’s powerful ability to make you feel so full and then so starving.
But here’s the problem:
99% of people, me included, can’t quite grasp what they’re saying. And even when these professionals explain the science clearly, we forget it within hours.
So let’s make it easy.
Think of food entering your digestive system just like intravenous fluids enter your body.
Yes, think of an IV drip.
Depending on the type of IV, fluids drip into your system at different rates. Some drip very slowly. Some drip more rapidly.
It’s the same with food and your digestive system.
Each type of food passes through your digestive system at different rates.
Broccoli, also a carbohydrate, is a very slow drip. Your body digests it steadily over time.
Bread, on the other hand, is a very fast drip. In fact, it’s hardly a drip. It’s more like a faucet. Bread goes in and is digested almost immediately.
That’s why bread makes you feel so full so fast.
Likewise, that’s why shortly after eating bread, you’re starving again. Your “bread IV,” if you will, is empty.
Compare that to a “broccoli IV.” You’re still getting drips of sustained energy hours later. Yeah, you’re going to need a refill, but you’re not going to feel like the IV bag is empty (starvation) for a long time.
And that’s the difference.
Bread is metabolized MUCH faster than other carbohydrates.
So what does your body do with the unneeded “bread energy” it digested so fast?
Your six pack is covered in bread!
As mentioned above, bread gets digested fast. It becomes useable energy almost immediately after eating.
But what if you don’t need the energy right away?
Think of a food shelf.
Like a food shelf, your body saves it for times of need. Inside your body, where do you think that food shelf lives?
That’s right. Your belly!
Your body stores the unneeded energy as fat. When it needs the energy, it will pull the fat off your belly and convert into useable energy.
But chances are, you’ll feel starving again and eat before it ever needs to access the “food shelf” in your belly.
Meanwhile, your rock-hard abs are covered in bread.
And then the cycle of storing energy as fat on your belly continues.
But why is the cycle so hard to break?
Well, drug addicts could probably help you understand…
Here’s what I mean.
Bread cravings like morphine?
So we know we crave more bread soon after eating it. And we feel very good immediately after eating it.
Why does bread sound so much like a drug?
Well, it basically is.
Science says our brains reacts to bread similar to how it reacts to drugs.
Drugs like morphine.
Yes, bread acts like morphine.
Like morphine, eating bread triggers pleasure centers in the brain. It literally makes us feel happy. Euphoric, even. And it happens right away.
Then, when the high wears off, we intensely crave the high again.
This desire for more bread can be debilitating.
What’s the science behind this? It’s partly due to the rapid spike in blood sugar. That feels like being high and so does the ensuing crash.
Also, the extreme desire for more bread is partly due to the wheat plants we’ve genetically modified over the last few decades. For all the details, check out Wheat Belly.
The important thing is this:
It’s not your fault.
Like drugs, there’s a lot of money to be made selling a high margin, highly addictive product like bread. Just ask the guys who make HFCS. 🙂
Bread isn’t needed to not feel hungry
Bread will make you feel full.
But here’s the thing:
You do not need to feel full to not feel hungry.
You follow me?
What happens when you stop eating bread?
No starvation. No belly fat. No uncontrollable cravings.
So how the heck do you do it? Bread is everywhere.
Here are some ideas.
How to stop eating bread
Anyone can stop eating bread with relative ease. There are two important steps.
1. Identity. Giving it up has to be more than something you’re going to try. You must identify yourself as a bread avoider. If you can’t say out loud, “I hardly eat any bread”, you’ll never be able to give it up.
2. Sabbath. You’ll never be able to quit bread forever. Your body and brain won’t allow it. Pick one day during the week as your sabbath. Mine is Saturday. On that day, enjoy it freely without any guilt.
But let’s face it. Bread is everywhere. It’s especially ever-present for people who live an on-the-go lifestyle.
So, tactically, these are some things that help in our struggle to avoid bread.
- Wraps. Seek wraps instead of sandwiches when out to eat.
- Salads. Even better than wraps. You can get a protein-filled salad and be completely satiated. Lots of manly salads out there, too, guys.
- Spoon-ables. Soup, chili, curry. All good, hearty food that has zero bread.
- Oatmeal. Oatmeal is a great substitute for bread in many meals.
- Make it a bowl. Chipotle doesn’t serve bread. But their tortillas are pretty darn close to bread. Switch to the bowl.
- Bunless burgers. There’s no shame in eating a burger without the bun. First time trying our Buffalo Turkey Burgers, we ate them bun-free.
Giving up bread is relatively new for me in my quest for a lean body. Yet, it’s made a giant impact on my life. Not only do I have a much leaner body now, but my mood and energy levels are supercharged.
Become one who “doesn’t really eat bread.” Thank me later.