I keep a running list of big challenges my clients face. And one that keeps coming up is bread.
Bread is a much-demonized food these days.
But there IS a place for bread in some people’s lives.
That being said, there are many people who feel lighter and happier without it.
Whenever you are trying to avoid a tasty, ubiquitous food like bread, the strategy should always be to start with really smart planning.
And you can apply these tips to any food or any eating style that may be tough to implement.
5 Tips on How to Stop Eating Bread
Always plan what you are going to eat ahead of time. I can’t overemphasize the importance of planning your meals (and snacks if needed). I plan my meals 3 days in advance. Still to this day I sit down two or more times a week and write down meals and snacks for myself and my family on an old-fashioned piece of paper. When you plan well, you will rarely have to use the excuse, “There was nothing else for me so I HAD to eat the bread (or pizza or whatever).”
Eat before you go. Where is bread most dangerous? Usually in restaurants. If you go to a restaurant starving it will be much harder to resist the hot tasty bread that comes out before the food! If you are really serious about not eating bread then do not go to a restaurant starving! You will lose or at the least you will suffer. And no one wants that!
Fill your plate with other things. If you are used to eating sandwiches or toast in the morning you will certainly miss the bread. Perhaps there is no way around that. But if you fill the void with other highly appealing foods it might not be so bad. At breakfast have a tasty smoothie and at lunch eat a large delicious salad with the meat or fish instead of a sandwich. And avoid eating foods that “require” bread like dips, spreads, nut butters, etc.
Do a taste-taste and see how the bread holds up. I always preach about how whole foods are more delicious than processed foods. If you are paying attention, you will notice that many foods are actually MORE tasty than bread. Put some bread side by side with a dish filed with whole foods like an extravagant salad or a juicy (bunless) burger, close your eyes and really focus on the taste and the whole experience as you try both foods. You may find you don’t necessarily love the TASTE of bread but rather you love the IDEA of the bread.
Hone in on WHY you want the bread. It may very well be the idea of bread that is alluring. Or it could be that you don’t want to be told what to do. Or that you don’t want to suffer or feel deprived. A lot of times when we are emotionally attached to a food there is a false dialog going on that is self-sabotaging but not necessarily true. Look inward and really investigate what is at the root of the strong desire for bread and honestly question if the bread is serving you or not. Place your goals and your reasons for wanting to reach those goals side-by-side with the presence of bread and see if it’s worth it. Often it’s not.
Hey, I know it’s hard to give up certain foods. I’ve done enough of that in my life.
But ultimately what I have found is that it’s not the food that is the issue.
There is something deeper.
Sometimes it’s basic poor planning and sometimes it’s my idea of some sort of comfort that food is supposedly providing.
But when I really dig deep I realize that no food is going to fill an emotional void or cure boredom or alleviate stress or whatever.
That is a different kind of work and if I want to reach my goals, I need to figure out how to deal with those other issues in a more creative and productive way.