Is Bread Your Weight Loss Nemesis? Guten Tag and welcome to another addition of my healthy travel blog. My family and I are in Germany and my kids can’t believe I’m letting them eat so much bread. Bread! In the United States, we often have a skewed view of bread. Like many people, I grew up eating Wonder sandwich bread for lunch and we used it for toast at breakfast time as well. It was eye opening to learn about whole grain and whole wheat breads as I entered adulthood and began my own grocery shopping. I learned to read labels better as I became interested in nutrition during medical school and was amazed to see for myself how much bread consumption affected my weight, both for better and for worse.
Across much of Europe, and other parts of the world, bread is not the nutrient depleted white bread-like product that is found on American grocery shelves. A baguette may seem a step up from Wonder bread, but it too can be loaded with calories that are lacking in fiber and other key nutrients. In Germany, we’ve encountered an amazing variety of dense, hearty whole grain breads that are far more flavorful than most bread served in the United States.
For those trying to lose weight, bread has long been considered a no-no. As a physician and one who chronically works to maintain a healthy weight, I avoid bread more often than not. At a restaurant, I’d rather start with a salad before my entree than a bread basket. I’ll be equally satisfied at the end of my meal and I’ll know that I loaded up on a high fiber vegetable appetizer that saved me some calories to boot. Eat a couple of small dinner rolls and you’re looking at 150 – 300 nutritionally unimpressive calories. At my home, we’d call that NWTC (Not Worth The Calories)!
Of course in Germany, we’re surrounded by bread at every meal so keeping my family on track means following five rules:
1. Each meal with bread must also contain fruit or vegetables.
2. Bread must be of the fiber rich, dense, whole grain or whole wheat variety.
3. Bread should be enjoyed plain at times, not always slathered with jam, cheese or sausage.
4. If you want a 2nd serving of bread, you’ll have to impress me with some vegetable eating first.
5. Remember…this much bread is a vacation treat. We can eat lots of bread, but have to walk, walk, walk to balance our nutritional bank account.
If you follow the above rules, both on the road and at home, you no longer have to fight against the Dieter’s Nemesis…bread!
Thanks for listening and I wish you the best of health!
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