Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Bread
The good, the bad, and the constipation
The low-carb craze is going strong. Bread is out. Pasta is overrated. And dieters are experimenting with how low their carb intake can go. But grains are anything but all the same. So whether you are cutting out refined grains, whole grains, or carbs in general, the effects can vary widely. Heres a look at the wide array of things that happen when you ditch the bread bags:
When you reduce your carb intake, the first thing you notice is how quickly, even magically, the weight falls off. But its not fat youre losing. Its water. When carbs are stored in the body in the form of glycogen, each gram of carbohydrate stores three to four times its weight in water,” says dietitian and strength coach , R.D., C.S.C.S. So as soon as you cut carbs and start using your glycogen stores, youll lose a good amount of water weight.
“Carbs are the brains main source of energy,” says Spano. “When a person cuts down on carbs, the brain is running on fumes, especially as glycogen stores get low and become depleted.” Eventually, once all that glycogen is gone, your body breaks down fat and runs off of little carbon fragments called ketones. The result: bad breath, dry mouth, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and brain fog. Basically, you feel like you have the flu. Eventually, your body adapts to running on ketones so you dont feel so bad, but they are still arent your bodys preferred fuel source, says Spano.
Get Ready For A Healthy
When you eat sugar, your body can naturally become inflamed. And for some people, the reaction causes the skin to flare up with pimples and fine lines. However, once you eliminate processed sugar completely, you may notice that the quality of your skin improves drastically. This means less irritation and puffiness.
May Help Treat Certain Health Conditions
A grain-free diet is most commonly followed by those with certain autoimmune diseases, and several studies support its use in these cases.
For example, celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects around 1% of the Western population. It causes your body to mistake gluten, a protein in wheat, as a threat, sending your immune system into overdrive .
This can lead to gut inflammation, which in turn can cause severe nutrient deficiencies and other digestive concerns. People with celiac disease must exclude all gluten-containing grains from their diet (
Still, its worth noting that whole grains may offer anti-inflammatory benefits of their own. Unless you have celiac disease, wheat allergy, or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, you likely dont need to completely cut out grains to successfully fight inflammation .
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No Bread And Potatoes Diet
Bread and potatoes aren’t necessarily unhealthy, but you may choose to exclude them from your diet or eat them in small amounts if you’re diabetic to help prevent blood sugar spikes. Low-carb weight-loss diets such as the Atkins diet exclude bread and potatoes because they’re high in carbohydrates. Calories are ultimately the most important factor in weight loss, however, so you can still lose weight without avoiding bread and potatoes as long as you count your calories and create a caloric deficit.
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Bread And Gluten Intolerance
“Bread has been getting a bad rap for a long time,” says Shelley Case, RD, nutrition consultant and author of Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. “It’s worse now because there’s so much negative press about gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley.”
Some people cannot tolerate gluten because they have celiac disease. Their immune system mistakes gluten as dangerous, triggering a reaction that attacks the body. For people with celiac disease, avoiding any source of gluten — found in many products besides bread — is an absolute must.
Celiac disease is getting diagnosed more often these days. Many other people without celiac disease link their stomach upset and fatigue to gluten. This is called non-celiac gluten sensitivity, which is more common than celiac disease.
To find out if you have celiac disease, see your doctor. If you don’t have celiac disease and want to give up gluten to see if it helps your tummy troubles, see a dietitian to help track your symptoms and make sure your gluten-free diet is healthy.
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But Its Nothing To Worry About
After cutting carbs and sugar, you may lose weight incredibly quickly. However, those pounds that youre shedding are likely water weight, not fat. According to dietician Kristin Kirkpatrick, the reason you shed water weight first is that carbs hold a lot of water. Kirkpatrick also mentions that the lack of glucose will make your body look for stored forms of it, otherwise known as glycogen. She went on to say the loss of stored glycogen truly is what is releasing all that water.
Advantages Of The Diet
According to Ebbert, eliminating white potatoes, white bread, white rice and white pasta from your diet may help you lose weight. Ebbert adds that increasing your intake of whole grains and lean protein from beans, meat and fish, as recommended by the No White Foods diet, will aid with weight loss. The lean protein, vegetables and whole-grain products emphasized by diets that eliminate white foods are all items with a low glycemic index, meaning that they will not cause your blood sugar to spike. By eating more colorful fruits and vegetables, you’ll have an increased intake of the phytochemicals that are linked to a decreased risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
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Carbohydrate Consumption And Healthy Diets
While it’s perfectly healthy to stop consuming carbohydrate-rich foods like bread, rice and pasta, you may first want to consider how often you eat these foods and how many calories you obtain from them per day. Making sure that you’re consuming a healthy amount of calories is important when dieting. Most people consume about 2,000 calories per day, although this amount may be less when you’re trying to lose weight.
However, according to Harvard Health Publishing, women should not consume less than 1,200 calories, and men should not consume less than 1,500 calories on a daily basis. If a large portion of your calories usually comes from grain-based foods like rice, bread and pasta, you may need to replace some of these calories. This is because consuming too few calories can deprive you of important nutrients and even slow your metabolism.
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Replacing carbohydrates is surprisingly easy, since most foods contain some amount of carbohydrates. Consider consuming grain-based products with a lower glycemic index. Barley, for instance, has a glycemic index of just 28. Alternatively, other plant-based products can also provide you with nutrient-rich carbohydrates. Healthy carbohydrates with low glycemic indexes include legumes like chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils and soy-based products. These foods have low glycemic index values between 16 and 32.
Bread And Type 2 Diabetes
Research shows that eating fewer starchy foods like bread, and less red meat, processed food, and sugar-sweetened beverages — along with an increased intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and poultry — decreases the risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
Eating any kind of carbohydrate raises blood sugar levels. But carbs aren’t all the same. Sugars and refined grains raise blood sugar quicker than complex carbohydrates, found in foods including beans and other vegetables.
“Complex carbohydrates are digested more slowly, and their ability to cause blood glucose level spikes is limited,” says Hillary Wright, RD, director of nutrition counseling at the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health.
Cutting back on refined grains, such as white bread, and eating more whole grains in their place are good moves. “Whole-grain bread has more fiber than refined, and fiber helps slow the absorption of carbohydrates consumed at the same meal or snack,” Wright says.
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When Bread Comes To Your Head Think Vegetables
So, instead of eggs on toast, think and make eggs with alot of sauteed vegetables or a whole grain rye wrap. Instead of a fish sandwich, have vegetables and fish. Have a turkey salad with avocado instead of a turkey avocado sandwich.
For snacks have grapefruit, blueberries, strawberries, nuts, avocado, use olive oil and light balsamic vinegar to cook. If you are really hungry, have a sweet potato with your meal. I am cautious with white potato because of how my body reacts, but everyone has to know how they feel best.
Drink a lot of water. Have a dry glass of wine at night, red or white. Get good sleep. No more excuses that you have to watch anything on tv. Stop! Take a walk, shoot for 30 to 60 minutes. Sitting all day is no good.
Bread And The Battle Of The Bulge
Is bread to blame for your extra pounds? Maybe.
“We go overboard on bread and other highly refined grains,” says Heather Bauer, RD, co-author of Bread is the Devil: Win the Weight Loss Battle by Taking Control of Your Diet Demons. “When you’re hungry, tired, or stressed, you tend to reach for bread products, not carrot sticks. Problem is, the more you eat bread, the more you want.”
Bauer is specifically referring to white bread, crackers, pretzels, and other highly refined grains that have come to symbolize the struggle with weight control.
Eating whole grains, on the other hand, is a sound weight loss strategy.
In one study, people on a lower-calorie diet that included whole grains, such as whole wheat bread, lost more belly fat than those who ate only refined grains, such as white bread and white rice.
Whole grains provide more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than refined. But overdoing whole wheat bread can add pounds, too. So account for it in your daily calorie budget.
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May Lead To Better Blood Sugar Control
Cutting carbs particularly refined carbs and sugar can aid blood sugar control, which may be especially helpful for people with diabetes .
Some studies show that low-carb and keto diets are effective in reducing blood sugar levels.
A 6-month study in 49 obese adults with type 2 diabetes found that those who followed a keto diet had significantly greater reductions in hemoglobin A1c a measure of average blood sugar than those who didnt eat a keto diet .
Reducing carb intake can prevent spikes in blood sugar and may thus help prevent diabetes complications. Yet, its not necessary to completely exclude carbs from your diet. In fact, diabetes can be controlled on higher-carb diets, too.
Think Food Bowls Not Sandwiches
When youre thinking about grains, think about making a bowl of food. Usually we use wheat products as a base for things, and then we load stuff on top. Bread makes a sandwich, pasta gets sauce on top, pizza dough gets well, pizza toppings.
The other things we use as bases to fill us up in the UK are commonly jacket potatoes another bad choice, as large white potatoes burn to sugar inside your system faster than ice cream. We also use rice not great, as both white rice and brown rice are high-GI, and burn too quickly inside your system as well.
So think about using good grains as a base for your meat, veg and sauce. You can simmer these grains like rice, in some water until the grains are soft and cooked. Then put them into a bowl, and layer your chicken, beef, veg and sauces on top. Simples!
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Acrylamide In Starchy Food
Acrylamide is a chemical that’s created when many foods, particularly starchy foods like potatoes and bread, are cooked for long periods at high temperatures, such as when baking, frying, grilling, toasting and roasting.
There’s evidence to show acrylamide can cause cancer.
The Food Standards Agency has these tips to reduce your risk of acrylamide at home:
- Go for gold: aim for a golden yellow colour, or lighter, when baking, toasting, roasting or frying starchy foods like potatoes, root vegetables and bread.
- Check the pack: follow the cooking instructions carefully when frying or oven-heating packaged food products such as chips, roast potatoes and parsnips. These instructions are to help you cook the product correctly, so you do not cook starchy foods for too long or at temperatures that are too high.
- Eat a varied and balanced diet: while we cannot completely avoid risks like acrylamide in food, this will help reduce your risk of cancer. This includes basing meals on starchy carbohydrates and getting your 5 A Day. Avoid frying or roasting potatoes and root vegetables. Instead, boil or steam them as this will both reduce your risk of acrylamide and cut down on fat.
- Do not keep raw potatoes in the fridge: storing raw potatoes in the fridge can increase overall acrylamide levels. Raw potatoes should ideally be stored in a dark, cool place at temperatures above 6C.
Myth: All Carbs Are Created Equal
Fact: There are simple and complex carbohydrates
The main reason is that when people think carbs they think starch, like white rice, pasta, potatoes or white bread, says Bowerman. While many refined carbs dont offer up much nutritionally, there are lots of good carbs healthy foods that provide carbohydrates your body absolutely needs every day to function properly.
In actuality there are three types of carbohydrates: fiber, sugar and starch. Where things get confusing is when we look at specific foods, which can contain different types of carbohydrates. They can either be labeled simple or complex based on their chemical makeup. Complex carbs contain a complex chain of sugars as well as some fiber, protein and/or healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, says Rebecca Lewis, registered dietitian at HelloFresh. The presence of fiber, protein and fats is important because it slows digestion, prevents a spike in our blood-sugar levels, and helps us to feel full and satisfied for longer .
Thats why carbohydrate-containing foods like starchy vegetables, legumes and whole grains are included in many healthy diet plans.
Follow the 10:1 rule: Choose foods where for every 10 grams of carbs, there is 1 gram of fiber.
The simple carbs, often found in processed foods and drinks, are easier for the body to break down, meaning they dont keep you full as long and can lead to erratic blood sugar levels.
Thats not to say that simple carbs are always bad for us.
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How Can I Cut Sugar And Wheat Out Of My Diet
How can I get rid of sugar and white flour from my diet?
Highly Restrictive With Unknown Long
Insufficient studies exist on the long-term effects of very-low-carb diets, so its especially difficult to estimate the long-term effects of a no-carb diet.
Due to this lack of research, following a no-carb diet over a long period could have severe health consequences .
As a no-carb diet is highly restrictive, very high in fat, and not well researched for safety, its not appropriate for those with eating disorders, children, cholesterol hyper-responders, and pregnant or breastfeeding women.
A no-carb diet restricts foods with fiber and most plant foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. This may lead to constipation, low energy, and possible micronutrient deficiencies.
Foods that are typically allowed on a no-carb diet include:
- Meat and low-carb animal products: chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, venison, bison, pork, eggs, butter, lard, cheese
- Seafood:salmon, tilapia, cod, shrimp, sardines, herring, crab
- Seasonings: herbs and spices
- Zero-calorie beverages: water, black coffee, and plain tea
- Nuts and seeds : almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pistachios, cashews
- Non-starchy vegetables : broccoli, zucchini, bell peppers, cauliflower, leafy greens, rutabaga, turnips, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, mushrooms
- High-fat fruits: coconut, avocado
A no-carb diet restricts foods that are high in carbs and relies primarily on meat, dairy, seafood, and low-carb plant foods.
A no-carb diet is highly restrictive and eliminates several food groups, such as:
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Is It Really Worth Not Eating Bread Pasta And Other Carbs
Its become popular to think of foods as either good or bad, something to eat or something to avoid. Carbohydrates, which had their moment as a good food back when fat was the bad guy, are now being blamed in part for the epidemic of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. And a slew of diet books proposes that you will feel better and be healthier if you never eat bread, pasta or sugar again.
But are carbs really so bad?
Science makes the answer pretty clear: no. While bread, pasta and sugar are hard-to-resist sources of calories without much in the way of nutrition, other carbohydrate-heavy foods whole grains, legumes and fruit are nutrient-rich. Carbohydrates can play a healthful role in your diet or they can be your undoing, depending on which, and how many, you eat.
The biggest beef against carbs is that its easy to eat too much of them, which is a problem because it can lead to weight gain and because they can crowd out more-nutritious foods. Theres also speculation that the way our bodies digest sugar and certain processed grains such as those found in white bread and white rice makes us hungry again soon after eating.
To help navigate the world of carbs the foods, its helpful to spend a little time with carbs the molecules.
But you dont eat carbohydrates, you eat food, so its useful to categorize foods by the type of carbohydrates that predominate.
Lets look at some of the simple carbohydrates, starting with sugar.