Bread Challenge Day 10 of 30

IMG_1818I weighed-in at a new low of 79.7 kg this morning. I’m still waiting for the “bread makes you fat” effect to kick in. Instead of buying a single huge loaf of blandness today, I picked up an assortment totaling 420g. This stuff is pretty good, especially the Raisin Walnut bread. I won’t have any problems finishing today’s challenge.

Do people really believe that bread makes you fat? Yes, they do. Market studies show declining US per capita flour consumption, a 10% decrease in bread and roll sales from 2006 – 2011, and so on, and so on. These declines are attributed to negative beliefs about carbs, as started by Atkins diet in the early 2000’s, and periodically resurrected by various fad diets. Of course, people still got fatter eating less bread.


So why do people believe that bread (carbs) make you fat? I think people are disposed to this idea, because we see that we’re all getting fatter, and we have to blame something. Some people (correctly) blame fast food and junk food. Other people’s reasoning goes something like this: A) meat is superior to bread, B) we’re eating too much of something, so C) let’s stop eating bread (alternatively, “it’s the bread that makes you fat”).

Or, the reasoning is something like, “eating meat will give me muscles”, “eating fat will make me fat”, and “eating dough will make me doughy”.

People might believe that “carbs make you fat”, because we naturally believe in the potency of small ingested things. (Our survival selected for it.) We also believe in the efficacy of extreme diets. So, restricting yourself to < 40 g/day of carbs, and going ketogenic must work to lose weight. In the process, we all miss the point that eating a whole-foods, high-fiber, traditional diet (based on starch, a lot of vegetables, with some meat and fat) has worked for millennia.

This low-carb silliness will never end. Their position has become intransigent, and they’ve developed Young-Earth Creationist type arguments about insulin spikes, calories don’t matter, Ancel Keys conspiracy theories, sugar is a toxin, mutated wheat, etc. If you tell them you’ve lost 25 kg eating primarily carbs, starch, and bread, then they’ll say about 1/3 of the population can tolerate carbs (but the other 2/3 must go ketogenic; there’s some magic -/0/+ quantum state in people). You can’t win with them. Which would be alright, except that the general population takes away the idea that “carbs make you fat”.

Sometimes I get excited when I hear Paleo advocates encourage people to “eat real foods”. But then they’ll tell you that beans, peanuts, corn, rice, tomatoes, etc. aren’t real food (according to their magic-spell diet). And they’re absolutely terrified of bread.

Bread Challenge Day 9 of 30

IMG_1807Ok, I’m back to eating a pound of bread a day, after taking a variety break yesterday. So far, in the first 9 days of the bread challenge, I’ve eaten 4.11 kg of bread (in addition to everything else I’ve eaten), averaging 457 g/day (1.01 lbs/day). I weighed in at 80.3 kg this morning, close to my low point, and more-or-less making weightloss progress. So, I’m not panicking that “bread makes you fat”, and I’m going with reason on this one: they’re just calories.

I wanted to eat some salmon burgers today, so I went with the Wheat Belly stack of 6 hamburger buns, totaling 450g for the day. Dr. Davis uses this picture to imply that “bread makes you fat”. Does everyone accept this because they envision eating it all at once? Sure, that’s how a lot of us eat. But me, I’m going to spread them out over the day. And I’ll probably get a workout in tonight.

Roast Chicken Taco

IMG_1804Ok, I got really sick of eating a pound of bread every day, so I decided to take a few days off. Or longer. Bread gets really boring fast, and I rather eat tortillas, beans, or potatoes. And when a loaf of bread totals more than 1500 calories, it doesn’t leave much room for variety. I only ate 200g of rolls yesterday, and instead enjoyed two packages of Top Ramen noodles, and a bunch of popcorn.

I felt like some fresh tortillas from Gabriel’s tonight, and picked up some roast chicken from the Mexican grocery store. I also bought some cooked beans, and will eat them with the tortillas as vegetarian tacos.

Bread Challenge Day 7 of 30

IMG_1799We had something of a family reunion over the weekend, and most of the get-togethers revolved around restaurants and meals. I went with the flow, meaning I ate a bunch of bad stuff (fried foods, desserts, “comfort food”, etc.)

On top of this, I added a loaf of bread each day for the 30 Day Bread Challenge. I didn’t buy a loaf yesterday, but finished off Saturday’s Challah. I’m still averaging over a pound of bread a day. I tried to work off the calories by biking everywhere, and developed a bit of tendonitis in the knees. I’ll slow it down now, since I’m back to eating my preferred vegetable dishes.

I picked up this “Seeduction” loaf from Whole Foods this morning, and will have it with some vegetarian curry stew I made.

Bread Challenge Day 5 of 30

IMG_1796During this 30 Day Bread Challenge, I’m eating a loaf-a-day in addition to whatever other meals I end up consuming. After an 80 km fixie ride this morning, I had a chicken salad sandwich and fries. I bought a challah loaf for the Bread Challenge, and was going to make ham and cheese sandwiches with it, but decided on the smoked salmon instead. I had a few slices already, which is made with egg, and tastes great with a little butter. Perfect for watching tv on Shabbat.

I weighed in at a new low today, so the Bread Challenge is probably going well. I’m glad I rode my bike out to dinner last night, so I could do some hill work at 10pm to burn off the hamburger, fries, appetizers, and malt shake (in addition to the 540g loaf of corn rye).

Bread Challenge Day 4 of 30

IMG_1792Just had some of this corn & rye bread for breakfast. I cooked up some mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes to go with the bread, since it’s important to have fibre with all your meals. Plus, all the real nutrition comes from plants, while the starch just provides energy.

This 540g loaf has about 1500 calories. I won’t have any problems eating all of it today. I’ll bring the bread if I go out to dinner tonight.

I finished yesterday’s Walnut Raisin loaf before dinner last night. So, with the butter, some almonds, and a few tortillas, I probably ate about 2500 calories before the Chinese restaurant. Luckily, I rode my bike out there, and worked my appetite back up.

I weighed in a little lower today than yesterday, so things are probably going according to plan. I’ll update the graph on my Progress page in a week or two, when we have enough data.

Bread Challenge Day 3 of 30

IMG_1791I picked up a loaf of Walnut Raisin Bread today, because regular bread gets pretty tiring quick. This stuff tastes great with a little bit of butter, and I’m not going to have any problem finishing it off today. I’m guessing it has (630g)(2.75 cal/g) = 1750 calories. The butter will put me over 2000 calories for the day.

I got on the scale this morning, and saw my weight jumped up a whole kilo from my low point of 79.8 kg two days ago. I’m not really worried about it, because that low followed a hard bike ride the night before. Plus, my water weight will vary day-to-day by a kilo or so. We’ll get an idea of where this is heading after 10 days. We’ll get the final results a day or two after the challenge is over, when I’m back on my usual high-fibre diet. It’ll be obvious from my weight graph what happened over the month.

But, if I’m wrong and this whole 30 Day Bread Challenge goes bad, then alert Gary Taubes and Jimmy Moore.

Bread Challenge Day #2

IMG_1786I was already getting sick of bread on day 1 of the 30 Day Bread Challenge as I forced myself to finish yesterday’s loaf before going to sleep last night. I don’t know why the low-carb’ers think this stuff is addictive. Maybe bread is super-tantalizing when it’s taboo. But when you have to eat a loaf everyday, you soon think of all the other foods you’d rather have.

My 30 Day Bread Challenge is not a stunt, and it’s not going to prove anything. I’m going to continue to lose weight, because I’m exercising and eating my bread with lots of vegetables and whole foods. If anything, I’ll end up eating less calories because of the restrictive nature of having to eat a loaf of bread every day. It kind of takes your appetite away.

Today I bought a 450g Rosemary & Olive Oil boule from Bread & Cie. Yesterday, I thought I’d eat only whole-grain loaves. That’d be too boring for 30 days. Also, I thought I’d be eating veggie sandwiches the whole month. More likely it’s going to be eggs or meat with the bread.

30 Day Bread Challenge Begins

IMG_1784It always drives me a little crazy when I hear the Paleo/Low-Carb crowd constantly disparage whole grains as some kind of capitalist conspiracy to make us all fat. They mock the phrase “healthy, whole-grains” as some kind of deceptive health halo phrase coined by the food industry. But I think they’re honestly terrified of the stuff, and they’re actually speaking from conviction.

Sure, inhaling hundreds of extra calories of white bread is usually a bad idea. But making bread the basis of your daily calories is a fine idea, and people have done it for centuries. Ancient Egyptians didn’t turn down bread, nor mock others for eating it, because they thought it made you fat. Maybe the Pharohs did, but they also probably knew laying around eating delicacies all day didn’t help either.

If it’ll prove anything, I’ll try to eat a loaf of bread every day for the next month, during my 30 Day Bread Challenge. I’ll continue losing weight (I’m within 5-10kg of goal), because there’s nothing magical in bread that makes you fat. I know a lot of people are terrified of “carbs”, and there’s whole ketogenic communities out there dedicated to eating < 50g carbs/day. Those are the people that evolved to eat a few legumes or whole grains and store it all as fat that’s never released.

We’ll see how many loaves I’ll eat over the next 30 days. Today I picked up a 580g Rye loaf from Bread & Cie. I’ll probably have to ride there every morning, but at least the bread is warm and fresh. It’s not that far, but it’s uphill, and I burned almost 200 calories on this morning’s trip.

September AWLF FMBR

Tonight’s Awarewolf Full Moon Bike ride was more like Bojac’s K.I.S.S ride tonight, with the crazies racing at the front of the pack, because that’s what G-d made testosterone for. I actually lowered my PR on the E Mission Bay Dr. segment by about 30s (almost 10% faster) while chasing after two guys at the front. We hung out in the unlit park in Crown Point for a while, chatting and drinking (a Coke for me).

The nice video of a previous FMBR shows what the ride is like, excluding the craziness that happens in the front of the pack. It’s all a blast. I raced back with Barry and David, and got home in a soaking wet t-shirt at about 11pm. I ate 250g of spaghetti before going to bed.

Thanks to AWLF founder Charlie Sears for organising everything as usual.