The low-carb craze has been around in some form for a long time. Dr. Robert Atkins popularized the concept way back in the 1970s, and there have been variations on his diet ever since. These days, between the rise of the gluten-free diet and continuing popularity of low-carb diets, you may be tempted to eliminate bread altogether. Before you get rid of bread and bread products completely, be prepared for changes in your body and your mind.
1. Cravings will be fierce.
If you are a true carb lover like I am, getting rid of bread can bring on some intense cravings. I mean–really intense cravings. Cravings that make you feel as though you are going to explode or eat every donut in sight. In fact, you will likely think that everyone in the world eats bread except you. And you will probably feel annoyed when trying to order food at restaurants or making a meal plan that avoids bread. The cravings for bread are related to your body desiring the sugar high from the simple carbohydrates found in most bread products. The cravings will subside over time but it usually takes a few weeks. Stay strong in your commitment to avoid bread and you will conquer the cravings completely.
2. You may feel sluggish for a time.
When you eat refined bread products, you get a short burst of energy and the level of serotonin (also known as the “happy hormone”) increases temporarily. You probably know exactly what I’m talking about if you have ever felt energetic immediately after eating a piece of white bread, a donut, or a croissant. Not eating bread can make you feel tired and sluggish at first. The good news is that the feeling is temporary and your body quickly adjusts to your new way of eating. Remember that eliminating the refined carbohydrates found in processed breads is good for your health, and the short-term sluggish feeling will soon go away.
3. Your digestion feels off.
Refined bread has some nutrients that help with digestion. When you get rid of bread, you may find yourself feeling constipated. If this is the case, the easy and healthy fix is to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. And another big plus is that because they are so much lower in calories than bread, fruits and vegetables can help you lose weight.
4. Creativity kicks in.
I have always said that I am not a very creative person but eliminating certain foods from my diet brought some major creativity to my skillset. I suspect the same will happen with you. When you get rid of bread, you have to replace it with something else. Hence the rise of cauliflower pizza crust recipes, pizza omelets, breads made with eggs and cottage cheese, and low-carb muffins made with flax seeds. Let your creative juices flow: Try new side dishes, experiment with other grains, and be open to trying completely new foods.
5. The scale moves down.
You have probably read stories about people who dropped tons of weight by eliminating bread from their diet. It is true that the scale will often move down when you eliminate bread. The simple carbohydrates in bread tend to make you hold water weight. Much of the initial weight loss you will see comes from a loss in water weight. If you continue avoiding bread, but do not make other changes in your diet, your weight will likely stabilize. To keep seeing the scale move down, you must not only control your bread intake but also keep your calories at a weight loss level.