When it comes to weight gain there are two factors we should alter if we want to see change – how active we are and what we eat.
More often than not, the first big change is to scrap carb-heavy foods like bread from our diet.
We’ve all heard of the age old myth that eating bread makes you fat, but food and fitness expert Graeme Tomlinson claims it’s just that… a myth.
He wrote: “When trying to reduce or maintain body weight, many continue to assume that bread must be abolished from their diet.
“In terms of energy, there is no difference between white or brown bread.
“And whilst the latter contains more fibre, which may increase satiety (the feeling of fullness), one would be better placed to evaluate total ingredients consumed with bread in order to determine a more holistic perspective.
“Not least because bread is rarely consumed alone.”
So, instead of swapping white bread for a brown alternative in order to ‘be healthier’, Tomlinson explains that we should instead be looking a little more closely at the food we pair with it.
He demonstrates his theory with the help of a handy infographic.
On the left side of the picture there is a piece of plain bread, toasted. This comes in at just 95 calories.
But on the other side is a piece of bread with 40g of peanut butter and 30g of jam.
These additional ingredients increased the overall calories to over 400.
Tomlinson explains: “These additional ingredients equate to additional calories.
“In this example, smearing on a few of generous knifes of peanut butter and jam – components of a ‘hearty’ PB & jelly sandwich – more than quadruples the total calorie content of the consumed food.
“Consequently, all of a sudden the debate is not about consumption of bread in the first instance, or it’s colour in the second.
“Adding an often invisible 10g of butter to a warm slice of bread will result in the calorie value of the ‘bread’ increasing from 95 calories to 169.
“Thus, though it’s visibility is dormant, it is the butter that nearly doubles the calorie value of what we often perceive as the consequence of ‘eating bread’.”
He added: “Standing alone, bread is merely one calorie variable.
“Using the examples shown in my graphic, there can be multiple additional calorie variables.
“The quantity of additional variables will influence the overall calorie value of that eating episode.
“Bread may not be the problem after all.”
But Tomlinson’s theory doesn’t just work with bread, it applies to other food too.
“This principle can be applied to one’s rationale when assessing and addressing their overall diet.
“In doing so, one can move away from unwarranted demonisation of a food which can be utilised as energy like any other.
“Of course, one may over consume bread. But unless their diet comprises of only bread, this is a mere contribution to a bigger sequence of variables.
“To catastrophise bread as a nutritional problem is to catastrophise a minuscule variable out of many.”
The expert concludes by explaining that a calorie surplus – which is when we consume more calories than we burn – is the reason behind weight gain.
So there you have it folks, there’s no need to fear eating bread anymore!
Do you have a story to share? We want to hear all about it. Email us at email@example.com