What To Do If You Can't Give Up Bread

Many of my clients completely understand why they need to remove high glycemic foods but they just can't give up the bread, completely. Is there a compromise along the way? What can they do?

Remember the Glycemic Index (GI) is a measurement carried out on carbohydrate-containing foods and their impact on our blood sugar. The higher the glycemic number will cause your blood sugar to be elevated. This impact will cause the body to use glucose (carbs) as a primary fuel source. The lower the glycemic number, the less impact on blood sugar, thus allowing your body to burn more fat as a primary fuel source.

If you cannot give up bread completely, here is a simple compromise that works well. Instead of consuming bread all day long with your meals, consume no more than 1-3 servings after dinner but between the hours of 6pm and 9pm.


When you consume high glycemic foods, such as wheat, insulin is released. (Refer to Why Wheat Is Making You Fatter! & The Importance of Understanding Insulin). The blood sugar spike will cause an immediate release of insulin. Isaac Newton said, "What goes up must come down." The same follows true for blood sugar. When your blood sugar spikes from the wheat product, your energy levels will crash approx. 90 minutes later due to the subsequent release of insulin. The good thing apart from consuming these foods between 6 and 9pm is that it will work in cooperation with your circadian rhythm. Physiology Today defines circadian rhythm as "a cycle that tells our bodies when to sleep, rise, eat-regulating many physiological processes."

What happens?

When you consume bread, your blood sugar will spike. Minutes after the blood sugar spike, the blood sugar will "crash" causing you to get sleepy. Since you spiked your blood sugar at night, you are now primed to go to sleep. Listen to your body and actually go to bed when you are now sleepy. You conveniently transformed your bread treat to a delicious sleeping pill helping you fall asleep.

Progression not perfection is the key (Refer to Progression Not Perfection). As you reduce your intake of bread you are progressing yourself toward a diet low in high glycemic foods.

What are you to do?

Try to eliminate wheats and grasses from your diet altogether. However, if you are unable to completely give up bread, reduce the overall quantity and consume it only at night. Consuming only 1-3 servings after dinner not only will appease your hunger for bread, it will conveniently help you fall asleep at night because of the blood sugar spike and crash. Since you are only consuming the bread at night, you also significantly reduce the quantity of bread you consume. Now you have put yourself in position to wean yourself off of breads and other grasses altogether.


Steven Zahn

ACE Certified Personal Trainer

NASM Certified Personal Trainer

Pre and Post Partum Certified

Dragondoor Publications: HKC Russian Kettlebell Certified