“Can I really eat toast for breakfast and then have a sandwich for lunch???” my weight-conscious client asked me with fear in her eyes. “Why not?” I responded.
“Because carbs are fattening, aren’t they? … Shouldn’t I be limiting my bread intake?”
“Carbs are NOT fattening; fatty foods are fattening,” I assured her and suggested she limit fats -- butter on the toast, mayo on the sandwich. “The conversion of carb into body fat is a tough conversion,” I explained and sent her home to experiment with a higher-carb eating plan.
When she came back a week later, she reported she was really enjoying eating a sandwich instead of a salad for lunch; she felt more satisfied and her workouts were better because her muscles were better fueled. The carbs in the bread got converted into glycogen, an important source of energy for active people. Oil in salad dressing, in comparison, had been leaving her muscles unfueled.
If you are bread-phobic, think again. Experiment with swapping some protein- or fat-calories for some bread, and then observe the benefits:
-You enjoy the bread.
-Your workouts are better.
-You don’t “get fat”!
If you need help with taking the fear out of foods such as bread, bagels. and pasta, I suggest you meet with a sports dietitian (use the referral network at www.SCANdpg.org). The section on weight management in my Sports Nutrition Guidebook can also be helpful.