Food is an important emotional component in many of our lives. We have incorporated food through the ages for ceremonies involving life, death, religion and family. Because of this, it is important to not feel like the most important meals of your life are being excessively altered by your effort to eat in a more healthy fashion.
I always counsel patients to work on their carbohydrate reduction by trying to trim back the carbohydrates from meals that have the least emotional/social importance first. For many of us, the least meaningful meals are breakfast and lunch.
I often encourage my patients to take the “Bread Challenge” at lunch. I ask them to avoid having bread with their lunch. This means they will have to rethink what to eat in place of the common deli sandwiches, hamburgers or sandwiches from home.
I point out that they can go to one of the common deli sandwich shops and simply get the meat and cheese alone. Maybe throw in a few mild peppers on the side. In Europe, the meat and cheese that Americans commonly smash between 2 pieces of bread is served on a plate without the bread and is called an antipasto platter. Putting everything between bread or wrapped in a tortilla at lunch is somewhat of a unique American invention and isn’t necessary to be nutritionally satisfied.
So next time you’re having lunch, order the grilled chicken sandwich without the bun, don’t let the waiter leave the bread basket on the table, have the deli simply give you the meat, cheese and peppers or pickles and eat them rolled up.
It’s the protein in these foods that truly suppresses your hunger, not the bread.