Instagram fitness expert Graeme Tomlinson, also known as TheFitnessChef, explained that bread isn’t the cause of weight gain, but it’s what you pair with it that’s important.
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.
Tomlinson, also known as TheFitnessChef, took to Instagram to expose the truth behind the theory with his 688,000 followers.
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.
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We like to idolize and demonize most things. We crave affirmation that what we believe in is universally correct. An example can easily be found in those idolizing their favourite sports team, whilst demonizing that team’s bitter rival. Yet, if put into non-emotional, neutral context, both teams are merely trying to beat each other by the same means. We idolize some foods because we believe them to be ‘better’ for us – we want affirmation that our consumption is correct. We demonize other foods because we believe they are ‘worse’ for us – we want affirmation that consuming these foods is incorrect. But in isolation, no food is correct or incorrect, it’s just different. In this example we have avocado on brown bread and Nutella on white bread. The former is often idolized, whilst the latter is usually demonised or associated with guilt. Yet in this example, consumption of the former means enjoyment, more nutrients and fibre, but also more calories. Whereas consumption of the latter means enjoyment, less nutrients and fibre, but in this example, significantly fewer calories. Therefore the avocado toast may be a good idea if the goal is to consume more nutrients and potentially enhance satiety, but the Nutella toast may support calorie reduction as it is fewer in calories. These outcomes ultimately depend on overall dietary intake. Sometimes our unwillingness to consider what we don’t believe in (known as confirmation bias) take us away from what is actually true. Believing foods to be good or bad without inserting overall context is to digress from what matters most. Eating any food should be an enjoyable process. But it should be done in a place where feelings of ‘good or bad’ are replaced with understanding, reality and ease. When a sports team scores a goal against our team, the other supporters celebrate whilst we despair. But the neutral supporter appreciates the goal for its non-emotional worth. Our beliefs in food should be no different. 🔥 - - #avotoast #nutrients #healthysnack #diet #fatlosshelp #avocadotoast #nutellatoast #caloriecounting #snack #avocado #nutella #healthysnacks #diettips #nutellalovers #losefat
“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!