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Tip #10: Thin Bread.

February 17, 2010

Here I am not referring to a product called thin bread, but instead bread sliced thinly.  Still,  I think I am going to copyright that.  “Thinbread”© a product of You Are Not A Fit Person labs.   People are going to buy my thin bread because they will think that by eating it they will get thin (word association is hard to beat as a marketing technique).  It is brilliant!!  Seriously though, eating bread will never make you thin.  Bread is pretty damn bad for you.  The only good thing you can ever say about it is that if you eat whole grain you can usually get some fibre with it.  Still, you are going to get a butt-load of calories too, so there are much better ways to get your fibre.  This tip is straight out of You Are Not A Fit Person: The Book and it could be one of the best tips out there:

I find this story quite embarrassing but I will share it for its edifying value.  When my wife first brought Weight Watchers Bread home, years ago. I was trying to figure out why it was better than regular bread.  I read the label and I was amazed that each slice of bread had half the calories of regular bread.  Half!!  I was so impressed and I opened the loaf to pull out a piece of bread and the piece was literally HALF as thick as a regular piece of bread.  This was no food engineering marvel!!  This was no low fat, low calorie creation, this was just a slight of hand.  A trick!!  I didn’t eat that bread for years after discovering this.  Until I started eating it.  Then I discovered that regular bread felt too thick to me.  I hadn’t quite questioned why bread was as thick as it was (I think it had to do with the technology of bread loaf cutting machines at the time, but that is just a guess).  I love bread, but I don’t need more.  There is a Wonder product out there called Texas Toast, quite aptly named, is twice as thick as a regular slice of bread.  It is incredible for french toast (something you should very rarely eat by the way, although if you are listening Wonder, I would love a whole grain Texas Toast, just for those occasions).  Why is regular bread the ‘proper’ thickness for sandwiches and not Texas Toast?  Who decided this anyways?  As soon as I started using the thinner cut bread, I found out I liked it more.  Then I realized this was the point of Weight Watchers Bread in the first place!  I don’t eat 2 slices of toast because I need more bread, I eat 2 slices of toast because my toaster has two holes in it.  I don’t eat 2 slices of bread with my sandwich because I wan’t more bread, I eat 2 slices of bread with my sandwich because I want a handhold on both sides of my fixens.  My brother says he needs the second slice of bread for his sandwich as a cap, or a dramatic flourish to say his sandwich making is done and the eating can begin.

Since that time I have discovered that most of the new supermarkets have ‘cut it yourself’ bread-cutting machines.  These things are awesome.  I could spend a day cutting bread.  If you are fast, and attach your loaf properly, you can vary the size of each slice from Texas Toast to just smaller than Weight Watchers (don’t ask why you would do this.  If you have to ask then you wouldn’t understand, just use the bread machine to cut your bread as thin as possible).  So, if you have a favorite local bread that is a whole grain bread, you can probably get it cut to Weight Watchers dimensions.  Seriously, by doing just this, you could cut your bread consumption in half and not even notice.  As well, if you are going to whole grain, these two changes would be huge!

-Chapter 7: Nutrition: An Introduction.

About a year ago I was in our local Save On Foods (that is the nearby supermarket that has the adjustable bread cutting machine) and I was wandering too near to the bakery.  The bakery almost always sucks me in.  I don’t want to go to it, there is nothing good for me there, but I can’t help myself.  I mostly drool over sourdough bread.  I know that is odd, but it is my thing.  That and glazed donuts… and pizza bagels… and the cakes, but mostly the sourdough bread.  I was standing there and I wanted to use the bread machine, as I usually do when I am this close to it.  I grabbed a sourdough bread bowl, just a large bun really. and stuck it in the machine, set the slices to thinnest and, well, a habit was formed in our house…  Below is a picture of one of these large buns cut into slices.

The bun has almost the same number of slices as a loaf of weight watchers bread (which has twice the slices of a regular loaf).  The thing is, this loaf lasts as long as a loaf of bread ever has in our house and it fulfills my sourdough bread addiction.  It doesn’t need as much butter to taste buttery, the sandwiches made with it are spectacular and the kids love it and eat it like they would regular toast in the morning.  2 slices.  Obviously it doesn’t fill you up because bread doesn’t fill you up, but it gives you that variety of flavours, and that need for long held human rituals that drive so many of our bad habits.

This is a substitution that is simple.  Now, Weight Watchers bread feels a little too thick for me.  If I had my choice, this is the bread I would choose.  2 slices of this bread more than any other.  Those are the kinds of substitutions that will work for your life, when you are intentionally choosing less of a bad thing because you prefer the way it tastes!   If you can’t find a selectable width bread cutting machine, go with the Weight Watchers bread.  It is great.   Keep finding these substitutions and they will help, but remember these are just tips.  You need a goal, a plan and some healthy knowledge to win this war.  Pick up a copy of You Are Not A Fit Person, understand why you aren’t fit, and why your battle is unique because of this.

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