MF nu­tri­tion EX­PERT Can I eat bread and still have a six-pack?

If you’re smart there’s room in your stom­ach for bread and wash­board abs

Men's Fitness - - Experts -

Nate Miyaki is an au­thor, coach and nu­tri­tion ex­pert who works with pro­fes­sional ath­letes and mod­els, as well as peo­ple sim­ply look­ing to lose weight and im­prove their health. Here he ex­plains why you don’t nec­es­sar­ily have to bin bread for­ever to get a six-pack.

Ob­vi­ous things first – it’s not as sim­ple as opt­ing for brown over white bread. Be­ing able to eat bread and avoid get­ting a doughy mid­sec­tion de­pends on your meta­bolic con­di­tion, the type and amount of train­ing you do and whether you’re hit­ting your ideal calo­rie and macronu­tri­ent tar­gets.

Dos and doughn’ts

Are you over­weight or living a seden­tary life? If so, bad news. Such peo­ple tend to have poor in­sulin sen­si­tiv­ity, blood sugar con­trol and nu­tri­ent par­ti­tion­ing abil­i­ties. That’s a sci­en­tific way of say­ing carbs have a harder time get­ting into the mus­cle cells and are likely to be stored as fat. If this is you, a lower-carb diet is bet­ter for im­prov­ing body com­po­si­tion and health, so the tra­di­tional daily break­ing of bread is less ad­vis­able.

Train­ing fre­quently at high in­ten­sity changes ev­ery­thing. If you strength train, crosstrain or com­pete in intermittent sprint sports, you need carbs. They’re the best way to fuel train­ing ses­sions and re­cover from them. But if you also want to walk around with a six-pack, you need to con­sider to­tal calo­ries and food qual­ity too.

To lose fat and get lean, you need to be in a calo­rie deficit (see box be­low). And if you train hard and main­tain a con­sis­tent calo­rie deficit, you can in­clude bread and other starchy carbs in your diet.

Em­pha­sis­ing good food choices – whole, nat­u­ral foods in­stead of highly pro­cessed foods – im­proves the health benefits of your diet, im­proves nu­tri­ent den­sity and re­duces hunger, which makes stay­ing in a calo­rie deficit eas­ier. With that in mind, foods that are less re­fined such as pota­toes, yams and rice are bet­ter pri­mary sources of starchy carbs than bread.

Roll with it

So if you do de­cide to have bread on oc­ca­sion, which is best? It de­pends. As­sum­ing you’re in calo­rie deficit, train­ing hard and eat­ing it along­side pro­tein, the gly­caemic load mat­ters less than it would for seden­tary peo­ple. So your choice of dough doesn’t need to be sig­nif­i­cantly in­flu­enced by that.

The main con­sid­er­a­tion is tol­er­ance. Some grains can af­fect di­ges­tion and min­eral ab­sorp­tion. Find out what you can and can’t tol­er­ate by trial and er­ror. Per­haps due to the fer­men­ta­tion process, sour­dough seems to be the least prob­lem­atic. That doesn’t mean you can gorge daily on sour­dough-base piz­zas, but as a cheat meal, you could do a lot worse. The Truth About Carbs by Nate Miyaki is avail­able now






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