You’re going out to dinner, and you’ve already checked the restaurant menu online and figured out the healthiest options you can order. You’re feeling good about spending quality time with friends while still honoring your body and brain with good nutrition. Everything’s going great, but then it happens.
The server arrives at your table and places a basket of warm, fresh out of the oven bread right in front of you. The scent overwhelms your senses and you’re tempted to throw your good intentions out the window and dive right in.
Every Brain Warrior knows this scenario. What do you do?
Why Bread is So Addictive
Everyone’s addicted to bread. Restaurants know this, and that’s why they serve it! Bread is sugar, plain and simple. It instantly turns into sugar in the body, which is why it’s so tasty and why it makes you feel so good as soon as you eat it. But because it’s sugar, it can also contribute to diabetes and make you gain weight—not what any Brain Warrior wants.
There is a substance in the gluten that’s found in bread that breaks down in your gut, and once it digests, it passes through the blood-brain barrier and attaches to the very same brain receptors where cocaine and morphine attach. It is literally a drug. That’s why it’s so addictive and why it makes you feel so good. And the more you give in and eat it, the more you crave it. It’s a vicious cycle.
Breaking the Bread Habit
There’s a very simple solution to the restaurant bread dilemma. As I like to say, don’t let the devil in the door. Don’t let them leave the bread on the table! That way, you only have to make one decision, not 30.
If you let them leave the basket on the table, you have to make 30 decisions. And you have to try to stay focused on your long-term goals while you’re faced with the tempting smell, watching your friends slather butter on it, and hearing the satisfying crunch of the crust. You have to keep fighting with yourself, asking yourself over and over, “Should I take a piece, or shouldn’t I?”
Even I struggle if there’s bread on the table. Within 10 minutes, I’m slathering butter all over it and I’m having a full-blow affair with the bread. That’s why, as soon as the server shows up with that basket, I tell them, “No bread, thank you.” And once it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind. I can go back to focusing on catching up with my friends.
If you’re addicted to bread and typically indulge when eating out, you’ll find that the less you eat it the less you crave it. It only takes about a week to get over it.
When you’re going out to a restaurant, be a Warrior—be armed, prepared, and aware. You can win the fight for your health. Not letting servers leave bread on the table is a good first step.
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