Whole Grains

Whole Grains

Let’s be honest: Grain is often a code word for carbohydrates like bread, bagels, and pasta. They can be sinfully good at times and are typically the one food we find hard to restrict for long periods of time. When you deny yourself these, the tension builds and at some point you feel like you are going insane. Carbohydrates serve an essential and important function in the body, including helping you to lose weight. They help to make you feel satisfied at meals and give you sustained energy. They are also key to keeping your bowels regular and your brain fueled. If you’ve ever gone on a low-carb diet that restricts your intake of complex or starchy carbs for an extended period of time, you may have felt tired, weak, and brain-dead. Well, here is why: You were denying your brain and body what they want most—quick access to energy.

Whole Grains Keep You Sane

There is a point I am making here by calling this category “whole grains.” As you are aware, I am putting the focus on whole grains that offer muscle-feeding, fat-shrinking fiber. In addition to getting fiber from fruits and vegetables, you are going to obtain even more fiber from this category by switching to whole grain food varieties that can include pasta, crackers, tortillas, bread, cereal, and even cookies and some baked goods. The fiber will enhance your blood sugar stability, which in turn contributes to your feelings of fullness, satiety, and overall sense of well-being after and between meals.

Even though you will move away from refined grains like white bread and any “enriched” carbohydrate that has been stripped of its natural fiber, you will need to limit your intake in the grain category. Grains are the most calorie-dense complex carbohydrate (sugar).

Finding whole grain alternatives to your favorite breads and pastas is easy. Not only do natural food stores carry these products, but supermarket chains across the country also now stock their shelves with wholesome grains. On page 66 I have given you a list of my favorite grains and I will keep you posted on my website about new products on the market that I think you should add to your menus.

The “Grains & Starchy Vegetables” chart (page  67) displays lists from which you can choose grains that will feed your muscles and assist you in your weight loss efforts. Popular foods like white bread and regular pasta are listed as foods that you eat rarely. You would do well to transition from white (“bleached wheat flour”)-flour-based products to purely whole grains and multigrains. Look for the Whole Grains Council’s stamp of approval on products.

Vary Your Grain Servings

Grains occupy one category that you will need to adjust for your body type and activity level. As you start to create your own meals, limit grains to two servings a day. But if you find yourself feeling low on energy, moody, and unmotivated to work out, then by all means increase your intake of these complex carbohydrates to help keep you energized and fueled for your workouts. This will take some experimentation, but don’t be afraid of trying three grain servings a day as long as you stay tuned in to how you feel. Keep a record of extra servings in your journal. If you get bloated and your weight loss seems to halt, then reduce your grains and add more protein and vegetables to your meals. Also experiment with when to add grains to your meals. You may, for instance, want a grain at lunch if you plan to work out later that afternoon.


      • Brown and long grain rice
      • Quinoa
      • Ezekiel® breads and cereals
      • Whole wheat pitas
      • Kashi® cereals and oatmeal
      • Whole grain Total®
      • Product 19®
      • Wheaties®
      • Kellogg’s Bran Flakes®
      • McCann’s Oatmeal®
      • Granola (no added sugar)
      • Buckwheat pancakes
      • Whole/multigrain crackers
      • Wasa® high-fiber crackers
      • Kashi® multigrain crackers
      • Rye-Crisp® crackers
      • Reduced Fat Triscuits®
      • Whole wheat pasta
      • Barilla Plus® pastas
      • Whole grain muffins
      • Blue corn tortilla chips
      • Whole wheat tortillas
      • Smart Pop® popcorn minibags

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