In the beginning of January, I made a deal with my mom and sister that we would all abstain from bread (all forms of bread- anything with flour it in) and sugar (fruit is okay) for 30 days.  Well the 30 days are over (for awhile I didn't think it would end) and the results are in and once again I came in dead last!
Mom: Lost 7 lbs!
Sister: Lost 6 lbs!
Me: Lost 3 lbs!
I was the worst offender, I caved in to my sugar cravings on Day 16 of the Challenge and never really got back in the saddle although I think it was still pretty effective.  The best part of it for me was that I learned I can eat good meals without bread (giving it up for breakfast was hard but not as hard as I thought).  I still need to learn how to curb the chocolate/sugar cravings, it seems like no matter how much food I have available, I still go into zombie mode and buy a chocolate bar to satisfy my cravings.
My sister had two cheat days and realized she was overdoing the bread (and to some extent sugar via free cupcakes (Georgetown Cupcakes!) and chocolates (there is always chocolate in her home)).  By not eating bread we all were prevented from eating sandwiches, burgers, and pizza.  Sandwiches sound innocuous but the reality is that those two delicious slices of chunky bread stay with you much longer than the lean protein and fats.  Every time you eat bread or sugar, your body is producing more insulin and making your fat cells fatter (insulin encourages fat to be stored away instead of released for energy).  It's a vicious cycle and as much as I love, love, love sourdough bread and calzones and pizza, abstaining the majority of time keeps my weight in check.  I think this worked for my family because none of us are that into pigging out on chips, pasta, rice or potatoes (all are major carb threats) but at the same since those food items were "allowed" we didn't feel like our meals had to radically change.
I'd like to start the challenge again but this time really work on getting to 30 days and seeing how I do, the first time, I learned I didn't need bread to be happy, now I need to learn to give up sugar 90% of the time (the 10% helps on 2 hr+ bike rides and runs).
A reading recommendation: Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes, this was a lot of information I knew but didn't put together, after reviewing all the data and histories of different people, it makes sense that we don't get fat because we are lazy or sedentary, we get fat because of how we eat and how often we eat carbohydrates.  I'm on his second book: Good Calories Bad Calories and hoping to understand things better.  The major conflict for me is that I still can't imagine life without my comfort carbs but it may be that I'm not in such dire physiological shape that I have to get rid of them completely.  Food for thought.

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