Want to lose more weight? Cut the baking!

Baking is not exactly natural, even if it contains Paleo food types. I am not against baking; everyone likes eating it. But if you’re serious about losing weight, eating natural whole foods as often as you can is the key to sustainable weight loss; here is why:


People often say, “oh i don’t have time to cook or prepare meals often, so i make baked things for the week so we can eat those on the run.. ” Sure, thats fine occasionally, especially if they are Paleo type baked goods. But please, every day or so!? I run several companies and squeeze exercise in my lifestyle aswell as all sorts of other daily things i have to do – just like many other people on this planet. However, i still prep my meals and i don’t bake very often. If i do, it’s what i call “mix & set” not baking. Why?

Baking of any kind combines foods we don’t find naturally occurring

A banana has no fat but alot of natural sugars. An avocado has reasonable fat but no sugars. Meats have high proteins and some fats but no sugars. You can see where i am going with this. Try thinking of any natural food that contains reasonable portions of both fat and sugar. Other than full milk, there isn’t! Milk is also something that was intended for an animals infants, not the adults let alone us humans.

Fat and sugar together is often a problem

The combination of fat and sugar in a single food is dangerous for us if consumed too often. Our bodies were intended to eat one or the other in reasonable quantities and often with protein too. In the past we might have indulged very occasionally in alot of fruit when in season or even honey. When we did, our Pancreas was there to help with the spike in our blood sugar by producing insulin. After a day or so we would then go back to our normal diets. Refined sugars like we know today were not available early in our history. Even a few hundred years ago, they were hard to obtain. Our ancestors never indulged with sugars on week by week basis or even year on year. But we do today – and we also combine these sugars with fats in almost every processed food i can think of. Yes Paleo baked goods are much better for you because you’re using un-refined ingredients; but you’re processing these whole foods and this isn’t curing the weight gain issue. Most weight gain issues are because of insulin spikes caused by higher than normal carbohydrate intakes and often combined with fats. So if you’re weight is still up or has stalled at some point and you’re eating these better baked goods, this might be why.

Baked goods are always very high in calories

Even if you follow a Paleo diet in some form, you can still become over weight from eating baked foods. You could also retain existing insulin issues if you use alot of natural concentrated sugars too often. Over weight people are often already symptomatic in some form and this makes the idea of sustainable weight loss much harder to achieve. High levels of sugars from honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar and palm sugar combined with high fat nut flours when baked are still processed foods; albeit alot better for you. Don’t get me wrong, i am not saying don’t enjoy a few of these, but the best rule of thumb here is to use the 80/20 rule and make sure your getting most of your meals from whole foods. These whole foods tend to carry more water and fibre within the entire meal unlike baked goods and whole foods absorb much more slowly with less calories.

Mix and set your food rather than bake

If you’re going to bake with the Paleo diet guidelines, try to use whole fruits and not agaves, maple syrups, coconut sugar, palm sugar and or honey very often; or use sparingly. Whole fruits carry fibre and this is believed to help reduce the absorption of fruit sugars into the body too quickly.

Keep to mixing things rather than complete blending of ingredients and baking for long periods. The more you breakdown the ingredients the faster this absorbs into our blood, which you want to avoid. Baking or heating food heavily caramelizes most foods – this makes it absorb faster into our blood also. The idea of “mixing and setting” over blending and baking is where i feel the distinction between whole foods and processed foods can be made. Grains were never an issue for our diet till someone decided to grind them into a powder we could bake with; this absorbs fast and is seen as sugar to the body. Not surprising then that todays mass produced flours roughly resemble cocaine… they almost act the same way too and our brains love it.

Being careful not to go full circle

The recent uptake of baking using Paleo or Primal diet guidelines is merely fulfilling our desire for addictive food. It is allowing us to somewhat return to what we have been trying to ideally leave behind – processing of food. I am already seeing such things as processed paleo nut mix for making cookies etc, sold in jars. This is hardly natural or normal despite what it is made from – this attitude towards faster food is about making everything we do convenient for us because we are simply too lazy to make a little effort each day in supporting our health with proper meals. Baked goods, even healthier ones, should be treats we seldom have.

80/20 people, stay with the program.

Good eating!



About deanco

I run several businesses with my wife, who i love dearly. We commute around Australia and New Zealand for work. I enjoy design, wine, cooking, fitness, electronics.. and adore our 15 year old beagle.
This entry was posted in Baking, Cooking, Dieting, Eating, Food, Health, Lifestyle, Paleo, Primal, weight loss and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Want to lose more weight? Cut the baking!

  1. Debbie says:

    I agree. I think about 85% meat, eggs, and vegetables is best. But I do eat a few treats and some fruit :).

  2. deanco says:

    Well everyone is different. I know of a woman who stays under 20 grams of carbs a day as her life diet but personally i think this is extreme. I think 85% meat is high too. The only time i advocate this is if people are in a weight loss mode and for short periods upto a few months. Which is what “Atkins dieting” is really all about and people seem to miss. Higher than normal protein diets long term isn’t easy nor sustainable for people. I can’t comment on health aspects but i don’t believe you can get the correct balance of nutrients with too much protein long term unless your living off locally farmed Rain Deer meat and organs or even Fish like the Inuit do. Most people have fear of fruit but bread is a shit-load worse! Reasonable quantities of citrus is fine when losing weight and then at goal weight, any fruit is better than breads, pasta, flour products etc. Not fruit juice, this is processing and concentrated where the fibre is lost. Lots of vegetables is essential in my mind, it should constitute alot of your food intake. As a big protein eater, i probably only eat 60-70% maximum of my diet in this.

  3. Debbie says:

    Oops, I guess I wasn’t very clear. 85% meat and veggies all put together. Wow! that would be a lot of meat 🙂

  4. deanco says:

    Hahahaha oh i see! Yes that would be alot of meat but people do it trust me! Thanks again for dropping by 🙂

  5. roberta4949 says:

    I am pretty sure the cave man did not cook his meat either, and did not combine different ingredients either like chicken stir fries that sorta thing, personally carbs are getting a bad rap just like saturated fat did at one time, (well still do sometimes) fat and sugar is what our bodies thrive on, i dont know where the idea came that we burn one or the other, the biochemist I have heard and some science books I read indicate we burn both at the same time, sugar becomes the predominate fuel when we exercise anarobically. now i am not advocating the high gi stripped carbs no way, but there is a distinction between smart carbs and dumb carbs, smart carbs contain the vitaminerals, fiber, phytochemicals, sugars in proper amounts, sugar alcohols etc. I have done the low carb way in various forms, simply because they did not work for me, I like a good hamburger but found I cannot live off meat. to me it is not satiating enough, and I lose interest in it after a few bites. right now my goal is to wean complely off dumb carbs as much as possible and eat only smart ones, but maintaining my fat intake at whatever it ws before, so far so good. in fact doing better than the last times before I finally caved in for dumb carbs (like cookies and ice cream)I am all for low carb diets just not the atkins way, some of what I read shows thecarbs were way to low. after the research I have done I have come to thenotion that being in ketosis tomuch or too long sends the winter is here message otherwise why aren’t you eating fruit?or whole grains? so it sends the wrong signal, if it is summer you would be eating fruit or whole grains etc. anyway restricting carbs does no harm provided you do it without pain of any kind. pain is a bad sign.

  6. deanco says:

    Hi Roberta, thanks for your feedback. Yes, maybe they did not even cook alot back then. However the idea with these types of diets isn’t to replicate exactly what ancestors did, only to use what we think we know as a guide for better health and nutrition. Based on what is currently researched, it appears that fats and carbs seldom appeared together in our diet of whole foods back then. We can also substantiate this by looking at the natural whole foods, their constitution and the seasons they grow in. Thus the apparent diet and the foods support the idea that we burnt one more than the other at any one time or period – fat or carbs. Doing formal exercise didn’t exist back then either – this adds to the current confusion in dietary information that is out there and knowing which is right and for who.

    For example – if you became a competitive endurance athlete from a sedentary lifestyle it is likely your carbohydrate intake/burning will go up accordingly because that is what you will need to cope. As you become leaner from this intense exercise, your fat burning goes down and your carb burning goes up. Some vegan athletes who live on fruit do really well with this. On the flip side, my exercise is anaerobic and not endurance. Short fast occasional workouts and lots of daily activities, so I tend to burn mostly fat – my diet still consists of a lot of good carbs in the form of vegetables and fruit only. A diet like mine is 40-50% protein, 25-35% fat and 20-25% carbs by weight – this means my fat burning levels are much higher than my carbs and in the order of 1200-1300 calories or more of my 3000 + daily intake. An endurance athlete might have the total intake higher and reversed – they may consume 2000-3000 calories in a 4000 calorie diet of carbs depending on who they are and their preferences.

    I hear of some endurance athletes who manage to run on a high protein and fat diet and even talk about a Ketosis state, but i can’t comment on this from experience and i think it’s unnecessary.

    My reference to Atkins in my post was only about it being mis-construed – it is of use for those who struggle with eating better foods, but have chronic insulin and weight issues. Doing Atkins for a period to improve metabolic function is better than not doing anything for severely overweight. Lots of people can’t jump straight to good Paleo style or whole food diets because they grew up with the food we see on the shelves today. Needless to say, it’s a big subject and why i try to help “a little” in each post with ideas. I am glad you’re trying to avoid “dumb” carbs as you say. Grains too if you can, they are not necessary for a good satiating diet that is also enjoyable. I think getting your cupboard kitted out with the right stuff so you don’t revert back to old habits is a good start in helping achieve this.

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