Can I eat bread and still lose weight?
Certain types of bread, such as whole-wheat bread, are an excellent addition to your diet and can aid in weight loss.

Yes, you can eat bread while trying to lose weight. Eating bread will not cause you to gain weight. However, eating too much bread will.

Bread is a worldwide staple and enjoyed by everyone. There is no need to avoid it completely from your diet. Limit your intake of bread to 25 percent of your plate and enjoy it with vegetables to avoid overconsumption.

The secret to losing weight is consuming fewer calories than you utilize during the day. Thus, whether these calories come from nuts or bread, you will lose weight if you eat fewer calories than you burn.

Nonetheless, consuming a variety of whole foods is good for your overall diet because good health is not entirely about losing weight.

Why is bread considered bad to eat?

All varieties of bread are processed foods, and the fiber in them are not the same as natural fiber in fruits and vegetables.

Bread is high in carbohydrates and calories and low in nutrients, such as fiber, fat, and proteins, compared to other foods, such as vegetables and fruits. However, several varieties of bread offer higher amounts of fiber and essential vitamins, such as wholegrain or oats bread. Even though wholegrain bread is found to be beneficial for maintaining your blood sugar levels and providing you with essential nutrients, they are higher in calories.

Gluten-free bread may sound like a healthier choice but while processing, more sugar is added to make it taste better. The absence of gluten in bread makes it taste bad.

People have been misled into believing that carbohydrates are the enemy. This is true for simple carbohydrates, such as sugar, but not for complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are an important part of your diet.

Benefits of eating bread

Bread is one of the most convenient, easily available, tasty, and nutritious food and provides a good satiating option for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Besides that, consuming bread raises serotonin levels in the brain, which is a chemical that helps: 

  • Suppress cravings
  • Improves mood
  • Signals to your brain that you are content with your meal

Serotonin aids in portion control and prevents you from consuming more calories. However, you must not eat bread in excess to avoid increasing weight gain.

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4 varieties of bread

  1. White bread
    • White bread is extremely processed and frequently has a significant amount of added sugar. It has a high glycemic index and might cause blood sugar spikes.
    • A study of 9,267 adults discovered that eating two slices (120 grams) of white bread per day was associated with a 40 percent increased risk of weight gain and obesity.
    • Researchers have found that more refined and processed foods, such as white bread and white rice, resulted in greater abdominal fat. To keep your weight in check, you must avoid overconsumption of white bread.
  2. Wholewheat bread
    • Bread varieties made from wholewheat or Ezekiel sprouts contain more proteins, fiber, vitamins, and fat compared to white bread. High fiber in these bread varieties will help slow down the absorption of sugar in your bloodstream and stabilize blood sugar levels in the body. Fiber suppresses the appetite.
    • Though wholewheat bread has a moderate glycemic index. it is rich in micronutrients, and when consumed, it provides enough energy to perform physical activities. Bread made from Ezekiel sprouts contains no added sugar, so it is suitable for people with diabetes.
  3. Multigrain bread
    • The ingredients of multigrain bread include barley, wheat, oats, maize, buckwheat, millet, and flaxseeds. Multigrain bread is high in fiber and other beneficial elements. These make it perfect for losing weight. It keeps you fuller for longer, preventing binge eating.
  4. Sourdough bread
    • Sourdough bread is made from a dough that is fermented with bacteria and yeast for longer hours. During fermentation, the simple carbohydrates inside it are reduced by bacteria and yeast. So, your blood sugar levels do not spike after you consume sourdough bread.
    • Sourdough bread is rich in vitamins and other nutrients. The proteins, such as gluten, are broken down, so even if you are gluten-sensitive, you will be able to digest this bread easily. This bread provides your body with beneficial bacteria that increase digestion.

5 ways to include bread in your daily diet for weight loss

Bread is not bad for weight loss. You just need to be careful while selecting the right type of bread depending on its ingredients and pair it with the right foods to make it a healthy option in your weight loss journey.

Five ways to include bread in your daily diet for weight loss are as follows:

  1. Choose the bread with a high fiber content: While buying bread, select the ones that have a fiber content between three and five grams per serving. Fiber is a bulking agent that helps ease the passage of stools through your bowels. It maintains your blood sugar levels and assists the fat-burning process. Eating high-fiber foods makes you feel fuller for longer so you end up eating less during the later part of the day.
  2. Minimize your sugar intake: Unlike fruits, which contain natural sugars, bread contains added sugar, such as high-fructose syrup, sugar, sucrose, or corn syrup. Added sugars may relieve your hunger pangs quickly, but they cause sugar spikes. Sugar comes down quickly, and you end up craving carbohydrates again. Therefore, whenever you have sugar, make sure you balance your intake during the day.
  3. Choose whole-grain bread over white (refined) bread: When buying bread, look for words such as “100 percent whole-grain” or “100 percent whole-wheat” on the label, while making sure that whole wheat is listed as the first ingredient in the list. Refined bread lacks nutrients and fibers because it is devoid of germ and bran, which are present in the whole-grain variety of bread. A diet that contains whole grains contains good carbs and some amount of protein that is good for your weight loss.
  4. Look for other healthy ingredients in the bread: While buying bread, see if you can find bread that is made with nuts and seeds. These are a good source of proteins and healthy fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are heart-healthy ingredients that alleviate the inflammation associated with obesity. Bread made from nuts and seeds is more filling and satisfying than regular bread. They prevent spikes in blood sugar levels due to their low glycemic index.
  5. Pair your bread with the right foods: Pair your bread with foods that contain macronutrients such as protein or healthy fat to support your healthy weight-loss plan. To provide a filling effect, layer your sliced bread with any of the foods such as:
    • Chicken
    • Tuna
    • Eggs
    • Avocado
    • Almond butter
    • Peanut butter
    • Hummus
    • Olive oil
    • Coconut oil

Do not eat too many carbs when you are eating bread. For example, do not eat potatoes with bread. If you want to eat other carbs, have them during other meals that do not contain bread as one of the foods.

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Medically Reviewed on 5/13/2022
References
Image Source: iStock image

Ardmore Institute of Health. How to Eat Bread and Still Lose Weight. https://www.fullplateliving.org/blog/how-eat-bread-and-still-lose-weight

PopularAsk.net. How many slices of bread should I eat a day to lose weight? https://popularask.net/how-many-slices-of-bread-should-i-eat-a-day-to-lose-weight/

Which Bread Is Best For You — Whole-Grain, Multigrain or Whole Wheat? https://health.clevelandclinic.org/bread-best-whole-grain-multigrain-whole-wheat/

Serra-Majem L, Bautista-Castaño I. Relationship between bread and obesity. Br J Nutr. 2015 Apr;113 Suppl 2:S29-35.