It's not about the specific foods you eat or don't eat when you're trying to lose weight; instead, it's all about your overall daily intake of calories. Cutting back on bread products can be part of a strategy to lower your calorie or carb intake for weight loss. However, how quickly you lose after cutting out bread depends on which foods you eat instead of bread. As with any weight-loss plan, consult your doctor or dietitian to help you design a plan that suits your needs.
Calories in Bread Products
When you're plan is to cut bread from your diet to lose weight you first need to know the number of calories you're getting from the bread you eat; calories in bread products vary greatly. For example, a slice of whole-wheat bread has 81 calories, an English muffin has 129 calories, and a large whole-wheat pita has 170 calories. Read the food labels of your preferred bread products to get an idea of the number of calories they contribute to your diet.
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If you're cutting out bread to reduce your carbohydrate intake, it's important to know that carbs are in a variety of different foods, including rice, pasta, potatoes, peas, fruits and milk. But if bread is your primary carb food, cutting back on how much you eat can help you reduce your total carb intake.
Cutting Out Bread to Lose Weight
Weight loss is about changing your calorie equation, meaning the number of calories you take in must be less than the number of calories you burn. To lose 1 pound to 1 1/2 pounds a week, your calorie equation must create a negative balance of 500 calories to 750 calories a day. If you're eating six to 10 slices of whole-wheat bread a day and cut them all out of your diet, then you stand to lose 1 pound to 1 1/2 pounds a week.
If you don't eat that much bread to begin with, you may not lose much by going bread-free. For example, if you only eat one slice of bread a day and cut that slice from your diet without replacing it with another food or making any other dietary changes, it may take you about six weeks to lose a pound. But if you eat bread with every meal, such as an English muffin with breakfast, a large pita at lunch and a roll with dinner, it can save you nearly 400 calories a day, which, over the course of four weeks, can lead to a 3-pound weight loss.
Weight-Loss Friendly Bread Substitutions
When cutting bread from your diet, be sure to replace it with lower-calorie foods such as fruits and vegetables. For example, if you eat eggs with toast for breakfast in the morning, you might consider eggs and fruit instead. Replacing two slices of whole-wheat toast with 1 cup of cantaloupe can save you about 100 calories. At lunch, instead of a sandwich, top 2 cups of mixed greens with lean turkey or chicken breast and save 110 calories. At dinner, swap your dinner roll for a 1/2-cup serving broccoli and save 55 calories.
How Bread Can Fit Into a Weight-Loss Diet
Despite what you may hear, bread can fit into a weight loss plan -- if you choose wisely and watch your portions. White bread products tend to digest quickly and cause a rapid rise, then fall, in blood sugar. If you're trying to lose weight, choose breads with more satiating power and less of an impact on blood sugar, such as 100 percent whole-grain bread. But, like everything you eat, the calories in the whole-grain bread still count toward your daily total.
- HealthAliciousNess.com: Nutrition Facts Comparison Tool: Bread
- University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture: The Exchange List System for Diabetic Meal Planning
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: Healthy Eating Plan
- Harvard Health Publications: Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load of 100+ Foods
- University of Sydney: About Glycemic Index