When eaten in moderation, bread can be good for weight loss. Healthy types of bread are high in fiber and will leave you feeling full, meaning you will eat less throughout the day and lose weight faster.

People who are trying to lose weight are often told to avoid eating bread at all costs. You’ve probably heard someone say that bread is full of carbs and has minimal nutrition. While it’s true that bread has a high amount of carbohydrates, it’s important to also look at the benefits it can offer you on your weight loss journey.

How Can Bread Help Me Lose Weight?

First of all, bread is a great addition to lots of meals. Bread can serve as a tasty side dish for soups, stews, and salads. It’s also delicious when it’s used for sandwiches.

Bread can even help you eat other healthy, filling foods. Avocado toast is incredibly nutritious, and it also happens to have a wonderful taste. Other nutrient-packed additions to toast are bananas, eggs, and nut butter.

Another perk of adding bread to your weight loss program is the boost in fiber you’ll receive. According to the Harvard Medical School, eating several servings of whole grains per day (meaning lots of fiber) results in being less likely to gain weight. Fiber is a nutrient that helps you feel satiated, which helps you eat less food and in turn helps you lose weight.

The fiber found in healthy bread can do more than make you feel satiated: it can even help you burn calories. The rise in body temperature when food is digested burns calories. Since fiber is calorie-free and indigestible, the impact of the calories burned is even greater. This makes fiber a great dual-purpose nutrient to add to your diet.


What Are the Drawbacks to Eating Bread for Weight Loss?

Though bread can be a great addition to a weight loss program, it’s also important to note the possible drawbacks.

Most types of bread contain little to no protein. Since protein is vital to the success of a weight loss regimen, the lack of protein in bread can be an issue. While you can meet your protein requirements with other nutritious foods, eating bread low in protein will add to your calorie total without providing this valuable nutrient.

The other concern with adding bread to a weight loss regimen is that not all bread is created equal. While healthy bread has large quantities of fiber, heavily-processed white bread does not. Processing white bread involves removing the germ and bran, meaning important nutrients like fiber have been removed as well. If you’re eating plain white bread, it won’t do much to aid your weight loss.

In fact, eating too much plain white bread can actually hinder your ability to lose weight. The high level of carbohydrates, along with the lack of fiber, can leave you feeling hungry and cause you to blow past your calorie goal for the day.

How Do I Find Healthy Bread?

To make sure you’re adding healthy bread to your diet, you need to take a look at the label. You want to look past the marketing on the front of the package and instead read the ingredient list.

Whole-wheat bread will have whole wheat flour at the top of the ingredient list. Look out for packages containing enriched wheat flour, which is not as nutritious as its whole wheat counterpart.

Other healthy kinds of bread include oat bread, sprouted whole grain bread, and sourdough. Oats are high in fiber, sprouted grains have more nutrients than regular bread, and sourdough has helpful prebiotics that aid in digestion. These characteristics make healthy whole grain bread even more beneficial.

It can be a big jump switching from eating highly-processed white breads to sprouted whole grain bread or oat bread. It’s okay to make the change more gradual; for example, you could start by eating breads that are at least 50% whole grain, with the goal of eating strictly whole grain bread at some point in the future.

Making changes over time will increase your chances of being able to stick with your weight loss journey. Setting (and meeting) small, achievable goals will lead to the eventual success of your larger goals.

How many slices of bread can I eat in a day?

Dietary recommendations vary based on activity level and age, meaning there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how many slices of bread you can eat in a day. However, according to the Whole Grains Council, it’s important to eat at least 3 to 5 servings of whole grains each day.

A slice of 100% whole grain bread counts as a serving, so eating one or two slices of whole grain bread is perfectly reasonable. You might aim to use brown rice, whole grain pasta or bran muffins to meet the rest of your whole grain dietary needs to add variety to your diet.

You should also consider daily fiber intake recommendations when deciding how much bread to eat each day. For men, the current recommended intake of fiber is 34 grams per day. Women need slightly less fiber, with the recommended amount being 28 grams per day.

Eating an excess of fiber (over 70g per day) can actually have adverse consequences, such as constipation and bloating. Eating the correct amount of fiber per day keeps negative side effects away while providing great benefits.

Moderation is key with all foods, including bread. Make sure to read labels and keep track of how much fiber and whole grains you consume each day.

The Importance of Maintaining a Caloric Deficit in Weight Loss

At the end of the day, weight loss comes down to maintaining a caloric deficit. When you eat fewer calories than you burn each day, you will lose weight, no matter what you eat.

Healthy, fiber-filled foods like whole grain bread are a great addition to your diet because they make you feel full, thus making it easier to stay in a caloric deficit. If you eat healthy, filling bread in moderation, it can help you reach your weight loss goals.