How to Eat Bread and Still Lose Weight

Bread lovers, rejoice!

You can eat bread—and still lose weight!

If you’ve ever gone on a diet, you know bread is usually on the list of foods you shouldn’t even think about eating. That’s because bread is generally perceived as fattening.

But if you’re like me, you don’t want to give up bread in order to be thin. I love to have a toasted slice topped with half a mashed avocado and a bit of garlic salt. So yummy! I eat that almost every day with either breakfast or lunch.

So what’s the trick to eating bread and not gaining weight?

You simply have to know which breads are best for weight loss. After all, not all breads are created equal. Research shows that refined, white-flour breads are associated with weight gain and belly fat—but whole grain breads can actually help with weight loss.

I’ll recommend specific breads for you to try, but before I do, here are some general guidelines that can be helpful for you, since different stores carry different brands.

How to Tell if a Bread is Good for Weight Loss

So, white bread is bad, and wheat bread is good, right? Well, not exactly, because wheat bread is just a misleading name for white bread. Instead of looking for something simply labeled “wheat,” you want to go for bread that is whole wheat or whole grain. White breads often try to masquerade as whole wheat or whole grain breads, so it’s easy to get fooled by brown tinted bags, pictures of waving wheat, or healthy-sounding words, like “natural” or “multigrain.”

Slick marketing tactics can make you think you’re buying something healthier than it really is. To make sure you don’t get tricked, here are some foolproof guidelines that will make you a savvy shopper for weight-loss-friendly breads:

  • The bread should say “100% whole grain” or “100% whole wheat” (or both) on the front of the package.
  • One slice should have at least 3 grams of fiber.
  • One slice should have no more than 3 grams of sugar.
  • There should be no hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners in the ingredient list.

The 3 Best Breads for Losing Weight

1. Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted 100% Whole Grain Bread

Sprouted whole grain bread is better for weight loss

This brand is the best of the best because:

  • All the ingredients are organic.
  • The bread is sugar free.
  • All the grains are sprouted whole grains, which increases the nutritional content and helps keep blood sugars lower.
  • In addition to the sprouted whole grains, the bread contains two types of sprouted beans, which increases the protein content and also helps keep blood sugars lower.
  • This bread is excellent for pre-diabetics, diabetics, or anyone who wants to keep their blood sugars lower.

Look for this bread in the freezer section of your grocery store and in health food stores.

2. Silver Hills Sprouted Whole Grain Breads:

This sprouted bread is great for weight loss

These breads earned a worthy second place, because:

  • They are non-GMO and vegan.
  • They are made with organic sprouted whole grains.
  • All breads have at least 3 grams of fiber per slice, but most have 4 or 5 grams
  • All breads have only 1 or 2 grams of sugar per slice.

Look for it in the healthy bread section of progressive grocery stores, at health food stores, and Aldi.

3. Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain Bread, 100% Whole Wheat

This is one of the best breads for weight loss

Rounding off the top-three list, this bread has a number of things going for it:

  • There’s no misleading labeling. This bread is exactly what it says it is: 100 percent whole wheat flour.
  • Free of high fructose corn syrup, it stays within the guidelines of 3 grams of sugar (or less) per slice.
  • Each slice of bread has 3 grams of fiber—enough to rank as a gold-star weight-loss bread.

Other “Honorable Mention” Breads That Are Worth Trying

If you’re not able to find the breads listed above at your local grocery store, here are some honorable mentions you might want to try. Though much better than white breads, these brands have less fiber than the top three in the previous list, making them slightly less effective for weight loss.

1. Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat, 100% Whole Grain Bread - Sugar Free

This sugar free whole wheat bread is a good choice.

2. Nature’s Own 100% Whole Wheat Bread

This bread is a good choice

3. Oroweat 100% Whole Grain Bread

This bread is a good choice

4. Sara Lee 100% Whole Wheat Bread

This bread is a good choice

5. Sara Lee Soft & Smooth 100% Whole Wheat Bread

This bread is a good choice

How Much Bread Can I Eat and Still Lose Weight?

Remember, no matter what kind of bread you eat, you still don’t want to fill your plate with it. All bread, even whole grain bread, is a processed food, not a natural fiber food, like fruits, veggies or beans. That means bread should be limited to 25 percent of your plate.

We recommend having no more than one slice a day.

Since sandwiches generally require two slices of bread, we encourage you to give open-faced sandwiches a try.

Check out these open-faced sandwich ideas:

Avocado Sandwich

Chickpea Salad

Open Faced Sandwich Ideas

Bread is Back on the Menu

You can enjoy bread and still lose weight, as long as you follow the simple guidelines above. I know it works, because I follow these guidelines myself. Most days of the week, I enjoy a slice of whole grain bread, while the rest of my plate is piled with scrumptious, satisfying, natural fiber foods.

No doubt, many other breads out there meet our best-breads criteria, but I couldn’t find them at our local grocery stores here in Ardmore, Oklahoma. So if you discover a winning bread in your neck of the woods, please share it with me. I know our readers will appreciate it as well.



By

Diana Fleming

Diana Fleming, PhD, LDN, is a co-author of The Full Plate Diet and Nutritionist for Full Plate Living. She received her doctoral degree from Tufts University and has since dedicated her time to translating complicated nutritional data into easy and fun concepts anyone can apply at their next meal. In her spare time, she has painstakingly perfected the ultimate healthy AND delicious chocolate chip cookie.

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