Despite the lack of scientific evidence, bread is one of the most restricted foods in popular diets. Keto, Paleo, Low-carb… According to these diets, bread is fast-acting poison and it has to go, goddammit!
But does it really has to go? Does it compromise fat loss?
Is cutting bread or ANY other carbohydrate-based food legit way to lose weight? Or is it just another gimmick that someone pulled out of their posterior?
That’s exactly what Loria-Kohen et al. looked at in the famous 2011 study1. They compared two diets to promote weight loss—with or without bread:
Researchers put 61 overweight subjects into the BREAD group and 61 into the NO BREAD group. Poor Bread people. They’re about to become artery-clogged, even more overweight hippopotamuses:
Both groups also received a low-calorie diet because, as I teach in The 8 Week Nutrition Education Program, you can only lose weight if you’re consuming fewer calories than you burn:
Subjects also exercised at least 3 times per week for 30 minutes. All this charade that I’m sure will end up in the Bread group becoming obese took 16 weeks.
“So what da hell did they find, Egis?”
I’m glad you asked. Here’s what the researchers found:
What a surprise? No difference in weight loss between groups. The Bread group lost 9.5 lb (4.3 kg) while the No Bread group lost 8.8 lb (4.0 kg).
This shouldn’t come as a mind-boggling surprise because the total calorie intake was similar between groups. Calories determine weight loss. It’s not how much bread you wolf down your face hole.
Eating bread (or anything else) as long as you are in a calorie deficit doesn’t affect both weight and fat loss. So, the next time someone says you can’t eat bread when losing weight, dragon punch them in the motherfucking crotch.
But wait, there’s more. There was another, more interesting finding in this study—the compliance and adherence to both diets differed. The No Bread group had more dropouts – 21.3% vs. 6.6%.
Exclusion of bread was found to be a significant factor why more than 20% of subjects said EFFF it and went go back home. To gobble down some bread, I guess. Because you crave what you’re not allowed to eat.
The researchers finished with:
And that’s the message I want you to take from this article:
Sustainability and dietary adherence are by far the most important factors when losing weight. You can have the best goddamn program on the planet Earth, but if you can’t stick to it, it’s worthless.
Many people fail at diets because they can’t adhere to them long-term. If you can’t sustain and adhere to the methods you used to drop weight, then the question is not “if” but “how quickly” you will regain that weight back.
Cutting out bread is one example. So you cut out bread. Are you telling me that you’re never ever going to eat it again? Because, you know, you can’t go back to old habits and keep the new you.
Most people, when starting a diet, don’t think about what they’re going to do after the diet itself ends. They opt for silly extremes like no bread or even worse—no carbohydrates.
They forget they will have to change their eating behaviors for LIFE if they wish to keep the weight off.
Still afraid of bread compromising your fat loss? Then, consider the older Amish culture. Yep, those people wearing dark-colored trousers for whatever reason.
When modern labor-saving technology has not been fully ingrained into their culture, the diet of the Amish was loaded with carbohydrates. Potatoes, bread, and even pies. Yet, the obesity rate was only 4% compared to 42% in the United States overall.
Any idea why?
Because Amish people burned those freakn’ calories off. Amish men walked an average of 18,425 steps per day and women 14,196 steps2 compared to pathetic 5,117 steps of the average American3. We’re talking about the difference of 400-600 calories per day here!
So my advice is to eat foods you want, including bread, and don’t let others judge your food choices.
As long as your diet is based on 80-90% whole foods and you’re in a calorie deficit, there’s no food or food group that will prevent fat loss.
Oh-oh! Almost forgot—eat whole grain bread most of the time as white bread is made of white flour which has most of the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals removed during processing.
While there’s nothing wrong with white bread itself, you’re simply missing out on the nutrients and higher satiety factor that whole grains provide.
I always use this study as an example to my clients. It challenges the never-ending wave of anti-grain, carbophobic propaganda by various quacktacular diet gurus.
You can eat bread, even the white one.
You can even indulge in junk food sometimes without compromising fat loss as long as you’re aware of how much you eat. It’s a treat, and we all deserve an occasional treat. I want you to realize the need to live by the word “occasional.”
If dieting and living a life of deprivation does not sound like life to you, hire me to coach you?