The True Advantages of Eating Bread on my Eat Bread 90 diet.

Week 13: The True Advantages of Eating Bread

90 days later, and round two of my bread diet experiment is over. I’ve documented the many advantages of eating bread and now I have the end result: 8 pounds lost on a bread diet.

Although I’d like to attribute my weight loss to bread alone, these are the contributing factors as well:

  • Reduced calorie intake
  • Reduced exercise, but still daily
  • Reduced variety in food choices

When I started this project, I wasn’t worried about my high-carb diet. But I knew to lose weight would take some extra planning. Here are a few of my biggest takeaways from 90 days of bread.

What are the advantages of eating bread?

Eating bread means:

  • Getting essential nutrients from whole grains, such as fiber, iron, magnesium, and folic acid
  • Giving your body needed energy in the form of carbohydrates
  • Eating a nutrient-dense food that satisfies cravings and is easy to incorporate in your diet.

Say what you will about diets that cut out carbs, like paleo or keto. The truth is, we need carbohydrates in our diets. And research is showing that U.S. adults are deficient in a number of important nutrients that are best made up via eating bread products.

Plus, it’s a relatively cheap, accessible food that carries real substance.

Is eating bread every day bad for you?

No, unless you have celiac disease. Eating bread every day not only gives you the benefits of whole grains, but provides the carbohydrates active people need to function.

  • Bread is healthy for you and has a place in any diet.
  • You won’t gain extra weight if you’re watching your overall calorie input/output.
  • You won’t develop a gluten intolerance.
  • You won’t feel bloated or sluggish.

Is bread the reason I lost weight?

It’s a big part of it. It helped fight cravings for one thing. Bread also helped limit the variety of my diet. Studies are revealing that too much variety in our diet can lead to weight gain.

To lose weight I also had to carefully watch my calorie intake, and exercised regularly. However, as I found out with exercise, less is more. By doing some physical activity for just 30 minutes a day, I found I burned the needed calories, but still had energy for staying active the rest of the day and didn’t feel the need to load up on food afterwards.

Can I make a bread diet work for me?

Absolutely! If this experiment has proved anything, it’s that you don’t need to cut carbs from your diet, especially to lose weight. Stay away from complicated fad diets that don’t work and give your body the food it needs.

The key is to do what works for you and your schedule. Eat healthy foods. Watch your calorie intake. Exercise. And enjoy bread!

If you’re looking for some delicious, healthy loaves to try, check out my bread gallery.

The final weigh in:

My weight at the start of the 90 days.

The first weigh-in: 147.4

 

Week 13 final weigh in for Eat Bread 90: 139.4 lbs. Brought to you be the advantages of eating bread.

Week 13 final weigh in: 139.4 lbs. Brought to you by the advantages of eating bread.

Is bread really the main reason behind my weight loss?

Week 12: You Might Not Like What I’m About to Say About Weight Loss

eIs bread really the main reason for my weight  loss? No. I truly believe that by incorporating bread into my diet, it replaces a lot of the calories from the other foods I usually consume, leaving me with little room for anything else. Therefore, I’m restricting my variety of food intake drastically.

In this study, the potential downsides of diet diversity results in having too many choices and leads to higher consumption of food—and consequently, more calories.

In another review, The American Heart Association reported that overweight people who were offered a variety of foods for their snacks ate 25% more snack servings per week than people who were told they could eat any amount of one favorite snack. The same goes for meals—having more variety of dishes on the table can lead to overconsumption.

So, I believe my ability to lose weight on this diet is mainly because I cut off my variety of food from other sources—especially sources that are high in fat and sugar, which are unhealthy. I focused on only eating whole grain bread as my main source of calories, and with that, came the benefits of a diet that was high in nutrition.

But isn’t this an experiment to show that bread helps with weight loss?

My use of the Eat Bread 90 experiment this time around was to show that you can use bread as part of a weight loss diet plan that works with exercise. I have a problem with all the low-carb and keto diets these days because I know that our body need carbs to function. I believe I have personally been effective in losing weight by not following those diet trends, and by sticking to the a restrictive diet plan focused around bread consumption. This affirms again that bread alone doesn’t make you gain weight.

Can I try this?

Yes. I want you to try out this bread diet. Grab that bag of sliced whole grain bread and follow the diet plan laid out in the first few weeks of my blog. You will see that your appetite and cravings will decrease, and so will your caloric consumption. Don’t forget to visit my bread gallery to look at the different varieties of bread!

Lastly, remember, if you can eat it, you can run it off (or exercise). A diet plan without exercise is a half baked idea!

My weight at the start of the 90 days.

The first weigh-in: 147.4

 

Week 12 weigh in for Eat Bread 90: 140 lbs.

Week 12 weigh in: 140 lbs.

Exercise less, lose more weight.

Week 11: Exercise Less, Lose More Weight

I previously thought that high-intensity exercises over a longe period of time helped me lose weight. But training for triathlons was actually not helping with my weight loss. So I decided, I’m going to cut down on my exercise.

Man, this exercise for 30 minutes everyday thing is really working! Why didn’t I learn of this study before? Well folks, thirty minutes of exercise a day may be the magic number to lose weight!

Researchers in this study found moderately overweight men who exercised hard enough to sweat for 30 minutes a day lost an average of 8 pounds over three months compared to an average weight loss of 6 pounds among men who worked out for 60 minutes a day.

What? Why? Could it be because we are not stuffing our faces after 30 minutes?

The overall loss in body mass was the same for both groups, almost 9 pounds. Researchers were even surprised by this! Part of the explanation may be that people found 30 minutes of exercise so easy that they had the desire and energy for additional physical activity, said Mads Rosenkilde, the PhD student researcher. But what I really suspect is that they weren’t as tired and exhausted to be eating everything in sight (like I do when I’m done with an hour workout).

Why 30 minutes?

Researchers followed 60 moderately overweight men who wanted to lose weight. The men were randomly placed into either a moderate or high dose exercise group. The high dose group was instructed to exercise hard enough to produce a sweat, like from running or cycling, for 60 minutes a day. The moderate dose group only had to sweat for 30 minutes a day.

After 13 weeks, the study showed 30 minutes of exercise a day produced similar or even better results than 60 minutes a day!

The men who exercised 30 minutes a day lost an average of 2 pounds more of body weight. Researchers say those who exercised 30 minutes a day actually burned more calories than they should have according to their exercise program. In contrast, the men who exercised 60 minutes a day lost less body weight relative to the energy they burned during their workouts.  Get this, the extra 30 minutes of exercise did not appear to provide any additional weight loss in body weight or fat!

So you’re telling me to exercise less?

Yes, if the goal is to lose weight! This research suggested that 30 minutes of exercise a day may provide additional weight loss benefits. For example, people may still have extra energy leftover after shorter workouts to be more physically active throughout the day. In addition, the study indicated that men who exercised for 60 minutes a day probably ate more to compensate for the longer workout session and therefore lost less weight.

See, I knew that was my problem!

My weight at the start of the 90 days.

The first weigh-in: 147.4

 

Week 11 weigh in for Eat Bread 90: 141 lbs.

Week 11 weigh in: 141 lbs.

Diet variety can cause weight gain.

Week 10: Bread Only. Skip Diet Variety to Lose Weight

Variety, variety everywhere, but I’m just sticking with bread.

Why? Because diet variety causes weight gain. Here’s why:

A study looked to see if there was a link between the obesity problem in our Western culture and access to highly-palatable and varied food. Past research with animals has shown the link between eating more food if it tastes good (and that makes perfect sense) which leads to a pattern of obesity—as the more used to good tasting food you eat, the more you feel you need to eat to become satisfied.

However, diet variety may also be linked to eating behavior and weight. Studies have shown short-term that the more variety in a diet, the greater probability of intaking more food and higher energy intake. On the other hand, eating the same foods over a period of time reduces palatability ratings and the amount of food eaten.

A different study looked at strategies to improve weight loss and maintaining that loss. They found that limiting diet variety can help reduce intake and when done long term, along with other healthy-eating practices and exercise, can help with weight loss.

Does this mean only eating one type of food for the rest of your life is the secret to losing weight?

Probably not. The bottom line is, it seems the more choices you have when it comes to diet, the easier it is to eat more. However, keeping a simple routine can help curve cravings.

How is exercise going?

Good, now that I am keeping to a schedule of running on the treadmill at least 25 mins everyday. This limited amount of exercise provides me a stress release and also kick starts my metabolism everyday without going excessively hungry. It’s done amazing things to my little muffin top, too! Which is taking the fat there and converting it to muscle mass somewhere else. I love this exercise regime, I wished I learned of it sooner.

My weight at the start of the 90 days.

The first weigh-in: 147.4

 

Week 10 weigh in: 142 lbs.

Week 10 weigh in: 142 lbs.

Different Diet, Same Idea: Calorie Deficiency.

Week 9: Different Diet, Same Idea: Calorie Deficiency

Did you know that approximately 127 million adults in the U.S. are overweight, 60 million are obese, and 9 million are severely obese? These numbers are astounding as obesity has become the second leading cause of preventable death behind smoking. It’s not about looking good or attractive, it’s about the diseases that arise as a result of obesity like type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, and certain cancers. Remember, these are preventable, as long as you exercise and maintain a healthy BMI.

What is BMI?

BMI stands for body mass index. It measures your body fat compared to your weight and hight. Your total body mass is divided by the square of your body hight, which results in your BMI. You can calculate it with online tools like this one. Based on the ratio, BMI gives you a good idea if you are in a healthy range or not for your weight based on body build.

Can I control my BMI with calorie deficiency?

Calorie deficiency is by far the most effective and easily implemented method of targeting a lower BMI. Do I believe that other diets work besides a high-carb diet? I do, but these are harsher and most of them work on the same principles: calorie deficiency and limitation of variety.

Some of these diets have been around for ages:

  • Atkin’s Diet
  • North Beach Diet
  • South Beach Diet
  • Protein Power diet
  • Zone Diet
  • Fat Flush Diet
  • Schwarzbein Principle
  • Neanderthin Diet
  • Pritikin Diet
  • Ornish Diet
  • Keto Diet

Although each of these diets have their own nuances, most focus around the idea of a high-protein and low-carb diet. They also mostly include portion control and calorie deficiency.

So if they all cut out carbs, how can a high-carb diet be healthy?

Because it all comes down to the amount you put in, and the amount you eliminate through exercise.

These diets are built around the idea that carbs will add too many calories. True, there are bad carbs that come from simple sugars and starches which quickly turn into glucose. However, this doesn’t mean all carbs are bad, or that bread isn’t healthy. Whole grains provide needed nutrients. And bread can be be high in protein and fiber, which helps replace digestible carbs and fats.

 

Plus, a high-carb diet doesn’t have as many negative effects.

Still not sure about a high-carb diet? Just take a look at these two photos:

My weight at the start of the 90 days.

The first weigh-in: 147.4

 

Week 9 weigh in for Eat Bread 90: 142.4 lbs.

Week 9 weigh in: 142.4 lbs.

The perfect diet: is it bread?

Week 8: The Perfect Diet: Is it Bread?

Here I am at week 8, and slowly but surely losing weight using a high-carb diet. Why is this the easiest thing in the world? Well, because I don’t need to think too much about it. The nicest thing about sliced bread, especially the whole grain bread, is it’s very portable and tasty.

Alright, stop looking at me strange. It’s true. Try it for yourself. Reach out for a Dave’s Killer Bread, Eureka or a Franz organic loaf, and you will soon agree with me that these breads are so good, you can eat it without anything.

As I run from meetings to meetings at BAKERpedia, there is nothing better than food just waiting for me. I don’t need to think. It’s a grab-and-go situation. For this particular aspect, it’s not junk food that I am grabbing. It’s a wholesome, nutritious product filled with vitamins and minerals because I mainly consume whole grain bread.

The bran (outer layer) contains the largest amount of fiber, the endosperm (middle layer) contains mostly protein and carbohydrates along with small amounts of B vitamins, and the germ (inner part) is a rich source of trace minerals, unsaturated fats, B vitamins, antioxidants and phytonutrients

Thinking of cutting bread from your diet?

No way, I tell everyone. Here’s why:

  • It lowers your “bad” cholesterol, which lowers your chance of hear disease.
  • It’s high in dietary fiber, which is not only is good for you and your gut health, but also helps you feel full longer!
  • It’s full of essential minerals, such as  calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride and sulfur. Like I talked about last week, it is a way to get needed nutrient density like thiamin, calcium folate and magnesium.
  • It gives you energy!
  • It’s quick, easy, and delicious!

There are few foods that can give you the nutrition you need, and also cut back on cravings for more food. And you can get bread anywhere, and take it on the go! Now that sounds like the perfect diet to me!

 

My weight at the start of the 90 days.

The first weigh-in: 147.4

 

Week 8 weigh in for Eat Bread 90: 143 lbs.

Week 8 weigh in: 143 lbs.

Stay young and eat bread!

Week 7: Wanna Stay Young? Eat Bread!

All this nonsense talk about how grains are inflammatory is cow dung. Think you need to cut bread from your diet? Think again. A new study reveals that grain foods—such as bread— are key for providing essential nutrients for missing from adult diets.

Across the board, American adults struggle with eating ideal levels of nutrients such as fiber, folate, and iron for women. This shortfall becomes even greater with older generations. So, researchers looked into what food groups could help fill in these deficits, adding energy and nutrition.

Grains was one of the most versatile and impactful foods. Among the 15 main food groups, they ranked:

  • 1st for thiamin (33%) and niacin (23%)
  • 2nd for daily dietary fiber (23%), iron (38%), folate (40%), and magnesium (15%)
  • 3rd for daily calcium intake (13%)
  • 4th for energy contributor (278 kcal/day or 14% of all energy in the total diet)

But to eat bread isn’t the same as eating just grains.

That’s right, but breads with whole grains are a great vehicle for those benefits. The study compared 46 food categories. Here’s how bread, rolls and tortillas stacked up:

  • 1st for daily thiamin (16%) and niacin (10%) intake
  • 2nd for dietary fiber (12%), iron (12%), folate (13%), and magnesium (7%)
  • 2nd largest contributor of energy (50 kcal/day or 8% of all energy in the total diet)

The study concluded that grain foods and bread products provide the greatest percentage of the most under consumed nutrients than added calories—or the most “nutrient density” for a diet.

 

Not only that, but the report concludes REMOVING grains will lead to “unintended nutrient intake consequences”—creating a larger nutritional deficit.

 

Grains are packed full of key nutrients that our bodies need to function and be healthy. And as this study shows, bread is one of the most efficient and practical ways to give our bodies what they need. So think about that before you decide to go carb-free!

My weight at the start of the 90 days.

The first weigh-in: 147.4

 

Week 7 weigh in for Eat Bread 90: 143.4.

Week 7 weigh in: 143.4 lbs.

Bread diets kill cravings

Week 6: Bread Diets Kill Cravings

Bread diets are so great, because it takes away cravings. So, my day goes like this:

  • Morning – eat bread
  • Afternoon – eat more bread
  • Evening – eat bread with family

Don’t you crave for other things on a bread diet?

That’s the monotony of this journey. When your diet is so predictable and restrictive, you put very little thought into your meal plan. Someone asked me, “Don’t you have any cravings during the day?” I really don’t. I believe I don’t have any cravings because bread fills me up very efficiently. As you may have noticed, all the breads that I have eaten are mostly whole grain or whole wheat. When I eat a couple of slices of bread, I can feel full for a couple of hours. Not only that, but because bread is so high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, it satiates me and prevents me from feeling any cravings.

With most diets that I have tried, especially with low-carb and low-calorie diets, I would be craving the entire candy store by the end of the day.  I find it pleasantly surprising that I don’t yearn for that sweet treat at the end of the day. I could pass by my favorite bakery and not buy a cream puff! Overall, a bread diet, even with sugar in the bread, has reduced my total sugar intake in my diet. I wasn’t expecting that!

 

Eat bread, fill full, no cravings. Wow. What a deal!

 

Food Portion Calories
Sprouted bread* 4 slices 440
Fried egg sandwich 2 slices 400
Butter 2 Tbsp 200
Coconut water 8.5 oz 45
Strawberries 1 80
Soup 1C 200
Sauteed spinach 1C 56
Excercise -100
Total Calories 1321

* This week, I am finishing up the bread that BBU Brasil sent me.

 

My weight at the start of the 90 days.

The first weigh-in: 147.4

 

Week 6 weigh in: 143.6 lbs.

Week 6 weigh in: 143.6 lbs.

Diet and exercise don’t mix.

Week 5: Diet and Exercise Don’t Mix…Or Do They?

In order to move on from this plateau, I need to add more activity to the picture. After all, I sit in front of the computer all day! So I started with 30 mins everyday before I woke up the kids. This is hard. I mean, I’m sacrificing sleep for 30 mins of exercise.

I started with 30 mins that become 20 mins then 11 mins. It’s hard to just run for 11 mins. It’s almost like not running at all because I don’t crack a sweat.  I wanted to do the most minimal exercise to see if I can jolt my metabolism without going overboard and making myself hungry.

Making diet and exercise work

I think it is working. My body feels so much better. I am not famished after the exercise. My body doesn’t feel lethargic during the day either. So, I am quite confident that I have found a good balance between exercise and dieting.  Hmmm, maybe they do go together hand in hand. It is possible to lose weight on a high carb diet and exercise!

Honestly, I’ve done nothing new here. Nutritional research has shown for decades that anyone can lose weight as long as there is a caloric deficit. I am really digging this diet because there are literally no cravings. The high amount of complex carbohydrates found in bread keeps me satiated all day and has really deprived me of any cravings to do with candy, chips or chocolate. This is one of the amazing things I have found with this diet.

A great sprouted grain bread

This week, BBU Brazil sent me a line of Nutrella sprouted bread. It was slightly sweet and high in fiber. Their clean label sprouted bread lines include whole wheat bread, whole wheat and fruit bread and whole multigrain bread. Thank you BBU Brazil! You made my week five diet wonderful:

Food Portion Calories
Sprouted bread

4 slices

440

Turkey sandwich

2 slices

350

Butter

2 Tbsp

200

Orange juice With Calcium and Vitamin D

8 oz

110

Strawberries

1

80

Soup

1C

200

Steamed broccoli

1C

50

Exercise

-100

Total calories

1330

 

My weight at the start of the 90 days.

The first weigh-in: 147.4

 

Week 5 weigh in: 144.0 lbs.

Week 5 weigh in: 144.0 lbs.

Have I have officially plateaued on my bread diet? Exercise would help!

Week 4: Have I Officially Plateaued on My Bread Diet?

Every dieter’s nightmare is to look at the scale, and after all the hard work that you’ve put in, you don’t move the needle at all (or least reduced the numbers digitally).  It only means one thing. I’ve finally met the caloric needs of my lighter self. The equation needs to be changed. Either I increase my caloric needs (through exercise), decrease my caloric intake further, or both.

I have to admit, I haven’t been exercising much during my diet

Every time I run a 5K, my body wants more calories and I end up eating more than I exercise. That is why most people like me don’t lose weight while performing high impact extended exercises. The output just doesn’t exceed the input.

The weekends are really bad too. When I bake and cook for my family of five, I tend to dig into their share as well.  So, as a mom, I really have to control what goes into my mouth. It definitely can not include macaroni and cheese or the frequent Tater Tot (my kid’s favorite).  Therefore, to all the moms out there who bake and cook: I feel you.

Grilled cheese on multigrain bread (not exactly a diet food).

Grilled cheese on multigrain bread (not exactly a diet food).

So, this week, I dug further into exercise research

To my surprise, a study showed that the most effective weight loss can be achieved by performing no more than 30 mins of cardiovascular exercise. Seriously? All this time I thought I had to burn more to lose more and that is just not true!

Armed with this knowledge, I’m going to approach my bread diet with a healthy dose of exercise. Here’s what my an average day in four week looked like:

Food Portion Calories
Multi grain bread

4 slices

440

Grilled cheddar cheese on multigrain

2 slices

350

Butter

 2 Tbsp

200

Orange juice With Calcium and Vitamin D

8 oz

110

Oranges

1

65

Grilled chicken sandwich

2 slices

300

Sautéed spinach

1C

45

Total calories

1,510

 

My weight at the start of the 90 days.

The first weigh-in: 147.4

 

Week 4: DIdn’t lose weight.

Week 4 weigh in: 144.4 lbs, same as last week.