Although whole-grain bread can be included in an effective weight-loss diet, cutting bread from your diet may help you shed pounds. Your body does require carbs daily, even during weight loss, but you don’t have to get those carbs from bread. In fact, highly processed white bread may actually hinder weight loss.
Calorie and Carb Needs
Calorie requirements for effective weight loss vary by gender and activity level. Regardless of whether you cut bread from your diet, you must burn more calories than you eat to shed pounds. Women can safely try 1,200 calories daily and men can consume 1,500 calories a day without the need for medical supervision, notes Harvard Health Publications. If you’re losing more than 2 pounds per week or feeling hungry, however, try slightly increasing your intake and aim for a 1- to 2-pound weekly loss, suggests the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
Bread is a carbohydrate that is part of the grains food group. It can be replaced with a variety of other healthy whole-grain foods when you are trying to lose weight. Examples include brown rice, quinoa, whole-grain couscous, oatmeal and whole-grain, ready-to-eat breakfast cereals. Other healthy carb-containing foods include fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, low-fat milk and low-fat yogurt. Controlling your total carb intake and cutting carbs from refined grains and added sugars is often an effective weight-loss strategy. But the Institute of Medicine suggests adults need at least 130 grams of carbs per day.
1,200-Calorie No-Bread Menu
For breakfast, try 1 cup of cooked oatmeal prepared using 1/2 cup of skim milk, along with two egg whites and 1 cup of blueberries. A midmorning snack might include 1 ounce of reduced-fat cheese and 1/2 cup of honeydew melon. For lunch, try 2 ounces of grilled chicken breast, 1 cup of steamed asparagus, 1/2 cup of whole-grain couscous and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. A healthy afternoon snack might include a cup of plain nonfat Greek yogurt and 3/4 ounce of almonds. For dinner, try 2 ounces of catfish, 1 cup of steamed broccoli, 1/2 cup of brown rice and 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
1,500-Calorie No-Bread Menu
A healthy breakfast might include 1 cup of ready-to-eat whole-grain breakfast cereal, 1 cup of skim milk, two egg whites cooked in 1 teaspoon of canola oil and 1 cup of cantaloupe. For a morning snack, try 1 cup of plain nonfat Greek yogurt with 1 ounce of peanuts. A nutritious lunch might consist of a veggie burger, 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa and 1 cup of cooked carrots. For an afternoon snack, try 1 ounce of reduced-fat cheese and 1 cup of sliced apples. A healthy dinner could include 3 ounces of grilled chicken breast, 1 cup of whole-grain pasta, 1 cup of peas and 1 teaspoon of olive oil.