The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking and dieting

Felila's picture

Baking and dieting

I struggled to lose 30 pounds at Weight Watchers, a few years back, and was keeping the weight off until early 2008, at which point my financial situation became utterly dire. I ended up living mostly on brown rice, beans, oatmeal, and ... homemade bread. The bread was my one treat. I gained back 15 pounds over the last year and a half, and I'm sure that some of that was my bread-just-out-of-the-oven binges. 

I'm trying to take the weight off again and I've stopped baking. But I miss fresh bread.

I live alone, so if I make a regular loaf, I have to eat it up fairly quickly, before it stales or starts to mold (which it does, fast, here in the tropics). I've recently come up with a strategy that I think might work: make all my bread as ROLLS, of which I'm allowed one or two a day, and freeze the rest. Thawed bread isn't as great as fresh, but it's better than nothing.

Does anyone have any other suggestions for reconciling a love of baking with the need to count calories?



xaipete's picture

Use mini loaf pans. You can freeze and thaw them with ease.


leahweinberg's picture

you can give some away.... ppl are always so happy to recieve freshly baked bread. That is, if you didnt finish it first,  like i usually do :)

fancypantalons's picture

Uh, slice the bread before you freeze it? :)  Then you can just pry off slices as you need 'em.

Felila's picture

Hmm. My neighbors sometimes get cookies. The only way I can bake cookies and keep my consumption under control is to give away all but a few. But somehow it doesn't seem NICE to give someone part of a loaf. It would be like bringing over a plate of leftovers.

Yippee's picture

How about dividing the dough to make rolls and buns? Then it will look better when giving them away.

Do you mostly bake with white flours?  I prefer whole wheat since it makes me feel full longer. Eating bread actually allows me to have a better control over my food consumption when compared with eating rice, which usually accompanies with many dishes.

I constantly watch my weight and counting calories combining with exercise works effectively for me.  I have a formula which takes into account of a person's age, height and BMR to come up with the daily calories he/she needs.  I'm happy to share it with you if you don't already have your own established method.


PaddyL's picture
PaddyL better than none.

flournwater's picture

If you elect to freeze your bread after it cools to room temperature, be sure and warp it in a heavy freezer plastic, not the sandwich baggie stuff.  Plastic wrap can allow air to pass through its pores (yep, that's right, plastic wrap can be porous) which means the moisture in the bread will want to migrate into the colder air and will freeze (freezer burn) on the crust.  That makes for some pretty terrible eating.

You can use it as your primary starch in your meals (1 cup of flour = approx. 400 calories) to make strata, french toast, etc. to help use it up while not allowing the calories to get out of hand.

I just spent a year losing 30 pounds and, although I make a lot of bread, haven't put any back on.  I don't use commercial diet plans, just calorie counting, exercise  and strict discipline.  Best of luck in your renewed weight loss venture.

Felila's picture

If I make rolls, I don't need to give it away; I can just freeze it. I can't keep away from frozen cookies, but frozen bread is not an overwhelming temptation.

The tip re freezer wrap is useful. I have been using thin plastic bags.

I usually bake with something like KA 60% white whole wheat and 40% white bread flour. Often add rolled oats.

As for keeping track -- I use the Weightwatcher point system to record diet and exercise, and I monitor my weight with a program called Eat Watch, on my old PalmOS PDA. It averages out the daily weight fluctuations to give you a weight trend line. If the trend line slopes down, you're losing weight. I much prefer this to weighing myself daily AND freaking over the usual 1-2 pound fluctuations. (If this interests you, you can get the program free off the net; just google for it.)

Note: "I use" and "I monitor" are statements of ideals, not necessarily perfect compliance. When I have a big editing job to do, I tend to put off taking care of myself. My bad.



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and then bake smaller loaves.  Under 500g loaves.  More like a big bun.  Cut part into slices and freeze.   I have a few rye slices left from a week old loaf, a bit dry so... I just threw them into a blender with potato water for a soaker instead of eating.  (soak first then blend) 

What helps me loose weight is to write down everything I eat and drink (everything) and tally it up as I go until I get a grip on my weight again.


Janknitz's picture

This method allows you to keep dough in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Simply pull off a small piece and bake a single roll (or 2) at a time--quick and easy.

Try using up to 1/3 whole wheat flour for added nutrition and weight control.

The master recipe is available online if you look around.

davidinportland's picture

I've been a long time baker/cook and also someone who fights to keep weight off. Recently, I became very interested in whole grain baking and as a result, have lost 15 pounds doing nothing but eating a lot more whole grains. Still have wine with dinner, mop up the sauces I make to go with my food, etc. Just now bake only things that are partially whole grain (still use many favorite recipes, but go 50% whole grain and 50% AP/bread flour). Get the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking book. Has an incredible range of recipes from breakfast foods to pizza to breads to traditional desserts.

My weight is staying off and still coming off.