The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dieting and bread consumption

Felila's picture

Dieting and bread consumption

I *hope* I've finally found an effective way to diet. I am doing intermittent fasting. I refrain from eating 16 hours a day (8 PM to noon) and let myself eat the other 8. Probably just a personal quirk, but it's a lot easier to NOT EAT, period, than it is to think about what to eat, how much, can I eat something now, etc. I can stick to a 1300 calorie diet for the 8 hours that food is allowed. 

My bread consumption has plunged. I don't finish eating a loaf before it starts to mold. I trim and cut up the loaf and freeze the cubes, but I can only eat so much bread pudding and strata (especially on a diet). 

I need to revise my bread baking routine so that I make four small loaves rather than two large batardes. Or perhaps even go to rolls. Freeze what I can't eat immediately.

There is going to be a period of adjustment while I figure out oven temps and times. I am a creature of habit and I don't look forward to the change ... but I may end up someplace new that I like even better. 



plevee's picture

Have you tried this diet? You restrict food intake to 500 calories for women, 600 for men, on 2 non-consecutive days each week and the other 5 eat as normal with no restrictions. That way you can continue to bake and eat your bread. :>}  Patsy

Felila's picture

I have tried two other versions of intermittent fasting: total fast 24 hours once a week, 24 hours twice a week. In both cases, I *gained* weight. Partially due to eating too much after fasting (hard to stop), partially due to constipation and water retention. Also, I was spending the last 4 hours of the fast lying in bed, dizzy and nauseated. Did not work with my metabolism. Doing a shorter fast every day produced weight gain at first (on 1300 calories!), but my body has since adjusted. I am finding this regime much more tolerable. That's just me. Not all metabolisms are the same. 


lazybaker's picture

I'm trying out trainer Bob Harper's tip where complex carbs are allowed in the morning. For the rest of the day, I stick with vegetables, protein, and fruits.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

up the proteins and fats and limit fruits to 3 per week.  (no fruit juices)  Think meat and salads.  And be generous with your olive and coconut oils.  Frying your meat in butter also tastes better.

Eat fat & proteins in the first 30 minutes of getting up in the morning to step on cravings later on.  Try bacon and eggs, forget the bread.   Use the drippings in salads and to season other meats and vegetables.  Fat is not the enemy here, sugar is.  Investigate your food.  Knock the sugar(carbohydrates) out of the intake equation, fat doesn't get stored, passes through and helps your digestive and nervous system.  


tgrayson's picture

Stop eating so much. Go jogging every day. Build some muscle. Problem solved.

It's really pretty simple. People that obsess over dieting tricks tend to be very overweight and stay that way.

Felila's picture

Whenever one discusses diet, it devolves into fat-shaming and advice to follow [POSTER's] diet. 

I cannot go @#$%#@$%@ jogging every day because I'm crippled. I can't stand or walk for very long. Just walking around the supermarket, leaning on the cart, HURTS. 

I have already lost 50 pounds by dieting. Lost it slowly, kept it off for years. Don't tell me it's not possible. 

No, I'm not going to do a high-fat, meat-heavy diet. I don't think it's healthy AND I can't #$%@#$% afford it, on food stamps. In Honolulu. My diet tends towards beans and whole grains. Dal over brown rice. Fruits and vegs are amazingly expensive. I buy the cheapest. Wilted cabbage salad!

I posted here because I thought it was interesting that I was going to have to change my baking habits to cope with reduced bread consumption. Not because I wanted to be lectured. 


clazar123's picture

I decided to change my eating habits towards healthy (everything in moderation) just as I was learning how to make some dynamite bread. I had the same dilemma-I love bread and make damn good bread-how can I NOT eat it?? A healthy diet CAN include bread. I just resolved to make sure that if I ate bread, that it was a wonderful piece of bread. I didn't "waste" calories on blah stuff in any category.

I started by finding a pan that made a small but sandwich-making size loaf. However, before too many loaves went by, I discovered I really liked homemade sandwich thins. I could use my regular dough, make a dozen or so and freeze them for sandwiches. Works great. If they get too freezer stale or I want another dough-no worries. The birds loved the old sandwich thins.

I also discovered I wanted to try a new type of bread but didn't need a whole loaf. That is what friends and co-workers are for. Give it away-even if there is a slice cut off. They love it.

Good luck! It can be done!

carefreebaker's picture

Would you share your method? Thank you

carefreebaker's picture

Felila, I switched to baking rolls. Better portion control for us. They are easy for me to freeze and the rolls defrost quickly. 


dabrownman's picture

Part of the reason I lost weight was because I went to using salad plates for lunch and dinner - portion control.  I didn't eat bread because everyone said to avoid it except a lady who helped me with controlling diabetes.  She said it was OK to eat bread just don't eat too much of it, make sure it has a large portion of whole grains and use common sense.   this was after I lost 60 pounds andIi could control my weigth with diet an exercise.  She was right. I eat anythig I want now within reason but now i know what reason is :-)

Sadly, Felila can't exercise which makes it much harder. 

JDYangachi's picture

I live alone and in the past I always had trouble finishing a loaf of bread from the store.  Now that I am baking my own bread, I can bake as little or as much as I want.

I have been baking a lot of micro loaves lately, both because (1) I don't eat a lot of bread at once and I like fresh bread and (2) I have been doing some experimenting with formulas and techniques.  I commonly bake loaves based on 100g of flour yielding 175-200g of dough.  This amount of dough yields an 8-12" demi-baguette or a 5-6" small boule.  These I  generally bake for 20 minutes at 450F.  As for calories, 100g of flour is around 360 calories.  I might add 20g of sugar to a whole wheat loaf, which adds another 80 calories.

My baking is definitely not energy-efficient as I might bake 2-4 times during the week.  I know I should probably just use my toaster oven for such small loaves or even my combo microwave/convection oven but I haven't been doing that.

Anyway, good luck with your diet and happy baking!

clazar123's picture

This is a better explanation than my original post but they look identical to mine. The post also has a recipe but when I make them I use whatever dough I am currently making- french, WW, whatever. Enjoy!

carefreebaker's picture

Thank you for sharing the lInk. i have to buy a scale asap.

Breadandwine's picture

Hi Felila and everyone!

This thread is right up my street since I'm both a breadmaker - in fact I teach breadmaking, so I'm pretty much making bread most days - and I've been practicing Intermittent Fasting (IF) for the past 19 months.

In that time I've lost 22lbs, and gained a set of blood results that my doctor described as the best he's ever seen! (Whether he meant generally, or for a bloke my age - I'm in my mid-seventies - I'm not sure! :) ) Whatever, he's very pleased with me.

I'm now maintaining my weight at around 127-130lbs by practicing 6:1, but when I was losing weight I did 5:2 - that is, eating normally for 5 days, then going down to <600 calories on 2 days a week - generally Mondays and Wednesdays.

This way of life (WOL) enables me to eat bread on my normal days - but I avoid any carbs when I'm fasting. I'm a vegan, so I have an advantage - I eat nothing but veggies. But you can get a heck of a lot of veggies for <600 calories.

I've pretty much always made and frozen bread rolls - when I was losing weight I cut them down to 80g before baking - now I've gone back up to 100g.

I've blogged about my experience with IF here:

I can say with all honesty, I've never been happier with my health. For the first time since my 30s I'm in absolute control of my weight - and I don't see any week in the future that doesn't include me fasting.

About your particular problem, Felila, I do sympathise - but you'll be glad to see the confirmation that there is no evidence that exercise is necessary to lose weight (which you already knew) - in fact, in the beginning, it mitigates against weight loss.

Here's a conversation on the 52fastdiet forum (a forum specifically for people practicing IF - mainly 5:1, and well worth browsing) about how much exercise you'd have to do to lose one pound of body fat:

Also on the forum are people practicing 16:8 as you are doing.

Best regards, B&W

Felila's picture

Thanks so much B&W -- I haven't visited the links yet, but those look as if they would be very useful. I would like to join an IF forum, as I am the only person I know in RL doing this. 

Going to start the Hamelman fig and hazelnut sourdough today; will do rolls and portion it out carefully.