The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Suggestions wanted for diet that includes bread

texasbakerdad's picture

Suggestions wanted for diet that includes bread

I was and am overweight (was 213 lbs, now 198 lbs). I decided to see what all the hype was about the Ketogenic diet. I have been following a Ketogenic diet for about 3 months now and I have steadily lost 15 lbs. Problem is, I very much enjoy and miss baking and eating breads.

Keto diet Pros:

  • I can eat as much as I want, as long as that food has near zero net carbs (carbs minus indigestible ingredients like alcohol sugars and fiber).
  • I am steadily loosing weight.
  • More consistent energy throughout the day, zero post meal energy drops. (I don't think this is directly tied to the ketogenic diet, I also felt this way when I was on a zero sugar diet a few years ago). I think chemically, the energy swings were directly related to my blood sugar levels being on a roller coaster when eating easy to digest energy sources (refined flours, sugars, etc.)
  • My cravings for snack food are easier to manage. I still want them, but for some reason I have more ability to control myself. My wife baked some sourdough english muffins last week, I ate a bite with butter... BEST TASTING THING IN THE WORLD. No doubt my rave review was because I hadn't had sourdough baked goods for a month in a half. 

Keto diet Cons:

  • I can't eat real bread, it simply has too many net carbs.
  • Keto friendly snack foods are hard to come by and so far don't taste that great.
  • I am always hungry, which is odd, since I feel like I am eating a decent amount of food and I can eat as much as I want.

I still want to hit my goal of reaching a weight of 180 lbs. But, I was wondering, for you skinny bread eaters out there, what do you do to stay slim while still baking and eating bread on a regular basis?

pmccool's picture

I can't speak to keto, since I've never tried it.

My peak weight was 205 and my current weight is 165, but I spent a lot of years in the 190-195 range.  For reference, my height is 5'9". 

What I have had success with is making small modifications that yield long-term results. For instance, I try to get in at least a couple of miles of walking, at least 5 days a week.  Yesterday, I got in nearly a mile's worth in the morning while out clearing snow and another mile of snowshoeing in the afternoon.  If the weather is cruddy, I'll spend some time on the treadmill first thing in the morning.  Otherwise, I prefer to walk outdoors. 

As someone smarter than me has noted, you can't outrun your fork.  Which means that, no matter how much we exercise (and we must!), what we eat has an even bigger impact on our weight.  So, choose carefully what goes into your mouth.  You can lose weight if your food includes a slice or two of bread every day, so long as it doesn't push your caloric intake to a level that favors weight gain or weight plateau.  You can probably look at your pre-keto "normal" and identify things that a) were simply too much in quantity, b) calorie-dense with fats and simple carbohydrates, and/or c) eaten for reasons other than nutrition.  Which means that you could a) eat smaller portions of those same foods and lose weight, b) switch to foods that are better for your overall health and lose weight, and/or c) identify what the drivers (emotions? stress?) are for non-nutritional eating so as to modify those behaviors and lose weight.

It is possible to lose weight without having to diet but it will require some sort of replacing old weight-gaining habits with weight-loss and, eventually weight-maintenance, habits.  One example from my experience: I used to drink a glass of milk with nearly every meal (I grew up on a farm, see) but now drink water, instead.  It was a small change, and therefore an easier adjustment to make than going on a diet, but probably worth 5-10 pounds of weight loss over a year's time.  There's a side benefit of consuming less sodium, too, and I make sure to manage my calcium intake via other sources. 

You can lose weight without going on a diet.  And you can lose weight even if you eat bread.  You will have to eat differently, both quantitatively and qualitatively, and you will need to engage in enough physical activity to keep your body fit.  The weight will come off, though usually at a slower pace than with a highly restrictive diet.  However, the weight is more likely to stay off, since the weight loss is occurring as a natural consequence of your new normal approach to food and activity.  You won't see that "after diet" bounce in weight gain, since you aren't on a diet.

Best of health, with whatever path you choose.


texasbakerdad's picture

Thanks Paul. What you wrote rings true to me. In between my "diets" I try to eat healthy in the way you describe, but I have yet to settle on something that results in significant weight loss that is a "non-diet". Maybe it is a will power problem. My wife hates "diets", but me... I think simply eating healthy is a "diet", it is all just semantics to me. But I understand what you and her are saying... temporary and large changes to someone's diet is likely not sustainable. Instead, finding a new normal through small changes and slow paced weight loss is more likely to yield long lasting results.

I guess, my current mindset is... Lose the weight at a fast pace, then when I get down to the proper weight, add healthy carbs back in, but leave out the bad stuff I was eating (crackers, lots of crackers, and the occasional dessert, and too many beers). Unfortunately, I have been there before... it is almost as if, once I get a taste of the crack (bread), I have to have more :-), and the next thing I know, I have gained 30 lbs, my wife left me, and my dog died. :-)

EDIT: I live on a farm. I get a decent amount of exercise due to the daily chores, I could use a bit more cardio. But, in general I am doing well on the exercise front. My main problem is eating healthy.

HeiHei29er's picture

I echo everything Paul mentioned...

As someone who drank too much beer and spent way too much time on the couch in my college and early adulthood, I've struggled with getting my weight back under control and keeping it there.  Like you, I've changed eating habits to completely eliminate things like bread, pasta, sweets, etc. to lose weight, and it's sustainable until I have that first bite.  Crack is the perfect description for it.  Results in a massive weight gain yo-yo and eating binge until I can get the cravings under control, which can take weeks to months.

Currently, I'm working on keeping some of those things in my meals, but focused on the quality of them, and just as important, the timing.  Whole grain versus white flour to minimize blood sugar spikes.  Fat cells never go away, and they're just waiting there to soak up excess calories like a sponge.  So, I watch the timing on when I eat breads.  A slice of toast in the morning before doing chores. A light turkey sandwich mid day an hour or so before exercise.  Time the intake of these things so your body is using those carbs as fuel during activity versus a big slice of bread and butter at dinner followed by an evening of in-activity.  Those carbs go straight to your fat cells.

Good luck on your journey!  

tacosandbeer's picture

I am a baker/home breadmaker and last year I hit 315 pounds. Not going to lie, that was a scary realization!!

I started Weight Watchers last July, have managed to drop 55 pounds so far and have not had to give up bread. Now, I’m not having two huge slices of buttered sourdough with breakfast, AND sandwiches at lunch, AND biscuits with dinner any more, but it’s working for me. It is more of a slow and steady pace, but there’s no sense of “I can’t have that” and I feel like it will be something I can maintain for the long run. 
Good luck!!

texasbakerdad's picture

Congratulations on your 50lb weight loss. My dad is on his own weight loss journey. I don't know what his starting weight was, but I'd guess is was over 300#. He too has lost 50# so far.

Regarding weight watchers. I like the results I have seen people get on weight watchers, but I don't like the idea of paying someone for premade meals. However, I think it would behoove me to understand the science behind weight watchers to see if there is anything I find useful in my own journey. It is my understanding the weight watchers is essentially a meal replacement program with foods and shakes that are low calorie AND filling.

tacosandbeer's picture

Not at all. WW simply works on making sure you’re not overdoing fats/carbs. It encourages lean proteins, plenty of fruit/veg, beans/legumes, and limiting the sugar and fat. I have changed absolutely nothing with regards to WHAT I eat and Everything with regards to how much I eat. Nothing artificial.  Definitely worth having a look. 

justkeepswimming's picture

First, kudos to you for your weight loss! Ditto that for everyone else too!!! On to my experience.....

"Hello, my name is Mary and I'm a foodaholic." ? For real. I have had weight management issues my entire life. My mother put me on Weight Watchers when I was 15 and am now past age 60, if that tells you anything. As you have noticed, farm chores aren't enough to keep things under control. I was seriously into dressage for quite a while, competed at 4th Level and was training at Prix St George with a very well known trainer. We owned a 7 acre horse property with all that entails (stacking hay bales is excellent strength training!). And I have done nearly every diet under the sun. High carb, low carb, Atkins, Keto, vegetarian, and WW to name a few. Even with all that, the weight would come off but not stay off.

About 3.5 years ago, what I finally figured out was the consistent thread common to all those diets: a simple awareness of what I ate and how much. What the food was didn't matter, it came down to simple math. Too much in = scale goes up. Eat a little less than I burn and scale goes down. Different foods satisfy me for longer periods of time some days, but I can fit whatever I want into my day. I hit 200 lbs in Sept 2017 (really bad eating for 5 months during a long distance move), and lost 44 lbs by just journaling what I ate and keeping my usual caloric intake in less than my caloriies burned. This is the longest period of time I have ever maintained a normal weight. Even while taking up bread making. No "covid 20" for me either. ?

Keeping a food journal of some sort has proven to be something I could actually do consistently over time.  I document everything I eat. Every.single.bite, good, bad or ugly, unless we go on vacation. Even then I am kind of aware, I just don't journal then. I weigh and measure e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Eventually I figured out some foods make me more hungry within an hour or so (pancakes ?), so those are rare and paired with something that has more staying power.

My current journal of choice is the Fitbit app. It keeps me honest with myself about how much I move and how much I eat, causing me to do better at both. I used to do a paper journal, but I have my phone with me much more often. (I wear a pretty basic fitbit model, because I am..... thrifty. ?) 

And I do eat! Bread, PB & J, pizza every week or two, a nice dinner out (more rare at the moment, because covid....), etc. Also plenty of fruit and veggies, beef and chicken and pork and fish, sometimes rice, potatoes, whole grains in various forms. Portion size is way more reasonable than it was. Over time (months?), my sensation of being full/satiated/satisfied gradually went from completely non existent to something I can actually trust for most foods, most days. I used to eat until I was in pain, now I actually recognize when I am no longer hungry and stop. 5 min later, the "full" needle registers in my brain. And if it doesn't, I eat just a little more of something else.

The comaraderie of WW helps a lot of people. I learned a lot of strategies there, but the monthly fee was not affordable for us and I am more of an introvert. After a few months of success, I quit WW and was able to keep losing, and have kept it off. Even with bread. ? (Of possible interest, we don't drink, having walked through the sobriety journey with several family members, but I know from others you can work that in too, if you want to.)

Hopefully something in all the responses (including my rambling) will spark some useful ideas for you. 

Cheering you on! ??

texasbakerdad's picture

Thanks for the feedback. I found an android app I like for tracking food and weight, it is called "Lose it!". I like it because it is pretty simple yet still works well and is fast to enter meals into.

I agree, when I am doing a good job tracking my meals, it is very beneficial. Often I get busy and stop doing it for days, like right now. I have only been tracking my weight and not my food. But, that has been fine, because with the Keto diet, I eat and snack as much as I want, as long as I don't eat carbs, I lose weight.

But, if I were to start eating carbs again, I think you are right, I would have to make it a habit of tracking my food intake. Especially since I don't have control over my pantry... we have 6 kids and I happily let my wife do the shopping :-). Pro, I don't have to put all the effort into shopping and planning, Con, there is always food around that isn't the best for me. In general she shops pretty healthy, but there is always a constant supply of whole wheat crackers... which I am pretty sure are not as healthy as the labeling would lead one to believe.

Yippee's picture


Check out Dr. Jason Fung's Youtube channel and his books. I especially recommend The Obesity Code; maybe there's something that will help you achieve your weight loss goal.

1.Why we got fat

1a. The Obesity Code Lecture, why do we get fat

2. Why all calories are different (science)

3. Weight loss solutions (step by step)

3a. Weight loss plateau (7 quick strategies to break through)

4. Top five intermittent fasting benefits

4a. Therapeutic fasting - how to lose weight

4b. Fasting as a therapeutic option to weight loss

4c. Intermittent fasting

4d. How to reverse type 2 diabetes naturally

4e. Sugar rots you inside out

5. Medical lectures

5a. Dr. Jason Fung, The Cancer Code


Plus moooore scientific stuff on his channel.

Good luck!



P.S.  Also, check out another book Dr. Fung co-authored: 

The Longevity Solution: Rediscovering Centuries-Old Secrets to a Healthy, Long Life

This book does not aim at weight loss, but it provides scientific and essential health care information to maintain good health throughout our lives.



1.What causes weight gain


2. Zero App  new app to track fasting progress. I like the visual stage notifications that remind me of how my body reacts to the fast. 


3.Maybe it's something you already know 👇👇👇:

Apply this knowledge with intermittent fasting; reserve some of your daily carb intake for bread. This combo is a very powerful tool for weight loss without having to give up bread 🍞 🍞🍞. 


4. Watch this film about sugar:


5. How vinegar helps weight loss


6. Why food order matters



texasbakerdad's picture

Thanks, I'll definitely watch all of those!

suave's picture

Nutrition is math.  If you have more calories coming in than going out the excess stays with you as fat and no amount of tricks and buzzwords will fool your body into thinking otherwise.

clazar123's picture

So much to to pare it down.

Bread is possible for me but ......too tempting. I enjoy making and eating bread but now resort to infrequent bakes and giving most of it away. My friends and neighbors love it but are also at an age when they have health issues and need to watch their blood sugars and carb intakes. I think the whole world is dealing with being overweight. 

WW isn't the one that provides food. WW helps you deal with your food issues but it s a long learning process. They also are emphatic about tracking your food intake and just dong that can help you become aware and lose weight. I use the free version of " My Fitness Pal" for tracking and have used Spark People,also,  for support and info.

Keto can be great for weight loss for some but how do you get off the tiger? That is a problem-the transition to some form of more normal eating. Total keto is not healthy to be on long term. My advice is to find and choose a method of doing so, whether it is working with a nutritionist (a real one- not a wack a doodle one), an org like WW or even on your own but with good adherance. On my own never works well for me but it may for you.

Get familiar with tracking your macros. Track religiously. Exercise daily (both cardio and strength). Learn the place of food in your life. Good fortune to you!

Kistida's picture

First of all, congrats on your weight-loss and continuing progress!

As Paul said, "eat differently, both quantitatively and qualitatively" and physical activity are one of the keys to get you to your desired weight. If you enjoy bread (like the rest of us here on TFL), just have some. :)

I've had some experience over the years with ups and downs in my weight, trying this and that, dieting here and there, I finally decided to stick with being aware of what I'm eating and drinking. After my cancer surgery 8 years ago, I had to figure out what on earth I was doing to myself. There I was, listening to so many people telling me what I should do, what I did wrong, blablabla. With all the time given to me, I learned to fix me.

You see, I come from a family and culture of eating, we just eat for every occasion (yes, every one) and it's no surprise I got big (when my ankles, knees and back hurt from standing kinda big, enough fat in my belly for a transplant kinda big). I started to eat smaller portions, learned to eat vegetables I didn't like previously, reduce red meats and crustaceans but always making sure I had the desired nutrients daily. There was no noticeable changes at first but I realized my surgery wounds (oh, so many) healed faster than expected, I felt better, stronger, calmer and happier. Also, cravings stopped when I stuck to eating moderately during my waking hours.

These days, I eat almost everything including breads, cakes, biscuits and cookies but moderation and variety is key. Some of the rituals I do to maintain (took me about 2 years to make a habit of these) are:

- drink lots of water throughout the day, half a glass before meals
- no artificial sugars of any kind, zero sugar in coffees/teas
- at least 6-7 hours sleep
- exercise 3-5 days/week (bike, yoga, walks)
- read or write (these contribute to health & wellbeing!)
- don't eat after 8pm, latest 9pm
- start my day before sunrise with water or lemon/lime water
- begin eating after 8 or 9am
- put everything I want to eat on a plate, on special occasions eat more. On the plate: 3/4 mix of greens, beans, meat, spices, nuts, seeds and 1/4 bread, rice, tubers. Try to achieve 3-5 different tastes for lunch or dinner and try new types of food/cuisines and/or learn to make them. This way, they're healthy, tasty food too. Indian food (vege and non-vege) has always been a favorite of mine and they hit the multiple-tastes part. Japanese and Thai as well.
- my breakfast is usually oatmeal/granola with yogurt, berries/nuts, cinnamon and maybe a slice or two of bread.
- for snacks, though I rarely snack these days: bread - sliced into sticks or cubes and dried at 95°C for 2 hours (they're meant to be breadcrumbs eventually). I dip these in a bit of dark chocolate, peanut butter or yogurt. Or just crunchy vegetables with a dash of vinegar/lemon juice and yogurt. Cookies/cakes - 1-2 slices/pieces during the day.
- alcohol: not a fan of drinking actually. I use them mostly for cooking/baking. But, some wine or beer is always lovely.

Baking is therapy for me. I bake 2-3 times a week when time permits, mostly in small batches enough for two. And, I don't mind eating a lil bit of baked goodies a day. I guess it's all about balance, once my mind's set on keeping happy and healthy, everything is easier to do, to keep, to maintain.

I wish you all the best on your journey to a healthy weight! :)

- Christi

happycat's picture

I've lost tons of weight and put it back on. Keto works for loss but isn't maintanable for me. Tons of constant exercise after first wife's death put me in great shape but I lost that after I got married and happy again :)

I think a key aspect to the weight issue is mental. I can devote huge amounts of time and discipline to achieving a weight loss goal... but I may be using the exact mental processes that cause the weight problem in the first place i.e. perfectionism, all or nothing thinking, shame, judgment, etc. getting too focused on it.

Can I simply be more mindful of what I eat? Enjoy small but delicious portions that are satisying? Eat for enjoyable sustenance and not for comfort or self-medicating stress, anxiety, or even just trying to prolong good feelings from the food rather than enjoy a few moments and saving the rest.

My dad was a big stress eater and he passed that on. My mother was a very morally rigid and judgmental, all or nothing personality and she passed that on. She also used food as a wordless apology for her moods, so that's a dangerous bit of programming. A toxic combo leading to weight yo-yo-ing.

I freeze everything I bake after portioning it. Then I take a portion out. Bread portions during the week, sweets portion on the weekend. Right now I think I have some baguette, a slice of tiramisu, a few chocolate caneles in the freezer. If they were readily abailable I would probably obsess about them :D