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When you’re trying to lose weight or cut body fat for physique or performance goals, you may worry about which foods you should or should not eat, including bread.
So, can you eat bread while cutting? Yes, you can eat bread while cutting. You should include a variety of foods in moderation while cutting. As long as you balance your overall intake for the day, you will still meet your goals. The best bread for cutting is Ezekiel 4:9 Original Flourless Sprouted Bread for its low calorie and high protein content.
Not all bread brands are created equal, with some being healthier and more suitable for cutting goals than others.
So, if you’re going to include bread in a cutting phase, I’ll share some tips below on how to do it effectively, including how to keep track of your bread intake, how much bread to eat, and the best time to eat bread.
I’ll also give you my top 3 breads that are best for cutting.
Bread & Weight Loss: What People Are Saying
Many people have concerns about bread and weight loss.
There are many comments and questions on internet forums about bread while cutting:
- “What are your thoughts on whole grain bread while cutting?” (REDDIT)
- “How much bread should I eat while cutting? Should I cut it out altogether? (BodyBuilding.com)
- “Is wheat bread good for losing weight??” (QUORA)
- “Should I stop eating bread to lose belly fat?” (BodyBuilding.com)
Rest assured, you don’t need to worry about eating bread while cutting. You can definitely include it in your diet, and I’ll show you how next.
We analyzed 100+ different types of bread. Find out which bread is best for cutting.
Can I Eat Bread & Still Lose Weight?
Yes, you can eat bread and still lose weight. In order to lose weight, your energy intake from the foods you eat must be less than your energy output. As long as your total calorie intake for the day is less than your energy expenditure, you will lose weight even when some of your calories come from bread.
In order to incorporate bread in your diet, you need to have some information about its nutritional content.
Calories & Macronutrients in Bread
The calories in a serving of bread vary widely from brand to brand. A lot of it has to do with the serving size and how big a slice of bread is for that brand. It also depends on whether whole grains, nuts, or seeds have been added to the bread.
Most of the calories in bread come from carbohydrates. For breads with added sugars, these will be even higher. This can be good news if you are looking for a quick source of energy pre-workout, or to speedily replace carbohydrate stores (glycogen) post-workout.
The problem is that this type of bread won’t keep you feeling full for very long. Satiety is important for managing hunger while cutting.
Alternatively, whole grain breads will have relatively more fiber. These slower-digesting breads will help to keep you feeling full for longer. This can make it easier to stick to a calorie deficit needed while cutting.
When whole grains, nuts and seeds are added to bread, they increase the fat and protein per serving, and also boost the fiber content. All three lead to a slower-digesting, more filling bread.
Takeaway: when cutting, look for bread with higher protein and fiber contents.
Check out the following table based on 45g of bread:
|White bread||Whole wheat bread||Multigrain bread|
Note: Since serving sizes do vary widely, it is important to read the labels carefully and to actually weigh your bread (use this scale) to be sure you have the correct serving for accurate nutrition information.
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How Do I Incorporate Bread In My Diet While Cutting?
Follow these three easy steps to fit bread into your macros. If you already have your macros for cutting, skip to Step 3.
MacroFactor is a great app to use for tracking your daily intake. If you are not already tracking your intake, you should start.
Get a free two-week trial of MacroFactor using code FEASTGOOD when you sign up.
Step 1: Determine your calories
Use an online calorie calculator like this one to estimate your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). Your TDEE is how many calories you need to maintain your weight.
Input your age, gender, height, current weight, and activity level and press Calculate. The “Maintain weight” result is your current estimated TDEE.
For example, the TDEE (suggested maintenance intake) for a male who is 33 years old, weighs 200lbs, is 5’9” tall, and exercises moderately 4-5 times per week is 2,700 calories per day.
Start with a 10% reduction in calories (e.g. 270 calories in this example, for a total daily intake of 2,430 calories). You can adjust if needed after assessing the results in 2-3 weeks.
Step 2: Determine your macros
You can now determine your macronutrient split between protein, carbohydrates and fats to add up to your total calories.
A general guideline for athletes is to consume 1.2 – 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or up to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. In the case of desired weight loss, this can be based on goal body weight as opposed to current body weight.
Protein ideally can provide 25-35% of your total daily calories. For the example above, this could be 2,430 x 30% = 730 calories. Each gram of protein supplies 4 calories, so this is 182g of protein.
An active person would look to have ~40% of calories coming from carbohydrates. For the example above, this would be 2,420 x 40% = 968 calories. Each gram of protein supplies 4 calories, so this is 242g of carbs.
The remaining 732 calories would be from fat. Fat provides 9 calories per gram, so this is 81g of fat per day.
Related Article: Can You Eat Bread On A High Protein Diet?
Step 3: Plan for bread in your macros
If white bread was the only carbohydrate source for the day, this would mean 22 slices of bread for a total of 242g of carbs as an example. Of course, white bread won’t and shouldn’t be the only carbohydrate source.
It is important to include a variety of sources of carbs, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes to provide a range of micronutrients for optimal health and performance.
However, you can easily plan to eat at least 1-2 slices (~45-60g) of bread during a cutting phase and still have enough calories coming from other carbohydrate sources.
Check out some of our cutting meal plans:
What To Eat With Bread While Cutting
Since bread is primarily a source of carbs, pair it with lean protein like egg whites and a fat source like avocado for an overall balanced meal. Scrambled egg whites (click for my recipe) with whole grain avocado toast is a go-to meal for me.
Bread is often viewed as high-calorie and fattening when really it is because of the toppings on the bread. Just 1 tsp of butter adds 35 calories and 4g of fat. Restaurants usually add much more than 1 tsp of butter to sandwiches and toast.
Whenever possible, ask for bread to be toasted “dry” so that you can choose whether and how much butter or other spread to add. This applies to butter, peanut butter, jam, cream cheese, and other spreads and toppings.
When To Eat Bread While Cutting While Cutting
As a convenient low-fat carbohydrate source, bread is a great choice for energy pre-workout and for replenishment post-workout. White bread is the best choice at these times because it has less fiber to slow down digestion. Since bread is low in protein, pair it with a lean protein source post-workout to assist with muscle rebuilding (muscle protein synthesis).
Away from the training window, pick whole grain breads with a higher fiber content and more fat and protein.
Related Article: How To Count Calories In Homemade Bread
Reasons Not To Eat Bread While Cutting
There are a few important reasons why bread should be off-limits during a cutting phase:
Gluten intolerance is increasingly common. Even without a full-blown gluten allergy, some people can experience unpleasant symptoms such as bloating, indigestion, and asthma-like symptoms after consuming gluten.
If eating bread causes these symptoms for you, it is wise not to eat it, or to find gluten-free alternatives.
Related Article: Bread Makes Me Tired & Fatigued: 3 Reasons + How To Fix
Final Stages of a Competitive Bodybuilding Cut
During the final prep weeks leading up to a competitive bodybuilding stage show, your coach may reduce carbs to such a low level that you can no longer realistically include bread in your daily macros without unreasonably compromising the rest of your intake.
If bread causes any bloating or water retention for you, then it also would be off-limits in this timeframe.
This is extreme and should be a brief, temporary measure that ends after the show. Stage prep is not a healthy, sustainable way of eating to be used in the long term.
Related Article: Do Bodybuilders Eat Bread? Why & Why Not
Paleo Diet or Keto Diet
The Paleo Diet eliminates ALL grains. This means any grain-based bread is not suitable for the Paleo Diet.
Unless it is a specially created bread replacement product for keto, grain-based breads are also too high in carbohydrates for the Keto Diet.
Note that our team of nutrition coaches and Registered Dieticians at FeastGood does not generally recommend eating approaches/diets that restrict or remove entire categories of food, except in special, medically-necessary circumstances.
If you’d like a free one-on-one consultation with one of our coaches, check out our coaching services page.
3 Best Breads For Cutting
Now that you know that you can eat bread while cutting, which bread should you choose? I will share my top three recommendations.
1. Ezekiel 4:9 Original Flourless Sprouted Bread Double Loaf – Best Bread Overall for Cutting
Ezekiel 4:9® Original Flourless Sprouted Bread contains a “Biblical” blend of grains and legumes that make it a complete protein, providing all nine essential amino acids.
Nutritional content for 1 wide slice (50g):
- Calories: 120
- Carbs: 22g (1g sugar; no added sugar)
- Fiber: 6g
- Protein: 6g
- Fat: 1g
The bread is also gluten-free, vegan, and kosher, making it suitable for a wide range of dietary needs.
2. Dave’s Killer Bread Powerseed Thin-Sliced – Best Bread for Sandwiches
Dave’s Killer Bread is my second pick for its delicious blend of grains and seeds, giving it a crunchy, nutty flavour. It is relatively high in fiber and in protein, making it a filling choice.
Nutritional content for 2 thin slices (56g):
- Calories: 120
- Carbs: 24g (4g sugar; this bread is sweetened with organic fruit juice)
- Fiber: 6g
- Protein: 6g
- Fat: 3g
I also like that the thin slices mean that you can have two slices for the same calorie count as one slice of some other brands. This is great for making sandwiches.
3. Silver Hills Organic Soft Wheat – Best Pre- & Post-Workout Bread
Silver Hills Bakery makes several great breads; this one combines whole wheat and wheat for a soft bread. This is great for people who don’t like or can’t eat seeds in their bread.
Nutritional content for 1 slice (40g):
- Calories: 100
- Carbs: 20g (2g sugar; this bread does have organic cane sugar)
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 4g
- Fat: 0.5g
The lower fiber, protein and fat content means that this bread won’t be as filling, making it a better choice for quick energy pre-workout or to quickly replenish post-workout.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I Avoid Bread To Lose Belly Fat?
No, you do not need to avoid bread to lose belly fat. It is the overall calorie intake that matters for fat loss, not the specific type of food. Also, you cannot target the location on your body for fat loss, regardless of food or exercise selection.
How Much Bread Can You Eat Per Day & Still Lose Weight?
As long as your total calorie intake for the day is less than your energy expenditure, you will lose weight. Bread should be just one part of an overall balanced day along with other sources of carbs, protein, and fat. I recommend a maximum of 1-2 slices (45-60g) of bread per day while cutting.
Is Whole Wheat or White Bread Better When Cutting?
Whole wheat bread is better when cutting because its higher fiber content will keep you feeling full for longer, making the hunger that can come from a calorie deficit easier to manage.
How Much Bread To Eat While Cutting While Cutting?
The recommended serving size of bread is 1-2 slices (45-60g). A total of 1-2 servings per day is appropriate for cutting, depending on your total carbohydrate macros for the day, and the other sources of carbohydrates that you consume.
Have a FeastGood Nutrition Coach help you get results faster than trying to stick it out alone
Eating Other Foods While Cutting
- Can I Eat Whole Eggs While Cutting?
- Can I Eat Peanut Butter While Cutting?
- Can I Eat Chocolate While Cutting?
- Can I Eat Rice While Cutting?
- Can I Eat Pasta While Cutting?
- Can I Eat Fruit While Cutting?
About The Author
Lauren Graham is a Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified nutrition coach. She focuses on helping busy professionals balance healthy eating and purposeful movement. Lauren has a background in competitive swimming and is currently competing as a CrossFit athlete. She has a passion for training, teaching, and writing.