Can You Eat Bread and Lose Weight?

Oprah Says She Loves Bread

February 9, 2016   27 Comments

I knew when Oprah got involved with Weight Watchers things were going to get fun.

This video cracked me up!

YES! I love bread, too! I believe my last meal would be a loaf of freshly baked sourdough bread still warm from the oven and some salted butter. Ohhhh.

When she says, “I love bread,” it occurred to me that she didn’t mean the endless bread basket at Olive Garden. She also made something like 8 million dollars (a lot of bread!) when WW stock increased with her “I love bread” proclamation.

But, a leading bread hater decided to tell Oprah that she was wrong about being able to eat bread and lose weight sustainably.

Dr. Willam Davis and author of Wheat Belly decided to write Oprah a letter.

The jist:

Your message that Weight Watchers “works” and that bread can be a part of a diet program thereby propagates destructive and widely-held misconceptions that are increasingly crippling the health of Americans.

Oh my. He equates eating bread with type 2 diabetes and other diseases. He believes refined grains are the cause of much of our problems.

As I sit here eating a massive piece of chocolate cake, I am sure my life will be cut short in minutes.

I shouldn’t make fun of this controversy but everyone involved seems so serious. We are talking about bread – a staple of the American diet. Ask anyone who has celiac how hard it is to avoid gluten – and you will realize how prevalent bread is in the food we eat. Pizza, bread crumbs, sandwiches, crackers, burritos, fried chicken….

What are you going to do?

I do think that cutting back on bread is going to help you lose weight but Oprah is right. She is talking about eating ONE slice of Ezekiel bread for breakfast as her once daily bread “fix”.

She is not talking about inhaling the bread basket at your local restaurant.

Dr. David Ludwig’s new book – Always Hungry? asks you to stop eating all grains for the first two weeks of the diet – and then you can slowly add them back. This seems like a sane approach to me because if you are eating a lot of bread then your insulin levels are up – and cutting it out will help you reset your metabolism.

What do you think of Oprah’s bread video? Please share.

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First 20 Comments: [ see all 27 ]

I totally agree with you. Of course you can eat bread and still lose weight. And WW is all about the premise that you can eat anything you want. Portion control is the key!

on February 9, 2016

I tried the Wheat Belly approach for a short time - basically it was another deprivation diet. Since, for health reasons I do not need to avoid gluten I found myself craving, dreaming and thinking about nothing else but bread, pizza, cookies, cakes...all things containing white flour. I even tried to make the GF version of many of those foods only to end up eating more sugars and rice flours than was healthy. So, back to the Weight Watcher's way for me...eight years later and I'm still down nearly 50 pounds. By eating smaller amounts of the foods I love; so variety is the key for me. Some days I'll eat bread and sometimes I eat a lot of it...but those smart points add up fast and I have to balance out the week by having days where I don't eat any bread at all - choosing instead to have more fruits and veggies to restore balance and stay within that Smart Points budget for the week. It seems to work...Yes, you can eat anything you want on the Weight Watcher's program - even bread - but sometimes you can't...the choice is yours!

on February 9, 2016

I've just started on WW and I am delighted to report (after the brutality of many low GI diets) that you can eat bread and lose weight. Putting a point value on food makes you realise how you were eating way too much bread before. A couple of slices a day (real bread) is doable. Happy Days (no butter though, can't win em all)

on February 9, 2016

If you have a real problem with bread (celiac, IBS, etc.) then yes, cutting bread is a requirement and the happy upside is you lose weight. Understood. But bread has been a staple of mankind's diet since we learned to grind wheat some tens of thousands of years ago. It's currently the OVER consumption of bread combined with sedentary lifestyles and the prevalence of sugar and fats that are leading us to being overweight. If you have an intolerance, allergy, sensitivity, or what-not, then by all means, cut out wheat products. As for the rest of us, have your slice or 2 a day of bread and be happy. The day we stop being happy about our food choices is the day we lose satisfaction in what we eat.

on February 9, 2016

I have reduced my bread consumption in an effort to maintain my weight and make better food choices. I will never give up bread or whole grains. Too yummy and I would be intolerable. My family thanks me!

on February 9, 2016

Weight Watchers is NOT a diet. It is a healthy meal program that teaches you how to eat healthier and maintain those habits over a lifetime. Diets don't work - Weight Watchers does...

on February 9, 2016

Check out Forget Dieting Forever. Basically a English couple who had been on and off diets forever came up with a plan to eat less calories i.e. from 2000 to 1500, for 4 days and then Fri to Sun eat a bit more. (way before 5:2 diet). Rules: no diet or low fat food or specialty food. Eat what you want as long as it fell within calorie count (they could have used your book). Nothing was off limits, including bread,cake and potato. They lost a pound a week and their friends couldn't believe they were dieting. They were on the BBC radio a few years ago. I don't know if that is similar to WW.

on February 9, 2016

I really REALLY didn't like Oprahs video presentation. I think she made some mis-statements about WW because as she admitted she'd "never been on WW before". As a nearly lifelong member I remember when it wasn't about counting points but rather about food group distribution etc. WW has always professed to be about a HEALTHY eating lifestyle. Oprah's video made it seem like you didn't have to make healthy choices as long as you met your point goal. I think that is WW current issue (and Oprah's maybe too). Lets remember there are at least 4 food groups, that none should be excluded (our bodies get something from all) but that healthy choices within those food groups along with moderation is what makes WW doable for the longterm. New science seems to show that its not ONLY about calories in/out, but that the type of calorie makes a difference too. That's pretty interesting to me as I try to make a switch to include more protein and less sugar in my diet. I've lost 125lbs w WW (dare I say a couple of time in my life :-(, but this time I'm committed to keep it off, I'm just too old to do this all AGAIN, LOL)and on the whole it's still the best out there. I sure hope their product line eliminates the chemical ridden snacks they sell though!

on February 9, 2016

I think if we all had personal trainers and cooks, we could lose weight effortlessly too!

on February 9, 2016

Having a personal trainer and a cook would not make losing weight easy -- as definitely shown by Oprah, who has gained and lost weight multiple times -- as have I (though I do not have a personal trainer or a cook). I have also been on WW many, many times and over all the programs -- beginning in the '70s when I was a teenager. Really, I believe WW is the best program out there -- and this new one is no exception. It is about healthy eating. If you like bread, then go for it -- it is just all about moderation and making the program work for you. I LOVE fruit, and the best thing about the newer programs for me has been since the instituted no point fruit. If I am hungry and/or maybe craving something sweet, an orange or some grapes does the trick for me -- and no added points!

on February 9, 2016

Wheat has been genetically altered from the original plant our grandparents consumed into an unhealthy grain. Most of us are addicted to wheat flour products in the same way we are addicted to sugar. You will never be free of your cravings until you give it up totally. It used to be that if there was a piece of bread, cookie, cake, etc. it would call to me and I had to eat it. Hunger had nothing to do with it. I went cold turkey and gave up all grains and sugar. Now, I no longer have that calling. WW is great if you can maintain it, but too many fall off the wagon and try again and again, only to gain the weight back, and then some. I wish you all the best.

on February 9, 2016

That video is classic Oprah...she repeats everything two or three times like she's just realizing something huge for the first time. Of course you can eat bread you doofus.

on February 9, 2016

Of course you can eat bread and lose weight. As already stated, portion control is the key.

Oprah's tape doesn't reference portion control one bit. For those gullible souls out there who could interpret her message at face value, I think it's important that that fact be a prominent part of the message.

on February 9, 2016

I agree with Michelle G. I don't have a personal trainer or my own cook.

on February 9, 2016

Almost all diet sales pitches try to make you feel that you don't have to work all of that hard. "See, on our plan, you can still enjoy your foods." Bullcrap, because when most people "enjoy" foods, they exceed their caloric needs. Most people, like it or not, will have to WORK HARD to keep their eating in check. Because there's temptation all around. WORK HARD is not a sales pitch, but it is reality. WORK HARD sounds easy...just have once slice of pizza per week, instead of two, or instead of twice a week. Sounds easy, right? But it's HARD WORK. Because it takes effort to resist that second slice, at least until you've trained yourself such that you're always conscious of it...which itself is challenging because you never want to go over the edge to an eating disorder. Look, weight maintenance in a society blessed with abundance is HARD WORK. There's no way around that fact.

on February 9, 2016

I believe that deprivation isn't the way to sustain weight loss so it's more about a healthy eating plan that you can maintain for life. As far as Oprah is concerned I hated that spot. Of course I really hate all of her overly dramatic declarations so this is no exception. Now I just mute her and hope the novelty of this new promotion will wear off for her.

on February 9, 2016

This is a commercial, not an explanation of the WW program. No one should expect Oprah to fully explain how much bread, and what type of bread you can eat and still lose weight. The goal of any commercial is to get you to investigate the program, and if you just listen to that commercial and go eat a loaf of white bread, well that's on you for not doing your homework, not on Oprah for not divulging everything in one 30 second ad.

I think that the Wheat Belly guy is a total quack, so I just ignore him. It's OK to include bread in your diet as we all know, unless you have a medical condition preventing you from doing so.

I'm also quite tired of hearing people say "It's easy to lose weight if you have a chef and a trainer". No it's not. Weight loss is as much a mental game as it is a physical one. You can have all of the tools in front of you, and still not use them. Or use them, then still swing through the drive through. I believe that Oprah has done the hard emotional work, and now she's getting the tools. Good for you Oprah...enjoy the bread!

on February 10, 2016

I have been on WW for 2 1/2 years. I do not consider this a diet. I do consider it a lifestyle!! I have still not reached goal but I am only 20 pounds away and I have already lost 73 pounds!! Of course, I have had bread and carbs on a daily basis. I might have one slice of my fav sprouted grain bread with a smear of peanut butter. I have english muffins regularly and flatouts. I love carbs. I am not going to stop eating them. Everything in moderation is really key and being careful about what and how much and how often is the key!!

on February 10, 2016

Oprah is a misfit and while she will increase her bank account, I don't see her being a good example or spokesperson for WW. Money talks
and that is all we're seeing with Oprah on board. Sad.

on February 10, 2016

I liked this commercial,but like someone said it is a commercial. She isn't going to go into great detail. It's designed to look into the program. WW is a business after all. But what I loved about it is that yes you can eat bread. I wouldn't cut out grain for even two weeks. That's not for me. Being a vegetarian makes that almost impossible for me; plus I wouldn't want too. A lot of food has been GMOed from it's natural state. No grain doesn't look like it used to, but either do most things. Losing weight is hard regardless if you have a personal chef or a trainer.

on February 10, 2016

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