Yay, I completed the 30 Day Bread Challenge yesterday by eating a final 460g of seedy multi-grain. So, in 30 days, I ate a total of 13.78 kg of bread, or 1.01 lbs/day. Happily, I can report that nothing strange nor magical happened, and I continued to lose weight at my normal rate. Over the 30 days, I lost about 2 kg, as shown in my progress chart above. (I’ll update the chart in a few weeks, to show the continued progression towards my 70 kg goal.)
What did I learn from this Challenge? Mainly, I learned not to be afraid of bread. We’re all so terrified of it, that while we might consume it in sandwiches and morning toast, anything beyond that is accompanied by a lot of fear and guilt. Everyone, even high-carb vegans, is convinced that processed flour makes you fat, and they worry that even “whole wheat” bread isn’t really made from the whole grain.
And I figured out pretty quickly that white flour breads taste a lot better than whole wheat ones. I figured it wasn’t worth it nor necessary to eat whole grain bread. My weigh-ins confirmed this, so I just went with the approximate 2.5 cal/g density for all of them.
Calorie-wise, a pound of bread (~1200 cal) a day isn’t very much. For me, it didn’t even make up half of my daily calorie needs. Historically, people ate a lot more than a pound of bread a day:
In France, there has been a huge decline in the baguette culture. In the 1970s, French people were consuming an average of one loaf of bread per day. Only a century ago, the French ate approximately 3 loaves of bread per day. Today, French people eat only a half a loaf of bread per day.
Yes, I did work out a lot during the Bread Challenge. But, I’ve been riding about 200 km/week for the last 5 months as well, so nothing really changed, including my weightloss rate.
The pound of bread a day I ate was in addition to whatever else I decided to eat. I ate to fuel myself, and didn’t restrict calories, or eating times. I had occasional treats, some fatty foods, some Cokes on my rides, but generally I ate a healthy, traditional diet with lots of vegetables. I probably ate a pound of butter with the 30 pounds of bread.
So, what’s my conclusion? A bread calorie is a calorie. Don’t panic, and have some bread.