Does Bread Make you Fat?

Does bread make you fat? No it doesn’t. Bread can and will make you gain weight only if you eat it in excess.

It is all about math actually. Every calorie counts. And bread contains lots of calories (mostly from carbohydrates).

Calories, calories, calories

An average slice of bread is about 80 grams / 3 oz (on average, that is about 50 grams / 1.7 oz of carbohydrates). This means roughly 200 calories (1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories). You can easily eat one or two slices of bread per day.

The amount of calories depend on which type of bread you eat and more importantly – what you put on top of it.

But let us get back to the question whether eating bread makes you fat. It is important to point out that no food will make you fat! You only gain weight when you eat too much of it (when too many calories are consumed and not burned)!

If you eat more calories than you can burn – well, you WILL gain weight. Let us take a look at a simple example to make things more clear.

bread
Image source: acanadianfoodie.com

What’s the secret?

Let us say that your body needs 2000 calories per day (calculate how many calories your body needs per day with our BMR calculator (opens in new tab)).

If you consume more than 2000 calories per day you will start gaining weight. If you consume less than 2000 calories per day you will start losing weight. It is that simple, really*.

*at least for majority of people. If you are the unlucky one, due to some genetic predispositions or metabolic disorder you will need to take more drastic measures to lose weight.

Your body does not care what you eat (not totally true, but let us stick to this assumption for now). You can consume 2000 calories by only eating chocolate for example. Still, your body would function normally and you would not gain weight (at some point your body will start lacking vitamins and minerals and you will be in trouble).

So what is the point here? The point is that saying eating bread will make you fat is simply not true. You could easily say eating too much of (insert your food here) will make you fat.

Bread will not make you fat. Consuming too many calories will. Calculate how many calories your body needs per day with our BMR calculator.

Eating too much bread is not the root cause of your weight gain

It is all in the calories in / calories out ratio. Consuming too many calories will make you gain weight! And it is not just the bread that adds up to your daily calorie intake amount – eating too much of (insert your food here) will also add up to your daily calorie intake amount.

So if you consume just about enough calories per day you will not gain weight – even though you eat 10 slices of bread every day. If you are sure that by eating so much bread you are not reaching your calories threshold everything is going to be all right.

The real reason why people started to worry about bread and weight gain is due to the fact that bread is often eaten together with other foods, for example eating pasta with bread or eating potato with bread.

Such eating habits can easily lead to excessive calories intake, resulting in weight gain. But bread is not to blame here – the excessive amount of calories is the problem. In such case you should cut down your overall daily calorie intake while still enjoying bread often.

Suggested article for further explanation: How many calories should I eat to lose weight?

4 COMMENTS

  1. You can \”easily\” gain fat without gaining weight? It can be done but I\’m not so sure in how \”easy\” or probable it is.

  2. This article is both misleading and factually incorrect.

    The title is \”Does Bread Make You Fat\”, yet the author discusses whether or not it will make you gain WEIGHT. These may seem related but they are not. You can easily gain fat without gaining weight.

    He is correct that the type of bread determines if you will gain fat or not, but not for the reason of calories. This has to do with how the hormone insulin functions inside the human body.

    All carbs have what is known as a Glycemic Index (GI) which determines how much blood sugar is raised by an item of food. The higher the GI, the higher the blood sugar levels. This is important because insulin is released to breakdown the carbohydrate. The more insulin produced to breakdown the carb, the more fat will be stored. White bread has a very high GI and therefore is usually stored as fat. Whole grain bread has a lower GI and therefore less is stored as fat.

    This is a dramatic over-simplification, and there are exceptions to this process (such as post-workout) but for the most part it remains true.

    • Hello. Thank you for your comment.
      You are correct in your remarks. A person can gain (or lose) weight in different ways and for different reasons (increasing or decreasing amount of fat tissue is one of them). For example if a person builds more muscle mass or drinks more water, body weight will increase whereas the body fat percentage may stay approximately the same. On the contrary if a person loses muscle mass and gains fat mass the body weight may stay the same. You are also correct on Glycemix index.
      However this article is a very general one and tries to answer a simple question many laymen ask and that is “does bread make you fat?”, or “does bread make you gain weight?” where it is assumed that gaining weight is a consequence of gaining body fat exclusively.

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