The Bread for Life Diet basically the anti-christ to the Atkins and South Beach diets. Invented on the surmise that bread is a staple in everyone's diet, and should therefore be a cheap commodity available to all, the diet consists of 2 stages. 

In my never-ending quest to lower my weight, and actually maintain that weight loss, I have tried almost everything you can wag a stick at, from the infamous lemonade diet (which worked just fine, albeit being boring and extremely difficult to stick to, plus the ballooning which is inevitable once you're back to eating "like normal") to the Chemical Diet, to prescribed weekly schedules from nutritionists. The demise of these diets was that they consisted of foods I wouldn't eat had I not been on that specific diet. I had to force myself to eat chicken, drink coffee, gorge on chocolate, things I wouldn't dream of doing in an average day.

The Bread for Life Diet was an answered prayer of sorts. Who doesn't love bread? Who doesn't love cheese and spreads? Who doesn't love sandwiches? Besides the fact that we would all readily help ourselves to carbs, sandwiches are easy to prepare, provide an interesting array of options to choose from so you would never get bored, and you can also eat them anywhere, be it at work, in school, at home, on the bus, in the car, at a friends, yada yada yada.

Back to the steps..

In Stage 1, one is to eat 8-12 slices of low-calorie (35-45 per slice) bread a day if you are a woman, and 12- 16 slices for men. The title of the diet is deceiving, as the term "The Sandwich Diet" would have been more fitting. During Stage 1, you may add an assortment of spreads, from low fat cheese, to caviar, turkey, ketchup, mustard, low fat mayonnaise, the works. The key is to garnish your bread as thinly as possible, with only one type of low fat spread, then freely layer on, or should I say, heap on the veggies. An alternative would be to have a side of salad or veggie soup. 

You are also allowed 3 eggs a week, cooked whichever way you want. Yes that includes omelet's and fried and boiled and poached... any way you can prepare an egg. You can eat it with your toast, alone, whatever!

You are also allowed 3 protein meals a week, but you should never mix your carbs with them. Salads and veggie soups on the other hand, are for you to gorge your little hearts out with.

Stage 1 lasts between 1-2 weeks, not more, and one is to eat every 3-4 hours, making sure they eat their entire days allotment. Doesn't that sound divine?

So here's a summary:

8-12 slices low-calorie (35-45) bread per day for the ladies, 12-16 slices for the gents.

  • A thin layer of spread or garnish. These include, but are not limited to:


Ketchup, low-fat/fat-free mayo, low-fat/fat-free salad dressing, butter substitute made of vegetables, that does not contain trans-fatty acids



Mashed avocados


Garlic paste


Sugar-free peanut butter


Eggplant in tahini or mayonnaise

Soy spreads

Natural tofu

Canned or smoked tuna or sardines (remove excess oil)

A slice of smoked fish, like salmon

A thin slice of lean, low-fat meat like turkey or chicken

Low-fat cheese

  • Pile on the veggies(except corn, potatoes and other starchy foods, use your brain)
  • One fruit serving a day
  • Meat, poultry or fish 3 times a week, as a separate meal without bread
  • Eggs in any style
  • Oils are a must! 3 tablespoons of olive or canola oil per day
  • Eat every 3-4 hours. YOU HAVE TO
  • Eat at night, up to 45 minutes before you go to sleep
  • Caffeine is ok. Sugar and milk are not.
  • Artificial sweeteners are ok
  • Condiments are allowed, in very small amounts
  • Take a multivitamin and a calcium supplement every night

Now that the basics are out of the way, here's an example of what your day could look like:

  • Meal 1: 8:00-10:00 am

A sandwich made with 2 slices of toasted bread with a thin layer of low-fat cottage cheese and slices of tomatoes and peppers.

Coffee with artificial sweetener and a tiny bit of milk (no more than 2% fat)

  • Meal 2: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

A sandwich made with 2 slices of bread, 1-2 slices of turkey, mustard, lettuce and tomatoes

  • Meal 3: 2:00-4:00 pm

Bowl of vegetable soup

2 slices of bread

  • Meal 4: 5:00-7:00 pm

A sandwich made with 2 slices of bread and 1-2 slices of low-fat swiss cheese

A dish of raw or steamed veggies

  • Meal 5: 8:00-10:00 pm

Sandwich made with 2 slices of bread with a scrambled egg and piled high with vegetables

  • Meal 6: 11:00 pm and later

1 cup of artificially sweetened yoghurt


1 serving of fruit or 1 slice of bread with a thin spread of choice.

Other meal ideas:

2 slices o bread with a thin layer of fat-free cream cheese, a piece of smoked salmon, lettuce and tomatoes.

A 1-egg omelet with mushrooms and onions, cucumbers and tomato salad, and a slice of bread

1 cup of low-fat plain yoghurt with pieces of cucumbers and spices.

I am currently on day 1 of what I plan to be a 2-week long Stage 1. Therefore I will not give you the details of Stage 2 just yet. In the meantime, I will test-drive this stage and will let you know how it goes. If anyone is interested in more details or if you have any questions, feel free to ask. Alternatively buy the book The Bread for Life Diet by Olga Raz, or look it up online.

Wishing you all a delicious, fat-free, low-calorie holiday. 

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Anonymous said...

plz update us if it worked for u or not..i love carbs and im on a 500 cal diet now without starch or sugar for 6 craviiiiing bread.hope it works with u and i get to try it

Rock A Bye said...

this diet's close to your 500 cal diet... 45 calorie x 12 slices is 540 calories, not including all the calories from the veggies and spreads though. So what do you eat then, sounds like 100% protein, no matter how much veggies you eat you cant come anywhere near 500 cals a day :/

damn id be cranky as hell if all i ate was protein

lemme know how this diet goes for you if you decide to try it please :)

Anonymous said...

yes the 500 cal is mostly protein 100 g of meat or chicken or fish for dinner and lunch and a cup of selected veggies(not any kind the un edible ones) ...3 weeks of agony and 5 lost and gained back kilos later i am trying now ur suggested first far im liking it as i like carbs and they fill me up better than gana try it for a week and see wat happens n let u knw.

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