10 bread-based meals that helped me lose fat and gain muscle

·4 min read
Eggs and halloumi on toast, Rachel Hosie with a burger, peanut butter and banana on a bagel.
You can eat meals like eggs and halloumi on toast, burgers, and peanut butter and banana bagels and still lose fat. Rachel Hosie

Bread isn't fattening and provides essential nutrients

A bagel and a smoothie.
Bagels are great energy sources. Rachel Hosie

Despite the enduring myth, there's nothing inherently fattening about bread. The only way a person gains weight is by consuming more calories than they expend overall. So bread can be incorporated into a healthy diet without losing track of fitness and weight loss goals.

Plus, bread is packed with nutritional value. Dietitian Tai Ibitoye told Insider, "Bread contains important nutrients such as calcium, iron, and B vitamins like niacin and thiamine which are needed for various bodily functions," she said.

Carbohydrates like bread also provide essential energy for the body, which is especially important if you work out, nutritionist Dr. Mike Molloy told Insider.

I love bread in all forms, and have always included it in my diet as I hit my fitness goals.

1. Shakshuka with sourdough

Shakshuka and bread.
Shakshuka is delicious and bread is essential to this meal. Rachel Hosie

Shakshuka isn't hard to make yourself, but I enjoy ordering it when out too. The North African and Middle Eastern dish is made with red peppers, tomatoes, onions, and eggs as the key ingredients, and a side of bread is essential for soaking up the sauce.

2. Cheeseburger with greens

A double cheeseburger in a brioche bun.
Beef burgers are great sources of protein and iron. Rachel Hosie

Burgers don't have to be off the menu when you're trying to lose weight — in fact, lean beef is a great source of protein, iron, and creatine. Whether homemade or at a restaurant, when I'm watching my calories I often enjoy my burger with vegetables or salad on the side instead of fries.

3. Avocado on toast with eggs and turkey bacon

eggs, turkey bacon, avo toast.JPG
Eggs, turkey bacon and avocado toast is a go-to meal. Rachel Hosie

Avocado on toast is delicious, but lacks protein. For that reason I like to eat mine with turkey rashers and scrambled eggs.

4. Cinnamon and raisin bagel with Greek yogurt

A bagel with yogurt on the side.
A bagel and yogurt bowl is a staple breakfast. Rachel Hosie

I love bagels for breakfast, and sometimes opt for bagel thins if I'm in a fat loss phase. I often eat mine half topped with peanut butter and banana, and the other half with low-fat cream cheese and jam, and some fat-free Greek yogurt and fruit on the side.

5. Pizza

A pizza with vegetables on.
Pizza doesn't have to derail your diet. Rachel Hosie

Sometimes I make my own pizza, but I'm a big fan of supermarket ones for ease — pay attention to the nutritional labels because while some can be 1,000s of calories, others (usually those with thin bases) are only around 600 calories with perhaps 30g of protein too.

Restaurant pizzas can have a higher calorie count thanks to thick bases or generous drizzles of oil, so when in a fat loss phase I aim to keep those as occasional treats, or take a few slices home as leftovers.

6. Roasted vegetable, halloumi, and hummus wholemeal wrap

A wholemeal wrap spread with hummus and topped with roasted peppers, halloumi, cucumber, and beetroot.
A whole wheat wrap spread with hummus and topped with roasted peppers, halloumi, cucumber, and beetroot. Rachel Hosie

A great vegetarian lunch option, whole wheat wraps release energy slowly, and the halloumi and hummus are really satiating. This is delicious with falafel too.

7. Grilled cheese, chicken and pesto bagel

A bagel with pesto, chicken and cheese.
A bagel with pesto, chargrilled chicken, and cheese. Rachel Hosie

This is a go-to lunch for me and is so delicious. Spread a bagel with pesto, top with pre-cooked chicken breast, sprinkle cheddar cheese over, and pop under the grill for a few minutes. It also works great in a toaster oven. You can use a bagel thin to lower the calories, and serve with a side salad or vegetable soup to get some micronutrients in.

8. Toast with ricotta and figs

Two slices of toast with ricotta and figs
Toast with ricotta and figs. Rachel Hosie

Toast with ricotta and figs is a delicious combo, and I like to add a drizzle of honey for sweetness too. It also works well with fat-free cottage cheese, for an extra protein boost.

9. Falafel pitta

A falafel pitta.
Falafel pittas are usually packed with salad. Rachel Hosie

Pitta breads are great because you can bulk them up with salads — eating high volume foods is a great way to stay satiated when in a calorie deficit. I love to get pittas filled with hummus, warm falafel, aubergine, salad, and tahini.

10. Chicken sandwich on sourdough

A sourdough sandwich with chicken, pesto, cream cheese, and cucumber.
A sourdough sandwich with chicken, pesto, cream cheese, and cucumber. Rachel Hosie

You can't beat a simple sandwich. I love sourdough bread and often spread mine with pesto and cream cheese, then add grilled chicken and cucumber or avocado.

Read the original article on Insider