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The Water & Bread Diet

By Kaitlin Priddy ; Updated July 27, 2017

The bread and water diet is one of many fad diets that may result in temporary weight loss. Ultimately, however, this diet is not a sustainable or healthy regimen because it has many negative physical and mental effects. A long-term commitment to improving all-around health is the real key to losing weight. Reduction is virtually inevitable with proper diet and exercise.


Consuming exclusively bread and water is not a new concept in the least. Prisoners had this as a form of punishment in the 1800s, according to Fasting for religious and cleansing purposes can also involve consuming only bread and water. This concept was commonly applied to weight loss in the 1970s and 1980s when it was a popular fad diet, according to

Weight Loss

As a weight loss tactic, the bread and water diet can be categorized as a fad or crash diet. The pattern is eating bread and drinking water for one day, then eating normally the next. The dieter continues alternating these days until the goal weight is reached.

Physical Effects

Crash diets like this adversely impact the body, according to, because the body is prevented from receiving necessary vitamins and minerals. Also, the body consumes muscle protein along with fat when on a crash diet. When the diet ends, the body often regains the weight in the form of fat, so in the end the dieter will likely have a higher percentage of body fat compared to muscle than before. Also, the bread and water diet can result in constipation because bread is typically made from refined grains that contain little fiber, according to

Mental Effects

Crash diets like bread and water are detrimental to mental health as much as physical health. Crash dieters experience irritability, fatigue and cravings when the body is deprived of necessary nutrients and calories, according to These side effects can make it difficult to sleep, interact with others and be productive at work or school.

Healthy Weight Loss

Healthy and sustainable weight loss is a long-term process that involves real lifestyle changes. Conventional weight loss efforts include exercise, weight training, portion control and a support system, according to Emphasizing health instead of thinness, and discovering the reasons behind overeating are also crucial components to successful weight loss.

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