The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Avoiding Food In A Bakery?

voodoochild16's picture

Avoiding Food In A Bakery?

Hey all,

I assume most of you guy's on this site work in a Bakery of some sort, I am just wondering if any of you who have had success in maintaining a healthy weight, how all of you avoided eating the foods we make in a Bakery?. This is a huge struggle for me. I am gaining weight and it just won't stop.. thanks in advance!.

Oh and the food I eat is obviously strudels, doughnuts, cookies, etc.

linder's picture

Hi voodoochild16,

I don't work in a bakery.  However, I did work in a donut shop for a couple of years.  At first, I loved to eat the chocolate iced yeast raised donuts.  I could eat 1/2 dozen at a time.  After a few months, when the smell of donut grease permeated my uniform, would not wash out of my hair, and seemed to always be with me, the attraction wore off.  Of course, then the owner of the shop got a soft serve ice cream machine, that was great for a while too, because we got to eat our 'mistakes'.  That too, wore thin, there is only so much soft serve ice cream you can eat. 

I think what really helped the most was I walked to and from work (about 4 miles total) every day since I didn't have a car and buses didn't run between where I lived and the shop. 

I think the best way to avoid eating the goodies, at least for me, is to keep some other food from home on hand (fruit, yogurt, a sandwich) when I get hungry and not indulge.  Easy to say, hard to do.


handymanchef's picture

I only bake and cook at home - but in the past 6 months I have gotten really interested in baking breads, cakes and other delicious things.  I bake breads 3 or 4 times a week and every day for my wife and me. It is so great to be able to eat quality breads of many different types every day.

My problem is that I have put on over 12 kg (26.5 lbs) in six months.  At first it didn't trouble me so much because I was riding my mountain bike every day and working a lot of the extra calories off.  But since winter has arrived, we here in Central Brittany, France have suffered with very cold days, snow, sleet and rain on a regular basis and I have not been able to get out on the bike for weeks now.

As we all know, the answer to not gaining weight, is to not eat so much - Simples! But if you love the food you're making - and let's face it, we all love the food we make - it is not easy to curb our greed.

I am British, but have lived in France for nine years, my French is still not very good, so please don't answer in French lol.

I have a very new blog at - htt:// - please have a look, follow me and comment on what you see.  Cheers everyone

Laurentius's picture

Why would you assume that?

pepperhead212's picture

I'm another that doesn't work in a bakery,  but I can relate to your weight problem.  However, I have a possible solution, depending on your answer to this question: do you work in an upscale bakery, where they use tons of butter, and real chocolate and other natural flavors?  If so, I can't really offer a solution, but if you work in the bakeries like most of the ones I have been in around here (only with others, not for myself!), you can make much better things at home, and once you have learned how, what you get in a bakery simply won't taste as good, due to the cost cutting measures taken for most things.  However, make these type of things for gifts, and to take places, rather than having them in your house, as this will be worse than being where you work!   Like bread, you can make much better baked goods at home, but, unlike bread, it is often more expensive, since you are not taking the cost cutting measures.  Almost ALL of the fat that goes into my sweet baked goods is butter, and I get the best chocolates and cocoas, and use them in large quantities. During the holidays, I make a few thousand cookies for gifts, and really don't eat many of them, but when it comes to brownies, or some other chocolate dessert, I have no willpower, so I make sure I only make it for others, for the most part!   Some things that would be hard to screw up, like a simple cheesecake, are OK from  bakeries, but once you have made a specialty version at home, like that triple layer chocolate/hazelnut one I get a bunch of requests for, the things from the bakeries aren't the same.  

I confess...I just made a small batch of sweet and salty caramel brownies a few days ago, but it was for my birthday.  And nobody else I know makes those, or anything else close to them.  They all buy from bakeries.

My problem with my weight is not sweets so much, but eating far too much of things I make, that may actually be good, if eaten in moderation.  I grow huge amounts of veggies, and go days w/o meat (only because those fresh picked things are so good!), but  I find it hard to eat just one helping of something really good.  So a lot of the soups or stew type things I make I freeze in 1 portion amounts - maybe not to a nutritionist, but it still beats having more available 5 feet away!   

And, like Linder says, excercise is key!  I gain in the winter, due to less movement, plus less veggies (no garden). 

Good luck...we all have vises, but food is hard to overcome.





Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Maybe you need a different workplace. 

MANNA's picture

Never trust a skinny baker! I still remember that quote from ITJB (I think). I had the problem of wanting to eat everything. It passed, somewhat. I dont work in a bakery but I bake a few days a week at home and do the farmers market during the summer. The big thing is to have willpower. If you are tempted to have something, make a choice to have one thing and thats it!!! I keep healthy things around to snack on. Carrot sticks, celery, mushroom slices. You can even try chewing gum and that may curb the cravings.

FlourChild's picture

What works for me is substituting.  I bake nearly constantly because a large part of my job is recipe development.  If I'm tempted to eat too many servings of something, I substitute green tea for the extra servings.  Something about the tea, and the process of making it, keeps me busy and delays the indulgence enough that I often can live without the extra servings.

I also substitute when I do indulge- for instance, if I'm having a piece of cake, which is mostly starches and fat, then I will try to remove starch and fat from a meal that day (which usually means having only salad and protein).  

Sean McFarlane's picture
Sean McFarlane

I am one of those skinny bakers.  What you need to do is limit yourself.  Control your addiction the obviously sweet things.

Or you could think of it as a shrink issue, start writing down all  you eat and cost it out, might scare  you away from eating as much.

Good luck.

PastryPaul's picture

I emphasize, believe me. When I started out, I weighed 190lbs. By the end of my third year I was up to 247. (Yikes) 

At first, you want to eat everything you make. That's only natural and exactly what we do at home. On the job, there's just no way. Like  Sean McFarlane suggested, treat it like a shrink issue. Or like Tony Montana said in "Scarface"... "Don't get into the inventory." A contractor doesn't need to live in every home he builds. A doctor doesn't want to catch every disease he treats. A baker doesn't need to eat everything he makes. It's not only a matter of health, it's a matter of professionalism.

Now, I sit between 195 and 205. I still taste things to make sure they are done right, but that's bite-taste-spit out. Heck, I even taste poolish and you all know that's not from choice.

Once the newness wears off, your zeal for binging will follow.

BTW: The best pastry chef I know is thin as a whip. 

BTW2: I think the large majority of members here are gifted enthusaists, not professionals. I may be wrong, though. Maybe Floyd can shed some light on this matter?


Yerffej's picture

I like the term "gifted enthusiasts" and I believe that Paul is correct that the majority here do not work in a bakery.  In many cases the members of this forum are far more accomplished than many bakery workers.

The struggle against foods and weight gain is a non-issue breeze for some and a life and death battle for others.  Sampling very small bites is the technique that I have seen by most workers in a food environment and it seems effective.  Make rules for yourself that, work for you, are sensible, and easy to follow.   You will then be on your way to solving the issue.


lazybaker's picture

Politely decline and don't eat those food. I don't work in a bakery, but I do wonder how people manage with the constant aroma in the air. I'd get a headache after a while! I agree with the advice given--bring fruits, vegetables, and other food alternatives from home.

MangoChutney's picture

Drink a lot of water, or decaf coffee if you prefer a hot beverage. I don't work in a bakery, but I'm being successful at losing weight at home where I can eat whatever I want, by drinking a lot of fluids. If my belly is full of water, I eat less.

I also allow myself a small portion, every day, of one of my favorite vices. Currently that is one ounce of dark chocolate. Twice a month I get a bowl of ice cream instead. I get two slices of my own baked bread every day. On the day it is baked, I get one half-slice extra, with butter.

The other element is willpower.

dabrownman's picture

eat lots of veggies and fresh fruits while limiting my bread, pastry and desert intake.  Works for me.

MangoChutney's picture

It works for my husband as well, although he doesn't usually consume geographical landscapes (*friendly teasing*). I only walk 2 miles a day, but sometimes dance to catchy music if any is playing. Unfortunately that's probably not possible for people who work outside their home.

gerhard's picture

In most commercial bakeries eating food that is not an ingredient in what you are making is against the rules, this is to avoid allergens and non-listed ingredients into your work.  Most larger places don't allow any eating in the procuction and packaging areas.


PastryPaul's picture

.... But I don't think (hope?) that we are talking about eating in production areas. I think the question has more to do with eating product in general.

At our shops, employees are welcome to take croissants, or whatever into the break room. We also have a communal lunch where everyone takes turns cooking for the gang, including front of house (and yes, I pick up the lunch tab.) We are not big groups, each shop only has 2-5 production staff and 1-3 front. I think today is pizza day, or maybe calzones, (it's not my turn but I can see the guy prepping).


gerhard's picture

My bad, I understood that they were snacking while working, I know years ago were different but now that is generally frowned upon.  I remember when I first started working in the '70s it was common for bakers to smoke while working which thankfully is no longer the case.  I can still picture the burn marks that would be on the edge of wooden work benches.


PastryPaul's picture

I was taught to clear a blocked pastry bag by sucking out the blockage!!!


I676's picture

I thought Linder's idea of walking to work is super-practical. I bike to work every day, 13mi round trip, and it has done wonders for my weight. Of course, I have an office job...but still. Walking or biking to work is good. 

voodoochild16's picture

Thank you all for the suggestions. It's going to be a difficult attempt, but I'm going to try to bring my own food to work.. and pretend I'm working out in the desert (a place away from food and water). Thanks again, hopefully this thread helps others who are fat bastards as well!.

Barbara Krauss's picture
Barbara Krauss

A health expert whom I greatly admire passed on this tip: you'll have much more success in avoiding foods you know you shouldn't eat by telling yourself that YOU CHOOSE not to eat them, not that you CAN'T. It's a subtle but powerful difference between empowering your own choice and feeling bridled with denial or restriction, and it really works -- at least for me, it does.  There is a jar of Jiff peanut butter out in the open in the office where I work. I adore peanut butter, and I would be tempted to dip in every time I see the jar, except that I know it has a lot of things in it I choose not to eat (such as hydrogenated oil) so I don't.  Knowing I've made a positive choice of doing something good for myself makes me feel good, especially when I tell myself I can wait for the "real thing."