Lose The Wheat, Lose The Weight, and Find Your Way Back To Health
Does eliminating wheat from your diet seem like an impossible task or resemble your idea of hell on earth?
Well, it doesn’t have to anymore!
Mounting evidence and thousands of success stories show us that there is a life after wheat, a vibrantly healthy life at that.
In this third article from our Wheat Belly Series, we will guide you through the steps to breaking your addiction to wheat to experience life and health in a way you may never have thought possible.
A Quick Recap on Wheat Belly, Written by William Davis
- The Wheat we eat now bears virtually no similarity to the Wheat our ancient ancestors or even our grandparents ate due to human hybridisation of the grain over the last half-century.
- Wheat in the form of white AND wholemeal bread has a higher Glycaemic index than simple table sugar, making it one of the main dietary culprits responsible for weight gain, diabetes and heart disease.
- Testing for Wheat Intolerance is severely limited, due to there being many possible allergenic components in the wheat grain (not just gluten) that we do not test for. Therefore, it is likely that a large amount of the population has undiagnosed Wheat sensitivity.
- Wheat sensitivity symptoms are not limited to the digestive system, although they often manifest as alternating bowel habits, bloating, abdominal cramping and reflux. Other symptoms are diverse and range from skin allergies to sore joints and muscle aches, mood swings, premature ageing, headaches and a whole lot more.
- More seriously, wheat is pro-inflammatory, acid-forming and can cause severe damage to the gastrointestinal tract, eventually leading to increased risk of autoimmune diseases such as Diabetes, Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis amongst others.
So, How Do You Say Goodbye to Wheat For Good, Minus the Mental Breakdown?
Revamp Your Pantry
Abrupt and complete elimination of wheat from your life appears to be the most effective way to break a wheat addiction, so make a definite time to clear your pantry and fridge of wheat containing products to start your new lifestyle.
Wheat is in almost everything, especially processed foods (eg. pastas, cereals, baked goods, fried foods, condiments, etc) so read food labels labels and turf anything containing wheat or gluten.
Stock up on Foods you can Consume in Unlimited Quantities (see table below) so you have plenty of healthy options to choose from. Generally, anything fresh and non-processed is in safe territory.
Some great ideas for wheat-product substitutes include:
- Using large lettuce leaves as wraps for your lunch fillings instead of bread or wheat wraps
- Having a delicious protein smoothie for brekky instead of toast or cereal
- Snacking on raw nuts and seeds with some dark chocolate instead of your morning-tea muffin
- Baking up some sweet potato with cinnamon and coconut oil for a sweet treat instead of pastries or crumpets
There is a chance you will suffer from some wheat-withdrawal symptoms during the first days of wheat elimination. These could include fatigue, irritability, headaches and food cravings, similar to what you would experience when you quit nicotine or caffeine.
If you approach your new wheat-free diet with a positive attitude and the knowledge that you might get some of these unpleasant symptoms for the first few days, they will be more manageable and less upsetting.
Arm yourself with healthy distractions during this time if necessary, for example, schedule some exercise or relaxation activities, and focus on the positive outcomes you will experience once you are completely wheat-free.
You can look forward to easy weight loss, a flatter tummy, increased energy, improved digestion, reduced pain and inflammation, clarity of mind, less mood swings, and no more sugar and junk food cravings.
Make sure you also prepare your food for the first week of your wheat-free diet ahead of time so you don’t need to stress about learning how to cook wheat-free while you are feeling a little cranky!
Avoid Wheat and Gluten Substitutes
Throughout Wheat Belly, Davis points out to us that gluten-free food substitutes are often packed full of additives and preservatives, and have a similar effect as wheat on blood sugar levels. That is to say, they contribute to weight gain in a major way.
This means you need to take the time to prepare more of your own foods from scratch and eat plenty of fresh and natural foods – the way nature intended.
Instead of viewing this process as a chore, embrace it as a chance to enhance your creativity in the kitchen, experiment with new foods, include your partner or kids in the cooking process and really appreciate your meal times.
You can even increase your intake of healthy fats for energy as an alternative to refined carbs. These fats will actually improve your metabolic health and may even assist weight loss. Intrigued? Find out more here.
Be Wary of Wheat-like Grains
Although wheat contains the highest concentration of gluten in comparison to other grains, if you have a wheat sensitivity you are likely to react to other gluten-containing grains.
Therefore it is best to avoid: barley, rye, spelt, kamut, semolina, bulgar, couscous and durum.
Enjoy these nutritious and versatile gluten free grains instead: Amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, corn, millet and rice. Unprocessed oats are ok for most people without Celiac Disease to include in their wheat-free diet.
Davis’ Dietary Guidelines
If you’re interested in purchasing Wheat Belly, you will get plenty of healthy and tasty-wheat free recipes in the last chapters to help you on your way!
Finally, it is important to note that despite what you’ve been told, wheat is NOT a food group, there is no such thing as a ‘wheat deficiency’, and you will not suffer from any adverse health effects or nutritional deficiencies if you replace the wheat in your diet with fresh and wholesome foods.