For as long as I can remember I have spent my life hungry. I mean HUN-GRY! I would sometimes complain to people, "I swear, the more I eat, the more I WANT to eat!"
Somehow I still managed to lose about 120 pounds with this affliction. I increased my protein, water consumption and ate frequent meals and this definitely helped a lot but I would still get these episodes where I would just be a bottomless pit! And it was keeping me from losing the last few pounds.
I really started to take note of when these times occured. And I started to notice a strange pattern. When I had my breakfast with a piece of fruit for my carb, I stayed full way longer. When I had the same exact breakfast with a piece of organic, 100% whole wheat bread, I was starving an hour later (if that) and would get really sleepy!!!
Now, the idea of not eating my whole grains flew in the face of everything I had read on the subject of nutrition (and, let me just say, I've read a LOT). So I did what every modern American does when they are confused about something....I googled it. What I found has changed my life!
I started out by reading the blog of a body builder who talked about how many body builders have to cut out wheat in the weeks prior to a competition to really "lean out". I followed that blog to another site and on that site I fould a link to the book Wheat Belly.
I immediately downloaded the audiobook for Wheat Belly and listened in disbelief to what I was hearing. What? No wheat? But I kept listening and, as I've said in other blogs, I started to believe it because it made sense and those are the things I tend to believe.
So I thought "what do I have to lose" and decided to go a day without wheat. That was quite a few months ago and I've never looked back. Let me stop here. Some people don't understand what wheat is. Many believe when I say I quit eating wheat that I mean whole wheat. They believe I just starting eating white bread. Basically all bread products are wheat (the ones that are not will be touting this clearly on the package because they are probably specifically a wheat substitute). In fact, you'd be surprised how many products contain wheat when you start reading ingredient labels.
I'm not going to go into all the science behind why wheat negatively affects most of the population (although some have much more severe and adverse reactions--like me), I'll just tell you what eliminating it did for me then you can educate yourself if this interests you.
Since I've eliminated wheat:
- I have lost the 10 pounds to my goal weight with basically no effort or calorie restriction.
- My stomach has DRASTICALLY flattened! I mean DRASTICALLY and almost right away!
- My digestive problems are basically gone! (The only time I experience them now is when I eat sugar--which I will address in my next post.)
- I am no longer constantly hungry for the first time in my life! And my energy level is much higher (again, except when I eat sugar).
- My allergy headaches and congestion are very minimal and I used to have horrible allergies.
- And the one I didn't expect, my knee had been bothering me for about a year and the pain cleared up 100% after only 2 days of being wheat-free!!!
Some people are convinced that I am doing some crazy fad diet in order to look a certain way. They are so completely wrong! Eliminating wheat is one of the hardest and one of the healthiest things I've ever done. Since quitting, I can think, off the top of my head, of 6 other people that have eliminated it from their diet as well when they saw my results. 2 of which have also seen the same dramatic results as me (which, oddly, almost exactly fits the 40% projection I mentioned earlier).
Also, I removed wheat products from my 3 year old son's diet as well and his allergies cleared up overnight! This is after him having perma-snot basically his entire little life. And he was a little chunky before that and he immediately slimmed down to a healthy weight. I will also add, he still eats wheat products at daycare and at his father's house, so this is actually the results of wheat-reduction in his case.
So who most likely should try wheat elimination?
- People who struggle with being overweight.
- People who carry a lot of weight around their middle.
- People with allergies or any other afflictions caused by inflammation (like arthritis)
Like I said, I'm not going to go into the science behind it but its definitely out there. I highly recommend reading (or listening to) Wheat Belly. Or you can start by checking out this blog: Wheat Belly Blog.