O.k. I’m starting to feel like a Wheat Belly spokes person, but I have to say this book has proven to be a very valuable resource, thus far. I am also just now discovering some great resources in this wonderful blog world too.
Anyway, if you even glance at the cover of the book you cannot miss the hook,
LOOSE THE WHEAT, LOSE THE WEIGHT, AND FIND YOUR PATH BACK TO HEALTH
This is so not why I picked up the book. No, I picked it up because of the New York Times Best seller sticker (logic: if that many people read it, maybe I should see what this is about.) But hey whatever gets you to open the book.
So, immediately the doc (as in William Davis, MD) starts in about weight loss and the American obesity epidemic. He cites that Wheat should really be the prime suspect ahead of sugar, pop, and junk food…most of which you soon realize contain wheat anyway. The premise is simple: wheat is a carbohydrate, simple or complex it is still a carbohydrate. Carbohydrates cause a rise in blood sugar. Blood sugar spikes followed by insulin release trigger visceral fat (ie. belly fat) storage. The more wheat, the more blood sugar spikes, the more visceral fat, that fatter you get. Simple.
I can now agree that wheat is a huge problem and that we as a society probably consume way too much of it. But, weight loss just from cutting wheat? Come on.
To understand my skepticism you must understand that for me weight loss is one of those funny things that I was pretty convinced I had little control over. Except when I choose to starve myself and exercise excessively. Neither of which I enjoy, let alone actually take the initiative to do consistently.
It should come as no surprise that I have never been a “skinny” girl…nor a huge one (well there was that one time, and that other…one time… I digress.) I am slightly above average height and have a pretty solid frame. Heavy bones — as in even when I’m am as thin as I have ever been I still weigh more than the average person of the same height and dress size.
To be fair I have been pregnant four times in the last six years, yielding three lovely children, but if pregnancy, birth and breast feeding doesn’t put you on a yo-yo diet, I don’t know what does.
I should also disclose, I did have a baby 7 months ago and I do exclusively breast feed (which typically seems to help me) but after having this last baby I have struggled with getting the last 10 lbs. of pregnancy weight to come off. My scale has just been kind of stuck. Oh well, it usually takes me a year or more to loose the pregnancy weight anyway. I thought I was doing pretty good to only have 10 lbs to go.
Anyway, when I started this experiment, I truthfully had no thought other than – Wouldn’t that be nice – in terms of weight loss.
So, imagine my surprise when at the writing of this post I find myself a solid 12 pounds lighter, and as close as I can figure a good two inches off my waist (by belt notch calculations.) All in just a months time! This finally puts me just below my pre-pregnancy weight.
Sorry, no dramatic before or after shots. I really didn’t think that going gluten free would affect my weight all that much. Of course, even with these results I am still in the “overweight” category when you consider my BMI. I now hope that by choosing to go gluten free perhaps my weight will return to a healthy range and maybe stay there. Thus avoiding the constant up and down cycle my body has endured over the years (especially now that I am not pregnant.)
So what if wheat is a bigger factor in weight gain? That would mean (as Dr. Davis suggests) that even in its whole grain form wheat is not as healthy for us as the food industry would lead us to believe. I think that was the most mind blowing concept for me during this whole process.
I believe very much in eating in a traditional way. That food in its purest form is what is best for our bodies, including what I thought were healthy whole grains. But, as I read and have learned wheat as we know it is not the same wheat our forefathers ate. Not even close, and while not technically a GMO (Genetically Modified Organism), it has been severely Hybridized. And as all things that take on such drastic changes in a short period of time with the “help” of mankind, there are bound to be some consequences.
The really scary thing about the hybridization of wheat is that it touches so much more than, skin, gut, and fat. We are talking serious effects on the brain, blood, and organs.
Its hard to think that if we reigned in our wheat consumption we could actually prevent or at least stave off some of the harshest effects of disorders and diseases like: diabetes, high cholesterol, dementia, hormone issues (ie. Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome), acne, ADHD, arthritis and more.
Look, I’m not a doctor, I’m not even an expert. I am just going off my results.
The results are: Apparently my skin reacts to wheat,my gut apparently reacts to wheat, and even my waistline shows evidence that wheat has been a factor in hard to lose belly fat. Will you have the same results? I don’t know. But, for the sake of your health it may be worth considering exactly what impact this whole grain has on your body.
I leave you with a question from Wheat Belly:
“Did you know that eating two slices of whole wheat bread can increase blood sugar more than 2 tablespoons of pure sugar can?”
What do you think that does to you?