Weight Loss –
Thoughts From My Own Journey In Abstaining From Wheat
Eight years and 60 lbs ago, I decided after looking at my driver’s license picture, that I had to make some changes in the form of weight loss or I was going to die much sooner than I had planned to. I knew that I had to get back to where I used to be, twenty years ago when I weighed 155lbs. It seems that all of a sudden, I turned into a very “cheeky fellow”. I mean that my cheeks looked like they belonged to chipmunks. Problem was, they had nothing in them…except fat. I had become very comfortable eating every kind of pastry, pasta and bread that I could find, thinking that it was all healthy for me and wasn’t affecting my weight in the slightest. Boy, was I wrong!
Fortunately for me, a farmer’s market opened up by me, that carried a lot of bulk foods. This allowed me to cut down or even stop eating processed foods and concentrate more on preparing everything for myself. I soon learned the best way to lose weight for me was to limit my intake of breads (which I love) and grain-based snack foods and eat more fruits and vegetables, not only for meals but for snacks between meals.
I’m one of those that believes that fruits and vegetables should be at the bottom of the old food pyramid that I followed growing up. instead of grains because it’s the fruits and vegetables that are really the most nutritious. Now don’t get me wrong. I didn’t say to stop eating breads, I’m just saying that you should limit your intake. But I am saying that you should stop eating all snacks made out of grains, especially wheat.
For me, the ratio was directly proportional, the more fruit and vegetables I ate, the more weight I lost. The more bread and snacks I ate, the more weight I gained. For me it was easy, just cut out all the bread and snacks and eat only fruits and vegetables.
That worked until I became anemic and had to start taking B-12 tablets. That was when I decided to put meat back into my diet and with meat came the grains in the form of breads, pastas, and cereals. After the meat and grains came the weight. I say this to point out the fact that balance is what’s most important, for when I became anemic, I was 10 lbs under my optimal weight after losing close to 50 lbs. I lost it by eating nothing but fruits and vegetables and in doing that I lost the balance. I may have lost some weight but I lost some of my health also.
Now I make sure that I have more meat in my diet by having at least one serving each day and I try to control the number of breads, pastas and cereals so I can maintain a weight that’s optimal for me. But then, even though exercise has always been a part of my daily routine, it’s the food side of the equation that I’m dwelling on with this post.
Balance is the optimal expression here. We just need to make sure that our balance should tip to the fruit and vegetable side of the plate. Changing snack food to fruits and nuts instead of grain products like pastries and cookies might be the most important change that I’ve made. Although I haven’t tried the Fat Burning Brownies or the Guilt Free Chocolate yet, I still have a yen to do so. I’ll keep you posted on the success they have with my weight loss program.
Although I haven’t tried the Fat Burning Brownies or the Guilt Free Chocolate yet, I’m almost sorry to say that I never will as I have learned that there’s something to the claim that Dr. William Davis made in his book Wheat Belly, because I’ve broken my addiction to breads and pastas and I’ve dropped another 5 lbs. Best thing yet? It’s still off after 1 month, so I would highly recommend that you read Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis. It’s an eye-opening book in which Dr. Davis claims that wheat should be called “Frankenwheat” due to it addictive nature as well as the lack of nutrition that it now has due to genetic engineering, simply to get more crop out of an acre of ground. I said goodbye to wheat. You should try if you think you can? Because of its addictive nature, I can guarantee you that it’ll be tougher than you think, but the rewards for doing so far outweigh the consequences of not doing so.
After trying to eliminate all wheat from my diet, I was able to eliminate 98% of it. Not until trying to eliminate it all did I ever realized how prevalent it is in our daily diet. It’s no wonder we’re so overweight. Wheat products are everywhere you turn in the grocery store. Every Restaurant serves some form of it. It’s the next thing closest to impossible to get away from. But since trying to do exactly that 1 month ago, I’ve lost another 5 lbs. to where I’m only 5 lbs away from my optimum weight for my height, with my BMI being 1/10th of a point from being excellent (20.1) for my age. I had an idea that it was the bread that wasn’t letting me get past the point I was at, but I had little idea how much they were hindering me. Since I’ve all but stopped them completely, my moods have stabilized and I’m not so quick to anger, probably because my blood sugars are staying on a more even level. I’ve replaced the bread with more nutritious foods (fruits and vegetables) which have far more micro-nutrients in them than what the bread has. This one little change has perhaps had more influence on my life and interaction with people than almost anything else. The breads weren’t just hurting my body, but they were hurting my brain as well.
I’m doing my best to stay off the grain products and it’s going well except for a few crackers once in a while. If I’m not careful though, my old addiction will kick in and I’ll end up gorging out on not just crackers, but any or all grain products like pastries, pasta, and bread as well as the worst of them all, cookies and donuts. There’s so many of them out there and they’re so easy to consume, it’s like it’s a conspiracy to keep me eating that which is least healthiest for me. I almost feel like a rebel trying to break away from this crap but this is something I feel good about rebelling against. After falling back to my old addiction and increasing my bread intake, I managed to put on 5 lbs. but fortunately, taking it back off was as easy as stopping the grain intake, because it came right back off within a week after I cut back. Since then, I’ve stayed off of it and managed to lose another 3 lbs. I’m now within 2 lbs of my target weight. This was a weight I never thought I could achieve and I’m only 2 lbs away bringing me to this conclusion, grain products offer too little nourishment for the amount of weight gain they bring. They’re too heavy on the simple starches that add weight and too light on the complex carbohydrates that have the micro-nutrients that give me the nutrition I need. This throws the balance too far away from healthy for me.
It’s been about 3 months since I decided to quit eating bread products, for all intents and purposes. But it’s impossible to do away with altogether. I see now how this could be the biggest crisis in America, since the Cold War, the assumption that bread products of all kinds are somehow good for us. Since I cut back on my intake of bread three months ago, I’ve lost another 12 lbs and am now below my ideal weight by 2 lbs. The beauty of it is, I know my weight is going to stay here as long as I control the number of bread products that I put in my mouth to eat. The fewer grain products I eat the easier it is to lose weight. If I want to maintain my weight I include a little bit of them in my diet. If I want to lose weight I eat fewer grains (breads, cakes, pastries, Danish, pasta, noodles, rice & rice dishes, cereal, granola, popcorn, etc). I have to admit that going without eating all of the products listed is the next thing closest to impossible, but if I control the intake of those products, I control my weight.
This is to the point where it’s almost unbelievable except for the fact that I’m living it. And experiencing it! 4 Months and counting, with reduced grains and no wheat. An additional 18 lbs and holding. My weight is at a 27 year low. The last time it was this low, I was recovering from being in a coma for a month. This weight loss that I’ve experienced just from cutting back on grains and eliminating wheat and anything that contains any portion of wheat, has manifested multiple other blessings on my body, brain and behavior. One of the biggest blessings is I’m not hungry all of the time. It’s becoming almost too easy to ignore my stomach, which is something I’ve never been able to do. That’s alright because now I can eat more than I ever used to eat and I still lose weight. Although I may be to my ideal weight now, as my weight has stayed the same for about a week. The benefits though don’t stop with my reduced weight. They go much farther than that. I don’t feel the pain of arthritis as much, my stomach doesn’t act up as much, my thinking is much, much clearer. That’s probably due to the more stable glucose levels in my blood. This book, Wheat Belly, has truly changed my life. If you were smart, you’d let it change yours too.
In my continuing chronicle of my abstinence from wheat, it’s been about 4 1/2 months, my weight has hit a 28 year low and I’ve been accused of turning skinny. It may be time to reintroduce wheat back into my diet and I would except for the few times that I’ve tried it already. When I did add wheat back into my diet, problems started to arise that essentially reminded me of why it was such a good idea to quit, such as my joints would start hurting again, I’d start itching usually about 5-10 minutes after I ingested the bread or cracker. So now that I’ve found out that I indeed to have an intolerance to wheat, I’m in the search for products of this nature that won’t contain any wheat within them. This is a challenge that I didn’t expect to run into, finding bread and crackers that don’t have any wheat flour contained within them. I know enough to look for gluten-free products but half of the problem is that the fillers they use for the gluten are more fattening than the gluten itself. But it’s not just the gluten that bothers me, it the gliadin, the part responsible for aggravating any arthritis you might have in your body as well as damaging your brain cells beyond repair. It turns out then, that it seems to be a really good idea to give up the wheat products for more reasons than just the weight loss. By quitting the wheat, I’m saving my brain as well as my body. I would have never guessed that in a million years, that such a simple product as bread or pasta, could cause so many problems in our bodies or our brains. My next read is to learn more precisely what grains, in general, are doing to our brains by reading Grain Brain by Dr. Perlmutter.
I’m now about 6 months into my new life without wheat or now, without any grains. After reading Grain Brain, all carbohydrates have been reduced with the exception of green vegetables and fruits in limited amounts. My weight is hovering around 15 lbs lower than my ultimate dream weight, a weight that I never thought I could achieve. It’s amazing how just giving up one kind of food source could have such an impact on one’s health. It’s amazing how much better life is overall now. The arthritis that’s plagued my back for 30 years has reduced in severity to less than half as bad as it was when I was eating them. I’m doing things I haven’t been able to do for more than 30 years. My thinking is clearer. My emotions have evened out from not having the highs and lows from changes in my blood glucose. It’s almost unbelievable how much better I feel…and all from eating no more grains. What a Deal!! And I thought Wheat Belly changed my life. That impact is insignificant compared to what I’ve learned from Grain Brain.
Two weeks later and I’m still losing weight, to the point that I’m at the lowest weight I’ve seen in 30 years. My total weight loss is now over 60 lbs and again I’m being accused of being too skinny. I remember being accused of that in high school. All of this is the result of a high fat, low or no carb diet. I have to admit that it wasn’t easy but it was well worth it and after I broke the addiction of the wheat and grains, the pounds kept melting off effortlessly. And now that I’ve been off of them for 6 months, I can’t go back to eating them, for all the problems that they create, so I”m pretty much guaranteed that I’m not going to put the weight back on.
This is the really interesting part, according to Dr. Perlmutter in his book, Grain Brain, your body creates certain hormones that strengthen and build your brain when you’re thinner and when you fast without food. This seems to be the case for me as it’s much easier to finish my crossword puzzles now. What a deal…weight loss combined with loss of arthritis pain and a more balanced emotional state and best of all a lot more brain power. I couldn’t have bargained for anything better.
4 months later and my weight seems to have leveled out at 55 pounds lower than it was at my heaviest, 210 lbs. For the last 3 months, my weight has been right around 155lbs, which is exactly 10 lbs heavier than when I was 28yrs old. Ever since adapting to a high fat, low-no carb diet, I can’t seem to put on weight, even though I’m eating more. Maybe it just seems like I’m eating more because I’m eating more often, sometimes 6 times a day. I’m still adjusting to how easy it is to do everything again. Little things like getting up and down have become so easy again, I can either sit on the floor a or stand up from the floor without the use of my hands and if that doesn’t sound like too much, you should try it sometime. It’s something I haven’t been able to do for over 30 years. My arthritis has diminished tremendously to where many of the pains are just nuisance pains. My stomach never gets upset anymore and I don’t seem to get headaches anymore. It’s turned out that this decision to quit eating cereal grains has been the healthiest decision I’ve ever made.
8 months and I bet you’re all waiting to see if I’ve put back on my weight or not. You want to see if this change is permanent or not. My weight has increased back to 160 lbs, but I’m eating a lot more since I’ve been finding more and more foods to eat that don’t have any grains in them and since my weight is still 15 lbs below what my weight should be for my height, I’m quite happy staying slender. I actually have a “sculpted body” now. I’ve never had a sculpted body. Even when I was 28 and had a somewhat sculpted body, my legs were too skinny because I couldn’t get over 154 lbs in all my attempts to gain weight. It wasn’t until I turned 35 that my weight started to climb. By the time I was 40 it had reached 190 lbs and hit 210 lbs when I turned 53 so needless to say it feels so good to be back down to my normal weight, 160. I just wish I could have had this body when I was 28. The legs may be a little thin yet, but they’re not skinny.
As far as my other health is concerned, my arthritis has cleared up, I don’t have any stomach problems anymore and my thinking is as clear as it’s ever been. This abstinence from grains has taught me that grains truly are dangerous foods for the human body.
It’s now been close to a year since my decision to quit wheat and grains, and with the exception of my lower back where there exists degenerative disc disease, my health hasn’t been better and my weight has stayed at 160 lbs. For my height, that is 15 lbs below my optimum weight, but I’m feeling much better keeping it lower. It’s a lot easier to get up and down now, almost as easy as when I was a kid. From a weight of 210 lbs 7 years ago to 184 a year ago to 160 now, it’s become apparent that the true key to weight loss was the disappearance of wheat and grains from my diet. It’s also a lot more fun to eat fat again.
Close to 2 years have passed since I originally gave up the grain. I’ve stayed off the grains but my diet has incorporated more fat to compensate for the loss of calories from the high carbohydrate grains. I’ve even taken to taking a sip of coconut oil every once in a while, simply because it tastes good. My weight fluctuates now, between 155 and 160, usually staying closer to 155 most of the time. There are times, however, when I eat too much and when I do that my weight goes up simply because of the amount of food I ate. But then, it always drops back down the next day. It feels so much better being at a weight that I was trying to achieve 35 years ago when I was in my mid-twenties. Back then, I was trying to gain weight, because everybody considered me skinny. After I hit 35, the weight really came on, so much so, that I couldn’t get it back off. Not until I gave up what was keeping that weight on me, the high carbohydrate foods, that are mostly found in grain foods, like bread, cereal, pasta and pastries. High carbohydrate food includes foods with sugar and sweeteners in them, as well, for new studies have shown that diet sodas don’t help anyone keep their weight down. The artificial sweeteners, it seems, trick the body into wanting more, which can be deadly, if you’re already overweight.
I learned that eating fat, doesn’t make you fat. What makes you fat is eating carbs.
It all has to do with the way your body metabolizes carbs. You can know this by reading Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter, or Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis. They’ll both tell you just how devastating this food source can be. And it can be pretty devastating.
After I learned that 1 gram of glucose, (the fuel of carbs) has 4 calories, as opposed to the 9 calories of fuel in each gram of fat, it occurred to me that fat is a much more efficient fuel than the glucose is. That means that you don’t have to eat nearly as much if you’re on a diet that uses healthy fats and protein instead of a diet that uses high carbohydrate food. Actually, you can get all the nutrition out of half of the high-fat foods as what you get out of a high carbohydrate food. I’ve been told that the diet I’m on now is actually a ketogenic diet. Ketogenic diets are usually used for people fighting illness or disease. What I’ve really learned is that Ketogenic diets are for healthy people and anybody who wants to be healthy, because our bodies, genetically, have not advanced enough through evolution to handle the extreme load of glucose that carbs put into the body. I’ve learned that carbs, especially too many of them can be deadly, simply because of the amount of illness and disease they cause, like diabetes, arthritis, cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, and too many more that room prohibits me from listing them.
Suffice it to say, carbs are bad food to eat. If you switch to a Ketogenic diet and allow your body to go into ketosis, you’ll find that your energy reserves rise dramatically, as well as a return to your previous healthy state when you were younger. For me, it was 40 years younger. You should try it. I can absolutely guarantee that you will like it.
Now, it’s been 28 months since I’ve gone “carb free” and what a trip its been. My weight is still 154 right now. sometimes it fluctuates up to 156 or down to 152, but it’s always in that range, 20+ lbs lower than my prescribed weight. My pain is reduced. The inflammation throughout my entire body is reduced. My headaches are non-existent. I have less mucus in my sinuses. I sweat less because of the lack of fat on my body. My arthritis doesn’t bother me nearly as much. I don’t have stomach problems anymore, ever. Most importantly, I have more energy, a lot more energy and I’m not hungry half the time. When I am hungry, it’s easy to ignore. This is true bliss. My blood pressure last time I checked it, was 115/60. It’s never been that low. It’s always been in the 130/80 range to 140 /90 range, while at rest. This lack of carbs in my diet has lowered my blood pressure, lowered my blood glucose, balanced my cholesterol, (To those uneducated about cholesterol, I lowered my LDL Cholesterol that’s the bad stuff.) To learn exactly what this transformation has done to my life, visit Carbs, My Life Without Them.
With fat being 225% more efficient than carbs, why would anyone in their right mind ever return to carbs? I love eating fat, to not be fat.
One thing I refuse to do, is to give in to the food/pharmaceutical industrial complex. I will not play their game and fall into their trap, the trap of eating their food, then having to buy their drugs to cure the illness their food causes. My mama didn’t raise a sucker.
Less than two months later on 3/20/16, my book has been published for two weeks. I have 3 proofs with another 2 on the way. It’s Time For A Cure is available on Amazon.com in color, and Its’ Time To Curb Your Carbs to Save Your Life And Keep Your Dignity and still my weight loss remains permanent.