Monday, August 1, 2016

Wheat Belly

This is a re-post from 2014. The advice is timeless.

Anyone who has followed my dietary advice knows that my first recommendation is to ditch the wheat and all other products that contain gluten. When I talk about "diet" I don't mean losing weight necessarily (although that will follow) but rather your nutritional lifestyle. My revelation about going wheat-free came about with a talk one day at a Starbucks with the author of the book Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to HealthWilliam Davis, MD. In my own experience, I lost 30 pounds in six weeks when I first started the diet then another 10 after I incorporated a "cheat day" once a week. A cheat day is the one day a week (I chose Friday) when I would eat what I wanted and as much as I wanted. Despite the fact that I never got hungry following Dr. Davis' advice, my metabolism did eventually slow down and I revved it back up by pigging out one meal a week.

But the "diet" part is actually two-fold: avoid gluten AND avoid sugars and simple starches. While "Wheat Belly" measures the effects of carbohydrates on a person's insulin response, I found it easier to stick with the standard Glycemic Index, avoiding "fast carbs" and consuming only "slow carbs." Those phrases were popularized by Timothy Ferriss in his book The 4-Hour Body . Warning: not for the faint-hearted. He also gave me the idea of the cheat day. The thing I like best about Ferris is that he tries his ideas on himself first. This just supports Dr. Mangold's Rules for Good Living No. 2: Never Trust a Fat Dietitian.

Search for "Glycemic Index" and you will find no lack of sites that not only explain what the term means, but also give you lists of foods that are low and high GI. Sugars and simple starches are highest, while more complex veggies are low. Simply put, I did fine with cabbage, asparagus, kale, spinach, nuts, and legumes. Dr. Davis narrows the choices down even more but I still lost weight eating non-recommended foods. He also has a Wheat Belly Cookbook. As I said, I never went hungry nor should you.
Here's to your start of healthy eating!

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