Can Cutting Out Wheat Help You Lose Weight?
By Emma Jenkins
I discovered early in 2011, after years of struggling with what I thought was IBS and bloating, that I was in fact, wheat intolerant. This discovery was nothing short of a revelation.
I quickly reduced my wheat intake to almost nothing and the improvement was instantaneous. There was one side effect of cutting out wheat, however, that I hadnít counted on; weight loss.
I quickly noticed that my bloating had disappeared, my stomach was flatter and, within a matter or weeks, I had started to shed those unwanted lbs.
On doing a little bit of investigation, it was clear to see that this is a subject that has not escaped other peopleís attention, nutritionists, health experts and dieters alike.
Why limiting your wheat intake helps keep you trim
It is common knowledge that, in the fight to lose weight, cutting out cakes, white bread and other starchy foods is a key component; but it is not only the refined sugars and carbohydrates in these things that is causing the problem, sometimes it can simply be the inclusion of wheat.
Wheat intolerance is notoriously tricky to diagnose, mainly because symptoms, such as diarrhoea and cramps, donít present for around 48 hours and most people will go their entire lives and never realise that they are wheat intolerant.
Resistant weight-loss is another symptom, due to the bloating and water retention that is often mistaken for unwanted lbs.
You donít need to cut out wheat and gluten entirely, unless of course you suffer from coeliac disease which is a complete intolerance to all gluten, but simply reducing the amount of wheat you consume on a daily basis can have remarkable results.
Simple steps to cut back your wheat intake
So, where do you start? Itís a good question, and one that should be thought through properly. Wheat is in an awful lot of food products, many more than you probably realise, and cutting it out of your diet completely can be daunting.
But here is where I started, and what I have found to be a successful solution, not only for my wheat intolerance but also for maintaining my own weight-loss;
1. Cut out bread
If you can stop eating bread altogether, fantastic. If you canít, donít worry, you can buy wheat-free bread in most supermarkets and if youíre a dab hand at baking, you can buy wheat-free flour and make your own. Spelt flour is an excellent alternative to wheat flour for making bread.
2. Cut out pasta and noodles
This is the one I found the trickiest, I am a self-confessed pasta-junkie.
However, wheat-free pasta (also readily available in supermarkets) is just as good as the real stuff, especially if you blanch it in hot water for two minutes before cooking.
Switch from noodles to rice with other dishes and voila; a huge portion of wheat is no longer a part of your diet.
3. Avoid cakes and biscuits
I know, I know, life is cruel. But cakes and biscuits are mostly flour and sugar, and we all know that they are a demon to dieters. If you are craving a sugar fix, opt for chocolate instead.
While lots of other things contain wheat, such sauces and gravies, breadcrumbs and batter etc, cutting out these three components, or opting for their wheat-free alternatives, is a major step in the right direction. And, if you find that you are seeing dramatic results, start looking at other wheat-free options. I now only use wheat-free flour in my kitchen; for making sauces and cakes etc.
Not only have I found that I am losing weight, have a flatter tummy thanks to the lack of bloating, and no longer suffer from the horrendous symptoms of my intolerance.
I also have more energy, more motivation and generally feel much better overall; probably a combination on cutting out the wheat and finding healthier alternatives; tuna salad instead of a tuna sandwich for example.
Making small changes to your daily diet can have a massive effect on your general health and your weight, and these are the sort of changes that are easy to stick to.
Forming good diet patterns that last a lifetime are far more beneficial that crash dieting that starts well and almost always ends badly.