Maxwell is a smart guy.
A faculty member at a local university, he teaches graduate students and performs research. A pretty darned sophisticated sort of guy.
At age 62, he’s got heart disease, coronary heart disease that has necessitated 3 stents over the years (all implanted before I met him). Among the causes of his coronary disease: thyroid dysfunction, vitamin D deficiency, omega-3 fatty acid deficiency, and a flagrant excess of small LDL particles. (Notice I did NOT say “high cholesterol”, what I call the “kindergarten version” of heart disease causation!)
Followers of the Wheat Belly conversation, of course, recognize that the amylopectin A of modern wheat is the most powerful trigger of small LDL particle formation. So, beyond correcting his thyroid dysfunction, supplementing vitamin D and fish oil, I counseled Maxwell on how to conduct a happy wheat-free lifestyle to reduce or eliminate the expression of small LDL particles and thereby take back control over his heart health.
And he did so. BUT–He didn’t believe that the few croutons on his Greek salad and other salads would hurt him. Just a few croutons, after all! But he could not understand why he was always hungry, looking for snacks between every meal, hungry after dinner, hungry even when his stomach was full. And weight was stalled after an initial few pounds of weight loss off his abdomen.
I nagged him ceaselessly over a year’s time to completely lose the wheat, breadcrumbs, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, or croutons, anything that might expose him to the gliadin opiate of modern wheat. He finally did.
Appetite shrunk. In fact, he now says that he is barely hungry, even after a long period since eating. He requires less to be satisfied, stopping before he is stuffed. He no longer grazes after dinner and feels no desire for snacks or junk at home, at work, at faculty meetings, etc.
He is now losing a couple of pounds per week having done nothing else but eliminate the croutons.
Maxwell’s experience illustrates the power of the gliadin protein of wheat. It’s obviously NOT about the calories in the croutons! Sure, croutons are just a few little squares of wheat bread . . . but it exerts a powerful hold over appetite, pushing your opiate receptor buttons to eat, and eat, and eat.
In a related vein, here is a recent comment from the Amazon page for Wheat Belly:
I’m “that guy.” Don’t have sugar drinks ever, eat low fat, no fat, chicken. Work out 3+ times a week.
So why can’t I lose the 10-15 pounds that I have been working at for years to get rid of? Why am I always hungry even when I had a good breakfast at 9am I am starving again?
I roll my eyes at fad diets believing eat healthy, exercise, and the weight will come off. For some reason this book caught my eye and I looked inside and started to think, “what if the wheat is the reason I am always hungry?”
So I gave it a try and have not had wheat for about 3 weeks now. The first week was actually tough, I was shocked how much I wanted stuff like a peanut butter toasted bagel.
I stuck it out and the constant all day up and down always hungry person is gone. I have lost 13 pounds.
The only thing hard about this is being prepared, making and, yes, cooking my food. It takes more time to cook eggs vs toasting some wheat bread, making sure lunch and dinner are wheat free takes time.
The magic? The 2 mid day snacks are gone, I don’t have hunger pains. I could go all day without eating and not feel as hungry as I did before by 9am.
It’s the gliadin opiate at work again, stimulating appetite throughout the day. Lose the wheat, lose the gliadin protein, lose the abnormally stimulated appetite that impairs our impulse control.