You don’t need to quit wheat for flat tummy, just do this

Photo by Kate Remmer on Unsplash

It is undeniable that some of your friends including mine have reported tremendous positive results after quitting wheat and wheat products. When you step into the gym, your instructor will or maybe have given you the list of foods to quit to regain that hourglass figure. I just wonder for how long you will be able to keep it away from your diet, knowing wheat products occupy 75% of menu items, are easily available and affordable, not forgetting the protein, healthy fiber, and nutrients in it.

On medical grounds, people with celiac disease and gluten-sensitive have been advised to avoid wheat for optimum health. and research has advanced to attach overweight, obesity to wheat consumption. It is worth understanding how a single food item can be linked to obesity without considering other factors; amount consumed, method of preparation, and frequency of intake, hence the purpose of this article.

What is in wheat?

In scientific research, components of food that are attached to excessive calories are sugar, carbohydrates, and fat. Wheat, being a carbohydrate would contribute to the energy/calorie intake causing weight gain. Additionally, the tendency to eat excess wheat products results in exceeding our intake to more than the amount our body requires.

Maintaining weight is eating as much energy as your body burns. When we eat more than we can burn, weight gain strikes in. Therefore, even if we eliminate wheat and still eat excess carbohydrates; yams, cereals, corn/maize meal among others, weight gain continue to be the song however much time we spend at the gym.

Some studies show that gliadin- a protein present in wheat has an appetite-boosting property explaining the excessive intake or binging on wheat products. However, listening to our satiety levels, practicing food discipline, and avoiding additional pastries whenever we are full is a good practice.

Method of preparing the wheat products

The obvious methods of preparing wheat are baking, deep-frying, or panfrying. These methods of preparation tend to use lots of fat, sugar, and salt that are associated with weight gain, blood pressure issues, and diabetes. By reducing wheat, you reduce your calorie by 400 calories. To others, this value may be up to 600 depending on the quantity eaten, fat, and sugar used. The recommended daily calorie reduction is 500kcal in order to lose 0.5kg per week. This means we can still keep wheat in the diet and watch the portion sizes to achieve the same results.

Disadvantages of quitting wheat

All the researches have shown that quitting wheat is very unsustainable in the long run. Once the objective of weight loss is achieved, clients tend to resume their previous eating habits resulting in regaining the lost wheat. Wheat products cover biscuits, noodles, cakes, pancakes, flatbreads, muffins, cookies among others. These products are everywhere and convenient. Additionally, a restricted diet is attached to stress, psychological torture which is not healthy and such restrictions tend to be abandoned along the way.

Quitting wheat deprives the body of essential nutrients in the wheat products. Whole grain wheat has appreciable levels of fiber which is beneficial for gut health and bowel movement. The protein and carbohydrate content adds to food diversity and variety that is encouraged for health and recommended eating behavior. Wheat also contains Iron, thiamin, Niacin, vitamin B6, and Selenium that the body needs for optimum body functions.

The inventor of the wheat belly diet Dr. William Davis said eating wheat has no problem but excessive consumption.

How to eat wheat and still manage weight

1) Reduce servings of wheat products. Reduce servings to 2 per day and complement with other carbohydrates such as oatmeal, rice, corn, and others.

2) Eat wheat products that are prepared with less sugar, fat, and oil. Go for baked products compared to deep frying and pan frying methods.

3) Eat a variety of foods from all food groups. Increase vegetables and fibrous fruits for weight loss. Fruits provide the same amount of calories as carbohydrates, hence need to be limited to 3 servings per day.

4) Be positive and appreciate each milestone. Weight loss of 10% body weight is adequate to reduce health risks. Therefore, set realistic weight goals that are sustainable in the long run.

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Registered Dietician. Bsc. Nutrition and Dietetics. Am an enthusiast in health and wellness. Follow for content on food, sports, fitness, health and lifestyle.

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Mary Agollah

Mary Agollah

Registered Dietician. Bsc. Nutrition and Dietetics. Am an enthusiast in health and wellness. Follow for content on food, sports, fitness, health and lifestyle.

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