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« Follow One of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn's Patients - Q & A on the First Three Months of a Diet to Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease | Main | Knock Your Socks Off Whole Grain Pizza Made with Greens and Sami's Bakery Millet & Flax Crust »

October 30, 2010


Steven Rice Fitness

I think carbs and grains have a bad reputation based on the effects of abusing the refined forms. It's good to see research showing that unprocessed grains actually are very beneficial.


So is 100% whole wheat flour in or out?

deb pero

I am a 56 year old woman, also an avid hiker and runner.. and was "mostly vegetarian" for the past couple of years. However, even with running 50+ miles a week, and eating a healthy diet without a lot of processed foods, I could not lose weight or get rid of that blob around my middle!! Looking back, I realize we ate refined flour in the form of pizza dough and in our "multi-grain" (but not whole grain) bread, and occasional crackers and bagels... and white rice.
In May, I started the Engine 2 diet, which does allow nuts and avocados, but my intake of them is limited. I have concentrated on the whole grains, as well as leaving out the added oil, and as a result I have lost 20 pounds (possibly more, I don't weigh frequently) but the best part is that the weight I've lost has been around my middle. I finally have a flat tummy again!
I am never hungry, I am able to keep training hard on this diet, and actually, am even running better than before (gotta be not lugging that extra weight around!)
I love this way of eating!! Of course, after only a short time on this eating plan, all of my numbers also dropped -cholesterol was 156 after only a week and a half, down from the 180's, and is probably lower now... blood sugar down, blood pressure healthier.. all good stuff!

Healthy Librarian

Victoria, 100% whole wheat flour is in! But, whole grains do beat flour--takes longer to digest. If you're talking bread--try Ezekiel sprouted grain products.

Deb, thanks for sharing your experience. It's so interesting that it parallels mine-except for your amazing 50 miles a week of running. I'm completely hooked on this way of eating, too--never hungry--and plenty to eat. Who would have ever thought it possible to lose our middles. Just wondering--with your hard training, do you up your intake of protein at all?

Gael in Vermont

First of all, the photo of you and hubby is adorable!
Secondly, I agree with Deb and Debby on the diet-life style changes. In my case, I recall the days of the South Beach Diet where the first 14 days were without flour products. The result for me was the loss of belly! That was 10 years ago. Now, eating a plant-based, gluten free diet has done much the same for me. 21 pounds lighter, feeling "cleaner" and loving the mostly flat belly. Even though I have no allergies to wheat, I choose to eat this way, and feel so much better.

Cynthia Bailey MD

Once again you bring an interesting article to my attention. You're a fabulous scout for these important lifestyle and diet articles that aren't in my dermatology literature. Thank you.

In the past 10 days I did have some refined carbs and sugar and poof like magic the belly fat reappeared. I suffered a few other dietary indiscretions this week as well and I have my blood work scheduled to be drawn on Monday. Should be a wake-up call. Hmmm.


Check out the Omron Body Fat Monitor, Model # HBF-306C. This is a handheld device that sends a slight unfelt current through your body to measure bodyfat %, and only costs about $40. I've been using mine steadily for over a year, and do this right after I weigh in the mornings. It tracks well over time, and I've gone from 34% to 24/25%. Keeping track this way also allows you to see body composition changes over time - is it fat weight or is it muscle weight? Keep a chart: first get your weight, then get your bodyfat %. Then multiply your weight by your percentage (if weight is 127 and % is 24.8%, then 127 x .248 = 31.49). This is your fat in pounds. Then substract this number from your weight - that is your lean body weight ! (127 - 31.49 = 95.51 lean body weight). Works for me !

Healthy Librarian

Donna, the Omron monitor sounds like a worthwhile product to have--because no one want to be losing muscle--just body fat. Was continuing to exercise with weight training the key to keeping muscle while losing fat?

Cynthia, oops, I wonder if the indescretions will show up on the lipid panel. I stupidly ate chocolate & drank a glass of wine the evening before one & it definitely made a difference in the triglycerides.

Gael, Big congratulations! That's fantastic. It really is so crazy how the belly fat & weight come off when you eat only whole grains--cut out the oils & nuts.


Hi Healthy Librarian, yes, the Omron bodyfat monitor is very useful ! I lost 30 lbs. overall, mostly with the help of the BodyBugg armstrap and wrist readout, also which I highly I sound like a gadget freak or what!?). Thru the whole 30 pound loss, approximately 6 to 7 pounds of that was muscle loss. When I was getting down to my last 10 pounds I decided to stop weight lifting temporarily, because it is very difficult to lose fat and gain/maintain muscle at the same time. I kept walking 3.5 miles to/from work with a 10 pound vest on plus a backpack. I gain muscule pretty quickly so wasn't worried about it. Once the 10 pounds was gone over 3-4 months, I started back with the weights, plus started wearing a 25 pound vest plus a backpack - and put on 4 pounds of muscle in 2 months. Let me tell you - without the Omron monitor, that gain would have freaked me out - but with it and tracking over time, I was able to see that it was muscle weight. So my recommendations - get a 10 pound or 25 pound weighted walking vest which you can usually find at Walmart, the Omron, and a Bodybugg if anyone needs to lose weight. And thanks to you and your blog, I'm now learning to eat a vegan diet, and the weight will never creep back again! I really truly appreciate what you do!

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