2 Common Foods in Your Diet That May be Making You Gain Weight and Get Sick
, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Specialist
Author of best-seller: The Truth about Six Pack Abs & The Top 101 Foods that FIGHT Aging
Of course, you've probably heard a million times now how bad trans fats and high fructose corn syrup are for your health... so I'm not going to give you that same old story.
Instead, we need to look at a couple common foods that are probably in your diet in large quantities and may be causing major problems such as weight gain, headaches, sicknesses, indigestion, etc, etc... and those possible culprits are:
Wheat and Dairy
Don't worry, I'm NOT going to tell you that both of these staples need to be eliminated permanently from your diet... but read on to see an interesting test that may help you a great deal...
In all of my years of personal training and nutrition counseling, if I had to choose a couple VERY simple dietary changes that have made the biggest difference for my clients in allowing them to FINALLY see fat loss results (and other health problems solved), it would be this following test:
1. Test removing all wheat products from your diet for 2 entire weeks, and take notice of how you feel, look, and your body composition. This means removing all bread, pasta, crackers, cookies, cakes, muffins, bagels, and other wheat-based foods, unless they are 100% wheat-free. Don't worry, it's only 2 weeks for this test... you'll survive! Just beware of gluten-free versions of these junk foods unless they are low-carb as well.
2. Test removing all dairy from your diet for 2 entire weeks, and take notice of how you feel, look, and your body composition. Don't worry, we'll talk in a minute about how to keep dairy in your life if you find out that you are sensitive to some forms of it.
The best way to do this is to eliminate them both for 2 full weeks, and then reintroduce one at a time so that you can determine if one of them or both wheat and dairy are causing negative health effects for you.
Wheat and dairy are easily 2 of the biggest intolerances that a large percentage of the population has .
Now this does NOT mean that I'm saying you have to entirely eliminate wheat and dairy for the rest of your life, but what I am saying is that this is an important test to do for about 2 weeks to gauge if you see some dramatic changes in your body fat percentage, how you look and feel overall, your energy levels, and other health and digestive issues.
If you do the 2-week elimination of wheat and dairy and don't feel that it helped you at all or made you feel better, then you can probably do ok on small to moderate amounts of each.
Most people do not realize this, but a large percentage of the population has at least some degree of intolerance to the gluten in wheat and several other grains. The biggest offender is wheat though, as it's in such a large percentage of the average western diet... from breads, to pastas, to bagels, to cakes, wraps, cereals, etc, etc.
Most people don't have the extent of intolerance that a celiac has, but most people feel much better, improve dozens of health problems, and also lose fat faster when they eliminate wheat from their diet.
In fact, I just had a client last week tell me that when she eliminated wheat from her diet, her chronic headaches disappeared almost instantly... these are headaches she's been having for years, and after eliminating wheat from her diet, they are gone (along with some body fat that she lost too!).
You can also read this article about my dad and how he reduced wheat in his diet and saw immediate reduction in his love handles and eliminated his chronic joint pain that he'd had for years.
What about me? Do I still eat wheat?
Well, what I personally do is try to only eat wheat on cheat days, which many times means when I'm out at restaurants or at parties, barbeques, etc. Since wheat is so integral in the typical western diet, it's almost impossible to avoid when eating out or at other people's houses.
But I have virtually ZERO wheat products in my own house usually (with the exception of an occasional piece of sprouted grain bread once or twice a week). Anything is simple to avoid at least 90% of the time, when it doesn't even exist in your cabinets!
Make sure to also read this article which shows 11 ways that wheat HARMS your body -- everything from joint inflammation, digestive issues, acid reflux, acne problems, belly fat, diabetes, and more. It's a must read article!
What about Dairy?
Now with as anti-wheat as I am, I'm actually a huge fan of dairy... However, ONLY if the dairy is raw milk or raw cheese and from grass-fed cows or is at least a fermented form of dairy.
Did you know that many people who "think" they are lactose intolerant actually can drink raw milk and/or dairy kefir without a problem? This is because the live enzymes and friendly bacteria in raw milk aid in the digestion of the lactose and the proteins in milk. These enzymes and friendly bacteria are destroyed in pasteurized milk, which makes it more difficult to digest for many people.
Also, in most good brands of Kefir, the lactose is pre-digested by the microbes used in the fermenting of the milk to make kefir...for this reason, most Kefirs are 99% lactose-free and very easy to digest, even for people that "think" they have dairy intolerance.
I know the subject of raw milk is a controversial topic, so you need to obviously do your own research...but check out the realmilk.com site to make your own decision about raw dairy.
If I can't get raw dairy, I choose to go mostly dairy-free (with the exception of non-sweetened full-fat yogurt and kefir, which are easier to digest due to the live probiotics in them). But I avoid commercial milk because I feel that the pasteurized, homogenized milk is not suitable for long term consumption in terms of health. Many scientists believe that homogenized milk fat is the most dangerous type due to the machine-created tiny particles of fat that enter the blood stream more readily, which is not an issue with non-homogenized milk.
Keep in mind that yogurt, cheese, and kefir generally use non-homogenized milk, so I view them as more acceptable and healthy (as long as grass-fed) than homogenized milk itself. And of course, yogurt, cheese, and kefir have good probiotics, so are beneficial in that respect too.
By the way, you can always search to see if raw milk co-ops or farms are available in your area on RealMilk.com. You'd be surprised at how many co-ops are available that deliver from rural areas to urban areas. It's important to make sure that the farm is reputable and certified (in some states) to produce raw milk. Most raw milk farms are the cleanest operations in the entire dairy industry.
Oh, and for the "germo-phobes" out there... I've been drinking gallons upon gallons of raw, full fat milk for about 12 years now (I drink about 1-2 gallons per week when I can get it, which is only a couple weeks a month, so I naturally cycle my dairy intake), and I've never once gotten sick from raw milk, nor has anybody else that I know that's been drinking it long term... so to all of these so-called "experts" out there telling you that "there's a reason they pasteurize milk, because it's dangerous if not"... well, they obviously don't know what they're talking about. If it was "dangerous", I surely would have gotten sick at least once after 12 years of drinking it.
Plus, the full-fat milk certainly has not made me fatter either... I used to foolishly drink skim milk only years, but now for the last 12 years, I've drank nothing but FULL-FAT raw grass-fed milk, and I'm easily in the best shape of my life now and leaner than ever. And I also use FULL-FAT grass-fed cream in my coffee each day, and it's certainly not adding any body fat on me! In fact, the healthy CLA fats and vitamin K2 in full-fat grass-fed cream is VERY healthy for you, as vitamin K2 from grass-fed dairy fat has been shown to reduce heart disease risk and increase your body's utilization of vitamin D.
You can also read my article here about why dairy fat can even help PREVENT heart disease .
Regarding raw vs pasteurized milk, people are more likely to get sick from pasteurized milk, because mass factory farms are generally dirtier operations with animals that are in poorer health than grass-fed raw milk farms.
And don't forget the high levels of fat-burning, muscle building CLA in full-fat, raw, grass fed milk (and omega-3's)!
Back from the tangent... I think this elimination of wheat and (pasteurized, homogenized) dairy is one of the most important tests anyone can easily do to see if wheat and dairy are negatively affecting them. After all, it's only 2 weeks to test yourself!
A couple quick things to note:
1. Eggs are NOT dairy... I'm not sure why so many people seem to think that eggs are a dairy product (maybe because they're in the same section at the grocery store?), but there is absolutely no dairy in eggs... eggs are basically meat if you want to categorize them. Regardless, eggs are practically a perfect food in terms of nutrition density.
here's an entire article I did on whole eggs vs egg whites if you haven't seen it.
2. When trying to eliminate wheat, this usually means that almost ALL processed foods have to be eliminated because wheat components are in so many processed foods. One way that I personally get around this is to satisfy my cravings for baked goods with low-carb, gluten-free versions that use coconut flour and almond flour as the base instead of wheat flour.
Check out this article to see how to get delicious healthy brownies and cakes that are low-carb, gluten-free and even support a fat-burning metabolism!
Good luck with the test if you try it! Many people find it to be one of the best things they've done for their health. Feel free to share this article below with your friends and family:
Here's another recent article that was very popular in this ezine... Basically, I did a 6-week experiment on myself and tried to overeat constantly... see what happened:
6-week Overeating Experiment: Did I gain massive weight, stay the same, or lose weight ?
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