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Vanessa shared her “before” and “after” photos and her experience following the Wheat Belly lifestyle:

“I am 34 years old, married, and the mother of four. Last September, I read Wheat Belly and started gluten-free, sugar-free eating on October 6th, 2014. This way of eating really does change one’s body and way of life. It’s so important to watch those sugars and any gluten food, because those cravings wreak havoc! It makes it harder to get back to doing things right.

“I started on October 6th, 2014 and had a starting weight of 226 lbs. I now weigh 143.”

(Just to be clear to any newcomers reading this, Wheat Belly is often characterized as a “gluten-free” lifestyle; this is not quite right. It is a grain-free lifestyle that ends up being gluten-free, since only grains contain the gluten protein. Being grain-free is far more powerful than being gluten-free.)

Vanessa’s story is a great reminder that wheat and grains are more than just sources of carbohydrates; they act as appetite stimulants due to several effects:

Gliadin protein-derived opiates–that bind to the opiate receptors of the human brain, triggering appetite and addictive eating behavior.

Leptin blockade–Leptin is the hormone of satiety, blocked by other gliadin-derived peptides and perhaps by the lectin protein of wheat and related grains, wheat germ agglutinin.

High blood sugars–that are followed by low blood sugars, with the lows accompanied by mental fog, fatigue, and hunger in a 90- to 120-minute cycle. This is due to the unique carbohydrate of wheat and grains, amylopectin A, unusually susceptible to digestion by the enzyme amylase in saliva and stomach.

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The weight gain effects of wheat and grains are further amplified by insulin resistance that develops due to the high blood sugar effect, insulin resistance and inflammation that worsens as visceral belly fat grows, and by undesirable changes in bowel flora to accommodate to the unnatural consumption of wheat and grains, something that humans are not fully adapted to consuming.

Put it all together and an experience like Vanessa’s can develop, not because she is “low-carb,” but because she has removed the powerful appetite-stimulating and metabolism-disrupting effects of the various components of wheat and grains.