Once you make the decision to completely remove grains from your diet, as Kimberly did (photos above that she posted on the Wheat Belly Facebook page), the inflammatory effects of grain proteins are eliminated. In a very short period of time—-usually within the first week—-you can begin to see a change in your appearance. You will see the difference when you look in the mirror as well as when you step on the scale. Your face will begin to look younger.

Poor choices in food have the potential to cripple health, whether in the form of hemorrhoids or ulcerative colitis. As you will see, many, if not most, of the health conditions that make us reliant on the healthcare system are caused by the foods we choose to eat, many of them chosen because we were advised to choose them or because those choices were made available to us. It may have been your doctor, dietitian, or the barrage of information from media, but it is likely—no, certain—that you were given nutritional information that damaged your health. Conversely, smart choices in food empower health and avert hundreds of health conditions. Food is more powerful than any nutritional supplement, any form of exercise, any prescription drug—nothing matches the power of the choices you make in food. I’ve seen it play out many hundreds of thousands of times, and the science bears it out.

In a dietary approach that is compatible with human genetic code programmed over millions of years of adaptation to life on this planet, the culprits behind premature aging and modern disease— grains, sugar, corn syrup, processed foods, food colorings, emulsifying agents, hexane-extracted oils—are eliminated. With their elimination and a focus on real foods such as fats, meats, organs, eggs, vegetables, roots, mushrooms, nuts, and fruit, appetite diminishes to that reflecting physiologic need, blood sugar and blood pressure plummet, cholesterol (total and LDL) drops like a stone, excess abdominal fat evaporates, acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome are gone within days, autoimmune conditions retreat, fatigue and depression lift, and skin rashes clear.

In a very short period of time— usually within the first week of grain elimination, you will begin to see a change in your appearance. You will see the difference when you look in the mirror as well as when you step on the scale. For most people, your face will begin to look younger. Your cheeks will begin to shrink and your eyes will appear larger and the skin around them less puffy. This is because grain elimination removes a major cause of inflammation and edema (water retention). This occurs body-wide but is reflected most vividly on the face. Next, you will quickly notice that the inflammation and visceral abdominal fat disappear, along with those not so lovely love handles.

And not only are outward signs of aging and poor health reversed, but many concealed disease triggers are corrected, as well, such as small LDL particles (the number-one cause for heart disease), the initiating steps of autoimmunity, and abnormal inflammatory processes that lead to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and dementia. And you will start asking new questions: Rather than asking why you have so many health problems and can’t lose weight, you will be asking questions like, “Am I too skinny?” or “I wonder if I need this anti-inflammatory drug or antidepressant any longer now that I feel so good?”

This all starts with eliminating grains. It takes your body just 10 days to detox from the toxic effects brought on by years of consuming unhealthy wheat and grains. Then and only then can true healing begin. If this is all new to you, I urge you to read my Wheat Belly books, such as the Revised & Expanded edition, join our group sessions in our Wheat belly 10-Day Detox Challenge, then begin a new phase of life in which, by rejecting conventional notions of a “healthy diet,” ignoring dietary guidelines, and refusing to fill prescription after prescription for pharmaceutical agents, you take new personal control over your health. I discuss these phenomena further in this video, Why Do Grain-Free People Look Different?

Once you’re confident of adopting all Wheat Belly strategies, then consider addressing your microbiome, including restoring bacterial species that most of us have lost such as Lactobacillus reuteri that, when restored, yields further spectacular effects such as smoother skin, deeper sleep, restoration of youthful muscle and strength, increased libido, and accelerated healing.