Wheat Free Week

In Emma’s third installment of Shaping Up for the Hustle, we explore the benefits or removing wheat from our diets for one week.  It may prove to be difficult, especially due to the abundance of wheat in our diets, but you’re likely to find it extremely beneficial.

Emma’s matter of fact style should have you convinced of its merits, but did you know about the Gliadin protein – and its apparent effect on appetite?

If you’ve never tried it before, you’ll probably find its a revelation.
If you have done it before – have you forgotten how good you felt?

Hello Heroes

So, last time we got our trainers on and got into that Beep Test vibe. Its likely you’re generally beginning to feel like the sort of person you might see on the front cover of a glossy mag. Be proud of your ludicrous white smile and smug look.

Now, with the best will in the world, a week of running / jumping and skipping is not going to have you looking like Jennifer, before Brad.

So we are going to up the anti and get you making some really big food changes that are going to add some zeal to your new exercise regime.

You’re still doing that HIIT everyday, right?

The problem with ubiquity

Yup, the clue is in the name, it’s going to be a ‘Wheat Free Week’ – but you may be curious to hear that I don’t think wheat is the big bad bogey man that it gets the wrap for.

For me, and hence YOU, the problem is this.  It’s EVERYWHERE.  If you take a look at a supermarket and think about how much prepackaged ‘stuff’ is mostly wheat you’ll be gobsmacked. Seriously, once you trip off down the wheat free road there will be about 4 aisles you won’t even need to look at in the supermarket. Forget all the beige foods.  Anything that’s cheap and fills you up is generally wheat and sugar in a fancy packet. See biscuits, pizza, bread and almost anything that you can grab and eat.  Except that is, for stuff like fruit.  Fruit comes with its own handy ‘nature wrapper’.

And that’s the trick. We all know that the secret to shedding a few pounds is to simply reduce your calorie intake. I mean news flash, but it is genuinely that simple. But as with so many other areas of our life, like booking round the world flights, it’s also not that easy.

Instilling a few non-negotiable rules will really help you get a better grip on this. Even if its only for one week...

You are the best judge of knowing how well you feel, so why not give try cutting out wheat, and see what happens?

The "reverse don’t think...just jump" technique.

Now this might seem technical, but don’t worry…the “Reverse Don’t Think, Just Jump” is simple… “Don’t Jump – Just Think”.

If, for example, you’re passing a vending machine and spot 35 different packets of brightly coloured snacks, remind yourself that you Aren’t Doing Wheat this week.  100% of them contain wheat, so this week it’s an easy choice: NO SNACK FOR YOU. You don’t have to torment your self thinking “oh well, maybe…just one, and then tomorrow I’ll be reeeeally good…and tonight I’ll only suck on a lettuce leaf” because then you’ll eat it, and feel sad that it was nowhere near as good as you thought it would be.

So this week you’ll just walk on by till you see a nice beardy fellow selling fruit, and buy up his whole damn stall. The healthier option just becomes the no brainer. You automatically reduce your junk food options by a huge 7 million percent. And that is a good thing.

But what does Science say?

Science: Wheat, the Gliadin protein and Appetite

“Gliadin is a hard-to-digest protein found in wheat that can negatively impact your appetite; it can stimulate your appetite and cause you to eat more carb-rich foods.”
Dr William Davis, MD, Cardiologist and author of “Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health” 


“…there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that gliadin increases appetite, nor have any withdrawal symptoms been observed in the absence of the protein.”
Our Daily Bread: facts and misconceptions about nutritional values and health. Fred Brouns, August 2017.(PDF)

“…Although our observations were done in mice and thus not necessarily translatable to humans, our findings suggest that the adverse effects of an obesogenic diet also in a human setting may be aggravated by consumption of gliadin-containing foods.”
Zhang, L. et al. Effects of Gliadin consumption on the Intestinal Microbiota and Metabolic Homeostasis in Mice Fed a High-fat Diet. Sci. Rep. 7, 44613; doi: 10.1038/srep44613 (2017).

Proud Introductions

You very well might find yourself having to take a packed lunch around since most quick grab food is wheat based. And here I have the pleasure of introducing you to the Bento box.

The Japanese have got this whole wheat free thing down, in fact they always have. Wheat only became a part of the Japanese diet after the war, when the Americans gave the Japanese sacks of Wheat to stop them actually starving. They invented the Okonomiyaki, a Japanese take on the pizza. Before then it just wasn’t part of the diet. So the Bento box is a packed lunch based around rice, that super glorious grain that seems to have magical abilities to regulate our appetite, by filling you up without making you feel gross and bloated. It contains the same amount of calories per 100g as most other grains which is around 1 calorie per gram but it doesn’t tend to trigger the overeating response that wheat often does.


A lunch based around rice might just be a box of veg fried rice.  It might be some rice with bits of steamed broccoli next to it and a bit of smoked mackerel or smoked salmon on top. If you’re feeling creative it might have some Onigiri.  Onigiri are wonderful rice triangles sold at every Japanese train station.  They can either have a filling in them or be wrapped in nori seaweed. They are the Japanese version of a sandwich and this week they could be your new lunch buddy. You could even go the whole hog and take a flask of green tea to wash your new non-wheat lunch down with.  Look for loose leaf Sencha for maximum Japanese authenticity.


Breakfast might look a bit different too, depending on what your current situation.  I implore you not to fall fowl of anything that advertises in large ‘expensive’ writing that it is wheat-free, or gluten free. This is generally a by-word for bloody expensive, quite possibly its some of that new granola that presumably contains uncut gemstones based on it’s price point. No you don’t need any of that crap, just good ol’ oats will do. Porridge is the stuff of wheat free dreams, I mean if you want to sound really smart you can call it ‘Oatmeal’, which I only just discovered is exactly the same thing. If it’s cold outside, you can cook it, with whatever milk to water ratio works for you.


If it’s not cold and you’re really organized you could make ‘overnight oats’, the night before.

This just means soaking some oats in either fruit juice, water, or nut milk and then throwing some fruit at it in the morning. Type Wheat Free in Pinterest, and be prepared to fall down a rabbit hole of pleasure food.  Just skip past the gluten-free wheat recipes.  We don’t want ANY wheat.

The Comfort Zone

Now this all might seem well out of your comfort zone. And you’re like “Where the hell are my cheese and pickle sandwiches?…Since when was there wheat in a KitKat?’.

Well that’s the idea. If you are going to change your mind set, shape up physically and therefore kick your ass into “I can do anything” mode, you are going to to want to make some big changes to what you are putting into your body.


We all know that we are what we eat, and if you tell yourself you are eating better, eating less snacks, eating in a way that restricts a lot of the crappy, sit on the sofa type food, you’ll find you feel less like sitting on the sofa and more like going and getting those trainers on.


So there we have it. This week you will not eat wheat.  At all. Ever.


Go do it. 

Celebrate your achievements, however minor they are.  Then maybe try again the next week and see what you can get done.  Who even needs wheat?

Discuss these lessons in the wellness forum

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