I don’t like fad diets. At all. I know they don’t work, at least not in the long-term, and they can wreak havoc on your system.
So, of course I have ignored both the low car and gluten-free trends.
Many of you know that I had thyroid cancer. In the fall of 2010 I had my thyroid removed and radiated so that there was no trace of any of that terrible cancer (or super-useful organ) left if my body. During the treatment, I gained about twenty pounds. I’ve been able to lose some here and there by using extreme measures (juice fast, working out 2+ hours per day) but never able to sustain it. Because, you know, I like to chew food and have a life.
At a doctor’s appointment last month, she suggested maybe I should try cutting out wheat. I wrote it off as a doctor that doesn’t know enough about thyroid cancer asking me to do something extreme to try to lose weight.
Then, three days later, I met with a trainer who suggested the same thing. But first, he explained to me two things:
1) The Rat Study: (First, let me just admit that I did a quick google search, couldn’t find this exact study, and I’m just taking the trainer’s word for it.) There were three groups of rats: a control group and two groups had their ovaries removed. Of those two groups, one was allowed to eat and do whatever they wanted, the other was made to eat the same diet and do the same amount of exercise as the control group. The control group ate and exercised normally and maintained a normal weight. The group with no ovaries that ate whatever it wanted got obese and lethargic and unhealthy. Those results were expected. The third group, though, the one that ate restricted calories and was forced to exercise: what do you think they did? I thought they stayed healthy, because that’s what we’re taught. Eat right, exercise, you’ll lose weight.
That group of rats gained weight, became obese and lethargic.
It’s all about the hormones.
With extremes, those rats can lose weight. But trying to be “normal” will make them fat and unhealthy.
2) (Again, I didn’t research all the science behind this. Because I don’t have time, and other people are paid to do it.) Wheat reacts with insulin. Insulin response is controlled by your pituitary gland, which is controlled by your thyroid. (This is where is gets a little fuzzy for me, but hang with me, because I totally get that logically other things react similarly). The trainer suggested I cut out wheat for a week. He said it would take four days to notice a difference.
A week ago Monday at lunch was supposed to be my last meal with wheat. Tuesday night I woke up in the middle of the night and I realized I had eaten ice cream–in a cone, so my day and a half of no wheat was busted. On Wednesday, though, I had lost a pound. Not a big deal, except that I have been trying to lose weight, any weight, at all, since a medication change in October. I was starting to think maybe there was something to the wheat thing.
Then, Thursday, I went to make an amazing quinoa dish for lunch. But then I realized I was out of quinoa. So, instead, I made couscous. I don’t know what I thought couscous was made of, but I didn’t think it was wheat.
Within an hour of eating I felt exactly like I’ve felt for the last four years: exhausted, uncomfortable, and like I needed a nap.
Everything I’ve been blaming on thyroid cancer.
After lunch today will be an official week without wheat. I’ve lost about three pounds.
I exercise every day. I haven’t been significantly more active in the last week at all. Actually, I spent all day Saturday in the car, so I’ve been slightly less active than normal. And, other than not having wheat, I haven’t changed my diet at all.
Now, I’m not saying that all my problems are solved. But, I’m going to keep on this train. I feel better. A lot better. I’ll keep you posted.
What do you do for exercise/diet? Do you do anything specific that works for you? Let me know in the comments!