The 4 week challenge is primarily about getting wheat out of your system, which may seem like a tall-order but it really isn’t (If you want to see what you can expect by giving up wheat click here or read my story here).
You may not realise it but you could be eating wheat at every meal. Not only is it in bread, cakes, pasta, biscuits, pizza, pastries, couscous and semolina, but wheat is in most processed foods and snacks.
So if you are serious about regaining your health, losing weight and transforming your life, you have come to the right place! To better understand why wheat has made you ill and overweight please read the following posts: here, here and here
You may not believe it when you read this, but once wheat is out of your system you will not miss it… Ever! However, have small amounts of it, even occasionally, and the addiction will be there ready to lure you back into overeating and reducing the quality of your life.
There are tests to check for gliadin (protein found in wheat) sensitivity, but only 30% of those tested will get an accurate diagnosis. The best way for you to discover if it is adversely affecting your health and weight is to eliminate wheat for 4 weeks. After that, if you don’t start to feel and look great, find your appetite has reduced and lose weight, you can easily start eating it again (but seriously, please don’t).
Now, let’s find out what this challenge entails…
The only real rule is to avoid all wheat, and I mean all of it. But if you are hoping to lose some weight from this challenge, without feeling hungry or deprived there are some guidelines to follow.
- Eliminate wheat from your life for the 4 week duration: And this means entirely. If you are going to do this you may as well do it properly. If you just reduce the amount of wheat in your diet, you will not see the full benefits. Read all labels, wheat is hidden everywhere!
- No wheat/gluten-free replacements allowed: Free-from foods like breads, cakes and biscuits are off the menu. Food manufacturers pump wheat-replacements with so much rubbish they are not really a food group. They are higher on the glycemic index than refined sugar! If you have them in your diet, whilst on the elimination phase, you will probably put weight on and do yourself no health favours! The good news is, there are some great recipes here at WFW for delicious and satisfying breads and other baked goods.
- Ditch the ‘diet-mentality’: This means no diet-food allowed, no low-fat or low-calorie or foods that are laden with chemicals.
- Eat real food and avoid anything processed: Eat your food as close to the way nature intended.
- Have minimal amounts of anything refined: Especially table salt and sugar. They overload the body and are toxic to the system. However, your body needs salt (especially if you sweat a lot or drink large amounts of water), so instead opt for unrefined sea-salt or rock-salt.
- No artificial sweetener in anything: If you wish to sweeten something, use honey, agave nectar, unrefined sugar, stevia or xlitol.
- Do not eat carbohydrates alone: Carbohydrates (anything that has grown from the ground or derivatives thereof: fruit, veg, rice, oats etc.) break down into sugars in the blood when digested, some much faster than others. Constant high blood-sugars leads to excess fat, weight-gain and bad-health. To slow down the absorption rate of carbohydrates, eat them with some fat or protein. E.g. an apple and a handful of almonds or pineapple and cheese.
- Be prepared: When out and about, going to friends, work or anywhere, take snacks in case you get hungry. Nuts are brilliant for this as they are both balanced (protein, carbohydrate and fat) and filling.
- Eat only when hungry: Chew food slowly and stop eating when comfortably full, but not stuffed. You will do your body no favours by over-feeding it, even with the good stuff! If you are still hungry 20 minutes after eating, you can always have some more. Oh, and if you like to have dessert, make sure you leave space.
Stop Press!!!! Click For super-speedy weight-loss see the sugar-free plan
You make the rules, these guidelines are there to help with weight-loss and to restore health to the body.
At least 30% will get withdrawal symptoms within the first week of wheat elimination. Giving up wheat gives you the similar symptoms as coming off narcotic drugs (because it has the same effect opiates have on the brain). If this happens do not despair, it normally passes after a few days, a week at most.
Now, onto all the delicious food options, you can eat…
For a wheat-free food list, detailing all the foods to be enjoyed freely click here or scroll down to see the meal planner.
This is a week by week meal-suggestion-menu to keep you inspired. Vegetarian options are marked with a V. Suggested meals with recipes are highlighted in purple. Alternatively, browse through the many recipes on the recipe bar above and find inspiration there.
The below recipes and meal suggestions are all gluten and wheat-free…
Muesli, wheat-free, and no sugar added, with milk (dairy, almond or other) V
Porridge with flaked almonds, cream and honey
Eggs any style, served with buttered Super-Bread V
Sunday special: egg, bacon, mushroom, tomatoes, beans and wheat-free hash-browns.
Chopped fruit, Greek yoghurt and honey, sprinkled with toasted seeds. V
Apple and almonds V
Cheese on ‘Super-Bread‘ toast V
Omelette (tomato, mushroom, pepper, cheese) V
Salad: ham, chicken, tuna, cheese, egg and mayonnaise (choose 2 to 3 toppings).
Omelette or frittata. V
Avocado, mozzarella, tomato salad. V
Pea soup with buttered oatcakes. V
Oatcakes with either: humus, cream cheese, hard cheese, nut butter or guacamole. V
Leek, potato and parmesan cheese soup with a slice of buttered Super-Bread. V
Nutty-Veg Bake and salad. V
Avocado mixed with either sardines, pilchards or mackerel on Super-Bread toast or lettuce leaves.
Sweet jacket potato with tuna-mayo.
Jacket potato with either: chilli, sour-cream and cheese (very filling), cheese and beans V or tuna-mayo.
Evening Meal Options (vegetarian below)
If you know you like a dessert after your evening meal, put less out on your plate and perhaps avoid the starchy veg, like potatoes, with your meal.
Roast chicken dinner with veg and roasties.
Chilli salmon, new potatoes and salad.
Honey roast gammon with cauli-broccoli cheese and mini new potato roasts
Courgette fritters and Greek salad. V
Potato hash (veggie option). V
Nutty-Veg Bake, roast new-potatoes and courgette ribbons. V
Tofu or quorn Madras with basmati rice. V
Broccoli and blue cheese burgers, cauli-cheese and new potatoes. V
Click here for delicious sweet treats, puddings and desserts.
Only eat them if hungry. Almonds are a great to have on hand for mid-afternoon munchies. There are also recipes on here for cookies, cakes and bars, click here to see, that are great to fill a hunger-gap.
All wine is wheat free, as are most spirits. Sadly, that is not the case for many lagers and beers. However, the good news is Stella Artois is wheat-free, albeit alleged loopy-juice, as is Budweiser and Michelob, so if you like to have a beer when you go to the pub you have the option there.
View Week 2 Here
View Week 3 Here
View Week 4 Here