5 Reasons You Need To Eliminate Wheat And Sugar From Your Diet

Over the years, I have heard many quotes about nutrition. Below is my favorite quote of all:

“Oh heavens!” all you readers of both sexes will cry out, “oh heavens above! But what a wretch the professor is! Here in a single word he forbids us everything we most love, those little white rolls… and those cookies… and a hundred other things made with flour and butter, with flour and sugar, with flour and sugar and eggs! He doesn't even leave us potatoes, or macaroni! Who would have thought this of a lover of good food who seemed so pleasant?”

“What’s this I hear!” I exclaim, putting on my severest face, which I do perhaps once a year. “Very well then; eat! Get Fat! Become ugly, and thick, and asthmatic, and finally die in your own melted grease: I shall be there to watch it.”

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarian, 1825

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarian was a lawyer and a politician, and was very passionate about food, which he called the "pleasures of the table." He is most known for the phrase, "Tell me what you eat, and I shall tell you what you are." He had many meals with companions who were "threatened or afflicted with obesity."

Why is his quote so powerful for me? It covers multiple levels.

  1. He forbids us everything we most love...

I hear this a lot from members, friends, and even family. You took away anything and everything I enjoyed eating. No cookies, rolls, breads, cereal, pastry, buns, oatmeal, etc! Why do people get so upset for losing these foods? It isn't the food they are frustrated over. The reason people enjoy these foods so much is because when you bite into them, dopamine is released in the brain and it is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain's reward and pleasure centers. Unfortunately, it is short-lived through food and causes you to want to consume more. (I will expand upon that in a future article) "What am I supposed to eat?!" is the angry response I typically get. What they mean by that is, "What will increase my dopamine if I don't consume sugars?" The food they are consuming they feel are nutritious but current research is showing the opposite ishappenign.  It is always amazing how angry people get when I inform them how their current nutrition plan is not as nutritious as they have been told. The reason they are so angry has nothing to do with nutrition but the fact they are addicted to these "sugars" and do not want to give them up.

  1. Who would have thought this of a lover of good food who seemed so pleasant?

"Are you happy?" is a question I ask a lot of people following their statement, "I am not giving up wheat or flour or even sugar!" They explain how sad, frustrated, lacking energy, lethargic, and just overall unhappy with themselves is how they feel. They know I am not eating any wheat and sugar and they pose the same question back at me, "Are you happy?" "I am living the fantasy!" is my reply. I am extremely happy, my life is full of pleasure, full of energy (I have not consumed caffeine in over 7 years), and I am overjoyed with how I feel at all levels, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I have always been a happy person but since I significantly eliminated wheat/sugar from my diet, I don't have any energy crashes, foggy brain, or feeling tired between the hours of 2 and 4pm. I feel more energetic and feel lighter (both body fat reduction and less inflammation) which always adds a "spring" to one's step. Because of the lack of energy crashes, I rarely get frustrated or unhappy.

  1. Become ugly...

I look at this as attitude, not obesity. When someone is consuming wheat/sugar, they have a blood sugar spike then 30-90 minutes later, a massive crash. That crash will cause anxiety, stress, and moodiness. Last year, I was in the middle of a food elimination program where I was strictly prohibited from wheat, flour, sugar, among other foods. During this program, I had to attend a birthday party. I was the only one who did not eat the main course of sub sandwiches, cake, and ice cream. The only items I could eat was plain tuna, iceberg lettuce, and black olives. It was amazing how cheerful everyone was until an hour after the meal. The group started yawning, from the blood sugar crash, and became irritable towards each other. Nothing malicious was meant but little things irritated each other causing an accumulation in tones and eventual some drama between individuals...all of which I observed came from the blood sugar crash.

  1. Asthmatic...

When someone consumes wheat regularly, it will affect your ability to consume oxygen efficiently. As a result of the lack of oxygen consumption, performance, such as playing in athletic events or simply walking up a flight of stairs, will compromise one's ability to do that activity effectively. (Simply put, you get tired faster!) After a football scrimmage at the beginning of the season, I observed one of my football players was a very talented athlete and would be starting both offense and defense. A very difficult task to ask of anyone. The issue is they need to perform at optimal levels for both positions however due to fatigue, this is quite difficult. After the scrimmage, he was very very winded and fatigued. I took him aside and advised him to eliminate all sugar and wheat which will help him perform at the expectation we expect. For the rest of the 9 week season, he never consumed any wheat or sugar. His performance was beyond what we had seen. He never ever got tired. He played offense, defense, and special teams. He would run block opponents, run routes (usually 20-40 yards per pass play), and sprint down the field to tackle opponents. Now, there is no question that he was a fantastic athlete but we were able to see it every week due to the dietary changes.

  1. 1825...

The year is my favorite part of the quote. The concept of elimination, or at least significant reduction, of wheat seems new to many people but it is far from being new. This was 35 years before our American Civil War! We are in 2015 and people still question "What am I supposed to eat?" The answer has always been the same.

What are you to do?

Eliminate or significantly reduce wheat and sugar from your diet!


Steven Zahn

ACE Certified Personal Trainer

NASM Certified Personal Trainer

Pre and Post Partum Certified

Dragondoor Publications: HKC Russian Kettlebell Certified