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Ah yes – as the low-carb world gets semi-erect (that’s all they can muster) over Dr. William Davis’s release of his book – Wheat Belly, it’s time to take a step back and calm down over this whole wheat and gluten thing.

Before we begin, let’s please all try to keep this in perspective.  180DegreeHealth offers many things for many people.  And I can’t help but take perhaps the greatest satisfaction in helping young guys who remind me a lot of myself, to keep from making the same dumb mistakes I made – or at least help them recover from the world of dietary extremism that they were drifting towards prior to finding 180D.

I’ve already done two posts on Martin, aka The Belgian Jackhammer.  The first was about the start of his recovery from a period of vegetarianism and fasting followed by a long stint of full-on ZERO CARB under the guidance of Charles Washington (Skeletor).  The second post came more recently as the Belgian Jackhammer shared some actual lab results showing a 120% increase in testosterone, a drop in uric acid levels, rock-bottom clotting factors, and a 72 point drop in total cholesterol (with a rise in HDL) that he experienced when switching from zero carb to a wheat-based diet.

During this, Martin was able to become a regular kid again.  He could hang out.  Have pizza.  Have some beers with the guys.  And his speed, strength, muscularity, leanness, and sex drive all went through the roof as expected with that large surge in man juice.  In short, the kid ate his Wheaties, and is acting and looking like an Olympian.

Coincidentally, I had some burgers with Half Navajo a few weeks ago, another guy in more or less the same boat when he found 180, who noticed the same changes when switching from low-carb to a diet based mainly on pizza, burgers, and Rocky Mountain region microbrews (inspired by the great beers of Belgium).  He’s lost 25 pounds eating that while just enjoying life, and the arms hanging out of his shirt are covered with veins.  At 5’9″ and 145 pounds, there’s not an ounce of fat on him.  I’d say the two leanest 180 followers are both eating the same diet – mostly wheat and beer.

Anyway, that’s not to say that wheat isn’t a problem for some people.  Sure it is!  And while some can eat wheat and actually see their swollen bellies get smaller and smaller from eating wheat, others can see it get larger and larger.  Beer has obviously been responsible for a few bellies too.

Nevertheless, what drives me up the frickin’ wall is seeing wheat portrayed as the root of all evil, and the predominant cause of the obesity and/or diabetes epidemic.  The new black sheep.  If you can write a book called “Wheat Belly,” then you should be able to write a book called “fill in the blank” Belly.  There are many paths to a swollen belly.  Cortisone injections, Prozac, antibiotics, on and off the wagon jogging, Mountain Dew, dieting, adding carbs to a prolonged ketogenic diet, etc.

Note – before Dr. William Davis became a type 2 diabetic with a swollen belly, he was doing a lot of unwanted exercise (jogging) and dieting (low-fat vegetarian I believe) – two activities that have a much closer link to such health problems than wheat consumption.

But who cares about what causes each person to have a pot belly?  Sure, maybe some people do get it from eating wheat.  It’s plausible.  What chaps my ass is that this wheat hunt ignores the many negative symptoms that some people, like Martin and myself, experience from eating a low-carb diet – the proposed blanket solution to eating a wheat-heavy diet according to Dr. Davis.

In fact, Dr. Davis may just be inspiring me to write a book called “Low-Carb Dick,” with dual meanings.  One of them relating to the negative emotional side effects frequently experienced while restricting carbohydrates.  The other relating to something experienced by me and Martin before pizza saved our pepperonis… before spaghetti saved our noodles… before… (I wanted to come up with something about bagels, but could only come up with advice for women seeking to please their men… “Screw Kegels, eat bagels!”).

So anyway, here’s Martin attempting to eat an entire 16″ pizza with his friends cheering him on (actually, they were trying to psyche him out so that they didn’t have to pay for the thing and buy him beer after).  Feel free to fast forward to the end to see if he did it, and to see him flash his wheat belly while personally addressing you.  That’s right you – the “180DegreeHealth followers…”  Oh, and pardon Martin’s “French,” but he took this challenge very seriously!  “It’s not an effing joke!” he says at the beginning…

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