The Loh Life is writer/performer Sandra Tsing Loh's weekly take on life, family, and pop culture in early 21st century Southern California.
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Wheat belly, part 2: you can run, but you can't hide

Sandra Tsing Loh doesn't have to become a triathlete after all.

In these cold first days of the new year?  With that roly-poly Santa fired and gone?  I am totally excited about America's hottest new diet book.  Wheat Belly!

2013?  That was a twilit purgatory of trying to be good - Of sweating resentfully on the treadmill, and even planking, goldarnit, and ingesting turkey wraps with low-fat mayo and chicken breast sandwiches, throwing away half the bread, and eating just a smidgen of high-fiber muesli with some fresh fruit and LOTS of non-fat Greek yogurt -

And still, I got bigger and bigger around the middle, and had to throw away most of my already not-small pants!

Come on!  Either I want to just ENJOY chocolate cake AND a variety of fabulous plus-sized gold lame ballgowns, or I want to work and suffer a little, but still get some results.  Like size 10 or 12 or waist 34 pants.  I'm not asking a lot here.

But author William Davis, MD, has the key to get me out of love handle hell.

His provocative question:

"Did you know that eating two slices of whole wheat bread can increase blood sugar more than 2 tablespoons of pure sugar can?"

That's right!

Whole wheat bread, and all those supposedly "healthy" whole grains!  The killer!

Are you interested?  Of course you are.

Consider this:

Davis talks about triathletes, who compete in an event that consumes several THOUSAND calories.  They eat healthy foods, then they go out for a super long open water swim, an even longer bike ride, and they top things off with a half or full MARATHON.  And YET, according to Dr. Davis, one third of them are overweight.  Overweight!

If you're like me, that is fabulous news.

It's all: "Whew!  Thank God I don't have to become a triathlete!  I never wanted to, and now I REALLY don't!"

Davis suggests further that you compare photos of your generation to ones of your grandparents', and even to families in the 1950s.  The difference?  Even though today, when our weekend parks are filled with adults running, panting with their Camelpacks of SmartWater... a third of us are overweight, and another third are obese.  In the past, though, there were very few fat people - and nor did people particularly exercise.  Petite 1950s moms wouldn't dream of going to Cardio Burn class, pushing a vacuum cleaner was hell enough.

More good news.  No cardio AND no vacuuming.

What's to blame?  Not fat, sugar, or high-fructose corn syrup... but wheat.  Not just in doughnuts and cupcakes, but in "heart-healthy" whole grain bread!  Which - the doctor says - in terms of a glucose spike, is even worse than white bread!

Why not learn more?  What's to lose except, in Dr. Davis's words, your "wheat belly, bagel butt, and man boobs"?  Ew.

Next week: Christmas in January.