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How I lost 60 pounds: Not exercise, just a key change in diet

Jason Booker

26, Toronto

Pounds dropped: 60

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My turning point: About a year and a half ago, my mom started seeing a naturopathic doctor – she was told she might have a gluten intolerance or sensitivity, which might be genetic.

We both decided to give up wheat for two weeks, and see how we felt afterward: After the first week, I felt like a different man. A month after eliminating wheat, I felt physically like I was 12 again: I was able to pick up and run without collapsing, climbing stairs without pain etc.

That was my turning point: not so much about dropping pounds, but about feeling like a kid again.

My method: My weight loss was entirely about changing my diet. I eliminated wheat from all meals, all of the time. It's been a huge learning process. After those two weeks, I learned everything I should have known about food 20 years ago over three months, and continue to learn.

I try to eat simple and fresh foods as often as possible: Vegetables, protein and fruit are my friends. I still eat carbohydrates – things like rice and potato – but now I know exactly how my body processes carbs and what it will do if there are too many carbs: store it as fat.

I gave up wheat entirely – it wasn't easy. To me, we as a society have stopped seeing wheat as a food, and more as a vehicle to facilitate meals: Try to think about sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs without buns.

Think about soup without crackers, dips without crostinis, salads without croutons, traditional sauces and gravies without a roux to thicken them. Desserts without traditional pie crusts, or cakes without flour – the list goes on. It's been a difficult transformation in my diet, but entirely worth it.

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I have never looked back after those two weeks. Now a year later and 60 pounds lighter, I feel great and continue to lose weight. Exercise has never been part of my weight loss: I did not have to work out regularly to drop the pounds.

My kryptonite: I love – really love – chocolate bark. A slab of dark chocolate messed up with cashews and Himalayan pink salt that is absolutely irresistible.

This interview has been condensed and edited.

Tell us how you lost it: tgam.ca/weightloss

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About the Author
Editor in the Opinion section

Amberly McAteer is an editor in the Opinion section at The Globe and Mail. She has been a homepage editor, online editor and community editor in Features - including Life, Travel, Style, Arts and Books. She's written columns about her quest to run a 10K and find the perfect dog. More

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