Calories in . . . 8-fold calories out?

The effect of wheat elimination on weight loss is intriguing.

I fully recognize that it defies credibility, but the typical effect of abrupt and total wheat elimination is weight loss of one pound per day. This translates to the equivalent of 3500 calories (the calories contained in one pound of body fat) lost. How can this be? How can elimination of wheat–without limiting other calories, without cutting fat intake, without pushing the plate away or consuming smaller portions–lead to an incredible rate of weight loss equivalent to 3500 calories lost per day? After all, elimination of wheat reduces calorie intake by 400 calories per day. That leaves 3100 calories per day unaccounted for. Where do they go?

I don’t have an answer . . . I can only speculate that, with elimination of wheat, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and 400 calories per day less consumed leads to the equivalent of 3500 calories lost in weight because:

Wheat elimination restores leptin sensitivityResistance to the hormone of satiety, leptin, leads to stalled weight loss efforts. The lectins in wheat have been shown, at least in an experimental animal model, to block the leptin receptor. Could it be that elimination of wheat restores leptin sensitivty? And does that somehow lead to accelerated metabolism?
The weight lost is really water weight–Actually, I don’t think this is likely to be entirely true, since there is such an large effect on reducing waist size. If you track waist circumference as you progress through your wheat-free experience, you will note substantial reductions in waist size. This is unlikely to represent water loss.

There is clearly something quite unique and not fully understood going on. I’ve seen it happen many, many times. Read the comments here and on Facebook and you see the rapid weight loss developing at about the pound-a-day rate.

By the way, I’m starting to recognize the “experts” I’m debating on radio as those “educated” by the Wheat Trade Lobby when they say, “Calories in, calories out” and cutting wheat can only lead to weight loss in proportion to the calories reduced, wheat or otherwise. Their vigorous focus on this issue makes me believe that they, too, may know that there is potential for a unique weight loss effect of wheat elimination but deny it exists.

This entry was posted in Appetite stimulation, Weight loss. Bookmark the permalink.

102 Responses to Calories in . . . 8-fold calories out?

  1. Teresa says:

    I have not cheated on the diet. I am going right by the plan but right now I am very discouraged and depressed. I don”t understand why I am not dropping any weight. Very discouraged.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Hi, Teresa–

      Then there is something intervening.

      If it’s not overconsumption of other junk carbs, second most likely place to look is thyroid dysfunction. In fact, thyroid dysfunction is so common that you might even say that the failure of wheat elimination to generate weight loss is indicative most commonly of a thyroid disorder.

  2. Michael says:

    Mr.Davis, here’s something you’ll find interesting.

    After reading Good Calories Bad Calories and learning about Alfred Pennington and his patients losing weight on his diet at 3000 calories per day I tried losing weight while eating a clear caloric surplus. I had been on a primal diet à la Mark Sisson for a while so I was already lean (effortlessly, I don’t even do low carb anymore) so for those who want to try this keep in mind that your mileage may vary but here’s what I did:

    I used the Harris-Benedict formula to calculate how many calories my body needs + the activity multiplier, it gave me 2500 calories. I’ve got some muscles but I’m not very active. 155 pounds

    I completely stopped working out (my average is one and a half 30 minutes session a week) and started eating a lot of little debbie cakes. From Monday to Friday I gained 6 pounds. Saturday I cut sugar to zero, reduced my physical activity to a minimum and ate as much as I could of chicken and coconut milk. I sat on the couch and watched movies all day long and overate protein & fat up to 3300 calories. Next morning I had lost 2 pounds. Next day same thing, next morning same result. I lost 4 pounds in a weekend even though I overate 1600 calories and didn’t do much physical activity.

    800 calories surplus per day, maybe that’s too close. So I tried it again later with a 2000 calorie surplus in one day.

    Day 1 I ate 5000 calories of mostly cakes and I gained 1 pound, the 2nd day 4500 calories of a similar menu and I gained almost 2 pounds, 3rd day I cut sugar to zero but I kept my calorie intake at 4500, I overate chicken, coconut & omelettes all day long and I reduced my activities to watching movies and playing video games. I had lost 2 pounds the next day at noon.

    so either:

    A) it was just water anyway

    B) I’m a mutant who can violate the laws of physics when I don’t eat sugar

    C) calories don’t matter as much as we believe and trying to willfully create a energy deficit may not be necessary to lose fat (unless you’re aiming for a single digit bodyfat %)

    (and BTW I do lose weight when I try the calorie deficit method)

    I laughed when I read a comment from a blogger who wrote that losing 1 pound per day is “calorically impossible”. Some people have their heads stuck inside their theories’ butts.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Excellent, Michael!

      I’ve got to give you credit for actually following through with your experiment. Id’ like to post your story as a blog post, it is so informative.

  3. A person essentially lend a hand to make seriously posts I would state. That is the very first time I frequented your web page and thus far? I amazed with the analysis you made to create this actual publish incredible. Great process!

  4. shelley says:

    Dear Dr,
    today is my 11th day with out wheat and I have now lost 10lbs! Halleluiah!
    With such fast weight loss are extra toxins from fat storage being released into the system? Should I be drinking more water than ever to wash them out? I may be way off the mark but I am just wondering.
    Thank you!

  5. mary chalmers says:

    Okay, I have read many of the bloggers indicating they have problems with weight gain while on the wheat free diet. and I am not sure whether I should be reassured or ready to give up. One of the maini reasons I decided to try it was all those many testimonies in your book about weight loss, perhaps you have it and I missed it, but you really should indicate that not just some but appears to be quite a few are not going to lose but rather gain like I have been doing. I was told by my doctor to try for a month (which is up today and I have an appointment) to lose weight as my blood pressure is creeping up….now imagine how I am going to feel when I weigh in 5lbs heavier and please before you say anythng….yes I have followed the diet for a month. Please tell me this is just not another gimmick to write a book, as believe me I probably have all of them, but like so many programs etc, like Weight Watchers, are really only interested if you lose weight it sells money but have no interest if you gain , making the assumption you are not following the plan. I even checked your Weigt loss tips and other than my cortisol levels being off, I do not see any helpful hint. Well I wish you well with your book as we all have to make a living, but just once I wish someone would write a book about weight gain, while doing everything right, and make some of us feel like we too are worth the effort

  6. diet news says:

    The quality of your articles and contents is great.