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.

Like This Post? Sign Up For Updates — It’s FREE!

Plus receive my latest collection of recipes, Wheatbelly Hearty Entrees!

Comments & Feedback...

  1. ryan

    I have never bought that it is as simple as calories in/out. It assumes all foods are treated equally by the body. We know at the macro level the body treats fat, protein and carbs differently. It seems to me this would be the case at the microlevel too. And these wheat parrots know that.

    That is why they say stay away from simple carbs and eat complex carbs like wheat… Because they know there is more to it than simple calories in/out. Sadly they are just wrong about wheat being a good carb source.

  2. Karen Chaconas

    I have stopped eating wheat, after reading your book Wheat Belly. That was on Sep 19, 2011. I weighed 192. Today, Oct 8, I weigh 185…not the pound a day effect I was expecting. My diet is totally without wheat, in any way, shape or form and no sugar, except what is in the fruit I eat, which is minimal, consisting of blueberrie, raspberries and strawberries. I am Type 2 diabetic. My blood sugar has dropped from an average of 135 to an average of 115. I eat mostly eggs, chicken, turkey, some beef, buffalo and cheese. I also eat a lot of veggies, not the starchy type, potatoes and some beans. I try to eat organic when financially possible. I have stopped eating any processed foods. I drink mostly water. There has been a lot of good coming out of this diet and I intend to continue it for the rest of my life, as long as I able to do so. I am a 66-yr old female. Should I be concerned about not losing a pound a day?
    Thank you.

    • Ali

      Hi Karen,
      I am not a diabetic, but I am a celiac with massive glucose intolerance. I started to eat a very low carb paleo diet in Jan this year, and so far have lost 50lbs. I am allergic to fruit, so when I say low carb, I really mean low carb. I go long periods without losing anything, whether I reduce my food intake, occasionally fast (not open to you), or whatever I do etc. When I say long periods, I mean over two months. I don’t get dismayed. I know I can’t fix in five minutes what took 50 years to break. Suddenly there is always a shift, and before I know it I have lost another five pounds. It’s slower, but easier, nicer, and I hope more permanent this way. I don’t set myself targets any more, and the weight goes off anyway. I shall be eating this way forever, so what’s the hurry? Good luck.

      • Libby

        I don’t understand why fasting would not be open to Karen. We should eat when we are hungry and only then. Karen says nothing about being hypoglycemic. Karen I would say cut out the potatoes and strictly limit fruit and beans (we have cut out legumes entirely, for the time being). As long as you are monitoring your blood sugars, periods of fasting can do wonders. This can be as simple a concept as only eating twice a day instead of three times. Common dietary advice to eat “five or six small meals” every day is ridiculous. If you are eating proper foods you will not be that hungry, and your blood sugars will be stable. And everyone is different, so weight loss will vary. If you have ever low carb dieted before, weight loss won’t be as dramatic as the first time you do it. The bottom line is, if you’re hungry, eat for crying out loud! Just eat real, whole food. That’s the only rule. Slow progress is still progress!

        Please note, those who are insulin dependent or who experience hypoglycemia should work with their doctors in developing an eating plan and/or working to lower
        the need for medications.

          • Ali

            Hi. Please don’t apologise. I wasn’t offended. I really don’t know much about managing diabetes. It just sounded counterintuitive to have a diabetic fast, so I was worried about mentioning it.

        • Thank you, Libby.

          Yes, this notion of “grazing” frequent small meals is unadulterated nonsense spawned by wheat-consuming, high-carbohydrate pushing dietitians. Those of you who are wheat-free know that a healthy meal should be followed by many hours of satiety.

    • PJ

      Karen, the one thing I think many people miss when they eliminate grains or go very low carb may be the importance of fats in the diet. Though I had been low carb for about 40 years, I would indulge in “whole healthy grains” just a couple times per week. Of course, the number of total carbs still fit within the low carb guidelines. On August 4, 2010 I decided to eliminate all wheat and wheat derived products to see what would happen. (I had advised my sister to eliminate wheat a couple months prior to see if it would help with her IBS and she had good results.) A couple weeks off the wheat made me realize that the ebb and flow of painful knees, brain fog, fatigue and dramatic daily weight fluctuation was directly related to the wheat consumption. I didn’t understand why because Wheat Belly wasn’t out yet, but I knew it wasn’t my imagination. There was no significant weight loss . . . maybe a total of a couple pounds in those two weeks.

      I decided to see what would happen if I intentionally added fat to my diet. Frankly, the anti-fat brainwashing of the ’80s and ’90s had a unconscious influence on my food choices over the years. I changed to fattier cuts of (grain fed) beef and natural pork and added ghee or natural lard to nearly everything I ate; pigged out on bacon and eggs; ate avocado (with sour cream and salsa on top) every day; consumed at least 4 tablespoons of coconut oil each day; became an expert in making sauces based on fats and consumed approximately 3,000 calories daily. I completely avoided ANY vegetable oils or anything that contained these oils. For six straight weeks I lost 5 pounds a week before it stalled for a total of 33 pounds lost. At the age of 59 I was amazed at how my body shape shifted (and still is remodeling itself), my energy levels are very high and last all day and my skin and hair are better than ever.

      Of course I no longer eat 3,000 calories a day because my appetite dropped dramatically but I continued to lose another 12 pounds more slowly and now maintain my weight exactly with no daily fluctuation I used to have regardless of how much or how little I eat. I would still like to lose those last 10-15 “vanity” pounds but if I never lose another ounce, it’s okay because I feel amazing.

      So much for calories in, calories out. If I took in 3,000 a day and lost almost a pound a day, that means my body was consuming over 6,000 calories a day. I seriously doubt that getting up and going to a job where I sit all day burned 6,000 calories a day!

      Viva la fat! Death to wheat!

      • Jondy

        That’s encouraging! I’m 53 and I stalled with my 1 lb a day weight loss. Although I must confess I ate 1/2 a pizza tonight. LOL! Anyway – my book arrived in the mail and I thought one last binge before I read the book and am truly convicted.

        But I am also having trouble wrapping my brain around the fat food. All information we’ve seen is low fat – or non fat. So it’s really difficult to change that mind set. Your comment is very encouraging because of your experience – and age. It’s nice to see that I might be able to do it too :) Thanks.

        • Hi, Jondy–

          I hope you meant “convinced.” No one gets convicted here!

          Yes, have your fats. Eliminating wheat cuts your appetite and desire to indulge; fats induce satiety and have next to no ill-effect, particularly if other junk carbs are minimized.

    • HI, Karen–

      My personal view is that, if type 2 diabetes is present, I would do everything possible to get rid of it.

      To me, this means strict reduction of carbohydrates of all sorts. Start with wheat, since that eliminates the appetite-stimulating effect of gliadin. But, with diabetes, it is necessary to restrict anything that increases blood sugar. Limiting carbs, for instance, to less than 30 grams per day will yield better blood sugar control, maximize chances of reversing diabetes, and accelerate weight loss.

      Always consider thyroid issues, as well. I see this issue is coming up often enough that I should talk about the “abnormally” slow weight loss experiences and/or weight plateaus.

    • Pattye

      Even just being heavily insulin resistance takes a while to re-balance the endocrine system to the point where a steady weight loss can occur. I remember reading that lowering carbs to 30 a day was pretty essential for reversing insulin resistance, that didn’t even speak of removing wheat. BUT it also said that even with that low carb level, insulin resistance can take from 6 months to one year to resolve and then weight loss will pick up and be steady until the BODY decides where to stop, what is healthy for it. I can only imagine that this whole process would be even more successful and perhaps quicker with the complete removal of wheats (or all grains).

    • Martha

      I wish I was losing that much. I lost only 1 pound in 7 weeks but I feel great! No cravings, no joint pain, more energy. My fasting sugar is always between 100-110 but during the day I am closer to 100. Hopefully, my weight loss is around the corner.

  3. That’s a good point, Dr. Davis. Something else must be happening besides water loss.

    I once had a doctor – who btw absolutely LOVED sugar – tell me that if I ate 1200 calories of just bacon a day I’d lose weight. She spouted the calories mantra loud and clear. Then I kicked sugar and lost 20 pounds and she was flummoxed. IMO the calories-in-calories out line is an institutional smokescreen to cover for the more complex metabolic processes impacted by wheat and processed carbs, among others. While a calorie may be a calorie, my body has no idea what a calorie is, but it sure as hell knows what wheat is.

    If I recall from the book, inflammation is one of the main problems. “Visceral fat filling and encircling the abdomen of the wheat belly sort is a unique, twenty-four-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week metabolic factory… ” (Wheat Belly p. 61) I have seen an obvious reduction in phlegm production and other asthma-related issues since I kicked wheat (about 50% reduction in inhaler use), and from what I understand, it may take 3-6 months for gluten’s negative metabolic factors to totally leave my body. So inflammation has played a part in my health for 25 years, and I had no idea wheat may have been contributing most of it.

    I can expect (and I hate that word, usually) to lose weight steadily and permanently, but I’m not blogging exclusively about weight loss. I have had to totally re-evaluate every part of my physical and mental health as it relates to this change, and I am very excited about it. The emotional aspects are the most surprising, since I live with a wonderful wife who is also making the change. We’re seeing some amazing responses there.

    So I’m ecstatic about what I’m extrapolating from the book. Dr. Davis led us up to a high place, and now we can jump off and fly into a new reality of our own.

    • Yeah, great point, James: Is at least some of the weight loss effect due to some unraveling of inflammatory processes, e.g., restoration of leptin sensitivity and increased adiponectin?

      I don’t know, but I am still grateful for how many people do indeed experience this unexpected rate of weight loss, at least for the first 7-10 days.

  4. Madeline

    It has been a week since I have eliminated all grain products. I am down almost six pounds. I still eat dairy, nuts, seeds, fruit, etc. and I have not restricted myself as far as portions. I am just not hungry. I have not even eaten the icecream that is in my freezer and it’s my favorite flavor. Normally, I would have a compulsion to go back and eat scoop after scoop until it’s all gone. I have a chocolate bar in the pantry and I have no desire to eat it. Normally, it would be consumed in a day. I exerciise an hour a day and eat relatively healthy but was unable to lose weight as quickly as I’d like. Also, I could never keep a loaf of good, crusty bread around the house because I would go and pick on it, piece after piece until it was gone. I also noticed that anytime I would have pizza or cookies, I would fall asleep right after. I also had a general feeling of fatigue all day long. That is gone. My ring finger on my left hand was getting a touch of arthritis. That is gone! My face has slimmed down, the puffiness is gone. All in a weeks time! I have ordered your book and am looking forward to reading it. Thank you for doing all that research. I have never heard of anything like this before, I always felt like I didn’t have willpower when I had bread and cookies in the house. Now I know.

    • Hi, Madeline–

      What a difference a wheat-free week can make!

      Yes, you have to ban the evil grain from the house. Otherwise, it’s like some hidden crack cocaine in the house of the addict.

  5. I lost 25 pounds in about 6 weeks, then have stalled and not lost any more. I’m not complaining, though, since this is the lightest I’ve been in 20 years (180# currently). I gave up wheat and all other grains May 19, 2011. I feel fantastic! Karen, I don’t think it matters how much you lose, or how fast. Just that you give up the wheat and become healthier.

    I am type 2 diabetic, and my metabolism is pretty shot from years of eating carbs, especially refined grains. My opinion is that I am healing my body with whole foods, and when it’s time, the extra weight will come off.

    • PJ

      Erica, I totally agree with you. Just knowing you’re getting healthier is worth the “weight”. ; )
      It could be some of what people don’t think they’re loosing is the additional muscle density.

      The scale is simply a tool to guage one sign of progress . . . not the end all, be all of daily life. Since my weight loss stall a few months ago, I’ve noticed a bunch of other things going on. The thigh fat is smooth, the saddlebags are becoming less pronounced, the big bump on my butt is gone, my nails are healthier and so on. I’m looking leaner and feeling fit even though I know I could get more exercise.

      As time goes on, I think everyone starts refining their diets and finds what specifically works for them.

      • PJ, yes, my body is ‘remodeling’ itself, too. While I haven’t lost any more weight since maybe July, I recently got rid of even more blouses that are now too big (that looked okay in July). My face is definitely thinner (and now the wrinkles are worse, lol!).

  6. Fiona

    To Karen;
    I would say that post menopause, weight loss is much slower than for younger women. It will come off, but just not as quickly. I’ve lost 23lbs in 14 weeks since giving up wheat and following a meal plan of less than 30g carbs daily. I am 52 and was pre-diabetic and 84lbs overweight to begin. Still a long way to go, but I feel great, and I am sure I can do it.

  7. To Karen – it sounds like you are doing GREAT so far, pound a day or no pound a day! Those of us with endocrine disorders (and who are, ahem, of a certain age) will likely be a little slower when it comes to weight loss. The important thing is that your blood sugar and overall health are improving; the weight loss will follow.

    • Oh, yes, that’s probably a factor for me, too. I’m 55 and have carried this “baby fat” around for 20 years. I’m just so thrilled to be able to see my feet again!

      • Jondy

        Oh yes – the baby fat. I tell people that I just haven’t lost my baby fat. Then someone will remind me that my “baby” is seven years old. And then someone else will remind me that my son is adopted… so much for that excuse.

  8. Glycogen, and inter-cellular FFA have caloric densities of about 2000C/kg and 3000C/kg depending on the source. Add a bit of inflammation reduction, and that will be the real weight loss. Hall & Chow showed 3500C/pound to be a typical maximum. The range is between 1000c/pound and 5000C/pound in weight loss /fasting cases. Watch the units.

  9. Jeff

    Slower weight loss is not uncommon. Thyroid function should be checked, however, because even mild hypothyroidism can stall weight loss. That being said, potatoes and legumes may be another cause of slower weight loss, in your case. Don’t despair – your blood glucose is moving in the right direction and that is an accomplishment in itself.

  10. Neither my husband or I have seen any dramatic weight loss. In fact hubby has put on a touch — but his waist is smaller now. I’m already fairly fit with a small waist and almost no central body fat, and my fat is now mostly typical female hip and thighs fat.

    But we don’t completely eliminate wheat or sweets and do sometimes indulge in bread even if we pay for it later. We aren’t wheat free yet, but are getting there.

  11. Lynda NZ

    I have been wheat free (except for minor unknown intake) for two weeks. I feel great but have only lost about 3 pounds. I am menopausal am and doing this more for my blood sugar levels and general health. The funny thing is how loose my jeans are – much looser than I would expect from such a small weight loss. My reflux is much reduced and food cravings have gone. I was at a party last night and ate wheat free with much ease and even declined birthday cake. Earlier I was in the situation of having to have meat pie for lunch so I chose a potato top one and used a spoon to eat all the filling and left the pastry. Never done that before :)

    • I’ve seen this many times before, the exaggerated loss of tummy fat (“wheat belly”) with wheat elimination over other fat areas.

      To accelerate weight loss, consider further reduction in other carbohydrates. If even that doesn’t work, it’s time to have your thyroid assessed. Thyroid dysfunction is incredibly common but easy to remedy.

      • Lynda NZ

        Thanks Dr Davis – I should have added that I am only having about 30g of carb a day except for when it is unavoidable (like potato topped pie) but I think my thyroid is ok. I was never a big wheat eater (since viewing Fathead) so my change will perhaps not be as great as others.

        • You’d be surprised, Lynda, how many people are told that their thyroid status is “fine” when it is anything but.

          I will post future discussions here. In the meantime, if you are eager to hear more, go to my Heart Scan Blog or read Janie Bowthorpe’s very excellent discussions at

      • Lynda NZ

        Yep – I thought it was not a bad choice given that we were in a bakery filled with everything “wheat and sugar”. I’m still OK with a little potato even though I know it raises blood sugar. For me I seem to be so much healthier without the wheat and couldn’t believe that I threw away the pastry from the bottom of that pie!!

    • Ann

      Three pounds in two weeks is nothing to sneeze at!! Especially if how you are eating is sustainable. Think of that over a year!! That’s what I’m looking for. That’s 1.5 lbs per week! Even Weight Watchers would be proud of that!!

      • Lynda NZ

        I agree – I am not looking at this as a diet. My partner and I have moved more and more closer to low carb over the last two years so we are really making it a lifestyle. We are lookiing more at healthy blood sugar levels and healthy levels of triglycerides etc.

  12. John

    There are so many problems with the calories in/calories out theory. The biggest one, and it seems to be a fact that no weight loss experts even acknowledge, is that we are not 100% bodyfat. We’re also muscle, blood, bone, teeth, hair, fingernails, vital organs, and many other substances. Fat isn’t the only dynamic part of us, either. Muscle is the most obvious example, as witnessed in bodybuilders and people with wasting syndrome. But the amount of each of those other things can vary over time, too. Doesn’t your hair grow longer over time? So, why would excess calories in only go to fat in this equation?

    Also, people who stand by this theory tend to forget at least half the equation. Could you gain weight on 1000 calories a day? Yeah, if you’re only burning 800. Also, eating 5,000 calories a day could lead to weight loss, if you’re burning 6,000. They aren’t independent variables, either. Lumberjacks have more calories going out than tailors, so they take in more calories than tailors.

    • PJ

      John, you made some good points, but I do not entirely agree with everything you said. In particular your reasoning for why you could gain weight on 1,000 calories a day or lose on 6,000. I believe it is much more involved than just how many calories you’re burning. I believe that the TYPE of calories consumed are much more important. This is exactly why our history of calorie restricted diets have not worked and are doomed to fail.
      P.S…I live in the Pacific Northwest . . . have you seen how fat the lumberjacks are and the huge bellies they carry? The typical “lumberjack meal” served in the restaurants here consist of home fries, pancakes, waffles, hash browns, pancakes, potatoes, pancakes, biscuits and gravy and a large serving of lean meat.

      • John


        I wasn’t trying to suggest that calories are the only thing that matters. My point was exactly the opposite. I was trying to show that, even within the calories in/calories out paradigm, the idea of simply cutting calories (or exercising more) could easily not work. Nor was I trying to suggest that lumberjacks are generally fit. Simply that they use more energy. I believe Gary Taubes used the same metaphor in Good Calories, Bad Calories.
        It is true that every bite of food we eat either has to be stored by our body (as fat, muscle, hair, or whatever), burned for energy (by physical activity, or any of the complex processes that keep us alive from second to second) or excreted from our body. I don’t know of any other option. Although, yes, the type of food is certainly going to affect how our body deals with what we eat, along with a host of other factors.

  13. Karen and others-

    I tell all my patients to start the day with a short walk before breakfast/1st meal. Get your system going in the right direction, sunshine, it will improve everything you are already doing!


  14. Deanna

    While we were traveling in our motor home the last few days, I spent a couple of hours taking out all wheat products. I had to go through more than once because I kept finding wheat that I had missed. We got home yesterday afternoon, so today I have gone through my pantry at home to eliminate the wheat there. If we’re gonna do it…that’s the only way!! I began lowering carbs just over two months ago. Then I found Wheat Belly and my husband and I have both been wheat free and low carb for 16 days. I’ve lost almost 10 pounds and he’s lost about 5 pounds and gone down a belt size…his jeans are also looser…mine too! Thanks for all the info Dr. Davis.

    • Deanna

      And I meant to mention that the hardest thing for me to get rid of is my cereal and cereal bars !! But now I’ve learned to mix a granola that does the trick.

  15. Joanne Davis

    I have been wheat free 12 days, and I must say it has been pretty easy. Not a lb. yet lost…..I have noticed I am not as hungry, no real cravings…the weight lose I believe is a bonus for terrific health. So I am trying to figure out what is going on. Eating pretty clean previously maybe a reason. I loved the book. I’m sticking with the program!!!!

    • You make a crucial point, Joanne: The “velocity” of weight loss depends on the quality of diet prior to the diet change. It also varies with sex, age, hormonal status, thyroid status, cortisol level, etc.

      A less common pattern is something you might end up experiencing: Little weight loss upfront, but a gradual but substantial decline over a longer period, a kind of soft and slow experience.

  16. Ann

    I am waiting for my book to come in the mail, so at this point all I’ve done is read the blog.
    I don’t see Body Mass Index, or waist measurement numbers addressed anywhere that I’ve looked. Is that still important? I know a lot of people are talking about fat they’ve lost abdominally, or gained for that matter. Do BMI numbers differ with the Wheat Belly diet than from other standards? I know the lipid numbers are less important, but I haven’t heard anyone talk about BMI here.

  17. Ann

    BTW – I read your blog and ordered the book last week simply out of interest. As an experiment I cut wheat products out for four days, from Friday until Tuesday. Scale showed a 4.5 lb. loss. Not sure what to make of it, but it does encourage me to at least try the program for a period of time. Obviously I felt better, as I always have on a higher protein, lower carb diet.
    I have always been a person who craved animal fats like bacon, butter, cream, and fatty beef. I have been treated for PCOS, and Insulin resistance for about ten years. Seemingly impossible for me to lose any significant amount of weight without unrealistic (for my lifestyle) levels of daily exercise. I’m not afraid of physical activity, but I do have a severely disabled young son, and do not have the time to devote to regular daily exercise. Circumstances at times simply don’t allow it. I also failed miserably to budge my weight eating a Dr. recommended low-fat diet.
    About two years ago I gave up trying to lose weight and gave in to my cravings for more protein and fats. Guess what? This past summer my test results showed very normal AC1 levels, and Dr. cut me back on Metformin. I’ve since stopped taking it altogether. My periods have become very regular, seemingly on their own. Apparently, by NOT trying to lose weight the Dr. approved way, and by allowing myself to eat what my brain, body, and heart are asking for, I am on the way to healing myself. I feel encouraged.
    What has not budged, and what causes me some concern, are my blood pressure numbers. They usually range from around 138/80 to around 160/88. Not sure why this is so. I am taking 20mg of Lisinopril 1xday, and still have the high numbers. Could this be more stress-related than diet-related, and should I be worried? I am currently 5’5″ tall, and around 210 lbs. I am 44 years old. My plan is to embark on your wheat-free program, and I’m wondering if it is reasonable to expect my BP numbers to go down?

    • Hi, Ann–

      Odd thing about BP–It will be the last thing to respond. In other words, lose, say, 40 pounds in October, BP drops several months later. BP will respond but will lag nearly all other measures.

      So don’t be discouraged if BP hasn’t dropped after an initial weight loss.

  18. Cheri

    Hi, everyone. Love this blog! I stumbled on Dr. Davis’s book after reading Zoe Harcombe’s book, Stop Counting Calories and Start Losing Weight. Both books are closely aligned. Harcombe is an obesity researcher and has some excellent You Tube videos explaining the problems with the calories in/calories out theory.

  19. Many commenters are concerned with weight loss as being a primary goal. To them, I recommend you not stop at just eliminating wheat, but also to eliminate all carbohydrate. There is no need for you to eat any carbohydrate at all. Switch to a high-fat, low-carb diet (with the carbs coming from green, leafy vegetables and other non-starchy sources), and you will see even more weight loss and, perhaps more importantly, you will feel better.


    P.S. Important: do not make the ‘South Beach’ mistake of trying to do not only low carb but low fat as well. That is a recipe for long-term failure. When cutting out carbs your primary energy source is fat. Eat plenty, especially saturated fats. It is good for you.

  20. Jenny

    Dr. Davis, I wanted to really thank you for your Flaxseed Wrap recipe. I LOVE it. Love it. It is like eating bread to me. The only difference I do is I spray canola oil spray on the pie pan instead of spreading the coconut oil on it. It’s just a habit for me to figure out the calories. Each of your wraps are 280 calories.

    I’ve mixed hard boiled eggs with mayo and put it in the wrap with lettuce. Delicious! I’ve broken up the wrap into small pieces and put it in vegetable soup I made for texture. So good, do NOT feel deprived. Love it.

    Thank you so much for this recipe!

    • PJ

      Just a suggestion, Jenny . . . dump the canola oil. Coconut oil is so much healthier. Frankenoils, like canola, can really mess you up, even in small amounts. Manufactured oils can damage your health and interfere with weight loss. Coconut oil, on the other hand, contributes to good health and assists with weight loss.

    • That’s great, Jenny!

      But I don’t think you have to worry about calories. Just enjoy your non-wheat foods, regardless of calories or fat grams.

      I hadn’t thought of putting pieces of the wrap in soups. Good idea!

  21. Teresa Miller

    My husband and I are on The Wheat Belly Diet. I am obese and he has put on about 30 pounds in the last 6 years. I started the diet after my brother introduced me to it. He is a paraplegic and due to obvious reasons he has to keep his weight down. The most importan reason for me is that I have degenerative disc disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes. I want to loose weight but mainly reverse my diabetes and cut down ton the 9 pills I have to take a day. How much carbohydrates can I consumed a day? I have been eating a small baked sweet potato with butter with my main meal. I also have a smoothie sometimes instead of a meal made with whole milk yogurt, cocanut milk, 1/2 banana, splenda,vanilla flavoring and 1/2 cup fruit. Is that ok? I also munch on almonds which definetly helps with my hunger. Will be sure to read the blogs for more imfo.

    • What I advise to my patients, Teresa, who are interested in reversing diabetes, is no more than 10 grams carbohydrates per meal. This means the sweet potato is out, the yogurt can only be consumed as full-fat and unsweetened (add walnuts, a few bluberries, small portions), little to no banana, and the fruit is too much.

      Instead, eat MORE eggs, cheese, non-starchy vegetables, olives, olive oil, avocados, poultry, fish, beef, pork (preferably free range).

      Be careful of some of the diabetes drugs like glyburide, glipizide, and glimepiride, which can cause hypoglycemia because you are becoming less diabetic. Medications typically have to be reduced right from the start. Ideally, you have a doctor who can assist you in being cured of your diabetes, but sadly most of my colleagues 1) have no interest nor experience in curing diabetes, 2) don’t believe it is possible, since the American Diabetes Diet does not help and, in fact, makes blood sugars worse, and 3) would rather write prescriptions.

  22. Tim

    I quit wheat in Jan this year when I went paleo. Went from 225 to 172. When I was a wheaty, I used to get really congested after eating, hacked up phlegm for an hour after every meal. Now, I only do it when we eat at a restaurant, even though I pick very paleo foods, I suspect they put additives containing wheat that cause the reaction. Anything saucy really sets it off.

      • Roz

        The other thing to be wary of when eating out is the wheat in the grill-basting sauces, which helps give the meat that nice brown crusted appearance. It’s also present in some seasoning blends applied to veggies to help it stick. My version of paleo-ify when eating out is to get the gluten free menu if the place has one, and order from there, with the usual ‘drop thes tarchy side, double the veg’ request!

        Tips culled from my mom’s many ‘how to live with celiac’ books and newsletters.

  23. Eliana

    I am just now starting to read the book, so forgive me for asking what I am sure is already addressed in the book. Dr. Davis says that eliminating wheat help leptin to start working again. So is it specifically wheat or is it anything that contains gluten that will help leptin?

    Now IMO, I think that it is beneficial to not consume all forms of gluten…but I wasn’t sure if the comment about the leptin only held true to wheat.
    Thanks for your responses while I read through the book.

    • Hi, Eliana–

      This is not entirely clear.

      Losing weight by any means restores leptin sensitivity. However, there are preliminary data suggesting that wheat may have an unusually large effect in triggering leptin resistance, removing wheat may therefore provide unexpected restoration of leptin sensitivity. This may be due to wheat lectin, wheat germ agglutinin.

  24. Jenny

    This is the end of my first official day of wheat-free. I have a POUNDING headache. I keep thinking maybe I’m just dehydrated so drank a lot of water and took tylenol. But my head is SO tight and it’s hard to focus. I am also very fatigued. I keep thinking maybe it’s the body’s way of saying you need this to function. It’s hard.

    • Stick it out, Jenny!

      Like a bout of the flu, it will pass and you will find yourself at the other end with markedly improved health and reduced cravings.

  25. Teresa RN

    Thanks Dr. Davis, My doctor is aware that I am on this diet. He highly recomends it. I am a southern girl and yes I will miss my sweet potato. I have a garden that is planted with radishes, lettuce, broccoli, collards, squash, yellow crookneck. I think I will be alright. I do need to lose the weight. I have tried for years. Even a lapband was unsuccessful. It was too tight and too narrow. I had to sleep sitting up. I had to spend several years vomiting and unabel to eat beef or any fiborous meats. i lost weight of course but at what a price. After aspiration pneumonia it was removed. I am a nurse and I find it difficult and embarrasing to counsel patients on diabetes and loosing weight when I am standing or sitting there at 267 pounds. I have read your book and keep referring to it as I did this morning and I knew the sweet potato was too much.. I am using plain whole milk yogurt no added sugars. Any advice I can learn from you or other bloggers will be appreciated. Also I work 12 hour nights and I take a bag of almonds and cheese.and whatever meat I have left over. Thanks for all you do. the medication I am on is Janumet 50-500 BID

    • Roz


      You may want to visit Nom Nom Paleo’s website for some food ideas for work. She also works nights at a hospital, follows a grain-free diet, and I find her an amazing source of inspiration on days when I feel like things are going very rough in terms of menu planning!

      See if you can vary things at work by adding in hard-boiled eggs, cucumber slices (can use them like crackers for the cheese!) and other crudite type veggie (baby carrots, celery, radishes, etc) and a fairly stable dip of sunflower seed butter, thai curry paste and unsweetened coconut milk or unsweetened tea to thin the dip to a desired consistency — this kind of dip shouldn’t require refrigeration for all those raw veggies (although I wouldn’t take more than I’d use in one day with me, so a large batch stays in the fridge and a small container gets put in the lunch bag). Another option for dips might be to buy some spice mixes from Penzey’s (shallot pepper and sunny paris are sugar-free favorites of mine, avoid the salad dressing blends since they have sugar in them) and mix with some greek yogurt and a splash of vinegar. Having variety will keep the lifestyle adjustment from getting boring, which helps you be resolved until your physical cravings diminish, or so I’ve found!

      Some people have an inflammatory reaction to nuts. I’d wait until you’ve been wheat free for a few weeks or even months and then experiment with cutting them out for 3-4 days and see how you feel. But during a transition, it might be just too much to do… don’t need to wind up feeling that there’s nothing left to eat that’s portable!

      • Teresa RN

        Thanks Roz, I am excited about this adventure and I am not setting foot on the scales. Well maybe every couple of months. I will visit that site you informed me about. I enjoy the blogging and finding new imformation. I have been working on my own recipes. Whats wrong with chilli without the beans? No sugar or wheat products involved.

    • It’s odd, Teresa, that some of the unhealthiest people I know are nurses. I am glad that you have seen the light–despite being a nurse! (Believe me, the docs are worse! Can’t tell them anything.)

      Stories like yours harden my resolve to get the word out. Here we are, discussing how “safe” it is to remove wheat, when there are people suffering through incredible hardship and torture as you did . . . all because of this peculiar product of genetic manipulation.

      If you were an unwashed human roaming the semi-tropical jungle, foraging for mushrooms, wild garlic, berries, insects, and trying to spear some reptiles or wild boar, you would weigh 105 pounds. It will happen in time–no loincloth required!

  26. Re: water loss:
    I had a rapid response going low carb, with fast weight loss starting after about the first week (I wasn’t focused on weight loss, so I wasn’t weighing myself). I was monitoring my blood pressure at the time and taking a common diuretic for moderately high blood pressure (HCZT). I quit taking the HCZT and my blood pressure remained in the normal range. I think water loss is one factor in the weight you lose initially. But I would be surprised if the water loss extends beyond a week or two. I lost 50 pounds but the last five or ten I would like to lose is a bit stubborn.

    I had the dizzyness, mental fog and sometimes muscle cramps in the first few weeks, the typical “low carb flu”. I’m glad I knew that was during the transition period as my body was switching over to using fat for energy instead of carbs/glucose. Like a drug addict, going through “withdrawal” is not a time to listen to those that say “listen to your body”. Your body lies. It likes pleasure, even if the pleasure will ultimately kill it. If you truly listened to your body, you would eat nothing but apple pie with ice cream all day.

  27. Sally

    I appreciate all the stories and encouragement. I have been wheat free for about 3 weeks total.
    I’ve lost about 5 lbs. and overall about 4 inches. I am new to counting carbs. I have counted
    calories all my life. I need to lose about 25 lbs. Just confused as to what to eat. I grew up with a big
    sweet tooth. I really haven’t missed the bread products, but do crave something more than just a piece of
    dark chocolate. Any suggestions on how to use coconut flour or almond flour and not overdo carbs for something sweet? I am going to take the suggestions about eating the higher fat items. Any advise is appreciated. I just want the weight loss to continue, not stall. Thanks.

    • Hi, Sally–

      Be sure to see the 40 or so recipes in the back of Wheat Belly, as well as the small recipe collection I’ve started on this blog.

      This weekend, I made carrot muffins and lemon cheesecake cupcakes–feel fine, didn’t gain a pound. I will post the cupcake recipe soon.

      • Sally

        Thanks Dr. Davis,
        I have tried a few of them and really liked them. Just hoping I’m not the one person this doesn’t work for. The 5 lbs I lost came off in the first 2 weeks and then nothing the 3rd week. So, I became concerned that I haven’t seen the loss that others are talking about. Do you have recommendations on what time of day is best to exercise? Some have recommended late afternoon and making sure you eat breakfast within 30 minutes of awakening. Usually on my running days I run first thing because I prefer an empty stomach. It gets confusing when you begin research, I end up with more questions than I started with sometimes. Thanks again.

  28. Teresa RN

    Thanks Dr. Davis, I appreciate the encouragement. We nurses are unhealthy despite the physical labor we do. Yes people nursing is physical, mental , stressful. I have decided this weekend that the best medicine is preparation. To get ready for the week. I am 56 years old and have been nursing for over 20 years. I stay tired. I am determined to do this for me and my health. Tonight I made the flaxseed wrap which I found to be as good as any store bought wrap. Nutty in flavor and held up to the large amount put on it. Left over sirloin steak and portabella mushroom I grilled the night before with lettuce, tomato, avocado and montery jack cheese and dressed with Newmans Own olive oil and vinegar dressing. Delicious and filling. I am leaving the carbs out. In the wrap I used extra-virgin olive oil instead of cocanut. Oh yeah , I ground my own flax seed in the blender. It has to be a good quality blender. I think I probably get more for my money out of the bag of flax seed I bought. It is stange but I find that I am using my leftovers and not throwing anything out. Thats a good thing for me.

  29. Barb

    Dr Davis, my husband and I can’t thank you enough for your eating plan. He has lost 10 pounds in three weeks and I have lost 8 pounds. We are both in smaller sized clothes. Both of us are at our lowest weight in thirty years. My blood sugar which used to average 110 in the morning now averages 85. We thought it was going to be very difficult to go without wheat but it isn’t. There are so many great wheat free recipes that we have tried. I do have a question. We have had pancakes made from almond flour, coconut flour pancakes and flax meal pancakes. We have them with fresh blueberries. My blood sugar an hour after eating these pancakes has averaged 100. That is until this morning. I had read how good buckwheat was for you and that it is low glycemic. This morning I made buckwheat pancakes and had the usual fresh blueberries on my pancake. I knew within 15 minutes that my blood sugar was up because my eyes were blurry. An hour after eating my blood sugar was 126 (up from 90 before breakfast). What do you think happened? Should I not have buckwheat? Or is there something I should have eaten with it to keep the blood sugar stable?

    • Hi, Barb–

      Buckwheat, while it is more benign and lacks most of the negative aspects of wheat, is still a rich carbohydrate source. I personally get the same effect: Just a bit of carbohydrate and I’ve got weird head symptoms like buzzing. So it’s carbohydrate sensitivity. This is why some of us simply cannot get away with even modest carbohydrate exposures after having beaten up our poor pancreases for the last several decades.

      You are checking blood sugars; your 1-hour after-meal blood sugar is the best indicator of your carb sensitivity. Aiming for no change comparing pre-meal to 1-hour post-meal provides extravagant results. You can see how enlightening checking blood sugars can be.

  30. Barb

    Just another comment… Dr. Davis, you are so right about the grazing concept. That is one of the major things my husband and I have noticed. We actually have to remind ourselves to eat at mealtime because we really aren’t that hungry. So different from in the past when we lived for the next snack or meal. We were at a festival this past weekend and walked by our favorite food vendor (sausage and pepper subs) without having any desire to eat one!

  31. Barb

    I just read your answer to the buckwheat question to my husband. His response: “Wow! That doctor really took the time to answer your question! That’s amazing!”. Thank you Dr. Davis for your desire to help us solve these health issues. It appears to be quite unusual in the medical profession today.

  32. Jenny

    I wanted to just say this, even though I know it was talked about a lot. So my headaches were pounding, then just persisting the past couple of days. Day one of no wheat, only ONE day, I noticed my ravenous appetite for sugar seemed to actually be better. Today I didn’t plan well and had a cheese quesadilla. White flour quesadilla made from wheat I’m assuming. It just occurred to me later on, that my headache was gone. Completely gone.

    It’s hard to not ignore that and realize there is a serious connection there. It’s so mind boggling to me to think I can actually get withdrawal effects from wheat. Wheat! I tell myself it’s NOT my body’s way of saying I need wheat as a nutrient because of course you can get nutritients in other forms. It’s just hard to accept even though I KNOW it’s true. I’m back to no wheat tomorrow and dreading the return of the headaches.

    • Exactly right, Jenny. I don’t that we should interpret the withdrawal symptoms from wheat as a signal that we need it, no more than withdrawal from oxycontin means we somehow need it.

      You are discovering how ubiquitous wheat is and I don’t think it’s completely an accident. Big Food companies, with revenues of $80-120 billion per year, can afford to pay some very smart food scientists who, I’m sure, have stumbled on many of the same phenomena that we are talking about. Including wheat in various processed foods is a really easy way to increase resale and revenues.

  33. Teresa RN

    I am a little disaponted only a 3 1/2 pound weight loss for the first week. I have not cheated. The book says to eat as much as you want on beef, pork, chicken, cheese and nuts and green vegtables. I am eating virtually no carbohydrates. 1. Does it have to be lean meat? 2. Waaht lind of coconut ilk? I am using goya. 3. Butter and full fat whole milk plain yogurt in small portions? I am not giving up. I guess age and activity have alot to do with it. I have also found I am not craving Diet Cokes and Diet Pepsi like I use to.
    keep logging the more imformation I have the better.

    • Hi, Teresa–

      Not everybody loses a pound a day; that’s just the experience of many, not all.

      Nonetheless, 3 1/2 pounds in a week is not too shabby, considering no extreme exercise, no colon purge, no cleansing solutions, calorie counting, etc.!

      It does not have to be lean meat and eating the fat is okay, provided the meat was pasture fed/organic. If not, the fat can serve as a repository for organic chemicals and should not be eaten, but not because fat is intrinsically bad. (This is a bit of an oversimplification; since you are in the medical field, there are genetic exceptions to the “eat all the fat you want” idea, such as people homozygous or heterozygous for apo E4.)

    • Roz


      I’ll preface this with the usual disclaimer — I have no medical knowledge, and this is all based on my own personal experience with trying to get healthy.

      Re: coconut milk. I buy canned Arroy-D coconut milk in bulk from amazon. No added sugar, and no gums to thicken it. Makes a nice hot chocolate, using cocoa powder, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Not for those used to milk chocolate, however! It’s not quite as bitter as black coffee, but it’s still quite different from sweetened cocoa.

      Re: lean/fatty meat. Fatty cuts of meat are better when you’re low carbing it, or increasing fat consumption in general (braised chicken thighs, chicken breast sauteed in butter with garlic and capers, NY strip steak au poivre with a mustard-cream sauce, etc). Low fat and low carb is a hard thing to do, and you never feel full, leading back to the overgrazing problem. Butter is good, clarified butter (ghee) is even better. Reading is quite interesting, however I personally still consume clarified butter, heavy whipping cream (if it’s full fat it won’t have those pesky lactose sugars, but be sure to read the labels — some cream is really 2% milk with powders added, scary!) and aged cheeses (3 year gouda, parmesean, asiago and the like)

      I’d recommend ditching the scale and go by how your clothes fit, but that’s what worked for me psychologically speaking :) It took my body about 3 weeks to make the switch from burning carbs to burning fat. 4 months into the grain free process I had to go buy new clothes because belts were no longer working at keeping my pants up, because the belts were also too big! In the 9-10 months of being grain free I’ve gone from a size 20, weighing 245, to a size 10-12 at 180 (I have a lot of muscle going on, what can I say?). There were some plateaus along the way, and I was ‘bad’ by making a treat once every weekend (e.g. orange chocolate chip scones with almond flour from elana’s pantry, chocolate chip cookies with hazelnut flour adapted from the primal palate, sweet potato fries, etc).

      Don’t get discouraged, it took years to get in the state you’re in (hope that wasn’t insensitive, since it was also the state I was in!), but it won’t take years to undo the majority of it. It just won’t be fixed overnight.

  34. Teresa RN

    Thanks everybody for the encouragement. I will ditch the scales. My blood sugar was higher this morning than it has been since I started the diet. I had tribe Hummus with some raw verggies. celery, radishes, tomatoes. I splurged on a diet Pepsi. When I got home from work my blood suger was 143. It has been 105-110. Could it have been the Hummus or the carmel coloring in the diet Pepsi. I had chilli when I got up made with canned tomatoes and beef and just the chilli powder, garlic, cummin. Roz I will get the coconut milk from amazon. I order from them all the time it is where I purchased the book.. I also get all mu kindle books from there. I love to read. I feel better now. I am big bonned and if I get down to 180 I would be thrilled. Thanks so much and keep in touch.

  35. Teresa

    I have ditched the scale. I will weight only once a month. I am tired of the ups and downs. Went shopping yesterday for 2nd grocery shopping since started the diet. My cart was half full. No bulky boxes of prepared frozen dinners, pizzas, ice cream ect. Instead 4 bags of nuts, all kinds of veggies, almond flour. The only canned goods were asparagus and green beans. I don’t like frozen green beans. It’s a southern thing. I have decided that maybe I am not drinking enought fluids and not excercising enought. I was off the last 4 days and did not leave the house but once and that was grocery shopping.I have also decided to make the smoothies only once or twice a week as a meal replacement. Even thought i cut back on the fruit I put in them. I made the pizza last night in the book and it was very good. Even my husband who is also on the diet liked it..He did not want to know what the crust was made of. He has never ate cauliflowerin his life. My only comment is that it was a liitle watery when cut. I let it drain in a collander while letting it cool. Next time I will take a large spoon and press on it getting more of the water out. Also my husband has lost 11 pounds. Men!!!!!

  36. Today I had one of the lemon cheesecake cupcakes for breakfast. I didn’t eat again until around noon and I had another. About 1:30 I had about 3 ounces of cheese as I was getting a bit peckish.

    Tonight I will have a meatloaf (wheat free) with steamed asparagus. I’ve been neglecting my protein drinks, but perhaps I can get one in tonight as I don’t want to go too many days without my required protein base.

    • Hmmmm. I hope this isn’t turning into The Lemon Cheesecake Diet!

      Variety is always a good idea in diet, as well as in . . . Okay, I’d better stop there.

  37. bob

    I know nothing about biology, human or otherwise, but I do have an observation based on logic.

    Calorie counting may be a flawed concept, or at least it may not tell the whole story. There are a couple of assumptions about calorie counting that aren’t necessarily correct.
    1 – Every calorie you ingest is either burned off as energy or it becomes fat.
    2 – The only way to get rid of fat is to burn it as energy.

    If either of those assumptions is wrong then there is no problem with shedding a pound a day even if the calories don’t balance out mathematically.

  38. S. Quade

    Libby, I was not officially diabetic 2 but definitely had what’s called metabolic syndrome; 80# overweight; high triglycerides; hdl slightly lower than I should be; high blood sugar; high blood pressure; recurring bouts of inflammation (significant arthritis damage in hands and feet, and I can feel it in my neck and shoulders though oddly my knees weren’t painful (as they used to be) when I had the x-rays on my hands and feet. I knew I was approaching the line of diabetes 2, so I began reading everything I could get my hands on. WHEAT BELLY was not yet published. Most helpful: PROTEIN POWER LIFEPLAN and DR. BERNSTEIN’S DIABETES DIET — which explains that for diabetics, morning carb grams should not exceed 6! Lunch and dinner carb grams may be up to 12 grams each, so a total of not more than 30 per day. Otherwise your higher blood sugar stimulates insulin, which is the fat storage hormone. Doing the opposite, eating low on the carb scale (or skipping carbs altogether — using a meat fast for two or three weeks) keeps your blood sugar low after meals and stimulates a hormone called glucagon, which burns fat calories; if you eat right, glucagon will force your body to burn fat — you won’t be able to stop it from happening. Chemistry — its a beautiful thing.
    My meals are mostly high-fat meats, cheeses, and eggs, with not more than 10 carb grams of asparagus, curly endive or other leafy green, steamed and buttered, and that’s all. If I didn’t eat the leafy greens, I could have 1/3 cup of blueberries, but I prefer the greens. I’m never hungry because I can stuff myself with delicious fats and proteins. I don’t miss fruit or the other veggies, though sometimes I eat green beans, raw broccoli chopped into a salad recipe that we enjoy sporadically, or raw sweet peppers stuffed with goat cheese — those are treats. My diet isn’t limited at all, I never count calories, and I do eat if I’m hungry, but after losing 45 pounds in just under one year I have a smaller appetite and am having trouble consuming enough food to keep the body-fat burn going.
    However, as someone mentioned, slower is better. You’re body is more likely to maintain the loss if the loss if slower rather than faster.
    Get yourself on a carb-counting schedule, pay attention to eating as low as you can on the glycemic index scale (no grains, no flour in any form, no sugar or other sweeteners whether they’re “natural”, “organic” or “guaranteed” they’re still highly carbacious so don’t consume them; no potatoes, no beans, no legumes, atoms of low glycemic fruit only and no juice (which is a glass of sugar). After about a week of tight carb restriction your body will thank you by not longer craving carbs and you’ll feel great. Definitely buy a carb-gram counter and carry it with you, and read Dr. Bernstein’s book, which is not only whack-in-the-side-of-the-head illuminating, but inspirational as well.
    Good luck. Obviously you’re at the right blog to get all your questions answered.

  39. Teresa

    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.

    • 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.

  40. Michael

    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.

    • 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.

  41. shelley

    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!

  42. mary chalmers

    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