I eliminated wheat—and I didn't lose weight!

Elimination of wheat is a wonderfully effective way to lose weight. Because saying goodbye to wheat means removing the gliadin protein of wheat, the protein degraded to brain-active exorphins that stimulate appetite, calorie consumption is reduced, on average, 400 calories per day. It also means eliminating this source of high blood sugar and high blood insulin and the 90-minutes cycles of highs and lows that cause a cyclic need to eat more at the inevitable low. It means that the high blood sugar and insulin phenomena that trigger accumulation of visceral fat are now turned off. It may possibly also mean that wheat lectins no longer block the leptin receptor, undoing leptin resistance and allowing weight loss to proceed. And weight loss usually results effortlessly and rapidly.

But not always. Why? Why are there people who, even after eliminating this appetite-stimulating, insulin-triggering, leptin-blocking food, still cannot lose weight? Or stall after an initial few pounds?

There are a list of reasons, but here are the biggies:

1) Too many carbohydrates–What if I eliminate wheat but replace those calories with gluten-free breads, muffins, and cookies? Then I’ve switched one glucose-insulin triggering food for another. This is among the reasons I condemn gluten-free foods made with rice starch, cornstarch, tapioca starch, and potato starch. Or perhaps there’s too many potatoes, rices, and oats in your diet. While not as harmful as wheat, they still provoke phenomena that cause weight loss to stall. So cutting carbohydrates may become necessary, e.g., no more than 12-14 grams per meal.

2) Fructose–Fructose has become ubiquitous and has even assumed some healthy-appearing forms. “Organic agave nectar” is, by far, the worst, followed by maple syrup, honey, high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose,and fruit–yes, in that order. They are all sources of fructose that causes insulin resistance, visceral fat accumulation or persistency, prolongation of clearing postprandial (after-meal) lipoproteins that antagonize insulin, and glycation. Lose the fructose sources–as much of it as possible. (Fruit should be eaten in very small portions.) Watch for stealth sources like low-fat salad dressings–you shouldn’t be limiting your fat anyway!

3) Thyroid dysfunction–A real biggie. Number one cause to consider for thyroid dysfunction: iodine deficiency. Yes, it’s coming back in all its glory, just like the early 20th century before iodized salt made it to market shelves. Now, people are cutting back on iodized salt. Guess what’s coming back? Iodine deficiency and even goiters. Yes, goiters, the disfiguring growths on the neck that you thought you’d only see in National Geographic pictures of malnourished native Africans. Number two: Exposure to factors that block the thyroid. This may include wheat, but certainly includes perchlorate residues (synthetic fertilizer residues) on produce, pesticides, herbicides, polyfluorooctanoic acid residues from non-stick cookware, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (flame retardants), and on and on. If you are iodine-deficient, it can even include goitrogenic iodine-blocking foods like broccoli, cauliflower, and soy. Thyroid status therefore needs to be assessed.

4) Cortisol–Not so much excess cortisol as disruptions of circadian rhythm. Cortisol should surge in the morning, part of the process to arouse you from sleep, then decline to lower levels in the evening to allow normal recuperative sleep. But this natural circadian cycling is lost in many people represented, for instance, as a flip-flopping of the pattern with low levels in the morning (with morning fatigue) and high levels at bedtime (with insomnia), which can result in stalled weight loss or weight gain. Cortisol status therefore needs to be assessed, best accomplished with salivary cortisol assessment.

5) Leptin resistance–People who are overweight develop an inappropriate resistance to the hormone, leptin, which can present difficulty in losing weight. This can be a substantial issue and is not always easy to overcome. It might mean assessing leptin levels or it might mean taking some steps to overcome leptin resistance.

Okay, that’s a lot. Next: More on how to know when thyroid dysfunction is to blame.

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242 Responses to I eliminated wheat—and I didn't lose weight!

  1. denise says:

    Please help me figure out what I am missing. I believe in your theory and have been wheat free for almost a month. Both my husband and I feel so much better. All of the good things you said would happen are except the weight loss. I have been very careful not to “cheat.” With the exception of fruit, I had also cut out carbs. I have now cut that as well. I have been on Levothyroxine since age 16 (24 years) and Cytomel for a year. My levels are fine as far as labs go. Is there a more natural thyroid stimulant? I have heard iodine supplements are useless this long after a diagnosis. Thanks for any info you may have.
    Also, I am a director of health services for a large agency for people with developmental disabilities. I have used your book to write menus for 2 people with severe autism that we have tried everything else for. They start Monday. I will keep you posted. Thank you.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Hi, Denise–

      I would be very interested in hearing how the autistic people do. Please do let us know. I’m hoping you see better capacity to learn, happier behavior, less emotionality.

      Some people do indeed do better with Armour thyroid type preparations, i.e., T4 and T3 in a single tablet, though it is not clear why. I’ve seen some people stall with weight loss on separate T4 with T3, only to lose 12, 15, or more pounds by converting to an equivalent dose of Armour. But I do not know why. It’s relatively easy to convert. For instance, if your levothyroxine dose is 100 mcg, then the equivalent Armour would be 120 mg or 2 grains per day.

      Because the Armour comes in a fixed ratio (38 mcg T4, 8.9 mcg T3 per 60 mg or 1 grain tablet), some people require additional T3 to be added as liothyronine or Cytomel.

      So it means someone taking a closer look at thyroid. Unless thyroid is perfect, it will not allow weight loss to proceed.

  2. denise says:

    Thanks so much. I was not aware that was an option.

  3. Anna says:

    Hi Dr. Davis,
    Well we’ve been wheat free for five weeks now. Our five year old’s behavior has improved immensely and he is happy to eat, as he is hungry, and then is full and goes on his merry way.
    My partner has lost about 5.5 kg’s and day by day sees the scales moving down a little. I however am not doing so well. For the first two weeks I was really happy that for the first time in my life the scales weren’t going up and down but stayed the same. Five weeks in I have only lost 1.5 kg’s. On your advice, I am going to have thyroid tests next week but before I go to see a doctor who will probably say I shouldn’t eliminate grains, could breast feeding have something to do with it?
    The change in diet is fantastic! I am no longer constantly craving food, adding seeds and nuts to stir fries has been great and we all love our almond porridge made with full cream milk in the morning!
    Thank you Dr. Davis,

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Hi, Anna–

      While breastfeeding, I believe that it is actually preferable to not lose weight or lose it at a very slow pace, else you might impact breast milk production. Obviously, I’m no gynecologist or obstetrician and my familiarity with the issues of pregnancy and post-delivery are superficial, but I believe it makes sense that you don’t want to expose your body to extremes of weight changes while the baby is exposed to breast milk.

      I’ll bet that, given time and the completion of the breastfeeding period, you will achieve the weight changes you desire if you stick to this lifestyle.

  4. Anna says:

    Dr. Davis,
    Thank you for your quick reply. I have now been breast feeding for five and a half years straight and my latest child is 5 months. I shall be patient as I will continue feeding him for another two years!
    I must also say my eliminating wheat immediately stopped his months of painful constipation, it was amazing!
    Our new lifestyle change is as it says, for life!

  5. Pat says:

    More thoughts on not losing weight when giving up wheat….I too experienced this UNTIL I had some food sensitivity tests run. Not only am I sensitive to wheat, but dairy, eggs and soy! Wow, what an eye opener. My naturopath says all these are making my body create antibodies to fight them. No wonder I couldn’t lose weight after I gave up wheat!!! then I stayed wheat free and dairy free for 2 weeks and did not lose weight. I didn’t gain weight either…..but since I gave up eggs (which had been one of my daily staples) and egg white protein too, PLUS the vegetarian butter (because it has soy in it), my stomach is definitely less puffy and I’ve lost 5 lbs. in two days. I feel so much better; I can’t imagine how it will be after a couple of weeks! But bottomline, if you’re not losing weight just by eliminating wheat, it could be you’re food sensitive to something else! Thank you Dr. Davis for getting me started on this; if I hadn’t read your book, I never would have known to even go down this path!

    • Laura says:

      So true! I only started losing weight after eliminating wheat, dairy, meat, and eggs from my diet. I’m so glad that after all these years of being pudgy I finally found something that worked! I still eat loads of fruit, veggies, nuts (which are fattening but not making me fat!), legumes, quinoa, and non-wheat grains. I also tolerate spelt well.

  6. Elaine says:

    Please help: I have been wheat-free for three weeks now, and lost 3 lbs. in the first week and half. Since then I have eliminated not only wheat, but virtually all other carbohydrates, and have concentrated on nuts, vegetables, cheese, lean meats, etc. I usually have a glass of red wine in the evening. I’m very frustrated that in the last week and half I haven’t lost any weight, and have actually gained a pound! Please help me to know what I’m not doing correctly on this plan. Thanks. – Elaine

    • Dr. Davis says:

      I hate to say this, Elaine, but any amount of wine can impair weight loss. Ethanol inactivates an enzyme that facilitates weight loss.

      After this, as the discussion suggests, consider thyroid. This is a far more common problem than many people think.

      Also, patience also can pay. It is not uncommon for the plateau to give way to weight loss and shrinking waistline only after several weeks. I’m not entirely sure why.

      Also, not discussed in the article, if you are experiencing effects like bloating or constipation, consider a high-potency probiotic, e.g., 50 billion CFU or greater, for at least 4 weeks, to accelerate the conversion of bowel flora back to normal.

      • Elaine says:

        Thanks so much, Dr. Davis. I greatly appreciate these suggestions!! I’ll incorporate these, and see how it impacts my weight loss (along with developing more patience). I have about 30 lbs. to lose, so maybe weight comes off faster if there’s a larger amount to lose to begin with (such as 75-100 lbs.)? Thanks again for your feedback. – Elaine

  7. Taylor says:

    Dear Dr. Davis,
    Please help! I am a 42-year-old female. I have been on the diet since June of 2012. I have lost maybe 1 or 2 pounds. I’m not sure what I am doing wrong. I generally eat nuts and nut butters, eggs, cheese, turkey, and chicken. Once or twice a week, I may have a potato/sweet potato or a small amount of corn. Other than the corn, I haven’t had any grains of any kind since I started the diet. I have read food labels and tried to avoid products with cornstarch, potato starch, rice flour, etc. I don’t eat a lot of vegetables (mostly lettuce, squash, and sugar snap peas), but I don’t eat much fruit either (maybe once a week). A month ago, I stopped drinking dairy milk and switched to unsweetened almond milk. I usually have a couple of squares of Lindt 90% dark chocolate each day but otherwise have tried to limit my sugar consumption. I never add salt to any of my food, and I am allergic to fish and seafood, so I haven’t had either in at least 6 or 7 years.

    I recently had a thyroid panel done. These are my results:

    Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) = 7 (range = 0-34 IU/mL)
    Antithyroglobulin Ab = <20 (range = 0-40 IU/mL)
    Reverse T3 = 26.5 (range = 13.5-34.2 ng/dL)
    TSH = 0.754 (range = 0.450-4.500 uIU/mL)
    Triiodothyronine,Free (Free T3) = 2.9 (range = 2.0-4.4 pg/mL)
    T4,Free = 1.17 (range = 0.82-1.77 ng/dL)

    I really enjoy eating natural peanut butter. The brand I buy has only “100% roasted Valencia peanuts” listed as ingredients. Is it possible I am eating too much of this? Or too much dark chocolate? Not enough vegetables? I am also exercising 2 to 3 times per week, but I’m just not seeing any weight loss at all. My doctor would like to put me on antidepressants and weight loss pills. I would appreciate your advice.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      It sounds like you’ve done everything right, Taylor. Your attention to diet seems to be spot on and, at least on “paper,” your thyroid looks favorable. The only thing that is a bit off is the inclusion of potatoes that cause high blood sugars. And be sure that your almond milk is unsweetened.

      So it’s time to consider other things. Consider:

      1) Progesterone–At age 42, you are transitioning to a low progesterone state that can impair weight loss. You will need to find someone well-versed in use of natural human hormones, e.g., functional medicine doc, naturopath, or the occasional open-minded gynecologist.

      2) Get your salivary cortisol profile–Disruptions in circadian rhythmicity of cortisol can stall weight loss. Not an easy thing to adjust, but it can at least explain why you cannot lose weight.

      3) If bowel health is not perfect, consider getting this evaluated, as this can (for unclear reasons) stall weight loss.

      4) It is possible that the highish reverse T3 is exerting some metabolism slowing effect. I would entertain this possibility more strongly if you experience inapprpriately cold hands and feet and/or low energy.

      In short, you are at the point where a formal evaluation by someone skilled in such things is in order.

  8. Dianne C says:

    Dr. Davis,
    I am a very frustrated woman. I have been wheat free for two months. I do feel better. I had a complete hysterectomy about six months ago. I have gained about 20 pounds. My doctor said I have no metabolism since the hysterectomy. He suggested taking estrogen. I felt horrible on it so I stopped. I had my thyroid checked and it was fine. I’m at a loss on how to lose this weight. It feels like my belly is getting fatter. Please help!!!

    • Dr. Davis says:

      I think you need a smarter doctor, Dianne. That’s a pretty crappy answer.

      You need a full assessment of thyroid (“normal” thyroid is often NOT), a cortisol assessment, a consideration for progesterone, and other issues settled. It sure sounds like this doctor is not the person to think about your situation carefully if that is the answer you received.

  9. Anthony says:

    I am finishing up my first week today and feel great. I started going wheat free last Sunday by doing. 2 barbecues where the host of the first one made home made pizza off the grill – my favorite. But I held out plus no alcohol at either. I have used this blog and Maria Emmerichs cookbook for motivation and recipes and look forward to many more. I don’t think I have lost any weight but I do kettlebell training 2-3 times a week whic I know may prevent a lot of pounds on the scale. The hardest part is not the withdrawal but the removal of sugar from my coffee. I have cut back but not embraced the artificial sweeteners like stevia or truvia but I do bake Witt them. So far not many cravings hope this means I am lucky

  10. Janice says:

    I recently read the book “Wheat Belly” and I have to say I was fascinated. I started my family on a wheat free diet and we are doing ok 2 weeks in. My daughters ADD symptoms are improving (yeah), but we are NOT losing weight. After reading the previous posts I’m pretty sure it’s because I bought gluten free food. My daughter is 13 and even though she is “on board” with my decision..finds it difficult to not eat “normal” food (I watch all her friends ingest junk at incredible amounts and am often astonished that they all look like rails), so I found gluten free to compensate, my husband is a truck driver who often doesn’t stop for a meal so he needs something he can grab and go so I pack lots of fruit, veggies but I also throw in the gf muffins, cookies, etc. My daughters diet also requires no artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives. (this is for the ADD) I am finding it very challenging to find snacks for her that meet all our requirments. ( I should mention that she is overweight ) I was giving her fruit which she loves, but I can see from the Quick and Dirty that we are eating too much. HELP Please!! We also take probiotics daily. I would be very thankful for any suggestions or recipes

    • Dr. Davis says:

      I think that you MUST refuse to indulge the acquired perverse food preferences of the family, Janice. I know of no way to compromise and still maintain health.

      It means trying to educate them. It may require 1-2 years, not just a single conversation. But you will be rewarded by a healthier, happier family who, at some point, realize that you were right!

      Eat more raw nuts, cheese, add more oils, eggs, avocados, olives, and meats. And see the recipes on this blog for healthy cookies, muffins, and brownies.

  11. I have been wheat free for over six weeks and haven’t lost any weight. I’ve reduced my other carbs intake, been eating more veggies and some fresh fruit, along with good proteins. I’m diabetic so this change has really gotten my blood sugar under much better control. I just saw my doctor yesterday and got my blood tested for TSH, T3 and T4 levels and my iodine levels as well. I didn’t see any actual numbers of what a satisfactory range for these should be. Can you please tell us the numbers.
    My doctors office has a life style educator that uses the FirstLine Therapy program that they want to put me with. She’s is going to give me the saliva test kit that tests hormones, etc. It looks like she will want me to take the Metagenics UltraMeal Plus 360 meal replacement product. I looked it up online and it says it’s gluten free, but it does contain “soy proteins”. They also use the Metagenics Clear Change detox products.I just wondered what Dr Davis thinks of this type of product before I spend money on It. I’ve never been a fan of drinking your breakfast or lunch. Plus it’s made by big agri, so I already don’t trust it. And I’m not sure I want to spend time and money on their program.

  12. I posted this on my Facebook “diary”:

    I grew up eating a gluten free diet. My mother got it from F.Curtis Dohan that the Coeliac diet was good for schizophrenia, too. My dad had that diagnosis and so the whole family went on the diet to avoid stigma, complications and, probably, “just in case”!

    As an adult I have sympathised with the idea but had drifted back to a wheated diet although have always had a healthy lifestyle – walking, yoga, swimming. Nine months ago, cross I could no longer do some of the exercises I dropped wheat and gluten containing grains and tried to lower all other carbohydrates. My weight and bulk had crept up to around 14 stone. Since that time I’ve lost about a stone and speed walk long distances. Plus I’ve got my yoga back and improved upon it.

    Two days ago I found this book [ie your "Wheat Belly"] and it provides all the rationales for my experience, quotes our old friend F.Curtis Dohan and adds a lot I’d not thought about. In my jigsaw of life, this is the previously missing puzzle piece.

    I so stronly recommend it to utterly everyone who ever thinks about their own or any other’s health.

    An absolute must to read AND to follow.

  13. Anthony says:

    2 weeks and still nothing. Can’t figure out what I am dng wrong. I have had no wheat withdrawal symptoms and my appetite has decreased. This is very frustrating and I have switched to truvia and stevia and my sweetener of choice.

    Can anyone help?

  14. LorLor says:

    I see in many of these comments where various tests are run to check for thyroid, food sensitivities, etc. I was wondering if anyone has had experience with independent testing; I see ads online to order your own tests, you just have to go to a local lab for the blood draw. Are these handled the same way as doctor-ordered tests? I’d like to be able to get some of these but my doctor’s a bit entrenched in her ways and refuses to think past the usual recommendations. I want to take a greater role in my health and do what I can without sitting in her waiting room for an hour.

    Also, I’m considering seeing a naturopath, since the closest functional medicine doctor is two hours away. Do naturopaths ever order lab tests or is that not “natural” enough? Any comments pro/con on these questions would be appreciated.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Yes, many people obtain self-ordered testing nowadays. Not allowed in New York or California by law, however, likely meaning the hospital labs have a strong lobbying group. However, the best solution might be to first get a better doctor, since that gives you the option of having your labs paid for by your health insurance.

      Yes, the naturopaths can order blood tests in most states.

      • JPBA says:

        Might have changed recently, as it’s fine here in California, and I have done this a few times recently. LorLor, I was in a similar situation, Dr. not very helpful. I used DirectLabs and it’s been great. They also offer various price specials each month.

  15. Amy says:

    My husband and I have been on WB for about three weeks. We believe in the WB philosophy and find it easy to follow as a life long change. We are both 40 years old. My husband has a history of diabetes in his family so we are trying to avoid him becoming diabetic as well. He is also on thyroid medication. I had my thyroid tested in September and it came back in normal range. We have followed WB very closely. He has lost maybe 5 pounds and I am at 2 lbs. and that was all in the first week. I am hoping to lose about 15 lbs and my husband has a goal of as much as 100 lbs. We know it is not going to happen over night but dont know what we should expect. We are looking for any info or suggestions anyone can offer. Thank you!

  16. Lizzie says:

    Hi Dr Davis, I have a question. My daughter is 15 and she has been on the WB lifestyle change for 3 weeks. At the start of her WB journey she weighed in at 76kg. She is not one of these kids with skinny dyng “chicken” legs (if you get my meaning) she has a very muscular build (legs particularly) but has a belly – hence why we started following WB. I have also eliminated cheese and dairy from her diet purely for acne control. She lost 2kg in the first 2 weeks but has put 2.5kgs back on this week – however all her clothes are still loose and she looks like she hasn’t put any weight back on. She says that she feels like she has put muscle on. Is this “normal” due to lack of grain/wheat? (She is also taking one Vitamin D/calcium suppliment and also a multi vitamin tablet daily). Not sure if you have come across this before? Thanks for your time.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Yes, some people do indeed respond with loss of visceral (abdominal) fat concomitant with increased muscle. I don’t know why it is, but it is a good development!

      Is there no end to the ways that wheat consumption messes up health and metabolism?

  17. Sarah says:

    I am a 29 year old fairly fit woman. I was interested in trying the wheat belly diet and have been doing it for 8 weeks. I workout doing interval type training 6 times a week (45 mins) and I run at least 15km every week. I’ve always used my excercise as a justification to eat so I’ve found it difficult to lose the 5 pounds I’d really love to get rid of around my waste. After reading the wheat belly book and your discussion about fat triatheletes, I decided to give the wheat belly diet a try. I have cut out all grains, I read all labels, I eat 1 fruit a day and have cut out all other sources of wheat that I can find and in spite of my efforts I’ve actually put on 3 pounds. I do eat quite a few nuts…I’m wondering if I’m eating too many. I’m wondering if my body is actually reserving carbs because of my exercise level. I can’t figure out what else I can do. Other than my lack of weight loss…everything else has been pretty good.
    Any advice would be great.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      I would urge you to seriously consider each and every item on this list, Sarah.

      You may be surprised, for instance, that you have iodine deficiency or thyroid dysfunction as the cause. The fix, thank goodness, is easy once you identify the problem.

  18. Karnac says:

    For everyone struggling with the problem of not losing weight on the WB diet I thought I’d pass along my experience so far. On Aug 1 this year I went wheat free. In May 2012 I topped out at 307 lbs of fun. I had lost 80 lbs in 2010 using HCG drops, starving on a 500 calorie diet….miserable most of the time……Then I went on the maintenence plan, reintroduced bread and gained every pound back. Same thing in 2007 with the GI Diet……Same in 1984 on the HCG needles….reintroduced the bread and I ballooned again. So in May I decided to try again and I started dieting, painfully losing 15 pounds by late July. Then “The Book” entered my life. I ordered it, read it, read it again and on Aug1 went wheat free. Here are the results so far:

    Start Weight: 291 lb on 08/01/2012
    End Weight: 251 lb on 11/29/2012
    Total Change: -40 lb
    Avg. Weekly Change: -2.3 lb
    Maximum Weight: 291 lb on 08/01/2012
    Minimum Weight: 251 lb on 11/29/2012

    My goal is 190 – 200lbs….Should arrive late April 2013…..Think long term.

    The best advice I can give is when you go wheat free USE a food journal. I can’t emphasize this enough. I used Fitday.com. Every meal I’ve ate since Aug is in that journal. It is an incredible motivator. You track your food daily and see your results……After several days on the diet, the craving to eat begins to diminish. I struggle to reach 600 calories many days, and yet I’m never ever hungry, and skipping a meal is routine now. I eat everything I want as long as its wheatfree. Portion sizes have adjusted themselves as I now can only eat 1 chicken breast, or 1 pork chop, or 1 salmon steak instead of 2…..I take a Centrum multivitamin daily. I’d like to say I exercised but I’d be lying, in fact my mobility has been curtailed by a long bout of sciatica during that time. Going wheat free is the easiest “weigh” to lose pounds I have ever tried. Thanks again Dr. Davis….I hope Santa fills your stocking with book orders.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Excellent, Karnac!

      Yes, I fear many, many people suffer through all the wacky contortions of diet, gaining, losing, gaining, losing . . . when the real culprit in weight gain was not identified: wheat.

      Lose the wheat and it all becomes clear!

  19. Judy says:

    I had been in excruciating pain for several days with classic symptoms of gall bladder. Dr. ordered ultrasound and CT Scan of abdominal area. Ruled out gall bladder, kidney, liver issues and said diverticulitis. Gave me prescriptions for Cipro and Flagyl which I decided not to take. Instead I read Wheat Belly and my symptoms are pretty much resolved after 4 days of no wheat. I’ve cut out wheat and high-fructose since they seem to go hand-in-hand. My question is how much weight loss in a short amount of time is normal? I’ve lost 9 pounds in 5 days. Should I be concerned?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Wow, Judy!

      That much weight loss is unusual in such a short time. So I suspect that you have likely lost a lot of water, i.e., edema from various organs. It means that you must have been experiencing marked inflammation. Now that you’ve removed the trigger for inflammation–wheat–you are losing the consequences of inflammation. I believe this is a GOOD thing!

  20. Alison says:

    I hope you can help me. I am really interested in going wheat free for a number of reasons: weight gain; fatigue; allergy symptoms; etc. But I am having trouble imagining just what I will eat. I have allergies / sensitivities to dairy, tree nuts, eggs, soy and tomatoes so I assume I should try eliminating those food groups as well? should i eliminate them all at once or one group at a time? As i cant have almond or soy milk, not sure what, if anything, to replace milk with. Are non-wheat grains like quinoa, kamut and brown rice ok to eat? And if making a cheese sauce or gravy, what can be used in place of wheat flour as a thickener?