“Pass the Little Debbie’s snack cakes!”

(This is a re-posting of a recent blog post, since some web browsers had difficulty accessing it.)

Wheat Belly Blog reader, David, tells his wonderful success story of rapid weight loss and freedom from food cravings and body aches:

I started the diet about 2 weeks ago. I have lost 14 pounds so far (I started at 285).

Amazingly, I have lived with constant pain and numbness in my body, often down to the bones, for maybe about 5 years. I often described it to doctors as the same feeling you get with the flu, an aching weakness. Albeit without the symptoms of a fever, etc. They would smile and mumble something about ibuprofen or other pain killers and move on.

So, after reading the Wheat Belly book, it hit me with a ton of bricks, and it hurt. But it was a good pain. :) Anyway, I had always tried different diets, and often saw the best results with Atkins. But I would always eat some of the “low-carb” wraps or things like that on the diet… Ingredient number 3? Wheat flour. I would still be in pain though throughout the Atkins diet. Now, don’t get me wrong, I would lose some weight, but the cravings for carbs would never go away, so it was a constant temptation to get off and splurge… It would always be justified ‘just this once’, which turned into ‘just this weekend’, which eventually turned into, ‘I already screwed up, pass the Little Debbie’s snack cakes!’

But after reading your book, I suddenly realized the one key to my dilemma, wheat. I was constantly craving it, and so I would eat it in small quantities while on Atkins, which would make me crave it more. So 2 weeks ago, I fully cut wheat out of my diet. I am following a low-carb/high fat diet with no tainted wheat at all . . . and you know what? I feel so much better. The aching has almost completely disappeared, my energy levels are way up, and I have NO craving for wheat. I see the cookies and cakes and pies and chips and everything around me, and no craving. And now that I realize that the pain went away because I cut the wheat out, it isn’t even registering to want to go back to that pain, and makes it so much easier to completely walk by.

It is funny, because I want to shout from the rooftops to everyone I know, that wheat is bad for you. I am living proof of the effects of cutting wheat from the diet. I have even convinced my wife to go wheat free. And she LOVES pasta and bread. It is a big world we are fighting against, and large industries that don’t want to see things change, but this really works, and we HAVE to be diligent and stand up and let people know that they are slowly killing themselves. Cigarettes don’t kill you off the first puff, they kill you slowly. Wheat is doing the same thing.

So, this Christmas season, I tried the Gingerbread cookies recipe I found on your blog, and am going to ask for the cheesecake for my birthday. Thank you for making things click with me. I knew there had to be an underlying piece to the puzzle, and you helped me see the light.

Imagine what David’s life would have been like without this realization, just blindly accepting the advice to eat more “healthy whole grains” from the USDA and U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services in their Dietary Guidelines for Americans, or the advice to resume whole grains in phase 2 of the South Beach Diet, or the later phases of the Atkins Diet. It would have left him aching, demoralized, questioning his willpower, and overweight. After all, official agencies blame Americans for the nationwide epidemic of obesity and diabetes, saying it’s due to our gluttonous, lazy lifestyle habits.

Instead, David has been set free, losing weight at an incredible clip–no cleansing enemas or extreme fitness routine in sight–and regaining a sense of health and comfort.

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Comments & Feedback...

    • I’ve often pondered this very question, Anthony. Not because I want retribution, or a big money settlement, but to draw the issue out into the open, much as when the states battled the tobacco industry.

      If we could prove, for instance, that 30% of all healthcare dollars are spent in treating wheat-related illnesses, wow: imagine that. While we can prove that an incredible array of illnesses are provoked by wheat consumption, documenting the scale of it in a population is what I believe we would require.

    • Boundless

      Anthony: “so what does it take to start a class-action law suit …”

      All it takes is for an overweight pre-diabetic class-action lawyer with high LDL to read the book. This is not a matter of “if”, but merely “when”.

      When I consider all the completely meritless class actions I’ve either been an uninvited member of, or had to assist in Discovery as a result of, multiple wheat filings are an absolute certainty (and may well be merited).

      Dr.Davis: “I’ve often pondered this very question …”

      Dr. Davis, you need to plan for the day. You can expect at the very least to be invited to be an expert witness for the class.

        • Boundless

          Keep in mind that CAs are normally started to financially benefit the plaintiff law firm, and not to redress some great cultural harm. In that regard, the lawyers try to minimize the out of pocket expense to themselves. In the case of wheat, the initial filings could be delayed due to the expense of having to send notices to the Class, which is the entire human race. :)

  1. TULIP

    Dr. Davis: Here is my story: I am reposting a review I just left on amazon:

    5.0 out of 5 stars I Wish I Had This Book When I First Went Gluten Free…, December 29, 2011
    By
    TULIP – See all my reviews
    (VINE VOICE)

    Amazon Verified Purchase
    This review is from: Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health (Hardcover)
    …it would have saved me a lot of aggravation and weight gain.

    Giving up wheat/gluten solved many of my health problems, but much to my annoyance, I started gaining weight! Those extra pounds on an already overweight body made me panic. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. After all I was avoiding gluten and feeling so much better…for a while. Then I started having blood sugar issues. Well of course I was! Dr. Davis made me realize that substituting the gluten free trash out on the market like breads, bagels, pretzels, etc., made with cornstarch, tapioca flour and other high glycemic yet gluten-free junk was not doing my body any favors. Even the “whole grain” gluten free flours are way too high in carbs.

    I really love the plan in this book. It is so simple. I know what to eat and what to avoid. I tried a gluten free version of the South Beach diet, but the limitations on fat and the emphasis on only very lean proteins left me feeling hungry and dissatisfied. And I’m afraid the fruit and grain allowances on Phase 2 of South Beach were just too high for me.

    I am slowly losing weight and feeling terrific. I will never stop eating this way. And the recipes in the book are just wonderful. The good doctor is also kind enough to share some good recipes on his Wheat Belly blog.

    Now I’m waiting for the Wheat Belly cookbook! Surely there will be one (fingers crossed). In the meantime go buy yourself a wonderful cookbook that fits every aspect of Wheat Belly eating: “Low Carbing Among Friends.” It is low carb and gluten free, and the recipes are AMAZING.

    Thank you Dr. Davis! I actually hope you continue on with a whole series of Wheat Belly books, much like Dr. Agatston did with his South Beach Diet.

    • Thank you, Tulip!

      Yes, you’ve found the answers . . . and aren’t they simple? No extreme exercise, no colon cleanse . . and ignore the advice of gastroenterologists who advise you to eat gluten-free.

      And, yes, a cookbook is on the way. I am in the process of discussing with my editor the hows and whens. Thanks for asking!

  2. tulip

    Question About Sweeteners:

    In my cupboard I have a few boxes of sweetener I bought on sale a while ago I would like to use up. However, I notice this particular sweetener is not among the sweeteners recommended in your book. This sweetener is advertised as a sugar substitute for diabetics, with a zero glycemic response. The ingredients are only isomalt and Acesulfame-K. It is used measure for measure like sugar. I don’t know much about isomalt. Would you recommend this sweetener as an alternative to the ones mentioned in your book? Thanks!

  3. Janknitz

    I know that wanting to “shout from the rooftops” feeling too! Yesterday on a San Francisco talk radio station the guest was a pediatrician. A grandmother called in, concerned for her five month old granddaughter who has severe eczema and is very irritable and uncomfortable–she only sleeps 2 hours at a time. The baby’s doctor presumed the baby was allergic to her mother’s breast milk, took her off the breast milk and put her on soy formula.

    The guest pediatrician responded that this was very common, and such babies typically developed allergies and asthma when they are about 2 or 3 years old. He spoke about this as if it was a given, and completely normal. He had no advice for the grandmother, other than the fact that the baby “would grow out” of the eczema and she would be fine in about a year or so, until the allergies and asthma set in.

    I was screaming at the radio. I’ll bet anything that it was the wheat in the mother’s diet causing the problem for the baby, and if the mother eliminated the wheat, her baby would be fine and perhaps not go on to develop the allergies and asthma this pediatrician seemed to think were inevitable. My guess is that the mother was trying to lose her “baby weight” by upping the grains and decreasing the fats in her diet, which didn’t help her baby at all. And isn’t putting a baby on a chemical soup of GMO soy formula just as bad???? Poor baby! Poor mother! And poor patients of this doctor who can’t seem to think beyond the box.

    • I agree, Janknitz: So many conditions in infants and others have been ascribed to all manner of causes. However, eliminate wheat and an astounding number of these conditions, including allergies and asthma, just go away.

      We’ve got to repeat these stories and spread the word. At least the moms who hear this can at least consider wheat elimination.

  4. Nicole

    Dr. Davis I hope in your future cook book will be a recipe for einkorn bread.
    I ordered the flour but I’m having a hard finding an easy recipe that works.
    I’m telling family and friends about your book and it’s always shocking to them when they are told all our hybridized wheat was never tested for safety.

    • Hi, Nicole–

      While I believe that einkorn is more benign, I don’t think that I will ever embrace it as truly healthy.

      We will have to watch the people who choose to do this and see whether they share at least some of the adverse effects provoked by other forms of wheat. In the meantime, I believe we should err on the side of caution and avoid.

    • paul and Ami weitzel

      Nicole, where have you been able to find Einkorn wheat? We live in Canada, and have as yet been unable to find any place where we can obtain Einkorn Wheat. Please help with a source email, address or whatever. Would be much obliged to you for this. Thanks Paul and Ami

  5. Celia V

    Just came back from grocery store and purchased a box of Betty Crocker, Gluten Free Brownic Mix….was excited to see a “name brand” carry gluten free products. It does have regular sugar in it and it says it has soy ingredients…so it doesn’t touch the dr.’s gluten free brownies….but I still have no clue where to buy rice flower, etc. for ingredients in my town. Haven’t eaten them yet, so don’t know how it will taste….

  6. Janknitz

    If your town has a Whole Foods you can find rice flour and other such ingredients. The added bonus is that many of these ingredients are available in the bulk bins– not only are they less expensive but you can buy only as much as you need.

  7. farnorth

    I discovered after many years of being very sick and tired that I was gluten intolerant and went off of wheat. Yeah, I lost weight and feel great. My problem is that I am also lactose intolerant thus making recipes a bit of a problem. But because I feel so wonderful and made it through Christmas with my favorites made with rice flour I will persevere.