Am I too skinny?

“Everybody says I’m too skinny!” At 5 ft 3 inches and 116 pounds, BMI 20.5, Jean was indeed slender.

“People ask if I’m sick. ‘Do you have cancer?’ they ask. I think I’ve lost too much weight. And I think I’m still losing weight.”

As more and more people lose substantial quantities of weight, this question comes up with increasing frequency. Does total elimination of wheat, followed by limiting other carbohydrates, result in excessive weight loss?

In general, it does not. It results in weight loss to normal weight. The problem: We live in a world of fat. We live in a world in which more people are overweight, obese, or super-obese than ever before in human history. Adults are fat, the elderly are fat, college kids are fat, teenagers are fat, kids are fat. If you live and work in the U.S., you are likely fat.

Standing next to fat neighbors, family, and friends, Jean looks abnormally skinny. In truth, Jean is normal. But she is normal in an overweight world.

It’s surprising to see how often this question comes up among us wheatless folk. Mark my words: Those of you following these discussions will be hearing this question more often as the months pass and people lose 30, 50, 70 or more pounds . . . while the rest of the worlds careens farther and farther down the path of astounding degrees of obesity.

If you are among the few who truly are too slender, consider increasing calories from fat and protein–more eggs, meats, cheese, olive oil, avocados; consider strength training, since approximately a third of lost weight is lost muscle that can be easily regained; consider adding back modest quantities of non-wheat carbohydrates such as wild rice, sweet potatoes, and quinoa (1/2 cup is a safe quantity for most people; more and small LDL particles are triggered, as are higher blood sugars).

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. psweath

    Dr. D – this is so timely. I’m 5’8″ and saw 129 this week, plus I have low energy. I’ve been wheatless and WB/TYP diet compliant for four months now. What do you think of adding a whey protein shake for more calories? Thanks, Pete

  2. Firebird

    I watch a lot of old sitcoms and I see people being called “fat”. Archie Bunker was called fat, especially by Edith’s cousin Maude. Tim Conway in “McHale’s Navy” was called “chubby” on a number of occasions. Neither, by today’s standards, would be considered “fat”, especially Conway.

    It is amazing how hard we’ve come, especially when it comes to the size of our waistlines!

    • Dr. Davis

      I often do the same: Look back at old shows and movies and see how slender people were, even the ones labeled “fat.”

      Look at Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed: positively emaciated by modern standards!

      • JoAnne

        Dr Davis —
        I’ve always been slim, living on tons of high carbs, (eating my ‘healthy whole grains’) and also matching my brother at the dinner table. I’m 5’ 5” tall. Since going wheat-free 6 months ago I’m now 101 lbs. I’ve had several people question me on why I’m so skinny. One friend was concerned I had cancer (!). And I’ve been accused of being anorexic or bulimic.

        Dr Davis, I’ve gotten most of my lab results back. Which numbers look good, & what numbers should I be concerned about??
        Total Cholesterol: 316*
        HDL: 93
        LDL: 196
        Triglycerides: 95
        Fasting Sugar: 78
        HbA1C (long range sugar) 5.8
        Lipoprotein(a): 21
        25-hydroxy vitamin D: 37
        TSH 3rd Gen: 2.490
        Free T3: 3.8
        Free T4: 0.93
        RBC magnesium: 6.0

        Still waiting for results on the NMR Lipoprofile and the T3 reverse.

        * I think I had the cholesterol done too soon; too much distortion from the fatty acids resulting from the mobilization of fat? (‘total cholesterol’ last year was 240). You don’t put much value in the ‘total cholesterol” number, correct?

        BTW—I just introduced Wheat Belly to my dentist, and to a friend in Montana, who has already spread the message to all her friends!

        How many ways can I say thank you?!!

        • Dr. Davis

          Hi, Joanne–

          Alright, let me confine my discussion to things relevant to this blog.

          1) You’ve been eating too many carbs and your blood sugar is thereby high, as reflected by the HbA1c. You are prediabetic.

          2) Your thyroid is off. But the pattern looks like one of iodine deficiency with the highish TSH and lowish free T4.

          • JoAnne

            Now I know what I’m up against and what I have to focus on, beside the elimination of wheat.

  3. Joyce Burton

    Over the past year I have lost about 40 pounds. I have been wheat free because I am gluten intolerant. I guess I’m at my normal weight since I stopped losing. I would like to lose another 10 or 20 pounds, but I’m not yet ready to give up more food! Maybe just giving up the gluten-free foods would help lose some more. Not sure I’m ready for that! LOL

  4. Karen Williams

    I was ask those same questions when I eliminated wheat from my diet and my BMI fell to 22 at 5″ 3.5 “. I have now stabilized in the weight reduction area and after one year of being wheat free people see that I am alive and healthy!

  5. Ben

    Dr Davis,

    You give a good explanation why going off wheat is imperative. However, along with the above, you also stress mostly going off carbs.

    What would be the effect of completely going off grains but still consuming some of the sweeter thing in life. Would there be a noticeable improvement, or is it a useless exercise?

  6. Chuck Currie

    I got the same response after changing to a paleo diet four years ago. I lost twenty percent of my body weight over a six month period. I have always been the little guy. At twenty-five I was 5’8″ ~125lbs – I am very small boned – arms like toothpicks and legs like pencils. At sixty I was 150+ (unfortunately none of the extra weight went to my arms, chest or thighs; all to my waste and lower back – a real spare tire) all the while eating exactly as the food pyramid suggested. I am now back to the same weight and pant size that I was at twenty-five.

    I initially dropped below 120lbs – that’s when the questioning began (are you sick?), but most of those who questioned me hadn’t known me when I was twenty-five – increased my carbs a little and went up to 130+ (a little too much ice cream and white potato while on vacation) – cut back the starchy carbs and settled in at 125-127.

    Wheat (and other healthy whole grains), omega-6 fat and sugar were killing me, yet nobody asked if I was sick. I’m much better now, thank you very much.

    Cheers

    • Dr. Davis

      Excellent, Chuck!

      Very few males nowadays weigh 125-127 pounds, though it was quite common 50 years ago.

      Here’s to turning back the clock!

  7. Ellen

    I’ve heard similar things. Went from a size 14-16 to a size 6. I’m still a few pounds more than in high school, when I considered myself average size, but my brother thinks I look thinner now than when I was in school. Nobody has asked if I’m sick but they keep telling me “don’t lose any more weight”. I really do notice now how heavy so many people are, but that’s what happens when people go from eating eggs and bacon for breakfast like they did in the 50’s to eating toast, cereal and bagels. The weight loss is wonderful of course, but I’m happier about the fact that I’m finally getting healthy. My blood pressure went from 140/90 last year to 102/72 now.

  8. Nancy M.

    I remember when I was a kid there were always ads for men and women trying to GAIN weight, not lose it!

  9. Kitty

    That’s exactly what happened to me. I lost 25-30 lbs and everyone said I was too skinny, needed to gain weight or asked if I was sick. I’m 5’9” and 130, BMI 19.2, on the low side of normal. It’s the weight I was for the majority of my life. Everyone is just so used to looking at overweight people, that when they see someone who is normal they look too skinny! So if I’m the same weight and height I was in high school and college, you’d assume I’d be the same clothing size too. NO! Clothing sizes have changed to make overweight people feel smaller than they actually are. I was always a size 9 growing up in the ‘70s, now I’m a 2!

  10. I have indeed been called “gaunt” by people who’ve commented on my weight loss. I have long believed this is because a bit of chubbiness in the face and belly is now considered the “new normal”.

  11. At last, Dr. Davis, you have answered my oft-asked question as to when the weight loss stops. For me, after I lost 20 pounds and went from a 40-inch waist to a 36-inch waist, the weight loss has stopped and I’ve been at the same weight for almost six months. This is not a bad thing, however, since I am now at the healthy weight that obtained decades ago when I was a young adult. As you said in your post, my body is now satisfied that I am at my “normal weight” and I’m not anxious to lose any more weight, since I would tend to lose some of it in the face, I might tend to look somewhat gaunt, and my family would keep asking if I’m ill. For now, I’m happy keeping the weight off and shopping for new clothes that fit my new body.

  12. Mike

    I had similar comments. Some of friends were worry if I’m ok. Some family members kept telling my how bad I looked – to skinny, like skeleton :). Yes … after 90 lbs less everyone looks different. I just ignore this, watching how bad they eat, and fight with weight problems using conventional approach ( read : wheat way ).

  13. GaryM

    I have lost 55lbs following WB. A few weeks ago a neighbor pulled my wife aside in the driveway to express his concern about my “illness” and wanted to know if there was anything he could do. He was relieved to know that my weight loss was not due to illness! I am 6ft 175lbs. 33-34 inch waist down from 40-42. I saw my siblings recently in my hometown and they thought I was “too skinny.” Meh…

  14. hybrid-t

    How soon are people typically seeing weight loss? I’ve been wheat-free for a little over a month and nothing yet… trying not to get discouraged.

  15. Elena

    I´ve been home sick the last 2 days and have been watching TV with one eye the whole time. Mostly “reality” american TV about real people. It´s troubling and heartbreaking and infuriating to see that almost everyone, with the exeption of the hosts themselves, is chubby at best, fat or outright obese. Grown ups, grandfathers, children.
    It becomes especielly pognant if you then watch some documentary from 40-60 years ago. The transformation is horriffic and yes, heartbreaking .A normal body in the 60´s would look skinny today. :-(

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, it’s a tragedy on an enormous scale.

      Isn’t it incredible that the public is blamed for this? That it is our widespread and unrestrained gluttony and laziness?

      It’s all in that poppy seed bagel.

      • Elena

        That gets my blood pumping everytime I think about it or hear it toutied: “just eat less and move more!”
        The MyPlate and the “healthy” 6-8 servings of grain a day would have me back to my obese self in just a question of months! (not to mention the host of other ailments they infict on me..)

        • Rong

          Your post reminds me of an earlier post by Dr. Davis or maybe it was in the book. Anyway, if you have seen the movie “Goodwill Hunting” you will appreciate it. It is the most poignant scene in the movie where Robin Williams holds Matt Damon and continues to repeat “It’s not your fault, it’s not your fault…”. This is what I wish could be gotten across to all of the struggling overweight and obese folks out there that have been damaged by wheat consumption and blamed for the results. It nearly makes me cry to think about it.

        • Dr. Davis

          Yes, like it’s a character flaw when weight is gained. This is absolute nonsense.

          There are indeed some people who genetically are capable of losing weight with substantial increase in physical activity . . . but they are the exception. For the majority of us, it is about diet, pure and simple. And it is especially about avoidance of this appetite-stimulating opiate called wheat.

  16. Jan

    If you look at vintage dresses from the 60’s a size 14 would never fit a size 14 in 2012. They re-sized dresses over the last 30-40 years so that person who put on an extra 20 or 30 lbs would still fit in the same size. Its amazing how all of this connects.

    • JoAnne

      Jan, I know what you mean! I have weighed the same 116 lbs for 30 years. Yet I went from a size 7 in high school and now a size 0 fits.

  17. Trisha

    I love this blog! I’ve read the book and been following the guidelines for a few weeks now after doing HCG and losing quite a bit of weight, then low carb to maintain. My husband and I went on a cruise and I gained 7 back and haven’t been able to lose that or more. I’m discouraged. Will this work? Do I need to do something else? I’m about 5’2 and 150 lbs. I just started taking iodine about a week ago after reading it might help. Has my body stopped? I’m definitely NOT too skinny! Any thoughts?

      • Trisha

        Sorry, I was probably typing too fast. :( I lost about 40 lbs last year. I pretty much did low carb after that to help me maintain the weight loss even though I would like to lose about 20 more. I didn’t lose any more so I bought your book. It’s been about a month and I’ve been strictly adhering to your guidelines. I’m wondering if you think my body just wants to stay here (150 lbs.) or if you have any suggestions on what may help. I started taking 1000 mcg. of iodine about a few weeks ago after reading your blog post about it. I’ve also had my thyroid checked and it seems to be in the normal range with medication. Any thoughts? Thanks!

        • Dr. Davis

          Yes: Don’t accept the “your thyroid is normal” pronouncement.

          Either get an intelligent assessment or post your values here for feedback. More often than not, they are NOT normal.

  18. Annemarie

    Yay! I know I asked this questions so many times lol.
    But I’m still a bit skeptical… I really feel I am too skinny… I’ve always been skinny even by eating wheat and sugar. So I was wondering, how could I ever gain a bit weight if the food that makes everyone fat doesn’t work on me? (I have other problems though).

    So eating fat should make me gain weight, if I exercise right? Because I won’t gain fat, but I can gain muscle. Is that right?

    OH, and people ask me stuff like: “Are you sure this is right for you?” “I don’t think you should do this…” or “Are you sure this diet ain’t dangerous?”

    Ok I’m a bit afraid I’ll dissapear if I lose more weight, but at least i’ll be healthy. lol
    I hope so…

    • Dr. Davis

      Some poeple have this genetic advantange, Annemarie.

      I don’t think there is a specific effort required beyond just eating healthy and not restricting calories, along with the couple of other strategies discussed above.

      • Anne-Marie Vaillancourt

        The thing is I also feel tired, my legs hurt when I walk these days…
        I’ve been wheat free for 3 weeks only so, could it be that my body hasn’t done the switch yet? He’s still looking to fuel on sugar instead of fat?

        I never restrict calories,I never had, and yes this is a great advantage, when I see all those people saying “it’s too caloric, I’m gaining weight just by looking at this cake”.
        Never had that problem hehe.

  19. Lynda (FL)

    I, too, hear that I am too skinny. Funny thing, I heard that while young and again after I gained fifteen pounds of fat. I’m glad to be skinny again. I also heard I was too pale. Let me tell you, giving up wheat was a lot more pleasant than getting those sun cancers burned off. Let’s not listen to them anymore.

  20. Jenny

    When I went off wheat because I discovered I was coeliac, I put on weight, and went from a BMI of 17 to 24 – in other words I reverted to ‘normality’ rather than being underweight. I now have a stable blood sugar, and no longer have to ‘refuel’ every 2 hrs. I no longer feel cold most of the time. Also, my hunger changed from the ‘panic’ variety to the more gentle type – with plenty of time to find a meal. Altogether a more comfortable existence.

  21. Pat

    I’ve been following WB for 5 days and haven’t seen my weight change at all. Perhaps I am being a little too liberal with eggs, nuts, cheese? I have had (very) limited amounts of sugar as well…could that be the problem? I feel good but no other changes yet. Thanks, Dr. Davis!

    • Dr. Davis

      Elimination of wheat is powerful, Pat, but you can overcome its benefits on weight by overdoing the sugars.

      This is why I tell people to eliminate the wheat, but this does not provide a license to consume all the jelly beans and ice cream you want.

      So, yes, cut out the sugars.

      • Roger

        Again, I reccomend Sugar Blues, an older, but well respected book, and, after, many studies on addtional Human Rat Poision–Aspartame and others.

        A word of warning, if you decide independent study of Aspartame, you are not going to like what you find. You may become perpetually pissed-off, about the matter, but all the more informed and healhy, in the process!

        Toxic as they are (all man modifed [mechanical and or chemical] sugars), the elimination of Wheat must be first–as I have found, my sugar craving is almost extinct–as, not only did I crave carbs–I craved sugar, mainly, beet/cain type.

        As I experienced withdrawl process, my craving for man-made sugars became less, and now, if I accidently consume, I can tell, as it leaves a funny taste in my mouth, and I become sleepy and irritible–which is, now, not the norm for me. To put it on the PG-rating scale . . . Genetic Modified Wheat and Man Made Sugars are a Govt. and Expert Mind Screw. The FDA is not my friend, and does not look out for my best interest, allowing these toxins to be labeld “food,” as if they are safe for human and animal consumption.

        It is now known, though only in its infancy, studies indicating the neurological damage of Carbs/Sweets. Blayloc, (Neurologist) and others of his caliber, are great starting points, for those who would take charge and responsibility of their own minds and body. For those waiting for “Experts” and/or Govt. programs–you can be just as sickly and miserable as all the Powers That Be–and join them in their dough-nut convention–whilst pondering ill health.

        Why “Manage” ill health, mask it with drugs, and suffer eventual surgical solutions, when one can live a long, healthy life, by ridding one’s mind and body of Wheat and Sugar Toxins?

        Almost 50 years old, and sill do not have a medicine cabnent, as I have no need of one.

        Roger, OHIO

        • Dr. Davis

          Yeah, the story of aspartame is one of political shenanigans and favors.

          Yet another reason to be skeptical of nutritional advice and products.

          • Roger

            I am not easily frightened or intimidated–but reading the data on Aspartame, accumulating books by real qualified perons . . . not to mention my own head and body trauma from Aspartame–did, in fact, scare de crap outta me.

            Soy–in genetic modified form, came near Aspartame.

            But, Soy and Aspartame are just Steven King Light, compared to Genetic Modified Wheat.

            It is amazing how many decades I have lived, subjecting my body and mind to this form of assault! With all due respect to Combat and Combat Training, and other harsh things I have subjected my mind and body to, compared to Wheat, Soy and Aspartame–it aint crap, Dr

            That is why I keep my Copy of Wheat Belly next fo Shelly’s Frankenstein–as Genetic Modifed Wheat, is its true sequal.
            With Geneic Modifed Wheat–we are Franken-Screwed!

            Roger, OHIO

      • FRAN

        I too have cut all carbs for about 2 weeks-really strict and nothing processed. Haven’t lost any weight., and I exercise about times per week 4-5 4-5 What else could be the problem? It’s so discouraging!

        • Dr. Davis

          Fran–

          I will post a Wheat Belly blog post about this issue near future.

          Elimination of wheat results in weight loss in most people, but there are conditions and situations that can obstruct your success. We will discuss those issues.

    • Wolf-e

      Pat I also did not loose weight at first giving up wheat. I monitor my calories via myfitnesspal, and I actually increased my calorie count when I went wheat free. It is amazing how many calories there are in a small plastic bag of boiled peanuts lol. I was overdoing the nuts at first, but after a week or two the weight loss triggered and I went more into balance as I got used to eating wheat free. Stick with it!!!

  22. JillOz

    Dr Davis,
    I have a family member with William Sydrome.

    I don’t know much about it all just now – thought it was autism – but will going off wheat benefit this relative?
    he’s about ten years old.

  23. Roger

    My wife has always been very attractive, but, since the Wheat Loss, she has lost inches, not pounds.

    In my case, I lost inches, and now, my body has adjusted, I am losing pounds.

    Many make comments about her, too-thin etc. In an increasing Fatter Society, people that are thin, in excellent shape, (pound-per-strength ratio) they are going to look out-of-place.

    With all the toxic build up, in stored fat, talking of ill health, after 35, seems to be the norm–as we, as a whole, stuff our pie-holes, not only with more pies, but other wheat products, exacerbating, at best–and killing us, at worst. Tragic.

    Look at the Govt. and Expert sites, studies etc. as biased and stupid as well-funded (tax dollars) and politically motivated (read, corrupt) even they agree that extra pounds puts lower back and knee strain on our joints, ligaments, bones and organs. Even a borken clock is correct, twice a day. OH! And the Govt. and Experts still insist in Heart Healty Whole Wheat! The Iorny? Tragic.

    I look to the day when I hit my ideal 190lbs, and people, yet, again, express concerns that I am too thin!

    I am living in a Society that is close to losing their minds–as the rationalization of abnormal, unhealthy weight, is becomming the norm. Unless we LOSE THE WHEAT, losing one’s body and mind, as I was, before I lost the Wheat, will be considered the norm–as I was not properly diagnosed, though all the “Professionals” knew that something was wrong.

    In the Military Environment, if one is thin, and in excellent strenth-to-weight ratio, we call that Lean And Mean, a good thing, for abnormal weight gets the boot–as they, not only are unsightly, they are a threat and danger to the mission–and are not fit for Service.

    The Civilian Sector can Wheat, Kinfe, Fork, Spoon their way to Fatter–and this is tragic. That is what I call, abnormal–and, each day I am wheat-free, I distance myself from this people group, and will be most happy, yet, again, being in the minority!

    Informed and Wheat Free,

    Roger, OHIO

    • Dr. Davis

      You know, Roger, I’m surprised that the military has not embraced such a notion, as elimination of wheat so improves mental and physical performance, as well as causes weight to drop to the desired “lean and mean” level.

      • Roger

        Dr.

        The Vet. Admin. would see you, me and my Dr. of Chiropractic as a threat to their little world.

        Veterans younger than I, are drugged–and older (my age and older) suffer damage that they may not be able to recover from.

        I wanted to be a Counselor in the Vet. Admin. system, but, thanks to you, and my Dr. of Chiropractic, I have been radicalized, and I have the accumulated smarts to back up my rationale for not consuming drugs. Nor, do I consume medical model advice–which is far wose than drugs. Many Vets. suffer from long term consumption of Wheat, and long term musco-skelatal problems, in the spine, that can be adjusted, only by a Dr. of Chiropractic. It is amazing what the brain/body and nerve connection can do, and can heal, without pinched nerves from out of place vertabrae, and void of the assault of Toxic Wheat!

        Professional Athletes return to the playing field, Professioal Soldiers most often do not return to the battle field, and lose their careers, due to undiagnosed spinal problems (equilivent to sports injuries), and undiagnosed wheat long term toxicity (easily miss diagnosed, and/or ignored). Such a person that I was, would easily be diagnosed a mental case, and consigned to a life of drugs. At that point, I would, like many other Vets, become a Statistic, not a Person.

        You, my Dr. of Chiropractic, and Me (as a mental health/Drug Addiction Counselor) would not be welcomed, though thousands would be helped, in measuable hard data–as proof.

        You and my Dr. of Chiropractic have the strongest evidence possible–me.

        Roger, OHIO

  24. Lisa

    My grandma told me not to lose any more weight – like I’m on a diet or something.
    I told her – I’m not on a diet – I eat – a lot! Sometimes too much and sometimes I indulge in ice cream.
    My body is losing it’s inflammation, for one thing, and yes, a lot of fat.
    I used to bloat up terribly in the summer – swollen ankles, feet and hands. Not this summer!

    Speaking of old tv – I’m surprised that they always referred to Vivian Vance as fat on the “I Love Lucy” shows. She’s not even chubby! Not compared to today. And the camera always adds pounds, I’ve heard.
    Lisa

    • Dr. Davis

      Ah, an “I Love Lucy” reference! Love those old shows. I’ve probably seen each episode 10 times.

      Yes, let weight find its own happy level, Lisa. Grandmas like us fat, for some crazy reason.

  25. Lauren

    Hi Dr. Davis-
    I’m eternally grateful for you and your willingness to share what you learned. Its been a blessing! I am 80-90lbs overweight and had all the accompanying syndromes; swollen feet, acid reflux, cleavage rash, constant nasal congestion, huge belly, itchiness, excessive sweating, etc. I went gluten-free on 4/23/12 and most symptoms have totally disappeared! I lost 4lbs the first week, but those came back and I’ve remained steady weight since.
    My observation is that I look ‘fatter’ to myself than I did before, almost like I’m melting. Before I stopped gluten, my body was fat, but I felt more solid. Now I seem flabby, almost like the traditional fat areas (belly, butt, breasts, arms) have become liquid fat, not solid fat. Could this be happening, or is my brain fog lifting to where I can honestly assess my appearance? Can the shape and consistency of a person’s fat stores change like this? I realize I’ve got hidden gluten or maybe sugary overload preventing a more rapid weight loss, but until I find and remove all those sources, can you tell me if I’ve lost my mind, or if something may be changing with the fat stores I still have left!?
    Thank you-
    LP

    • Dr. Davis

      Hi, LP–

      Odd. I’m not sure I understand what is happening.

      However, I am confident that, given your starting symptoms, you are likely to experience life changing improvements in health and weight, given time.

      Whenever there is a stalled weight loss effort minus wheat, first think about further restricting other carbohydrates to no more than 15 grams “net” (total carbs minus fiber) per meal. Also, think about iodine and thyroid–very common issues.

      If you are experiencing bowel disruption, many people have a faster transition by taking a high-potency probiotic, e.g., 50 billion CFUs per capsule, for 8 weeks.

      • Lauren

        Thanks for your reply Dr. Davis.
        I have been taking probiotics and fish oil capsules 2x daily, morning and night, both gluten free. I also added iron and vitamin D 1x per evening. I’m not getting fatter, my clothes still fit, but differently. In any case, whether my abdomen is solid like a pregnant belly or flabby fat like dough, I can’t wait til its gone! I will try iodine tablets and continued vigilance for gluten, corn and sugars.
        I feel SO much better from the other wonderful effects of losing the wheat that any weight loss will just be icing on the cake. I’m enjoying breathing through my nose, staying alert after meals, not napping my weekends away, complete remission of my ‘normal’ adult acne and shoes that fit! Wheat free is life changing, and life improving!

    • Elena

      I would go through days of flabbyness when I was loosing weight. They always came a couple of days before i dropped an unusal great amount of fat. I used to take my measurements and sure enough, the part that had been jiggly and flabby would be the part that lost inces at that particular time.

      Maybe something similar is happening to you, that the body fat is changing composition?

    • Robin

      On some low-carb discussion boards they call this phenomenon “jiggly poof”–and it does get better.

  26. Jim

    I get this “skinny” comment from my wife periodically. I disagree with the appraisal. I am light-framed and believe my best weight for my height would be ~155lbs (currently ~170lbs). I can tell this by the visual amount of fat in the lower abdomen and sides – two very stubborn areas to reduce.

    I eliminated wheat products over a year ago, not so much because of the effects of wheat as Dr. Davis discusses, but as a source of extra carbs I didn’t want. I can say that I have noticed dramatic improvement in odd aches and pains, including random burning sensations when extending my feet (weird burning in the tendon areas – usually near the achilles or along the side of the big toe). I also managed to drop ~40lbs by limiting carbs and eliminating wheat products.

    I think that when someone lives a life looking puffy then becomes lean, others that have surrounded them in life have difficulty getting used to the new look.

  27. Ethan

    I’ve now been wheat free for 2 weeks and I’m glad to see this “am I too skinny” question being asked.
    I’ve never been overweight, but rather had trouble to gaining weight. I know that after two weeks things are just trying to find a new balance, but of the 1m75 and “just” 62kg.. now only 58.9kg remains and I don’t want it to drop much further. I’ll try adding more calories as you suggested.

    What I have noticed is:

    For a few years I already had some shifting energy levels, sometimes starting to feel very weak and shaky after having not eating for too long… or since especially last year about 1-1.5 hours after eating I would sometimes get sooo sleepy with totally collapsing energy levels that I just had to close my eyes. Sometimes it almost felt like going into some kind of coma, to the point of waking up barely knowing who I was. :S

    Now I’ve noticed the feeling that I’ve become less prone to migraine attacks in the last two weeks.
    My breathing rate has also slowed down which is very good since I’m recovering from chronic hyperventilation using the Buteyko method (MUST read site: http://www.normalbreathing.com ).

    I’ve also noticed that on some days my energy level remains stable, even in the evening after a whole day of work.

    On other days however, my energy levels are way more fluctuating than before, sometimes starting to feel weak after eating e.g. just some tuna (with nothing else) !?!?!

    Is this caused by this whole insuline resistance/(reactive) hypoglycemia thing resetting itself in my body, trying to learn how to keep things running on fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, oils and nuts instead of mainly the usual bread/sandwiches?

    Thank you so much for your very interesting work and book. Learned about it via your interview on Red Ice Radio. :-)

  28. kelly

    I also heard remarkes like that, eat more, your too skinny. I never had a probpem with my appetite. But i always had a fat face, i noticed that shape of my face was changing to a pearlike shape, and chocked it up to ageing, im almost 50. I had this double chin, i thought that was genetics-blamed the parents. If im so damn skinny why do i have muffin top? Rheorical question. So now i am wheat free since july 2,12, – my new birthdate, and i dont know if I’ve lost weight, (i dont owe a scale) but my body is definately changing. My waist appeared and my boobs are shrinking, go fiqure.
    I’m on a new journey to health thanks to you Dr. Davis thank you. You restored my hope!

    • I too get the “you’re too skinny” comments. I have always been slim, but when I ate wheat I had gained 25 pounds. All in my gut and no amount of exercise could remove it. I am 6-3 and 180 now and eat as much as I always did, but never wheat, sugar, sodas, and limit other grains. Many of the problems with my bowels, restful sleep, and heart burn I had when ingesting wheat, are long gone. I just wish I could convince my loved ones to eliminate wheat. For example, I have a nephew who is 75 pounds overweight (all in his belly) and he is only 25 years old! He is destined to a life of misery and all because he devours everything with wheat it in.

  29. Deanine Morton

    To see how far our perceptions have changed just watch old movies. I always wondered what kind of girdles some of those stars had to wear. Yes, the 30’s and 40’s were a time of girdles, but Rosilyn Russell had 36 inch hips and was considered full-figured. Today, many of my high school students don’t have 36 inch hips. They start at 40 inches or more.. Removing wheat is changing my shape more than just losing pounds. I don’t care what the scale says, just how my clothes fit.

  30. Claudia

    ok
    ok
    ok – been mostly wheat free for abo 4 mos (I say mostly cause I’m not sure about hidden sources due to slow weight loss) – have lost 13 lbs (I know, not alot compared to some of you) – am clear headed all day – nasty pms moodswings have dramatically decreased – that feeling of being hungry all the time gone – cravings for sugar gone – but the BIG news is that I got my blood test results back today at my dr’s – my fasting blood sugar is down to 5.9 (5.9!!! pretty sure I was pushing 7 before I started this lifestyle), my hemoglogen is up – woohoo! (have been anemic for 1 1/2 yr – don’t like taking iron due to side effects) and my “bad” cholesteral is down – most excellent I must say – I almost skipped all the way back to the office after the docs offce :oD – I am absolutely thrilled – just had to share with all of you

    • Dr. Davis

      OK, Claudia!

      Let me translate for readers in the U.S.: Claudia reduced fasting blood sugars from 126 mg/dl to 106 mg/dl.

      Don’t pooh pooh the “only” 13 pounds. I’ll take it, since it comes with reversal of diabetes!

      You were likely malabsorbing iron and other nutrients, as well, thus the increased hemoglobin and reversal of anemia.

      • Vicki

        Most excellent I must say, Claudia. Thanks for sharing your BIG news. I love that the weight loss is more of a side effect when we lose the wheat. Getting good lab results, eliminating mood swings, not feeling hungry all the time, and feeling clearheaded, now those are some great results! Congratulations :)

    • Claudia

      Here’s some more good news! I went to the dentist today who confirmed that my gum recession has reduced throughout my whole mouth, which is a good thing – the hiegenist said she’s only seen that once before in another patient because of a diet change (to vegetarianism tho) – who knew?
      Thanks again doc.

        • Neicee

          Huge kudos! I went through the same thing the past two dental appts. with my hygenist. I’ve spent thousands of dollars for the past 20 yrs. on my teeth. Have tried so hard to save them. Actually the teeth are stabilized, and the gums can be speared by the instruments and not bleed. They are both strong….yet, the bone has been eroding away from both. Had I only known to really quit wheat years ago. I had other issues but the pull of pasta/pizza/sour dough bread. All the excuses….I’m so happy for you.

          P.S. My eyes have shown some improvement as well. Don’t know what that’s about? ;)

  31. Claudia

    and, BTW, I didn’t think I was ever going to be able to stop my sugar/carb cravings – I was resigned to the fact that I would never be able to change my eating habits – that I would likely die of complications from diabetes, like my dad did – but I actually have hope of a healthier life – and a good part of me believes it! thanks doc

  32. Helen

    Hubby and I must be the odd people out. I was low carbing, lost 40 lbs, then went wheat-free low carb 6 months ago and gained 15 lbs back. I like not having hives anymore though so I won’t go back to wheat but I’d sure like to lose these 15 again.

    Hubby went wheat free, he’s moderate carb, mostly brown rice and corn, put eggs back in his diet, and bang, his cholesterol shot up. Now he’s off eggs again but I think he’s still mostly wheat free. He is at the house.

    • Dr. Davis

      Then ask, “What is wrong?”

      In other words, losing the wheat should yield substantial benefits. If it does NOT, then there is something impeding your success.

      There are a number of possibilities, including bowel health that has not fully recovered from the damage wrought by wheat, iodine deficiency/thyroid dysfunction, and others.

      But it’s not that “this diet doesn’t work,” but that there is something else going on that requires attention. Your best bet: Find a functional medicine practitioner who is knowledgeable, thinks, and is not just a whore for the drug industry.

      • Helen

        ! I appreciate your response. I’ll look for a functional medicine guy, my chiropractor may know someone. We’ve both had every conventional test run, thyroids are doing great, neither of us is on any sort of maintenance med, he just has that cholesterol issue. Hubby was offered Lipitor, he said no. We had it under control with diet before (veganism for him), and we’ll get it under control again. : )

        I think I may have issue with corn messing up my intestines, so the little bit I eat (occasional popcorn, maybe every 2 weeks) will have to be kicked to the curb.

  33. susan rahiya

    Background: I have been on( and off!) low carb diets for the last several years. I always feel sluggish and tend to get headaches whenI “fall off the wagon”. Last September I restarted a low carb regime and have cheated very little. I thought I was losing weight slowly but at a Dr. appt in Jan I was shocked at my weight(high). Undaunted, I kept going, feeling I was getting a bit thinner unitl another appointmen in May/. I had lost 2 pounds in 4+ months.

    We bought Wheat Belly in May. We had our grandchildren for a month and it was hard for my husband to avoid all wheat but he did well, I cheated a little bit. Three weeks ago we went wheat free and low carb. My husband was in a normal weight range though he had been thinner when he was younger, He weighed the other day and had lost 14 lbs! We were looking for other benefits for him and maybe to lose a bit of a belly,

    You can guess the rest, I weighed. We have eaten the same food. I have made a couple of Dr. Davis’ recipes, I have carefully read labels. I weighed more than at that last Dr appointment. I added kelp for iodine a few days ago after the post. from Dr. Davis. I have cut back on my diet cokes(with splenda) my one vice. My husband drinks quite a few diet cokes,too. I feel good. My clothes seem to fit a bit better but, I gained two pounds this week!
    My mental attitude must be doing well on the program because I am determined to lose weight ( at least 30 poumds). What is different about me? I am 66. My husband is 68. . BTW my bloodwork was normal. I take levothyroxin for low thyroid 1.0, and 20 mg simvastain. My numbers have been good since I started low carb years ago. Thyroid normal with meds but I have a lot of symotoms of low thyroid–cold, dry skin, low energy, etc.
    Sorry this is so long. I really need advice.

    • Dr. Davis

      Very easy, Susan: Your doctor has failed to address your T3 thyroid hormone.

      Yours is the typical story: Failed weight loss despite an excellent diet, exercise, but taking levothyroxine (T4) with residual symptoms of hypothyroidism.

      You can try to get this address by your current doctor, but if they have been failing to treat your hypothyroidism in the first place, I would not be hopeful for a useful or productive response. I think your best bet is to consult with a functional medicine practitioner or naturopath and get your T3 corrected, either by switching to a preparation like Armour thyroid or adding liothyronine (T3).

      Also, see Janie Bowthorpe’s very excellent blog, http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com, for further discussion of this important issue.

      In short, your doctor screwed up.

      • susan rahiya

        Thank you. i have been reading the Stop the Madness website. I am trying to find a doctor who will do other than just the usual test .Evidently, only MD’s can prescibe in Goeriga, I called a compounding pharmacy for a recommendation but the Dr. they recommended doesn’t take Medicare. My daughter actually sees an endocrinologist who does take Medicare but he and his PA are both booked until November! They put my daughter on the Armour not long ago,.Every female in the family was taking synthroid at one time, mother ,aunt, daughter–even my dog(haha) Not giving up! I will start the seach again in the morning, I appreciate the recommendations,

  34. Michelle

    Wow – glad to hear I’m not the only one who hears “Are you still losing weight?” and “Don’t lose anymore weight” and one friend calls me “Skinny” (which at 170lbs only about 18 months ago, I thought I’d never hear again!). I lost 35 lbs by starting on Jorge Cruise’s Belly Fat Cure and then going wheat-free (read Wheat Belly when I discovered thru an ALCAT test that I have a gluten intolerance). My weight has been holding steady at between 132 and 134 lbs since last October (10 months now). I still don’t eat wheat, and I restrict “bad” carbs and most sugars… but even when I had homemade ice cream three times in three weeks, I didn’t gain anything back. My body is now self-regulating again (like it was 30 years ago, when I weighed even less than I do now). I’m 5′ 6″ and I don’t think 134 is “too skinny” by any stretch of the imagination. It’s just that I’m surrounded by fat people, so I look thin (and fit, and healthy…). The really bizarre thing is that I just can’t convince my wheat-addicted friends to go cold turkey! They’re like “I’ll cut back.” I tell them that that’s like an alcoholic “cutting back” on their booze – it can’t be done, because as soon as you put the wheat in your mouth the craving and blood sugar/insulin cycle starts all over. It kills me to eat with these people (especially brunch!). As I eat my eggs and bacon, and YES, potatoes, they’re wallowing in their waffles and syrup… ugh. I’m not too skinny… they’re too fat :-)

    • Dr. Davis

      Thank you, Michelle. Eloquently said!

      You are normal in a world of fat. It’s all about perspective.

  35. Devon

    What I like most about this plan is that I don’t have to really count anything!!! I’ve lost 4lbs in 4 days, have about 15 to lose so happy with that. Im sure the lb a day will stop very soon, any day now, but I have been eating greek yogurt, plain sweetened w splenda, and even gf cereal which I know I need to be careful of! I have asthma which has been very bad all of july, GERD and IBS, hoping all these will improve!!!!

    • Dr. Davis

      Exactly right, Devon!

      But I would lose the gluten-free cereal. It has potential to increase blood sugar sky-high, actually worse than even wheat and sugar.

      • Devon

        Sad, but I know you are right…appetite not supressed the way I think it should be and probably this is due to the gf cereal :-( Thanks Dr. Davis for replying, your work and your book are simply amazing…life changing just to even be aware of all this valuable info on wheat!!!!!

  36. I am 60 years old and have always been at the “lean and mean” weight range. I am very interested in going wheat free but am concerned about possible weight loss, as I don’t have any extra to give up. I think watching my calorie intake could be fun, but can anyone give me any pointers as to how many calories I need to take in to avoid weight loss?

    • Dr. Davis

      Eat more, Steve.

      Do not restrict calories and eat MORE eggs, cheese, vegetables, avocados, olive oil. In other words, replace the lost calories with healthy fat- and protein-rich foods. Your body weight should find a happy value.

  37. I had to read this article because it’s creepily close to me! My parents/grandparents in the midwest (fat central, though my family is not fat) ask me that sometimes. Not only that, I am also 5″3, 116-118 lbs., and have a BMI of 20! Plus, this article was posted on my birthday …July 26! Gah!! Hahaha!
    My MIL emailed my husband and I the last weekend in June, telling us to read Wheat Belly…and we went 90% wheat free on July 1st. I carry ALL my weight in my belly (as does my family), while the rest of me is fit, so personally? I think it makes me look pregnant. I don’t have any wheat allergies, so we allow some wheat (like cake) on holidays, birthdays, and vacations. (which has happened a lot since it’s summer–hence why I say 90%). But I have definitely lost a couple pounds while exercising way less due to heat and traveling. AND I don’t get bloated at the end of the day!!! I just realized that yesterday! I would wake up skinny and end the day with a bloated middle :(
    The best thing about this is that I was definitely addicted to wheat and it WAS making my hungry. I crave less, and eat less, with no wheat and more meat & egg fat in my diet :) It’s pretty great!

    Dr. Davis, thank you for your hard work and diligence in getting the word out and continuing to be supportive. You are opening a lot of eyes.

    • Dr. Davis

      Yup, Becca: A wheat belly.

      One of the small variety, it sounds, but a wheat belly nonetheless. And the relief you’ve obtained from bloating suggests reduced inflammation and gut leakiness, all for the good!

  38. Thank you Dr. Davis for your book. I’ve been wheat free since April and I’m so grateful for the wonderful changes I’ve experienced: constant hunger gone, over 20 inches lost, pain and inflammation gone, and that’s just the beginning. Have you seen a reversal of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis when people go wheat free? Thanks, Susan

    • Dr. Davis

      No, unfortunately, Susan.

      The most you might expect is a reduction in flare-ups of the thyroiditis that can account for occasional bouts of hyperthyroidism.

  39. Paul

    Hello Dr Davis,
    You may be interested in knowing that I have been wheat free for 6 months and the results are terrific. It took 2 weeks to get off nexium after having it for 5 years, bloating gone, skin and back pain improved, much easier to exercise and I am sure my memory has also improved. I was away from work for a while and with a 125 weight loss the most frequent comment was ”Are you well?”, followed by ”Have you got cancer?”. A little offputting but my BMI is now 22 so, as you say, it is all just comparitive. Of course my coeliac serology was negative.
    Now a quick laugh for you – I am an Endocrinologist (Paediatric); even we devilish hormonal doctors can realise alternative ways of health care sometimes! I now tell everyone how I have achieved my results and let them consider the (physical) evidence. My adult family have changed their habits with success. Much more difficult with the youngsters and I am a little worried re their intake. Dropped down wheat but they need other carbos for their growth short term energy etc. Finding the balance as we go.

    • Dr. Davis

      Dr. Paul–

      You must be the only enlightened endocrinologist in North America! I’ve never seen one before and I’m not sure I’d recognize one!

      I’d love to talk and have your participation in these conversations. You are truly one among an exceptionally rare breed.

      If you are interested in supporting this cause, please let me know and I will email you.

  40. K. O.

    Paul
    (And Paul, Don’t take this personally)
    I find it interesting that people ( especially so called educated people ) can call not eating poison a DIET. Sure foods eaten by peoples is their diet, though now a days a diet to people means an alternative way of eating from the so called norm. ( right of the bat that puts people in a skeptical view ). This is not a DIET, This is a WAY OF LIFE.
    The fact remains The system is full of poisons. And for persons who figure this out ( specially ones with the White coat power ) have a moral duty to spread the Knowledge far and wide.
    Hippocrates said; ” Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food “.
    He never said; F_ _ _ up and manipulate the food supply make it toxic, add man made chemicals to it and serve it to the peoples. Then watch em get sick, then fund and build more hospitals, teach more White Coat Shamans how to administer more man made poisons in capsules and tablets to help slow the progression of DIS EASE’S to the people. They, us people come back time and time again and generally get know where.
    He never said;
    Poison the food and let that be mans Medicine, and the medicine will be your poisoned foods.
    So then, there in play, is this so called Hippocratic oath
    ” Alternative ways to health care sometimes ” – No such thing – There is only one way to CARE and it all lies in our Food.
    My health has been devastated, 46 years of being Pharma’s pig, advancing your/their agenda, this monstrosity of ignorance, abuse, and down right greediness is being watched.
    Book of life; You can not add – Nor take out of

    • Dr. Davis

      Ah, K.O., your struggles have made you an eloquent champion of healthy nutrition.

      Very well said!

  41. K. O.

    I tell ya

    Today, so far 6 units of insulin, blood sugar avg 6.5 all day and holding, plus I have still yet have taken 5 mg of prednisone…. I know now I am no longer a Type 1 Diabetic, nor any Diabetic…. and I can go, and on to tell you and all else to what is really happening.
    Even though I had been so near wheat free… and doing so many other things correctly. there was no sight in the future… things just were not working… Then>>
    Dr. Davis I first saw you on some interview about a year ago, I heard only about 30 seconds worth… I heard you, I MEAN SIR I HEARED YOU!
    About 4 months ago your book popped up in my girlfriends hands and she mentioned that I should read it. I YET HAVE TOO, I HAVE NOT AT ALL LOOKED AT IT YET, I NEVER NEEDED TOO.
    Love you Dr. Davis

      • K. O.

        Thanks Doc.
        And yes I like Reality… always have!
        I will say, I have been fairly much couch bound for two weeks, but so much more comfortable…

        I can’t believe I am loosing my little buddha belly, I am150 and 6 feet tall, I even heard I looked like I was pregnant this summer. I’m a man…

        I have a lot to tell you an I am working on it.
        Doc. and for all of those out there, I am starting to see that this trickery of the mind/body being addicted to wheat has a lot to do with the DOOR OPENER, or say the GATE WAY to many addictions. I am starting to see that in the addicted state by wheat it may be the key to many, if not most addictions we are facing today.
        The mind may be inhibited to control your own will power over the use of an addicting agent only, or mostly cause the mind is already coded to an addictive state.

  42. Caroline

    I was relieved to see the comment about being thin in a fat society. I was getting very worried about my radical weight loss since I was diagnosed with celiac disease. I am 5’6 and started out at a bloated 145 lbs. Not fat, but certainly not thin. Six months later I am 124 lbs and still dropping. I am eating all day long but a radically different diet. My problem is getting enough calories. I average about 1200 and I understand that is not enough for an active adult. I do not tolerate dairy, so those quick fixes around ice cream and milk are out. I eat meat and vegies and fruit, some grains but not a lot. I avoid juice because of the sugar content. I am not letting myself get hungry and never miss a meal. I exercise four times a week.
    So how thin is too thin? Am I doing something wrong? Where does a 52 year woman buy size 0 to 2 business clothes? The stores seem to stop at a 4 (which is what an 8 or 10 used to be in the 1970’s – what’s up with that?)

    • Dr. Davis

      Use more oils, Caroline, including the fat on your meats. Use more coconut oil. Eat more eggs. Nobody here should be limiting calories.

      My wife wears size zero, so you can do it. Choices may be fewer because clothing manufacturers accommodate market needs. You may need to shop younger women’s stores and/or use a tailor.

      But just take a step back and realize that we are again asking how to deal with being NORMAL during the world’s worst epidemic of obesity. You have found the answer!

    • Caroline, I’m in your same size 2 boat and it can be frustrating. A few of my favorite lines, Lafayette 148 & Babette both carry a true size 2…..and another, Aileen Fisher just came out with an XXS this year. All of those lines can be purchased online as well. Find a good seamstress and take comfort in fact that there’s usually lots of small sizes left on the sale racks too!

      • Neicee

        Never underestimate the power of Ebay. You can log on, go to women’s clothing, hit the petite button, then PPP (smallest on the scale – then XSP, SP, on up. If nothing trips your trigger you can then search by P0, P2, P4, etc.. I find everything from the finest designers to Ralph Lauren and Dockers for casual wear. On Dockers they even have a group called “short” which comes in really handy for us under 5’……most all have measurements to compare as well, to be absolutely sure they’ll fit. I’m still sliding toward a size P2 and my daughter is P’0′.
        Did anyone else see where those that have never been able to wear clothing from Abercrombie and Fitch has now blackmailed them into offering plus sizes? Why anyone would is beyond me, but to each his own :)

  43. Neicee

    Failed to add: Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Neiman Marcus have excellent websites and more sizes than featured in their stores. I have them on speed dial…..when ordering from Ebay, make sure the box for “new, with tags” is noted. Those that are “new without tags” have been used on the floor. I got a pair of handmade dress shoes from Italy for $10 plus shipping last year. Oh, and brand new Bally golf shoes for $2 plus shipping. Like walking on a cloud.