I lost the wheat, but didn’t lose weight: 2

Yes, it happens: Rid your life of all things wheat and you get relief from acid reflux, joint pain, and mood swings . . . but not weight loss.

While most people enjoy rapid and dramatic weight loss with wheat elimination due to the loss of the appetite-stimulating effect of wheat gliadin, the loss of repetitive glucose-insulin provocation of amylopectin A, the reduction of inflammation (that blocks insulin) of the combined effects of gliadin/wheat germ agglutinin/amylopectin A, and the leptin-blocking effect of wheat germ agglutinin, this doesn’t happen to everybody. Or you lose, say, 10 pounds, only to have weight loss stop for an extended period with another 50 to go.

Why? Elimination of wheat is an extremely powerful strategy for regaining control over health, appetite, and weight. But it cannot correct or undo every abnormal situation that causes weight gain or blocks weight loss. The list of solutions to break a weight loss failure is rather extensive and there is often more than one answer. There are more but these are the biggies. Let’s consider them one by one:

1) Lose the carbohydrates
Many people have high blood levels of insulin with resultant resistance to insulin that has to be undone for weight loss to occur. Beyond getting rid of wheat and its extravagant insulin-raising effect, it therefore helps to restrict other carbohydrates. This is among the reasons I condemn gluten-free foods made with rice starch, cornstarch, tapioca starch, and potato starch. So cutting carbohydrates may become necessary, e.g., no more than 15 grams “net” carbs per meal (i.e., total carbs minus fiber). (I use a free iPhone app called FoodFacts to get quick listings of various foods or an old-fashioned handbook of nutritional content of foods works fine.) Another way to manage carbs: Get a fingerstick glucose meter and check blood sugars immediately prior to meals, then 1-hour later; aim for NO CHANGE in blood sugar. This works for many people and can be conducted in concert with counting carbohydrates.

An occasional person will actually require a ketogenic state to achieve weight loss, i.e., complete elimination of carbohydrates in order to metabolize fats, evidenced by the fruity breath odor of ketones or urine dipstick testing positive with Ketostix.

2) Revel in fats and oils–Fat is satiating and reduces appetite. Liberal fat intake, contrary to conventional “wisdom,” does not make you fat; it helps you get skinny. The only fats to avoid are fried (high-temperature), hydrogenated, and highly-processed polyunsaturated seed or GM oils like safflower, sunflower, grapeseed, soybean, and canola.

You can add fats/oils to many foods, e.g., add 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive or coconut oil to scrambled eggs or soups. Some people even choose to consume coconut oil “straight.”

3) Lose the dairy–The problem with dairy is not fat; it’s the whey fraction of protein. Some people are susceptible to the “insulinotrophic” action of whey–a tripling of insulin output by the pancreas, a situation that stalls weight loss. The solution: Avoid all dairy when trying to lose weight. I know of no other way to confidently identify this as the culprit . . . except a trial of elimination. This approach does, however, make the diet very restrictive, so this may be necessary for only as long as you are trying to lose weight.

4) Thyroid dysfunction–VERY, VERY common. Thyroid dysfunction is really part of a broader modern problem in human health: Endocrine disruption from environmental organochemicals. We are witnessing more obesity, diabetes, pituitary, thyroid, ovarian, and other endocrine gland disruption due to chemicals such as perchlorates (residues of synthetic fertilizer in produce), polyfluorooctanoic acid (non-stick cookware), bisphenol A (polycarbonate plastics, resin lining of cans), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (flame retardants), along with many others. The end result of decades of exposures: disruption of endocrine status. The most common: Impaired thyroid hormone production, both T4 and T3.

Problem: Even if diagnosed, most of my colleagues prescribe the T4 thyroid hormone only (Synthroid or levothyroxine), while failing to address T3–even if it is abnormally low. This is a big mistake, since many of the endocrine-disrupting chemicals we are exposed to are blockers of the 5′-deiodinase enzyme that converts T4 to active T3. If you are deficient in T3, you will not lose weight, no matter how much T4 you take. Also, ideal TSH? 1.0 mIU or less–NOT the 3.5 or 4.0 many doctors are content with. The key: Find a practitioner willing to explore this question, usually a functional medicine practitioner or naturopath, virtually NEVER an endocrinologist.

Some people (proportion varying by region, age, ethnicity; this represents about 20% of the people I meet with underactive thyroids in Wisconsin) have underactive thyroids due to iodine deficiency. (I am, in fact, seeing a rise in goiters–enlarged thyroid glands due to lack of iodine). This will respond to the simple supplementation of iodine, e.g., 500 mcg per day from kelp tablets or iodine drops from the health food store. (Adverse reactions are rare but need to be explored to rule out, for instance, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or active thyroid nodules.) Supplementing iodine is no more dangerous than salting your food with iodized salt. Take iodine for at least 3 months to observe the full effect.

But if even marginal thyroid dysfunction is present, or undertreated hypothyroidism, it can completely block weight loss. Correct thyroid status to ideal and weight loss proceeds.

5) Lose drugs that block weight loss–Obviously, this should be undertaken with the knowledge of your healthcare provider. Beta blockers, such as metoprolol, atenolol, and propranolol; antidepressants like amitryptiline, doxepin, paroxetine (Paxil), and trazodone, thought nearly all antidepressants have been associated with weight gain in some people; Lyrica for fibromyalgia and pain; and insulin. I’ve seen 20, 30, even 50+ pounds gained within several months of initiating long-acting insulin preparations like Lantus. This is only a partial list, as there are many others.

6) Straighten out 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.

7) Get adequate sleep–Sleep deprivation increases adrenaline, cortisol, and insulin, while increasing appetite, all of which add up to stalled weight loss or weight gain. Adequate sleep, occurring in 90-minute “packages” (e.g., 7 1/2 hours, 9 hours) is crucial. (Note that chronic sleep deprivation can even increase mortality–death.)

8) Fast intermittently–Intermittent fasting of, say, 15-48 hours in duration, can be a wonderful way to break a weight loss plateau. However, this is best undertaken after you’ve confidently removed all wheat, concluded your wheat withdrawal experience, and all the above strategies have been explored and squared away. Be sure to hydrate vigorously, as dehydration is the most common reason for failing and experiencing symptoms like lightheadedness, nausea, and unexplained fatigue. (People with diabetes or hypertension need to talk to their healthcare provider about the advisability of taking their drugs during a fast.) Also, Intermittent fasting should not be confused with the habitual skipping of meals, e.g., always skipping breakfast; habitual and consistent meal skipping actually causes weight gain. If you skip meals, do so in an unpredictable and random pattern, so that your body does not adjust and ratchet down its metabolic rate.

9) Drink coffee–By no means a big effect, else all coffee drinks would be skinny. But 2-3 cups per day of caffeinated coffee, via caffeine and possibly chlorogenic acid (below), can yield a modest weight reduction.

Beyond this, there are the speculative relationships between bowel flora and weight, with some data, such as this trial of fructooligosaccharides (prebiotic inulin) resulting in modest weight loss. At present, however, the precise species of bowel bacteria that facilitate weight loss and/or prevent weight gain have not been worked out. Other supplements, such as green coffee bean extract/chlorogenic acid, white bean extract to block carbohydrate digestion, and medium-chain triglycerides have shown effects in limited trials, though I have not witnessed substantial effects in people trying them.

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351 Responses to I lost the wheat, but didn’t lose weight: 2

  1. Mike says:

    Dr. Davis: Two questions to clarify the information in this thread from someone whose weight loss has ceased for several months. (1) Are you saying that, if our weight loss has stalled and we are now taking a product containing whey —- I am taking a Life Extension’s Creatine Whey Glutamine Powder—we should stop? (2) When you say “Lose The Dairy,” exactly which foods do you mean? Cheese? Eggs? Yogurt? Etc.?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Yes. It does not apply to everybody, but it can indeed stall weight loss.

      As discussed in the piece, the only way to connect potential cause-effect is to stop. And, yes, anything that derives from the mammary glands of a bovine. Eggs are from chickens.

  2. Vivian says:

    Lost the grains since June…30 lb. loss. Feeling great, no more lower leg edema, belly flat, leg and hip pain gone…only NEW problem is horrendous leg muscle spasms (inner thigh and calf) at night …what to do? Am I missing a supplement or a specific food?

    • Joni says:

      Same story here.. Down 26 lbs since June. Totally grain & sugar free now. But I wake up every morning with cramps in my calves. Thought it might be a magnesium issue, so I’m taking one Centrum Silver a day and making sure I eat a handful of macadamias too. Any thoughts?

    • Alene says:

      Take magnesium! It helps a lot.

    • JoAnne says:

      Vivian, I had the same problem when I went wheat free. In answering that same question for me, Dr Davis posted the following: First: salt your food with, e.g, sea salt. Second: consider magnesium, e.g., magnesium malate, 1200 mg, twice per day. Third: hydrate well. That combination solves it for the majority. It worked for me!

  3. Karen says:

    Just wondering about sugar alcohols. I see on some “no sugar added” products that they have carbs in the form of sugar alcohols. Should these also be avoided?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Not all sugar alcohols need to be avoided, Karen.

      Erythritol and xylitol are benign for humans, while sorbitol, mannitol, and maltitol cause gas, diarrhea, and have blood sugar effects much like sucrose. So the first two are preferable and the last 3 are worth avoiding.

  4. K. O. says:

    Hi guys

    Hydration, Magnesium, Sodium (Himalayan sea salt being best ). But also if you incorporate a teaspoon twice a day of liquid chlorophyll now we/you are on to some thing. Also Organic Cacao yields a high count of Mg. Eating the whole bean is extremely beneficial. The very centre, the nuclei is Mg.
    ( OH about WHEY it is that we don’t have the proper amino acid mix to process the whey properly. Try Hemp Whey, or a plant base.)
    Even taking 1 or 2 doses of Mg (Magnesium) made up of both types chelate and acetate and a dose of chlorophyll in one day could easily help your bodies chemistry fire up properly. Though of course it has to be maintained to be sustained.
    It is that the fastest and easiest way of getting chlorophyll is through already pressed in a bottle and purchased from a health food store. Another way is a gather a tone of dark leafy greens, like a lot, blend em all up and have at er.
    In this all plays the great roll of Hydration and Sodium. We have two oceans of water. Our entire system is made up of about 85% water. When we take in Water in what ever form it first ends up in our tissues and such. As it moves on through it carried through our blood supply along with other minerals, elements, and toxins. Though this process cant be completed with out Sodium. It is the proper intake of sodium will enable the process. As fluid moves on thru our system the toxins are removed thru the kidneys and then passed on out to the bladder.
    It’s all about balance, and balance does not mean; even at two ends, nor anything about moderation, nor equal amounts. Balance is all about the right amounts of everything for you.
    Also too much Magnesium can exhibit the same symptoms as too little. If your having a hard time sleeping chances are you need Magnesium. Now if you have been taking Mg. for a long period of time and now you seem to be having a hard time sleeping chances are you need to lay off for a couple of weeks or so.
    So in essence the cramping is dehydration. At night, or when we lay down it’s gravitation that pulls more of our fluid to our upper body. This why the legs cramp first. In the day time though you may find that your finger cramp, and even sometimes all of your hand is curling in wards. Then you surely low in Magnesium, Sodium, Chloride. and fluid.
    ( And here when I say Chloride, I am not meaning Chlorophyll two different things. )
    I can on, and on, and on….
    But still one thing I will say today is thank god, Dr. Davis and every body else that finally this devastating Glue CLUE has been reveled

    K O

  5. Anthony D says:

    It’s funny how most of us are on here looking to get healthy and eventually get off meds. I myself take Lipitor, lexapro and benicar for HBP. But it’s the drugs that may be stopping us from losing weight. I have been grain free for almost 2 months with my weight the same and my pants the same, but people tell me I look like I have lost weight. I can at least say I feel better have more energy to play with my 4 year old son and will gladly take any compliment I get. I hope soon to be off all meds but for now I am slowly decreasing my lexapro. Hang in there everyone I think feeling better is the best some can hope for.

    Hey Dr. Davis we can’t wait for the book to come out. Any presentation coming up soon? Near NJ?

  6. gavrilo says:

    Hi Dr. Davis,

    Following a low carb, wheatless diet, in six months I’ve gone from 205lb. and a 40 inch waist to 170lb. and a 34 inch waist (I’m 5’10″). My goal is a 32″ waist, probably at around 160 lb.

    One-half to two thirds of my what I eat is gouda and cheddar cheese (I love them). Does this mean that I should reduce/drop them because eventually my weight loss will stall?

    My carbs per meal – grapes (3-4), vegetables and salads – add up to maybe 10 grams per meal. Should I increase them to the recommended 15 per meal?

  7. Pingback: Fibro Daily | A Loss of Wheat, Not Weight - Fibro Daily

  8. Nancy says:

    I and my mom have been wheat free for about 4 weeks now. We feel lighter but still no weight loss.
    We are vegetarians, eat organic and stay away from process foods.
    Could this be age related…slowing weight loss? (50&72 years)
    Any suggestions?

  9. Mr John Frederick Zablosky says:

    THYROID INFO: After doing my own research, as I have hypothyroid..I asked my doctor to switch me from levothyroxine to desicated natural thyroid..{porcine}. I also purchased Selenium and L-Tyrosine to help absorb the pills…45 mg per day. Hope this,combined with the Wheat belly diet helps! Johnathan Z

  10. Cathy says:

    I have been wheat free for a month and feel great an planning on staying this way. I was wondering if I could use rice flour just to thicken broths and stir fries? It’s doesn’t take much.
    We also follow “:Nourishing Traditions” way of lifestyle like fermented veggies bone broths, crispy nuts and we only drink kombucha and milk kefir.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Small quantities are benign, Cathy.

      You could also use cream or coconut flour that are more likely to benign, however.

  11. Gene K says:

    Dr Davis,

    Regarding skipping meals… I started skipping lunch after a big breakfast making time between meals on weekdays 12 hrs. I saw some of my lost weight come back quite quickly, although I am not sure there is causality here. I am now in the middle of my normal BMI range as opposed to the low end where I was previously. Where should be the balance between keeping the metabolic rate up and avoiding additional plaque formation due to an extra meal? Are labs the answer or should I strive for getting rid of this regained weight no matter what?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Hard to say, Gene, without seeing the lipoprotein and metabolic markers that correspond to the various weights.

      I don’t fully understand why, but some people who cut back on food gain weight. You may be someone who does better with eating more, at least judged by weight alone.

  12. TomR says:

    Dr. Davis, you mentioned “Beta blockers, such as metoprolol, atenolol, and propranolol”. Do all beta blockers potentially stall weight loss, or just certain ones? I take Bystolic (5 mg/day) to treat premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), and Bystolic is listed as a beta blocker. I frequently stall out on weight loss and was wondering if that could be part of the problem. My plateaus are probably more closely related to carbs sneaking back into my diet than anything else, but I wanted to look at all possibilities because it takes a lot for me to get unstuck.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Yes, Bystolic could indeed be a culprit.

      But I would not recommend just stopping it, in view of the PVCs. I feel obliged to say “And talk to your doctor about other ways to reduce PVCs,” but whose kidding who? That would be a worthless effort.

      Have you 1) eliminated wheat?, 2) supplemented magnesium, e.g.,1200 mg magnesium malate twice a day, 3) supplemented omega-3 fatty acids, e.g., 3000 mg per day, 4) had a potassium value assessed?

      • TomR says:

        My cardiologist actually sees no need to treat the PVCs, saying they aren’t dangerous, just an annoyance. He told me several months ago that I can quit the Bystolic any time I want to – he told me to just ignore the PVCs. I have not had a noticeable PVC episode in several weeks.

        1) Yes, I quit wheat in June.
        2) I tried Mg when the PVCs were first diagnosed 12 months ago, but it was a Ca/Mg/Zn combo with only 133 mg Mg. I stopped after a month.
        3) Yes. I’ve taken fish oil for years at the label-recommended dosage, but for the last few months have been taking a total of 3,840 mg per day of actual omega-3 fatty acids. (As an aside, when I told my primary care physician how much omega-3 I was taking, he gave me a concerned look and said “that’s an awfully high dose of omega-3″. Then he told me that he doesn’t really know that much about it. Time for a new doctor, perhaps? One who does know something about it?)
        4) Yes, a metabolic panel was run as part of my annual routine check-up a week ago and my potassium level is 4.4 mmol/L. One year ago it was 4.0. That’s in the normal range shown on the lab report, but do you consider that to be okay for someone with PVCs?

        Thanks for the advice, Dr. Davis. I will stop the Bystolic, and will try Mg if the PVCs return, and see if the weight loss resumes.

        • K. O. says:


          A potassium of 4.4 is not much different than 4.0. You could test every every hour every day and you would get a different values. Potassium is at it’s lowest when your glucose is at it’s optimal range. So if you spike your sugars, your potassium will rise.
          As far as Mg You should take it, but no Ca. A Magnesium Chelate/Acetate supplement as well as a Free form Vitamin C would be beneficial.
          Also L- Arginine and L- Taurine could be a great help.
          A note: Our hearts are made of about 90% Mg. In North America 90% of the population is low on Mg. From a small degree to a life threatening degree we are in need.

        • Dr. Davis says:

          Sounds very reasonable, Tom.

          Your doc is right: PVCs, provided left ventricular function is normal, are generally benign and do not signal risk for dire events.

          Yeah, your doctor is a knucklehead of the sort that thinks that his job is to dispense drugs, not dispense health. Sad, but all too common.

          If bad nutrition causes the majority of human disease, why isn’t providing nutritional advice the default position?

  13. Steph says:

    Thank you for this. I am one of those whose weight is stubborn and refused to budge at all (apart from losing the weight I gained in the first few weeks of going gluten free but turning to GF products, once I removed those the weight I gained from them came off again. I’m going to have a chat with my doctor about getting off my beta blocker, hoping he’s open to it because the weight loss would be welcome now.

    Also, I’m about to buy another copy of your book for my father who is, as I type, in surgery for a triple, possibly quadruple bypass. He learned after his heart attack this week that he is also diabetic and thankfully (!!!) he is open to learning more about gluten free eating. I am rather frustrated though that hospital dietitians have his diet full of foods that still send his blood glucose up or exacerbate his existing condition (they are pro canola, anti coconut oil). He’s old school and will listen to them over me, the well read daughter who lacks a degree or letters after my name. I hope that reading Wheat Belly will help him to see where he can effectively change his diet.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      But be patient with him, Steph. Having in my previous life watched many, many people go through the ordeal your dad is about to endure, it is truly frightening and it may be comforting for him to trust the people around him.

      Once he is strong enough to regain his emotional bearings (usually a MINIMUM of 8 weeks after surgery), that may be time to diplomatically educate him about a way to help NEVER go through something like that again.

  14. Andrea says:

    I’ve figured out in my 2nd appoint (first appt was to get the bloodwork paperwork) that I have a dud of a doctor who really can’t answer any of my questions. Nor does he listen to what I’m asking him.
    Wheat belly 9 weeks now, feel amazing, weight loss of ~12 pounds. Reduced my insulin by more than 1/2. Reduced my insulin 3 weeks ago some more to hopefully jump start more weight loss. Numbers are running a little higher than normal since then, but from what I’ve read, to be patient.
    I feel so frustrated that I cannot find a doctor who can sit and talk with me about what the heck is going on with my body. There is a shortage of family doctors here and I hate going to the darn walk in clinics who herd you around like cattle. My less than 5 minute appointment has left me in tears. I have no answers, just numbers – and a referral to the endocrinologist and ‘dietician’. I told my doctor about being on a low carbohydrate diet and he translated that as low calorie diet. I’m stunned.
    Anyone want to help me analyze my numbers, please? (I have converted them to US numbers)
    Cholesterol 5.12 or 198
    tricglycerides 0.76 or 67
    hdl 1.43 or 55
    total: HDL 3.6 (??)
    LDL calculated 3.34 or 129
    Thyroid TSH – 2.04
    Free T4 16.3
    a1c = 6.8 (high, but I understand this number)

    • K. O. says:

      Unfortunately this is the way it works…. a doctors visit is to be 15 minutes, though only 3-5 should be with the Doctor. They all learn from the same master plan.
      Your body mind recognizes that oh so well, take your health in to your own hands, and be patient.
      Like nature nothing takes place over night, though in thru it’s process there are fruits to harvest in the end.

      K O

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Sadly, Andrea, your experience is the rule, not the exception. It is emblematic of the problem that pervades healthcare today.

      Overall, your numbers are actually quite favorable. The TSH is just a teensy weensy bit above ideal, which is around 1.0 mIU.

      And, yes, the A1c is awfully high. I aim for 5.0% or less, the level that us hairless primates are supposed to live below!

  15. Andrea says:

    Thanks…I am aiming for that number, believe me.

  16. Susan says:

    Dr Davis,
    Do you have any suggestions about how to repair the damage to the thyroid and endocrine system caused by perchlorates, polyfluorooctanoic acid, BPA, etc so that one does not need the thyroid supplementation?

    • Susan says:

      And does this (the perchlorates) apply to Hashimoto’s?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      No, Susan.

      This is a question I ask myself frequent but, to my knowledge, there is no way to extract these things. Next best: Get sufficient iodine to prevent entry of these chemicals into the thyroid and other glands.

      • Susan says:

        Thank you, Dr. Davis. I was not sure whether the “no” in your first sentence referred to the question about Hasimoto’s or about getting rid of the endocrine toxins. I have Hashimoto’s and am trying to get thyroid fuction normalized. I do take iodine (400 mcg.) in the form of kelp. I have hesitated to take a higher amount because of the autoimmunity situation. I also take Armour and try to keep TSH around 1, but T3 and T4 still end up low normal to slightly low. I need to improve this because of genetic predisposition for heart issues (ApoE 3/4 and lp(a), but am stumped. I have lost 25 lbs over the last several years, but every single pound is a supreme struggle and I still have about 25 to go. Needless to say I am wheat-free, sugar-free, low carb. As you have previously remarked, endocrinologists generally seem to be a supreme waste of time.

        I read a lot of health-related books, etc. and I do have a family doc who is very patient with my multiple requests for various functional tests, so all in all, I keep moving forward with my health.

        What is your opinion about LDN for autoimmune situations?

    • K. O. says:

      Hi there

      Just a suggestion, you may want to look in to;

      Selenium – and if you do take this only a small amount p/day is needed
      Z life Organic Zeolite

      There are others, the top 4 are ammonia scavengers, ammonia toxicity caused from poisons
      Look up Zeolite you may want to try it.

  17. WaTen says:

    I have not yet dumped wheat but am seriously tempted for weight loss and improved health without medications. I am a 68 year old male with hypertension for which I take atenolol 25 mg daily. Given this blog post, what should I do? I am about 40 lbs overweight.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      This post was for the exceptional person who does not respond.

      The majority of people have spectacular success. Just take a look at the many 10s of thousands of comments.

  18. Gwen says:

    Hello – I constantly struggle to loose weight but I am a typical pear shape – heavy thighs – but really not much belly fat. I’m very active and eat a healthy diet already. Do you think your Wheat Belly diet would work for me or is just for people with belly fat?

  19. DianeA says:

    For most of my adult life I have known that eating wheat (especially mixed with sugar) did not make my body happy. After reading the Wheat Belly book, I knew I had to go wheat free and I did that four weeks ago (no sugar either, if I can help it). The first 10 days I felt awful (lethargic, emotional, etc.) but had no problem giving up the wheat and 5lbs fell off immediately. Then I started experimenting with some recipes and my digestive system almost shut down completely, the 5lbs returned and I had a belly like a beach ball. Then, I was really miserable but suddenly realised that I had dramatically increased my consumption of nuts (ground in everything) and I knew that I have always had problems digesting some nuts. So, now I have eliminated nuts and my system is back to normal, I feel better, and the 5lbs is gone and the beach ball is deflating! Problem now is terrible indigestion when I eat eggs (please, I don’t have to eliminate eggs…nothing left to eat!!). So….it is trial and error, but I know that this is the way to go for me to finally shed the weight I have carried for years (although it won’t happen over night, darn), to get back some energy and to lower my blood sugar. Wish me luck as I keep trying to find what works for me!

    • Dr. Davis says:

      I suspect, Diane, that wheat has so disrupted your gastrointestinal tract that it may take some time to fully recover and be able to fully accommodate foods like nuts and eggs.

      You might consider 1) a high-potency probiotic, e.g., 50 billion CFUs per day for a few weeks, and 2) an evaluation from a functional medicine practitioner to explore pancreatic insufficiency, hypochlorhydria, and other issues if your intolerances persist.

      But you’ve taken the crucial first step!

  20. Ann says:

    I lost the wheat 12 weeks ago and have easily lost 13 lbs (135 to 122, and I am 5′ 3″). Now I am eating so healthy – mostly vegetables, one or two fruits a day, an egg every day, cheese, raw nuts, chicken, fish, red meat about twice a week, no processed food, no white sugar, HFCS. I have been following everything to a “T” except for a bit of raw honey here or there. I was very excited, 9 weeks into this, to get routine blood work done, and I thought surely all my numbers would be great. I was so disappointed that I was wrong! My previous test was 1 1/2 years ago:

    Current: Previous:

    Glucose (fasting) 90 88

    Cholesterol: 211 197

    HDL: 90 81 (this, at least, was better)

    LDL: 110 100

    Triglycerides : 56 78

    Should I have seen improvement in the glucose/cholesterol following the diet for 8 weeks, or does it take longer?
    What is additionally disturbing, is that my WBC was low (3.7) and now it is even lower (2.9) (Neutrophils – Absolute, were 1.6, now they are 1.3. I thought it might be a low B12, but I have been supplementing that and it is in the normal range now, even though it was low before. I am 56, feel great, and haven’t even had a cold in the last year and a half.
    Any idea as to what might be going on?
    Thanks in advance for any suggestions/help!

    • Ann says:

      Oh, and I eat only the good oils, mostly Coconut.

    • Dr. Davis says:


      You’ve been hoodwinked by the cholesterol panel!

      See this Wheat Belly Blog post:http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2012/06/i-lost-weight-and-my-cholesterol-went-up/

      Also, please reread the My Particles are Bigger Than Your Particles chapter in the book. You will see that you are looking at the wrong number: LDL cholesterol is a calculated–not measured, but calculated–value built on assumptions that are often not true. It is especially not true when there is a reduction in carbohydrates in the diet, with increasing divergence between calculated and measured LDL values (e.g., LDL particle number by NMR or an apoprotein B).

      • Ann says:

        Whew, thank you – I hadn’t seen that particular blog post before and thanks for referring me to the My Particles etc. chapter to read again.

        I so appreciate your taking the time to reply. Can’t wait for your cookbook to arrive on December 24th!