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. Lisa says:

    Hi Dr. Davis,
    I really enjoyed your book. I have been wheat free, carb free and gluten free and sugar free for 4 weeks now, and don’t have the problem with excessive uncontrollable gas anymore which is fantastic YEAH! Everyone thanks you for that even the dogs. But I’m having a very hard time losing weight though. I don’t rely on “gluten free’ products in fact I don’t eat them, what am I doing wrong? I have Hashimoto’s and am on Synthroid 0.088MG, and I’m on 5MG of Crestor but otherwise healthy. I live in Green Bay WI and I ‘m having a hard time finding a Doctor who will check my T3 ( I’ve been to 4 and one is an endocrinologist) could this be the culprit? Is there anything natural that I can take to support my T3 levels. People also tell me and my Chiropractor included that I retain a lot of water, I do feel tight and puffy all the time, but the Doctors just tell me I’m fat and need to diet and exercise more which I do I exercise 5 days a week . I really need to get the extra weight off I have a good 50 pounds to lose, think it would help with the heartburn, joint pain and body aches. Any help would be greatly appreciated Thank You.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Your weight loss stall is almost certain to be due to the failure to correct the T3 thyroid hormone. Unfortunately, I know of no way to correct this except to add T3 (as liothyronine or as desiccated thyroid tablets, such as Armour thyroid that contains both levothyroxine and liothyronine to replace your Synthroid). There is no supplement that does this.

      It means finding a doctor. You might ask your chiropractor who he recommends, as they often know who does what in this area. Your current doctors have done you a grave disservice by allowing this situation to persist, despite the persistent signs of hypothyroidism. This is the sad state of affairs in the modern (mis)management of thyroid. Don’t even bother with an endocrinologist; they are among the most worthless of specialists. Best bets are functional medicine practitioners or naturopaths.

      • Lisa says:

        Thank You Dr. Davis – I will start the hunt for a new Doctor. I have asked the Doctors I had to put me on Armour. They all refused saying it’s to hard to regulate. So the hunt is on. Thanks Again.

        • Dr. Davis says:

          Yeah, that’s nonsense.

          It’s actually easy to regulate dose of Armour in people. If they are referring to the regulation of T3/T4 content in the tablets, this was fixed many, many years ago, but such claims persist from the manufacturer’s representative of branded levothyroxine. In short, it is the result of listening to the pretty sales rep, not real data.

          • Gerrie says:

            One way you may find a doctor is to check with pharmacies to see if they compound hormone products. They can usually tell you which doctors are prescribing. This is how I found my doc and we have been working on thyroid, estrogen and progestern and with becoming wheat free, I feel better than I have in 15 years. Don’t give up!

      • So have to agree with what you say about endos! The first one I saw, told me to try acupunture or physio – the high blood calcium was in now way connected to my pain and fatigue. Wouldn’t have minded practising acupunture on her….

        The 2nd one pretty much told me I was a sad, lonely, overweight housewife and that if I didn’t stop my naughtiness and take my antidepressants and high doses of vitamin D (did I mention I had high calcium?) -then no one could help me.

        Luckily for me, I bypassed them both and went directly to a surgeon. Had parathyroid/thyroid surgery and am on the mend. I have been wheat free for 2 weeks so far and fnding it very easy to stick to. I have a lot of weight to lose, but even if the wheat free diet doesn’t work for me, I am never going back to wheat – I am feeling a lot better healthwise :)

        • Dr. Davis says:

          I’m glad you found the answers you needed, Gladys, DESPITE the boobytraps set for your health by the endocrinology community.

  2. judithblackett says:

    Dr Davis, I have been off wheat for a month. I was very inspired by your book, but I havnt lost any weight.
    I have been taking synthroid for a long time..it has been reduced over the year and now I take 50mcg per day. Ive also been taking ( irregularly) 2 drops of Lugols iodine.per day
    I am quite healthy and only about 10lbs overweight. I have a very sluggish metabolism and low blood pressure …it take me ages to get going and need lots of caffeine.
    I have actually put on 2lb since Ive been on the diet..just lately Ive added more carbs (no wheat tho) as I thought it wouldnt make much difference.
    Would love to hear your input Dr Davis, Thanks for your inspiration, Judith
    (I live in Edmonton, Canada now where there is a shortage of Drs..so far I havnt found a permanent Dr ..so I hardly ever go to the Dr….When I lived in Australia I did take T3 for awhile but I dont think there was much difference in my metabolism with or without the T3)

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Well, I’ll bet you that your problem is indeed the T3.

      Just taking T3 may not fully address the issue, because there may be a series of dose adjustments, including assessment of phenomena such as reverse T3, that should be undertaken before you can declare that thyroid is truly optimized.

      Your story is quite typical of the broad mismanagement of thyroid using Synthroid alone. I find this criminal, but it is the prevailing standard.

  3. DianeA says:

    Thank you for your reply, Dr. Davis. Although, I now can’t find my post or your reply, I did see it and will try to find a medical practioner who will assess my pancreas and for hypochlorhydria. Whatever happens, I am going to experiment with new foods and definitely going to continue wheat/grain free and hope to come back and report amazing success! Thank you again.

  4. Trina says:

    Hi Dr. Davis,
    I also read and was incredibly inspired by your book! It all makes so much sense. My husband and I have been wheat for three weeks now. We feel a lot better less bloating, fatigue and I have less skin issues. I am 27 and have PCOS and have been on metformin for years. I recently weaned myself off of prozac with a Doctors help, I have been off that for three weeks also and am doing fantastic. I initially got on it after the birth of my 2 1/2 year old daughter when post partum depression set in. I currently take 1000 mg of metformin a day. I have had my thyroid checked and everything came back normal. However thyroid issues do run in my family. My husband is 28 and takes high blood pressure meds and high cholesterol meds both run in his family.
    Neither of us have lost any weight I know it has only been three weeks and we will continue to be wheat free no matter the weight loss but do have any advice for us? We both have about Fifty pounds we need to get off and have tried everything at this point. Oh also is it ok to use coconut sugar in place of stevia or truvia? Thank you so much for your amazing book and we are truly looking forward to your cookbook! We have made almost every recipe in your book and they are all wonderful! Thank you for your time and hope to hear from you soon.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Hi, Trina–

      I believe you are on your way to gaining better control over health, including the PCOS and weight.

      NEVER accept the pronouncement that your thyroid is “normal.” Insist on seeing the values and writing them down or photocopying the results. (Remember: They are YOUR property. They CANNOT deny you your own lab results. It shocks me how often people working in healthcare say things like, “The doctor says you should not see your own results.” Nonsense.) Bring them back here and see if 1) if the panel contains free T3, free T4, as well as TSH, and 2) they are truly in the ideal range. I’ll bet you none of this is true.

      I would not use the coconut sugar as it is just sugar, especially in view of the exaggerated insulin resistance of PCOS.

  5. Sherri says:

    I feel as though I am reading about myself in the earlier blogs about being wheat free but not losing weight. My family and I have been wheat free (I have been gluten free as well) since September – but have not lost any weight. I had Graves disease and now take .1m Levothyroxine. My thyroid gland was “knocked out” with radioactive iodine 3 yrs ago. I will be checking into this further – but my main question is – have you ever done research on the addictive qualities of wheat with regard to alcoholics. It would make sense to me that if your cravings for wheat subside – which they do – if you are an addict and cut out wheat – your cravings for alcohol may diminish as well. A family member is entering a treatment centre in a couple of days and this theory has crossed my mind. Any insite you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

  6. Trina says:

    Thank you very much for your quick response. I will definitely have my thyroid checked again as well. Thank you for your time.

  7. Denise in NJ says:

    Dr. Davis,
    I don’t know how many thousands of folks have asked you to comment on blood work results, but could you stand one more? I started Wheat Belly on August 1st, felt great, had the easiest time I’ve ever had breaking my sugar addiction, and even lost the first few pounds very quickly and with no trouble. I had almost no withdrawal symptoms except some digestive issues (resolved), but I did not experience the high energy I was expecting, and my weight loss stalled after the first 8 weeks or so at a still-fluctuating 13-14 pounds. I still have a lot to lose, so now I am wondering: could it be thyroid, or could it be the lower progesterone levels of the early 40s (you once mentioned this in response to a similar complaint). I was disappointed to discover that my doctor had not ordered a free T3 test, but here is what I have:
    TSH: 2.65 Range: 0.40-4.50
    T4: 6.6 Range: 4.5-12.0 mcg/dL
    Free Thyroxine: 2.2 Range: 1.4-3.8
    T3 Total: 89 Range: 76-181 ng/dL
    T3 Uptake ratio: 33 Range: 22-35%
    The only symptoms I seem to have of hypothyroidism besides the stalled weight loss are low energy and losing more hair than is normal for me. I would truly appreciate anything you could tell me. Should I look for another solution?
    Many thanks for all you do for us!

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Your panel suggests a modest level of less-than-ideal thyroid function, Denise.

      About 20% of people experience improved thyroid status just by supplementing iodine, e.g., 500 mcg per day from iodine drops or kelp tablets (seaweed). If this doesn’t yield improvement over several weeks, then it’s time to find a doctor will work with you to correct your modest degree of thyroid dysfunction.

      • Denise in NJ says:

        Thank you so much, Dr. Davis! I have been taking kelp tablets for about two months now, about 150 mcg twice a day. I will add more and see if that helps. If not, I’ll head to one of the functional medicine practitioners we are lucky to have in my area. Thanks again and I’m looking forward to your cookbook!

  8. TJM in Ohio says:

    In July I gave up all wheat products as part of a low carb experiment. I lost 25 pounds with little effort (if you don’t count learning to cook) . Just feeling this good would justify continuing. But I gained 50 pounds after repeated back injuries and had only lost half of it. After reading your article I decided to steel myself for a couple weeks of no dairy. I gave up cream, butter, and cheese. Now the low carb lifestyle was not so easy but I slowly began to find replacements. I started using ghee for cooking, which I understand does not have any insulinotrophic properties. Sure enough, I started losing weight again, five pounds in the first week. I truly hope to get down to where I can start eating dairy again, but I truly am grateful for the information either way. And if anyone has any ideas of what I can use to replace cream, butter, and cheese, I’d love to hear them. I never thought I’d live to say this but I am getting very tired of avocados!

  9. A Elizabeth says:

    Yay! Thanks for mentioning the insulinotrophic effect of whey. I almost never see that acknowledged. Limiting whey (along with sugars and starches) works wonders for clearing up acne. For me, it meant replacing whey protein powder with egg white protein for my smoothies, and dramatically cutting back on milk and yogurt (which I only eat/drink occasionally now, as a treat). Aged cheese is low in whey, but it gives me migraines (it’s the histamine, I think), so I avoid it. It stops feeling restrictive when you watch your skin clear!

  10. Tina says:

    I am going on 3 weeks of wheat free and feel pretty good and gained 2 pounds my TSH is .74. Do you have any meal plans that I can follow to see what I am maybe doing wrong? I leave only 5 mins from Mayfair by your office Dr Davis I could stop by and talk in person I do not know what else to do. Any help would be great. Thank you

  11. Dave says:

    Hi Dr. Davis,
    I just saw an interview you did on a news website this morning and ordered your book. I wonder if your wheat-free plan would help my wife and I. We have been on Nutrisystem for 2 months trying to lose weight. We have had moderate success, but I am having an easier time than her. She has PCOS and used to take Metformin until it bothered her stomach too much and she had to quit it about a year ago. She also has high blood pressure, for which she takes medication (metoprolol and enalapril), and has to take Dexilant daily to ward off acid problems. Do you see any reason among all of this that may cause her to hit a weight-loss plateu, even when following Nutrisystem strictly? Is going wheat-free more likely to help her? Thanks for any recommendations!

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Well, please don’t get me started on a rant about the Nutrisystem thing! Suffice it to say that this is old school nonsense. And their approach makes no sense from a health, not just weight loss, standpoint.

  12. For the folks who can’t find a doctor who will prescribe Armour, a good source of such doctors is a local compounding pharmacy. If you don’t know whether your area has any, google for the international list of compounding pharmacies, or click on this link (not sure if Dr. Davis allows links to be added) http://www.project-aware.org/Resource/Pharmacy1.shtml and find your country, state/province, and city. It is generally the pharmacist who will give you the information about doctors in your are. I’ve just done this for friends in Canada and Florida. Good luck! (P.S. Have just ordered the book).

  13. For the folks who can’t find a doctor who will prescribe Armour, a good source of such doctors is a local compounding pharmacy. If you don’t know whether your area has any, google for the international list of compounding pharmacies, or click on this link (not sure if Dr. Davis allows links to be added) http://www.project-aware.org/Resource/Pharmacy1.shtml and find your country, state/province, and city. It is generally the pharmacist who will give you the information about doctors in your area. I’ve just done this for friends in Canada and Florida. Good luck! (P.S. Have just ordered the book).

  14. Alex says:

    Hi Dr. Davis
    I was wondering if you could elaborate on the cortisol point. How would someone regulate their cortisol levels after they determined weather or not they were off?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      That’s a whole conversation of its own. Suffice to say that correcting diet and lifestyle factors such as adequate sleep, minimizing stress, etc. should be the first step. Then, efforts such as taking hydrocortisone in the a.m. if there are low levels, high-dose melatonin at night, etc. are among the efforts available to help restore the normal circadian rhythmicity of cortisol.

      This issue really needs to be tackled with the assistance of someone savvy about cortisol/adrenal issues.

  15. Tonya says:

    Hi Dr. Davis
    I was meaning to ask you these questions while you were in Calgary and found this particular blog similar to my situation. I have been basically wheat free for over 5 years and was a raw vegan for a long time. I started gaining weight back as soon as I started to eating animal proteins or nuts. I can only keep my weight down if I am raw vegan and do not eat a lot of nuts. I even find eating starchy cooked vegetables will put weight back on me. I am blood type A. Is there a correlation to a sensitivity to proteins and blood type? I absolutely love to eat meat, especially beef but find it effects my digestion and weight gain. I have not had my thyroid checked, but find I am fairly healthy and don’t have any of the common thyroid symptoms. We eat a really healthy diet of only grass fed meats, raw grass fed milk, organic, only the highest quality, etc. My husband is super healthy but I find I can not eat like him. Any insights would be appreciated. Thanks. TONYA

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Then there is something wrong with your health, not with your diet, Tonya.

      I would urge you to undergo an evaluation by a functional medicine or naturopathic health practitioner. Something is impeding gaining ideal health and weight and it is likely something endocrine or gastrointestinal.

  16. Annie says:

    Hello Dr, it is now five months that I eat as you recommend, without derogation. I have not lost any weight and my thyroid results are normal. I would try a little fast, but I do not know how. It scares me! Do you have any advice to give me please?

    • Dr. Davis says:


      Please obtain your thyroid values and post here. Let’s talk about whether they are “normal” or not!

      • Jen says:

        I am having the same problem as Annie. Wheat free, gluten free, no more than 50g carbs/day, cardio and strength training 5x/week and I haven’t lost any weight. I also wake up feeling bloated and puffy. Have limited my sodium intake, drink plenty of water..I’m at a loss! How long should it take before I start seeing results? TSH w/ reflex to free T4: 1.91

  17. Peter says:

    My wheatbelly belly refuses to go away!

    I’m a man, age 60+, with 10 months wheat-free, carbo-free, sugar-free.
    But my wheatbelly belly refuses to go away.

    Friends are starting to joke with me, “Peter, are you pregnant?!”
    Something is wrong, but what?

    I bought both books, and studied and followed carefully.
    Appetite diminished a lot.
    Food cravings gone.
    Acid reflux gone.
    Minor skin itching gone, and skin is smoother and softer.
    More strength and endurance for normal tasks of working around the house and climbing stairs.
    Sleeping more soundly and wake up refreshed.
    All good.

    And another benefit.
    Dr. Davis doesn’t promise this, but it’s sure a pleasant benefit.
    Being wheatfree must have put a sparkle in my eye, because I’m getting much more attention from ladies than in many years.
    Very nice.

    I’ve lost fat from shoulders and chest, so shirts fit more comfortably.
    However, my belt is still on the same notch as 10 months ago.
    And so my belly appears to protrude even more than before.
    What am I doing wrong?

    I supplement with iodine and magnesium and lots of other vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D.
    Also coconut oil.
    I drink 2 cups of mild coffee per day — a coffee blend that claims to promote weight loss.
    I drink a lot of water, from a filter machine at 9.5 pH.
    I get a bit of exercise by walking and rebounding.
    I lie out in the tropical sun for about an hour, 3 times a week.
    No drugs at all; none.
    But, after 8 months, the wheat belly is still with me.

    I’m at a loss for what else to do, so I’m asking here.

    Thank you for any suggestions.

    – Peter
    Bangkok, Thailand


    • James says:

      Hello Peter,

      What is your diet exactly (what, how much, when) ? Do you keep some sort of food diary or journal in order to analyze whether your still present belly has anything to do with the diet ? You have to first figure whether the diet is the issue. It could well be hormonal but this is more tricky to figure out.


    • Dr. Davis says:

      Please have each and every item on this list discussed in this blog post assessed, Peter.

      Your answer might be as simple as correcting your thyroid above and beyond that of iodine supplementation.

  18. Amy says:

    Thank you Dr Davis for your knowledge and inspiration. I am new to wheat free and I am a very picky eater. I have no problems adhering to the rules throughout the day, however, breakfast is difficult for me. I need something quick and so I have been having a couple of tbsp of real, natural peanut butter and unsweetened, natural applesauce for breakfast…is this acceptable?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Yes, just go lightly with the applesauce, Amy. You want fruits in their most crude form, preferably an apple over applesauce.

  19. Ricki says:

    Hello Dr. Davis,

    It’s wonderful to ‘e-meet’ you. I recently was introduced to Wheat Belly and this life-changing lifestyle. My husband urged that I try this out because I’ve been fighting Multiple Sclerosis for the past 5 years (I’m taking Gilenya to manage the MS). After just 1 week of being on the diet I felt better than I did in years. The brain fogginess, which has been my main MS symptom, cleared up significantly and I had more energy. The holidays came soon after I started the diet and went off of it for about 3 weeks so I re started again it 2 weeks ago. I’ve been very ‘good’ on the diet and haven’t cheated but I’ve hardly lost weight (lost 1-2 pounds). I should mention that I also have thyroid disease. After going through your blog, my best guess was that my thyroid was off.
    I just had blood work done this week and my levels were: TSH: 0.2, Free T4: 1.6, T3: 2.6. I’m currently taking Levoxyl 125 dose.

    My endocrinologist keeps my TSH around the 0.2 range as I suffer from depression if that number is ‘off’.

    How do these numbers look to you? Could this cause the lack of weight loss?

    I read on your blog that T3 should be below 1.0. Anything higher prevents weight loss. Could this be a factor in my case? I also read about liothyronine on your blog. Is this something you would recommend that I look into taking? I’ve also suffered from depression for years and am currently taking wellbutrin (300mg). The dr suggested I take another antidepressent on top of this because although I’m better, I’m not feeling quite 100%. Over the 10 years that I’ve had thyroid disease, the Dr has tried different medication doses and while some symptoms did get better, the depression persisted. I’m 40 years old and really just want it fixed. Perhaps taking that may also help with some of the depression I’m experiencing? If you do recommend that I try the liothyronine, would that interfere with the Gilenya I’m taking for my MS?

    I look forward to receiving your response.

    Many thanks.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Yes, you should most DEFINITELY consider liothyronine, T3. But you will likely need a new doctor to do so, not the ignorant one who has been treating you with T4 alone with no attention to the T3 issue.

      I also posted a response to your Facebook message.

  20. Silva Harr says:

    Dr. Davis, I was so impressed by your message when you appeared on CBS ON Sept. 3, last year I stopped eating cereal grains the next day & ordered the book. I’ve been on WB ever since and I won’t go back. I’ve experienced many improvements, joint pain reduced, blood pressure good, no more daily gas bouts, triglycerides down, HDL up, etc. I’ve enjoyed the diet a lot. I’m eating all my favorite (many formerly forbidden) things. I’m sure you’ve started a revolutions. Thanks! I still haven’t lost weight though. I take Anastrozole (breast cancer). Cetalopram & Bupropion (depression), Tegritol (grand mal seizures), Levithroid (hypothyroid) and so on. I asked my HMO Dr. To test my free T4 & T3 & here’s the numbers; TSH 3.50, T4 0.9, T3 78. Could this be my problem? I’d love to know your thoughts on this. I’m female, 57 Years old, 5’3, 187 lbs and I would greatly benefit by losing weight too. Also my LDL’s still high; 191. Thank you SO much, Silva

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Yes, indeed: Undertreated TSH and low free T3. Action points:

      1) Get a new doctor, preferably one who will openly discuss thyroid issues, perhaps a functional medicine practitioner, naturopath, or chiropractor. (Even if they cannot prescribe, they often will know who to consult to get the job done).

      2) Consider adding liothyronine (T3) to levothyroxine or replacing levothyroxine with Armour thyroid or Naturethroid that contain both T4 and T3.

      This is almost certainly a contributor, if not sole cause, of stalled weight loss if you are already wheat-free.