Fat and getting fatter

We all come to the wheat-free experience from our own unique directions, with our own unique perspectives. Here is how Rick was shamed into embracing the wheat-free lifestyle:

Last March I tried to put on a 38-waist suit I bought a few years ago and it was impossible to squeeze in. So on our way to a wedding I had to stop and by a pair of 40″ slacks. That should have done it – but no. I blamed gravity.

The doctor said 212 pounds wasn’t a problem for a 62-year old, 6’2″ man, but he wanted me back on the terrible pain-inducing Crestor and once again I balked.

Later that month we went to Florida. I was quite comfortable with myself and my 40” stomach ’til we were on the beach with old friends and the husband said to my wife, “How can he look like that?” I was bitter, but later on the trip, we saw my cousin and he looked like a rail and talked endlessly about your book.

I was a lifetime bagel breakfast, deli sandwich lunch, pasta 3 times a week (3-plates), and would–if no one was looking–eat a whole pizza anytime. I used to say when I ate a slice that I missed it and had to eat the next one slower so I could remember it. This is not a joke! I was terribly addicted. I didn’t understand. I haven’t eaten chips or candy in years; haven’t had a soda in 30 years. Why was I fat and getting fatter?

I finally accepted there was something wrong. In the 1st few weeks while reading your book, I started a gluten free regime. Every few pages you would kill another sub-product I had added. I finally stopped the halfway measures and abandoned all grain and all forms and sources of sugar, except for a few berries a day and the wonderful stevia. I have been on a basic meat and vegetables diet since then. I’m in the hunter-gatherer clan of your followers. I eat a ton of nuts too. I have invented many almond flour recipes and have outdone KFC with an incredible extra crispy recipe for chicken. I also have converted 3 old friends who were equally as tragic.

I personally went from 212 to 177 and it seems to have leveled off. Between me and my 2 friends, both 6′+ ex athletes, we have collectively lost over 90 pounds.

I will never go back. I love what I eat now. My arthritis has diminished. I feel great.

Rick’s experience is all too familiar, isn’t it? Ex-athlete, avoiding soft drinks and chips, trying to eat “right” . . . yet gaining more and more weight, wondering why his cholesterol was high, waist size growing–despite cutting his fat and eating more “healthy whole grains”!

Rick’s comment about the addictive effect is the key: Wheat stimulates appetite. It’s that gliadin opiate at work again: It makes you want to eat the whole pizza, it makes you want more carbohydrates, it increases calorie consumption by 440 calories per day, every day. With wheat in your life, control over weight and health is a losing battle. Remove it and the battle is won a lot more easily.

Rick also makes another essential point: After wheat, other grains are also problems. Grains are, at best, an expedient, a convenience, a source of cheap calories. But, like wheat, grains do not belong in the diet of modern Homo sapiens. Grains have been consumed by humans for 0.4% of the time we have inhabited earth, meaning 99.6% of the time we ate no grains. When Homo sapiens of 10,000 years ago consumed einkorn and emmer wheat, teosinte (corn), sorghum, millet, and rice, we experienced smaller femur size, a reduction in height, more iron deficiency anemia (evidenced by porotic hyperostosis in skulls), transverse ridges in the incisors signifying malnutrition, an explosion in tooth decay and loss, shrinking faces and jaws resulting in crooked teeth and deformities. This is why I say that, like wheat, consumption of grains is for the desperate or the misinformed.

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88 Responses to Fat and getting fatter

  1. James A. Nelson says:

    That’s interesting. A quick check on wiki suggests that the Italian wheat is Emmer and the France wheat is Einkorn.
    I have tried Einkorn and have not noticed any problems at all. The modern Frankenwheat on the other hand is devastatingly bad for my health.

  2. Christopher Freeman says:

    Apparently the government hasn’t gotten the message.

    “U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists working as part of an international team have completed a “shotgun sequencing” of the wheat genome, a paper published in the journal Nature reported today. The achievement is expected to increase wheat yields, help feed the world and speed up development of wheat varieties with enhanced nutritional value. “By unlocking the genetic secrets of wheat, this study and others like it give us the molecular tools necessary to improve wheat traits and allow our farmers to produce yields sufficient to feed growing populations in the United States and overseas,” said Catherine Woteki, USDA’s Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics. “Genetics provides us with important methods that not only increase yields, but also address the ever-changing threats agriculture faces from natural pests, crop diseases and changing climates.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Wow. In their world view, if they could further increase wheat yield, all our health and nutrition problems would be saved!

      How far wrong can they go before their blunders become apparent? It’s already gone quite far.

  3. Louise says:

    Would love to have your recipe for almond flour KFC chicken!!!

  4. Yolanda says:

    I am going to purchase the book tonight, but my question is everyone is saying we need carbs for energy. If that is true, where will we get that necessary energy from if eliminating, wheat, corn, brown rice, and oats?

    Does the carbs from vegetables alone sustain us?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      You need fats, you need proteins, you need vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients . . . but nobody needs carbs! They are completely optional.

    • Claudia says:

      I have WAY more energy on this diet than I ever did when eating copious amounts of carbs

      • Dr. Davis says:

        Great, Claudia.

        That is among the most common of observations, removing the energy-sapping and health-distorting effects of modern wheat.

  5. Chris says:

    What about natural wild rice?

  6. Kathryn says:

    About 4 months ago I went on a “gluten free” diet and walked into the pitfall of making bread, biscuits, etc with rice flower, cornstarch etc and wondered why I wasn’t losing weight. I hadn’t bought your book yet so I had only a passing knowledge of what being wheat free really involved without going down the wrong path. Well right before Christmas my husband and I were in a book store and I saw your Wheat Belly book and decided to get it as a Christmas present for myself [oh, and at a party at my sister's a week or so before that I was talking to a woman who was singing praises of your book]. It was the best investment I ever made.

    As for my medical problems I have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis, allergies and have frequent urinary tract infections. My doctor said that some calcium showed up on one of my heart valves causing a heart murmur. I also have started using Byetta injections and Metformin for my diabetes and the Byetta causes bruises and a rash at the injection sites. I’m on Crestor for the cholesterol and Zestril for the high blood pressure and as well take Tecta for an inflamed esophagus. I’m sick and tired of injecting and ingesting drugs to treat my ills. I feel like I’m throwing money down the drain and saw a life of worsening health as I got older. I knew that I had to do something.

    After reading your book from cover to cover I was ready and today when we got groceries I decided to load up on healthy foods and I can tell you that I didn’t have anything healthy in the house so it cost me $100.00 to get the almond flour, nuts, loads of vegetables, eggs, cheese etc. My husband was not very happy with me because I had tried to go down this path before and have failed again and again with other diets and have bought lots of foods that have to be thrown away because wheat had me in it’s claws again and healthy foods got usurped by cookies, cakes etc. Also, the next time I won’t need to get as much, just to top up my perishable groceries.

    I don’t know how to explain it but I feel that this is the time that it will work and I showed my husband the bruises and rash from the Byetta and said I want to get off of the drugs and possibly save my life. He agreed that it would be wonderful if it would work this time because he wants to see me healthy. But at the same time he said that I shouldn’t put all of my faith in your book. He said that he’s scared that it won’t work and I will be worse off than I started. But my way of thinking is that if I don’t give this a try I will be in a bad way anyway so it can only get better.


    • Kathryn says:

      First breakfast, scrambled eggs and a handful of almonds. I’m on the fence about whether I should make some almond biscuits or if I should hold off for a week or so. Things like bread and biscuits were my stable for so long that I don’t know if I should completely break away from the norm or if I should try to mimic my addiction?

    • Boundless says:

      > He said that he’s scared that it won’t work
      > and I will be worse off than I started.

      Have him spend some time browsing this blog, looking for any indications of such outcomes. I’ve never seen any, and I don’t think it’s because they were deleted – Dr. Davis seems to allow a surprising amount of unsupported contrarian opinion here.

      > I’m on the fence about whether I should make some
      > almond biscuits or if I should hold off for a week or so.

      Having pre-made safe convenience foods on hand is 100% helpful.

      • Annette says:

        When we made the change we bought some of the GF premade foods. Then we dropped them as they are mostly starches. I dont eat sweets like i used to. i also use coconut sugar as my sweetener. Never felt better. Pant last xmas had to squeeze into now are too big. Big pharm hates this book, because if we get well then we wont need there meds that are ovepriced and dont really cure us as they claim.

        • Boundless says:

          > When we made the change we bought some of the GF premade
          > foods. Then we dropped them as they are mostly starches.

          Annette, her eyes open :)

          > I dont eat sweets like i used to.

          Dump them altogether, other than very high% cacao chocolate, or chocs with acceptable alternative sweeteners.

          Here’s a candy tip: buy Quest Bars. Chop them up into bite-size bits and re-wrap them. The Chocolate Brownie bars in particular make a fabulous alternative to Tootsie Rolls.

          > i also use coconut sugar as my sweetener.

          Error. Error. Recompute glycemic impact.

          > Big pharm hates this book …

          I’m sure some of the people in the affected industries are quite conflicted about it, because they eat too.

          • Annette says:

            Boundless found that the GF premade gave be diarrhea. Coconut sugar is very low on the GI and i only use it in my coffee. I was a sugar addict when i was a kid and now i am not. I was a wheat addict now I am not. Still love taters, though i just dont eat them as much as i used to.

  7. Kathryn says:

    I made it through my first day, I’m hoping that the anti-inflammatory effect kicks in soon because of all of the prepare time I put in today meant that I was on my feet most of the day preparing, cooking and cleaning up. My back is killing me right now [I have a cyst in my spine that prevents me from working]. I made the Parmesan-Breaded Pork Chops with Balsamic Roasted Vegetables for dinner and it was to die for!!! Next time I’ll have to cook more vegetables.. lol. I didn’t have any Eggplant so I substituted Zucchini. I’ve also made some of the Pumpkin Spice Muffins and my husband loves them. I’m fighting a little bit with cravings but that is to be expected on the first few days. I’m really going through the almond flour and since it’s $11.00 a pound at the bulk food store I think that will be my biggest expense. But then again I would think nothing of spending that on one meal at a fast food place so it’s all relative I guess.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      You’re off to a great start, Kathryn!

      But note that the inflammation-reducing effects can require months to kick in–longer than most other effects of wheat elimination (though not nearly as long as neurological effects that require 6-12 months or longer). So patience pays!

      I pay $2.19 for a 10-ounce bag of ground almonds, or around $3 per pound. Trader Joe’s has ground almonds for $3.99 for a 16-oounce bag. It really pays to shop around. Also, see the Nuts.com ad on this blog for another source for a reasonable price.

  8. Kathryn says:

    I live in Canada so do they ship here?

    • Tanya says:

      I’m in Canada too, and I get my almond flour from my Bulk Barn ~ I love that place, but they hardly ever have a sale on almond flour.. that is expensive isn’t it? The grocery stores have Bob’s Red Mill almond flour and last I checked a smallish bag was also $11.99. When I get some more money I want to investigate if nuts.com ships to Canada.

  9. Kathryn says:

    Oh I made the mini pizzas and they looked delicious but I found the taste of the crust overwhelmed to flavor of the toppings.. Next time I’ll make the pizza with the cauliflower crust to see if that helps. I found this morning when I had breakfast I got full before I could eat it all.. Nice problem to have. And I find that I naturally want to drink more water as well. We live in the country with well water so we don’t have all the chlorine, etc so our water is very sweet. I can even taste chlorine in bottled water.. yuck!

  10. Kathryn says:

    I checked out the nuts.com and they do ship to Canada but with shipping a 5 pound bag would cost $73.00 + so it works out cheaper to get it from the bulk store.

  11. Johnathan says:

    I have been on wheat belly for 2 months..good results..but I am eating a lot of cured bacon..why is this under the never catagory. Most have sodium nitrate.

    • Boundless says:

      > cured bacon..why is this under the never category.
      Nitrites (which can convert to nitrosamines in cooking), added sugar, and other additives.

      Use uncured bacon or side pork.

  12. Kathryn says:

    Can eliminating wheat cause a “cleansing”? I ate all the wrong things over Christmas but afterwards decided to get serious about wheat elimination and since Dec. 28th have lost 4 pounds. I’m diabetic and was on Byetta injections twice a day (I was on the lowest dose). Since it was causing me to have a rash at the injection site I decided to try going without it. My blood sugars are in the normal range, although at the top of the normal range even before I eat in the morning (this morning my sugars were 7.0). Also this morning I have severe diarrhea. I’m wondering if this could be my body trying to eliminate the effects of the wheat I had been eating before and over Christmas?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Not so much eliminating the effects of wheat, but the changes in bowel flora that develop with wheat elimination.

      You can accelerate return to normal bowel health by supplementing a high-potency probiotic, e.g., 50 billion CFUs per day, for several weeks.

  13. Lisa says:

    I am just starting out and really havent started yet. I am as of Dec. 45 years old and a single mom of two boys one 4 years old and the other 5. My 5 year old is very active and some have said that he may be ADHD. I am about 30 pounds over weight. I eat like a bird and really I am a microwave cook. Prepackaged foods and fast stuff that is easy. I know its not healthy. I have recently been taking Chol. meds and thyroid meds. My blood test showed I was alittle off and oh course the doc. put me on meds. I have never taken anything my whole life. I am not happy with it and as of Feb. will have no more insurance due to the fact that it went up this past year 40 % through my company group plan. I am retired believe it or not at 45. I have decided to make a change for my health and my boys. My grandmother is 96 and in great health and always cooked from scratch, on the other hand my mother always worked and brought us up on bread and fast food. She is 66 and now has stage 4 cancer. We both agree it is from the foods she ate and not cooking from scratch like people use to. I am determined to learn how to cook and do it healthy. I sincerely believe the wheatbelly information and how it can effect your health. So I will start on the BREAD first and how to make it from scratch from the wheat belly cook book. My family are sandwich people so Bread is very important to know how to do and make this change. One concern is should I buy a bread maker or stick to the oven???? any suggestions ?????

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Don’t waste your precious money on a breadmaker, Lisa!

      You can make wonderful focaccia flatbread or any of the other breads in the Wheat Belly recipes just with a loaf pan, a shallow baking pan, and an oven–no fancy equipment required!

      By the way, I will be SHOCKED if your health is not absolutely turned around by following this approach.

  14. david says:

    I’m just starting out (did my “shop” this morning) but i was wondering why rice flour is not recommended? also, oats too i notice are out, why is that?

  15. Sandi says:

    I have been following the wheat belly plan for 2 weeks now and I have been very happy do far. I have more energy and I feel lighter. It also appears that I was developing a gluten intolerance as I no longer feel sick when I eat. I am discouraged that I have no weight loss so far, how long should it take before my body starts showing the results of my healthy food habit change.

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