1500 calories LESS per day . . . and a question

A reader who calls himself “Not Hungry in NC” posted this wonderful story along with an important question at the end:

My story:
Was advised to read Wheat Belly by a friend who’d had success with it. Started wheat free (and generally low carb) eating on Jan 1, 2013.

I was 6-1′, 237lbs then. Within two weeks, was down to 225lbs, and am currently at 215lbs.

I’ve seen the critics who call this just another diet fad. But let me explain why I think it’s different. First, I *love* food and love eating. So losing weight is hard for me as I lack the necessary self-control. Seeing food makes me hungry. Beyond the substantial weight loss (which the critics would claim is due to the ultra low-carb diet which often is not sustainable), the biggest thing I notice is that I AM NOT HUNGRY. I am consuming upwards of 1500 calories less per day [emphasis mine!] than I was, primarily through eliminating most beverages other than water, wheat products and most starches. But I am less hungry now than ever before.

I used to be hungry all the time, regardless of how much I ate. Now I can go all day without eating anything more than an omelet or a banana for breakfast, and by dinner time I am only mildly hungry, and quickly get full with just a normal portion of salmon, steak, shrimp or chicken and side of some kind of fresh vegetables. If I feel like a snack during the day, I am satisfied with a small handful of nuts or a few slices of a good cheese. The simple fact that I am not hungry is going to be the key to sustainability and losing the additional 15lbs that I need to shed.

Second thing that is different, and I’ll admit I was somewhat skeptical about this when reading the book: I’ve had an arthritic condition in my left elbow that has gotten increasingly worse over the past 2 years to the point where I’d lost about 30% of the range of motion and was in constant pain. I’ve been to orthopaedic doctors, chiropractors, and very painful physical therapy. I’ve had x-rays and MRI’s. And nobody could even diagnose what the problem was, much less come up with any meaningful treatment plan. So let’s just say that when reading the book, I was hopeful (albeit somewhat doubtful) that eliminating wheat would help my elbow. It’s probably the main reason that I actually tried the wheat free diet, as the pain progression, along with exhausting all medical options, was really starting to concern me.

After 6 weeks of wheat-free, I was a bit disappointed that there was no noticeable difference in the elbow. I stuck with it at that point because of the weight loss and lack of hunger and cravings benefits. And then, after about week 8, I began to notice improvements in range of motion and reduced pain. After 10 weeks, the range of motion is now at about 90% of normal, and the pain and stiffness is mostly gone: amazing progress in just two weeks. I’m by nature a skeptical person, so I have racked my brain trying to think of what other things I may have changed to cause this improvement (especially since there was an 8 week lag in seeing ANY improvement), but I have to say that there is nothing else that has changed that would explain it.

Bottom line is that I am sold and plan to remain wheat free! I will say that I’m not a die-hard, and I do allow the occasional bite of bread or a few bites of a cream-based soup that may contain wheat. But compared to my previous consumption, my overall wheat intake has been reduced by at least 95%. I probably should be more serious about NO wheat, but I actually take pleasure in the fact that I can take a bite of bread at a restaurant without feeling like I have to eat the whole thing. Previously I did not have the self-control to do that and cravings would take over and result in overconsumption.

Would be interested in other people’s thoughts on this topic – do you really need to eliminate ALL wheat, or do you think some wheat in very small quantities is OK. Obviously those with celiac or high degree of gluten intolerance would not be able to, but what’s OK for the rest of us? Are the benefits/drawbacks linear (meaning that they scale with the amount consumed), or are they binary (meaning any amount is going to trigger bad things). Please post replies and let me know the thinking on this.

Isn’t that something? I’ve seen so many miraculous things happen with the wheat-free experience, but I never tire of hearing these stories!

But I do believe that wheat is an all-or-none proposition. Cutting back, say, 90% does not yield 90% of the benefits; it yields something like 30-50%. It also actually makes life harder. This is because:

–It takes very little exposure to the gliadin protein of wheat to trigger appetite. One exposure, for instance, can stimulate appetite for up to 5 days. 200 calories in a wheat-based roll or bagel can result in thousands of calories of increased food intake over the next several days.
–The inflammatory effects, especially those involving autoimmunity, can be triggered by very small quantities of antigen, i.e., whatever wheat-sourced immune-stimulating polypeptide that was responsible for triggering the response. It would be very easy to re-provoke joint inflammation.
–Small exposures to the gliadin protein increase intestinal permeability, a process largely below conscious perception . . . until you develop rheumatoid arhthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, or over 70 other autoimmune processes.
–Every bit of wheat raises blood sugar extravagantly. This is a clear-as-day effect, listed on all tables of glycemic index, that most dietitians choose to ignore. Every time blood sugar goes high, you glycate proteins of your body irreversibly: the proteins in the lenses of your eyes (cataracts), the cells of your cartilage (brittle cartilage, arthritis), small LDL particles (8-fold more glycation-prone than large LDL particles, thereby more oxidation- and inflammation-prone), lining of arteries (hypertension, endothelial dysfunction), among other effects.

It is similar to cigarette smoking: Does cutting back from 2 packs per day to 5 cigarettes a day yield nearly all the benefits of not smoking? No: You experience only a small fraction of the full benefit.

Wheat, like smoking, is an all-or-none proposition. But what other food can reduce a man’s calorie intake by 1500 calories per day . . . without hunger? And reduce/eliminate inflammation at the same time?!

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Lauren

    As someone who cut out wheat for 9 weeks, I noticed when I did consume any wheat products, the next day, my asthma flared up, and I had a “fog”, like a mind fog, or brain fog.

    I would go all or nothing

    Cheers, and thanks for the BEST book i’ve read.

  2. Sandra Fikes

    I have told people for years that I was allergic to wheat, ie joint pain & it aggravates my sinuses? They would insist I only had gluten intolerance. Nope. Wheat, all of it.

    That said, I say “wheat is a treat”. If I go to a special occasion, I will have a piece of cake.( basically, I just like the icing!) I’ve found as long as that is my only indulgence for the day or month, I’m just fine. Then again, I don’t have any other medical problems.

  3. Andrew M

    Wheat Free for 16 months. Type 2 Diabetes gone in 3 months. still down 20 pounds. Never eat wheat by choice. Had a few accidentals. Stay away form it. No need for it at all. The Doc is still saving lives. Thank You again Dr. Davis

  4. Nancy

    I AGREE 100%

    My husband had unexplained knee pain to the point he could not climb stairs, he is 45 yrs old.

    I decided to omit wheat from our diet based on the information that wheat stores as fat within our body because it does not know what else to do about it.

    Well in 2 weeks his knees were feeling 70% better! WOW – I googled it and Yup sure enough there was a connection to wheat and joint pain.. Long story short we have been virtually wheat free for 8 weeks, we both have dropped 20 pounds.
    Also- I noticed when we visited the NY area I broke down and had a bagel, and maybe a few other wheat items. Now I am home went back to wheat free and its like detox all over again! I am hungry, have sweet cravings its terrible! I will NOT do that again. This an amazing journey and SO thankful our paths have crossed.

  5. Theshepirate

    In regards to your elbow, Not Hungry in NC: Studies have shown that people who have insulin resistance, that means they can’t metabolize all the carbs they take in, will have a buildup of them in their blood which turns to
    uric acid, thus creating a gout sort of situation, especially when the carbs are wheat. Maybe this is what happened to you with your long healing time for your elbow. Gout medicine, gives a lot quicker relief, but maybe doing it the natural way and going with what your body actually needs for nutrition is the better way.
    Twenty years ago, I had been diagnosed with Celiac disease, so I have done lots of research. In my Celiac support group, there has been a great influx of people who were not Celiac, but just felt better on a no wheat diet. I am so grateful to Dr. Davis for his research and for solving this puzzle. I truly believe that GMO wheat is a killer in our society. There is a pill for every ailment that it causes, but only one sure cure, and that is to eliminate it from your diet,

  6. Deana

    Wow! I didn’t realize wheat consumption stimulated appetite for 5 days afterwards. I find this out after the fact that I indulged way too much at a retirement party today. And I’ve felt miserably bloated ever since! I know better than that too! But I am still trucking along, not giving up!!

  7. I do believe that having a little bit of wheat can stimulate the appetite for 5 days. I cheated with a little 1 x 1 square of brownie a month ago and craved everything in sight for three days! Never again! I am trying not to get discouraged when I read stories like this (although I am happy for them!) because I have been wheat free for 11 weeks and only have lost 12 lbs. I know that’s good but I was hoping to have lost 15-20 by now!

    • Pam

      Jeanette – Me, too. Kinda! I began emailing my weight to my brother about January 22nd and that has been my only record-keeping – however I had lost some weight previously to going wheat-free. But the weight loss (although fantastic), was not the determining factor for my decision – it was the constant battle with diarrhea and itchy skin and laying in bed at night not able to get to sleep. Omigosh, I sleep now so well that if I dream, I rarely remember them – and I wake up refreshed! The diarrhea disappeared almost immediately and has only visited a few times (obviously another allergy I need to find). We’re still in need of the furnace where I live but the itchy skin rarely bothers me. I believe the negatives Dr. Davis explains about the wheat – I’m not doing this to diet – I’m doing this to live (and to live with a smile on my face). Thank you, Dr. Davis!

  8. Annette

    I have been wheat free for a year now. And a small quantity like a bite of something can send my body into a tailspin for days. The longer off the more my body knows when i got some form of it. I sampled a dumpling at the store out of curiosity and the wrapper part tasted like a wet soggy gooey mass in my mouth, the filling was what i liked. So in answer to your question yes you do need to ditch all wheat specially the hidden kind, it is even in some chocolates.

  9. Drae

    Not Hungry in NC,

    I think that wheat has a very strong psychological (and emotional) element, which makes sense since it’s really more of an opiate. I’ve joked for years that the secret ingredient to deliciously addictive foods was crack. Little did I know how right I was! I think you still want to believe that wheat is “ok” and that leads to creating justifications to indulge. It’s understandable because you are still coming off of this drug, but no one would think it was ok for a recovering addict to have “just a taste” of smack/crack/heroin/coke/meth.

    For those of us who are sensitive and have awful reactions to gluten and wheat, it’s easy to resist. But others don’t SEEM to have this problem – like you, NH in NC. However, I believe that those who currently don’t think they have this sort of reaction just might IF they stay off wheat long enough. Go wheat-free for 4 weeks or more. Very strict – NO CHEATING! And then try some wheat. See if you don’t feel sluggish, bloated, cranky, and/or mentally out-of-it. You just might find wheat is actually doing things to your body you didn’t realize.

    A good analogy I read once was in response to the question, “Why does gluten affect me so much more now that I’ve gone gluten-free?” The doctor who answered likened the body on wheat/gluten to a bath tub full of mud. If you throw a little more mud in, you wont really notice. But once the body has gone off wheat/gluten, it’s more like a tub of clean water. Throw some mud in that tub, and you will certainly notice! But if you are still eating wheat here and there, you don’t have a tub of clean water, Not Hungry. You still have muddy water. Go 100% wheat-free and see if in a month it doesn’t make you feel like garbage. Good luck!

  10. nancy ottinger

    My husband and I started WB 1.1.13 in the first 8 weeks he lost 28 lbs (started @ 282), and continues to lose. After less than a week, he started sleeping much better, his GERD settled down, and he has fewer overall aches and pains. He’s also saving $$$ due to not stoping several times a night to buy snack and junk food while he drives his truck route. He takes fruit, nuts and cheese with him and brings about half of that home every morning – he says he’s just not hungry! Yay! I’m hoping eventually it will help with his plaque psoriasis. I have gained 4 – but my body is so screwed up from chemotherapy etc., that I really have lost hope of losing -( just hoping as the snow melts, I can get outside and walk again) but THIS WAY OF EATING has stopped my food cravings dead, and I appreciate that. I used to constantly think about food, to the point of even leaving the house late at night to go get ice cream, etc. and all that is gone. It’s a much more peaceful way of life. I’m so excited about my husband’s progress, and he’s so very happy that it was such an easy transition for him.

  11. I would dearly love to be 100% wheat free, but for me 98% or whatever I am is good enough. For me, this is a total lifestyle and if I make it rediculously hard then i simply will not stick with it. I have not had bread for 18 months. I have had pasta once – handmade at a home on a farm in Italy. The one place I felt a rule could be broken. I have had pizza once, in Venice while in Italy for a month. I probably have hidden wheat in the odd sauce?? I try to stay away from all processed foods so that would be minimal.

    What I’m saying is that I am now at my goal weight. I’ve lost 16 kilos (35 lbs) and have had total control of my hunger now for all of this time. I agree that indulging in carbs ie, brownie etc, does set the hunger off and it is for that reason I stay totally away from foods like this and also, at times I have had carbs I know that hunger will increase. I manage this by eating a little more low carb food.

    I see zealots out there who are all or nothing people – micronutrient this and macronutrient that… good for them but for most of us in the real world we need a total lifestyle where you can enjoy every day and not feel stressed everytime a sauce is served or a dusting of flour is on some seafood or whatever.

    Dr Davis’ book unlocked the key I needed to appetite control – I took on board most of what was written and the last 18 months have been totally lifechanging. If you can be 100% good on you but for me 98% is absolutely fine. I would much rather see most of the world living wheatfree 90% of the time than processed junk 100% of the time :)

  12. Christina

    I think VERY small quantities might be OK of certain items. I still receive the Eucharist one or more times per week – with no ill effects, but we’re talking about maybe 1 teaspoon of wheat. Sometimes if someone makes some kind of special treat I’ll have about the same amount (in other words – not one cookie, but half a bite). I only notice horrible effects if I eat more, then there is nausea, bloating, cramps, weird feelings of light-headedness and hunger the few days.

    However, some things, even though they are small amounts, seem a lot worse than others. Cake is one that I simply cannot have (sometimes even tasting the frosting and getting crumbs can make me feel weird), but homemade chocolate chip cookies I’m usually ok with a bite. I’ve eaten a large quantity of pizza crust (by which I mean all the crispy top of one slice) with no problems, yet when I ate several “safe” bourbon balls I got terrible cramps, to which my friend replied “but they don’t have wheat – only Nilla wafers” – le sigh.

    • Boundless

      > I think VERY small quantities might be OK of certain items.

      For you, perhaps, and then only if taking a short term view. There is a long list of afflictions you may expect to be courting many years hence that have no immediate symptoms.

      > I still receive the Eucharist one or more times per week – with no ill effects …

      Case in point. This is clearly not true for a large number of people lobbying for GF hosts. I won’t ruminate on the theological implications :)

      • Peggy Holloway

        I quit taking “communion” (Eucharist) years ago. I find that it spikes my blood sugar/insulin levels. I am in church late morning and that time of day is particularly problematic because I haven’t eaten for some time and grains/sugars on an empty stomach seem especially unpleasant. I admit I am unusually “hyper/hypoglycemic” and very sensitive to carbs of any type. I count that a blessing as I feel so lousy within minutes of consuming something I shouldn’t that “willpower” is not an issue for me. I eat the way I do to feel good and have no desire for anything that will upset that well-being.
        The Priest at my church knows why I don’t take the wafer/wine and gives me my own special blessing. So, I guess I’m doubly blessed.

        • Deb

          I worked with my church leaders to get gluten free communion after I would get sick every time we had communion. At first, I sneaked in my own rice cracker piece. But then we were able to get little cracker pieces put in tiny little ziplock bags labeled gluten free in the regular communion basket of bread pieces.
          Finally, enough of us are out there that they now serve everyone gluten free rice cracker pieces.

          So, it might be worth seeing if you can change the culture there and I’m sure others will be happy about it as well.

          • Christina

            I’m Catholic – It’s part of the rite that it has to have some gluten in it, if only a small amount. If it doesn’t then it isn’t really bread and is not transubstantiated. However, we also believe that Christ is fully present under both species (bread AND wine) so if you can’t have any gluten at all you can still receive the wine and have the “full effect”…so to speak.

    • Carol J StJohn

      Chocolate chip cookies made with Almond flour taste better than those made with wheat…I found a receipe that works great and I find I can only eat a few and they satisfy me..

  13. Ali

    The slightest sniff of gluten and my raging restless legs and burning feet issues come back with a vengeance. It’s not pleasant, but that in itself is a protection as it stops me consuming the stuff. As, after 5 years of being gluten free my body is still trying to heal from the damage it caused me, needing to ensure that virtually everything I put in my mouth is nutritionally beneficial is another good reason to avoid it.

    I think if you get an obvious reaction it is much easier to avoid it. My Hub turns into Attila the Hun for the best part of a week if glutened so we are all better off if he keeps well away from it too.

  14. bharwani

    I have been wheat free for 8 months. I did not lose a single ounce. So when I read people losing weight , I wonder why I am different.? Any thoughts?

    • Have you had other carbs? Do you eat gluten free foods? Have you cut back on the other foods suggested in Wheatbelly? There are many reasons why you would not have lost any weight. Do you still have sugar?

    • Same here! No weight loss. I did not stop wheat for the sake of weight loss (I stopped because of RA), but I hoped that would be one of the happy side effects. I do not eat all the store-made gluten-free products, either. I’ve changed my diet a lot, but instead of losing I have actually gained. Confusing and discouraging, but I am grateful for the improvement in RA symptoms.

    • Shirley

      Also, a sluggish thyroid might be the problem. Dr. Davis has addressed these issues. Please search the blog. Best of luck.

  15. dumemama

    I spent years convincing myself that just one bite wouldn’t hurt me. Occassonally I would go low carb for a bit to drop some weight, and every time my pains would go away, only to return when I hit my target or slipped and had that first bite. Eventually it was undeniable that even a single bite makes my pains flare up. I finally went 100% free about 6 months ago. The pains started to subside in 3-5 days. Little by little over weeks, long nagging issues started to disappear one by one. It wasn’t until at least 4 weeks 100% free that the scope of the prior inflammation was truly apparent, and the improvement is still ongoing.

    I tell people do it for a month, 100%. Anyone can do that. Then eat just a little bit and decide for yourself. The answer should be obvious by the next morning. It’s not worth it for me.

  16. Rena Bolster

    This story was very encouraging to me, thank you for posting it. I have been wheat free for only two weeks. My doctors always have thought I lacked so much discipline when for years now I have told them I was addicted to carbs, even to the point of refusing their offers to be set up for bypass surgery. I knew that wasn’t going to be the answer for me since I knew I had this food addiction and I didn’t want to do something that radical only to fail or die of malnutrition. Now I see I wasn’t so crazy.
    Stopping the wheat cold turkey wasn’t so hard. I have lost 79 pounds in the past two years but the weight loss had stopped and I wasn’t making any further progress. My type 2 Diabetes was as bad as ever and I have multiple pain and inflammation issues (some I had know idea about until I found this awesome blog and read the book).
    I’m encouraged by this post because since going wheat free and ultra-low carb my blood sugars are controlled only by my Mwtformin and I don’t need either of the two insulin I was taking, however, my joint pain, all over my body, hasn’t improved any. It just reminds me that I didn’t get into this awful condition overnight and it won’t be remedied overnight. Joint pain or not, I will continue with this wheat free, low carb lifestyle because I know there are even better things in store. Its the first lifestyle change I’ve gotten my husband of almost 35 years to agree to make with me and both of us are very excited. I share a lot of the wonderful stories on this blog with him and I am sure people around us will tire of our never-ending talk of Wheat Belly until we convince them one by one. God Bless you all for sharing.

  17. Rosie

    I have been following a wheat free diet ever since buying Wheat Belly in January. I have lost 10 lbs and I have lost the belly fat but can’t seem to lose my stubborn thigh fat.

  18. Susan

    I would like to add my personal experience with somethying similar to what you noticed with your elbow. I had chronic lower back pain as a result of falling on my tailbone as a teenager, and was told that one leg was longer than the other and that I should wear a “lift” in my shoe. (I did not do that.) I gave up wheat several years ago and really did not notice any difference at all with any aspect of my health. I even tried challenges where I would eat a lot of wheat for one day and it did not seem to cause me any problems. I noticed no difference. But then, after about a year off wheat, I noticed that I had no pain in my lower back. I also got checked by my chiropractor, who said that my legs were perfectly balanced. He said that they had never been that way in all the years he had seen me. Wheat elimination is the only thing I can correlate with that, though it did take some time.

  19. Nobelly

    You eat just a banana for breakfast and you arent hungry? This is not low carb low glycemic eating. It actually
    Supports the opposite premise.

  20. Nobelly

    Eliminating wheat eliminates thousands if not millions of problem trigger foods for me. But for every 1000 times i turn down wheat there will be 1 time that i will just have a taste. If this triggers cravings i am definitely not aware of it, but even if t did i would simply go into diet mode where i watch what i eat for a week to get back on track.
    Im sure everyone on this site has lots of practice at going on a diet.

    I think you wil create more cravings by being on this constant hunt for wheatfree desserts and breads . It sounds obsessive to me.

    • Susan

      It may be obsessive, but some of us need to be that way or it overtakes us as in “can’t think of anything but eating” until it is purged from the system, and this is very very hard to endure. Much less obsessive to just not eat it at all.

  21. Claudia

    Not Hungry in NC – great story – congratulations!
    For me personally (unfortunately), I don’t seem to have any immediate negative physical effects (ie bloating, indigestion, aches & pains etc.) when I eat wheat knowingly (which has been quite rare in the last year), however, I do notice that I get down in the dumps for a week to 10 days following ingestion of wheat. So, for me, it’s better to stay away from it
    But I’ve been experiencing problems with major carb cravings since I quite smoking 3 – 4 mos ago, which I am really having a tough time with – and end up indulging in too many “gluten free” carbs
    So, many of the positve benefits of quitting wheat (19 lb weight loss, better dental health, lower blood sugar, more energy, reversal of anemia, etc.) have been tempered with my increased carb intake
    and my addictive brain tells me that I might as well eat wheat if there’s no real benefit to not eating it
    I would appreciate some advice and suggestions
    Been looking into “bullet proof coffee” for breakfast – haven’t tried it yet – thoughts?

    • Suzanne

      Bullet proof coffee is one of the best things ever invented! I use only butter (50-55 grams) and coffee most mornings, but sometimes put in a dollop of ecological coconutoil. My stomach is not too fond of coconutoil when breaking my fast in the mornings but does not protest too loudly if i mix it with fullfat yoghurt and frosen (or fresh) berries instead.

      • james

        Wholeheartedly agree on that (bulltproof coffee). My wife and I are having it every morning but contrary to other people, we also have it with foods (omelet, bacon, steak salad, whatever quick and nutritious stuff we have). That is because we can go on our business until very early evening or late afternoon without feeling hungry or thinking about food whatsoever. We then prepare a reasonable dinner (veggies, meat or fish) and spend most of the evening without thinking about food either :)

        Looks like the best meal rhythm so far for us, no snacking in between, only green / rooibos tea or water.

        But I would stress the importance of getting very high quality coffee (look up BP coffee for details on the dedicated site).


  22. Janzo

    I went WB six months ago, and aside from testing once or twice, have not eaten wheat or grains since. The inconvenience of the diet restriction (and the annoyance whenever I have to walk down the bread/cracker aisle at the grocery store!) is NOTHING compared to how good I feel, how low my pre-diabetes has dropped (near normal when I can exercise regularly), how clearly I can think. The two greatest gifts have been that I no longer fight a constant sweet tooth and food cravings, and the painful lack of mobility, especially in my shoulders, is nearly gone. My muscles and tendons were as tight as rubber bands, I had two bouts of tendinitis in a year, and could barely put my forearm behind my back when I started. Now I can move again, have boundless energy, the depression is gone. When I’ve tested by eating some wheat (a piece of pizza), I noticed it just didn’t taste very good, and I was quite depressed the next day. Other times when I’ve had “just a little”, I noticed the food cravings came back.

    Co-workers asked me the other day, “Oh, but can’t you just have a LITTLE? It’s not like YOU need to lose weight!” I explained that what I have gained by losing the wheat was so valuable to me that I simply have not been interested in giving in. This is yet another, unexpected, benefit of being wheat-free: the longer I go without it, the more I realize I don’t need it. And for ME to say that I’m not even interested in the home-made gourmet cookies on the table, well, that’s just a flat-out miracle.

    At age 55, I feel better — physically and emotionally — than I have in my entire life, and I now feel I have a chance of avoiding some of the medical issues that are so prevalent today. Thank you Dr. Davis, this is probably one MORE life you’ve saved!

    • Dr. Davis

      Wonderful, Janzo, truly wonderful!

      Stories like yours remind me just how important this simple message is. Thanks for telling it!

  23. Alan Butcher

    what about the other grains ?
    i have been wheat free for 6 months with great results in all areas of my health.
    however i continue to eat two large plates of porridge every day – this would be 2 – 3 cups of uncooked rolled oats measured out then cooked OR two cups of raw brown rice eaten cooked.
    the only thing i have dropped is wheat.

    • Boundless

      Work out the net carbs per meal.
      You will find that it is sky high …. way more than 15 grams.
      Or you can check your blood sugar, which will also be sky high.

      Dump the oats entirely.
      Limit the rice.

  24. Susan

    I also have been less (panicky) hungry since eliminating wheat for almost a month (have to admit also that I have had a few weak moments). And since I am hypoglycemic, I AM VERY HAPPY AND SURPRISED! I feel more in control of my cravings then ever before. I have not lost weight yet, but it is bearable since i have results with other areas in my life. I was defined by hunger and cravings. I was obsessed with food and getting enough to make myself feel better physically, and when the low was low, I was like an out of control beast. I am not sure who else understands what it feels like to for the first time (in my adult life), not to have the majority of my day thinking about my next meal. My parents turned me on to your book. My mom’s rosacea has cleared up, and my dad’s chronic dry, scaly skin on his face is nearly gone since they went wheat-free. The hardest part is to try it and commit for most people. We expect most things to not work I guess, thinking they are fads or that reviews are faked to generate sales, but this is not the case with Wheat Belly. Thanks so much for freeing me!

  25. Linnae

    I started grain-free and sugar free 1 1/2 weeks ago, but have been eating low carb for about six months. I’m disappointed that even still I can’t seem to budge one bloody pound of the 20 I want to lose. I don’t drink soda, I drink 1/2 gallon of water a day, try to do a higher fat (not a low fat person.)
    What am I doing wrong?

    • Olive

      Hi Linnae –

      Yes same with us. We have been wheat free one month, and still not seen any results. We have asked for some suggestions here, but no help with this one??? We are disappointed also, but we will continue to stay on it.

    • Margaret

      I, too, have not lost any weight since going GF. I am now on metformin for insulin resistance and still have not lost an ounce.

      BTW, my doctor said to drink half my body weight in ounces of water a day.

    • Lisa Sagona

      I completely agree, did you get a response because I am in the same boat. HELP! We bought the Wheat Belly Book, read it, gave up EVERYTHING Wheat and Grain and yet I’m not losing weight [and in fact I’m gaining]. I eat only lean protein and veggies. Maybe fruit once per day, have even given up everything dairy with the exception of cheese [maybe 2 x’s per day]. I do allow a snack of nuts or seeds [but didn’t it say we were allowed to have that]. HELP, why isn’t this working? I’ve given in FOUR weeks. I feel AMAZING! I’m sleeping better and even a cyst I had on my finger has disappeared…but I’m not losing weight.
      Signed, feeling like getting me some wheat, in Johnson City TN

  26. Jenn

    I started Wheat Belly Feb 1. A couple of slip ups in February but by March 1, I truly had more energy, focus, far less ‘old age aches’ (inflammation), less bloating/flatter belly, with 4 pounds lost. I started to remove more than just the wheat from diet, feeling better with each day as I re-read the book and practiced scrutinizing every label. Then yesterday I slipped, and at 3:30am began experiencing the symptoms. I had agreed to teach a class for the local college, and was provided lunch yesterday. to avoid pizza and subs,I ended up with a 1/2 garden panini, hoping this small amount of bread would be tolerable. At 3:30 this morning I awoke, and have been unable to sleep. At 4, I began sneezing, then runny nose and watery eyes, like an allergic reaction. My belly is bloated and gassy, not a pleasant feeling. At 5am, from misery, I decided I would have to have a Benadryl and a Bayer Back&body aspirin. The latter to deal with the dull ache in my neck and shoulders, which had been gone for several weeks. My ‘old age aches’ returned along with this sudden allergic reaction. No more wheat for me!

  27. Anne Ralls

    Dr. Davis,
    I have been wheat free for about six months and am getting very comfortable with it. I am Type 2 diabetic and am about 20 pounds overweight. Prior to going wheat free I lost 20 pounds and saw my A1C driop 3 points. My doctor says if I lose this last 20 pounds I will likely totally reverse my condition. I am having some confusion on what to focus on to lose this weight with the new diet. Initially I did not count calories while doing WB and I have felt healthier but only maintained my weight, not lost. Now I am cutting down on calories and exercising 2 hours a day. The weight is dropping slowly but so is my energy level. Some evenings I don’t even have enough energy to make dinner and go straight to bed. Can you offer some tips on how to lose weight and keep balanced while doing a WB diet? Any advice would be appreciated.
    Anne Ralls

  28. bruce thomas

    Can you eat only a little wheat and still be “wheat free”, you ask. Can a woman be only slightly pregnant?! There’s your answer.

  29. Nathalie

    This story is helping my motivation which has been very very low in the last 2 weeks. I am at least 30 lbs (height 5.2 and starting weight 168 lbs) overweight and started the Wheat belly diet mid-January after listening to the book on tape. In the first 2 weeks i lost 6 lbs without having to go to the gym. Since I have only lost 1 lb. to hower between 161 and 162 lbs. It has been like this for the past 8 weeks and i am tempt to stop since my belly looks bigger. I do enjoy not having cravings but would like to see the results others are getting. I strickly adhere to the recipes in Dr. Davis book but am starting to despair as you can tell. Any advice or helpful tips from those who have lost??

  30. cori

    Breakfast is usually coconut water shakes (or almond milk) with low carb protein and greens with frozen berries. lunch …lot’s of protein and veggies…grassfed butter and coconut oil for fats. yesterday was passover…I have no idea what was in the sauces at dinner and I had a small amout of matzo less then 1/4 pc. but I did have some (less than half a cup) sweet potatoes and prunes which is a traditional dish called Tszmis ..TPO was 53 in April ANA positive 1;320 nucleolar TSH 2.6 T4 8.6 T3 31% changed doctors… last blood work Jan 13 TSH 2.71 T4 7.9 T3 92ng ANA just says pos w/ RNP 2.0 TPO was not ordered. ….I am in Boca Raton Fl can anyone suggest where or who I should go to?

    • Dr. Davis

      My good friend, Dr. David Blyweiss, is in Boca Raton.

      He is a genius, though a bit tough to get into his office.

      • Karin Peters

        Dr. Davis,
        Can you recommend someone for me to see in Tx? I’m in College Station, Tx, not too far from Houston and Dallas/FW. I too have a positive ANA speckled of 1:320

        Here are the rest of my results all taken a week and a half after starting wheat belly:
        Free T4 – 1.21 (0.76-1.46)
        T4 Total – 12.0 (5.0-10.8)
        TSH – 1.84 (0.36-3.74)
        Free T3 – 2.6 (2.3-4.2) My dr. said the range should be 3.5-4.2
        ANTI SSA AB – Negative
        Anti SSB AB – Negative
        SM Antibody – Negative
        RNP Antibody – Negative
        Anti SCL-70 AB – Negative
        Progesterone and Estrogen were low and I’m being treated with Natural Progesterone Cream
        Symptoms: fatigue, depression, anxiety

        Any suggestions would be MUCH appreciated Dr. Davis! I can say I already feel so much better after starting Wheat Belly on June 1. I have a grass allergy and I suspect that is why I am feeling so much better. My daily headaches, sinus congestion and 10 lbs are all gone. Thank you so much!

        Karin Peters

        • Dr. Davis

          Hi, Karin–

          The values are actually favorable. The lowish free T3 may represent nothing more than the start of weight loss minus wheat.

          Because you are relatively new to this experience, you might just give it a few more weeks before you have to undergo lots of costly testing, etc.

          And, sorry, I don’t know anyone in your area that might be helpful. If you need one, a search of “functional medicine” practitioners in your area might be fruitful.

          • Karin Peters

            One last question….could the positive ana just be from leftover wheat in my system?

  31. A. Hirt


    I just stumbled on this site and this diet. Oddly, I find this diet is missing the OTHER side of the problem. Eating wheat was necessary so that we could survive the famine of winter in Northern Europe. It was a trick we pulled to have food that didn’t decompose while the world around us was covered in snow. However, if you read such things as the zone diet, you realize that we needed both carbohydrate and protein together to survive (the zone diet recommends 1:3 protein to carbohydrate every time you eat; ‘very much a part of our tradition: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, wine and cheese together, etc.). Since you didn’t want to kill your wealth (animals), you needed protein in some other way that wasn’t so drastic as slaughtering your animals whose meat would rot quickly anyway. So instead of pillaging the principle of your wealth, you skimmed the interest. So you’d go out and milk a cow or bleed it and add it to your bread. You’d also kill a newborn calf in the spring and use its rennet to make cheese which wouldn’t go bad over the winter. In short, dairy is the doppelganger of wheat. Do you really think that it’s normally to run out into a field and suck on a wild cow’s udder? Are you nuts? The real evil here is not wheat alone, but the two-headed monster of wheat and dairy (I call it the “Famine Food Diet” since we used to eat this during the famine of winter). A little bit of protein from a small animal (which our teeth can rend) combined with green (not white, root/famine) vegetables and perhaps some fruit is the trick I think. I’ve travelled all over the world and have noticed that people who were not subject to natural selection of the Famine Food Diet in Northern Europe are immensely susceptible to the FFD when it shows up. I’m Northern European white, so my susceptibility is recessive; with aboriginals, the FFD is a full-on, full-bore assault. Giving them blankets with small-pox in them would be considered subtile by comparison to stocking reservation food shelves with the FFD food…

  32. Cranberry

    This matches my experience so far. Partial reduction gave partial improvement, total reduction gave AMAZING results.

    About 15 years ago, among other recommendations, a biochemist recommended I avoid bread, except perhaps for rice bread from the freezer section. It was a hard shift at first because I thought it was the yeast I was to avoid and didn’t realize the connection to wheat. So although the experiment did succeed in reducing how much I normally ate bread – instead of toast at breakfast, sandwiches at lunch, and a roll with dinner – I continued to consume bread here and there, including wheat in the form of flatbreads and wraps and the occasional cheat on cookies and people birthday cakes lol … I thought it was solely sugar that I was craving each time.

    I may go into more detail another time about all the health problems I still grappled with despite many remedies and solutions I tried along the way. For now I just want to say that after reading the Wheat Belly Cookbook, followed by the Wheat Belly book itself, I’m 100% wheat-free now for six days and feeling better by the day. The biggest change for me so far is that my “mild facet’s disease” (basically arthritic) inflammation is radically reduced, meaning no pain for me (apart from a mechanical sciatic issue I’m working to resolve) and another awesome effect is that my skin/scalp/ears/nose doesn’t/don’t itch so much, which was driving me mad for the past few decades, made worse by doctors looking at me like it was all in my head.

    The other fabulous result is watching my mother regain some of her former beauty and energy and look 20 years younger in just a matter of a few months. I had started to worry about her declining health but now it’s all I can do to keep up! (Wish I had started sooner …. had thought it was “just another diet book”.)

    (Fifteen years and) six days in, I’m sold on this way of living and with these improvements alone (though I believe there will be more to come…cravings are all gone and I feel like I’m eating like a Queen instead of an addict), feel extremely grateful for Dr. Davis and all those involved in getting this information out to people like me and mine. I hope people will give 100% wheat-free a try and experience it for themselves.

    Thank you for your book. I’ve learned so much from you that I’m enjoying applying to my life and I’m looking forward to other surprise results. Total respect for this initiative.

    I’d like to add that I’m impressed to learn that there is a cardiologist that actually knows coconut oil is GOOD. Wasn’t sure I’d ever see THAT!!!!!!!!!