“My problem with Wheat Belly”

Rick posted this comment about a dilemma on his Wheat Belly journey:

2 years ago I started the Atkins diet with great success. I was 305 lbs. I lost 40 quick pounds on Atkins and felt great. After a while, I plateaued with the weight loss (after induction period). I couldn’t lose any more weight and started craving junk food. Needless to say, I caved and quickly gained back the weight. Alas, that is not my problem with Wheat Belly.

I needed answers to why I couldn’t lose weight, so I started digging. I came across Dr. Jonny Bowden’s blog. It made sense, the research, the facts about diet and nutrition. I am an avid fan of Dr. Bowden. These were the answers I was looking for about weight loss. I was getting back to 305 lbs quickly and needed to try another way. I developed plantar fasciitis of the foot. It is a very painful condition that left me in constant pain and severely limited any walking. To top it off, I knew it was coming down to being diabetic, already had the symptoms. This is not why I have a problem with Wheat Belly.

One day I was on Dr. Bowden’s blog and came across recommended books. At the top was “Wheat Belly.” I read the description and said “This sounds a lot like what I got”! I ate it up (I hope you didn’t use wheat to make the book!). I am now an official “Wheat Bellyian”. I will never go back to wheat.

I lost 85 lbs so far to date. I have never felt better in my whole life! The plantar’s [fasciitis] is completely gone. I am walking again (one of my passions). My cravings for junk food are virtually non-existent. If I do eat wheat (inadvertently), I truly do pay for the next day in the bathroom. Let me tell you, it is not very pleasant, very painful. I dare anyone to try wheat belly for a month, then eat a piece of bread and tell me it didn’t hurt on the way out. But my friends, that is not my problem with Wheat Belly.

My problem with Wheat Belly is this: resentment. Right now WW I (Wheat Wars I) is going on in my house. Don’t get me wrong, my family is in total awe and so happy for me. But when I try to help them and tell them that the food they are eating is the cause of their maladies (skin problems, stomach problems, etc.), they turn on me: Don’t tell me what to eat! I will eat what I want. When are you going to start eating normal again? That last one really makes me laugh, because I now know that I am eating normal. So to keep the peace, I refrain from offering advice, even though I want to tell the world! I am to the point where I have to defend myself and say “Hey, I don’t tell you what to eat, so don’t try to get me to eat that”. I don’t know what to do to get them to start caring about what wheat is doing to them. The Wheat War is raging in my house. Help!

More and more of us wheat-deniers will be encountering such resistance, as the wheat-is-poison message has not been fully understood or embraced by everyone. My view is that Rick should simply carry on, hoping that, by setting a quiet example of health and slenderness, the rest of the family will, in time, recognize the profound change he has undergone and embrace it themselves.

Anyone else have some useful advice for Rick?

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110 Responses to “My problem with Wheat Belly”

  1. Rick Calandrello says:

    Well thank you all for your advice, it was all so enlightening. I will go with the quiet (whispering at the top of my lungs: “Don’t eat wheat!) approach for now, as I still have about 40 more pounds to lose. I guess “Seeing is believing” is the way to go in my situation, even though I am totally against the “monk in a monastery” approach. So patience will be my nemesis for now. Thanks Dr. Davis, and everyone else!

  2. Senja says:

    I have lost around 30 lbs. When people ask what I’m doing, I tell them, they invariably say “I couldn’t do that.” Well, ok, fine, but that’s how I did it. If you want a different answer, go to someone else. :)

    I’m very happy with my weight loss.

  3. Barb says:

    I have been wheat free for almost a month, I haven’t lost a pound. I have thyroid issues and take synthroid 0.15 mgs per day. I am also substituting wheat with baked goods made with almond and chickpea flour. I used to drink 4-5 cans of diet pepsi a day now I drink plain water or lemon water. My weight is more steady than before but not losing anything. I wonder if I’m eating too much of the almond flour or if my thyroid is playing a part. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Debbie says:

      I am having the same problem. I don’t eat a lot of baked foods. I’m not sure what the problem is. Maybe someone can help.

      • Damian says:

        Barb, as a fellow thyroid sufferer, I’m going to bet thyroid is a factor. I want to encourage you to check into a Natural Desiccated Thyroid like Armour. It’s different for everyone, but I can tell you, Synthroid did not help me. I didn’t lose weight the whole time I was on it. I think Dr Davis lists the essential thyroid tests on this blog. Have you had those recently?

        Also, checking your basal temps could help you determine if you are under-treated. Type words, Take your Temp! into your search bar. and check out the article on http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com
        It is a great site!

        Do you notice a crash or any increase in appetite after eating sweets? Even non-gluten baked goods can mess with your blood sugar, which will be harder for a hypothyroid body to balance out. You may want to abstain from wheat replacements like non-gluten flour or baked goods for a few weeks. Just eat the Wheat Belly basics like veggies, nuts, meats and cheese and drink plenty of water.

    • gingerbread says:

      Hi Barb, I know that I have a thyroid issue too, and finding a doc in Orlando on my insurance that knows how to treat with natural dessicated thyroid has been an uphill battle, particularly when you have brain fog, lol! I started WB in December, lost about 5 lbs and stalled. I got proactive, went to a local health food store and bought an over the counter natural dessicated thyroid. Very weak, but it made the point: extremities warmed, hair loss stopped temporarily, better sleep and other things. But every few weeks I had to increase the dosage because it was so weak. I began looking for natural dessicated thyroid that I could order in a stronger dose, over the internet, without a prescription, cause I didn’t have time to find a doc, convince a doc, argue with a doc.

      During this time I had visited my OB/GYN (no help. they are currently fired and don’t know it yet), and Endo (totally clueless, just like Doctor D said), my Oncology doc last week(was sympathetic about connection between fibroid cycts and hypo thyroidism, ordered my labs but doesn’t really prescribe medication) and he was open to this because I sent a letter, lab work and articles before my appointment. Meanwhile, while I was doing all of that, I found a product called ThyroGold by Dr. Lowe at the following website: http://www.naturalthyroidsolutions.com.

      The OTC stuff was so weak, that I had to take 12-16 capsules a day to feel almost ‘normal’. So far on thyrogold i take one in the AM and one in the PM. and feel good. Waking temp is hovering around 97.1-97.5, so it is getting better. I had stalled on weight loss for about the first 3 months, but have lost about 13 lbs since I started this process. I also take Iodoral (iodine/iodide) and supplement with vitamin D, B complex, and a 50 cfu probiotic. The inches are starting to reduce. I am monitoring my symptoms and adjusting my intake of Thyrogold as I go along. I will eventually find a doc that can work with me, but until then i am taking action.

  4. Christopher says:

    In regards to wheat being poison, can you decipher what they are saying here? I found it on the FDA website.

    FDA Poisonous Plant Database
    FDA Home FDA Poisonous Plant Database
    -
    AUTHOR(S): Friis, S. U.
    TITLE: Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for quantitation of cereal proteins toxic in coeliac disease.
    YEAR: 1988 CITATION: Clin Chim Acta, 178(3), 261-270 [English]
    FDA #: F15566
    ABSTRACT: Coeliac disease is revealed by polypeptides in the prolamin fraction of wheat, barley, rye and oats. Recovery depends on adherence to a strict cereal-free diet. A few methods for quantitation of the wheat prolamin, gliadin, have been described. In order to assess the suitability of food products for inclusion in the coeliac diet an assay should measure the total amount of potentially toxic cereal proteins. An inhibition ELISA was developed, by use of a purified, polyclonal prolamin-antibody, reacting with gliadin and gliadin-like polypeptides. The antibody did not react with maize, millet, rice or soya prolamins. The assay had a detection limit of 1 ng antigen with a very high degree of accuracy. The interassay coefficient of variation including the day-to-day variation, was close to 30%, which is acceptable for the clinical applications of the assay. The flour of buckwheat was analyzed for antigen content. An amount of 39.5 micrograms gliadin-like polypeptides/g flour was measured, which corresponds to 0.06% of the gliadin content in wheat flour.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      It simply means that most grains do not share the gliadin content of wheat.

      Non-wheat grains don’t have all the awful problems of modern wheat . . . but that does not necessarily make them benign. They are problems for other reasons.

  5. Barb March says:

    I am having a problem with loosing the weight. Been on it for 6 weeks and only lost 3 lbs. Feel good, no cravings but haven’t noticed any significant difference. First diet I was ever on and didn’t loose the first week or month. Any suggestions. Haven’t had any carbs, or diet soda. Maybe I am eating too many nuts???

  6. Barbara Parry says:

    Rick, I don’t have any advice for you regarding the Wheat Belly diet because I agree 100% with what you said.
    The advice I do have for you is keep on writing. You are a good writer and a natural humorist and I loved your article.

  7. zoesharona says:

    Hi everyone:

    I think the primary argument against wheat is that it has been so modified by our agri-business foes that it bears no relationship to its ancestor. I wonder if anyone has thought about European wheat. Or wheat that is grown in some other country that might still use old strains. I welcome any thoughts about this.

    Zoe