Am I too skinny?

LM posted this interesting dilemma:

I wonder if anyone has experienced TOO MUCH weight loss with the wheat free diet?

I have been eliminating obvious sources of wheat for roughly 4 months and have been steadily losing weight. By obvious, I mean that I don’t go out of my way to avoid things that contain trace amounts of wheat, soy sauce, or other sauces thickened with flour. I also don’t totally avoid beer, though I tend not to drink a lot of it. I have tested negative for celiac disease and don’t believe that I have a noticeable sensitivity to wheat.

In the first month or so, I started noticing a change of shape in the stomach, hips, rear, and thighs, as evidenced by my trousers becoming gradually baggier; but now the scale confirms that I’ve lost nearly 20 pounds, and I was not overweight to begin with. It was never my intent to lose weight, but I was initially happy with slimming effect of the new regimen. Now I’ve gone from being happy with the results to wondering if I should be concerned. I exercise and try to eat well, being mindful of minimizing carbohydrate intake/effects on blood sugar. I don’t think I have any other health issues going on. I also don’t think that I’m underweight for my height . . . yet, but am content with my present size and would like to stabilize here. A matter of practicality: Only about 2 pairs of pants still fit me and I’m reluctant to go shopping because I don’t know how much more I might shrink.

I look forward to comments or suggestions from anyone who has had a similar experience or just has some advice to impart.

First of all, let’s consider the broad perspective of LM’s dilemma: He is worried about losing too much weight . . . in the midst of the world’s worst epidemic of weight gain and obesity! There are literally tens of millions of people who would gladly experience this “problem.”

Remove the opiate appetite stimulant that derives from the gliadin protein of wheat and you lose this driver of incessant appetite and increased calorie intake. Appetite then reverts back to that required to provide sustenance: You eat what you require, nothing more, nothing less. Weight most frequently returns over time to your physiological ideal. It is not uncommon for people following this wheat-free lifestyle to plateau at a weight that was lower than anticipated.

However, there are issues to consider when the “Am I too skinny?” question arises:

Are you really too skinny?

Or are you normal but just look too skinny in a world of overweight and obese people? Take a look at an old movie from the 1950s, for instance, and notice that everyone is “skinny”–just like you. They are normal.

The Wheat Belly approach does not limit calories nor fat or protein.
If you feel you have lost too much weight, eat more avocados, more coconut oil, more fat on your meats or poultry, more raw nuts, etc.

Consider adding back muscle.
Weight loss is a combination of fat loss and muscle loss. If you lose, say, 30 pounds total weight, 10 pounds of that lost weight can be muscle. The muscle is easily regained through strength training.

So take comfort in the fact that, minus the appetite stimulant in modern wheat, you gravitate back towards a healthy weight. Modest adjustments in perception, diet, and exercise might be necessary, but you will not–provided you are eating real, single ingredient healthy foods–disappear into a dry pile of dust due to grain deprivation.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. My husband and I have been wheat free for quite some time (5-6 months) and my weight is fine and I feel so much better not eating the stuff. My husband is the other story. He’s not lost any weight, even gained a few pounds. We have occasional snacks and a few other “gluten-free” options from time to time, but not very often at all. He’s been eating more vegetables, fruit and has started eating more fish in an effort to lose weight. He’s very frustrated that he’s not been able to lose weight and I feel bad for him.

    • Alexis

      Emily,
      I’ve had that same issue… losing the wheat and feeling better but not losing the weight! It is extremely frustrating! I’ve started eliminating other things like peanuts and changing up the oils, etc. I’m adding different cardio exercise, along with some strength training, and trying to reduce my calorie intake. It seems to be helping because I’ve slowly started losing and it has taken some time! Tell him to stay strong and keep trying different things. He’ll find out what works.

      • Sula

        Hi Derp, I just read your go to link. These are all good points. I’d like to add what I’ve found out to this list.
        I have been a low carber off and on for years, and I lost a lot of weight the very first time I went on it. Then I went on a 6 week vacation to a country that it was hard to get the food I needed, most of the diet there was carb based… anyway, I came back home and tried numorous times to go back to low carb, but found it hard to get back on the wagon. But eventually I did. While I was getting back into the low carb life a nurse I work with lent me her copy of wheat belly, I read it in two days and it resonated with me immediately. I went wheat free cold turkey, altho it is not hard when you are doing low carb anyway. From Wheat belly I learned about Gary Taubes and that also fit like a puzzel piece and I went sugar free. That was about 8 months ago and I continue on the path. BUT I still have belly fat. I did lose some weight and I do feel better but I need to lose about 10 more pounds.
        I checked many things.Spent hours on the internet checking blogs and info. and websites and just asking questions and searching, searching.
        I produce a lot of Cortisol. Too much Cortisol and at the wrong time of day. It has made life hell. But I am now taking suppliments to suppress it and I am feeling MUCH better. But stiill have the belly fat.
        So, not so long ago I had blood in my mouth, No reason that I could think of. It was odd but I didnt think too much of it. About 1 week later I noticed a lump above one of my molars. I went to the dentist, she took x-rays and then told me an awful story. I had to have 2 teeth out right away, and I needed 6 more out soon or I stood a good chance of losing a lot more of them. I have a raging case of peridontal diesease! It has come on strong in a short period of time.
        So the reason I belive I am not, or havent lost the last 10 lbs is because the Cortisol has caused me to hang onto the belly fat, and now the infection in my mouth has done the same. The two things have made my body stay in survival mode.
        My teeth come out in about 2 weeks and since starting the supplements for Cortisol supprestion I sleep WAY better and my anxiety is all but gone.
        My advice for anybody unable to lose the weight on a low carb, wheat belly way of eatting is ask questions of your body and search relentlessly for the answers. They are out there.
        Thanks for reading, and I hope this helps anyone tring to lose the last few pounds.
        Sula

        • JillOz

          Sula,

          one of the overlooked issues is that stress/cortisol production also increase belly fat. Thanks for the reminder!!

        • Janet

          Quick, Sula, try Oil Pulling and see if you can make a change in your tooth disease before the removals. Google Oil Pulling. I have been doing this for about a month and have significant changes in my mouth health–I use organic coconut oil, about a tablespoon, let it melt in my mouth and swish it around. No gargling. Do not swallow. This pulls out bacteria, toxins and bad stuff. Spit out after 15-20 minutes into wastebasket and rinse with filtered water with a bit of salt. My mouth is fresher and less sensitive. I didn’t for a week on vacation and my mouth began to “stink” again, even eating fairly clean. Back on track. Since you have significant disease, do this a couple times a day. I know this sounds weird, but it is a treatment that is very old. Just google and read about it. Your teeth will feel great. Mine are whiter. Good luck.

          • Neicee

            Janet’s right. I’ve used cold pressed coconut oil for a number of years. I don’t even for oil pulling. I simply brush, rinse, then put a 1/2 tsp. in my mouth to melt. It helps. About two weeks ago I believe I cracked a tooth by eating a handful of almonds. I can’t go see the dentist until I get the OK from my newly assigned and dreaded endo. Since a DEXA scan showed T-3.50 and it appears I have hyperparathyroidism the high amts. of calcium is leeching from the bone…..course my family is convinced it’s because I don’t eat wheat!! But, a swelling next to the tooth virtually disappeared after using it. Hyperparatyroidism takes way longer than a couple of years to develop. But it also turns out wheat free and grain free is the very diet most of the major hospitals are recommending now. Good luck Sula with your teeth. It’s an uphill battle when it comes to your teeth.

        • Sula

          OMG! Thank you all, will get on the oil thingy NOW, and will postpone my tooth pulling for awhile. I can not believe this blog. All the help and friendlyness of people helping one another.
          Thank you Thank you!
          I will keep you posted as to what happens

    • Vir-Gena Fowlkes

      My husband is having the same problem with the weight loss. He feels so much better being wheat free and many of his other issues have cleared up, but that scale just wont budge. At the beginning of February, I attended a conference and heard Jimmy Moore talk about Nutritional Ketosis. He spoke of the importance of fat in a persons diet and how it helped him shed more weight. A little more research on the subject and we’ll give it a try.
      http://www.carbsmart.com/fatfast.html

    • Sheen

      My husband has the same problem, he is 25-30 lb overweight and has lost barely 2lbs after 2 months. It could be thyroid and he is going to try and get that checked out. But I realized that he is on Crestor, a cholesterol lowering drug even though his cholesterol was not high. But because of family history of heart disease, his cardiologist put him on this drug.

      From what I read, its very possible this drug is preventing him from losing belly fat, thereby increasing the risk of the very disease it seeks to prevent. Does that make sense to anyone?

      My husband is not very open to my suggestions to question his doctor and even then I’m afraid the medical community can be very misguided as Dr Davis has pointed out numerous times. So i just sit here and worry…….. This is seriously what is keeping me up at night.

      • stephen ottridge

        When was the last time his cholesterol was measured? You don’t just take Crestor because family members had heart didease. Measure cholesterol now. I was on Crestor 10 years ago, had a huge nerve problem and stopped taking Crestor. Now largely wheat free my cholesterol is quite normal. In fact my doctor is quite astounded with my weight loss, normal cholesterol, A1C below 6 and reduced my insulin to 6 units a day down from 8 which was down from 24 back last September.

        • Sheen

          Stephen, that’s exactly what I’m saying, he has been put on Crestor even though his cholestrol (checked annually) was not high. But as a precaution, the doctor wants it to be lower since the disease is so rampant in his family. I never knew enough to even question it but now armed with the education through wheat belly I find that bizarre.

          Now that I realize this drug is preventing him from the much needed weight loss and big belly loss I am even more concerned.

          My husband is a reluctant participant in my wheat belly lifestyle so is not open to my new found knowledge at all, specially since he is not losing weight. He does not even think of questioning his cardiologist. What would you suggest I do? Very worried.

          • Boundless

            > … been put on Crestor even though his cholestrol

            Perhaps Dr. D. can weigh in on this. Does Crestor actually work, or does it just artificially inflate one metric of lipids, without in fact reducing the problem-causing small LDL particles?

            > (checked annually) was not high.

            What measure? If the small particles are being calculated, and aren’t being explicitly measured, the net knowledge is zero. Chances are the only thing being measured is what makes Crestor pretend to be effective.

            And even if there were cause for intervention, WB is probably far more effective than any med.

          • Dr. Davis

            SO many issues here.

            Let me distill this down to say that, if there are genetic risks for heart disease in your husband’s family, why not try to identify the genetic markers that confer risk, such as lipoprotein(a), familial combined hyperlipidemia, apo E4, evidence of CETP variants, etc. In other words, the notion that all paths lead to statin drugs is an absurd notion, albeit a widely followed one.

            What your husband desperately needs is a smarter, better informed doctor, one who understands the causation of coronary disease and not the winks and grins of the sexy statin sales reps.

            The Crestor is likely not a substantial block of weight loss. Thyroid is indeed a good idea, but it sounds like his doctor will likewise bungle this up, too. Also, see this blog post:http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2012/10/i-lost-the-wheat-but-didnt-lose-weight-2/

          • Sheen

            Thank you for the reply Dr Davis, I am reassured to know that the likely cause is Thyroid and not Crestor as he is willing to get a thyroid test done.

            I am just hoping that by continuing to eat this way, his blood work will show enough improvement by the time his next check up to convince him and his doctor that drugs are not needed.

            Your book has awakened such a thirst in me for the’truth’ for which I can only thank you!

  2. Veronica

    I had (have) this same problem. But when I started, I was about 15 lbs over weight. I lost 20 lbs almost effortlessly and really started to worry that something else was wrong. I went to a doctor and all his well. He was excited about this working for me and recommended I stick with it. I STILL worried. So I added the wheat back in to see if that was really it. I immediately felt awful, bloated and gained a couple lbs in a week or so.

  3. Lynda Johnston

    I am a Wheat Belly diet follower and am having good results – I feel well and am losing some weight.

    As I’m approaching 60, I’ve been thinking about staying physically strong, so I picked up the book “Get Stronger, Feel Younger” at my local library. I was shocked to find out that the average adult loses 5 – 7 lbs of muscle tissue every decade and that if regular strength training is not part of my weekly schedule, I’ll lose approx ½ lb of muscle tissue each year, even if I was a runner/aerobic exerciser, which I’m not. Running, walking cycling etc burn calories while being performed but after quickly returns to your resting level of energy (no longer burning calories at a high rate). And it’s not building muscle, so basically my resting metabolic rate would remain the same. Oh, and 35 miles of running will lose 1 lb.

    When dieting, metabolism slows and as a result, calories get stored as unhealthy fat, which explains why dieting on it’s own doesn’t work in the long term. Here’s a direct quote from the book: “The average woman gains 10 lbs/decade so by age 50, the average woman has added 30 lbs and changed her body composition by 60 lbs (45 lbs more fat and 15 lbs less muscle) and almost 47% fat. This is extremely unhealthy and increases risk of numerous diseases – diabetes, stroke, heart problems, osteoporosis, arthritis, back pain and some types of cancer.”
    So my thinking is, continue with my eating plan of being wheat free (lots of veggies etc) and do strength exercises. Even 20 minutes, twice a week will do it. I think this makes sense.

    Thoughts?

    • Mary

      Hi Lynda,
      I recommend this book which I found at my local library:
      Power of 10: The Once a Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution by Adam Zickerman.
      It is a once-a-week 20 minute weightlifting routine that truly builds muscle. I have used this method for over a year and am the strongest I have ever been. I am 45 and started doing this routine after realizing that all the miles I’d walked weren’t really doing the trick. I was pre-diabetic and tired. I used to walk about 20 miles a week with a friend but when my work schedule changed I had to stop. And then I started looking for ways to improve my health and stop the diabetes. Wheat Belly helped me so much in this regard. Power of 10 is awesome as well: Efficient exercise with real results.

      • PamLP

        Thank you for this recommendation! I just read a lot of the reviews on Amazon.com for Power of 10… and it looks like it’ll be my next attempt at strength training at home!

    • janet

      I will be 65. I always tended toward ‘chronic cardio” but have taken it easy the last few years. Good thing I quit jogging about 20 years ago, as I would probably be having knee replacements by now! I did little exercise as I started Wheat Belly December 2011 and transitioned into Paleo/Primal. I have been diagnosed with osteopenia but since my gyn Dr. knows what I am doing, she is totally on board. Said I could stop the hormone I was taking for the osteopenia and said let’s wait until my 2 year DEXA scan in October and see what is going on. She believes I am doing the correct plan for my bones by my nutrition. For exercise I walk and I do some intensity interval training. I run up and down my basement stairs. This may not work for everyone, but it works for me–I brought down my resting heart rate from 72 to 60 in less than 3 months. I change out the times and intensities i e one 12 session work out may be 6 sessions of 2 minutes each getting my heart rate up to my ages’ maximum (156 or above). The next 12 sessions may be 4 min, 3 then 2 then 1, going flat out with resting in between. Changing all the time is better for the heart. I love it. I have only done that 2 or 3 times a week. Now I am adding some dumbbell workouts I can do at home. In about a month, I already feel stronger and leaner in my waist area. I don’t get too worked up about all the pumping the younger folks talk about–I am a 64 YO woman–I don’t need to do that. I may start a blog soon aimed at seniors. how about Janet from the Senior Paleo Planet? Stay tuned. I saw the crap they plopped on my mom’s plate at her nursing home, and I will do anything to save myself from that.

  4. I have been grain free and legume (beans) free for about 5 months. My diet was very good before doing this although I did eat bread (never pasta or junk foods). I have also gained a 2lbs. However my body looks leaner since I no longer have any bloating or puffiness at all. So I am not unhappy. I feel marvellous and would not go back to a diet with grains and high carbs. Another plus is that the dental hygienist who I see twice a year commented that I have obviously been paying extra attention to brushing my teeth since they were in superb condition. Not so at all; I have simply followed the advice of “no wheat, no high carb foods”. Thanks to Dr. William Davis for his amazing Wheat Belly book.

  5. Denise

    I have been beginning to wonder if I’m eating too much protein. Too much protein is stored as fat. I never really considered this, and only focused on calorie intake and significantly reducing wheat consumption. Way back when, I tried Atkins, and the same thing, I gained weight. I think for MY body, unlimited amounts of protein doesn’t work. I’m going to pay more attention to not going over my daily allotment of protein and see how that goes.

      • JillOz

        Me too, I think. But it’s so delicious!!

        I am finding with taking probiotics it’s actually easier to control portins( wel,, ot quite yet.) The sensation mof being full or hungry is more pronounced as I keep taking them. I am very pleased with this, as my sugar cravings have slightly lessened. Physically more than psychologically, but I’ll keep going!!

        • allison

          However, if I eat my protein with lots of fats, for example, regular ground beef instead of lean, it tastes even better, and I don’t have the excessive protein issue.

    • Boundless

      > I think for MY body, unlimited amounts of protein doesn’t work.

      Don’t assume it’s just you. I’ve previously conjectured that there may be such as thing as too much protein, but there’s been no real discussion of the issue in the WB context that I know of.

      Note that in the base post here, what Dr. Davis suggests eating more of are all fats, or adding more fat to your protein.

      Protein can be metabolised to glucose. I suspect that if we consume “too much” of it, relative to fats, we’ll be biasing our metabolisms back toward moderate to high glycemic, with all the side effects that brings (not the least of which is weight gain).

      We already have a number for carb consumption (50 net grams daily, 15 per 6-hour period). We may not need a number for fats, but we may need a number for protein.

      • Neicee

        I find the longer I’m following this, the less protein I eat. I used to be able to pound down an 8-10 oz. prime rib, along with a baked potato, an assortment of either salad or veggies plus sour dough bread….I now bring home most of the meat, no potatoe or bread, but have a lovely selection of veggies to eat as leftovers. Now, the obligatory eggs in the morning may be supplying the protein I need? My oil/fat consumption has increased though.

      • JillOz

        Very interesting Boundless.

        I supect it’s a areaction to the damage wheat does to the gut, though.

        You feel hungry and hungrier, but the adjustment comes with time, probiotics and no doubt other suitable vitamins that bring the body back to where it should be.

      • Sula

        I am amazed at how much less of everything I eat now. I have increased my fat intake. But overall, in a regular day I eat maybe 1/3 of the volume of food that I used to eat on a regular diet. AND I am not hungry! It never ceases to amaze me. We were all eating tons, but starving.

  6. allison

    I would say if LM still feels wonderful and has a generally healthy complexion, hair, nails, etc, then there is no problem. Eat to your appetites content, and like you said Dr. Davis, things will even out. I’d love to have that problem too.

    • Nimbrethil

      For the record, the whole “I’d love to have that problem,” in regards to being underweight, is problematic. There ARE underweight people in the world who struggle to maintain a healthy weight, and I’ve spoken with quite a few, thanks to blogs devoted to body issues that include underweight folks as well, and lemme tell you, most of them REALLY hate it when people make that statement in their presence, as if being underweight is a good thing. It’s offensive and ignorant. Not to mention the implications it has for people with eating disorders who actually believe that being anorexic is a good thing.

      Just…think about what you say, please. Statements like “I’d love to have that problem!” serve only to dismiss the fact that being underweight actually IS a serious problem for some people.

      • allison

        No offense was intended, it’s just a plain old innocent comment.
        I am a bit overweight can easily gain weight, and don’t want to, and have troubles losing it. Should I take offense to this whole article of him wishing he could have my problem and gain some weight? It works both ways.

        • Nimbrethil

          The whole article ISN’T about wishing he could have other people’s problem, though. It doesn’t work both ways because there is _no_ equivalency. People DON’T go around saying they wish they had that problem in regards to gaining weight, but people DO have a tendency to cheerfully dismiss someone’s lack of ability to gain a healthy weight with “Oh, gee, I wish I had that problem!”
          It’s rude and dismissive because it’s a snide way of insinuating that it’s not a real problem and not something to be unhappy about. It is NOt an innocent comment; even if there is nothing consciously meant by it it, it still carries a host of implications about your attitude toward someone who struggles to gain enough weight to be healthy.

          Instead of playing the “Oh, should _I_ be offended by X, then!” card, why don’t you actually bother thinking about how dismissive the whole attitude is?

          • allison

            I agree. Nimbrethil, stop reading too much into people’s comments. All your comments on this post have been all about how offensive people are, including Dr Davis and the base of this entire post. This blog is all about people helping other people, not picking apart comments letter by letter. Go ahead and pick this response apart too if you want. I am not going to waste time on you anymore.

  7. Jana

    It may be that LM has a small frame and is naturally slim, so would be very light on the scale. There’s nothing wrong with that. Having a solid excercise routine with muscle building will add some weight and definition.

  8. Paula2

    There are some yummy sounding and looking WB custard ice cream recipes out there, start eating!!! :)

  9. Soul

    That is something I’ve found with eating wheat/grain free – it has never been easier to loose weight eating this way, and conversely it has never been easier to gain muscle. Despite having a GI condition, and often low in energy, I’m amazed at how easy it has been to gain muscle the last few years. I’m about afraid to join a gym this summer, as I’m liable to put on 10 or more lbs of muscle mass!

  10. Mary

    It isn’t fair but here it is: People are different, each with a sort of pre-set carb tolerance. I have observed this personally. My husband has lost 40 pounds on a fairly moderate diet. No problem. He reduced his wheat intake, along with other carbs to a moderate extent and the weight fell off. No exercise other than typical yard work. For me, I have to go Atkins Induction to see any real weight loss. It happens but only if I am very vigilant. Even wheat-free, I have to constantly battle the carbs. It’s frustrating but there it is. I ate a delicious coconut cream pie for Easter, with plenty of help from my family. They don’t gain at all but I’m paying for it now. I weight train and keep active, eat my vegies, and try to keep it real. But it is work. My husband just has a skinny thought and next thing you know he’s got to buy smaller clothes. Oy!

  11. Liza

    Over the past year I have lost about 20-25 lbs. Each time I see my mom she tells me I am too skinny and asks if I am healthy
    . I tell her that I am normal and that everyone else is too fat. The new normal is just too fat. I feel great, my energy is good and I feel like this low-carb wheat free way of eating just makes sense to me. I want to tell the world but people only listen if they are ready to hear it. I really enjoy the wheat belly page and all the comments.

    • Sheen

      Haahaa Liza, your mom sounds like my mom. I’ve lost barely 5lb and she is saying the same to me and I have a hard time explaining to her how healthy I feel and how good my diet is and how satisfied I feel after a meal instead of my constant hunger before.

      I also want to tell everyone about this but most people aren’t ready for it… specially the part about eating MORE (healthy) fats including saturated fats.

  12. gavrilo

    While losing weight with wheat belly’s guidelines (up to 15 grams of carbs per meal), I’ve also lost appetite.

    Should I be concerned that I’m not getting enough protein? Should I also count protein grams? How many?

    • Nimbrethil

      You seem to be asking if the loss of appetite is an indicator of not getting enough protein. If this is the case, I’d say no, if you weren’t getting enough protein, you’d definitely feel hunger.

      But if you’re not actually feeling ill or sluggish, then there’s no reason to be afraid of not getting enough of something. Your body will generally tell you if there’s an issue, and you haven’t suggested that you’re feeling sick or lethargic or anything.

      Really, your comment doesn’t provide a whole lot of information. You can’t really expect people to answer a question without knowing what, if any, problems you’re having?

      Finally, loss of appetite is actually something mentioned in the Wheat Belly book. If you’re eating regular meals at roughly the same time, it’s quite possible your body isn’t ever having a chance to feel hungry, as it were. There’s evidence that wheat itself is an appetite stimulant, to the extent that even with constant, regular eating, you’re always hungry, always reaching for the next bit of wheat. Striking this from your diet seems to return your body to a more natural, healthy state, so that you only actually have an appetite when your body actually _needs_ food, and not because a toxic substance is causing an addiction-like response.

  13. Mtnmama

    It’s hard to judge what’s too thin without knowing the overall diet. One can be wheat-free and be eating a diet that is insufficient… For example little more than meat and cheese. As long as the diet is nutrient-rich and varied, and contains sufficient fat and eaten til sated, weight should stabalize. As others have mentioned, a little strength-building exercise is also good to avoid wasting. Some people need more carbs than others, especially to fuel exercise (including that of the brain). Good carbs shouldn’t be avoided. I find Practical Paleo to be a great companion to WB.

  14. Pat

    I’ve always been skinny as is my whole family, 5’11″ at 166lbs. I read WB and adopted it to be healthier and to prevent heart disease. I lost 5 lbs in about 6 weeks, which I certainly didn’t want to. Most my belly fat is gone though, and I’m now sitting at 22% body fat being 43 years old. My regular heartburn is gone too. Doing strength training 3 times a week I gained 5 lbs of muscle in 2 months.
    I got my mom into the WB diet, and she’s lost about 10 lbs… she’s now 100lbs but she’s petite, maybe 5’2″. Her total cholesterol dropped from 315 to 140 in two months and she stopped her statins, despite her doctor’s recommendation. Everybody is telling her how thin she is and she’s worried about it. My advice to her is to start doing yoga and taking daily walks so she stops losing muscle mass.

  15. Marci P

    I have had the same problem. I started going gluten free due to severe joint pain (which is now 90% gone- I no longer take advil morning, noon and night!). I was 5’8″ and 141 lbs. I have lost almost 20 lbs and am currently 123 lbs. I am not exercising currently (although I am a runner). I have had so many people comment on how “skinny” I am and I am starting to worry that I am losing too much weight! My pants don’t fit very well (and now I’m having to go out and buy all new pants!) however I am eating until I am full. I go see my doctor tomorrow for an unrelated issue so it will be interesting to see what she thinks!

    • conrack

      One word: SPANDEX! Sweats would work too and are already all the rage among the ‘dress down’ & ‘low class’ folks, you’d blend right in with the crowd at WalMart.

  16. Marie

    I’ve been on WB about 8 mths and am a petite female, 5′ 1″. I lost maybe 12 lbs and am now 105. Here is MY negative side effect: even though I’ve never really been overweight, I’ve always had a bit of extra neck fat, almost like a double chin when looking down, and now, to my great, great horror, my skin is sagging under my chin. The rest of me looks great, but my neck adds about 20 yrs to me (age 50). I plan to continue WB, but this is not good for my self esteem!

    • Dr. Davis

      Gee, Marie: This sounds like the expected effects of aging, rather than an effect specific to wheat elimination.

      • Marie

        Not saying it’s due to the wheat elimination, but weight loss, as it greatly worsened as soon as I lost the weight!

        • cndnrose

          Maybe try and relax for a bit,, give your body time to adjust and recover. Your skin was in that shape for many years, it might just need a bit more time to firm up. If it continues to sag and it distresses you, there are cosmetic procedures of varying degrees of invasiveness to try. Good luck, and congratulations on your improved health!

          • Marie

            I hope you’re right! I am looking into what I can do cosmetically, but of course my biggest concern is the expense. Thanks for your kind words.

  17. Brian

    I have been wheat free for 2 months and have dropped 20 pounds. The most notable result of the wheat freedom is no more bloating and a great feeling of fullness at meals.

  18. Nimbrethil

    I’ve known enough underweight people who actually DO struggle to gain weight that I’m not about to go asking stupid questions like “Are you REALLY too skinny?” Yes, we live in a society with epidemic levels of obesity. That does NOT mean it’s anyone’s place to go asking an individual whether their self-assessment is valid. Especially not when you’ve never actually been able to evaluate them in person.

    Personally, much as I respect Dr. Davis, I’m hugely disappointed that he is asking this question without the obvious and crucial bit of information missing from this story: age, height, skeletal-muscular frame, etc. There is no possible way for anyone to assess whether this person is underweight or not without that.

    • JillOz

      Love you, Dr D, but i had the same response.

      You didn’t ask/get enough detail from the OP to know what he meant by ‘too skinny”.

    • I agree. ALso, he is presuming that eating more fats will make him gain weight. when the whole premise of the science right now indicates that its not fats that make you fat, its the carbs. So suggesting he eats more overall..great..suggesting he eats more nuts and avo… um no.

      I think the weight training recommendation is the best thing he said.

      everything else came off dismissive.

  19. Hi Bill!
    Actually I tell all my athletes NOT to put too much faith in the scale because when they ditch the wheat and most other concentrated forms of carbohydrates and add in the fat (moderate protein) athletes actually GAIN lean body mass…..I am seeing some DEXASCAN numbers come in and it is really impressive how BIG the fat/water loss is and the net gain in lean muscle mass…. This turns heads….so, if done right, one does NOT lose muscle mass….just fat & water weight.

    • Dr. Davis

      Interesting twist, Peter!

      You mean you see preservation of muscle mass if the diet is accompanied by strength-training efforts during the weight loss? If that is the case, yes, I see that, too.

      • Brian

        Even without resistance training (something I believe strongly in), studies have shown that low carb diets (and thus low glycemic) preserve muscle much better during weight loss than high carb/low fat. I gave a presentation related to this a couple weeks ago.

      • Hi Bill

        Not just preservation…..actually GAINS in lean body mass! Am seeing this consistently with the athletes I am working with but now that a couple are getting DEXA Scans the numbers are consistent with what I have been seeing for the past 3 years when athletes dump the wheat and the other concentrated carbs sources but, as you know, Wheat is by far the worst violator.
        The numbers don’t lie….here is something people can see online of someone who is not an elite endurance athlete who did some resistance training with the diet: http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/november-2012-dxa-scan-results-after-6-months-on-nutritional-ketosis/16626
        In athletes I work with we are seeing 1-4 pounds of lean body mass gain but these are well-conditioned, not overweight individuals to start with….the change in body composition is amazing though even in well conditioned athletes…..

  20. Amanda

    I’m totally confused, why did LM go off the wheat?, he does not seem to have had any improvent in health since he is still eating lots of gluten in sauces, beer,etc. And in the other hand he was not overweight?

    • Nimbrethil

      You’re putting words in the story writer’s mouth. That they didn’t make the decision to go so totally wheat free that they’re watching labels and avoiding anything with wheat in it at all doesn’t mean that they’re still eating “lots” of gluten, and there’s no reason to assume they still are since by their own words they started losing significant amounts of weight.

      Many people “try” going off wheat just to see what might happen, without having the motivation to lose weight, it’s hardly unusual. It’s also true that many people go wheat-free in the sense of avoiding bread, pasta, etc. without also avoiding soy sauce or, say, licorice, and while still experiencing significant benefit. I’m someone who does go out her way to avoid gluten at any cost, but several people whom I’ve convinced to go wheat-free are not bothering with reading labels that closely, yet still are experiencing considerable benefit; it appears that trace amounts of gluten really aren’t too much of a problem for people who don’t have celiac and are otherwise quite conscientious about what they eat.

      • Boundless

        > … it appears that trace amounts of gluten really aren’t too much
        > of a problem for people who don’t have celiac and are otherwise
        > quite conscientious about what they eat.

        Not really. Another 5% of the population are just as reactive to “gluten” as celiacs, but don’t have the genetic marker. Even Big Grain admits this. Such individuals need to avoid both hidden wheat and trace amounts.

        The rest of us may not react immediately to minimal encounters, but unless we are also consistently low carb, we court any number of longer term ailments, all unnecessary.

  21. Alice

    I have been doing very well as a vegetarian who has been avoiding wheat for almost a year. I have lost fifty pounds. However I got awakened this past Sunday morning by a 7mm kidney stone for which I was hospitalized. I am home, I have not passed the stone, and I am told that I will be receiving advice on my diet when I finally get to see a urologist in three weeks. This is not a situation I would wish on anyone and I just don’t know yet if any aspect of my diet is to blame.

    • JillOz

      HI Alice,

      sometimes there are other conditions that, whether we eat wheat or not, affect our body. :(
      Or there could be leftover effects from the time you did eat wheat eat that resulted in a kidney stone.

      Just speculating.

    • Ardie

      Hi Alice,

      I sympathize! I, too, am a vegetarian–well, actually a pescetarian, have been on the Wheat Belly diet for almost a year and a half, and overall have been doing well on it. To my astonishment, I recently suffered a kidney stone, and you are right–it was a horrible experience, one I hope to never repeat. I hope your stone has now passed and that you are feeling better. They will analyze it to see what it’s made of, which will provide clues as to the cause, which may or may not be diet-related. Mine was a calcium oxalate stone, the most common type. This means I need to eat a diet lower in oxalates and drink a lot more water.

      Here’s what I think caused my stone: Because I am naturally very thin (under 90 pounds, but only 5’1″), once I went on the Wheat Belly diet, I started to consume huge amounts of nuts in order to avoid losing weight. I love nuts, so I was in heaven. I was also drinking plenty of fluids–mostly in the form of unflavored fizzy water made with our Soda Stream machine, and very little plain water. Now I find out that nuts are very high in oxalates AND that carbonated water may be implicated in kidney stone formation. As you can imagine, I pretty much stopped drinking fizzy water, increased the regular water, and cut way back on the nuts. I am fighting not to lose weight, though. My husband has been on the WB diet as long as I have, needed to lose about 35 pounds, and after an initial 15-pound loss doesn’t seem to be able to lose a single pound more. What is he doing wrong?

    • Dr. Davis

      Given the many years required to form kidney stones, I would blame the years of diet, not the recent change, Alice.

      Nonetheless, it is worth discussing this with an informed nephrologist or kidney stone expert, based on the composition of your stones.

      • derp

        Do you have any pointers on the effects of wheat on kidney function? I know that insulin works like a functional aldosterone agonist, retaining sodium (/ excreting potassium) and therefore water and increasing the intravasal volume (in addition to inducing vasoconstriction in insulin-resistant patients), and that insulin also inhibits excretion of uric acid. But I haven’t found anything regarding calcium and other renally regulated substances.

  22. Sharon Pinilla

    It’s interesting that we feel we could be too skinny…but I think it is because we have forgotten what healthy people look like…I showed my children a holiday video from 1988 and the first thing they said was “Wow weren’t people slimmer then”. When I look around today even in advertising we are using larger people, so we start to think that is the normal…yes there are people who are quite thin for whatever reason and can’t seem to put on weight…being thin (and it also depends on our perception of this) doesn’t mean you are healthy either. As so many seem to miss the point…that the benefit of being wheat free is what is or or isn’t going on inside our bodies. What is making us sicker no matter what our size…but let’s not fool ourselves either…being overweight is never a good thing for our bodies…inside and out!

    • Darlene

      So true; one does not need to be obese or have major health issues to benefit from being wheat-free!

      • Sheen

        So true! We have no idea what’s going on inside even seemingly healthy, slim bodies.

        Also, if you are able to measure Body Fat, that’s a way better measure than weight. I might look slim but my body fat is fairly high despite working out and staying active. Gifts of a carb rich diet!

        So if quitting wheat and grains makes it effortless to lose body fat and get healthier almost effortlessly while gorging on delicious whole foods, that’s enough of a reason for me! Don’t need to be overweight or gluten sensitive.

        2 months into it, I also feel happier……. a mildly elated feeling. Anyone else feel that?

        • Elaine

          Yes, have been wheat free and off and on the rice since second week of January – have lost 14 lbs. and sleep better, no sinus problems and am much calmer too. Now I am STUDYING the Wheat Belly book on my second rereading so it really sinks in!! The Wheat Belly Cookbook is a treasure and have been on the soap box about the WB with friends. Have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow and want to compare numbers even though a non-fasting test would shoot those numbers. I am going to request that I be taken off statins. Let’s see what he says!

  23. Geoffrey

    I have struggled a bit with the same question. I have been totally off all wheat and sugar products now for over 3 months. I eat meats/poultry, eggs, veggies, nuts, and some fruits. I am 45 and 5’10″ and for years my weight hovered around 165, which felt okay. I have never been any heavier than that but when I was more fit and was a serious athlete, I had been done around 153. Now I’m around 140 lbs, which feels really light, however, I have not lost any muscle, and from the looks of things I have actually gained muscle while losing fat. Body fat percentage on my scale comes in anywhere between 3 and 5%. I walk about 3-4 miles per day and do a simple low weight free-weight exercise routine 1-2 x per week. To be honest, I hardly recognize my body. And not because it’s too skinny but because of its muscular definition without much hardcore exercise. So on this diet, I appear to have lost no muscle, may have gained it, and have lost the fat. My waist size keeps dropping. I have been a 32 for years and now my new 30 in. waist pants I bought two months ago are too baggy in the waist. I may need a 28 or 29 in. waist pant.

    I didn’t do this diet for weight loss, but chonic IBS related symptoms, which have all disappeared. It has made me nervous to have my weight this low, but I am getting used to it and accepting it as normal. I’d rather not go any lower, but I don’t know. I know I eat well and my body is going through changes, and I just need to let it settle in where it wants/needs to settle. I know I won’t keep dropping indefinitely, and I’m not sure if this is the stopping point. I also get comments from others that can produce anxiety about my skinniness, which always has the underlying question about are you healthy. So I do feel self concsious at times, especially what it means to look like me in a world full of fat people.

  24. Sara Fournier

    Dr. Davis,
    Dr. Davis,

    Your BASIC BREAD– I must be doing something wrong with the recipe bc the bread I made was inedible! It really tasted THAT bad. Any tips for the bread? I know it’s not going to taste the same or even bake the same but there has to be something I’m doing wrong for it to taste that bad.

    Is it ok to buy EINKORN WHEAT flour and bake bread that way? Or is it still not a good idea?

    Is it ok to buy jelly that has white grape jiuce concentrate? There is no added sugar in the ingredients but I’m afraid that the sugar lies within the juice concentrate. What are your thoughts?

    Thanks for your help. LOVING being wheat free. Thank you!!!!!!!!
    (I’m new to this blog thing even though blogs have been around for forever. How can I post a question other than what I’m doing right now? I don’t see a place on your website to be able to ask a question.)

    Sara Fournier

      • Sara Fournier

        Dr. Davis,

        I’m not seeing the discussion on the bread in this particular blog…?

        Thanks,
        Sara Fournier

        • Boundless

          > I’m not seeing the discussion on the bread in this particular blog…?

          For example:
          http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2011/12/upper-crust/

          Heirloom wheats (assuming they really are, a serious question), are an expensive distraction on the road to low-carb grain-free. They contain gluten (some more than modern wheat). They are high glycemic. They may or may not contain the other toxic threats of modern wheat. If you consume ancients at the same caloric rate as moderns, you can expect health issue to improve only mildly.

      • Sara Fournier

        Can you recommend a company that makes a WB approved jelly/jam that doesn’t use artificial sweeteners? I looked at Walden Farms (suggested in your cookbook for syrup) but they use Splenda :(

        Thanks,
        Sara F

        • Boundless

          > Can you recommend a company that makes a WB approved
          > jelly/jam that doesn’t use artificial sweeteners?

          I would take a look at http://www.natureshollow.com
          We use their fake maple syrup. We haven’t tried the jams, but the NF panels look surprisingly reasonable, carb-wise. NH products are offered by some Amazon sellers, and are carried by Natural Grocers (formerly Vitamin Cottage).

    • Sara,
      Have you tried the herbed focaccia? We love it and sometimes make it without the olives and sun-dried tomatoes…..then use it with a variety of spreads and/or as an open faced sandwich. I’m anxious to try it with caraway seeds or maybe with Parmesan cheese on top…..lots of possibilities with this recipe. We took the flaxseed crackers to a small gathering and someone asked me where I bought them! Of course, that caused an engaging Wheatbelly conversation and maybe some converts!

  25. Lily Rose

    18 pounds lost, down to 115, 5’4″, 70 years old….elimination diet for 30 days 10/1/12, then minimal wheat, sugar, no alcohol. Lots of vegies and fruit, brown rice, quinoa, a little fish and chicken. Feel light and very well. Will keep weight below 120, but looks kinda skinny for an old lady. No worries, I think it is a good thing as long as we eat enough nourishing food and ample fat and protein, and get enough fresh air and exercise.

  26. Darlene

    Dr Davis, you always begin your articles with “so and so posted” etc etc. WHERE, exactly, are these being posted?

    • Boundless

      They are originally posted as Replies on existing threads. Sometimes they can be found, 24-48 hours later, using an external search engine restricted to site:wheatbellyblog.com

      • Darlene

        Thanks for the info. Are you an assistant to Dr. Dr? I frequently see your replies on the blog, just wondering.

        • Boundless

          > Are you an assistant to Dr. Dr?
          > I frequently see your replies on the blog, just wondering.

          Nope. I’m just an ordinary blog reader like you, although somewhat more active. I tend to contribute what I can to forums and blogs from which I get value. I’ve been visiting here since shortly after the original book was published, and noticed that whatever blogware this is seems to be horribly inefficient, and is probably wasting a lot of the Doc’s valuable time. If I see something I can answer, I answer it.

          What I know about how the blog works is entirely based on type-and-observe. Search is such a problem, for example, that I keep folders of bookmarks for everything I’ve ever posted here.

          I’m expecting it some point that Dr. D. will stand up a real forum, with real search (and a wiki would be nice). Perhaps then the common questions will have single-source easy-to-find answers. Perhaps then we can build a knowledgebase on all the food/ingredient items that arise as issues.> Are you an assistant to Dr. Dr?
          > I frequently see your replies on the blog, just wondering.

          Nope. I’m just an ordinary blog reader like you, although somewhat more active. I tend to contribute what I can to forums and blogs from which I get value. I’ve been visiting here since shortly after the original book was published, and noticed that whatever blogware this is seems to be horribly inefficient, and is probably wasting a lot of the Doc’s valuable time. If I see something I can answer, I answer it.

          What I know about how the blog works is entirely based on type-and-observe. Search is such a problem, for example, that I keep folders of bookmarks for everything I’ve ever posted here.

          I’m expecting it some point that Dr. D. will stand up a real forum, with real search (and a wiki would be nice). Perhaps then the common questions will have single-source easy-to-find answers. Perhaps then we can build a knowledgebase on all the food/ingredient items that arise as issues.

          • Dr. Davis

            Yes, Boundless is a gem and fountain of wheat-free wisdom, and a gentleman to boot!

            Such changes to the blog/website are indeed in the works. What started as just a blog to accompany a book launch has exploded into a resource to serve a booming worldwide movement. A great problem to have!

  27. Rebecca

    Hey Sara,
    I have added spices to bread to change the taste and experimented with flours. I cut out chickpea in my last batch used walnuts ground into flour and used food processor to cut up garlic to add into bread. I found by adding the walnut flour it was a more whole wheat tasting bread, the garlic spiced it up my husband went mad for it. I have also used nutmeg and allspice to make sweeter French toast bread types and dill and onion to make more home cooking meal breads . I would suggest play around with flour types and amounts make different styles I am sure you will find something you like.

  28. Darlene

    Dr. Davis, while on the subject of “am I too skinny”, I’d like to ask you, is there any pattern to what part of your body loses weight? Or is it always anyone’s guess? I’ve lost weight from my fingers, face, butt, and some stomach bloat, but still have some menopausal fat in my midsection. That seems strange to me, as I didn’t really need to lose it in the other places,( except for the stomach bloat). I had thought maybe “last on, first to come off”, but I guess not? Thanks for any feedback.

    • Dr. Davis

      It may mean that, despite the weight loss, you may still have excessive tendency to provoke insulin.

      This might be due to a dairy effect or just to greater-than-most sensitivity to carbohydrates, all of which contribute to excessive insulin provocation.

    • derp

      I guess you are referring to that last little stubborn fat inside your belly. I know it, it bugs me too – it’s maybe less than 5 pounds, but looks and feels awful. My plans are to use Dr. Kruses “leptin reset protocol” and see how it works out. And try to keep the other evil offenders of metabolic regulation out of your diet: vegetable oils, trans-fats, BPA.

  29. Mary

    Hello Dr Davis;
    I started eliminating wheat last Sept and have so far lost almost 20 pounds (was 124 lb) without having breathe hard and feel energetic and emotionally steady. I’m 5 ft, and reasonably fit and strong. I am currently eating “primal/paleo” except without eggs or dairy due to allergies.

    My cholesterol ratio (?) last Sept was 5.99 and was told to make some dietary changes. I’ve had high readings in the past and stress seems to be a factor as I ate better than most already. My blood test last week came back with a ratio of 6.96 and I’m pretty sure my Dr will want me to start taking a statin.

    I don’t want to take drugs and I question whether my continued weight (fat) loss from eliminating wheat could be a reason my readings are high? Any insights you have would be appreciated!

    Thanks so much for your tireless fight! You are helping so many of us.

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, continued weight loss is a major disrupter of cholesterol values.

      And you must be in the UK where the incredible situation in which cholesterol ratios and total cholesterol values are used to justify statin drug therapy, a practice I would liken to bleeding with leeches–woefully outdated, despite its widespread practice.

      Is there any chance you can see a smarter doctor?

      • Mary

        Thank you for confirming that. I feel relieved! Turns out the number I listed above were total cholesterol values, whereas my ratios were 4.4 and 4.7 respectively.

        I have located a private clinic who may be more up on the current understanding. It’s worth it to be linked with the right practitioners.

        I appreciate your help immensely. Take care!

  30. Dan Cotton

    Dr. Davis,
    I am a 43 year old male, who has been eating a fairly healthy and varied diet. I also exercise regularly with a personal trainer. Although I consider myself ‘fit’ for my age, each year I have been gaining a pound or two. I also have noticed my energy level gradually decreasing from my ‘peak’ 10 or 15 years ago. I hadn’t been making the fitness progress that I would expect with my commitment level. Increasing my exercise level helped a little, reducing my caloric intake helped a little, but I couldn’t seem to find the right balance.

    A month ago, while at the airport about to depart on a two week holiday, I spotted your book and decided to read it. I began to follow its recommendations that day. Two weeks later, when I returned home, I had lost 7 lbs….without any exercise, while on holiday, enjoying the occasional ‘indulgence’, and never being hungry! After following your recommendations for 1 month, I have lost 10lbs (which was my goal), my energy level is high, and my sleep quality is better. For the first time in many years I feel truly in charge of my health. I never would have believed the benefits of going ‘wheat free’ without trying it myself.

    Thank you for your informative and educational book.

    Dan Cotton

  31. Since returning north this summer, I’ve heard several comments referring to “how skinny you are”! We started going WB January of 2013…..I was not overweight at the time, so my focus was on the overall health benefits. I’m maybe 5 lbs. lighter now so that’s not that significant a reduction to cause that kind of reaction. I think we’re so used to seeing an overweight population that someone in the normal range, looks skinny!!

    Last week we went to a local ballet recital…..ages ranging from 3 – 18 yr. olds. Normal size seemed to be the exception, rather than the norm…..the majority being larger in size in all age brackets! A few days later, I rooted through my old photos of our ballet recitals (50′s & 60′s) and we all looked like STICK figures compared to kids nowadays.

    • Boundless

      > I think we’re so used to seeing an overweight population that
      > someone in the normal range, looks skinny!!

      If the movie Wall-E had been made in 1955, they would only have needed to make the far future space pudgies look as puffy as the average person is today.

    • Boundless

      > I’ve heard several comments referring to “how skinny you are”!

      But let me guess … almost none are asking how you did it.

      They’ve either given up on being slender, or they expect to hear what they’ve heard before and don’t want to hear again: that you need to starve and strive (a’la Biggest Loser).

      You can tell them that the Food Pyramid is upside down, and that wheat and fructose are utter disasters, and they won’t even comprehend.

      • As usual Boundless….you are always right on target! And many of these overweight girls were on the homecoming court, so that tells you that this is now the “norm”. My 16 yr. old step granddaughter wears 4 sizes larger than me and I’m 61! Sheesh!

        And, of course……I ALWAYS reference WB….Have lots of notches on my belt to date! :_)

          • June

            I have had the same experience. I keep losing even though, by today’s standards, I wasn’t overweight to begin with.

            Many friends that I haven’t seen in a while have commented on how much healthier I look, but then they will say something like, “but you’re so thin”! I am five foot seven and in high school I weighed 118 pounds. After six months of wheat belly, I weigh 121 pounds-at 61 years old. I think my body is just finding its natural weight.

            A few weeks ago I went on a trip with a dear friend who I only see a couple times a year. Last time was before I changed my diet, and I was in pain, sick, and very tired. This trip, she kept saying that she couldn’t believe how fast I was walking! She was so impressed with the change in me that she is asking for all my recipes and going on this diet as well!

  32. Gail

    On June 30, 2013 I posted my concerns about my being underweight on the thread titled “You are BETTER than your bowel flora.” I realized later that I should have posted it here, along with the discussion about low body weight.

    I have been doing a lot of reading about low carb diets and various reactions of the human body to what it is being consumed. I can see there is a lot of controversy out there! From Dr. Atkins, to Body Ecology, to Paleo, to Gluten-Free, to Wheat Belly….what is a person to believe?? On one website I saw a book called “The Starch Solution!” That seems about as opposite from the low carb approach as one can get.

    I am coming to the conclusion that there is no “right” answer for any one person. Gather information, try different foods and combinations of foods, work with your doctor, pay close attention to how you’re feeling, consider the mind/body connection as very valid, exercise and be happy! Find what works for you.

    For as long as I’ve been interested in nutrition, 40+ years now, there has been controversy and opposite poles of thought in the field. Some approaches overlap e.g. Paleo, Body Ecology and Wheat Belly, and the proponents of each consider their approaches to be the best on an absolute scale. I believe that economic factors motivate much of the controversy, as is pointed out by Sally Fallon, author of “Nourishing Traditions,” in her piece on the “Oiling of America.” The pendulum swings this way and that, depending on “who gets the money.”

    Meanwhile, I will continue in my efforts to put on a few pounds, eating as much additional fat as I can, but possibly indulging in some carbs occasionally based on how I feel and see how it goes.

    • > I will continue in my efforts to put on a few pounds …

      The only recommended way to do it that I’ve so far seen on this blog is strength training, i.e. add muscle mass. If you’re gaining weight but not adding muscle mass, you’re almost certainly adding fat. It’s not clear to me that this is without hazards.

      Modern humans are superbly adapted to adding fat when carbs are available, currently acutely aggravated by the properties of modern wheat and the pervasive use of fructose (HFCS). See “The Fat Switch” (Johnson) for the bio chemistry, and a discussion of the two lacking genetic attributes (uricase and vitamin C synth) that give rise to it.

      Prior to agriculture, we’d probably pack on the pounds in summer, then burn it off in unplanned keto in the winter. Does a modern planning to gain weight need also to plan periodic fastings? Dunno.

      We may have had ancestors who could not do the bulk & burn trick (either didn’t have the uric acid switch, couldn’t do keto, or both). They might have been slender all year. They didn’t survive one or more major climate, ecological or migratory challenges.

      This sort of cyclic metabolism may not have been otherwise advantageous beyond simple survival. Did an the annual carb/keto cycle contribute to the short 40-year pre-ag lifespan? Dunno. But I’m very reluctant to add weight by any means other than strength training until more is known.

      • Brian

        Boundless you brought up a suggested age for our paleo ancestors and this is something I’m constantly confronted with when I preach the wheat belly way. I start out with our hunter gatherer ancestor didn’t have cancers, cardio vascular disease etc etc because they didn’t consume grains and they interject with they never lived long enough to get those diseases. So being a history buff I thought I could get a good idea of their lifespan using the population argument. Simply you need to average over 3 children per family for a population to grow and all these children would have to survive. Using my limited logic I calculated that starting at age 18 and having a child every 3rd year and supporting that child until it is capable of surviving in a hunting society. Keep in mind there will be children who don’t survive and famine years and I come up with 50 years as a probable lifespan. Then there is this unique thing we humans have called menopause. What possible benefit can a post menopausal women provide? Any grandparent knows their ability to support their children’s family gives that family a tremendous advantage. As I write this I’m minding 2 grandsons while both parents work 14 hour days in their business and I’m sure it was much the same in early times when a big kill had to be processed.
        Personally I think 50 years was the minimum average with early 60′s not uncommon.

  33. My company changed logos this year, and has been selling off apparel with the old logo for some time. This week they were down to the last few items. Sizes L, XL, XXL, XXXL and XXXXL were sold out, but I picked up some size M at quite attractive pricing.

    The representative said the larger sizes had been sold out for some time. I said that was due to what the company tells people to eat.

    Size “Medium” used to actually be “medium”.
    “L” (Large) is the new small.