Wheat elimination: A first week experience

Patti posted this wonderful description of her and her son’s experience in their first week of wheatlessness:

One week on the Wheat Belly diet has come and gone. Here is how it is working at our house:

I (mom) feel so good. I no longer need an afternoon nap, I have lost the squishy fat around my middle (I am not overweight, so the squishy thing was driving me nuts!). I’m drinking more water; because now I can tell when I am thirsty and hungry. Best of all, my thoughts are more positive and my emotional resilience has increased. This is particularly good because I have a 14-year old son.

The 14 year old son is following the diet and is quickly losing the beginning of a spare tire. He now recognizes when he in genuinely hungry and does not snack after dinner or between meals. His focus is stronger for household tasks, music practicing, and homework and he is also emotionally more even. Finally, his bad acne is receding. Good bye tetracycline.

I’m shamelessly telling everyone I meet about the wheat belly world; who could eat the awful engineered wheat, once they know what Dr. Davis has revealed!? Thank you so much, Dr. Davis!

We often hear from critics that wheat elimination is nothing more than a low-carbohydrate approach. If this were true, we should not expect amazing reductions in appetite, freedom from depression and increased well-being and happiness, better concentration, less acne and skin rashes like seborrhea and psoriasis, relief from joint pain, etc. Yes, cutting carbs can accomplish some of these phenomena, but not to this degree and with this wide a range of benefits.

Compared, say, to gumdrops (sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, flavorings, food coloring), wheat contains a spectrum of unhealthy components that go far beyond that of sugar and carbohydrates. No other food contains the gliadin protein that yields appetite-stimulating opiates and increases intestinal permeability leading to autoimmune conditions. No other food contains the powerful lectin of wheat, wheat germ agglutinin, that is a direct bowel toxin, mimics the effect of insulin upon absorption into the bloodstream, and triggers inflammation powerfully. No other food contains unique allergenic proteins created by the genetics manipulations of the 1970s that changed the amino acid structure of alpha amylase inhibitors and others that underlie asthma and skin rashes (though soy, corn, and peanuts may have similar allergenic issues).

And followers of the Wheat Belly arguments recognize how limited the “gluten-free” notion is. The Wheat Belly concepts are not about being gluten-free; they are about being free of all the awful health effects of all the components in modern wheat, just as Patti and her son experienced in their first week.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. I was told by my doctor I was not a coeliac. However after giving up wheat I began to heal. Within 3 days the pain in my body reduced by 60%. I had more energy, better mood, less of the feeling that “if I don’t eat, I’ll die”. It was the beginning of my journey to wellness.

  2. Amy

    I understand it’s “not about being gluten free” but I’m willing to bet all I have that more than one person, myself included, has (thankfully) uncovered a major gluten sensitivity through reading Wheat Belly. And…not only in themselves but immediate family members, as I have in my mother, her mother and my son….as well as a host of family members on my father’s side. Not only that, but considering yourself as being gluten free, I think, makes it easier to pursue the wheatless live-it (drives me crazy that people call it a diet) because that propels me better into reading labels more consistently.

    • JayInKett

      “…makes it easier to pursue the wheatless live-it (drives me crazy that people call it a diet)…”

      Amy, I share your frustration with the vernacular! Instead of “the wheatless die-it,” how about “the wheatless life” or “wheat freedom” ?


  3. Nancy W

    I am now a week wheat free and have noticed increased energy, clearer thinking but, unfortunately, not a decrease on the scale. Some may say I don’t need to lose, however, I know I could stand to lose about 5 to 8 lbs. before I feel comfortable wearing jeans, etc. I have read over and over that those who are wheat free and not losing, should carefully monitor their carb intake..which I am doing. I used to not be hungry at b-fast, now I find I am, but once that meal is over, I am not really hungry the rest of the day! So, I know I’ve cut back on eating overall. Could this be the culprit of no weight loss? Not enough calories? I eat 2 eggs for bfast, my Isalean shake(b/c I still have it to use up) with fruit and PB2 for lunch and a very light dinner of protein, maybe some WB focacia bread& veggies; sometimes a salad w/ chicken for dinner. Then if I feel the urge to snack later, I eat a bowl of mixed berries sweetened with a bit of xylitol and a touch of half & half. Also, I sometimes have a snack of an apple or cucumber during the day. The scale hasn’t budged! And I exercise regularly as well…any ideas of what I can do to get off this plateau?

    • Bailey

      Good afternoon, Nancy B.

      I would recommend not adding sweetener to your berries and go lower carb for any snack(s), especially when considering Apples. One medium apple has (20) carbs and Dr. Davis recommends no more than (15) carbs per meal. Also stick with it and be sure you are drinking enough water. Have you cut out Soda and other sweetened drinks? I would also consider getting away from the PB2 this coming week. Spend some time writing down what you’re eating over the course of a few days and then review.

      I am also starting my 2nd week today as I began WF last Saturday 06/22. I feel wonderful and so happy the bloat is gone. I will be 43 years old by the end of the year and have PCOS. While I have done Low carb before and had great results, I gained (80) lbs back in under (10) months and just dd nit care what I was consuming the past (18) months, but here I am believing this Wheat-free lifestyle is what I was missing all along! I am choosing not to weigh until the 1st month is over. Your body will go through so many changes, but having experienced Low carb before, I know change will come.

      Keep at it and give your body the chance it needs to get healthy. There is joy for the journey ahead. Patience is key :). You can and will do it!

    • Nancy,
      When looking at the NF of your Isolean shake, depending on which flavor you are using, the net carbs remain high (22 for the chocolate and 23 for vanilla)…….you might explore eliminating it for a few weeks and see if your weight drops.

      • Nancy W

        Thank you for that…I have been thinking about trying that option! I will try it and see what happens! :)

      • Barbara in New Jersey

        Try not to eat as much fruit (still sugar!) and increase your water consumption to at least 48 ounces daily. Even tomatoes have a lot of carbs! Make sure you actually increase your fat intake. Sometimes it take a few weeks for your body to adjust.
        You also should notice increased eliminations. The basic rule of thumb is 15 carbs or less per 6 hour time frame. As Jan from KeyWest points out your shake alone, without fruit added in is much more than that! There is merit to her idea of setting the shake mix aside until you reach your weight goal.
        Perhaps there are some medications you are taking ?
        You list positive changes, so this way of eating has started you on your way to better health.

        • Deb L

          I’m on my 7th day of wheat free eating. The 1st couple of days were rough- not much sleep due to having to get up to go to the bathroom about every 2 hours, my body was acting like I had taken a diuretic just before I went to bed. Also night sweats the first couple of nights made me pretty miserable. Last night I slept good for the first night, in fact better than usual. I don’t think I’ve lost any weight yet, but don’t feel bloated or have any stomach pains like I was having pre wheatlessness.I only need to lose about 7 or 8 lbs to be at my ideal weight, so I’m not too worried about that. I think that will come once I get this cooking differently down pat. My energy level has improved even with less sleep. One thing that just started yesterday, is my face is broken out like I am a teenager- I am post menopausal, so I’m wondering if this is just my body getting out the toxins, or is this unusual?

      • Dr. Davis

        Yes, lose the Isalean stuff.

        I consulted for this company for about a year. While the shakes represent an improvement over the starting diets of many people, they are too sugar-rich. And note that much of the sweetener is fructose, which is a miserable sugar filled with health problems.

  4. Mike

    Dr. Davis: Could you establish a place on this blog (not the forum, but this site) where those of us who have tried the wheat-free products now sold by Wheat Free Market Foods can compare notes? I’d really like to know how others liked or disliked the cookies and trail mix.

    • Dr. Davis

      While I endorse the Wheat Free Market Foods, since I helped develop the recipes, I don’t think we should add such a function to this blog, else it looks like an advertisement.

      I can tell you that the response has been very positive. Personally, the cookies and granola are even better than the original recipes I provided with no nutritional downside!

      • > … else it looks like an advertisement.

        Some observations on that:

        1. A material challenge in switching to the WB way is the current rarity of suitable packaged foods. Where such are available, having a link to them is crucial. This is a problem that needs products. Products need promotion or at least placement. The solution may look like advertising. That’s just the way it is.

        2. The WBB already has one reseller link (for nuts.com), which readers will assume is either a sponsored link (i.e., an ad) or an endorsement.

        3. In the specific case of nuts.com, we have a reseller who offers a multitude of products, many wildly non-compliant with the WB way. WFMF is at least 100% compliant.

        4. So, we need links, and whether sponsored or endorsed, any links may need qualifying disclosure/disclaimers.

  5. T. Thompson

    My husband thought I was crazy … I’m sure you’ve heard that a thousand times before … when I told him I was dropping wheat. I dropped it on Sunday – it’s now Friday and I feel so much better. I haven’t had a major headache to speak of (and I used to get them practically daily), the change in weather we had earlier this week only messed with me a little bit – not like the past where I’d end up with a full-blown migraine. I have more energy in the middle of the day, as opposed to wanting to nap in the last three hours of the workday. I don’t really snack – a small meal will get me through. I’ve lost 8.2 pounds! (Granted, I’m sure most of that is water weight, but still!)

    I still have about 60 pounds to go before I get to my goal weight, but I’m sure that I can do it now … because I’m NOT hungry all the time, and I’m making better food choices, just by staying away from wheat and wheat products.

    I really am glad I did this and I think I’m going to continue. I had a dream last night that I was eating croissants, and I made it halfway through a third one before I went, “hey, I’m not supposed to be eating this.” :) Slowly, my subconcious is catching up.

    • Dr. Davis

      Terrific start, T!

      Your husband will no longer think you’re crazy when you look and feel better than you have in 20 years!

  6. Mexi Maria

    I’m on day 2. I’ve suffered with IBS for 30 years, and I’ve had a bad bout of it over the last month. I’ve not had any wheat or grains in 2 days, and my bowels are starting to feel better. One think I notice that really causes a flare up is alcohol, especially beer. It’s all starting to make sense. I’ve also noticed my stomachs not nearly as bloated and my upper arms appear thinner. I’m shocked.