Weight Watchers no more after 37 years

Wheat-Free Weight Loss

Carol posted this interesting comment about her weight loss and health success experienced after reading Wheat Belly:

“I have been mesmerized by the book. Being a lifetime member of Weight Watchers since the age of 21 (now 58), I am amazed at how I feel and the weight lost.

I have also suffered from severe scoliosis all of my life and have been on prescription naproxen for since 1987. Since I eliminated the wheat I have not taken any meds, I’ve lost my sweet and salty cravings that often consumed me. Now, with spring in the air, I have not had the sneezing and itchy eyes that I’ve suffered with in the past. I am also a breast cancer survivor, so the cancer linkage is interesting as well.

I am a believer. I feel the best I have in years. I was also amazed at the weight loss — basically a 1 lb a day — better than what I experienced with Weight Watchers.”

You can indeed lose weight without the insights provided in Wheat Belly, but it is typically a painful exercise in deprivation, as many people will tell you when, in a program such as Weight Watchers, you are instructed to limit calories and portions. The opiate peptides that develop upon digestion of the gliadin protein in wheat are appetite stimulants. Any diet that contains wheat will therefore cause you to be hungry all the time, craving junk carbohydrates, especially when you try to cut calories.

Remove wheat, remove the gliadin derived opiates, experience a marked reduction in appetite with a drop in calorie intake of 400 calories per day (on average). You also remove wheat germ agglutinin that blocks leptin, the hormone of satiety. You also remove wheat’s amylopectin A responsible for blood sugar highs followed by blood sugar lows with mental fog, sleepiness, and desperate hunger. Wheat-free people are therefore freed from all the bonds of such appetite-controlling effects.

And what other dietary approach leads to relief from chronic pain, relief from allergies, and reductions in high levels of estrogen and prolactin that stimulate breast cancer growth? (The A5 pentapeptide from gliadin is an especially potent trigger for prolactin release.)

Cutting calories, reducing portion size, tallying up points — all while consuming an appetite stimulant. Why not just remove the appetite stimulant?

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Culinary Adventurer

    Carol and Dr. Davis,
    There is no doubt whatsoever in my family that eliminating wheat and the other related seeds of grasses works! The changes in our lives have been amazing! We are never going back. The results are all the proof we need. We feel great! So – celebrate and live well.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, indeed, Culinary: Celebrate the grain-free life and it is a far sight better than one filled with the poisons of “healthy whole grains”!

  2. Jonathan Steeves

    Hi Dr. Davis,

    I was not sure where to comment so that you would see it so I hope that you see this.

    I am wondering if you would be able to come to Halifax, Nova Scotia and put on a presentation? I attended the presentation in Moncton, New Brunswick that you put on last year and it was sold out! Halifax would be a great spot as there are a lot of people! I would love to work on getting as many people to your presentation as possible.

    Everyone must know the truth about wheat!

    Thank you! I hope you hear from you.


  3. Barb

    We’ve had great success for over two years with wheat belly but when my husband recently suffered with gout the doctor suggested we might be eating too much animal protein. I started reading Fuhrman’s book, The End of Dieting. He argues that we shouldn’t be eating animal proteins at all and that beans are a perfect source of protein… That they control blood sugar. We hadn’t had beans except chick peas in over two years. Tonight for dinner we had a bean and vegetable stew and my blood sugar went to 130 for the first time in a very long time. Usually an hour after dinner it is about 100. How can his research support such a different approach to eating from your research Dr. Davis?

    • Uncle Roscoe

      Beans, a class of legume, contain a lectin protein called concavalin A. Con A is roughly equivalent to wheat’s lectin, wheat germ agglutinin (WGA). Both Con A and WGA mimic insulin. They plug into cellular insulin receptors, clog them up, and prevent cells from importing glucose from the bloodstream. Your doctor is wrong to steer you away from meat, just as Dr. Davis is wrong to steer people toward beans.


      Specific plant proteins are the real enemies of diabetics everywhere.

      • Uncle Roscoe…..I wholeheartedly agree with you! I gave up beans, along with grains, sugar and fruit over 15 months ago….thanks for sharing! My health is excellent.

      • Dr. Davis

        Sorry, Uncle, but I disagree.

        Legumes and tubers are how humans have obtained their prebiotic fibers/’resistant starches” necessary for nourishing bowel flora.

  4. Dennis

    Dr. Davis,
    It is refreshing to finally come across a blog post that provides good, concrete information. I look forward to more!

  5. Hi, Dr. Davis!
    I was just wondering more about calories. It seems like wheat-free recipes have a lot of calories and am wondering if I should be watching calories at all? I feel SO much better on a wheat-free diet! It’s amazing the difference! Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes. I have all of your books and really enjoy the recipes! Thanks for all you do!

    • Dr. Davis

      Nobody around here should be counting calories, Judi! So the recipes were created with NO concerns about calorie content.

      If you were counting calories, however, you would count many fewer calories taken in per day due to the absence of appetite stimulation from the wheat.

  6. Grace in IL

    I did indeed lose 15 pounds on WW, but I hated every minute of it. After about a year I knew I couldn’t live that way permanently. I was ALWAYS hungry, and constantly searching for “zero point” foods, or just going over points. I was very dejected. Not eating wheat has changed all that and I have lost more weight and am never hungry! LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT! And I LOOK so much better, even at the same weight. All the bloating and puffiness GONE. Thank you Dr. Davis. Thumbs down to WW….

    • Dr. Davis

      Terrific, Grace!

      You appreciate the difference between nutritional ignorance and nutritional enlightenment!

    • Michele in NJ

      To Grace in IL: I have had the exact same experience with Weight Watchers. I was constantly, ravinously hungry all the time. I did lose weight only to regain it and then lose it again, etc. This occurred continuously until I read Dr. Davis book and gave up wheat. Now that I am not eating wheat, I have lost weight without being hungry. Another plus is that I feel great with no more neck and back pain and my allergies seem to be gone. This way of eating is much better for me and I am hoping to avoid my genetic pre-disposition to Diabetes and Heart Disease. Thank you to Dr. Davis for writing the book and cook books!

  7. Marie

    Weight Watchers is a giant scam – they COUNT on people coming back to them year after year, sometimes for decades, and paying up the membership fee, because they KNOW most people fail and yet will still believe in WW because it’s “doctor-recommended.” I was in WW for quite a few years myself, and they lure you in with promises of “health” while shilling their “healthy” (starch- and grain-laden) bars, meals and desserts. They bring these supposedly “healthful” starchy, processed foods with them to meetings, so you’ll be sure to buy! I’ve talked to several WW leaders, and the dirty little secret is that they know most people fail, so they have business plans on how to keep the “failures” in the fold and to keep them paying and paying. It’s one of America’s biggest con jobs, yet trying to get people to believe anything bad about Weight Watchers is like trying to make them disbelieve in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, they’ve done such a good job marketing themselves and insinuating themselves into the public consciousness as “the” “healthy” way to lose weight.
    Dear WW – I’d like ALL my money back, please!!! Scammers.

  8. Maryann

    Hi Dr. Davis, thank you so much for all you do! Would you know of a funtional medical doctor, naturopath, or endocrinologist you would recommend in Central NJ? Thank you very much, maryann

    • Dr. Davis

      No, I don’t, Maryann.

      Start with a Google search and/or find a naturopath or chiropractor and ask them. You can often tap into networks of like-minded practitioners this way.

      • Maryann

        Thank you very much! You often recommend these doctors, but there aren’t any in my area. Thank you for a great blog and facebook page. It must be very time-consumung for you. I appreciate all of your thoughtful, encouraging responses, and the continuing education you provide as you coach your “team”. God bless you, Maryann

        • Neicee

          Maryann, I’m in the same boat. We have a couple in my town but when I found they compounded their own vitamin line I was turned off. Some of them are from $30 to $60 a bottle. Still searching……

    • Reader1

      Dr. Holder is not a function medical physician.

      He is an internist with an M.D who also practices accupuncture and know a lot about herbs.

      He also uses iridology to help assess patients. The initial interview will take about one and a quarter hours.

      He also works with a nutritionist who sees patients in his office.

      He might be helpful and is open to alternative approaches.

      He is at the Center for Preventative Medicine in South Orange, New Jersey.

  9. Murray Ward

    Hello Dr Davies
    I have been wheat free for 5 months and before tha did reduce my wheat and i went from 90kgs to 77kgs.
    However my dear wife is struggling. She has been wheat free since 16 February this year nd while she has shown signs of better ebrgy and health she had lost no weight. Here is the thing. She has fibromyalgia, asthma, arthritis and overweight. She says since she has been eating some of the wheat free baking ive done she has been dry in the mouth. I’m hoping she isn’t diabetic.

    She has continued to have yoghurt which she makes herself from a packet. We have had full cream milk as late and cheese for lunch. She had asthma this past week which she hasn’t for awhile. Just wondering if its the dairy bought it on. I would like to work with some low social economic people who have diabetes and am trying to perfect the receipes for them. I am in New Zealand and find the substitutes are expensive. Still looking to source a wholesaler over here. any thoughts from you would be welcomed.

  10. Dear Dr. Davis,

    I just learned about you and your work from a friend. I am so happy to discover that you are educating people about what wheat became and why they should avoid it! I have been sick for years, and discovered life without wheat through a lot of experimentation and exploration myself.

    Although, going off wheat didn’t bring much change to me, as I discovered that gluten free products have the same amount of harmful things in them. In fact, every gluten free bread/cookie on the market today is made with guar and xathan gums which are MSG.

    Eventually I was forced to create a line of baking mixes which don’t have any of hazardous ingredients in them. I would be so grateful if you could take a look at my product line and if you were moved to support it in any way you can! At this point I need exposure; as the more people know about it, the greater is the chance of this product actually being produced.


    With gratitude,

  11. stephen ottridge

    Another fine article highlighting the evil of eating wheat. I am a huge proponent of no wheat but I do eat some 100% rye bread now and again as well as rice very regularly. I just made a new low in my weight of 172 lbs, down 48 lbs from my peak weight. I don’t agree with this no grain at all idea. I’ve received all my benefits, including elimination of diabetes, just be being wheat free.

    • gingerbread

      I think that it is great that your body works optimally for you without eliminating all grains. But for people that are at a different stage of overall health, age, pre-existing conditions, etc. I like the approach that the Doc has taken. Rather than having to engage in the back and forth of just eliminating wheat, but still suffering health issues and/or not losing any weight, he clearly took the bull by the horns to educate those who will need this stringent change in their lifestyle in order to receive maximum benefit. I am a 52 year old black small framed woman who was healthy for most of my life. If i had eliminated just wheat in my thirties or so, I would probably feel as you do.

      But i am not in my thirties now, nor am I deceptively thin and perceived healthy anymore. Up until around 28 my 5’4″ frame carried no more than 120 pounds, excluding pregnancies. In my teens and early twenties i was consistently between 105-115. Somehow, without eating buttloads of food, I ballooned up to 187 pounds by December 2012. Something was DEFINITELY wrong. If I eat grains, I bloat. I gain weight. And my cravings for bad things come back with a vengeance. I cannot have too many dairy products if at all. I am down to about 160; I had been at 155 for a little while, but something is slowing my progress and causing me to gain( just recently kicked wine to the curb and resolved some major stress in my life). At 155, I am still about 35 pounds off of my ideal weight, which i think would look TOO thin for me right now. I would like to be 135-140 and comfortable. That is still 20-25 pounds to go.

      At the cell level, I am attempting to heal my body from the damage that obviously has been done. If you don’t have that damage, that is great. But please don’t discard the message for those of us like me, who don’t know that ‘just ditch the wheat’ might not be enough for them. It is just the hand we have been dealt.

      • stephen ottridge

        I was 70 when I embarked on my no wheat life after going down with diabetes. I find that for me all I have to do is eliminate wheat. It can be very difficult to eliminate all grains so for any newbies that can’t do that, just get rid of the wehat.

        • Neicee

          Stephen, there you go submitting advice to Newbies that is so far wrong it’s pitiful. If you read the book, or those by Gary Taubes you’d know that anything – ANYTHING – that boosts your glycemic load is going to be extreme trouble down the road. My cousin is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, she’s cut the insulin boosting foods and is doing much better. I have another that just died three weeks ago from heart disease after going through 3 heart attacks and two strokes, ultimately ending up in a wheelchair. Guess what, they took meat and most proteins away from him but encouraged him to eat any carb he could get down…..my own sister died last year from bone cancer – had shown signs of pancreatic problems for years. Her menus of choice were anything that included, not only wheat, but potatoes/rice/corn products, oh and juice cleansings too. Another close friend was just diagnosed with macular degeneration, he’s actually laughed at me for passing up popcorn. I used to eat my weight in it when available. I’ve noticed a lady at church that has gained a great deal of weight and is no longer able to stand for longer than short periods of time. I’m guessing she either is on statins or is in a very bad place.
          Newbies, don’t listen to him. Losing weight is not the end all to problems. So many other things to consider.

        • C Dee

          As a mom and grandma, my motto has always been ‘pick your battles’. The total lifestyle change can be overwhelming for many people. Sometimes it is easier to just focus on the first step. And I too believe eliminating wheat is the first step. When the wheat cravings fade, the sugar cravings often fade too. maybe a few pounds are lost, maybe brain fog lifts and energy rises. The tiny light at the end of a dark tunnel might be enough to see the next step, and then the next. Not everyone can jump into the deep end right off. Some of us wade in slowly.
          I am glad the first step had such visable benefits for you. Keep spreading the word about the evils of wheat and encourage your listeners to do their own research and create the path that works for them.
          P.S. My 80yr old mother just started eating coconut oil. She loves it spread on her morning toast. Sigh, small steps.

  12. Neicee

    Gingerbread – what you said is so true. I swear, I can bloat from a salad dressing that’s compromised. Afraid I got glutened today at lunch. I ordered gumbo and though the sauce was thin, it must have had a bad guy ingredient used for thickening it somewhat. I make my own at home and haven’t had any problems – even with a bite or two of rice.

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      Spring is a time a rebirth and regeneration. Those that can adjust their thinking and eating patterns to a healthier lifestyle will do so. Those that cling to “the old ways” and continue to overlook even the scientifically proven facts will be in their continued downward spiral of health issues, albeit a bit slower pace than prior to including grains and sugar in your diet.

      One of the main goals of WB is to keep your blood sugar reasonably stable by limiting the amount of carbohydrates and specifying which kinds are suitable. Occasional consumption of 1/4 cup starchy carbs like rice or potatoes are permitted. Root vegetables too. There is much internet chatter about the benefits of resistant starches. Nothing conclusive except to say that if your meal raises your blood sugar, then you need to limit the resistant starches if not eliminate them until your sugar readings stay level.

      You can easily fool yourself by eating a grain or even a candy bar. While you might not have stomach pains, rashes or joint aches as a result, your organs and their cells know that they are being fed the same items that made them inflamed and started your illness in the first place. Your cells and organs can’t recover and regenerate fully because the glycation/inflammation damage is continuing, albeit at a slower pace. Trying to convince yourself that even with improving measured blood values you can indulge in grains and sugar is like saying “a little bit of poison is better than a lot of poison”.
      What you eat DOES matter.

  13. Gina

    This post is fitting and I showed it to my coworkers who are all doing a Weight Watchers program together. I tried it as well and it was absolute hell, all I wanted was those Smart Ones pasta meals and gained my weight back. The Wheat Belly diet has been a miracle for so many issues, and I’m only 26! I also have scoliosis and had been experiencing: acne, EXTREME pms and periods, acid reflux, blood sugar highs and lows, constant hunger and thinking about food, constant gas, I could go on and on! I can’t wait until I am a true success story because it’s only been a few weeks and I feel so much better!

  14. christine

    Hey, I had this problem and tried so many things. Different things work for different people and I was lucky enough to find one that worked for me. I lost 18 pounds in one month without much exercise and it’s been a life changer. I’m a little embarrased to post my before and after photos here but if anyone actually cares to hear what I’ve been doing then I’d be happy to help in any way. 

    Just shoot me an email at — christine.marquez90@gmail.com — and I’ll show you my before and after photos, and tell you about how things are going for me with the stuff I’ve tried. I wish someone would have helped me out when I was struggling to find a solution so if I can help you then it would make my day.

  15. Faye

    I have been on wheat belly diet for 2 months and feel great but over Easter I ate a few cakes and had some pizza and 2 days later came out in a itchy rash on the nape of my neck and scalp and tender roof of my mouth and sore gums??? I’m thinking it is what I ate ?????i am back on wheat belly and it is now easing. I think I am on the right track

  16. Bill Martin

    Started wheat and gluten elimination 2 days ago as I’ve been suffering from severe acid reflux for the past few months and read that wheat and gluten can be a major cause of acid reflux the pills i take for this were no longer working for me started eating wheat and gluten free bread 2 days ago acid reflux has gone as is my appetite for carbs cant believe that i don’t feel hungry no cravings totally amazing just wish I had known about this sooner.