Why We START With Wheat Elimination

Start WIth Wheat Elimination To Improve Health and Lose Weight

Michelle tells us why wheat elimination is the first and essential step in seizing back control over health and weight.

“I went wheat-free two weeks ago. And JUST wheat free. I understand the mechanisms of going low-carb for weight loss, but I was curious just how bad wheat alone can be.

I already had a very healthy diet: I cook all my own meals, veggie heavy and quality grass fed and organic meats. I also am an athlete. I train for and play competitive rugby every other day. BUT I also have a huge sweet tooth that I indulged in regularly. And I drink moderate amounts of alcohol. I figured those were my problems to not having my body fat percentage able to drop, but I was ok with that. I’m not overweight, just not at my ideal figure. I’m 26 and socially active. I don’t want to give up my vices either.

In two weeks of JUST wheat elimination, I am down 9 pounds and 4 inches off my waist. And I can see my abs. WHAT?! I have NEVER been able to see them outlined, despite my physical fitness being above average. They were always under a layer of little bit of fat and just bloat. I carry my fat in my hips/thighs. I didn’t know why my abs didn’t show more.

I gorged on popcorn and skittles at a movie one night last week, essentially as dinner. Still woke up weighing less the next day. This would usually bloat me up and add water weight and I’d feel crummy about doing it. I was shocked. I felt fine and the scale was cool with it. I continue to have fruit or a sweet every day, and wine or gin and soda every other. And the bloat and weight keeps dropping.

I stopped counting any calories. I’m estimating I’m eating over 2000 a day though, as lots of fats. I couldn’t lose anything at 1300 a day in calorie restriction.

I NEVER feel hungry anymore. My training has improved markedly in two weeks. My persistent ankle sprain is gone. And my body fat has dropped almost 2% by doing nothing more or different than just eliminating wheat. And my cravings for sweets are gone too. I still eat them, but I’m not craving them. I can eat them cause they taste good.

I cannot imagine how I would look/feel if I cut out the sweets and alcohol. I’m doing solely wheat-free for a month, and then incorporating the full better-insulin-control diet from the book to see where that takes me.

Thanks for the book, the research and the results.”

As she correctly points out, removing wheat removes the driving, incessant desire for sweets and junk carbohydrates. The reverse is not true: remove candy, soft drinks, and other junk and lose the desire for junk carbohydrates or grains–doesn’t work that way.

No other food yields the peptide opiates yielded by partial digestion of the gliadin protein of wheat. Sucrose (table sugar), fructose, and other sweeteners can stimulate appetite via other mechanisms to a lesser degree, but none yield peptides (from protein) that act as opiates — none.

This is why removing wheat is the first and most essential step in seizing back control over weight and health.

Advised by the USDA, the American Diabetes Association, and other agencies that grains should form the cornerstone of diet, is it any wonder that we live during worst epidemic of obesity and diabetes ever witnessed in the history of man on earth? Reject this absurd advice based on misinterpretation and dietary ignorance, and you are enlightened with the most powerful nutritional strategy for health known.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Kat

    I’m really glad that this works so well for most people. I find it very frustrating that it does not work for me.

    I’ve been gluten-free for a long time now, and i understand that that doesn’t cut it. I now am grain-free except for flax-seed meal. I use coconut flours and nut meals, organic, pastured eggs, organic veggies and fruits, organic, raw dairy. I’ve not lost a pound of weight and have not lost my cravings for sweets, although i spent 10 months last year 99.5% sugar-free (using stevia for sweetening).

    I’m trying to work myself up to giving up dairy now. As i eat largely vegetarian, losing the milk/cream/cheese is a blow. My next step after that will be to give up stevia, too. If that doesn’t work, i suppose i give up eggs, but it won’t leave me much for nutrition.

    I absolutely believe in all that Dr. Davis presents in his books and blog, but i find it so frustrating to watch it work so well for others and have no success at all with it after all this time (i first found his blog in 2009).

    • Culinary Adventurer

      Kat,
      Have you tried increasing your intake of healthy fats? I stalled out with the weight loss at one point and this has helped me a lot.

      Try nice varieties of olives – a teaspoon of coconut oil with a little cinnamon and cocoa powder takes care of cravings. Also a little cinnamon and cocoa powder on a bowl of mixed raw nuts helps too.

      You may be right that you more affected by dairy – try your plan and see.
      AND – It may just be the quantity of dairy you enjoy and not dairy itself. I find hard cheeses are better than soft cheeses for weight loss. Having said that, a nice plate of soft Buratta cheese with sliced tomatoes seems to spur weight loss as well. Diets can be full of yummy contradictions that work! Don’t give up!

      As for sweets. Maria Emmerich has lots of great sweet “healthified” treats that you can have – check out her website if you haven’t. She comes up with these for her two lovely children – and they work for me too!

      Hope this helps.
      CA

    • Milk spikes insulin, even beyond what you’d expect from its carb content. It’s a substance intended to grow calves into cows. You’ll probably be better off ditching the milk and eating the beef.

      I’m not sure for your reasons for being mostly vegetarian, but if you’re buying dairy, you’re participating, albeit indirectly, in meat eating. All those male calves have to go somewhere. Likewise if you eat eggs, which I don’t see any reason to give up.

    • PKerr

      If you are mostly vegetarian, you might be getting too many carbs in your diet. Remember, although vegetables are lower carb, not ALL of them are, and even the low carb ones add up if eaten in high enough quantities to satisfy you if you aren’t eating meat. Also, you say you are “sugar free”, but how much fruit are you eating? Try foregoing fruit as it is FULL of sugar!! My suggestion? Before I dropped dairy, I would add more meat and eliminate fruit for while. Make sure you are focusing on hard cheese, butter, & heavy cream which are okay – skip milk. Also, be aware of portion sizes – just because a food is “healthy” doesn’t mean portion control isn’t still necessary – that was a mistake I made in the beginning.

    • Dr. Davis

      Then your failure to lose weight may not be due to diet, but to some health issue, Kat. This is exceptionally common. It does not reflect some defect of diet, but of something impairing your success.

      I posted 3 videos on this blog addressing this issue. Please take a look. The great majority of people in your situation find their answers there.

    • unterderlaterne

      Reading Mixelle glowing report of weight loss, while not totally adhering to the wheat belly diet brought me to tears . I started my journey in march of 2014 and have not lost a single pound. I follow the diet to a T. I eat only 1 serv. of mixed berries a day, eggs and nitrate free bacon for breakfast, Gelatin in chicken broth for lunch , some arugula and avocado to follow. inbetween I take my Tsp. of coconut oil and munch on shredded coconut. For dinner I have vegies (broccoli and cauliflower or Brussel’ sprouts or a mixed salad. with an olive oil dressing(home made) and a serving of protein. I take my supplements in 1/2 cup of probiotic homemade organic yogurt. I even gave up my miniscule amount of wine with dinner.
      Initially I was happy because the pain of my RA was diminished and it was wonderful. I have not much weight to loose because I always kept my weight in check and never eat junk food. But I wanted to loose just 10 pounds !
      In the meantime , after 11 months of following this diet, my RA came roaring back and I am so depressed and in crippling pain and can barely move, all my joints are inflamed. My nights are interrupted by cramps in my feet, calves and thighs . I take Mono- Magnesium Malate 3 times a day. Ladies and Gents I am simply at the end of my rope. I am ready to throw in the towel and go back to eating bananas and brown rice I felt much better then!
      By the way My thyroid is normal .
      I read all of Dr. Davis’s books and am well informed –and cheated just once with some delicious crab cakes.LOL.
      While I am truly happy for the wonderful success stories, I do not think that I can read another one.
      Please forgive me for this lengthy tale- I just had to get it off my chest! .

      • Culinary Adventurer

        Unterlaterne,
        This should have us all concerned out of respect for you and your good efforts and just out of human empathy. You may not be doing anything wrong but may have over restricted variety in your diet.

        Here are my thoughts: sometimes sticking to a regimen too closely can bother one’s system too. The only things that sent up red flags in what you presented is that bacon everyday is not the best fat to rely on and berries everyday still have sugar and carbs – meaning this can cause inflammation too. I would also like to know what protein you eat. I am not questioning your wisdom, just trying to better understand.

        Also, sometimes taking the same supplements everyday can cause an overload on one’s system. Too much of something is still too much. I would encourage you to add a little ebb and flow to your diet. Every month or so I give myself a week free from supplements. Our bodies are not meant to be flooded with “everything we need” everyday.

        Herbs are good additions to fight inflammation. Thyme, rosemary, parsley.

        I also have tried the keto-adapted plan and think this is a good thing. Often even something like keeping hydrated means much more than we realize. Water needs to be filtered. There could be something in your water.

        This may sound like I am just reaching around for solutions but solutions are often within reach. Please keep posting about this.

        I wish you well – of course,

        CA

        • unterderlaterne

          Culinary Adventurer,
          I was touched by your kindness! Here are a few facts,
          Bacon is not the only fat, I use olive oil in homemade MAYO, my salad dressings have Olive oil, I eat avocados daily, I also use avocado , walnut and coconut oil with a spoon- I gag occasionally, lol.
          Heck, I should be the healthiest person on the Planet !
          I use Turmeric and Cinnamon to fight inflammation(beside monthly infusion of dangerous meds).
          I feel that 4 ounces of berries, mostly blueberries should be alright! I stay away from the strawberries, too many carbs.
          I only drink filtered water and Mineral Water from Germany (Trader Joe). But I fear I do not drink enough.
          Supplements I take few, such as Vit. D, Magnesium Malate, Folic Acid, very important since we do not eat grains, Fishoil- Flaxseed oil caps, Baby Aspirin, these I think I have to have daily!
          You wanted to know which protein I eat. * Salmon, Sardines Herring, lots of eggs, chicken, pork and a little beef. I also love liver with onions and bacon ! I used to bake with almond and coconut flour and enjoyed it, but I cut that out, but it really did not make any difference at all, did not loose weight nor was there less inflammation!
          Well, you see I do all the right stuff, except for hydration, I need more fluids.
          Thanks again, you are very kind , CA ! Barbara.

          • Culinary Adventurer

            Barbara,
            You are doing everything right- for sure!!! I am impressed with all your good choices. Here’s hoping that drinking more water will be the key. Keep hydrated!

            One other thought… sometimes, when one’s body is not doing the helpful thing we think it should be doing, it is busy doing good inside us in another way.

            There is a lot to heal in us for all the years of wheat eating. Lately my weight loss stalled, but my eyes got better from dry eyes! Then my weight dipped again. It is slow – and not steady – but it does continue in the right direction. So, please don’t give up!

            Also, muscle weighs more than fat so that might be what you are experiencing – do you think?

            Keep posting! I look forward to some good news.
            We are making a good community in the process. That is very healthy too!

            Looking forward to your next post,
            CA

          • Culinary Adventurer

            Barbara,
            One last thought…
            Another thing that worked for me was fasting for 18 hours of a day – two days in a row – but staying nicely hydrated. This put me into light Keto and all my expended energy went to burning leftover fat.

            Maybe that and a little relaxation. Music – laughing – it all helps and yes, stress releases some really bad stuff that IS inflammatory. Keep breathing!

            Best,
            CA

      • gingerbread

        It sounds as if you are hungry and your body is holding on to stores of fat. Add some veggies for breakfast, use coconut oil liberally, meaning on everything. After a quick 25-30 pound loss, i am stalled, and I still need to lose about 20 more. If your RA came back, it sounds as if you have let something into your diet that is causing inflammation in your joints. I am an RA sufferer too, but of course our bodies behave differently to different things. I agree with the water; take your weight, divide it by 2 and that is the base amount of water you should drink per day. You should also keep a food diary. When I use one, I use fitness pal to track my carbs. While reducing my carbs, i still need to feed my body. On a really good day:
        Breakfast
        2 cups of coffee, coconut milk, stevia
        3 eggs, scrambled in butter, after cooking coated with about a T of coconut oil
        Lunch
        Big salad, tuna, olive oil, boiled egg, onion, mayo, pickles

        Snack
        chopped pecans and dark chocolate
        Dinner
        Meat and vegetables
        Lots of water, some iced tea during the day sucralose sweetened, cut 1/2 and 1/2 with water
        I eat until I am full; I have a big appetite. But I am not suffering any joint pain at all, and parts seem to be working quite well. I want the next 20 to come off, but I am not willing to go back into what i was eating. I am satiated, satisfied, and patient. I started this in December 2012. I still have a gut, just a smaller one; I don’t exercise, so that may be part of the problem. Just not there yet. I also found that measuring my inches is just as beneficial as weighing myself. Often, I am decreasing in areas, like back fat, hip flab, and thigh fat. This keeps me motivated. I have empathy for you and I am prayerful that you are able to continue on your journey with more success than you have had.

        • unterderlaterne

          @ Gingerbread, RA entered my life 25 years ago! I have been faithfully following the Wheatbelly Diet for over a year , I never eat anything that causes inflammation, it just is not worth it. I have not introduced any new foods into my Diet! This is why I feel so defeated and discouraged ! Maybe stress causes inflammation? I certainly have enough of that!
          Maybe I have to embrace *Meditation* more than once a day! I also have to drink more water!
          I am amazed how much you eat! That is amazing!
          Thank you for your input! I hope that you will be successful in attaining your ideal weight!
          Barbara.

      • You might have gotten systemic inflammation somehow. Also, while your diet has good foods and avoids bad ones, it doesn’t sound like it has enough fat. There’s some, but maybe it’s not enough. If you’re not eating much carb, you need fat for fuel. You need sufficient fat for your skin, your joints, and to absorb vitamins A, E, K and D, and for good brain function (you mentioned being depressed, which can be caused by insufficient fat).

        Here’s a possible solution for both: try a fat fast for a few days. Fasting reduces inflammation and the fat might make your joints feel better. Check out a book called The Fat Fast Cookbook by Dana Carpender.

        • unterderlaterne

          Lori, thank you, I will try that !
          I remember when my best friend was dying of cancer and she could not eat because her intestines were blocked, she told me that she was free of the pain of Arthritis that she endured for years .
          I will let you know how it goes! Barbara.

    • Culinary Adventurer

      Kat and Jeff G,
      Yes, and Maria Emmerich is a leader for this as well. Being Keto adapted helps kick start your weight loss when it stalls. For some it is a way of eating 24/7/365.
      Everybody going Wheatless responds and heals at different speeds. It can be frustrating but since all the different foods and recipes are essentially good for you – you can relax and experiment.
      Whatever you do – don’t give up!
      CA

      PS Chia seed is a cool thing to play around with too! Who knew?

      • Barbara in New Jersey

        Kat,

        Everyone is different.
        There might be some underlying reasons why you haven’t had the desired weight loss such as a sluggish thyroid. You might be eating too many carbs, such as snacking on nuts or fruit or portions that should be reduced. You might not be hydrated enough. Perhaps you need some pre/probiotics or other supplements. Drinking alcohol or even dairy products can be the culprit. You won’t really know unless you are either tested for allergies or eliminate a food group for a week or so and then reintroduce it to see if there is a difference in the way you feel. Sometimes medications make it difficult to shed the unwanted pounds. Sometimes there are hidden allergens in your foods such as soy products, corn oil or starch, tapioca starch, oatmeal and msg. You might want to look at “bulletproof coffee” as a way to increase your fat intake.

        Tweaking the basic WB way of eating is normal for most people. You just have to keep trying until you break through the plateau. Depending on your age, overall health, past and present medications and lab work, there are endless variables.
        A glass or two of wine might be keeping your liver working at clearing the alcohol from your system for days-weeks, burning the sugar as fuel rather than fats. Too much or not enough protein can be an issue. Poor pancreatic function is another.

        It is quite a puzzle. Perhaps a diary o food intake to determine carbs, fats, proteins
        basic nutrients would be helpful.

        • > Everyone is different.

          This is a statement that every advocate of sane nutrition needs to be careful about. Carb-addicted people love this statement because they use it to explain why you’re thin and healthy, and they’ll just keep gorging on Twizzlers, thanks all the same.

          But it is true. We all start a diet shift from different situations, and we may end up at different optimal end points.

          Starting weight, starting gut biome, starting ailments and disfunctions are going to be different, and may require tailored approaches. However, cutting the toxifoods and dialing down the glycemics is promptly beneficial for everyone.

          Final optimal diet is apt to eventually be defined by genetics, with only a few genes having been identified so far that require specific dietary attention.

  2. I’m in full agreement with Mixhelle. I’ve only eliminated the wheat. My weight has dropped 48 lbs from my peak. I am now at 172 lbs. Even more important I went to my diabetes clinic yesterday for my annual checkup. The doctor sais “Congratulations you no longer have diabetes”. My last metformin tablet was back in December. My A1C reading was 6.1 and my blood sugar measured 88. The dietician of course wants me to cut back on fats because my LDL is at 2.31, suggested margarine instead of butter, low fat cheese instead of regular and lean chicken. I very politely said that I would continue my current diet eating all the fat on my meat. My food sheet showed 100% rye bread and rice so they did not preach the whole grains, besides I had told them that I do not eat wheat.

    • Your A1c looks high! I was reading a recent post of Dr. Perlmutter’s and he indicated that while most people are told an A1c level of 5.2 – 5.8 is normal, it’s not, and those ranges put you in the second highest catagory for brain shrinkage, as well as an elevated risk of cancer., etc. he advocates keeping it at or below 5.2…..and how do we accomplish this? By reducing carbs and sugar.

      • A1C levels under 7 are considered good. My A1C was over 10 back in 2012 when I stopped eating wheat. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends an A1C target of less than or equal to 7. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommends a level of 6.5 or below. Fanatics and perfectionists might want under 5.

      • Dr. Davis

        Yes, excellent, Jan!

        As my friend, Dr. Perlmutter suggests, even 5.2% is not idea. This is why I advise a HbA1c of no higher than 5.0%, the level enjoyed by humans who consume no grains or processed foods.

  3. Karen

    Mixhelle – I took a similar approach with great success as well. I simply don’t eat wheat. When offered to me I reply …No thanks, I can’t eat wheat. I order burgers, tuna sandwhiches, etc., if out and about – always ask for a fork or fork and knife and eat between the slices of bread! :-)

    • Neicee

      Karen, I’ve been a WB warrior since the book came out. Never once have I not had a restaurant come up with more than I expected when quietly explaining to the wait staff that all though I’m salivating over their homemade bread, I cannot eat it. “Do they have any ideas since I’m starving” – I’ve had great salads substituted with oil/vinegar selections or a fresh fruit compote. I do have a Costco hotdog w/ water instead of soda and tear off the bread by the hunks. Can’t think of any other way to keep the mustard on it? :)

  4. Dan Sullivan

    Search / read Dr. Bernstein diabetic solutions for the Real numbers. he wrote the books on patient self control of B/G ,, HbA1c,, He himself is a T1, diagnosed at 12 years old in 1946, and is still practicing

  5. Devon

    I needed to read this. I’m 6.5 mos pregnant and felt best to cut sugar, not wheat since my vice is sugar. Now I’m going to try this for 2 wks and see how I make out…just cut wheat as my own experiment. Thank you so much for posting this when I needed to see this the most :-)

    • Culinary Adventurer

      Devon,
      Here’s wishing you and your baby-on-the-way a much calmer and healthier life! Glad you found this too! Keep reading… read the previous posts. We are all a work in progress but unlike those still ingesting wheat… we are making some meaningful progress!
      You might also want to check out Maria Emmerich’s site. She is very mother friendly too.
      Above ALL, read and re-read Dr. Davis’ book and get his 2 Wheat Belly Cookbooks!

      CA

  6. Deb

    I have been wheat free for 35 days. At first I saw steady weight loss. Down 10 lbs in 14 days. I am at a cross roads. I was trying it for 40 days (Lent), but now that the weight loss has stopped, I’m wondering if it’s just a coincidence.

  7. david

    Where can I find info about going wheat free yet not loose weight? At 155, I do not want to drop lbs. I have ulcerative colitis and schlerosing colongitis. Thanks.

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      David,

      You can really eat more than 15 carbs per meal, 50 per day. Weight will normalize. The idea is to EAT the healthy foods recommended and given your conditions, take the supplements Dr. Davis recommends. Pre/pro-biotics are important to heal your intestines. Hydration is also critical for recovery. Staying away from grains and sugar is the foundation of your recovery.

  8. Neicee

    Shhhh, don’t tell anyone but the recipes on Jewish websites to honor Passover are usually gluten/wheat free. Yes, they call for a great number of eggs and sugar but if you adjust them to use either arythritol or stevia they are fine. I’ve pulled those recipes every year since I started my journey…..and, my husband is grateful. Today on http://www.Jewishworldreview.com they featured a flourless almond cake from Italy. Sounds yummy. Also on http://www.Aish.com they have tons of them. http://www.Elanaspantry.com is golden. I do have her cookbook. I have joked with friends that I have to follow the rules of Passover year around. Gets me an invite every single time!

  9. Steve

    I’ve been struggling with this. I had the same results as Michelle, I eliminated the wheat and I dropped 40 pounds over the next 4 months, and this was a period that included Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. 255 pounds on Labor Day, 215 pounds on Valentines Day. But like Michelle, I follow an exercise regime that is intense. I started following Body For Life in 2001. For those unfamiliar with it, the exercise regime is working out six days a week (one day of rest) and alternating weight lifting with cardio. One day weights, one day cardio, repeat. The cardio is only 20 minutes, but very intense. Incidentally, BFL helped me go from 274 pounds to 220 pounds in 2001, and a large number of the pounds left over were converted from fat to muscle. By the way, the nutrition plan on BFL limited you to… one serving of bread a day.

    This lasted until 2008 when I slowly but steadily added pounds and a huge gut. I was very muscular, but kept adding fat. What happened in 2008? I eased up on the nutrition plan. I fell for the “healthy whole grains” again, and surely that wasn’t causing my weight gain.

    Fast forward to Labor Day 2012 and reading Wheat Belly and now I am back to 215. Lots of muscle, but at 54 it will take a while to lose all that extra skin. Why am I writing this? Because I evangelize Wheat Belly now. Many, many, MANY do not listen and dismiss it. But the few who do listen and take it to heart experience the benefits of better energy, elimination of joint pain, but after losing maybe 15 pounds, the weight loss stops. When I got them started, I told them they didn’t have to exercise, but after reading Michelle’s story, I’m wondering; if you want to accelerate the weight loss, I think you need an exercise program.

    Dr. Davis says that you don’t have to exercise, and while I believe that is true, I think it is worth noting two things:

    1) If you don’t exercise, it may take much longer to lose the weight.
    2) Just as Dr Davis and the rest of us wail about things being “less bad not meaning they are good for you”, while you don’t have to exercise, and giving up wheat is “good for you”, exercise is “more good for you.”

    Building muscle protects your joints and raises your resting metabolism. Cardio insures that you heart and lungs can handle any undo stresses that life throws you. For me (and I believe humans in general), it helps my mental state and provides a huge stress relief. It is good for you.

    And if this inspires you to workout, I highly recommend you find a copy of Body For Life by Bill Phillips. Like Wheat Belly, the pharma and medical industries can’t make any money off of it, so you probably never heard of it. Google it. I’ve followed this program for 13 years and there is no sign of stopping. It is designed to last you for life. Follow the Wheat Belly nutrition plan, but follow BFLs exercise plan.

    And, Dr. Davis, I can’t help but say it: Thank God for you. You have made an incredible difference in my life, the life of my loved ones, and so many more people. Here’s hoping that more of our brothers and sisters break through the chains that the media and big pharma and big medicine have placed upon them, and they are delivered through your research and insights.

    • I did Body for Life for six years. From eating all that carbohydrate, I ended up gaining back the weight I lost, getting acid reflux, an esophageal ulcer, and a mouthful of cavities where I had one before. All the shopping, eating, cooking and exercise took up a *lot* of my time. As for profit, Bill Phillips sold energy drinks and bars in addition to the book.

      If I’d read the book with a more critical eye back then, I might have saved myself a lot of trouble. Here’s my take on it: http://relievemypain.blogspot.com/search?q=body+for+life

    • Lynn Dell

      As a retired physical therapist, I agree with you about the necessity of exercise, and for the exact reasons you provided. In addition to those reasons, Dr. Perlmutter endorses aerobic exercise, on account of its stimulation of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF): http://www.drperlmutter.com/stem-cell-therapy-proven-increase-memory/.

      I too, as you are, am immensely grateful to Dr. Davis for his work in sounding the alarm about wheat specifically and high carbohydrate consumption in general. I credit Drs. Davis and Perlmutter for helping restore my health, so how can I help but be thankful for them?

      • > I don’t think Dr. Davis is anti-exercise…

        He is not, but some to seem to misread the message that exercise for the sake of weight loss tends to be self-defeating. It provokes appetite, which can result in over-eating of whatever’s handy, and it builds muscle mass, which is not exactly weightless.

        Exercise is definitely in-plan for all its other benefits. But prompt substantial weight loss is usually not among them, the fictions of “The Biggest Loser” to the contrary notwithstanding.

  10. Sandy

    I absolutely love the Wheat free diet. I started a regular diet when I retired in June 2012..and lost 24 pounds over the next 18 months through exercise and calorie restriction…I was always 1 cookie away from a binge. I began the Wheat free diet on Dec. 27th 2013 but it was slow losing weight at first. Now, 3 1/2 months later I have dropped 15 pounds. More importantly my fasting glucose was 100 – never lower than 110 before the diet. My A1c went from 6.3 to 5.9.
    I enjoy practicing the recipes in the Wheat belly cookbook and I am currently perfecting a pizza crust recipe. I was essentially a non cook before this diet but the hassle of trying to find something on a restaurant menu that I wanted to eat was too frustrating.
    Recently made a dessert with xylitol and had a severe reaction…just felt sick all over. It’s been a week and still not back to normal. I’m drinking lots of water. Any suggestions?
    Remember that it’s not about the weight- reread what sugar and carbs do to your body and your brain!

    • > Recently made a dessert with xylitol and had a severe reaction…

      How much xylitol, and what else was in the recipe? Xylitol can present challenges.

      It’s not zero GI (13 according to some sources), so it can provoke blood sugar if used in large amounts.

      It is primarily metabolized, if at all, by gut bacteria in the lower intestine, and you need to have a healthy spectrum of critters for that to happen. Most people don’t, due to prescribed antibiotics (ABs), ABs in CAFO meats, pesticide uptake and residues in crops, crops that ARE pesticides (e.g. Bt GMOs), and so-called foods that are inherently adverse to gut biome, like wheat (which wouldn’t be your problem).

      There’s much fairly consistent opinion on xylitol in the LCHF/paleo/primal blogosphere. The consensus is “mostly harmless”, vastly preferable to simple sugars, and be extremely careful if you have a dog.

      You could try a course of quality probiotics (PB) for a few weeks and rechallenge.

      Our household has focused on stevia and erythritol as alternative sweeteners, as the cook reacts to xylitol (and hasn’t tried a PB challenge on that yet). We are also suspicious of sucralose (Splenda) specifically due to it being a gut biome antagonist, and having no data on dose-response for that.

      • Lori

        I’ve tried pretty much all the sugar alternatives and xylitol affects me too, even in small doses, causing gas and a little bloating. I use mostly stevia and occasionally Splenda if the recipe benefits from its baking characteristics. Generally speaking, for the sweeter recipes I like to mix two or three different sweeteners, as that seems to cancel out the aftertaste of individual products.

    • Kat

      I have negative responses to even small amounts of Xylitol (a teaspoon or so) although i can use it to brush my teeth or in gum (not really ingesting it). Otherwise i give it a pass.

      I have severe reactions to Splenda, i am quite sure that 2 packets of that stuff would kill me. I’ve only had it by accident, and i no longer trust any food at a potluck.

      I love KAL brand liquid stevia, and on occasion use a small amount of Swerve (a combination of erythritol, oligosaccharides and natural flavors).

      • Neicee

        Kat, I spent a splendid few days on the Big Island of HI in March. Went to a Farmers Market there and got into a long discussion with a young lady that is selling a cocktail mix. Her dentist had placed her on a therapy for her teeth using erythritol and it was working. I haven’t tired it yet but her dentist was seeing great results in her teeth.
        I told her 1. I wanted to adopt her dentist.
        2. If she had a good medical doc that went along with her wheat free lifestyle I wanted to move there.
        3. Still considering using her dentist for a offshore source. After 20 years of trying to convince mine that if women show a great deal of bone loss they should be warning their patients to seek help with the bone condition, and perhaps they have shown signs of osteoporosis – and possibly wheat intolerance. Hmmm????

    • Neicee

      Sandy, as a member of this WF community we absolutely challenge you to share with us the recipe for your pizza crust. I’ve been so desperate at times that I’ve literally spread the sauce, cheese, olives and other ingredients on a non-stick pan and once cooked served it on a bed of lettuce. Finally discovered that it’s the olive oil/tomatoes/and olives that I crave. Oh, pick up some simply ground pork and add the spices for Italian sausage to it and you don’t have to worry about a mass contamination from ingredients added to that sold in stores that you don’t want your body to have to deal with. My passion for the past year has been sausage making.

  11. Lynn Dell

    This has only a tangential connection to your entry, but I made the carrot cake recipe for “Easter Eve” dinner last night with my family, and it turned out well, just put a little too much lemon juice in the frosting and not enough sweetener, but that’s OK by me!

  12. John

    I’ve been reading recently about oral biovailable SOD being very beneficial. But it seems that the supplements may include wheat sprouts. (Superoxide Dismutase)

    I have been wheat-free almost two years, but would be interested in knowing if there is a safe form of bioavailable SOD.

    Thank you.

  13. Lori

    Somewhat off-topic, but I couldn’t get an open Reply window in the Recipes thread. For a super-easy personal-size pizza, use a flaxseed wrap laid flat. Top with your favorite toppings and broil until the cheese is the desired doneness; two or three minutes works for me as I don’t like the wrap’s edges to get too brown. Also, I like to modify the wrap’s seasoning by leaving out the spices listed in the original recipe and adding several shakes of the Italian Seasoning from the 30-Minute Cookbook. Delish!

  14. Tom Street

    It sounds like eliminating wheat has benefits on its own. But it also sounds like that eliminating wheat will help one also cut out or seriously reduce the consumption of fructose and sugar. That is why, in these case studies, it would be helpful if we knew the level of fructose and sugar consumption before and after wheat was eliminated. Both wheat and sugar are addictive in my experience and based upon my reading both Doctor Davis and Doctor Lustig, I wonder how successful people would be if they kept the sugar and eliminated the wheat and vice versa. To be careful, I have cut out both but I think that followers of each Doctor tend to emphasize what each Doctor mostly talks about.

    • You must be new around here. Readers often comment about headaches, bad moods, arthritis, acid reflux, sinus congestion, etc. that come roaring back when they eat anything with wheat in it.

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      Cutting out the sugar reduces the inflammatory responses and high blood sugar peaks. Cutting out grains also reduces the inflammatory responses and high blood sugar peaks. Keeping your blood sugar stable is the goal. When you do one without the other, your blood sugar swings and the detrimental effects are unavoidable.

  15. Richard

    I have been researching and experimenting for a very long time, trying to find out what foods are REALLY best for the human animal. My conclusion from my research and a little common sense tells me that Homo sapiens are omnivores and can eat a wide variety of foods. It also seems likely that “evolutionary” foods are probably the most sensible. To me that would mean that if something cannot be eaten raw, it probably shouldn’t be eaten at all. That’s not to say these foods MUST be eaten raw, only that they COULD be. To put this another way, only single ingredient foods are “natural”. This doesn’t mean one shouldn’t put a bunch of vegetables together in a bowl. Each raw, unprocessed vegetable is a single ingredient food. It means that foods with a list of unpronounceable ingredients on the label are probably not something one should consume.

    In any case, it would seem that a “natural” diet for humans is probably one that mimics that of our gatherer/hunter ancestors. That would have consisted of mostly vegetables AND fruit, which were the most easily accessible, required the least expenditure of energy to acquire and put the gatherer at less risk than hunting or even scavenging. There would, of course, be as much meat in the diet as could be obtained without violating the law of diminishing returns.

    After years of searching, reading and experimenting, I haven’t been able to come to any satisfactory conclusion about this matter. For any amount of information advocating any given diet there is always at least an equal amount denouncing it. All cite numerous very scientific sounding “studies” and “tests” and all have their own cortege of devotees to provide glowing testimonials to their efficacy.

    As far as I can tell, none of the “diets” I have experimented with have made me any more or less healthy and, at 67, I’ve been trying to find the optimum diet for over thirty years. I am and always have been active and in good health and changes in my eating habits have made little notable difference.

    The other thing all these diets have in common is their extravagant expense. If one can even find a source for foods that can be reasonably trusted as “natural”, “organic” and free of GMOs, one would be required to devote nearly their entire budget to grocery shopping.

    I recently finished reading “Wheat Belly” and found it very compelling. It advocates food choices very similar to the paleolithic diet, which I generally stick to. I decided to give it a try and, like all the other variations, it seems to make no difference either way.

    Whilst doing further research into the low/no carb concept I came upon this little gem:

    I would be most interested to find out how Dr. Davis would respond to it.

    I’m not trying to be a naysayer or disparage the Wheat Belly community. I’m just looking for the best and surest path to maintaining my health and vitality up to the moment I take my final breath.

    “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
    J. Krishnamurti

    • > The other thing all these diets have in common is their extravagant expense.
      > If one can even find a source for foods that can be reasonably trusted as
      > “natural”, “organic” and free of GMOs, one would be required to devote
      > nearly their entire budget to grocery shopping.

      When you consider the consequences, both short and long term, avoiding what appears to be cheap (but toxic) “food”, is worth the investment.

      And yes, quality food is more expensive than it needs to be. And note that cheap food is more expensive than it appears.

      Right now chronic ailment trend lines are both high and rising. Healthcare costs to “treat” (note: not cure) these conditions are rising faster than the GNP. This is not sustainable. Your premiums are going to rise. Your co-pays are going to rise. And universal heathcare is going to become universal healthcare rationing. Your best defense against healthcare you can’t afford, or can’t get, is to not need it.

      200 years ago, all food was organic free-range. Today it’s a niche market, but that’s going to change as demand rises. People are also growing their own. We got chickens last year, and haven’t bought a “cheap” industrial egg in many months. We got goats last week, and expect to fire the industrial cows shortly. The garden goes in next week.

      What appear to be low prices for grain-, sugar and PUFA-contaminated “food” is nothing of the sort. You are paying a variety of hidden costs in government subsidies for the crops (via taxes and inflation). If you could carve off the junk and toxins in modern processed food, you’d quickly compute that what’s left is pretty expensive per ounce. What’s cheap is the parts you don’t want to eat. (Alas, if we can switch off the subsidies, that probably won’t reduce taxes – they’ll just blow it on some other hairbrained scheme.)

      Consider someone about to be cheated of a standard lifespan by an optional food-festered ailment that has had them in misery for some years already. Ask what they’d pay to avoid this fate. It would probably be a handsome sum (if they have anything left due to treating the ailment). Tell them to step into the time machine, go back, and change aisles at the supermarket. Everyone else needs to consider that they just got out of that time machine, and face the same choice.

  16. Culinary Adventurer

    HAPPY EARTH DAY EVERYBODY!
    Think how healthy the Earth could be if we grew less wheat!
    CA

  17. 10044

    ALL the lost weight will be regained, plus a few more, this time in the muscles instead of belly.
    Initial weight loss is 90% water nothing else.

      • Neicee

        10044, where are your sources for the 99% water loss, and that you’ll gain it all back? I have a number of issues which the writings of Dr. Davis, and Gary Taubes have made it possible for me to remain at my original weightloss – from a size 6 to a size 2. Yes, I’d like to be at my 30 yr. ago size of size 0 but now I eat for the joy of eating. Back then I only ate when famished, and sadly ate the wrong things, even knowing I probably had celiacs but that didn’t stop me. I felt that I was invincible. I know longer harbor that viewpoint. Too many nights waking up feeling like my stomach was going to explode and then did. Too many nights passing out due to the pain of eating something that was tearing me apart. Only when I found that the condition of being wheat intolerant did I realize I had to stop eating the very thing that was causing me to feel so awful. I didn’t carewhether I was retaining fluid or if I stopped whether I was going to regain the weight, etc.. or not! I wasn’t overweight nor needing crutches. I needed to stop hurting, throwing up, fainting on the bathroom, or needing cold compresses on my head while sitting on the commode praying I wouldn’t die before that episode passed. Those are the people that some gifted writers have addressed.

        • 10044

          “10044, where are your sources for the 99% water loss, and that you’ll gain it all back?”
          Myself !!
          after losing an initial 10lbs (from 140 to 130), i regained it all, and in fact now am 147lbs!!! pretty impressive don’t you think?
          I’m not complaining about not eating wheat/grains etc..actually I favor it, I just wish I didn’t gain lots of weight, not too much belly weight mostly muscle

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      10044,

      Of course you will lose water weight when eating the WB way. The inflammation in your body will release the excess water quickly. Depending on your age, health issues and conformity to this way of eating, you will transition quickly to having your liver burn fat for fuel instead of sugars. This is where the weight loss happens. With fats in your diet, you feel satisfied and your body shows the benefits. This is why grains and sugars are not on our menu. As time goes on, various food allergies might surface and these need to be eliminated. As you continue this way of eating, you will find that after the excess weight is lost, your weight remains stable at a normal level.

      Regaining the lost weight is an issue only if another health problem develops or you start eating grains/sugars again or really consume many more than the 15 carbs per meal, like snacking on too much fruit or nuts. Consuming alcohol might be problematic for some people.

      • 10044

        My entire net daily carb intake is no more than 10!! That’s why i’m “extremely” frustrated. I’ve been eating a lot more of olive oil and coconut oil lately, and that resulted in 5lbs gain! Sine july 2013 i’ve gained 18lbs …that’s just unacceptable by any measure and means.

        • > My entire net daily carb intake is no more than 10!! … gained 18lbs …

          In case you haven’t worked the checklist, be sure to see:
          http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2012/10/i-lost-the-wheat-but-didnt-lose-weight-2/
          and the 3-part videos posted here in Feb 2014 on the same topic.

          Although not fully elucidated on the WB “didn’t#2″ list, folks around the paleosphere are reporting weight loss un-stalls using resistant starches. My so far limited understanding of RS suggests that it won’t work at all unless the gut biome is in order (probiotics, and what to buy is beyond the scope of this reply). Fixing the gut is worthwhile even if no weight needs to be lost.

          • 10044

            I don’t think it has anything to do with the #1, #2 or #3 list (perhaps a little bit of#1)….excess protein turns into sugar therefore fat, very simple., lower protein and increase fat…and that’s why I say the “enjoy unlimited” is most definitely NOT for everyone (where it says enjoy unlimited amount of meats fish chicken etc I.e. protein)
            It took me 9 months to figure this out thru research but I guess better late than never.

  18. 10044

    “In two weeks of JUST wheat elimination, I am down 9 pounds and 4 inches off my waist.”

  19. Richard

    In the comment I posted above, there was a link to some information that disagrees with the wheat belly/low/no carb theory. I didn’t post it because I agree with it. I was just hoping for some feedback. The link was deleted by the moderators/censors for this blog. I’m not sure why the link was removed but such censorship makes me feel a bit uneasy.

    • > I would be most interested to find out how Dr. Davis would respond to it.

      I suspect you had your answer, which I’d surmise is in 2 parts:
      1. The linked article wasn’t worth responding to on its merits, and/or
      2. This blog is unwilling to contribute link clicks to that site.

      > I was just hoping for some feedback.

      You could post it on Wheat Free Forum, an independent site, and see if the readership there thinks there’s any “there” there..

      On “censorship”, do note that only the link is gone. Your original remarks are still posted here. You apparently haven’t been blocked from posting.

  20. Susie

    Dr. Davis:

    Hoping you can shed some light. I went wheat-free Feb 2013. I believe I have a sensitivity to wheat as I can definitely tell when I have some by mistake. However, my daughters do not appear to have any issues. Until last week when my 11 year old passed out on Thursday night, then again sitting at lunch at school on Friday and then again on Saturday after we were released from the hospital and she was just walking in the hallway at home. 2 ekgs and echo all say her heart is great. She has never had health issues – a small cold once or twice a year – but a very healthy little girl. Cardiologist says its vasovagal syncope. Hits her without warning – remember everything before and after – no seizures. I am wondering if is hormonal as she is due to have her 2nd menstrual cycle any day. But, a friend of mine mentioned her nephew has this and they believe his is brought on by gluten. have you ever hear of this? should I have her tested for gluten/wheat allergy/sensitivity?

    Thank you for your thoughts.

    Susie

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, these events can indeed be brought on by a component of wheat, though not necessarily gluten.

      But it is impossible to make an individual determination via a blog post, Susie.