Read Jim’s wonderful story of health and weight transformed, minus wheat:
I am a 61-year old male, retired (but still working part time) early childhood educator. I am 5′ 7″ and medium-framed. Picked up your book in August via Amazon after a Google search for “diet to lose abdominal fat.” My wife, an RN, had been concerned that the 25 lbs I had gained since my retirement in 2007 had gone straight to my gut.
For years I had been a recreational runner and had held a weight of about 185 lbs. Slowed down a bit in the 1990’s due to a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Weight began to climb and, by retirement, I was about 210 and had quit running. BP started to climb and cholesterol did, as well. Portion control, workouts at the gym, following my wife’s Weight Watchers’ regimen couldn’t seem to do any better than a 10-15 lb loss, with rebounds always following. My PCP [primary care physician] finally put me on Diovan and simvastatin, but my BP and lipid profile merely leveled off, didn’t really improve. This past summer, my weight ballooned to 234 lbs with a BP of 136/92. I had to do something.
Your book caught me with the comparison of the GI [glycemic index] of whole grain bread vs. the Snickers bar. I was on the wheatless way before I finished the first chapter. Began cold turkey on August 13 and had no problems finding satisfaction without wheat. The weight began to drop immediately and I have had continuous small, but steady, weekly losses for 30 weeks. I have no problems asking for substitutions at restaurants (hold the potato, double veggies please) or politely declining the ice cream and cake at family parties. I look upon it as a chance to educate others about my choices and your findings….I’m not a zealot but realize it’s a way of life.
The numbers speak for themselves. I lost 57 pounds. Triglycerides (355 to 60) and HDL (45 to 72) improvements amaze me. My blood pressure wasn’t this good when I was running. Not sure I understand the whole LDL profile (last March it was 145, in Sept it dipped to 57, now it’s back up to 158…but it’s calculated, not measured). I have had glaucoma for many years and my quarterly eye pressure checks average about 18-20. My last two checks were 16. The opthamologist asked what I was doing differently. This winter, my fibromyalgia symptoms have pretty much vanished.
No portion control, no calorie counting, minimum exercise (although my part time job working with preschoolers keeps me hopping), and I’m never hungry. When I’m not working, I usually grab a handful of almonds for lunch or a snack…just don’t seem to need as much. Great breakfasts and diinners–just no wheat, no sugar, no problem.
The Wheat Belly Cookbook is already dog-eared as my wife begins to move in the WB direction also. Many friends and associates are noticing the change and I’ve had many inquiries at work about my appearance. I have never used a real photo of myself on my Facebook profile before, but can’t believe the transformation. Dr. Davis, you’ve helped me turn back the clock 25 years. All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you.
Weight, triglycerides, blood pressure, glaucoma, fibromyalgia . . . Jim’s appearance and metabolism are transformed. In fact, his “after” photo looks like an entirely different person—that is true both internally and externally!
And, as he correctly points out, the calculated LDL cholesterol value, obtained via the “Friedewald equation,” is invalid: Both weight loss and carbohydrate restriction make the calculation for LDL invalid, due to the assumptions used to create the equation itself. It wouldn’t hurt to measure it, e.g., an NMR Lipoprofile LDL particle number or an apoprotein B (a count of the single protein in each LDL particle). If he does, he will see a much lower value. And, if he opts for a full lipoprotein analysis (e.g., NMR Lipoprofile), he will see that there are few or no small LDL particles.
What is wonderful about this is that Jim’s entire health was transformed–not with a pile of drugs, not with liposuction, not with counting calories or extreme exercise efforts. Jim accomplished this transformation by applying an insight that all humans need to be aware of: Wheat is inappropriate for human consumption.