Colleen shared photos of the progress she has made living the Wheat Belly lifestyle. I share her story because it makes so many of the essential points that we talk about in living the Wheat Belly lifestyle: the reversal of body-wide inflammation, the agony of re-exposure, the need to manage net carbs and use safe natural sweeteners, and the need to not count calories. Colleen also learned that, despite choosing more organic, whole foods on this lifestyle, it is not more expensive, and that exercise is not an effective means of controlling weight.
“Today is a day of celebration for me. July 14, 2015 was the day I decided to join the Wheat Belly family after I saw a post of yours on my Aunt Pat’s Facebook page. A year has passed. I am celebrating a 49 pound weight loss. I am celebrating with about 8″ off my hips and 7” off my waist. I am celebrating with healthier skin, less headaches, less aches and pains, and the inflammation that was in my feet is gone. I generally do feel a lot better. I move a lot better. I am forever grateful to Wheat Belly.
“A couple things I just wanted to touch on…
“During the past year, I only ate wheat once and I won’t make that mistake again. First off, it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. Plus the inflammation and the aches and pains in my joints were ridiculous. Giving up wheat and grains was easy for me, but I do still struggle with the sugars. I found xylitol to be my savior. I know I could have lost more weight if I could have eliminated the sugars entirely. But, all in all, 49 pounds pleases me and is a good start. This year I am in the process of conquering my sugar addiction. I know this is what is putting me over my carb intake and has slowed (but not stopped) my progress. Even though the weight loss has slowed, I have still lost inches.
“Secondly, I did find that eating the Wheat Belly lifestyle was NOT as expensive as people think. Yeah, sure, the initial buying of things like almond flour/meal, flax seed, nuts, etc. are a bit costly but they do last longer than you think. After that, I didn’t really see any big change in my grocery bill because I wasn’t buying cereals, breads, cookies, crackers and other processed food. My kids and I have had fun trying to recreate our favorite foods and stay within the parameters of the Wheat Belly lifestyle. It has become a game.
“The third thing I wanted to touch on was, prior to joining Wheat Belly, I counted calories. I would take in around 1,750 calories, which is what I was told to do to lose weight. I also would spend about 45 minutes to an hour doing cardio at the gym about 4 days a week. My weight didn’t budge. I did get more toned but other than that no weight loss. When I started Wheat Belly, I ditched the gym. For the heck of it, in the beginning, I still kept track of my calories which was within my normal calorie intake (which I know you say we don’t need to do). The difference: I was shedding the weight. So here I was NOT going to the gym and sticking within my normal calorie count and the weight fell off of me. This proves that it isn’t about the calories in versus calories burned that we have been taught. Because if that was the case, then I shouldn’t have been losing weight when I stopped going to the gym because that was 3200 calories a week I wasn’t burning off.
“And lastly, to anyone of your potential followers who is considering Wheat Belly, I started without having read the book. I would also say it took probably close to 3 months to be able to read labels correctly and learn what to stay away from: the things I wasn’t supposed to have. It takes time to get down all the rules and guidelines but it’s worth it. I found that adding a few new guidelines each week helped me remember them better.
“Thank you, Dr Davis, for sharing your wisdom with us all. Your blog has been fantastic. I love reading the success stories and I am glad to be a success story myself.”
Isn’t that great? Note that Colleen’s pre-Wheat Belly calorie intake was restrictive as part of her effort to lose weight. Once she was on the Wheat Belly lifestyle in which we do not limit calories, she likely reverted naturally to a reduced calorie intake without working to do so, since this lifestyle eliminates the abnormal appetite stimulation caused by gliadin protein-derived opioid peptides.
Of course, I would not suggest doing this on your own without the support of the discussions in the Wheat Belly books, despite Colleen’s success, as understanding the details surrounding this lifestyle will help ensure long-term success that only begins with wheat and grain elimination. Remember: after eliminating the cause of so many health problems–wheat and grains–we then address the several nutrient deficiencies that can persist, as well as some other common deficiencies unrelated to grain consumption such as iodine deficiency. We also work to cultivate healthy bowel flora, crucial to maintaining long-term health success. And, of course, having an arsenal of delicious grain-free, no-sugar-added foods for holidays, entertaining, and kids provided by the Wheat Belly cookbooks can help you stay on course.
Nonetheless, Colleen succeeded in a big way by piecing much of the Wheat Belly program herself and is on her way to slenderness and dramatically improved health.