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Cutting Wheat out Of Your Diet: Good Or Bad? (Wheat Belly)


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I’ve recently started reading this book called Wheat Belly By William Davis, MD. It’s a book I’ve herd so much hype about (New York Times Best Seller). The book goes on to tell you how cutting wheat out of your diet not only helps you to lose Your “Wheat Belly”, but also how it can cure many of other health problem.

In his book he says you can lose ten pounds in 14 days…"Ten pounds in fourteen days. I know: it sounds like another TV infomercial boasting the latest “lose weight fast’ gimmick. But I’ve Seen it time and time again: eliminate wheat in all its myriad forms and pounds melt away, often as much as a pound a day. No Gimmicks, no subscription meals, no special formulas, no “meal replacement” drinks or Cleansing regimens Required.”

I’m only a few chapters in and I’m curious . Is this worth the read or just another fad? What are your opinions on cutting out wheat from the your diet? 

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thhq
Jul 25 2012 22:18
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#21  
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You also have my permission to count calories. I don't see anything about that in your book endorsement, which is what bothers me the most about people who post advertising. 

The OP's original teaser says it all about Dr. Quack's approach to calorie counting:

…"Ten pounds in fourteen days. I know: it sounds like another TV infomercial boasting the latest “lose weight fast’ gimmick. But I’ve Seen it time and time again: eliminate wheat in all its myriad forms and pounds melt away, often as much as a pound a day. No Gimmicks, no subscription meals, no special formulas, no “meal replacement” drinks or Cleansing regimens Required.”

That in itself makes this non-calorie counting approach a violation of site rules. How can you defend what is so obviously a dangerous approach to weight loss?

@Melkor, you didn't answer what to me is Davis’s most dramatic claim, and central to his whole spiel—that selective breeding significantly altered the genetics of wheat in the late 1970s–early 1980s, and that since then wheat has been containing addictive exorphins that stimulate us to overeat. Is this demonstrably false?

@thhq, Davis is adamant that substituting gluten-free grains for wheat is bad, too. He counsels his followers to stay away from rice flour, potato flour, arrowroot flour, oats, etc. as well as wheat.

#23  
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In b4 raikens all over this thread!! Lol but srs that book is a waste of ur $ unless u have a gluten intolerance issue its not going to be something that will help u much with losing weight.. I consume grains (wheat included) but i stay away from refined sugar (unless its sunday,my cheat day).. I eat carbs every day (in moderation of course) and this has not stopped me from being able to lose the weight.. Dont waste ur $ on gimmicks like this book. Count calories, be active. It might be slower than some fad diet but it will be sustainable.. Besides, you dont want to lose muscle since the more u have, the more fat u burn

Original Post by mephyle:

@Melkor, you didn't answer what to me is Davis?s most dramatic claim, and central to his whole spiel?that selective breeding significantly altered the genetics of wheat in the late 1970s?early 1980s, and that since then wheat has been containing addictive exorphins that stimulate us to overeat. Is this demonstrably false?

@thhq, Davis is adamant that substituting gluten-free grains for wheat is bad, too. He counsels his followers to stay away from rice flour, potato flour, arrowroot flour, oats, etc. as well as wheat.


Is it demonstratigly true?
Original Post by smashley23:

Original Post by mephyle:

@Melkor, you didn't answer what to me is Davis’s most dramatic claim, and central to his whole spiel—that selective breeding significantly altered the genetics of wheat in the late 1970s–early 1980s, and that since then wheat has been containing addictive exorphins that stimulate us to overeat. Is this demonstrably false?

Is it demonstratigly true?

Maybe—Davis vehemently claims that it is true. If it had been demonstrated to be false, everybody would be jumping all over him citing the evidence that his claims are false.

And I don’t see anyone doing this (in general, I mean, not just in this thread). I see lots of ad hominum attacks on his claim, and I see refutations of stuff that Davis isn’t claiming to be true.

But actually I asked if it was false because melkor stated upthread that Davis’s argument is based on two false premises, but neither of them is the thing about the addictive exorphins in recent wheat—which it seemed to me is the pillar of Davis’s argument—and I wanted to ask him what he thought about that.

thhq
Jul 26 2012 04:58
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#26  
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I had heard that this quacker was down on selective wheat strains, but hadn't heard that he was down on selective breeding of anything. Taking his advice to the logical conclusion you'd be left eating only wild things, because everything that is farmed has been bred to improve a trait. Beef would definitely be out, as well as pork and poultry, anything that goes in a salad, almost all nuts, fruits, land of course all the grains. I wouldn't mind a diet of native oysters and clams, but they're hard to find among those bred for trait too. Maybe he'd be OK with wild berries and salmon?

Picky, picky, picky to the max. When the book hits ten cents with free shipping I might have to buy a copy for laughs, then use it for firestarts in the smoker.
thhq
Jul 26 2012 05:28
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#27  
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This piece from the daily lipid gives a little more balanced view:

http://blog.cholesterol-and-health.com/2011/1 0/wheat-belly-toll-of-hubris-on-human.html?m= 1

I like Guyenet's view on reward as being a broad view of what's wrong, and the idea that we are more victims of hubris than wheat. Wheat Belly adds to the hubris, and I have the impression that the dredge for narcotic effects is a disingenuous attempt to create hubris. Taubes fructose "theory" is on the same level of pseudoscience churned from lit searches to sell books.

What is demonstrably true is that a calorie counting approach works for weight reduction. Believing that a vast conspiracy is at work to make you fat is a victim's attitude.
#28  
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Original Post by thhq:

You also have my permission to count calories. I don't see anything about that in your book endorsement, which is what bothers me the most about people who post advertising. 

The OP's original teaser says it all about Dr. Quack's approach to calorie counting:

…"Ten pounds in fourteen days. I know: it sounds like another TV infomercial boasting the latest “lose weight fast’ gimmick. But I’ve Seen it time and time again: eliminate wheat in all its myriad forms and pounds melt away, often as much as a pound a day. No Gimmicks, no subscription meals, no special formulas, no “meal replacement” drinks or Cleansing regimens Required.”

That in itself makes this non-calorie counting approach a violation of site rules. How can you defend what is so obviously a dangerous approach to weight loss?

My opinion is not an advertisement. The original poster was asking about the book, not about calorie counting. Hardly any of the threads on these forums are specifically about calorie counting; are you saying these are all in violation and should be deleted?

You may be surprised to know that I do count my calories. I know every day what goes in my body - but you didn't ask about that did you?

Also, regardless of which diet change you choose if you are an obese person, any diet change, including calorie counting and reduction may result in a weight loss of 10 lbs in 14 days. We all know alot of that is going to be water weight, and may not actually be a reduction in fat or muscle percentages. All weight loss programs have some level of marketing associated with them, that is a given.

This "lifestyle choice" is hardly unsafe. I'm a healthy 130lbs woman, (5'5") - noraml BMI. I have been restricting wheat in my diet and have lost only about 4lbs, in 4 weeks. I find I naturally eat less, because I'm less hungry. These results arevery similar to the results of limiting my calorie intake. Its unsafe if you make it unsafe, as is any change in diet. That is where personal responsibility comes in. I eat the daily recommended carbohydrate requirements for my body - i just get them outside of wheat.  What is so dangerous about that?

I vehemently claim that there is a teapot that orbits Pluto. Can you disprove it?
Original Post by thhq:

I had heard that this quacker was down on selective wheat strains, but hadn't heard that he was down on selective breeding of anything. Taking his advice to the logical conclusion you'd be left eating only wild things, because everything that is farmed has been bred to improve a trait.

Straw man argument again. He isn’t against selective breeding.

I am not defending him, I’m asking for evidence that refutes what he actually says, not what people who haven’t read his stuff claim (mistakenly) that he says.

I haven’t spent money on the book either, but I have obtained an accurate idea what his claims are by reading his blog. And I would like to see those claims accurately disproved. If they are false, it should be easier to disprove them than to disprove that a teapot orbits Pluto.

It's obviously the wheat's fault. It can't be my fault. Maybe it's Pluto's fault.

It's Eris' fault that Pluto is no longer a planet.

thhq
Jul 26 2012 16:59
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#33  
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Not a straw man mephyle, just more hyperbole and bad metaphors on my part. I shouldn't be using my hubris to counter his hubris. The daily lipid critique does a much fairer job, particularly in showing the contrast between someone doing daily nutritional research for a living, and someone cherry picking that literature to generate hubris. The truth of wheat belly is a lot of N=1's on a method to deal with obesity.  The part about the narcotic effects isn't well supported. Much of it comes from a study of binge eating women. Many other foods contain the same compounds, but Dr. Q focuses only on studies that suit his objective. The Guyenet approach is much broader and more valid IMO. Modern foods are designed to be hyperpalatable. There are way too many cheap, easy, hard-to-resist rewarding foods out there. Wheat is part of the recipe, but it's not the only ingredient.

I brought up selection because of the way Dr. Q broadened the tent to take in other high glycemic foods. I thought he might be able to accomodate berries in his diet, but then read that he recommends no more than 2 strawberries a day. I thought that it was hypocritical of him not to critique all agriculturally selected foods. Especially those containing a lot of fat and protein. What about manipulation of O3:O6, factory farmed meat, etc.

There's also no explanation of the several billion people on this planet eating high glycemic foods (including the dreaded short stem wheat) as daily staples without wheat bellies. I had forgotten about this, but was reminded of it reading the daily lipid critique.

#34  
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Wheat is definitely not the same grain as even 50 years ago. If someone eliminates any grain, they should substitute another one. I have celiac disease, and eat a lot of quinoa.

I have read the book and share it with everyone I care about.  My daughter, my husband, and I have been wheat-free since around April 10 of this year.  Daughter has lost 35 pounds so far, husband has lost 32 pounds so far, and I have lost 5 pounds.  Let me stress that I was 139 and not especially wanting to lose anymore weight, but went wheat-free based on how I felt about wheat after reading the book.  So just 5 pounds for me so far?  Heck, I'll take it, now I'm size 4-6 instead of 8-10.  In addition to losing weight, for the first time in, oh, probably 20 years, my husbands triglyceride levels went from the 400s (high risk) to 138 (healthy range.)  At one point his triglycerides were over 1000, of course when he was still eating wheat. His cholesterol is in the normal range despite eating 4 organic scrambled eggs every morning, not bagels or toast or cereal.  So yes, wheat is not what you think it is.  It is not the same wheat of biblical times, or even what your great grandmother used to bake bread with.  The wheat of today has a strong appetite stimulant in it, gliadin, and since the "new wheat" was introduced on the market in the 1980's, people have increased their calorie consumption by 400 per day, which may help to shed some light on the obesity epidemic we have today. Wheat is in everything these days, read labels on salad dressings, soy sauce, candy, many, many packaged foods.  Don't knock the book or the author until you have read it and put it into practice.

Hi, I just finished reading Wheat Belly also. I am 48 yo woman and when i eat nutritious meals throughout the day i slowly gain. I am not a junk food junkie and have never had to count calories to lose weight but now the slower metabolism is making me feel like i just cannot eat or i slowly gain!

Especially last two years. i have tried atkins successfully and feel better when i am on the diet but when i add the carbs and wheat back into my diet i slowly gain with no end in sight. i am on Atkins currently and down almost 8 pounds but now that i read this book i am determined to keep the so called healthy grains out of my daily diet. I always noticed some of the benefits when i am on Atkins with reduced grains. Seem to lose inches before pounds, joints feel better, mind clearer in morning. I always get the afternoon siesta feeling after meals and this is much improved when i avoid grains. I did not realize that 2 slices of whole wheat bread spike blood sugar more than straight sugar or a candy bar. The book says the repetitive blood sugar highs and lows are what wear out body systems such as insulin response and after many years of abuse the body can't keep taking the spikes which can affect the heart among other things. I would recommend the book to anyone.

I've not read the book but in the past year I found out that I had a wheat sensitivity. At the time I weighed about 132lbs as my norm with constant bloating and extreme fatigue (as that is what happens when your body can't digest wheat properly), and within 2 months of cutting wheat out of my diet, I went down to 118lbs with no bloating and WAY more energy. Again, haven't read the book, so I'm not totally sure what it says, but it is always worth trying, even for a month or so to see how you feel. A bonus of cutting wheat out is that most of the high fat, bad for you foods, like cake or pie, etc, have wheat in them- so you're automatically cut those things out too.  There are definitely TONS of other ways to get your fibre and carbs if that is a concern for you- I eat a lot of quinoa, beans and brown rice now. 

I stopped eating wheat in November 2011, and currently average at a weight of 115lbs (I'm 5'6") with tons more energy. I have indulged in things like cake and pie over the summer- so I'm not perfect- but I do feel 110% better when not eating wheat. So if you haven't already, I definitely recommend trying it. If you've already started trying it (I know your post was from last month), how have you found it? 

 

Also- My rate of weight loss is most likely due to the fact that I have a sensitivity to it- so again, my body was thrown for a loop every time I ate it, which made me not digest wheat or other foods properly. That is not to say that everyone will have that same result. 

One more thing- I've heard the gist of the book, and know that 2 of my cousins, 1 of my aunts, and 2 of my closer friends have also developed a wheat sensitivity in the last 2 years, which makes you wonder what they are doing to wheat now-a-days that they didn't used to. 

Original Post by de_anne:

I have read the book, and it's not as gimmicky as people who have not read it are assuming. But as with anything take the knowledge and do some of your own research. It's an interesting read to say the least. But more or less like a lot of diets it too assumes a one-size-fits-all. Some people will do better with out wheat then others. What it comes down to, is people simply DO NOT know enough about how our bodies are reacting to our modern foods. Modern wheat has been modified a lot from what people used to eat. Processed foods are wreaking havoc on our bodies. Read it, but make your own conclusions. For every one discovery a doctor is making within the subject of diet (what we eat not how we lose weight kind of diet) there is another doctor doing another study that disproves that discovery. It's evolving, and changing, and there is no "right" answer. It's about how you feel. If you stop eating wheat and you feel better and you lose weight, then maybe you are one of those people who should not be eating it in the first place.

Don't underestimate the power of a placebo.  If you think you will feel better if you stop eating wheat then you will feel better when you stop eating wheat.  But it's not the absence of eating wheat that makes you feel better, it is the result of your belief.

The big problem is that a lot of people are abusing carbs, especially later on in life when our insulin sensitivity goes down.  White rice, white bread, pastas, cookies, cakes and other goodies made with white flour are contributing to the fattening of many people.  One main benefit of whole grains is that they have more fiber content and therefore lead to slower emptying of the stomach and slower blood sugar spikes.  However, people still abuse the "whole grain" fad as even Froot Loops claim to be whole grain.

I think many people, not all, can benefit by significantly reducing the amount of wheat products they eat in their diet simply because they abuse the eating of them.  More lean proteins and vegetables/fruits gets you teh same fiber and vitamins/minerals and better blood sugar control.

I am sure the book is just a gimmick approach but the real value is trying to reduce the amount of bad carbs you take in and replace them.  Your body needs glucose for energy but it does not need large intakes of carbs to get it and people are shoving whole wheat bread and muffins into their mouths and adding 100s of calories.

Weight loss comes down to calories burned minus calories taken in so that is the only secret you need.

I thought the book was very informative.  I liked the fact that he stressed NOT replacing wheat products with gluten free processed counterparts.  He knows what he's talking about - those processed foods labeled gluten-free are just as bad or worse calorically and in the sugar/carbohydrate content.

It's a good book and before I read that book I discovered - from elimination - that I do have issues with wheat.  I'm not celiac, but sensitive - severely sensitive with both bloating digestive issues and allergic reactions to wheat - when I eat it, my eyes itch and run as though I've been in a pollen patch all day!

I think his advice is great - if you think you have issues with wheat just eliminate it for a month and see what happens - if you feel better, then just remember that you feel better when you don't eat it.  It doesn't have to be a big deal.

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