When a Diet isn’t a Diet (Or how my husband and I have lost 44 lbs in 12 weeks)

20 Jun

What if I told you that by omitting ONE food, our overall health and weight are steadily improving? Would you think that going without one ingredient is something you could do if the health benefits were not only weight loss, but also improved overall health?

Do you struggle with any of the following? (Likely more than one…)

You might be thinking to yourself, “Well, of course I do! Who doesn’t?” Kind of like a disreputable psychic who makes general statements which are likely to apply to a wide range of people and situations, the list raises skepticism.  However, it is precisely BECAUSE these symptoms are so widespread that people should be more concerned about having them, not less. A widespread collection of symptoms might just point to a widespread contaminant or cause. Does that make sense?

There are countless over-the-counter drugs that one can buy to try to get a handle on these awful feelings. If you were to go to your doctor and complain about these symptoms, the likely result would be a prescription for a pharmaceutical to ease the symptom only. Maybe they would request a test or 3 first and then still write a prescription.

However, how many physicians really dig into the causes of these things, especially occurring together? How many ask what you are eating? How many ask whether you have tried to lose weight and whether any methods were successful? My bet is VERY FEW. Why? Because even the medical profession has accepted that these symptoms are normal or average in our society, and are signs of perhaps aging or the general stress of living, even though they occur in children and teens as well as adults! (Not to mention, who would purchase all the over-the-counter meds and prescription drugs if people were to fix these problems with DIET alone?)

Finding the “Key” to good health

As citizens of planet Earth, we are faced with countless health choices and challenges in our everyday living. Some rely solely on pharmaceutical solutions to manage their symptoms; some use a combination of meds and natural approaches. Many of us have been delving for years into the natural keys to our own personal health, trying to discover what makes us feel the best and what makes us hurt, deciding which foods are “golden” and which are damaging our body systems, which combination of foods and activities will help us to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight and fitness level. It matters to some of us, a whole lot. It seems like it can be so much work to keep up with the conflicting information and possible schools of thought, that it can be frustrating trying to make real and lasting changes for ourselves and our families.

It doesn’t help that the waters are muddied by corporate voices that speak with profit as a primary goal, rather than distributing critical health information. I have no intention of sounding extremist or alarmist when I discuss the state of human health, but I do think that many people, even those who believe they are eating “right” or “healthy” are instead eating themselves into clinics, hospitals and even graves. The worst part of it is that while some people have a casual disregard for health matters, there are many who have the very best intentions, and are unfortunately operating on misinformation, rather than apathy or ignorance.

If you are like me, you have been hoping that at some point the light would shine down, illuminating some “truth” that you missed, and things would click into place.  That there would be some key that makes so much sense that you can’t believe you didn’t figure it out sooner.

Well, I am happy to say, we have figured it out! (For us, anyway.) I’d like to think that it’s the same key that might work for you. I’m just thankful that I heard the message enough times from other people passing through my life that I actually tuned in, and investigated! People on gluten free diets were talking about the major positive health impact that one change has made…

We gave up WHEAT, and our health and weight is steadily improving!

I believe that most people have had, at the very least, an inkling that processed carbohydrates are “bad”, or that there are better choices out there than foods with “empty calories.”  Reaching for a cookie, cupcake, candy bar, or slice of pizza usually is met with delicious anticipation as well as a pang of guilt for many people.  We brush it aside and think, well, it’s just one… or we remember that we did have a salad for lunch, which was a healthy choice. Or maybe we think that it’s a whole grain bran muffin, or that it’s a whole wheat pizza crust… that has some merit, right? We are getting our daily allowance of grains (the government tells us we NEED whole grains!) along with our veggies, fruits, proteins…

Except that many common grains in the wheat family contain gluten, which wreaks havoc on our bodies! It is true that some people are more sensitive to it than others, there are a wide range of effects from gluten sensitivity to celiac disease, however, if you are suffering any of the symptoms on that list, there’s a chance that wheat could be impacting your health and your life. (Click HERE for an extensive list of diseases associated with wheat consumption) Also, carbohydrates, whether they are wheat-based or not, spike blood sugar and can cause visceral fat, insulin resistance and diabetes.

I can only speak from my own perspective and on behalf of my own research and my family’s experience when I relate our stories in my articles and on my blog. As I say that, I am always hoping that the information strikes a chord with someone who is also looking for a health solution, and that they will give wheat-free and gluten-free living a try. (Buy Wheat Belly” by Dr. Davis, and the information will blow you away. And, if you are like me, it will spur you on to start reading even more, and question even more, and start following a path that seems to be more enlightening every day. Also, visit for a wealth of real research articles that will open your eyes!)

Back to the title, and why I say that this diet, isn’t a diet.

From what I have seen and read, I believe that our bodies have different norms in weight and shape, depending on how we eat. Our bodies adjust to a balance, and that balance can only be maintained by continuing to eat a certain way. If you change back to old eating habits, you will change back to your old weight and health status. It really is that simple. If you continue down a new food path (or “diet”), and stay there, your body will adjust to a new normal for that lifestyle, and that is where you will likely remain. To me, the term “diet” has the connotation of a temporary change to meet a weight loss or health goal. Maybe the word “program” would be better? No, programs tend to have a beginning and end as well. Hmmmm, I think “LIFESTYLE”, as it refers to a more holistic and long term approach or state of being. (Here is what Dr. Davis has to say about the diet not being a diet.)

At any rate, I am very interested to see where my own weight will stabilize, eating a gluten free diet, and very little sugar or processed carbohydrates. The things that we have deleted from our diet, we have no intention of ever eating again, because we know how bad they are for our health, not just our weight. That makes all the difference in the world!

There is a mental difference between mildly suspecting that a substance is harmful, and having evidence that it is. Between the research I have done, and the personal (anecdotal) experience, I am certain that wheat and sugar are extremely damaging to our bodily systems.

Since we are a real family, living in a real world with friends, family, co-workers and the like, and we will share meals with these people in our lives at times, it is natural that conversation about the way we choose to eat will be a recurring topic. The reactions from people vary from curiosity or support, to scorn, disbelief, or sort of shaking heads in pity that we are living our lives without the almighty grain, and even anger in some cases! At first it was a little disheartening, but now it evokes a sense of empathy in us, because we were where they are… and not so long ago. We know that it can sound alien to hear people talking about ridding their diets of wheat (specifically the gluten protein, gliadin) and people wonder if there is anything to our way of eating, or if it is merely another “fad” diet.

Well, for starters, we have never been fad dieters. We have always attempted to eat healthy as a primary goal, and have looked into information about real wellness and good foods to eat. Even though we have struggled with some excess weight over the years, and would be more than happy to lose it, our eating routines have mainly been formed with increased overall health in mind, not merely losing pounds.

At one point in the past we did engage in a low fat diet, where we ate lots of veggies, fruits, lean meats, and low fat snacks (carbs included), but avoided oils and fats like the plague. During that time, we did lose weight, but there was always this imminent sense that we couldn’t wait to reach our target weight, our goal, so that we could be done with this torturous process! We were often HUNGRY! (set up to FAIL)

Now, any of you who have dieted, probably understand that conflict. Even though we were trying to convince ourselves that the way we were eating was healthy, our bodies were in real need of the healthy fats that we were going without. Also, the carbohydrates that we were eating, we may have been burning off (I exercised a LOT), but they left us feeling hungry and unsatisfied… which leads to the yearning for the diet to end! The problem with waiting for a diet to end is that once it ends, eventually you will end up gaining weight back.

That is precisely what is different about eating this way. We went through a period of getting off wheat, and processed foods (a couple weeks of cravings and detox), however once we were clean, our outlook felt “clean” as well! We don’t have those awful cravings; we get full and satisfied from our meals; we enjoy choosing healthful foods, because we know that they are fueling and nourishing our systems with the components they need. The fats in our diet are good for our organs and mind, feel satisfying, and are pretty much self-regulating when combined with all the healthy veggies we eat, as well as a wide variety of meats, nuts, some fruit, hard cheeses and some (low lactose) dairy. We have cut processed sugar out of our diet by at least 90%. Our teenage son will “cheat” with sugar, but he never cheats with wheat on purpose (that teen is a good label-reader!) I do use agave nectar now and then, even though it is a sugar (and not on the Wheat Belly program), because it absorbs more slowly into the blood stream, avoiding the spikes in blood sugar. This is an exception though and why I can’t say we’re 100% without sugars.

People ask if we are tempted to cheat… umm no. If we were feeling hungry and unsatisfied, we might be tempted, but since we feel good and have an awareness now of when we are full (no false signals from our brain, caused by the exorphins in wheat) we have no compulsive desire to eat wheat-containing foods. We know very well how wheat makes us feel!  (Chronic: migraines, joint and muscle pain, IBS digestive issues, and acid reflux are the most noticeable for us on a daily basis.)

My husband and I have lost 22 pounds EACH since the end of March (12 weeks) and the weight change just slowly continues to happen. When you start getting into those numbers, people start to notice, and the people who shook their heads before, are now beginning to get curious about what is happening, and why it’s working.  It’s like certain people are hoping to uncover some conspiracy or flaw in the thinking that allows them to dismiss our process because it makes them uncomfortable to believe wheat is unhealthy. No one wants to believe that their trusted dietary staple is bad for them. No one wants to think they are addicted.

The next paragraph is important.

Some point out that the lack of breads is leaving a calorie hole in our diet, so THAT is why we lose weight. (As if that statement is all-encompassing.) Well, there may be (or may not be) fewer calories, but if it was only due to decreased calories, wouldn’t the expected result be increased hunger?
Hmmmm. Think about that for a minute. That is what happened when we dropped fats on a low fat diet (and the calories that went with fats.) We did consume fewer calories, but we were always hungry and looking for ways to cope with that hunger. It was sabotaged before we ever reached our goal, because no one can be happy and healthy if they are always battling hunger.

This is totally different. We eat less because our bodies are satisfied, and our brains aren’t playing tricks on us and telling us that we need more, and SOON. We simply don’t need as much food as those who are still eating wheat (like we used to.) The healthy fats and lack of gliadin-induced hunger pangs make for a much easier way to live healthy and lose weight.

If we need a snack, we eat one… but to be honest, that doesn’t happen nearly as often as it once did, and the snacks we choose sit well with us, and a small amount is very satisfying. A couple bites of cheese, a few nuts and a piece of fruit, nut butter on a celery stalk, a smoothie, or maybe parmesan crackers, a piece of raspberry streusel or something else made with almond flour or coconut flour… Those are enough to give the body some fuel, and to help us stay on track. Our systems feel like they are running cleaner, and we enjoy our food even more than we did before.

Here is my hope

For those of you who not only want to lose weight, but want to feel better overall, and take a shot at addressing some chronic health problems that you may have been facing for most of your life, I urge you to give this LIFESTYLE a try. DELETE the WHEAT.

If you are curious, engage in a little web surfing. Visit the Wheat Belly Blog by Dr. Davis and friend Wheat Belly on Facebook. Explore… There are countless research articles which address gluten and wheat, and there are also countless success stories on blogs from people who are enjoying improved health. If you need tips and recipes, there are plenty of those too! People who are eating this way are vocal and excited, and want to share. This article is full of links to relevant information, but know that they are just the tip of the iceberg, and that there is much more information available to those who choose to look.


What do we eat? According to Dr. Davis, the basis of the Wheat Belly diet:

Eat real, natural foods such as eggs, raw nuts, plenty of vegetables, and fish, fowl, and meats. Use healthy oils like olive, walnut, and coconut liberally. Eat occasional fruit and plenty of avocado, olives, and use herbs and spices freely. Eat raw or least cooked whenever possible and certainly do not frequent fast food, processed snacks, or junk foods.

This is a very simplified summary, taken from the FAQs on his blog (The diet also allows real cultured cheeses.) You can find more information about specifics on the Wheat Belly blog and in his book.

What’s in it for me? Why do people like me take the time to tell others about this? Why am I writing articles and posting recipes to get people to think more deeply and to make the switch to gluten free eating easier? Because when you make a personal health discovery, it is hard to stay quiet about it! Because I wish that I had known this, decades ago! Because I know you love your families as much as I love mine, and want to make healthy choices, especially ones that will have a real impact!

~Good luck to you in your health quest, and Cheers!


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45 responses to “When a Diet isn’t a Diet (Or how my husband and I have lost 44 lbs in 12 weeks)

  1. johnnysenough hepburn

    June 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Well done! Both of you. Here, I wonder if people stare at me because I’m thin. It really isn’t the norm any more!

    • Gretchen without Gluten

      June 20, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      Thank you! It’s been pretty painless, and it feels like this is the way we are meant to eat. And yes, you probably do get looks for being thin, I know my son does! Being lean seems to be unusual in today’s world. My biggest concern is more that everyone is healthy!

  2. livingforjackie

    June 20, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Very well said! I wish I would have found all this information sooner…..I’ve only been gluten free for a couple of weeks…but am all ready sleeping better……I did A LOT of research into why I had the symptoms I have ….and came out with a gluten intolerance…..

    • Gretchen without Gluten

      June 21, 2012 at 9:43 am

      I wish I had found it earlier too! That’s why I post about it, in the hopes that someone else will find it early in their journey, and make it easier/more clear to them.

      • livingforjackie

        June 21, 2012 at 12:21 pm

        well you’ve done that….at least with me! and I hope others….thanks!

      • livingforjackie

        June 21, 2012 at 5:29 pm

        Also, I hope you don’t mind but I put a link on my blog to your blog….for others who want and need the important information you give us! 🙂

      • Gretchen without Gluten

        June 22, 2012 at 9:27 am

        Thanks for posting it on your page; I don’t mind at all! The more people who are exposed to this lifestyle and way of eating, the better!

  3. A Table in the Sun

    June 20, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Nice article, Gretchen. I will agree that I ate tons more food when I ate wheat…..because it continually stimulated my appetite. I wasn’t overweight, however, because wheat is an excitotoxin for me and I could never keep still! I have been gluten free for about 8 years, and I eat half of what I used to eat, but am more than satisfied.

    • Gretchen without Gluten

      June 21, 2012 at 9:48 am

      Thank you!

      The thing is, I never felt like I was eating a lot, certainly not compared to anyone else I knew! But I would get the shakes if I skipped meals before, and I knew I had to eat something (surely from the carbs.) That doesn’t happen anymore; if I want to fast and skip a meal or two, I don’t have any adverse effects from it as long as I stay hydrated.

      You are the first who has talked to me about the excitotoxins, and I am still reading up on it, and am partway through the video link you gave me. Interesting! The more I learn, the more I know I will never go back. Not to mention, I meet so many interesting and self-educated people here… it’s great!!

  4. Kate

    June 21, 2012 at 9:49 am

    My husband and I started this way of life 1 1/2 years ago. He lost 50 lbs, I lost 25 lbs! We also started our kids on it this year. We do allow them to cheat on weekends, but not much. We’ve never felt better in our lives! I can’t understand people who get mad at us for talking about it. They will complain and complain about all types of ailments and their weight and their belly fat, but refuse to even try it.

    • Gretchen without Gluten

      June 21, 2012 at 10:32 am

      A year and a half, that’s fantastic, and well done on the weight loss! I do know it’s harder with kids for sure, peer pressure is tough enough to deal with as an adult, when our value systems are fully formed; for young ones it is that much harder still. Feeling great more than makes up for it though!

      I don’t understand the anger either, except that I know that most anger is rooted in fear. I think there are some people who are afraid to be wrong or to change their perspective when new information presents itself, and are deeply afraid of change. And you are correct that it is often those who have chronic ailments who refuse to try something simple like omitting a food ingredient. Had I known, I would have deleted the wheat 20 years ago!

      It’s ironic that we know people who are considering bariatric surgery to lose 40-60lbs, but would never think of giving up processed carbohydrates. If the lifestyle doesn’t change, the weight will only come back!

      Thank you for your comment, and it’s great to hear of your success!

  5. Kim

    June 21, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Found you through Dr. Davis’ Wheat Belly on FB. Very well written. Definitely bookmarking your blog.

    • Gretchen without Gluten

      June 21, 2012 at 10:34 am

      Thank you Kim, I appreciate the comment! Going gluten free, and then reading Dr. Davis’ book has changed our lives, and I am happy to repay that by spreading the word on wheat!

  6. Len M.

    June 21, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Awesome article Gretchen! I’m wheat free also and like you, the benefits have been nothing short of phenomenal. When I started my quest to wellness I took a similar path…I bought the low fat, healthy grains mantra and ran with it. I lost weight, but felt miserable and lived for the next meal or snack I could find. Thankfully I began questioning ‘accepted wisdom’ too, and am now in the best physical/mental shape of my life.

    All the best to you and your family!

    • Gretchen without Gluten

      June 21, 2012 at 12:08 pm

      Hi Len, and thank you! It sounds like we have been down very similar paths indeed, and I know there are *thousands* of others who have also faced the same struggle. It never made sense to me, and I knew there must be something I was missing, SO happy we know now! Even happier that my son knows at an early age, and never has to face those problems!

      All the best to you as well, and thank you for visiting my blog!

  7. ResolveAdjustment

    June 21, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Great blog! You mentioned a few times you only eat “some ” fruit. What fruits do you recommend and which ones should I stay away from? I’m assuming it has something to do with the sugar content, although I always thought it was okay because it was “natural”. Your input is appreciated. Thanks and keep it up!

    • Gretchen without Gluten

      June 21, 2012 at 12:06 pm

      Hi there, and thank you! Dr. Davis has a list of recommended fruits and portion sizes that go with the Wheat Belly lifestyle. For us, we do eat a wide range of fruits, just not in large portions. We probably have 1 or 2 servings a day, and eat lots of berries, apples, peaches, melon. Bananas are high in sugar if you let them get spotted, but when they are firm, they’re not so bad.

      I do a lot of smoothies too, so I keep berries and fruit on hand FROZEN! As soon as I get home from the store, I clean them, lay them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet in the freezer to get solid, and then store them in freezer containers for the week. It makes it soooo easy to whip up something fruity in the blender. I usually use stevia or Truvia if it needs a little sweetness. Another fave treat is a few frozen strawberries and fruit slices, slightly thawed, with a sprinkle of Truvia and a dollop of heavy cream 🙂 Delicious substitute for ice cream!

      Good luck, and thanks for the visit!

  8. Lynda

    June 21, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    I love love love all that you have written – it is as if I had written it only better! I mirror your situation.

    • Gretchen without Gluten

      June 22, 2012 at 9:29 am

      Lynda, there are so many of us! Thank you for the compliment, and I’m glad to have you visiting 🙂

  9. Jo Butterworth

    June 21, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Well done! I have just started and I am looking forward to the health benefits as well as some weight loss.

    • Gretchen without Gluten

      June 22, 2012 at 9:31 am

      While losing weight is something that I am thrilled about, nothing can beat the health benefits! I am still amazed that wheat is what caused my severe chronic headaches for most of my life! If you take this on as a real lifestyle change, you body will adapt to a new shape and new weight over time. It rocks!

  10. Jen M.

    June 21, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    I liked your article. Glad I found it. I went Paleo (which not just gluten-free but grain-free as well) in mid-April and as of yesterday, just made it to 40lbs of weight loss. I completely agree with you about this being a lifestyle. In past “diets” I, too, couldn’t wait to be done because it was misery. My husband has also lost 40lbs and we both agree this is the way we’re going to eat going forward at least 95%+ of the time.

    We get questions all the time when people ask us what we’ve done to lose weight. “You mean you can’t eat bread?” Nope. “What about rice?” Nope. Etcetera. I also love that we didn’t necessarily do this to lose weight — that just happened in the process. I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes (fasting blood sugar above 100) and borderline high blood pressure. Within 48 hours of eating Paleo, both fasting blood sugar and blood pressure NORMALIZED! It was insane. I couldn’t get my fasting blood sugar below 100 to save my life while eating gluten/grains and 48 hours being grain-free it was 81!!

    My doctor was even talking to me about blood pressure & blood sugar medications! Of course I refused because I knew there was a better answer. I can’t wait to see her face when I go back next time! 🙂

    If anyone has basically any health ailment, I’ll bet it has some link to grains/sugar. Clean up your diet and your body WILL respond…quickly!!

    • Gretchen without Gluten

      June 22, 2012 at 9:37 am

      Wow, 40 lbs in that amount of time is incredible! Congratulations on how great you both must be feeling 🙂 The best part is that it is positive for all aspects of health, which your test results are proving… and I wish I could be a fly on the wall when you meet with your doctor next, hehe. Processed carbs are downright evil, and the sooner people wake up and see that it’s no joke, the healthier our nation will surely be.

      We aren’t paleo, but my husband and I really don’t eat grains either. The exception is that I absolutely still eat sushi when I get the chance 😉 (My son still likes his corn, and I think he will probably grow out of that eventually.)

      I also agree that nearly all ailments have a tie to grains and sugar.. even if it isn’t the cause of some things, it most likely is making them worse!

      Thank you for the visit, and keep telling people how amazing you feel!

  11. Steph

    June 21, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    I am SO happy being wheat free!!! You did a great job presenting this information. I have gotten so many compliments on my weight loss and I feel stronger and have better cardiovascular as well. So, even though I eat less, I have more energy and don’t really have to think about it at all. The other day I turned down a surprise offering of pizza and my church elder said surprisingly, “You are abstaining?” I said, “Yes.” and I just had my bottle of water (we had just danced for 3 hours during rehearsals!) I had absolutely no temptation to eat totally worthless garbage that would leave me hungrier than when I started. In the past, I would have happily gulped down 4 giant pieces and then eaten another meal afterward because I was not satisfied! I would gain weight, but I couldn’t figure out why I was SO hungry! I am just so thankful that I know the answer now. So, to make a story short, that night I had a handful of walnuts in my purse and a water bottle. I went home and ate a wheat free meal and felt great. Soooooo much better than eating yucky pizza! Anyway, what I also love is that I no longer feel the need to explain myself or apologize for not eating wheat. I just don’t eat it and if they see that I can dance for 3 hours and look great, then that is enough argument right there. So, by the way, I have gone from a size 14 to a size 10. I am even smaller on the top too. I went from a size large to a medium. In fifteen years I have not been a size medium!!! I feel great, look great and am stronger than ever and have better cardio than ever before. The other day, during vacation bible school, they only had bagels and cream cheese…but I really wanted the cream cheese after dancing…so, I took out my trusty bag of walnuts and spread the cream cheese on it! It was the best breakfast and I felt so great afterwards…everyone else was gulping down peach cobbler and bagels, but I totally didn’t care. I had zero temptation, even though the sugar cookies were freshly baked and sitting out from out of the oven. They smelled good, but I had zero desire to eat them…this is what I call Wheat FREEDOM!!! It’s not even that I am sugar free, because I still have dark chocolates and sometimes some gluten free meringue cookies that are mostly sugar. Anyway, I just wanted to encourage other people that this really works and yes, it is not a diet!!!! It is just eliminating one ingredient. Yes, I only eat organic produce and don’t eat very many grains. But, for the most part, just avoiding wheat has been a significant breakthrough for my health and fitness. As I told Dr. Davis…”there is more LIFE in my life!” I used to require a nap every day because of fatigue and I used to have a foggy brain (I used to forget vocabulary words and I felt like I might have early Alzheimer’s) BUT, …after three days of being wheat free (and I used to only eat whole wheat), I could think clearer, remember words in the middle of a conversation and I didn’t need a nap anymore everyday. I used to feel tired around 3p.m. and now at that time I feel like working out, playing tennis, playing with the kids or being active. I am just so happy and thankful now!!! Praise Jesus!!! Steph <

    • Gretchen without Gluten

      June 22, 2012 at 9:44 am

      Keep telling your story! You have nailed it, Wheat FREEDOM 🙂 It is incredible how baked goods and garbage foods now appear to us, since we see them for what they are. It’s like the Big Bad Wolf, you know it’s just an appealing cover to get us to ingest poison. I think that processed carbs and grains should come with warning labels on the packaging like cigarettes do!

      Congratulations on your new life, and it’s fantastic to know that you are making the most of it. Thank you for sharing your story, and for visiting my blog!

    • T Lewis

      June 23, 2012 at 6:34 am

      The freedom from wanting something “wheat” is awesome. Walking by the muffins or cookies without the desire to have one, knowing full well that you shouldn’t with that muffin top reminding you constantly, was just a continuous kick in the pants. In the last 7 weeks I have lost over 15 pounds and have been enjoying better health-I am finally satisfied and I eat less. Thanks for sharing!

      • Gretchen without Gluten

        June 23, 2012 at 8:19 am

        Congratulations on your weight loss! We’ve pretty much been averaging 2 lbs a week as well, and it feels like a healthy rate and sustainable. It’s GREAT walking past the bakery section of the market, having ZERO desire to even look at anything there (if anything it makes me mentally gag a little, ha.) What I do find interesting, is that I still enjoy the aroma of baked goods, but that smell no longer triggers a desire to eat any of it. It doesn’t even bother me when people eat bread or other wheat products in front of me. I just think of how much better I feel, and that’s enough of a reward!

  12. Patty D.

    June 22, 2012 at 6:34 am

    Gretchen, I’ve been doing this also for about 2-3 months myself and have seen no weight changes. And I exercise 4-5 times a week. It has been frustrating. I started this because my grandson is on the autism spectrum and he has shown significant improvements since having gluten removed from his diet. I want to support his health. He was recently diagnosed with a senstitivity to brown rice, so I will have to start trying the almond and coconut flours now.

  13. Gretchen without Gluten

    June 22, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Hi Patty, thank you for the visit, and the comment! I’m so glad to hear that your grandson has shown such improvements by going gluten free!

    I am curious, since you have been following for a few months now, are you eating the gluten free carbs? I ask because you mention “trying” almond flour and coconut flour (which you should!!!), and I know that I can’t really live without those… and it makes me wonder what you are eating instead. The Wheat Belly plan avoids sugars as well.

    Remember that the other alternative flours and packaged products that you can find at the grocery that are labelled “gluten free” are still high in carbs, and will spike your blood sugar, cause an insulin reaction, and will do nothing to help you lose weight. The rice flours, sorghum flours and various starches will make you retain or gain weight as much as wheat does! (You might want to look at my recent post “flour chart” which compares the carbs and proteins in various flours.) The plan that Dr. Davis advises in Wheat Belly is very low in carbs (no more than 15g per meal) and high in healthy fats (such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, even butter and heavy whipping cream.) The fats are essential because your body will begin burning fat as energy instead of carbs.

    I couldn’t tell by your post whether you have been following the Wheat Belly plan or not. If you have, and you are still not losing weight, you might want to make a post to Dr. Davis on his Wheat Belly blog or Facebook page. He may suggest that you have your thyroid function checked, or ask you some other questions that can help you to uncover the keys to weight loss for you personally.

    I wish you the best of luck, and hope that you find the answer so that you can enjoy a balanced weight while living wheat free!

    • Patty D.

      June 22, 2012 at 10:09 am

      I haven’t heard about the book until I saw this post so I am going to get a copy for myself and my daughter-in-law. My grandson is being treated for “gut inflammation” now and in just a week’s time he is responding positively to the autism therapy. And I do have hypothyroid disease that was diagnosed about 15 years ago when it was misdiagnosed about 15 years prior to that. Add to that I am post menopausal and had a weight gain during that process. The one thing I can say is that I haven’t gained any more weight in the past few months and may have lost up to 5 lbs, which isn’t very significant. I’ll get the book and see what else I can do. Thanks Gretchen!

  14. Gretchen without Gluten

    June 22, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    I have never recommended a book as highly as I do Wheat Belly! It has so much information in it, is based on research, and he explains the science behind why wheat is bad, as well as why being wheat-free is healthy. I had already started gluten free when I ran across the book, and I honestly couldn’t put it down, I started it one evening, and finished it the next day. I haven’t eaten wheat since, and I never plan to!

    Wheat is also extremely inflammatory, which is why going on a gluten free diet will help with the gut inflammation, and also helps with headaches, joint pain, etc. The weight loss comes from combining gluten free with low carb. And while 5 lbs might not feel like much, it is a beginning! If you want to get a head start on the Wheat Belly lifestyle while waiting for your book to arrive, do check out Wheat Belly blog (I have many links in my article) and also the Facebook page if you have FB. There is a thriving community of people who are achieving great success with this method, and offer lots of tips and support.

    And you are SO welcome! 😀

  15. Tre

    June 22, 2012 at 5:48 pm


    I just found your blog through Wheat Belly. I’m going to share it on my Facebook page. I went wheat free about two months ago and I’ve since been able to drop close to 30 pounds. I’d dieted and did Insanity for six months on the SAD diet and I only lost ten pounds. The worst part of it all is that I am a US Soldier. I came to Afghanistan out of shape and could barely run let alone walk two miles. I was also pre-diabetic and ridden with osteoarthritis. Fast Forward to now and I feel like a 20 year old again. (I’m 37) I can run like a gazelle and I never really get tired. I’m now getting the looks and the doubters are curious. My page is new so please check it out when you can and I just started my blog up today. Tomorrow should be my first post..

  16. Gretchen without Gluten

    June 22, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Hi Tre…. Doesn’t it feel great to know that we can turn back time a little bit, just by adjusting our diets?! It sounds too good to be true, but there are times when it really IS that simple. It’s fantastic to hear that you are in such great physical shape now, a LOT can happen in two months! It’s when those doubters start to look at you differently that they may also start to listen, so spread the word 🙂 I’ll watch for your page, and welcome to the blogosphere!

  17. Noel

    June 24, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    It’s time for everyone to drop the “low fat, high carb diet fad” of the past 40 years in favor of the traditional high fat, low carb diet of our grandparents. Diabetes and obesity were a rarity in those days. Also, drop the grains (whole or otherwise) – “healthy grains” is an oxymoron.

    My wife and I both reversed our diabetes by eliminating wheat and other grains from our diet and going back to the traditional diet rich in saturated fats, with moderate protein and very low amounts of good carbs, like greens and “above ground” veggies. Between us we have lost 70 pounds and are no longer diabetic, with perfect blood glucose readings and cholesterol levels.

    • Gretchen without Gluten

      June 26, 2012 at 9:31 am

      YES Noel! I couldn’t agree more; the public has been operating under misinformation which has made people heavy and diabetic, not to mention all the other health issues that grains cause in humans. Well done to you and your wife with your weight loss, and the reversal of diabetes! Fats have had a such a bad name, but it is undeserved. I’m sure no one has reversed diabetes by dropping the fats from their diet, and remaining high-carb!

      I feel so liberated from foods (while still enjoying it) for the first time in my life. Non-addicted eating is a whole new ball game! It’s like there WERE rules, and I finally figured it out (with help), and can play the game now, to win 🙂 There are more of us all the time, who are coming to this understanding, and being vocal and active will help us to help others.

      Thank you for visiting my blog and for the comment!

  18. The Grain-Free Goddess

    July 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Hi Gretchen
    I am so delighted to find your blog, and to try some of your fabulous-sounding recipes. I also have be gluten/grain free since the beginning of March, 2012; I have lost 20 pounds so far simply by dumping the wheat. I love the “Wheat Belly” book and blog. Have you read “Mark”s Daily Apple”? Mark Sisson promotes a Primal lifestyle that I have found helpful also. My struggle continues to be cutting out all the sugar; I I am still averaging about 30 grams a day. I know the weight will melt of even faster if I can accomplish this.

    I am also impressed that you have such a well-developed blog…I just started mine, and I am progressing slowly with the development. Thanks for writing this!
    Kathy (aka “The Grain-free Goddess)

    • Gretchen without Gluten

      July 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm

      Hi Kathy,
      I’m glad you found me here, and thank you for the kind words about my blog! I do hope you have a chance to try some of my recipes, though many of them are really just me throwing things together and remembering to take pictures of them 😉 I am truly a Wheat Belly devotee, and think that Dr. Davis is a brave and brilliant man for making the connection to wheat in his day to day practice and then having the guts to get out there and let people know the TRUTH! I am also familiar with Mark Sisson, and think that he also has great information and is very inspiring.

      Congratulations on your weight loss too! My husband has dropped 27 lbs so far, and I am down 24, though I have been on a bit of a plateau recently that I am hoping will break very soon! I have found that going without sugar isn’t all that hard to do, and by using a few alternative sweeteners, we still get to enjoy healthy treats now and then.

      The thing that is so amazing to me is how I just feel so compelled to share this information with others. I actually feel blessed to be living at a time where there are REAL breakthroughs happening in the understanding of nutritional science, and we have an opportunity to get free from yo-yo diets and diet drugs, not to mention those who are having surgery when they really just need to delete the wheat!

      Good luck with your blog, and stay in touch!

  19. Heather

    July 24, 2012 at 7:14 am

    Hi Gretchen,

    Congratulations on such a great blog/website!

    I came across it via and having heard a radio interview with William Davis.

    I’m just starting out on the wheat belly diet, so thanks for your inspiring recipes…and wish me luck!


    • Gretchen without Gluten

      July 25, 2012 at 11:10 am

      Thank you Heather! I hope that the recipes and articles prove to be useful to you. I have to say, that Dr. Davis is sincerely my Health Hero! I am thankful every single day that his book and insights are a part of my life. And I certainly wish you luck! If you haven’t yet, do check out the Wheat Belly page on Facebook, we have quite a thriving support community there for when you have questions or run into issues. 🙂

  20. steve helmer

    August 24, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    I loved your story, although, l am at a place about 3 months wheat free, that the evening is my biggest watch for the craving, while watching my favorite program. I eat wheat and grain free, very low carb, and most of the time am satisfied. I love berries with cheese, and walnuts, soaked almonds, just a hand full of each and liam satisfied, who would have guessed, but l also am finding that some of my old aliments are come back in reverse, the cleaning and detox, are still going on, that’s probably where my low energy is coming from, plus i’ve lost most of my sight in my left eye due to catracts.

    • Gretchen without Grain

      August 24, 2012 at 7:29 pm

      It sounds like you are following a very sensible diet. I also snack a little in the evenings at times, while hanging out with my husband, but I stay low-carb and healthy with the snacks, and you seem to be as well!

      If you have a Facebook account, I would suggest posting a question about your returning health issues on the Wheat Belly page. Dr. Davis is great for giving advice on possible causes and recommending when additional testing may need to be done. I haven’t heard of old ailments returning after ditching grains, so perhaps he can shed some light on it for you!

  21. your hcg

    October 14, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Hello there! This post couldn’t be written much better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I am going to forward this article to him. Fairly certain he’ll have a
    great read. I appreciate you for sharing!

    • Gretchen without Grain

      October 14, 2012 at 2:53 pm

      Hi there, I’m glad that you found the article interesting! Eating this way is definitely a growing movement because it really has teeth when it comes to improving health in a variety of directions. I hope your previous roommate finds it useful as well! Thank you for visiting 🙂


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