Wheat Belly is an approach to weight loss created by William Davis. In this review, I’d like to clarify how the diet works and let you know if it’s worth trying.
A breakdown of the Wheat Belly Diet:
For the most part, the book talk about the adverse effects of eating anything that is wheat. Basically anything with gluten.
The author talks at great length about how wheat today is not the same as it was many decades ago and large consumption of it in today’s world is what’s leading to not only weight gain (wheat belly) but also dangerous health conditions and diseases.
You can certainly lose a lot of weight if you cut out gluten and there have been many studies that prove this, like this. Gluten in today’s world contains ingredients that are not natural and can make it more difficult for the body to break it down, among other problems it may cause.
To summarize, the author recommends against eating anything that basically has gluten. He isn’t really a big fan of carbs and recommends sugar substitutes such as Splenda and limited consumption of fruits which is a bit contradictory if you think about it.
Great idea, but some information is confusing…
While I agree that quitting gluten cold turkey is a great way to improve your health, the author does kind of get into a double standard talk later on in the book. As I said before one example was him recommending a sugar substitute and limiting fruit consumption. Personally I think that is a bad idea.
Additionally he is not a big fan of legumes.
Certainly other diet books recommend them and there’s no arguing that they carry a lot of health benefits. But if you go back to the original idea, if he is against gluten and wheat with basically artificial ingredients, why then would you recommend a sugar substitute instead of fruits?
There’s been studies done on sugar substitutes and not all of them are great. I personally stay away from them and prefer raw honey as my source of sugar. As for fruits? I eat as many as possible. There’s a distinct difference between unhealthy sugars and healthy sugars. White sugar? Bad. Sugar from organic fruits? Good!
It’s certainly a very general idea, but if you want to get into specifics, I recommend avoiding eating anything with these ingredients. Basically anything that has white sugar, white flour, white salt is a no-no. And speaking from experience, it isn’t difficult to spot foods with those ingredients.
I do agree with the author that you should also try to avoid foods with gluten and stick to buying products which are labeled “gluten-free” if you wish to follow the guidelines of this diet. See how it works out for you. But overall the diet isn’t anything unique.
- You can lose weight with this diet.
- Cutting out gluten from your food list can provide health benefits.
- The author kind of contradicts himself in some of his recommendations.
- Doesn’t recommend eating a lot of fruits. I don’t agree with this.
Wheat Belly Score:
3 out of 5 stars. Good approach to losing weight & improving health, but some “contradictory” advice. See #1 rated diet.
Conclusion on the Wheat Belly Diet:
It’s basically a low-carb approach to eating, sort of like the Atkins diet. While the overall advice isn’t new, the reasoning for it is.
There’s never been a diet book to my knowledge that’s gone so in-depth as to why you should avoid wheat. Again this is what a large chunk of the book talks about and there is a lot of great information on it.
Ultimately the choice is yours. I personally have tried to cut out wheat from my diet and I have to say the results are better for the most part. Like I said before, I don’t agree with some of the advice the author gives because again I find it contradictory, but you can choose to follow the main guideline while ignoring the others you don’t agree with it.
The information in this book is pretty solid when it comes to the anti-wheat discussion. Cutting this out of your eating regiment is probably enough to kick things off in the weight loss department and start getting rid of that “Wheat Belly”. But it isn’t easy as wheat can be difficult to quit completely.
If you’re having a hard time adopting this diet’s ideas, I would recommend starting here, and at the same time only buying whole grain and gluten free products, then slowly transitioning to a point where you can cut it out cold turkey. How you do this is up to you, but I find transitional dieting is easier to do, complete and sustain than just quitting cold turkey as cravings almost certainly will return sooner or later.
If you’re looking for alternatives, you can also try the #1 rated diet on this website. It doesn’t have a lot of foods with wheat, but it’s more flexible in the sense that you can eat pretty much anything you like and lose a lot of weight in the short/long run.
In any case, in my understanding of this plan, it really comes down to avoiding unhealthy carbs that come from wheat related products, as well as from other foods like legumes. I’m for carb consumption if you’re about to work out and need that extra energy, but overall, you should avoid consuming them before bedtime or if you’re not planning on moving around a lot (for example, if you consume them before going to work).
What do you think of the Wheat Belly diet? Is it something that you feel can work for you?