I hear this comment every so often from people who typically fail to lose weight or reverse common health conditions with the Wheat Belly lifestyle. Given the fact that SO many people have had spectacular and long-lasting benefits from this lifestyle, why would some people not respond at all (or at least perceive failure)? There are a number of reasons.
Here is a list of reasons why people fail to respond to the lifestyle in either weight loss or reversal of common health conditions:
- They are not following the entire program—The entire Wheat Belly program begins with the diet, then adds efforts such as vitamin D, magnesium, and efforts to cultivate bowel flora that exert numerous health effects that include reversal of insulin resistance, a necessary step to allow weight loss and reversal of numerous health conditions. The entire program must be followed else you will not enjoy full success. The complete program is outlined in Wheat Belly Total Health, Wheat Belly 10-Day Grain Detox, and the truly serious Undoctored book. This is why the Wheat Belly lifestyle is more effective than, say, paleo, keto, or low-carb programs: We only BEGIN with diet.
- They remain fearful of fat—Fat is healthy and satiating and does not cause heart disease. Failing to take in plentiful fats and oils booby-traps your efforts, cultivating cravings and encouraging returning to old unhealthy eating habits.
- They restrict calories—Restricting calories is a fool’s game: initial weight loss followed by weight regain due to the reduction in metabolic rate that causes weight to return even if calories continue to be restricted. This is why we NEVER restrict calories on the Wheat Belly lifestyle.
- They are sensitive to the whey protein of dairy—About 20% of people who fail to lose weight on this lifestyle have an exceptional response to the whey protein of dairy that excessively triggers insulin that, in turn, blocks weight loss. A 4-week trial of total dairy elimination typically settles this question.
- They are former yo-yo dieters—People who have lost and regained one or more times in past have reduced their metabolic rate and lost muscle with each cycle of weight regain, phenomena that block the ability to lose weight again. Reversing this situation is among the tougher things to accomplish. But the problem, once again, is not the Wheat Belly lifestyle, but the destructive metabolic baggage you have accumulated.
- They fail to address thyroid status—As many as 20-35% of the people beginning this lifestyle begin with thyroid dysfunction in one form or another such as autoimmune thyroid inflammation, thyroid damage from industrial chemicals, or low free T3 status due to dysbiosis. While wheat and grains may have been the initial cause in at least some of these instances, it requires additional efforts to correct disrupted thyroid status.
- They are taking medications that block weight loss or other health benefits—Beta blockers, antidepressants, and antihistamines are among the common drugs that block weight loss. (Don’t expect your doctor to know this, even though it is in each and every FDA filing for these drugs.) Getting off these drugs is therefore required to allow weight loss to proceed. It really helps to have a supportive healthcare practitioner to accomplish this.
- They have uncorrected small intestinal bacterial or fungal overgrowth (SIBO and SIFO)—This is a biggie, major disruptions in bowel flora composition that allow inflammation, insulin resistance, and hormonal disruption to persist. While milder cases of SIBO and SIFO can respond to the basic Wheat Belly program efforts, more severe cases do not and specific efforts are required to address these common situations. (Because efforts to eradicate these conditions are a bit more complicated and require some feedback, we tackle SIBO and SIFO in our Undoctored Inner Circle discussions.)
- Stress—Severe unremitting stress, as that associated with a bad marriage, a troublesome teenager, or caring for a parent with cognitive impairment, is among the most frustrating causes of failing to lose weight or regain health. The higher cortisol levels of stress coupled with the huge disruption of bowel flora composition, often SIBO, are major impediments. Unfortunately, this is indeed one of the toughest situations to remedy, as many of us cannot simply walk away from causes of stress.
Saying that the “Wheat Belly lifestyle didn’t work for me” is not too different than saying “Giving up cigarettes didn’t work for me”—there are extravagant and far-reaching benefits that develop with this lifestyle, though you may not perceive all of them. The Wheat Belly lifestyle works magnificently—if it does not, then examine your situation logically and systematically, identify the factor(s)—there can be more than one!—correct each and every one, and see how successful you can be.