LM posted this interesting dilemma:
“I wonder if anyone has experienced TOO MUCH weight loss with the wheat-free diet?
“I have been eliminating obvious sources of wheat for roughly 4 months and have been steadily losing weight. By obvious, I mean that I don’t go out of my way to avoid things that contain trace amounts of wheat, soy sauce, or other sauces thickened with flour. I also don’t totally avoid beer, though I tend not to drink a lot of it. I have tested negative for celiac disease and don’t believe that I have a noticeable sensitivity to wheat.
“In the first month or so, I started noticing a change of shape in the stomach, hips, rear, and thighs, as evidenced by my trousers becoming gradually baggier; but now the scale confirms that I’ve lost nearly 20 pounds, and I was not overweight to begin with. It was never my intent to lose weight, but I was initially happy with slimming effect of the new regimen. Now I’ve gone from being happy with the results to wondering if I should be concerned. I exercise and try to eat well, being mindful of minimizing carbohydrate intake/effects on blood sugar. I don’t think I have any other health issues going on. I also don’t think that I’m underweight for my height . . . yet, but am content with my present size and would like to stabilize here. A matter of practicality: Only about 2 pairs of pants still fit me and I’m reluctant to go shopping because I don’t know how much more I might shrink.
“I look forward to comments or suggestions from anyone who has had a similar experience or just has some advice to impart.”
First of all, let’s consider the broad perspective of LM’s dilemma: He is worried about losing too much weight . . . in the midst of the world’s worst epidemic of weight gain and obesity! There are literally tens of millions of people who would gladly experience this “problem.”
Remove the opiate appetite stimulant that derives from the gliadin protein of wheat and related grains and you lose this driver of incessant appetite and increased calorie intake. Appetite then reverts back to that required to provide sustenance: You eat what you require, nothing more, nothing less. Weight most frequently returns over time to your physiological ideal. It is not uncommon for people following this wheat-free lifestyle to plateau at a weight that was lower than anticipated.
However, there are issues to consider when the “Am I too skinny?” question arises:
Are you really too skinny?
Or are you normal but just look too skinny in a world of overweight and obese people? Take a look at an old movie from the 1950s, for instance, and notice that everyone is “skinny”–just like you. They are normal.
The Wheat Belly approach does not limit calories nor fat or protein.
If you feel you have lost too much weight, eat more avocados, more coconut oil, more fat on your meats or poultry, more raw nuts, etc.
Add back muscle.
Weight loss is a combination of fat loss and muscle loss. If you lose, say, 30 pounds total weight, 10 pounds of that lost weight can be muscle. The muscle is easily regained through strength training.
Take comfort in the fact that, minus the appetite stimulation of modern wheat and grains, you gravitate back towards a healthy weight. Modest adjustments in perception, diet, and exercise might be necessary, but you will not––provided you are eating real, single ingredient healthy foods––disappear into a dry pile of dust due to grain “deprivation.”