Ever wondered how Beyond Diet compares with The Wheat Belly Diet by Dr. William Davis? I’ve taken a closer look at the diet book to give you the straight scoop on what it does well and where our philosophies differ.
The Wheat Belly Diet
What It Is: Developed by Dr. William Davis, the Wheat Belly diet promises dramatic weight loss – and a potential reversal in the course of diabetes – if dieters completely remove wheat and gluten products from their diets. In addition, since celiac disease and gluten intolerances are among the least-frequently diagnosed medical conditions, many people feel better after cutting wheat from their diets.
- No processed foods
- Removes bad-for-you breads and grains from your diet
- Extremely restrictive
- Encourages consumption of cheese, dairy, and soy
The pros for Wheat Belly are similar to the pros for other diets we’ve reviewed. Healthy, nutrient-rich foods are available in abundance on this diet. It’s no secret that Americans eat way too much wheat, and quitting wheat cold turkey may be just what you need to kick your Wonder Bread addiction for good.
Processed foods are strictly forbidden, and since celiac disease and gluten allergies generally go undiagnosed, people with consistent stomach problems would be wise to eliminate wheat (gluten) from their diets. Many people report feeling better within days of cutting out gluten. Plus, processed wheat products cause spikes in blood sugar, which are dangerous for everyone, especially diabetics.
However – and this is important to note – if you cheat on the Wheat Belly diet, you’re going to hurt. And it won’t just be feelings of guilt. Cutting wheat entirely from your diet and then eating it, even once in small quantities, can cause stomach pain, as well as gas and bloating.
But my biggest concern about this diet is that it claims that completely removing wheat from your diet will lead to astonishing – and rapid – weight loss, even if your diet is otherwise heavy in unhealthy foods and you don’t exercise. Cheese is welcome on the Wheat Belly diet, along with other dairy and soy products. Overloading on pasta, bread, and other wheat products certainly contributes to America’s health problems, but wheat isn’t the sole culprit. In fact, by barring gluten-free processed snacks and other packaged, wheat-free foods, Dr. Davis is essentially acknowledging that wheat isn’t the only thing keeping us overweight.
Bottom Line: If you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, the diet advocated in Wheat Belly may help you – just stay away from eating too much cheese and dairy (even if it is organic and raw). Meal plans, like those in Beyond Diet, that show you how to eat cheese, dairy, and specific whole grains in moderation, may be a better long term option and easier to follow.