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Forget Health Diet Plans - How I Stopped Eating Soy, Oats, and Wheat to Lose Weight

Marlene spends numerous hours researching solutions to common and sometimes obscure health and beauty issues. She shares her results here.

Before eliminating soy, oats, and wheat from my diet, the bathroom scale was one of the most dreaded gadgets in my household.

Before eliminating soy, oats, and wheat from my diet, the bathroom scale was one of the most dreaded gadgets in my household.

A Healthy Eating Plan Made Me Fat!

At the age of 35, I was an aerobics instructor teaching 13 hours of classes each week. Plus, planning each day’s routine required additional time exercising, as I needed to be able to execute the routine flawlessly in order to teach the class. That’s an enormous number of hours exercising and at that age, with that amount of exercising, I had very little fat on my body.

I was proud of my body and vowed to work hard to keep in shape as long as I could. So, I started dieting and eating the “right” foods – foods recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). I figured, if I maintain a healthy eating plan and continue exercising, I would surely maintain my slim figure.

Soon after I started my “healthy diet”, I noticed I began to gain weight. To keep this story short, let me just say that the more I dieted, the more I gained weight, and the more weight I gained, the more I dieted. No matter what I did, the pounds just kept adding up.

I’m 58 years of age now and after tipping the scales at a grossly obese level, I finally decided to forget dieting. I figured, if I’m going to be overweight, then I’m going to be overweight. I decided I wasn’t going to eat healthy anymore. I’d just eat the foods I liked.

Hubby Lost Weight Too!

Incidentally, when my husband saw that I was losing weight, he also began eliminating soy, oats, and wheat. He, too, is losing weight.

You Don't Have to Diet to Lose Weight

I don't believe everyone who is overweight is overweight simply because they eat too much. I believe some people just haven't learned which foods are causing them to gain weight. I believe people don’t have to go on weight loss diets to lose weight. I believe people just have to know which foods are good for them and which foods are bad for them. Then, they need to eat accordingly.

I can’t prove it, but, I think a good majority of people are overweight simply because of the foods they eat. I began losing weight after I stopped eating soy, oats, and wheat.

I am certainly not offering any guarantees that if you stop eating soy, oats, and wheat that you will surely lose weight. This hub is about my personal experience with eliminating these foods.

Weight Loss Disclaimer

Let me disclaim that while soy, oats, and wheat may not be beneficial to me, I’m not suggesting that soy, oats, and wheat are bad foods. I am aware that they may be beneficial to other people, they are just not beneficial to me.

Stop Dieting and Start Losing Weight

The funniest thing happened when I stopped dieting – I started losing weight! That’s right! I started losing weight.

Everybody is different, so I’m not proposing that you start eating whatever you want just for the sake of eating it. I’m proposing that you study the foods that you eat. Learn how these foods affect you. I learned a few things about foods that health officials such as the USDA consider part of a healthy diet. I discovered that some of the recommended foods are not necessarily beneficial to me.

I Eliminated Soy, Oats and Wheat

By 2013 I was no longer eating soy, oats, and wheat. I didn't like stepping on the scale, but I knew I was losing weight because of how loose my clothes were fitting. When I finally stepped on the scale, I saw that the overall result was a loss of over 30 pounds from the period between February 2013 to June 2013.

I don't have exact dates because I didn't write down the actual start date. I just remember weighing myself sometime after Valentine's Day and seeing how much I weighed at that time. Then, when I weighed myself one time in June, I saw how much I weighed and the difference was 30 pounds.

Now, I continue to lose weight at a slower pace. I have not gained back any of the lost weight, no matter how much I eat. So long as I do not eat soy, oats, and wheat, I have no worries that the weight will return.

See below to read how I eliminated soy, oats, and wheat from my daily meals and how eliminating these foods helped me lose weight. Try eliminating soy, oats, and wheat to see how these foods affect your body.

  • Soy - In the year 2011, I stopped eating soy because it had a tendency to make my belly bloat. I discovered this fact one day when the church I attended went on a church-wide fast for 21 days. On this fast the members were to eat only fruits, vegetables, and grains. Everything else was excluded. In an effort to get protein, many participants of the church-wide fast began eating tofu in place of meat products and ate edamame as a delicious protein snack. Tofu is made from soybeans and edamame is the immature green soybeans.

    After about a week of eating soy based products, I started feeling a little ill, but I attributed it to the fast and the fact that my body needed to become accustomed to doing without the foods that I eliminated from my diet for the sake of the fast.

    Two weeks after starting the fast, a friend was rushed to the hospital for stomach pain. The doctor told my friend that the soy was not being digested properly and that my friend should avoid soy products.

    I started doing some research about soy and learned that many people are not able to digest soy products. After I stopped eating soy products, I noticed my belly start to flatten. I was really happy about that. I no longer eat soy or any products that are made with soy.

I counted calories and there were some days that I ate only 150 to 200 calories a day. I knew it wasn’t right that I was eating so little, yet I was still gaining weight.

  • Oats – At the age of 35, one of the first things I started eating as part of my healthy diet is oatmeal. The USDA recommends oats as one of the grains to eat for a heart-healthy diet. I ate oatmeal every morning for breakfast. According to the USDA Food Pyramid, I was doing the right thing for my body. But, I still wasn’t losing weight, no matter how much I exercised or how little I ate. In fact, with all the effort I was putting into losing weight, I was actually gaining weight.

    One day my doctor told me that I was obese and that I needed to lose weight. I was extremely heartbroken and frustrated, because through all of my efforts, I was unable to lose weight.

    Every year, I was heavier and heavier. I started eating oatmeal for breakfast and lunch. I figured it was healthy for me and it had very few calories. For dinner, I would eat vegetables for nutrients and a meat for protein. But, instead of losing weight, I was gaining weight.

    Sometime before Valentines Day of 2013, I was feeling totally overwhelmed. My husband wanted to take me out to dinner and I didn't feel like going out to eat. I was extremely embarrassed about my weight and couldn't stand the thought of eating out in public. The next day, feeling it wasn't worth the effort, I didn't eat my daily bowl of oatmeal. In fact, that was the same day I decided to forget about eating healthy. I decided that I would just have to live my life as an unhealthy, obese woman.

    After about a week of not eating oatmeal, I noticed my clothes were becoming loose. I was sure I was losing weight. I continued eating whatever I wanted and the following week I lost more weight. I was ecstatic to be on a losing streak. I went back to the USDA chart and started eating more of the foods they suggested. I wanted to eat more healthily. I included oatmeal back into my diet. And, yep! You probably guessed what happened. I started gaining weight again. And, now instead of being frustrated, I was angry. I didn’t know what to do.

    I did some research about the foods I was eating. I discovered that oatmeal was making a lot of people fat. I discovered that oatmeal was indeed making me fat, so I stopped eating oatmeal for good and started a continual slide down toward reaching my weight loss goal.
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Luckily, one afternoon I saw a television show where the headline caught my eye. The show was about isolating foods to see which ones are making you fat.

  • Wheat – Feeling good about my weight loss, in March of 2013, continuing with my weight loss effort, I stopped eating bread. I figured I didn’t need the calories. Eliminating bread was simply my effort to eliminate carbohydrates. After I stopped eating bread, I noticed I didn’t have my morning symptoms of coughing and wheezing. I felt better and I was losing weight at a steady pace. I realized it must be the fact that I am no longer eating bread or products made with wheat flour. Further analyzing products made with wheat flour, I realized that most flour-based products were made with wheat flour, so I started looking into wheat allergies. I discovered that while I do not have wheat allergies, my body is negatively affected when I consume wheat.

    In my effort to eliminate wheat from my diet, I discovered that a lot of packaged foods contain wheat. Products that you would never suspect as having wheat may show wheat listed on the ingredients list. Read the label and be surprised at how many products contain wheat.

USDA Food Pyramid

This food pyramid shows the basic food groups and how much consumption is required for a healthy diet.

This food pyramid shows the basic food groups and how much consumption is required for a healthy diet.

Why Most People Eat Soy, Oats, and Wheat

*The side effects do not necessarily affect everyone. However, it is wise to be aware of them.

FoodBelieved BenefitSome Side Effects*


A plant that belongs to the pea family. The soybean is widely acclaimed for its high level of protein. It is often used as a milk substitute and eaten as edamame and tofu.

Minor stomach and bowel problems such as nausea, bloating, and constipation are possible. Other problems include breathing problems and on some occasions, a rash can appear on the skin.


Oatmeal is high in fiber and is recommended for diets needing a reduction in cholesterol.

Intestinal gas and bloating. If you have digestive tract disorders, eating oats could cause problems digesting your food. Eating oats can possibly block your intestine.


Wheat is a grain that is touted for reducing a whole slew of diseases.

Swelling, irritation, itching, rashes, hives, congestion, watery eyes, bad digestion leading to constipation and diarrhea, painful stomach, vomiting, nausea, cramps, and a number of more serious conditions.

A Funny Story

Some friends of mine had a holiday party at their home. This couple wanted to impress everyone and so they pretended that they prepared all the food for the spread. Well, one of the dips looked like it might have some shrimp in it, so before dipping into the dip, I asked if the dip or anything else had any seafood in it. My friends looked at each other – puzzled as to what to say. I explained that I was highly allergic to seafood and needed to know about anything made with seafood. The husband replied, “I don’t know…” Then, that’s when the wife confessed that the food was catered. They hadn’t prepared a single dish.

Be Mindful of What You Eat

The message to take away from this publication is that the body is affected by what we eat. We are wise to do research about the food we eat and know whether or not the food we place in our body is beneficial to our overall health. Also note that what may be beneficial to one person may be detrimental to another. For example, lobster and shrimp are seafood products with excellent protein value. In fact, my husband eats seafood every week. But, seafood is detrimental to me. If I touch or consume seafood, I will be rushed to the hospital for immediate treatment of adverse reactions.

While you may not be allergic to soy, oats, or wheat, either one or all of these foods are worth researching. If you are struggling with weight gain or food allergies, it might be helpful to eliminate these foods for a couple of weeks, maybe even a month. Then incorporate them back into your diet one at a time to see how your body is affected.

Eliminating Soy, Oats, and Wheat Made the Bathroom Scale My New Friend!

Today’s date is July 22, 2013 and my weight goal is 120 pounds! Wish me luck. I'll be back to reveal an update photo!

Today’s date is July 22, 2013 and my weight goal is 120 pounds! Wish me luck. I'll be back to reveal an update photo!

Keep Following This Weight Loss Story

Stay tuned! Keep following this story because, when I get to my weight goal, I will snap a picture of me on the scale to show that I have, indeed, lost weight by eliminating soy, oats, and wheat. I hope my success will be an inspiration for others.

Forget Healthy Diet Plans

Forget about healthy diet plans. Understand the nature of each piece of food that goes into your mouth. The diet plans put out by federal agencies and commercial diet companies such as Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, and Jenny Craig are general guidelines that may help a mass number of people. But, you are not a mass number of people. You are one person. And, what's good for the majority of people may not be good for you.

Put food into your body that you know is good for YOU and your body is likely to reward you with better performance and a body weight that you will find easier to maintain without the effort of following a planned program designed for the majority of people.

Do some research and design an eating program that is the right program for you.

Losing Weight Safely

Losing weight safely.

Losing weight safely.

Weight Loss Update!

I stepped on the scale today (10-24-2016) and saw that I have lost 45 pounds since eliminating soy, oats, and wheat from my meal plans.

Since I began eating without soy, oats, and wheat, I read about the individual effects of each ingredient, I learned that soy, oats, and wheat affect the estrogen levels in the body. Depending on whether you have a high level of estrogen or a low level of estrogen will determine how your body metabolizes and affect whether or not your body has a tendency to gain or lose weight with the foods you eat.

I cannot say that eliminating soy, oats, and wheat will help you lose weight because I do not know the chemical make-up of your body. I am not a medical professional and cannot make medical claims. What I share here is MY story of how eliminating these foods affects MY body.

Your doctor may be able to provide you with examinations or tests to determine your various hormone levels and whether or not adjusting your levels will improve your health.

I still have more pounds to lose, but I am on track to loose all the weight I set out to lose. This is my story and is told only for sharing purposes with the hope that you would be inspired to take a look at your body chemistry and analyse the foods you eat so that you can discover which foods may be playing havoc with your body and which foods will enhance the healthy development of your physical well-being.


Cholesterol-lowering effects of oat β-glucan, National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Revised 6/2011,, Website last visited 1/9/2018

Health, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, Revised 9/24/2017,, Website last visited 1/9/2018

Existing Standards for Whole Grains, Oldways Whole Grains Council,, Website last visited 1/9/2018


Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on September 16, 2014:

Hello Cesky. I wish I could say I have a high metabolic rate, then I would not be so concerned with eating and exercise. I enjoy hearing success stories and must say congratulations on returning to your pre-childbirth weight. That's encouragement for others to know that it is possible.

Cecilia Karanja from Nairobi on September 16, 2014:

I do not diet. Though I have a high metabolic rate, pregnancy and childbirth can cause an increase in the pounds. I just eat what I like in moderation and it works. 20 months after delivering am already lighter than i was before.

It's so funny how you unintentionally called out your hosts at the party. :-)

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on November 09, 2013:

Hello RTalloni. All these years I had been convinced I was doing the right thing for my health. Now that I know better, maintaining my health is not as much of a struggle.

RTalloni on November 09, 2013:

You offer some important info/tips on these three foods. There is a lot to consider when we struggle with foods and I think that one unrecognized problem is that our bodies were not designed to deal with all the added gluten and concentrated soy that is such a big part of today's food market. Thanks for sharing your experiences to help others think through good approaches to weight loss and healthy eating.

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on October 23, 2013:

Hello rasta1. I do believe you are right. Now that I am not eating soy, oats, and wheat, my body feels better. The weight is coming off. It's nothing drastic, but every day I feel better and better.

Marvin Parke from Jamaica on October 23, 2013:

Soy contains phytoestrogen and cause weight gain. Furthermore, some people are allergic to wheat, soy and oats. Allergic reactions can lead to weight gain. The body uses fat as buffer against toxins produced during a failed digestive process. Fat is used to absorb and store many harmful chemicals in the body. By simple eating bio-friendly foods the body no longer needs its excess fat storage.

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on October 23, 2013:

Hello B. Leekley. You picked up on a very important point. Part of my message is that I'm not saying wheat, oats, and soy are "bad" for everyone, I'm just sharing that they don't work for me. Each person has their own set of good and bad foods that affect their body. We all just need to pay attention to what our body is saying.

Brian Leekley from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA on October 23, 2013:

Up, Useful, Interesting, and shared with followers and on networking sites.

A while back I read a book that perhaps gives a theoretical explanation, backed by scientific research, for why eliminating soy, oat, and wheat products from your meals helped you to lose weight: Why We Get Fat and What to Do about It by Gary Taubes.

Which is not to say that we should all eat a "Taubes diet." I agree with you that each person should pay attention to what is working or not working for one's own body's health.

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on October 03, 2013:

Thank you for reading, healthmunsta. I hope it is helpful to others who struggle with weight.

healthmunsta on October 03, 2013:

Very interesting read...Thanks for sharing your story!

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on September 21, 2013:

Hi DDE! I'm so glad you agree. The most important point being that people should pay attention to the signs their body gives them. It took me a long time to do this, but once I started paying attention, I was able to devise an eating plan that works very well for me.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 21, 2013:

Eating the correct foods would definitely change the way one feels and weighs out, you have thought of such a lovely idea for a hub and I so agree with your ideas thanks

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on August 03, 2013:

Hello livingsta. I don't think you need to be worried about drinking soy. If it is not causing any problems, then it is nothing to be concerned about. Every body is different. Fortunately for you, soy is a good thing.

livingsta from United Kingdom on August 03, 2013:

I have recently started drinking soy milk and now this worries me. I haven't had any side effects so far. Sometimes the food work differently for different people and as you have clearly mentioned here, eating soy, oats and wheat cannot help one lose weight. Thank you for this informative hub, sharing this!

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on July 31, 2013:

Hi Victoria! Deciding what to eat has become so much easier now. I don't feel like I'm dieting. I'm just staying away from foods that give me problems. The result is so rewarding. Thank you for your positive feedback and for your support.

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on July 31, 2013:

Hello bigfeet. Indeed you are right about carbohydrates being the body's preferred source of energy. I still eat carbs. Fortunately, now I only eat the ones that don't have a negative impact on my body.

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on July 31, 2013:

Hello Rajan. It took such a long time for me to figure this out, but now I'm glad I did. Thank you for sharing this with others. I hope it inspires someone else to do as I did and think about food and how it affects their body. What's good for one may not be good for another.

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on July 31, 2013:

Good for you! It's neat that you found out what works for you. I think I would do better if I would just cut back. My appetite gets the best of me sometimes. You are inspiring. 30 lbs from Feb to June is amazing. You go, girl!

Marcus from California on July 31, 2013:

Great Hub. The thing about carbohydrates is that its the body's preferred source of energy and the body uses very little energy to break it down, as carbohydrates are already a simple sugar.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 30, 2013:

Marlene, a very useful hub and it is proof that foods don't react the same way in every one's system. We ought to eat what suits our body. Glad you could pin down the things that were causing you issues with losing weight, though it must have not been easy to find out.

This hub ought to read by people wanting to lose weight so I'm sharing and pinning this as well as voting this up, useful and certainly interesting.

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on July 24, 2013:

Hi Sue! Actually, I brought up the idea that I might have hypothyroidism to my doctor and she looked at me like she was offended that I brought it up to her. But, I insisted on being examined for it anyway, and that condition was ruled out. I finally have a handle on the weight issue, so I'm not overly concerned about diseases anymore, but I've never heard of Hashimoto's disease. It's worth looking into. Thanks for looking out for me - thanks for the suggestion.

Susan Bailey from South Yorkshire, UK on July 24, 2013:

Hi Marlene. Interesting hub. Voted up interesting and shared. You don't happen to have hypothyroidism or Hashimoto's disease do you? Many people who have experience problems with these foods; that's why I wondered.

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on July 23, 2013:

Hello drmiddlebrook! Just as you said, it is a very personal thing. That's what I discovered. With the professionals disagreeing about this and that, I now make my own assessment for what's good and what's bad and so far the choices that I'm making seem to be working.

Sallie Beatrice Middlebrook PhD from Texas, USA on July 23, 2013:

Great article, MarleneB, well done. I struggle with food and weight too, and cannot count the number of times I've given up and thrown in the towel. Still, somehow I always find myself back in ring, ready to give losing it another try. I'm constantly trying to figure out the food "puzzle" too. It's a very personal thing, and one thing I know for sure--what works for one person may or may not work for another. Therefore, it is good that you are recommending that people do the research and the necessary monitoring for themselves, to find out what foods might be best (or worst) to include in a healthy eating regimen. This is necessary for a healthy digestive system, to help take the best care of our bodies, whether we're trying to lose weight or not. Voted up and useful.

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on July 23, 2013:

Hello ChitrangadaSharan! It is good to see you. It's been a while since I have visited HubPages. It feels good to be back, seeing familiar faces. Thank you for your condolences.

Also, thank you for your positive feedback about the hub.

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on July 23, 2013:

Hi MsDora! Thank you for your comments. Yes. I'm back for a while since my dad's passing. There are so many good memories of him and I know he is in God's hands, so it is difficult to be sad. I'm still chuckling at his silly little jokes and so it is almost like he is still with me.

It is so hard for me to rely on what the experts say anymore. I hadn't heard that gluten free diets make a person fat, but who knows. I still eat gluten products; I just don't eat wheat. And, like you said, there is no such thing as one size fits all.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on July 23, 2013:

Very interesting hub and very well done!

So thoughtful of you to share your experiences here. I am sure it will be beneficial to many.

While you have cautioned that it may be different for different people, but many will also relate to it.

I am sorry to read about your father. God bless you!

Thanks for sharing this one--Voted up!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on July 23, 2013:

Marlene, be encouraged and smile at the happy memories of your dad as you remember them. Glad you discovered the real deal on weight loss. At present, I'm neither gaining or losing but read recently that gluten-free diets make you fat. I'm not bothering about the weight anymore--just trying to do what keeps the body healthy. Thanks for sharing your experience--proof that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to weight loss. Voted Up!

Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on July 23, 2013:

Hi billybuc! I'm back at home for a while. I miss you, my good friend. Thank you for reading and for your feedback.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 23, 2013:

Well whatever you are doing, Marlene, keep it up. There is no denying the results and I say bravo to you my friend.

Good to see you writing again.

blessings always


Marlene Bertrand (author) from USA on July 22, 2013:

Hi Faith, I have been away from writing. I didn't mention it on HubPages, but my dad passed away on April 30. I have been spending a lot of time with family, particularly my mother. Naturally, she's having a difficult time getting back into living again. I'm finally home for a while and thought I would put together a hub. Thank you for your positive feedback. I am learning a lot about food - reading labels on everything before I purchase it. But all in all, I'm mostly eating unpackaged foods - basically fruits, vegetables, and meat for protein.

And I am really happy that you have been able to beat cancer. The more I read about soy, the more I am glad to be away from it.

Hello Mhatter99. It is good to see you. Thank you for your feedback. Yes, the body can speak to us in so many ways.

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on July 22, 2013:

Interesting. Thank you for this. I was blessed with a body that controlled what I ate. Or else... bathroom

Faith Reaper from southern USA on July 22, 2013:

Hi Marlene,

What a very insightful and useful article here! I am so glad to see you writing here. I have missed you.

Yes, just the word "Diet" makes one feel as if deprived, and so I like to say too, "just eating healthier" and forget the "D" word!

I am so glad you stated to stop the soy, as I found out after having breast cancer, that with the type of cancer I had, DCIS Breast Cancer, I must not eat any soy at all!!! As it feeds the kind of cancer I had. Good to know to say the least.

Voted up +++ and sharing

God bless you,

Faith Reaper

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