No Grain Diet

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

no-grain-dietThe No Grain Diet is written by Dr. Joseph Mercola and is based on the concept that meals high in grains and refined carbohydrates can trigger an excessive production of insulin that leads to hunger soon after eating.

Mercola refers to this situation as ‘grain addiction’ where the individual craves these foods and a viscous cycle occurs.

He says that modern humans are consuming far too much bread, cereal, pasta, corn, rice, potatoes, and sweets which is not only a major cause of obesity, but is also contributing to a wide range of health problems including suppression of the immune system, allergies, digestive disorders, depression, cancer, and diabetes.

Mercola outlines possible signs of an excessive intake of carbohydrates including obesity, fatigue, depression, brain fog, bloating, low blood sugar, high blood pressure, and high triglyceride levels.

No Grain Diet Basics

The No Grain diet is very low in carbohydrates, as it requires dieters to eliminate all grains, sugar, potatoes, and sweets. Dieters also eliminate fruit while in the early stages of the diet.

There are three phases to the plan:

  • The first phase is the ‘start up phase’ in which for three days dieters eliminate all grains, starchy vegetables, fruits, and sweets. Dieters must eat something every two hours during this phase.
  • The second phase is called the ‘stabilize phase’, which continues with the dietary restrictions of the first phase but changes the meal structure. Dieters no longer eat every two hours but consume three meals and three snacks daily.

In this phase dieters should exercise five days a week. This is continued until dieters reach their goal weight. When dieters stabilize at this weight for four weeks they then continue this phase for an additional two weeks to prior to continuing to the next phase.

The first two phases are very similar to the Atkins diet with the major difference being the inclusion of a wider variety of vegetables and an emphasis on high quality and preferably organic foods.

  • The third stage, called the ‘sustain phase’, is where some carbohydrate foods are added back into the diet. Dieters can experiment with including starchy vegetables, fruits, certain approved grains, and honey. It is important for dieters to be aware of weight gain during this stage and to adjust the diet accordingly.

There are also three different options regarding the food plan for each phase, which allows for the diet to be modified to suit the individual’s needs. A questionnaire is provided in order to assist dieters to select the most appropriate plan for them.

Recommended Foods

Vegetables, meat (preferably organic and grass fed), poultry (preferably organic), legumes, raw nuts and seeds, fish, tempeh, dairy (in limited amounts and preferably goat, sheep and other raw dairy products), coconut and olive oil, organic eggs and protein powders.

Sample Diet Plan



Egg white omelet with goat cheese and broccoli

Morning Snack

Miso soup
Spinach and arugula salad


Organic steamed chicken
Large vegetable salad

Afternoon Snack

Raw red and yellow pepper


Grilled salmon
Steamed asparagus
Green salad with balsamic dressing

Evening Snack

Raw almonds

Find other meal ideas here.

Walk for 30 Minutes

Exercise is encouraged both for its benefits for weight loss maintenance and disease prevention. Walking is recommended initially for 30 minutes per day and dieters are encouraged to increase this to 60 minutes.

Try these exercises with the No Grain Diet.

Costs and Expenses

The No Grain Diet retails at $24.95.

Click here to purchase this diet for a discounted price.

The grocery bill may increase due to the need to purchase organic items.

A variety of supplements are recommended which may become expensive.


  • Provides a choice of detailed meal plans to suit individual needs.
  • Will assist in managing as well as reducing the risk of diabetes and insulin resistance.
  • Addresses psychological factors involved in weight loss and dieting by introducing techniques for dealing with the emotional disruptions that may be associated with cravings.
  • Low carbohydrate diets often produce fast results , which encourages dieters to stick with the plan.
  • Includes a variety of healthy recipes.


  • Very restrictive during the weight loss phase and calories may become too low.
  • Many dieters will have difficulty with the very low intake of carbohydrates especially over the long term.
  • Requires a lot of time to be spent on meal planning and preparation.
  • May be increased grocery expenses due to the emphasis on purchasing organic foods.
  • May be difficult for vegetarians to follow.
  • Alcohol is restricted.
  • Recommends many nutritional supplements.

Will Take Commitment

The No Grain Diet is a very stringent plan that is probably only suitable for those with a high degree of commitment and determination.

It is most suitable for dieters with carbohydrate sensitivity and may be especially beneficial for those at risk for or displaying early signs of diabetes or insulin resistance.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Julie Brown, RN

    I stumbled upon the “No Grain Diet” when my husband could not deny his increasing BP issue. His MD recommended this diet. He came home and mentioned it to me. I was intrigued, so I googled it.Once I understood the basic concepts, I started the diet. By day # 4 I had the worst headache ever. I finally realized that I was in “sugar shock”. coming from someone that put 2 TBSP of sugar in her coffee in the morning (2 cups!).I immediately stopped all sugar in my coffee and have followed this diet near faithfully. I love it! 13 lbs to the negative(and I am not a big person anyway) and I have way more energy!

  • Aaron

    I would optimize this diet like this:
    2 light meals during day, low carb.
    1 big meal at night with beef/chicken/feesh and white rice / potatoes as safe startch on side that brings stress relaxation and best satiety when our parasympathetic nervous system is activated.

    His meal plan is too little calorie and too many snacking, which is impossible for busy people.

    • Julie Brown, RN

      I completely agree! As a nurse, there is no way I can incorporate the number of “snacks” into my regular day! I have been successful (minus 13 pounds) so far but just simply taking the basic concepts of limiting , sometimes actually excluding, breads, pasta, rice and potatoes as a “filler”
      in our nightly dinner regime.

  • marcus

    There is absolutely no need to go low carb on a wheat free diet. I gave up wheat and replaced the carbs with more fruit and sweet potatoes. I have experienced the fastest, easiest, hunger free weight loss of my life. I went from 16% body fat to 10% body fat in about 2 months. My innie is now back to being an outtie. My six pack is back!

  • remy

    it’s really work ^^ i like it

  • remy

    it’s the 17th day now
    and honestly I feel great honestly

  • JW

    When a very, very wealthy, very shapely client of mine stated,You are a very beautiful lady but too chubby.

    I said, Thanks for calling me fat.. She retorted: Chubby is not fat, but you could stand to lose a few. I said, you did not hire me for my appearance.

    Then I remembered her first language was German not English and calmed down. She said: Let me make you a model in a few weeks!

    How?I retorted, She said ”stop eating like a poor person!” Poor people eat pasta, bread,corn and wheat, rice.. Its for the masses, not the elite! We eat the best food for the best health, to have the most fun and dont forget the good wine and lots of water. If you must have sweet food each only a small amount . Or eat fruit and cheese( high quality)instead. Especially corn and potatoes( its what they feed cattle!) So, I was blown away( I am doing what she says exactly), also poor people get poor results. She meant a mindset.. What an awesome lady..

    She is right! No grains,

  • meghana lalani

    hi, my husband has seviour acidity problem.if he eats soup or salad or juice in d breakfast and snacks in d evening he is fine but if he eats grain he get acidity i just want receipe for salad , soup and juice.pls if u can. v r pure vegetarian no egg also.

  • Glenn

    I have had the pleasure of feasting on a low carb diet for years. I am not over weight and have no health issues. I haven’t eaten meat in 35 years, but love my basmati brown rice. I have chosen to reduce the amount I eat as well as my rye bread consumption. The 1st few weeks I lost 10 pounds, it has all balanced out now. I feel great!

  • Chuck

    In my opinion, if you don’t eat rice, pasta, beans, soda, high fructose corn syrup(must learn to read labels and deceptive advertising), sugar, boxed food, processed food, and fast food; you will naturally lose weight. High fat, moderate protein, low carb. Be prepared for carb-flu if you are used to lots of carbs. It’s not to say you can’t have them, but it’s how you ingest them. Organic is nice to have but even conventional vegetables are better than most crap humans consume.

  • Felicia

    Theres a difference between eating healthy and starving yourself in the process. For instance for dinner tonight is brown rice with greenbeans, orange peppers, and white onion. The list that is shown here is way to much meat in one day. In reality people should only be eating meat 2-3 times a week. I cut out all read meat and only eat poultry or fish. And I do all this not to loose weight but just to be healthy. And why are there no fruits in this list!? Not eating any fruits starves your body of a lot of nutrition!

    • Kate

      I am basically on this extreme low carb diet, not to lose weight but for a medical condition. Yes, I now eat more meat (mostly fish) and I am hoping to gradually be able to increase legumes, so I can reduce meat. I am allowed 2 pieces of fruit a day (but not all types are permitted). It is very strict but I am extremely healthy – have not had a cold/sore throat/anything for a year, have low body fat and am very fit, run or do weights every day. Lots of other health issues I had also went away, eg arthritis and sinus and my skin is heaps better as well. Can’t say I would want people to live like I do just to lose weight, but I can say it seems somehow to give health benefits, not nutritional deficits, from my experience. It is hard to maintain weight though and I need to eat quite a lot. My only complaint is that I feel judged by people who think I must be obsessed with my weight as low carb diets are usually seen as just for weight loss, then I sort of feel like I have to explain. :-)

  • Matt

    I basically have been doing this diet for the past 10 days, and I’ve lost 10 pounds in those 10 days. I’ve been walking 30 minutes a day and working out at the gym every other day. A pound a day! For moderate effort! I don’t plan to buy the book or anything though. lol If I stuck to recipes I might, but I don’t even use recipes.

    • Kevin

      A pound a day is very extreme. Assuming your weight loss isn’t water, that means you have a daily net loss of 3500 calories. Unless your training regime is akin to that of Michael Phelps, I don’t think this is possible (or safe!).

  • n8whit

    Overall healthy SOldier past 16 years diagnosed with fatty liver disease and elevated cholesterol. To my surprise, my liver specialist mandated a diet very similar to this in order to stave off fatty liver, higher cholesterol, eventual insulin resistance.

  • Ruth

    Apparently 100% rye (ryvita) and 100% spelt (the original wheat flour before it became so modified) can be digested by the body a lot more easily than other grains.

    In her book, The Body Talks, Judy Cole provides a very clear and easy to understand explanation of how the digestive system works and what protein, fat, carbs and starch actually are. For weight loss and to regulate blood sugar, she advises a no starch diet (similar to this No Grain Diet) but she does allow a person to eat up to 6 ryvita (or 4 ryvita and 1 slice of 100% spelt bread) per day.

    Stage 1 is a 2 month period with strictly no starch (no potatoes, rice, wheat, corn and no more than 1 portion of starchy veg such as turnip or carrot per day). This is then followed by phase 2 where 1 portion of starch per day (i.e. 2 tablespoons of cooked brown rice) is introduced into the diet until the person reaches their ideal weight.

    She advises it will take up to 3 months for the blood sugar to regulate and reaching your ideal weight will depend on how heavy you are to start with. Even once the individual reaches their ideal weight, they must maintain a low starch diet for life because the amount of starch (grain) most people eat nowadays is far too high for the body to process.

  • Don

    Through trial and error I finally began eating like this some time ago, it is the perfect diet for diabetics- I no longer need insulin coverage for each meal, just a daily dose of basal insulin. No more headaches trying to figure sliding scale every time I turn around, then getting it wrong anyway. Control is nice and tight. Only time I need rapid insulin is to drive in the dose of quality carbs I take with whey protein powder for exercise. I did notice an increase in mental and physical stamina; a side-effect I hadn’t looked for. It’s true about the munchies- they no longer torture me, and I have lost all visible body fat. And no- you can’t cheat even once a week. Commonsense says otherwise, anyway.

  • Christine

    I have been told to go on a no grain no sweet diet for a skin disorder. Please send me any recipes to help with this endeavor, thanks to any who can help.

    • Kate

      Christine look up recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. There are quite a few on the internet. Good luck learning to cook with almond flour! :-)
      I went on a strict diet for a health condition and as a side effect my skin is heaps better. Hope it works for you.

  • amanda silva

    i love this diet, it works great and you dont crave food anymore!! it is really hard in the first 3 days but it helps that you can eat more to suppress the addiction. the only thing i dont like is not beingable to eat fruit and SPLENDA because i love fruit and i love my tea!! but it is worth it and if you are determined and willing to exercise and eat right with the higher expense of food you will be very healthy happy and skinny!! i love thi diet!!

    • deborah babin

      why is splenda not good? i use stevia…is that bad too>|??
      I am guessing it simulates sugar to our brains.
      Please explain thanks

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