Gluten free weight loss
(or weight gain?)

Gluten free weight loss plans seem to be the "in thing" just lately. Maybe you have been tempted to change your eating habits to the gluten-free diet, in the hope that you will lose weight?

However, this is not a diet designed for weight loss, although that doesn't mean you can't lose weight on the diet (scroll down to see my own results and share your story!).

It is, in fact, the only treatment for those of us who suffer from gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Cutting out all sources of gluten in our diets is not a choice, it is essential! You could even say that gluten is a form of poison to celiac sufferers.

If you cut out refined flour products from your diet you may well lose weight. But by substituting gluten-free foods, for their equivalent wheat versions, your chances of weight loss may diminish.

The gluten free diet is a way of life that some of us have to adjust to. It is not a diet plan that you can follow until you lose weight and then revert to your old eating habits. 

Saying that, there are some healthy eating plans that happen to be gluten free by nature. These include the Paleo diet and the No Flour No Sugar diet.

What happens when you go gluten free?

Unexplained weight loss can be one of the symptoms of celiac disease. Due to the underlying condition, the body is not absorbing nutrients as it should and is, in a sense, starving.

If you are diagnosed with celiac and you start to eat a gluten free diet then your body can heal itself. You might then have to watch out to make sure you don't gain weight too quickly!

Having undergone a period of starvation, your body will tend to hold on to any excess calories that it is given, in case the same thing happens again. This is stored as body fat.

Do you feel as though you are missing out?

Also, if you are aware that you can no longer eat something, the chances are that you will want it even more!

Now you are aware of the dangers, you might placate yourself with something that you ARE allowed to eat as a substitute, but which is often higher in calories!

I have been guilty of this.

When colleagues were eating cakes with their morning coffee, I would treat myself with chocolate bars. Did I need those calories? Of course not, but it helped to alleviate the feeling of loss. It is hard to go without entirely!

What if I had a slice of gluten free cake instead? Generally, these have MORE calories than wheat based cakes so this solution would not help my gluten free weight loss cause.

For example, I did a quick comparison last time I was in the store.

  • Normal cake - 360 calories per slice
  • Gluten free variety - 369 calories per slice

No, swapping to the gluten free varieties on offer in the store would not help you lose weight!

Baking your own gf substitutes

Perhaps making your own would work out better?

Let's look at different types of gluten free flour. Remember, normal all-purpose wheat flour has 364 calories per 100g.

The basic flour used on a gluten free diet is brown rice flour, which has 357 calories for the same amount. Sounds a little better, so far!

But it is rare to cook with rice flour alone, as such baked products tend to be gritty. You would normally mix in at least one or two other flours. How about potato flour, another common ingredient in my kitchen?

Oops, now the calorie count goes up to 394 per 100g.

What about soya flour instead? That is even higher with 400 calories

If we substitute ground almonds, the chances of gluten free weight loss would seem to go out the window! It has a massive 540 calories per 100g! 

Maybe baking our own cake isn't the solution to gluten free weight loss?

However, almond flour does have one benefit. It fills you up! So you will naturally tend to eat less of baked goods that are made from it. 

It is also a good source of protein, whilst being low in carbohydrate.

Of course the other temptation if you bake your own cakes and breads is to eat the whole thing, before it goes stale. 

When you have paid extra for the ingredients and taken the time to cook it, wasting any leftovers is difficult to come to terms with.

And where you may be satisfied with one slice of shop bought bread at a meal, when you take your own out of the oven and enjoy that delicious smell, it can be almost impossible to resist eating a warm slice spread with butter straight away. Uh oh! Extra calories.


How CAN you achieve gluten free weight loss?

You may need to undertake a whole new way of thinking about what you eat. Instead of substituting products containing gluten with gf versions, why not eliminate them from your diet?

What! No pizza, bread or pasta!

If you are overweight to start with, or find yourself continuing to gain weight on this diet, then changing your eating habits to a lower carbohydrate or low GI plan can work wonders.

Eating naturally gluten free products, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains such as millet or quinoa, eggs, meat, fish and minimal dairy can help tremendously with your gluten free weight loss plan.

Of course not everyone will be prepared to do this.  I was classified as obese and diagnosed with Diabetes before I realized I had to tackle the problem head on!

The first week was very difficult. But as my body became used to the new foods I was eating, my taste buds changed and I began to feel better. The weight started dropping off, my energy levels rose, my pocket book benefited and I wondered why I had never done it before.

At the time of writing this, I have been following this new eating plan for almost 18 months and I have lost 102 pounds. I still have a long way to go, but I feel better than I have in years!

Before losing weight
Me with both legs in one pant leg, after losing 78 pounds!
After losing 98 pounds

I found an e-book online that helped me. It is written by Debbie Johnson (who also wrote Think Yourself Thin) and it gives recipes that are gluten free, low GI, organic and delicious!

Many of them were offered in her own restaurant The Golden Chalice.

You can Click Here to find out more, or even buy your own copy.

If you have experienced issues with gluten free weight loss, or gain, why not tell your story by using the form below? You may be able to help others in the process.

Tell us what worked for you, or just ask for advice or support.




 

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