Starch free versus gluten free - weight dilemma

by Truis
(New Zealand)

I was delighted to discover your site, and hope my small tale will help someone. Our family of four recently started the GAPS diet, which is not only gluten free (and casein free on the strict regime), but completely starch free. It is (in short) a probiotic diet that aims to heal the gut and restore its bacterial population to a healthy level. We discovered some fascinating alternative recipes, particularly for the use of coconut flour. Unfortunately, neither of the kids found coconut flour to their taste, so we began to rely more heavily on almond flour.

While we were trying not to focus our diet around baked goods, I discovered how easy it is to bake with almond flour. Awesome quiche crust, delightful bread, and tasty, versatile crackers for spreads, etc.

One of the other delights (amid the considerable hardship of changing our whole attitude to food) was realising that one big advantage of almond flour over wheat is that is is *very* filling. Abandoning my old breakfast habit of two toast slices from a large loaf of wheat bread, I found that two slices of my considerably smaller almond loaf was almost too much, and filled me up for much longer in the morning.

So, as a result of eating far fewer empty calories, thanks to replacing many of
our usual foods with more filling and far healthier options, I lost several kilograms (about 8 pounds) over 2 months - nice and slow, like the doctor ordered. This startled me more than a little, as the GAPS diet requires one to eat a surprising amount of animal fats. Nevertheless, the evidence was there on the bathroom scales.

The story doesn't end there, however. The GAPS diet is a very strict regime, and *really* hard to stick to. After discussing with our nutritionist, we decided we couldn't honestly maintain it any longer. We scaled back a little, and a couple of weeks ago reintroduced rice and potatoes.

Although we're now eating much less of these two foods than previously, my personal weight loss has screeched to a halt. Although I haven't gained back any of my good-riddance kilos, I have realised I will have to remain very strict with myself about only snacking on "allowed" foods, and keeping quantities to a minimum.

So, despite the high calorie count of nut flours, I think their protein content fills one up and helps one naturally eat more moderately. I strongly recommend almond flour as a really versatile alternative flour. It makes sense that, in the years leading up to the industrial revolution, it was Europe's flour of choice for baking, chosen even over wheat.

Happy eating!

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