The gluten-free diet has gained enormous popularity recently for a way to lose weight. No longer is it just being used for treating celiac disease and by individuals who are sensitive to gluten. Numerous famous celebrities are attributing their weight loss and lean bodies to following a gluten free diet.
The Relationship of Gluten and Weight
It makes perfect sense really that if you eliminate gluten from your diet you’ll lose weight. Gluten is the stretchy, stringy protein that is found in some grains that are high in starch. It is the compound that is responsible for giving breads, pastries and baked goods their shape. Baked goods such as cakes, pizza crust, bagels, bread, wheat pastas and cookies contain copious amounts of gluten.
If you eliminate these gluten rich foods from your diet, you are essentially eliminating many carbohydrates from your diet which cause weight gain. Unless you live a very athletic lifestyle and require large amounts of energy that you are going to burn immediately, it is unfortunately too easy for the average person to store any excess simple carbohydrates as fat.
People who undertake a low carbohydrate diet generally lose excess body fat. Even if you do have higher energy requirements, you can attain your nutritional needs in a healthier manner as opposed to relying on starchy simple carbohydrates.
Healthier Food Choices
Even if you are not sensitive to gluten, it is beneficial for almost everyone to eliminate or at least reduce high-starch and unhealthy foods from their diet. It is important however that you correspondingly increase your consumption of lean meats, vegetables and gluten-free whole grains, seeds and nuts.
In order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and all-round wellness, simply reducing calories is not the ideal solution. You need to ensure that you are meeting all of your nutritional requirements and getting adequate amounts of healthy fats, proteins, fruits and complex carbohydrates so that your body feels satisfied and can perform its expected functions well.
Simply eliminating certain food groups and not substituting with a healthy alternative will leave you grumpy, susceptible to cravings and potentially large alterations in your blood sugar. This can unintentionally set you up for some unhealthy bingeing down the road.
Experiment with New Recipes
Many fruits and vegetables provide a host of antioxidants and nutrients and can naturally satisfy any cravings for sweets. Crunchy celery is abundant in sodium and can be a great potato chip replacement as well. Experiment with gluten-free grains and you can continue to enjoy your favorite pasta dishes with slight modifications.
The easiest, safest and healthiest way to start a gluten-free weight loss program is to make the majority of your meals from scratch. Often, many commercially prepared foods that claim to be gluten-free are high in sodium, MSG and calories. They may contain higher levels of sugar and additional ingredients such as corn starch or potato starch.
When you prepare fresh vegetables and meats on your own, and mix up your own salad dressings and marinades, you will be less likely to ingest all those extra ingredients that are working against your weight loss strategy.
Healthy Weight Loss
Prior to starting any kind of diet, it is recommended that you discuss it with your doctor and make sure that you have a clean bill of health. Ideally, deciding to lose weight works better if you focus on exercise and diet habits that can be sustained for the long term. A change to gluten-free eating is best considered a ‘lifestyle’ diet. If you are trying this as crash diet, you will probably not get the results you desire.