Gluten-free diets may be the hottest thing around for weight loss, but as at least some of us know, going gluten-free is no guarantee of a slimmer and trimmer figure.
In fact, recent studies have shown that 39 percent of adults diagnosed with celiac disease are overweight, with 13 percent of those falling into the obese category according to body mass index.
Many of you could eat whatever you wanted pre-diagnosis and you would remain as thin as a stick. This was due to malabsorption and an unhealthy gut, and does not indicate that you have the metabolism of a growing teenager!
Here are 6 tips to help you put the “diet” back in gluten-free diet.
How to Lose Weight on a Gluten-Free Diet
While there’s no miracle cure for weight loss when you’re on a gluten-free diet, you can adopt a healthier lifestyle to go along with your healthier body.
- Choose whole foods: No, I’m not talking about the grocery store (even though they have great gluten-free foods). Base your diet around fruits and vegetables, whole grains like quinoa and brown rice, lean meat with complete proteins, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products. These foods are nutrient dense and filling, providing the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
- Choose a plan: Several diet plans on the market can be adapted to meet the needs of a gluten-free diet. Weight Watchers allows you to choose your own foods and work gluten-free alternatives into your diet. Many moderate lower-carbohydrate diet plans, like the South Beach Diet, can also accommodate a gluten-free eating plan.
- Use restraint: Skip the processed gluten-free foods altogether (or shop carefully to make sure you’re eating them rarely). Many gluten-free breads and treats are higher in fat and sugar and have far less fiber than their wheat-based counterparts. If you do opt for processed gluten-free convenience foods, choose lower fat, whole grain products, rather than those that rely upon starches instead of high-fiber grains. Gluten-free treats are hard to turn down since they’re so hard to come by, but we must learn to say no if we want to lose weight.
- Keep a food journal: Writing down what you eat and when you eat it can help to track your diet. Over time, it’s easier to see what you’re doing right and what you’re not. As a bonus tip, taking pictures of your meals gives you a visual representation and interesting perspective on your diet. Surprisingly, this can go a long way in keeping yourself motivated and adjusting your diet over time.
- Add exercise: With your doctor’s consent, begin a fitness program appropriate for you, even if you’re starting with a slow and easy walk around the block.
- Avoid the “poor me” phenomenon: Giving up your favorite foods is hard and it’s all too easy to replace them with unhealthy alternatives. Candy and ice cream may often be gluten-free, but they should be indulgences, not part of your everyday diet.