You hear it all the time from celebrities like Russell Crowe and Miley Cyrus that they’ve lost weight by going on a gluten-free diet, but what’s the truth? Well, for me, when I started a gluten-free diet, losing weight was the very last thing I wanted to do. Because of undiagnosed Celiac Disease, I was down to 95 pounds, with tingling in my face and hands from not absorbing the nutrients from the food I was eating. I was basically starving to death.
So when I started a gluten-free diet, I slowly started to gain back the much needed weight to be a healthy 28 year old wife and mom. The thing is, back in 1987, when I was diagnosed, there wasn’t any premade, boxed up, processed, and labeled gluten-free food. I had to read labels, if I was buying anything premade, boxed, or canned, I had to read the label for any glutenous ingredients. I was mostly eating real, whole, naturally gluten-free foods. Things like fresh fruits and vegetables, beef, chicken, fish, eggs and cheese.
I read a while back that Lady Gaga, doesn’t allow her dancers to eat wheat, because it contributes to bloat. Well, the truth of the matter is that many people who have given up gluten because of celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity are now struggling with weight-GAIN not weight-loss.
I know, for me, once menopause set in, I gained a lot of weight. Thankfully, using the tools I learned while going to coaching school, I have been able to drop most of that weight and keep it off, as I continue my journey back to my goal weight.
So how do you maintain a healthy weight while consuming a gluten-free diet? Here are a few of my tips to maintain a healthy weight while living gluten-free:
Be Sure to Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Studies have proven that if you skip breakfast, then you will tend to overeat later in the day, resulting in weight gain. But, those who eat a healthy breakfast such as smoothies, gluten-free oatmeal with fresh fruit, healthy homemade egg cups, or homemade gluten-free egg mcmuffins. tend to feel fuller longer and don’t overeat at lunch.
Practice Portion Control
Here in the United States we suffer from portion distortion. An average store bought muffin, 20 years ago weighed 1.5 ounces and had 210 calories. Today the average muffin weighs 4 ounces and has a whopping 500 calories!
Use a smaller plate. We underestimate how much we are actually eating because plates, even in our homes, have gotten 30% larger than they were 30 years ago.
Learn what a healthy portion size really is. You can go to myplate.gov , or here is an easy way to remember what healthy portions are:
- Meat, fish, or poultry is about the size of the palm of your hand. That means no fingers.
- Vegetables and fruit is about the size of your fist or a baseball
- Cheese is about the size of a pair of dice
- Pasta and rice, about the size of a tennis ball
- White potatoes, the size of a computer mouse
- And snacks, like pretzels, or chips, the size of a cupcake wrapper
You also want to limit your intake of the gluten-free goodies. Things like cookies, cakes, brownies, donuts and other pastries.
What about the fat?
You will hear a lot about cutting fat out of your diet. Personally, I believe that our bodies need a certain amount of healthy fat to maintain balance in our systems. I think the culprit of obesity and heart disease is not the fat, but the combination of fat and carbohydrates. I personally cut my carb intake over the summer and lost a whopping 25 pounds in two weeks. Now, that being said, a low carb lifestyle is not for everyone. So I like to help my clients find a dietary lifestyle that works for them. So if you want to have your carbs, then you need to need to use a healthier fat intake, like:
- Low fat milk and yogurt
- Low fat cheese
- Lean meat
- Skinless chicken
- Limit your intake of bacon, sausage, ribs, salami and other high fat meats and lunchmeats
- And bake, broil, steam or barbecue your foods
Gluten-Free does not equal healthy
Just because a food carries the label “Gluten-free” does not make it a healthy choice! So many times I hear people say, “well it’s gluten-free, so it’s good for me”. Many gluten-free foods especially the breads and pastas are actually much higher in carbohydrates than their glutenous counterparts.
To counteract that, I suggest eating fresh whole foods. If you can’t pronounce the ingredient, then it probably not a good choice.
Get off the couch
If you want to lose weight, you have to get off the couch and get moving! Go for a brisk walk, park further from the door when you are shopping, at work or at the mall. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Take a dance class with a friend or go swimming with your partner. Do whatever works for you…Just Do It!
If you’d like more information about losing weight on a gluten-free diet or would like to know how I can help you find the right dietary lifestyle for you, then just contact me here. I would love to work with you to become the healthiest you can be.