Many people choose to follow a gluten-free diet for medical reasons, such as gluten-intolerance or celiac disease. For some people, the symptoms are severe and significantly impact their quality of life. Gluten-related symptoms can include obesity, nausea, constipation, insomnia, extreme weight loss or gain, diarrhea, and sleepiness. When celiacs or gluten-intolerant individuals switch to a gluten-free diet, they often see improvements in their weight – whether that means losing weight if they were obese or gaining weight if they were underweight to begin with.
Why And How Can Gluten-Free Diet Help You Lose Weight?
There is no scientific study that proves a correlation between weight loss and a gluten-free diet. However, many people who don’t have gluten intolerance say they’ve seen success with this diet. The gluten-free diet is less about never consuming gluten again and more about making healthier choices altogether.
What these dietary restrictions do is force you to look for healthier alternatives and commit to losing weight. It takes time, patience, and practice, but after a while, you’ll get the hang of it.
Go Completely Gluten-Free
If you’re committed to going gluten-free, you’ll have to be willing to make some sacrifices. That often means avoiding take-out and restaurants, as some places prepare gluten-free ingredients in a way that the finished product still contains traces of gluten. A great example of this is sushi rice. Rice normally doesn’t contain gluten, but for sushi, it is prepared with soy sauce or wheat vinegar that does.
Find Healthier Replacements Even For Gluten-Free Products
A gluten-free diet can be beneficial for weight loss, but only if you make healthier choices when replacing gluten-filled foods. For example, trade jam for smashed avocado and mayonnaise for hummus. (Also, check the label for hummus, as it is normally gluten-free, but not always.) Quinoa and amaranth are great healthy alternatives to rice.
Avoid Processed Gluten-Free Products
There’s been an increase in awareness of celiac disease which has led many food producers to become interested in the potential of the market. A result of this is that there are now many gluten-free processed foods that you can buy as a substitute for those products containing gluten that people with the disease can’t eat.
However, if you’re only looking to lose weight, these processed substitutes won’t do you much good as they’re still high in sugar and fat content and calorie count. In other words, they’ll cause you to gain weight rather than help you lose it.
Cut Sugar Out
Cutting out sugar can be difficult, but it’s worth it for your health. Not only will you lose weight, but you’ll also naturally whiten your teeth. You can get the daily dose of sugar you need by eating fruits that contain fructose. Fructose is a harmless type of sugar, unlike saccharose, and it will give your body enough energy. Fruits also contain antioxidants that will help you eliminate toxins from your body.
Count Your Calories
If you’re trying to lose weight by going on a gluten-free diet, you’ll need to be careful about how many calories you’re eating. Make sure to check the recipes you’re using to see how many calories they have, or if you’re using pre-prepared meals, read the label to see how many calories are in each one. Try to eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible. They’re healthy and will help you reach your goals.
Exercising is a great way to lose weight, whether you opt for light exercises such as walking or something more intense like working out at the gym. After your workout, you can refuel with a protein-based shake or smoothie. Some common ingredients in these post-workout drinks include bananas, berries, yogurt, coconut milk, almond milk, and various types of berries.
Obstacles To Overcome
If you’re thinking about switching to a gluten-free diet, you may experience some symptoms as your body adjusts, such as headaches, cravings, low energy levels, gas, bloating, feeling hungry, etc. This usually lasts for two weeks.
Weight loss may also cause hair loss, so you’ll need to be careful with your diet to regrow it. Luckily, most of the foods that help with hair growth are gluten-free, such as fish, fruits and vegetables, and raw meat.
You can avoid this by gradually transitioning and taking out one food at a time.