Many people these days are switching to gluten-free diets for the prospect of losing weight. They are encouraged to do so because it seems to be working for some. This has in fact become a trend in these past five years or so. But as a matter of fact, originally, this diet was formulated for people with medical conditions such as Celiac disease and gluten intolerance. But does going gluten-free actually help in losing weight?
The truth is, it does not because there is no evidence that to support that a gluten-free diet will help you to lose weight. In some cases, people gain weight as a result of going gluten-free. People with Celiac disease who go gluten-free easily gain weight. It is so because their intestinal health improves; thus, nutrient absorption and deficiencies are resolved. So, then why are celebrities, social media influencers, diet gurus and others promoting this? Why do they seem to be losing weight after following a gluten-free diet? Let’s ponder a little into this.
Just because a food item is gluten-free, it doesn’t mean that it is healthy. In fact, many gluten-free products have high sugar content, more fats and calories than their gluten-containing counterparts. So, always remember, a candy bar is still a candy bar even if it’s gluten-free. Therefore, the key is to carefully consume a balanced diet. Go for natural and organic gluten-free products. The preservatives and additives in them are zero to none…like our bread. They are organically certified, gluten-free, free of additives and sugar and a perfect addition to your gluten-free diet.
So why are people losing weight after following a gluten-free diet?
The actual reason still requires research evidence to back it. Perhaps, they lose weight because when they follow a gluten-free diet, people tend to consume more fruits, vegetables and other healthier foods than they used to. Also, when on a gluten-free diet, you also do not eat fast food, junk or processed food. People who adopt this diet also become ‘label conscious’, meaning, they read their labels well and understand every ingredient and content listed. So, now with the ‘bad’ foods gone, they start consuming healthier and nutritiously dense food. So, weight loss can happen.
What you can eat and you can’t eat while on a ‘G’ free diet to lose weight
The key is to stick to a normal gluten-free diet. Include lots of fibers and natural ingredients. Opt for foods that are naturally gluten-free, like fruits, veggies, lean meat, poultry, dairy products and fish. Make sure to eat gluten-free treats such as muffins, brownies, pizzas and portions of pasta just like you would do in a normal diet in limited quantities. Try to source ingredients and products as organic and preservative-free as possible. Make sure your gluten-free choices are 100 % whole grain- like brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat and so on. And of course, avoid gluten-containing food items. Some sources of gluten can even surprise you- beer, soy sauce, certain oats, fried foods and all, contains gluten. So, choose your food with care. Like inevitable in any other diet, exercises are important here too. In cooperating plenty of exercises as well but don’t overexert yourself. Always remember- never do something that crosses your body’s or your personal comfort zone. It will cause harm more than any good.
Effort level: Medium to High
Like in any diet, commitment is required to stick to a gluten-free diet unless you have Celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Because in people with gluten intolerance and Celiac disease, going gluten-free is not an option, it’s a necessity. Going gluten-free does require a lot of planning as well. You need to cook, shop and eat out gluten-free.
For people with Celiac disease and gluten intolerance, going gluten-free is a lifesaver. For others, it is definitely a healthy lifestyle. But like in any other diet, moderation, care and control is required here too. Consult a nutritionist or a physician if you need more guidance and advice regarding this. Also, there are very many support groups out there that can help you through your journey. It is not therapy, just people supporting people. There app available these days to help you track, customise and guide you through a gluten-free diet. But most importantly, as we said earlier, do what you feel is comfortable for you and your body. Stay healthy!