This is part 2 of a removing gluten series. In case you missed part 1, >> click here << to read it, if you wish.
In part 1 we discussed about how a gluten-free lifestyle should not be approached for the sole purpose of losing weight. However, it is important to note that there are some who go gluten-free and they do lose weight, sometimes a lot of weight. This is where a lot of frustration comes into play for the thousands upon thousands of people who went gluten-free because “Sally” next door did it and lost a lot of weight!
So, let’s talk gluten-free and weight gain.
This is where I will probably crush a lot of hopes and dreams out there. So sorry but it has to be said. Even on a gluten-free diet you still have to put the right types of foods into your body!
This is what I’ve noticed for a lot of people I’ve talked to about their weight gain and going gluten-free . . . they still ate “bad” foods! Just because something is labeled “gluten-free” does not make it the ‘magical bean’ of foods that you can eat and eat and expect to lose weight on. It just is not going to happen.
“Let’s take these ingredients, for example: Icing(Icing Sugar(may contain 2-3% corn starch), Palm Fruit Oil (Non Hydrogenated), Vanilla Flavor, Soy Lecithin, Salt), Sugar, Pea Starch, Potato Starch, Palm Fruit Oil (Non Hydrogenated), White Rice Flour, Water, Tapioca Starch, Glucose, Pea Protein, Sodium Carboxy Methylcellulose, Salt, Vanilla Flavor, Pea Fibre, Guar Gum, Inulin, Ammonium Bicarbonate(90), Sodium Bicarbonate, Soy Lecithin”
The above ingredients are from a gluten-free form of “oreo” type of cookies! I encourage you to explore each of these ingredients; you may be shocked at what you find.
I am not here, however, to tell anyone to count calories but I do know that you need to burn more calories than you take in to lose weight! You have to be aware of how much sugar, carbs, artificial additives, chemicals, dyes, pesticides, GMOs, and other various compounds that will do your body damage. For some (carbs) they are necessary but there are good carbs and bad carbs (a strawberry has good carbs, a donut has bad carbs, get the picture) and then others (sugars) are not needed in the body but you can safely consume certain sugars in moderation (raw honey, pure maple syrup, coconut sugar, etc). Then others (GMOs, artificial anything, chemicals, dyes, etc.) should never, ever be consumed.
A lot of gluten-free products contain GMOs, artificial ingredients, etc. that you should never be putting into your body. Then there are other gluten-free products that may be “all natural” or “organic” but the sugar level is ridiculous. There is no magic button for this, you need to learn to read ingredients and nutritional labels. My advice for this is to seek out a holistic nurse practitioner or a holistic nutritionist to help you comb through all of this.
What I have found is many of the people going gluten-free to lose weight ran out and bought all sorts of gluten free foods with little, if any, regard to what was in them, there sugar content, carbs, etc. If it was gluten-free then, to them, it was going to be the ‘magic bean’ of foods. Next thing you know they are gaining more weight than they did before going gluten-free. Probably because they were eating whole wheat bread instead of the extremely carb ladened gluten-free bread they switched out for . . . they swapped out “okay” foods for really bad foods and gained weight.
Have you heard the saying that if your grandmother or great-grandmother or great-great-grandmother (depending on your age) did not recognize it, then you should not eat it . . . it is so true and wise words to live by. None of us “needs” foods that come in boxes, cans, or bottles! You can get everything you need from fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and meats! You can survive on those foods and never ever buy another boxed, canned, or bottled item again. Is that realistic in today’s modern world, probably not. So, you still have to do your homework, you still need to read labels, and you still need to know what proper nutrition is . . . there is not a magical diet that will eliminate the need for exercise, the need for portion control, and the need to know what you are eating . . . there are coined lifestyle changes that can help you (such as Paleo) but you need to really research these and then find what works for you . . . but, one of the key points here is that you will always need to exercise your body! Unless you live an “Amish” type of lifestyle and you are constantly out planting, working the land, and on the move, you have to incorporate exercise into your life . . . there is no magic bean that will make your body not need exercise.
So, before jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon I strongly urge you to understand what you are getting into and what those who are living this lifestyle are living it for . . . for example, if you suffer from constant chronic heartburn, IBS, and other digestive issues, then going total and complete gluten-free for (no less than) 3 months could be the right move for you . . . but talk to your doctor, naturopathic doctor, or other medical advisor before diving into any lifestyle change.