The Gluten Bigot: Will Going Gluten Free Make Me Lose Weight?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Will Going Gluten Free Make Me Lose Weight?

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It's almost comical, when someone discovers I am gluten bigot, one of the first questions I get (after a normal dose of sympathy of course) is "How much weight have you lost since going gluten free?"

There is a number to my pre-gluten free life vs current life. Growing up I was always underweight. Once I turned 20 my weight went up a bit, but my health seriously declined. When I returned from to Canada from Ireland, my weight spiked, and going gluten free I returned basically to my normal weight (about 20-25lbs lost).

This way of eating forced on some has become a diet fad embraced by what seems to be many. But will it should you do it to lose weight?

I am not a medical doctor/professional/nutritionist/etc. But in my opinion, if you are just eliminating gluten containing foods and replacing them with high-fiber vitamin rich foods and still including grains (i.e. just eating really clean and healthy) I personally do not see issue with it. But you do need to understand the challenges of it (this article and this one). You will out on easily getting the good nutrients you need (fiber is a big one, vitamin b another one). 

If you are swapping gluten containing junk food for gluten free junk food, you may find you are worse off. Gluten free products contain high levels of added fat and sugar (to make them not completely disgusting). 

If you are choosing the diet with the hopes of losing weight I would strongly encourage you to consult with your doctor. For those who are not required to eat gluten free, from what I have read (again, not a professional) there is not any value in eating gluten free. 

That said, I have met people who just feel better eating gluten free. Or they choose it as a method of clean eating and are diligent about replacing nutrients. I personally take multivitamins because I am so seriously lacking in some. While I am happy on my gluten free diet as it allows me to feel like a normal person I certainly would not wish it on any others, and while I fully support your decision to be gluten free, I would encourage you to fully consider the work, cost and benefit you will get from committing to a gluten free diet.

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