There are all kinds of opinions out there about weight gain/loss and the gluten-free diet. Some people claim it helps them lose weight, which has led to the gluten-free diet being labeled a “fad diet” in some media outlets. Others say that it has caused them to gain weight, whether that weight was needed or not.
Some people that are diagnosed with Celiac Disease are underweight because the villi in their small intestines have not been able to properly absorb nutrients. Once the gluten-free diet is started and the healing begins, those people will begin to absorb nutrients properly & gain the weight their bodies need to function properly.
Another common reason for weight gain on the gluten-free diet is the tendency to eat gluten-free replacement foods that are higher in calories than their gluten-filled counterparts. There may also be the temptation to eat more, just because they are gluten-free. Gluten-free doesn’t always equal healthy.
Those that have lost weight on the gluten-free diet, or are using it as a “diet plan” may do so for several reasons:
- No longer eating processed foods that are often higher in calories and/or fat.
- More focused on eating whole, naturally gluten-free foods that are good for you.
- Increase in exercise if the goal is to lose weight.
When I first started the gluten-free diet, I certainly found myself wanting to eat more “junk” than I normally did. For a short period of time, I had the mindset that if it was gluten-free, I could eat it. Everything else went out the window. Now I try to focus on whole, naturally gluten-free foods with the occasional splurge.
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