A Gluten-free Diet and Unexpected Weight Loss

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Author’s note: I must start by saying that I am not a professional health care practioner. I have just done a large amount of research and am writing about my own experience with this. Please consult a professional before doing anything that could cause health issues.

A couple months ago I started a gluten free diet because I realized I was gluten intolerant. It wasn’t a diet choice, but more of a requirement to feel better. You can read up on how I became gluten intolerant and my first thoughts on it.

Because I wasn’t feeling very good, I knew I had to really improve my eating habits (though they were fairly good to begin with), and really get the nutrients into my body to heal. Over the course of a few weeks, through lots of research, I found a lot of good ideas about what to eat and when to eat it, to get the most nutrition possible and start fixing my body.

From that was a really unexpected result: within a month I lost about 10-15 pounds of body fat. Now, let me start by saying that I wasn’t overweight by any measure. I’ve always been tall and lanky and through eating (fairly) well and staying active with sports a few nights a week, I didn’t have that much fat on me. That being said I also didn’t have six-pack abs or rippling muscles. But after about a month, I had shed excess fat without even trying, and it is really thanks to the diet I started.

The hardest part of going gluten free, I found, was trying to find foods to replace the gluten-filled foods. Not just in a basic swap of burger bun for burger bun, but actually replacing the amount of food you cannot eat. It was actually crazing seeing how much food has gluten in it, like beyond the breads and cereals and pastas. Finding replacements just to not be hungry is the hardest part I found. Especially, as you’ll read later, that going off of dairy products and anything with refined sugar is also essential to becoming more healthy.

Now I really wish I had one of those before/after images to show you, but because this diet was just suddenly taken on, and the weight loss was unexpected, I never did a before photo. So just take my word on it.

Another surprising part of this is that in the past few weeks I’m actually eating more volume than I really ever have. I’m packing my day full of nutritional foods, and am eating more often than I used to, but in that I’m still not gaining weight because its all useful to the body.

 

Main Diet Notes

The first thing to note is that removing 100% of the gluten from your diet should result in a gradual weight loss by itself. Gluten contains proteins that not only wreak havoc on gluten intolerant people’s guts, but also promotes weight gain(source). So removing this just by itself is a great start at losing the body fat.

Second, not only will you have to cut out gluten, but you should also cut out dairy (at least whole milk) and all foods that have refined sugar. This is especially important at the beginning of a gluten free diet. You need your body to heal as fast as you can, and adding in dairy and refined sugar will make the inflammation in your gut continue on longer, which doesn’t let it heal. Whole milk is really bad for inflammation and you should definitely cut this out. If you need to include some by-products like butter (grain fed is best!) and cheeses (harder, non-american cheese please), then I’ll let you, but drinking a glass of milk or adding it on your cereal is now out.

Third, I recommend juicing every day. This is one of the easiest ways to get nutrients into your body without your stomach having to do much work. Essentially, you remove the need to do heavy digesting that would happen if you ate all the fruits and vegetables in your juice, and it enters your body much faster. Below I show you what I’m juicing but you can make your own. Note: I don’t recommend just going out and buying bottles of juice from your supermarket. Those contain lots of sugars and preservatives that won’t help you at all. Note Two: If you don’t have a juicer, look into blended smoothies. These are super healthy and do help as well.

Fourth, I still am physically active and barring any physical pain, you should be too. I play 2-3 nights of sports per week, walk every day (a 7 month old energetic puppy helps that), and do daily weight-based workouts (pushups, planking, tricep dips, squats, etc). Its easy to keep active, even without a gym membership.

Lastly, I include the supplements I’m taking as well below, but you can take the general idea of them and find your own. Some may not be available in your area, or you may prefer a different brand/taste. Its more of the nutritional/health reasoning behind them that is important.

 

My Daily Food (Average Day – links to affiliate suppliers)

Before Breakfast (20 mins before)
1 Scoop – Amazing Grass Green Superfood Supplement in Water

Breakfast
3 Eggs (Scrambled)
1 Avocado (mixed in with the eggs)
1 Cup of Green Tea
Probiotic Supplement – HMF Forte

Mid-Morning
400ml Green(Red) Juice – 1 beet, 1 apple, 4-6 stalks of kale, 1″ fresh ginger, 1/2 cucumber(approx 4″)

Lunch
2 Stalks Celery (with peanut or almond butter)
Banana
Rice & Beans w/GF Sauce OR Chicken and Rice
4oz Gluten Free Crackers/Chips (just for the taste)

Mid-Afternoon
Blueberry Smoothie – 1/2 cup blueberries, 1tbsp chia seeds, 1 scoop Vega One All-in-One Nutritional Shake, 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk, water

Dinner
BBQ Chicken w/Grilled Vegetables (zucchini and peppers)
OR
Gluten Free Pasta w/Sautéed Vegetables (peppers, onion, tomatoes)
OR
Grilled Salmon w/rice
Probiotic Supplement – HMF Forte
1 Piece of Dark Chocolate (gluten free and just to hit the sweet cravings)

Evening Snack (before 9pm)
Handful of Gluten Free Chips
2 Stalks of Celery w/Almond Butter
Apple (or a couple small oranges)

 

Now this is the average day. Not all days will be the same, especially when you want to get creative with lunch and dinners, but as a starting point, this works. Now I should note that I’m 6’2″ and (now) 175lbs. This does factor into the amount of food I eat compared to you.

With my new diet, I’ve stayed away from most things that could have been made with gluten before, like bread. Its mainly because even gluten free bread is a filler – whether its made of rice, sorghum or anything else. While its gluten free, its really not full of nutrients your body needs at the beginning. If you’re seriously craving bread, then go for it, but do so on a moderate level.

Overall, focus on fruits, veggies and lean meats, along with looking into what “superfoods” you want to include (ie: avocado and blueberries are known as serious anti-inflammatory foods).

 

Do you have a diet plan you’ve introduced after going gluten free? What does it look like? Have you experienced the same affects? Let us know in the comments below.

 

3 Responses

  1. Sam says:

    I see that you consume very little healthy fats,when new guidelines suggest up to 75%(mercola, c.masterjonhn, c.kresser) in your diet must be fats. So lean meats might be not the best for overall health. How many calories do you consume per day? After going on gf diet I lost too much weight, I had no fat to start with, so it is mostly muscles loss. Any suggestions?

    • aaron says:

      Hi Sam
      Great questions/observations.
      Since posting this I’ve definitely increased the healthy fats in my diet. Much of my diet was/is healthy fats: eggs, avocados, nuts, fish, but I never have really tracked it. I attempt to eat about 3000 calories a day but after consulting a sports doctor (was in to see him about bad knees from too many injuries and got him talking about my GF diet and the weight loss), he suggested a really up my caloric intake. Because I’m still very active daily, and I cut out much of the carbs (breads, etc) last year, I need to push more calories as I’m burning them off faster. He didn’t give me a level to hit, but I am building a plan to keep upping my calories to test it out. Part of that will be to keep up the good fats.
      Your questions have got me thinking I really need to do a week-long tracking of all my food. Haven’t done that in a while. I’ll do that and see what my number are at.
      Overall, my weight has levelled off, but I’m now attempting to build muscle back, so we’ll see how it goes!!
      Thanks for reading!!!

  2. Tegan says:

    Thank you for this and your two other gluten intolerance articles! Well-written, and really useful to hear your experience. Looking forward to trying the meal plan 🙂

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