A gluten-free diet plan is necessary if you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, but some find it helpful when trying to lose weight.
Eliminating gluten-containing foods may reduce inflammation and improve digestion, leading to a healthier body weight. Here are some tips and considerations to help you lose weight on a gluten-free diet.
If you need to avoid gluten because you think you may have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, it is best to speak to a medical professional and not start eating gluten free foods without speaking to a professional.
What is the Gluten Free Diet?
Before understanding how a gluten-free diet may help you lose weight, you’ll need to understand what gluten free means.
A gluten free diet is an eating plan that excludes gluten which is a family of proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye.
Gluten is not bad for you, but it can cause issues for some people. According to The Mayo Clinic, Gluten acts as the glue that holds food together and helps it maintain its shape. It has a glue-like property that gives bread its chewy texture and is often found in cakes, crackers, and pastries.Everyone reacts differently to gluten, but for some sensitive individuals, it can cause problems. According to The Harvard School of Public Health, gluten can cause fatigue, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, weight loss, and malnutrition in certain sensitive people. These are the symptoms experienced by those with celiac disease, and they have to adhere to a strict gluten free diet. If you have a wheat allergy, you also want to avoid all gluten.
Some of the most familiar foods in every American household have gluten. For instance, your kitchen's bread, pasta, cereals, and snacks probably contain gluten.
Tips to Lose Weight on a Gluten Free Diet
The question of whether will you lose weight on a gluten free diet is a tricky one. That is because Americans eat too many processed foods in general. So, if you think heading out a buying gluten free bread, gluten free cookies, and gluten free pastries will make you lose weight, you are very wrong. In fact, those processed gluten free foods often contain more fat and calories than their regular counterparts.
So let's take a look at how to lose weight on a gluten free diet!
Focus on Whole, Nutrient-Dense Foods
Nutrient deficiencies are a concern for many new adoptees of gluten-free diets because gluten free baked goods like cereal are often not fortified with vitamins and minerals. You can avoid this, however, by focusing on whole, nutrient-dense foods. You can satisfy your cravings and remain healthy by avoiding snack foods and choosing those rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Focus on whole foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins such as chicken and fish, and healthy fats like avocado and nuts. These will contribute to a healthy diet overall. I recommend avoiding processed gluten foods altogether, but if you must eat them, try to find those low in fat and sugar. Cut those out as much as possible if you are trying to lose weight.
By focusing on whole, nutrient-dense foods, you’ll lose weight and improve your overall health and well-being.
Reduce The Number of Refined Carbohydrates
Healthy diets may require you to reduce the number of refined carbohydrates. We all love pastries, cakes, and cookies off the supermarket counters, but did you know they are highly processed?
While carbohydrates don’t immediately result in weight gain, they’re usually jam-packed with calories and can all add up over time. However, the great news is that you don’t have to sacrifice your favorite foods one hundred percent. You can opt for more calorie-friendly gluten-free versions that result in weight loss.
Try to find substitutes for your favorite high-carb snacks that have more nutritional value.
If you love pasta, who says you have to give it up altogether? You can try out plenty of brands ranging from Jovial Grain-Free Cassava Penne Rigate, Banza Chickpea Rotini, or Tinkyada’s Organic Gluten-Free Brown Rice Pasta.
Incorporate Protein and Fiber into All Your Meals and Snacks
Lean proteins and fiber can help with losing weight on your gluten-free diet. Protein can come in the form of meats such as chicken and fish, but it also can come in the form of several dairy products: milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese, among others.
While protein helps you feel full, fiber-rich recipes will help regulate your digestive system.
Some great sources of both protein and fiber include quinoa, lentils, beans, nuts, and seeds. Try creatively adding these foods to your meals, such as adding quinoa to your breakfast bowl or topping your salad with roasted chickpeas.
If you don’t want to go above and beyond out-of-everyday staple items, we recommend swapping your cereals with oatmeal. Not only are oatmeals a gluten-free alternative for breakfast, but according to dietitians, for every 150-calorie intake of oatmeal, you’re also having 4 grams of fiber. Make sure you choose oatmeal that is labeled gluten free.
Oatmeal is the perfect satisfying way to start your day, and it's a blank slate for so many seasonal flavors. I like adding raspberries, blueberries, and a few mini chocolate chips. I mix it up in the fall by adding some pumpkin puree and a drizzle of pure maple syrup.
By incorporating protein and fiber into your meals, you’ll feel fuller for longer and be less likely to snack on unhealthy foods throughout the day.
Avoid Foods That Cause Inflammation
If you want to lose weight, consider recipes that don’t result in this immune response. For instance, instead of French fries, which physicians advise against, you should consider an assortment of gluten-free air fryer snacks that give you the same crisp satisfaction. One of these alternatives is a keto air fryer chicken thigh garnished with green onion.
Instead of passing through the drive-through and opting for other inflammatory snacks, you can also consider air fryer sticky tofu. With a delicious Asian-inspired marinade, you’ll enjoy your meal without worrying about packing on the pounds.
Plan Your Meals and Snacks Ahead of Time
Weight gain is a topic that scares many gluten-sensitive adults. However, by paying careful attention to your diet and even adding a dose of fun, you can be well on your way to maintaining a healthy weight range.
A good idea is to create a 7-day meal plan ahead of time. You can even toss in some snack ideas into these as well. These plans will help you avoid making impulsive food choices and reduce your daily calories. For instance, you can take some time each week on Sundays to plan your meals and snacks. Are you still trying to figure out where to begin? You can find many healthy grocery lists on a budget available online.
We tend to make better food choices when we aren't tempted by processed cookies, crackers, and cakes. Try prepping some snacks in advance, such as chopping veggies or popping a batch of gluten-free granola bars in the oven. Make some energy balls to last throughout the week. If you don't feel like cooking, just place some string cheese and carrots in baggies and have them at the ready! Small weekly habits can result in big improvements over a long period of time. Weight loss doesn't happen fast and the best changes are made slowly as we are more likely to stick to them.
Mastering Portion Control: A Catalyst for Weight Loss
Weight loss should never mean starving yourself or participating in unhealthy regimens. Eating gluten-free food items and maintaining a healthy weight is possible. You can have several portion-controlled meals daily and keep fewer calories than your normal status quo.
Are you still trying to figure out where to start? Try out some of these diet plans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These 7-day plans will not impact the quality of your diet and are the best option for adults with busy schedules. You will not be disappointed; from chocolate chia pudding to a yummy green smoothie with raspberries, there’s a variety of options for those with different cravings. Be sure to portion these out into smaller containers so you don't eat them all in one sitting.
Stay Active and Engage in Regular Exercise
A gluten-free diet plan isn’t enough to make sure you lose weight. As any health professional would recommend, exercise is essential to your routine. While eating whole grains and lean proteins, add 30 minutes of moderate exercise into your day.
If strict regimens overwhelm you, start small. Start small by taking the stairs or adding a dog walk into the middle of your day. Invite friends to a step challenge and break out that Fit Bit.
It's much easier to remain consistent when you choose foods you genuinely enjoy eating and exercise routines you can manage.
Remember, if you suspect you have a gluten-related condition or know that you already do, you should contact a registered dietitian or physician to guide you on a proper weight loss management plan. After doing so, you can reference this guide for many fun gluten-free food weight-loss tips and tricks!
In a nutshell, try to eat whole foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, lean meat, nuts (in moderation) and fish and gluten free whole grains.