First off, I’d like to note that the title of this post is directed towards people who have the option of eating gluten, but choose to go gluten free to lose weight. Celiacs: you guys are already pros at this, so consider yourself excused from today’s lesson. Or you can stick around- I love your company regardless.
So as I’m sure most of you have noticed by now, gluten-free stuff is everywhere. Today, there are more choices than ever when it comes to gluten free cookies, cakes, muffins, breads, you name it- it comes in gluten free somewhere. On one hand, this is great news for those going gluten free. We can indulge in our chocolate cake cravings, bring a PB&J sandwich to work, and even give in to a maple glazed donut or two.
On the other hand…
Gluten free “replacements” of foods are really not any better for us.
You see, most of the grains used to make gluten free goods, such as corn and rice, have much less fiber than their gluten-ey counterparts like whole wheat. No fiber= no bueno.
Think about it… by eating your standard gluten free muffin, you will run into a lot of processed, white, starchy stuff mixed with sugar whereas with a diet allowing gluten, you can eat a hearty oat bran muffin with lots of fiber and nutrient rich grains. In other words: don’t expect to lose weight on a gluten free diet if you regularly eat gluten free muffins, cookies, cakes, etc. The fact that they are gluten free does NOT make them anything other than sugary sweets.
If you want to lose weight on a gluten free diet, the key is going for foods that are naturally gluten free like vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, organic fish and lean meats, brown rice, quinoa, etc. Go about it more like a “real food” diet rather than a “gluten free diet” because “gluten free” infers that you will still be eating processed, sugary, sodium filled foods- none of which will help your waistline go down a size. Look at your elimination of gluten as being an elimination of cookies, cakes, white breads, donuts, all those bad guys that sneak into your closet every night and sew your clothes a little tighter.
I’m no nutritionist, but I can tell you that if you follow these steps when getting groceries at
the supermarket, you will be making healthy choices…
- Spend 75% of your time shopping around the outside edges of the store. This is where your fresh veggies, fruits, meats, and dairy products will be. Unfortunately, this is also where the bakery usually is too, but just ignore that part. Otherwise, go hog-wild when it comes to getting fresh and wholesome goods that are naturally gluten free. This is the area of the store where you won’t have to bothered with analyzing nutrition labels! Hooray!
- Think to yourself, “Will this benefit my body’s overall health in any way?” If the answer is yes, go for it. If the answer is no (the food is just for taste), sneakily place the food in someone else’s cart and run away quickly. This way, you’ll be buying/eating those GF triple fudge chocolate chunk brownies vicariously through an innocent bystander, without the added calories! The perfect solution!
- If you do find yourself needing some gluten free bread (use sparingly), go for the multigrain type. Udi’s makes a really great multigrain bread, and so does Rudi’s… (when in doubt, just buy from the company whose name ends in “-udis”, and you’re golden).
- Don’t stress. If you try too hard, you’re gonna end up with a kitchen filled with uber-healthy foods that taste like sandpaper and look like rabbit turds. I’ve heard it helps to move from eating gluten to being gluten free slowly, so that your body (and taste buds) have some time to adjust. If you don’t suddenly shock your system, you are more likely to stick with the healthier diet for longer.
Happy Gluten Free-ing!