Written by Dan M
The fact that the gluten-free diet appears to work so well for others often inspires many to give it a try themselves. Celebrities, for example, have claimed that the best way to lose weight is to follow a gluten-free diet. Although some adhere to the diet because they have celiac disease, others believe it is better for their health & wellness. Yet, is it effective?
The truth is that while the outcomes some celebrities have obtained may appear to be magical, they are not. Rather, cautious eating, working out, and yes, a diet free of wheat and gluten, are what led to those outcomes. To know if a gluten-free diet is right for you, keep reading the article.
What Is Gluten?
Before you begin your gluten-free diet, it is important to first understand what gluten is. Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and other grains.
It gives the dough a "stretchy" quality, similar to how a pizza maker tosses and stretches a dough. In addition, gluten is also commonly used as a food additive in processed foods such as pasta, cereal, and pastry.
What Is A Gluten-Free Diet and Who Should Take It?
A gluten-free diet requires the complete avoidance of all forms of gluten in their recipes. It entails consuming only gluten-free whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and meats for nutritional balance. Some do it for medical reasons, such as managing celiac disease and other gluten-related medical conditions. Others follow this diet because the benefits include improved health, increased energy, and, of course, weight loss.
People Diagnosed With Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is diagnosed through a blood test that looks for specific gluten antibodies. If the blood test comes back positive, an intestinal biopsy may be performed to look for damage to the intestinal lining caused by celiac disease.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune response to gluten that causes the body to attack the small intestine, resulting in stomach pain, nausea, bloating, or diarrhea. Celiac disease patients cannot tolerate gluten in any form and must adhere to a gluten-free diet for the rest of their lives. Other than lifelong gluten avoidance, there is currently no treatment for celiac disease.
People With Gluten Sensitivity
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity, also known as gluten intolerance, is another condition that may cause someone to avoid gluten. If you think you may have a gluten intolerance, it is important to make an appointment with a physician and a registered dietitian to get to the bottom of your symptoms.
If gluten is irritating, you may experience symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, and stomach pain.
Individuals Allergic to Wheat
People who are allergic to wheat should avoid gluten-containing foods. They can still consume gluten in other grains such as barley and rye. As with other food allergies, symptoms appear quickly after consuming wheat and can affect the gastrointestinal tract, skin, and respiratory system.
Can You Go Gluten-Free to Lose Weight?
People who follow a gluten-free diet plan for weight loss usually do so because they also avoid a lot of processed foods and refined carbohydrates that contain gluten, on top of working out.
If you're trying to lose weight, it's critical to watch your portion sizes, get regular exercise, and eat plenty of whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. You have to have the mindset to do so and make the gluten-free diet part of your fitness routine. Here are some diet options you can switch to.
Try Out Meal Replacement Shakes
Meal replacement shakes, also known as weight loss shakes, are intended to substitute for one or more meals. The key point is that the shake contains fewer calories while still providing all of the necessary nutrients when compared to your regular meal. This includes essential amino acids, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to achieve nutritional balance.
Meal replacement shakes are best when they are high in calories and nutrition, particularly proteins. This is done on purpose to serve as an alternative to whole food. In a nutshell, they provide all of the nutrients you require as well as numerous health & wellness benefits.
The combination of macronutrients from proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and fiber promotes a feeling of fullness, which can aid in craving control and portion size. By using meal replacement shakes, you may achieve greater weight loss than with traditional diets.
Meal Replacement Shakes Rules
- Fewer Calories Than A Meal: Meal replacement shakes should have fewer calories than a typical meal.
- Get All The Necessary Nutrients: Your meal replacement shake should contain all the necessary nutrients that you need in a day.
- Keeping An Eye Out For Hidden Calories: Fruits, such as bananas or mangoes, as well as nuts and seeds, can quickly add up to a calorie bomb.
Meal Replacement Shakes Shouldn't Contain
- Sugar: While sugar is undeniably one of the worst ingredients to have in your diet, many meal replacement shakes oddly contain it! Sugar is addictive and causes you to crave more after you consume it. This also contains "empty calories" because it has no nutritional value.
- Soy: Regular soy consumption has been shown in studies to disrupt healthy thyroid function and increase estrogen levels. Soybeans, despite being a natural ingredient, can also be artificially manufactured and have a lower nutritional profile in these cases.
- Preservatives: Because most meal replacement shakes aren't sold as perishable, many of them contain artificial preservatives. Preservatives are chemicals that extend the shelf life of consumable goods. We can all agree that fresh food and drink are preferable to non-perishable foods. So, make sure to not consume chemical preservatives as part of your diet.
Opt for Gluten-Free Grains
Gluten-free grains are popular pantry staples for many people because they have health and culinary benefits, making them great for overall nutritional balance.
Top Gluten-Free Grains For Weight Loss:
- Brown Rice
Use Gluten-Free Starches and Flour
When diving into the world of a gluten-free diet, it is important to learn the different functions gluten serves in all different dishes. Once you've determined that, you'll need to figure out what ingredients you can substitute to meet those requirements in their absence to create a healthy diet. First, let us talk about the difference between starches and flour.
Difference Between Starches And Flour
Flour is the powdery substance formed when a dry grain is pulverized through a milling process. Although wheat flour is the most common, any grain, including rice, oats, corn, or barley, can be made into flour.
Starches are commonly used as thickeners in foods such as soups, custards, and puddings, and to manufacture noodles and pasta.
Some of the most popular types of gluten-free starches include:
- Arrowroot flour
- Tapioca starch
- Potato starch
In terms of gluten-free flour, some of the most common varieties are:
- Pearl millet flour
- Sorghum flour
Do you want to avoid gluten because you have a gluten-related disorder, or do you believe that going gluten-free will help you lose weight like famous people? Whatever your motivation is, consult with your healthcare provider and consider consulting with a nutritionist before embarking on a gluten-free weight loss plan.
Going wheat-free or gluten-free may help you in achieving the body you want through a healthy diet. But it is not magic, you'll need to put in a lot of work, effort, and discipline to succeed.