Gluten free diets have been around for a long time now. It is a great source of relief for those who suffer from celiac disease, or have some form of intolerance to gluten. The symptoms can be rather debilitating for some people from abdominal pain and bloating to extreme diarrhea. So, it leaves very little options, other than living a gluten free life.
Fortunately, there has been significant research performed, which results in a ton of information available to anyone who chooses to go the route of a gluten free lifestyle. This paved the road for those who want to try this diet for other reasons, such as losing weight.
But, don’t kid yourself.
Even though there is a lot of information and products available to help with gluten free diets, it will still take effort and work on your part to make it work. It’s just like any successful diet out there, as you need to make some changes. So, read on to learn how it can help you reach your goals.
#1 Don’t Starve Yourself
First, make sure you don’t stop eating. You actually need calories and food in order to burn calories. That might seem a little contradicting, but it’s true…always has been.
If you don’t feed your body, it will assume it is starving and will go into defense mode by not burning calories. It could actually backfire and lead to weight gain. Yikes!
So, don’t eliminate gluten from your diet by simply eliminating meals. In fact, many people should eat more meals than they currently do. Four smaller meals a day is much better for you than 2 larger meals.
Start with a decent breakfast of yogurt and buckwheat, as it will increase your metabolism a lot more than having just a cup of Joe. No, I am not watching you in the morning…it’s just a common occurrence in many households.
Spread your daily calorie allowance throughout the day by eating something, even if it’s small, every 2 to 3 hours. Set a timer, if it helps.
#2 Renovate the Pantry and Fridge
Now, I’m not talking about getting the hammer and drill out, unless you have items in there that have solidified. But, as with any diet, an overhaul is probably in order. Get rid of the foods you won’t be able to eat, and replace it with gluten free items. Take a look at the following list to get an idea of what you should stock up on:
- Fresh fruits and veggies
- Seeds, nuts, and legumes
- Lean meats and fish
- Low fat dairy products
- Carb free noodles
In addition to the list above, replace your current grains in the home with gluten free products such as brown rice, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, and basmati rice. If you look online for various gluten free products, you will also find baking mixes that are available for convenience.
#3 Calories still Count!
Just because a product is gluten free, it doesn’t mean that it’s calorie free. Those still need to be counted, if you want any chance at losing weight. And, they can add up fast if you aren’t careful.
In order to lose weight effectively and long term, you need to reduce your caloric intake on a reasonable and healthy scale. Speak with your doctor to know how many calories you should be consuming to lose weight and stay healthy at the same time.
Also, there are sites online that help you keep track of your daily calorie intake. So, you no longer have to keep a book log lying around, or add them up. A good site will automatically do this for you as you enter the foods…and for free!
#4 The Trappings of Eating Out
It can be tricky to know exactly how many calories you are eating when at a restaurant, or if you are consuming gluten. However, it’s not impossible. Choose restaurants that offer nutritional values, as well as gluten free items. If it’s not on the menu, ask.
If they are unwilling or unable to provide you with the information, go elsewhere. You can always call ahead, of look for their menu information online. I often look ahead when dining out and know exactly what I’m going to order before I even pull into the parking lot.
Also, don’t be afraid to make special requests, such as replacing fries for broccoli, or have your fish baked, steamed, or broiled rather than fried. Breading could be a big downfall for both calories and gluten.
#5 Convenience can be Detrimental
Avoid prepackaged foods whenever possible. But, if you do choose to have some around the house for convenience, make sure you read the labels to know if there is gluten in it, as well as if it makes sense for calorie intake. Keep in mind; it might not say “gluten” in the ingredient list.
Other terms to avoid are “wheat”, “barley”, and “rye”. You could also find products that have “made in a gluten free facility”, or something similar, which means there would be no cross contamination with other products containing gluten.
I have shared enough information to help you get started. But, always check with your physician to know what you should be doing when making a big change in your diet. Also, pairing your new diet up with a good workout regimen will create quicker and longer lasting results.
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