Gluten Free Diet Plan for Weight Loss – What to Eat and Avoid

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Different types of gluten free food

The gluten-free diet is often touted by celebrities and fitness freaks for weight loss. Is substantial weight loss with a gluten free diet plan truly possible? Let’s find out.

Gluten free diet plan is not only healthy but also gratifying. There are many varying and often very conflicting opinions when it comes to the question of choosing a gluten-free dietary lifestyle. However, eating only gluten-free meals can be a life-changer for people with celiac disease and other forms of gluten intolerance.

Although a strict gluten free diet is mandatory for individuals suffering from wheat allergy, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, non celiac gluten sensitivity, or gluten ataxia, is it beneficial for those trying to lose weight? Read on as we provide you with answers to all your gluten questions and provide you with a gluten free meal plan.

What is gluten? 

Before you start your gluten free diet plan, it is important to understand what gluten is. Gluten is a protein found in grains – specifically, wheat, barley, and rye- which gives the dough elasticity and maintains its shape during the cooking process. It also affects texture by providing a chewy finish. Gluten is also often used as a food additive in processed foods like  bread, pasta, cereal, and pastry. 

Gluten proteins have zero nutritional value and do not help to improve your health in any way. Gluten-containing ingredients such as the ones listed above are the root cause of auto-immune diseases such as celiac disease, gluten ataxia, fatigue, irritable bowel diseases, anemia, etc. This is one of the primary reasons people tend to follow a gluten free diet. Along with that, recent trends claim that gluten free foods and completely gluten free diets [1]National Library of Medicine: The Gluten-Free Diet: Fad or Necessity? can aid in weight loss.  

Can you lose weight with gluten free diet plan? 

Gluten free diets for weight loss have gained massive popularity around the world. There are a lot of people who are now trying to go gluten free. Some people do it for medical reasons, while others follow this diet because it just makes them feel better. 

Besides people with gluten related disorders like wheat allergy,  celiac disease, and non celiac gluten-sensitivity diseases, several other people are ditching gluten to lose weight. However, there is no evidence that simply avoiding gluten will lead to weight loss. But, if an individual chooses to follow a gluten free diet, they may automatically make some healthier food choices to forego any food that contains gluten as an ingredient. This will result in consumption of  lesser carbs.

While there is no specific number as to how much weight you can lose on a gluten-free diet, it depends on various factors such as your diet, physical activity, and medical condition. If you strictly follow a gluten-free diet plan and make healthier food choices, you might lose weight gradually.

If you are hoping to lose weight on a gluten-free diet, you need to put in a lot of commitment and effort. But you may also wonder if a gluten-free diet can help you with weight loss. The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Some people may observe some weight loss when they cut out gluten, while others may not see any change on the scale. Ultimately, you need to figure out what works best for you and your body.

Foods to eat/avoid when on a gluten-free diet

Gluten is found in a wide variety of foods, including bread, pasta, cereal, and pastry. It is also often used as a food additive in processed foods. Fortunately, there are many gluten-free alternatives to gluten-containing foods. For example, there are now gluten-free breads, pastas, and cereals available at most grocery stores. 

In addition, there are many naturally gluten-free foods that can be enjoyed on a gluten-free diet, such as fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, beans, and legumes. The easiest way to redeem the benefits of gluten-free diets or achieve weight loss with a gluten-free diet is to eat single-ingredient, unprocessed foods. 

If you’re gluten intolerant, or if you are avoiding gluten in order to lose weight, read the table below for a primer on what to eat/avoid:

Foods to eatFoods to avoid
Nuts and seedsBaked goods
Beans and lentilsProcessed foods
Fruits and vegetablesBrewer’s yeast
Healthy fats and oilsRye, Barley, Malt
Animal proteins like eggs, poultry, meat, and seafoodWheat and wheat-based foods
Gluten-free grains like oats, quinoa, millet, and buckwheatCertain condiments like marinades, sauces, and salad dressings
Certain seasonings and condiments like hummus, pesto, and fresh herbsSome snack foods like cereal bars, chips, and granola
Gluten free dishes like risotto, grits and saladsBeverages like beer, alcoholic beverages, premade coffee drinks, and drink mixes

Pros and Cons of gluten free diet 

Any diet has pros and cons. The gluten-free diet is no different. Here are the pros and cons of a gluten-free diet. 

ProsCons
Reduced inflammation Constipation 
More energy Vitamins and minerals deficiency [2]PubMed: Nutritional deficiencies in celiac disease
Clearer skin Chronic fatigue
Weight loss Expensive than a standard diet 

A gluten-free diet is generally considered a healthy diet. However, if you are not used to eating a lot of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, you may experience some side effects. It is vital to increase your fiber intake to avoid these side effects. 

Tips for eating gluten-free when trying to lose weight

The key to losing weight on a gluten free diet plan is to focus on healthy eating. There are a few tips to keep in mind when you’re following a gluten free diet plan for weight loss.

1. Eat whole foods

When going gluten free, eat more whole foods like fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, and gluten free grains. When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s important to limit your intake of processed foods, sugary drinks, or flavored alcoholic beverages. Try to cook your own food using gluten free products. If you are new to this, start by pulling out a good gluten free meal plan off the internet and try to follow it. Soon you will be able to reduce store bought unhealthy foods from your diet.

2. Get plenty of fiber

Fiber is an essential nutrient for weight loss. It helps to keep you feeling full and reduce the calories you eat. When you’re eating gluten free foods alone, you have to be sure that you get plenty of fiber by eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

3. Get regular exercise

Eating gluten free alone will take you nowhere if your goal is healthy weight loss. Gluten-free dieters should ensure that they get enough regular exercise. Regular exercise is essential for overall health and can help speed up weight loss. 

4. Try gluten alternative foods

Remember, gluten free diet is not only healthy but can also be tasty. There are many alternatives to gluten foods. For instance, you can try corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas.

5. Control food portions

Following gluten free diet plan can promote weight loss and improve your health over time. However, one has to keep a check of the portion sizes as well. No matter how strictly you follow a gluten-free diet plan, you will gain weight if you cannot control your food portions. 

A sample gluten-free diet plan for weight loss

Here is a sample gluten-free diet plan for weight loss to help you kick start your diet. This diet plan includes foods that are high in protein and fiber, but is low in calories.

1 Week Gluten Free Diet Plan for Weight Loss

DayBreakfastLunchDinner
MondayBanana Oat PancakesKale quinoa saladBean & veggie chili
TuesdayAcai Berry BowlRoasted chicken breastPeanut butter chicken
WednesdayCasserole Breakfast Vegetable stir fry with brown riceMeat ball black bean chili
ThursdayVegetable FrittataChicken salad wrapQuinoa Salad with grilled halloumi
FridaySavory OatmealHoney sesame chicken with broccoliCreamy salmon, leek & potato traybake 
SaturdayChia PuddingSweet potato, bacon and broccoli muffinsPersian lamb tagine
SundayHam & Cheese Egg CupsRoasted tandoori cauliflower bowlChicken Casserole

Conclusion

Going gluten-free may help you lose weight, but it’s no magic trick guaranteed to get you the best results. Both diet and exercise play an important role in weight management. The most common reason for weight loss in a gluten-free diet is due to the reduction of processed foods and the intake of healthy foods like fruits, and vegetables.

Cutting off gluten can be an excellent way to lose weight. When individuals go for this diet, they must pay attention and be mindful of calorie intake and watch out for nutrient deficiencies. However, if you want to go gluten-free because of celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity or wheat allergies, you may need to be extra careful to avoid cross-contamination. 

In fact, many gluten-free processed foods are high in calories, fat, and sugar. Consult a doctor or registered dietitian before choosing a gluten-free diet plan. They can help you create a healthy diet plan that meets your needs.

References

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