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My Gluten-Free Weight Gain (and loss) | Dana Byers

My Gluten-Free Weight Gain (and loss)

If you’re like me, you gained weight after going gluten-free. This topic isn’t a typical one for my blog, but many of you know I’ve been Gluten Free more than a year now.  I keep a Pinterest board of Gluten Free Goodness and answer questions and offer advice via Twitter about the gluten free lifestyle, but it’s not something about which I blog much.

Because this is a prevalent issue (and many people remain undiagnosed) I want to share my symptoms, how going Gluten Free improved my life, and how I’m overcoming the weight gain that often accompanies cutting gluten out of one’s diet.

Prior to April 2011 I experienced several years of increasing digestion and pain issues.  You can read about my health problems and surgery if you’d like the background information.  (The quick and dirty version is some of my organs had grown together as a result of stage 4 Endometriosis and I was experiencing depression, pain, inability to concentrate or remember things, indigestion, headaches, and skin breakouts as a result of  my diet.)

Becoming gluten free was like walking out of a fog.  I felt like a new woman.  Many of my endometriosis symptoms have disappeared, and I no longer worry about having to cancel appointments due to suddenly falling ill or having a food reaction or migraine headache.

While people diagnosed with celiac disease are often underweight and undernourished, I was at a proper weight and BMI at the time I consulted a nutritionist and cut gluten out of my diet.  A few months into the gluten free diet I felt so well I was able to train for and run my first half marathon.  Despite being very active, however, I continued putting on pounds and couldn’t determine how to stop the increasing number on the scale.  Here’s what I’ve been doing the past 3 months to remain gluten free and return to my ideal weight:

1) Weight Training (less cardio – for me this means about 90 minutes a week, tops..and I often do less than this.)

2) I minimized my exposure to convenient gluten free goods.  It’s wonderful to have so many G-Free snacks and items on local market shelves, but they are calorie and carb dense, providing little nutrition or sustenance for workouts or daily life.

3) Increase protein intake.  I noticed I was filling up on veggies and carbs with less attention paid to protein in my diet.  This can be done by adding a combination of beans and meat or tofu to your meals.

Are you gluten free?  What are your favorite low-carb meals to eat?

Dana

 

2 Responses to “My Gluten-Free Weight Gain (and loss)”

  1. Tony Wheeler May 15, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    Dana,

    Excellent story! We’ve been gluten free for about three years. Upon going GF, I initially lost about 15 pounds, then began to run and exercise, losing about another 20. I’ve found it basically effortless to maintain my weight. The one thing that I’ll point out is that my family did not immediately replace all the gluten goodies with gluten free goodies. That is huge! We’re too cheap to spend a whole bunch of cash on things that we really shouldn’t eat anyway.

    I think you hit the nail on the head with incorporating weight training and protein. That is huge. We essentially follow a Paleo/Primal style of eating and haven’t looked back.

    Keep up the good work! Can’t stand that fog…I liken eating gluten to walking under water. That is how I feel..And then like being a mean ogre. Really messes with me!

    • Dana Byers May 16, 2012 at 7:55 am #

      Tony – your explanation of eating gluten being like walking under water truly resonates with me. I admit it affects my attitude, too. Thanks for chiming in! All the best to you.

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