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Gluten Free Diet for Weight Loss

Gluten free diet for weight loss is not just a new fad, but a growing health concern for many who may not even be aware they have a gluten intolerance.

Gluten Free Diet for Weight Loss Although not everyone is gluten intolerant, it does affect a large percentage of the population and it can affect the health of:

  • Your Digestive Tract
  • Your Immune System
  • Your Adrenal Glands

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Symptomatically, a gluten intolerant individual often has unexplained weight gain, bloating, mood alterations like depression, fatigue, skin problems, digestive irregularities such as diarrhoea or constipation, asthma, behavioural and attention issues, etc.

Because of this extensive list of symptoms that can vary tremendously from individual to individual, it is a good idea to consider each specific person's situation carefully when deciding if a gluten free diet for weight loss is a good idea.


Gluten Intolerance Testing

Although a blood test is the only true indicator of a true gluten allergy, known as celiac disease, you may have a milder allergy that your medical doctor will not pick up in his or her testing, known as a subclinical allergy, or intolerance.

In fact, it is estimated that nearly 90 million North Americans have a sub-clinical allergy to gluten that has not yet been detected and diagnosed.

Your naturopath can help you detect the allergy though sensitivity testing, or an even simpler approach to determine the likelihood of having a gluten intolerance and to decide if a gluten free diet for weight loss would be a good idea for you is by taking a simple questionnaire.

This is what I did a number of years ago.

This questionnaire can be found and downloaded here here

Although this questionnaire is only a guideline, I have given it to many clients with great success.

Even if you score only mildly likely to have a gluten intolerance and you have weight loss challenges, I'd still suggest trying the diet, as it won't harm you and it may just be one of the best healthy living tips of your life!

I myself, for instance, scored very low on the gluten intolerance likelihood questionnaire, and I can't even begin to tell you the difference it made in my own health and well-being.

What does a gluten free diet for weight loss look like?

Eating a gluten free diet for weight loss means eliminating all foods that contain gluten. This list can be extensive and so attempting this diet will require diligence and commitment.

If you decide to commit to this diet, you will have to do it for a full 60 days. It takes this long because it takes a full 30 days to clear the gluten from your system and another 30 days to flush out any inflammation in your body that the allergy caused.

To fully understand the effects of gluten, you will have to commit to this gluten free diet for weight loss without any cheating! If you do cheat, you will have to start over for a full 60 days.

Here is a list of common ingredients that you need to avoid when trying the gluten free diet for weight loss:

  • Wheat
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Kamut
  • Spelt
  • Teff
  • Bulgar
  • Semolina
  • Cous-cous
  • Triticale
  • Durum
  • Modified food starches
  • Dextrin and malto dextrins
  • Many 'flavourings' and 'extracts' added to food
  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
  • Most beers
  • Sometimes oats.

So what is left you may be asking?

Here are safe foods that you can consume on a gluten free diet for weight loss:

  • Corn
  • Rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Amaranth
  • Sometimes oats
  • Any meats and fish
  • Any Vegetables and Fruits
  • Any beans and lentils, with the occasional exception of soybeans
  • Any hard alcohol that has been distilled.

How to Reintroduce Gluten after 60 days?

Slowly!

Over a 5-day period, begin to eat small amounts of gluten with every meal for the first 3 days. Then, for the next 2 days (for a total of 5 days), stop all gluten again and pay attention to any symptoms to show up.

We need to do this on a 5-day schedule, because it can take up to 5 days for the effects and symptoms to show up again.

Sometimes the symptoms can be very severe, from violent diarrhoea all night on the first taste of gluten, to stomach cramps, mild bloating or flatulence. For some it may show up as states of anxiety or depression.

Just pay attention and if you find any symptoms after these 5 days, you know that you have a gluten intolerance.

The Good News...

Having a gluten intolerance is not a death sentence. And it does not mean that you will have to stay on the gluten free diet for weight loss forever.

What you may not realize is that your body produces a whole new intestinal lining every 9 - 12 months. What that means is if you can stay away from gluten for 1 year, you may be able to tolerate the occasional piece of cake, bagel or serving of pretzels.

For me, I have been gluten free for over 2 years now and for the most part I don't miss it. But if I have a bite of fresh bread at a restaurant or a taste of chocolate cake, I can handle it now, without going into stomach spasms! Each person's tolerance level will be different, so you'll have to play with it and see.

If you have any questions, please contact me, and good luck with your gluten free diet for weight loss.

Yours in Wellness,

Dr. Lisa


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