A few months ago your friend Gina went gluten-free. Her husband developed a gluten-sensitivity and she decided to jump on that gluten-free train with him! Turns out, Gina lost a bunch of weight and the only thing she changed was eliminating gluten from her diet.
We hear gluten-free weight-loss stories like this all the time. So, what’s the deal? Is it magic? Is gluten really the enemy? Let’s take a look at where these gluten-free weight-loss tales come from:
Binge-Worthy Foods are Often Harder to Come By
Things that you would normally have a tendency to indulge in are now a lot harder to come by. Those donuts your coworker brought into the office for a birthday are not an option anymore. So instead of snacking on a few donuts throughout the day, you stick to the lunch and snacks you packed. Or maybe you go to a cook-out over the weekend. There are some burgers, chicken wings, and an incredible looking salad that you spot right away and know you’re going to enjoy. However, you’re also going to have to avoid the picnic table full of foods like macaroni and cheese, cornbread, baked beans, and desserts. Eliminating these foods drastically cut back on the quantity you consume and you end up eating an appropriately sized meal. When was the last time you heard of someone binging on bunless burger patties? Never. Exactly
More Likely to Read Food Labels
If there is one thing everyone who goes gluten-free learns, it’s that gluten is EVERYWHERE. Salad dressings, sauces, oats, trail mixes…it’s crazy. That being said, it’s common to get in the habit of reading food labels. People, in most cases, make healthier decisions when they’re aware of what they’re consuming. For example, spin that mayonnaise bottle around to find that 1 tbsp is 95 calories?! You’re going to be way less likely to overuse that delectable condiment.
Forced to Eat More Whole Foods
To go gluten-free you’ve had to cut out things like pasta, sandwiches, waffles, pizza (although, here’s a great gluten-free pizza recipe), dumplings, buns, candy bars, and churros. What does this leave you with? REAL FOODS: meats, eggs, vegetables, potatoes, fruits, nuts, and seeds. These types of foods tend to be less calorie-dense than their gluten-full counterparts.
Moral of the story:
What do all of these points have in common? You’re consuming fewer calories. The ketogenic diet is associated with weight loss for an extremely similar reason. Here’s an extremely basic way to look at nutrition: if you consume more calories than you expend, you’ll gain weight. If you expend more energy than you consume, you’ll lose weight. People tend to consume less food on a gluten-free diet without much effort. The gluten-free weight-loss stories you’re hearing are most likely due to people reducing their calorie consumption. The best diet is the diet you can stick to. Find what works for you!