Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Some people develop an allergy to gluten. Others have a condition known as celiac disease. Eating gluten causes an inflammatory response in their intestines. Unpleasant symptoms result. Consequently, people with gluten allergies or celiac disease should avoid gluten in their diets. If you need to lose weight, you can do so with a gluten-free diet.
- Skill level:
Examine all the food items in your kitchen carefully to see which ones contain gluten. Product labels do not usually list gluten as an ingredient; instead you might see something like wheat, wheat flour, wheat starch, rye flour, barley, malt or hydrolysed vegetable protein. If you can’t tell if a product contains gluten, call the manufacturer to ask.
Shop for a variety of tasty gluten-free foods. Look for foods low in fat and calories. Foods to consider include fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat yoghurts, cottage cheese, beans, lean meats, fresh or frozen seafood (nothing breaded, as the breading typically contains gluten), skim milk and gluten-free oatmeal. Purchase gluten-free breads, crackers, biscuits and other snacks; eating these items in moderation is fine, but eating large amounts of them will not help you lose weight.
Plan balanced meals consisting of gluten-free foods. Pay attention to portion size. Overeating, even if you eat healthful foods, will prevent weight loss. Some people find it helpful to eat four or five small meals each day instead of three big meals.
Consult with a registered dietitian if you need help planning your gluten-free weight-loss diet. A registered dietitian can advise you about how many calories you should eat each day and offer helpful weight-loss suggestions. Make sure the dietitian you plan to see has training related to a gluten-free diet; otherwise she might have trouble advising you appropriately.
Tips and warnings
- To maximise weight loss, exercise regularly while following your gluten-free diet plan.
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