Ask the Experts… How Do I Lose Weight on a Gluten-Free Diet?

Unrecognizable woman measuring waist with tape measure.I’ve overindulged and put on a few pounds over the holidays and even had some foods with gluten. How can I get back on track and lose weight?

  • Avoid processed ‘gluten-free’ foods. These usually contain refined carbohydrates that can disrupt blood sugar and encourage weight gain. Grain-based gluten-free products like breads, pizza, crackers may also contain hidden sugars. Always look for words that end with ‘ose’ in the ingredients list. This is a sure sign that it contains sugar.
  • Opt for alternative flours to ready-made gluten-free ones e.g. buckwheat, almond, coconut etc. These will lower your carbohydrate intake, keep you fuller for longer and help you lose weight.
  • Make sure you’re really, truly wheat-free and gluten-free. Lots of people think they’re gluten-free when they’re really not (gluten hides in many places you wouldn’t suspect). If you are intolerant to gluten, even having a little can slow down metabolism and hinder your weight loss.
  • Be aware of your portion sizes. For lunch or dinner, half of your plate should be made up of vegetables or salad, a quarter should be protein and a little less than a quarter only should be carbohydrates.
  • Eat breakfast to lift your metabolism and increase your energy levels. Prepare something that is nutrient-dense and gluten-free e.g. buckwheat porridge with some coconut yoghurt, berries, nuts and seeds.
  • Fast in between meals. If you don’t get shaky, try to leave 3-4 hours between your meals. This will encourage your body to
    burn fat (around your middle) rather
    than carbohydrate.
  • Keep moving. Cutting wheat and gluten may help you lose weight more easily, but if you really want to accelerate your efforts, you need regular exercise. If you don’t like going to the gym, walking or ensuring you do not have long periods sitting can help. Put an alarm on your mobile phone to remind you to get up and walk around every half hour or dance to your favourite track – if no-one is looking! Increase your exercise gradually.

maria bezAbout our expert: Nutritionist Maria Bez is a registered nutritionist with the British Association of Nutritional Therapists. She has a BSC degree in Nutritional Medicine and practices from Nourish, her clinic in Bath. As well as attending to clients, she writes and speaks on all matters relating to nutrition and lifestyle. She is dedicated to providing individuals with information and advice to take control of their own health and well-being.

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