For those of us with Celiac Disease, or gluten sensitivities, a gluten-free diet is not always the most simple approach to weight loss. These days, there are gluten free alternatives for virtually anything. Cookies, cake, brownies, pizza, you name it - there is a gluten-free alternative available. This is why it can be very challenging to actually lose weight on a gluten-free diet. With this being said, here are some strategies to trigger weight loss while following a gluten-free diet.
Gluten Free Weight Loss Tips
1) Eat Clean
When dieting, a great place to start is to incorporate as many whole, "real" foods as possible. Some of the best weight loss foods include lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and complex carbohydrates. Whole foods tend to carry less calories per volume of food and also provide vital nutrients for the body. This is mainly because they don't contain any extra ingredients like added sugar and added fats. Making sure you are choosing options that are filling and can provide you with nutrients will be the best option when dieting.
- Choose a salad with chicken over a gluten-free pizza
- Choose a flank steak with a side of sweet potatoes over a rice pasta carbonara
- Choose salmon and vegetables over a hamburger with a gluten-free bun
2) Eat Less Processed Foods
Another reason the whole food approach works so well is because many whole foods are naturally gluten free! However, when it comes to "gluten-free substitutes" or more processed options, it's important to take note that just because something is gluten-free does not mean that it is healthy.
Many gluten-free products (such as cookies, breads, cupcakes, muffins, etc.) use rice flour, coconut flour, or almond flour as the substitute that allows that product to become gluten-free. However, just because the cupcake does not contain gluten, does not mean that the product isn't high in calories, fat and added sugar. Pay attention to whether or not these foods offer any nutritional benefits - like protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Making something gluten free also doesn't mean it is lower in calories. In fact, sometimes it ends up containing more calories than the gluten containing version of the food.
A Gluten Free Cupcake from Sprinkles = 497 calories
A Vanilla Cupcake with Frosting from Sprinkles= 485 calories
Understanding this principle is extremely important when triggering weight loss while following a gluten-free diet, because it brings us to our next point: calories in versus calories out.
3) Count Calories
The most important concept to any diet is calorie control. Simply put, weight loss is only achieved through a caloric deficit. Which means you have to burn more calories than you consume.
Many people like to think that they burn so many calories throughout the day whether through exercise or lifestyle, that they do not have to pay attention to their diet. But this is a misconception as it is much easier to be mindful and eat less calories throughout the day, than it is to burn more calories then you mindlessly consume. And you physical activity only account for a small percent of your total energy output.
An easy way to become more mindful of how much you are eating is to track your calories. Try using a calorie tracking app such as the Trifecta app where you can set a calorie goal, track what you are eating with access to a database of over 6 million foods, and scan bar-codes from foods for easy nutrition tracking.
4) Gluten Free Meal Prep
Arguably, the most important thing when it comes to successfully losing weight and keeping it off, is finding what works best for you. For those who prefer to grocery shop, meal prep each week, and keep a calorie log - more power to you!. However, if you feel like somehow, someway you always miss a step in that process and that is leading to your lack of progress, it may be best for you to test out a meal delivery service. At Trifecta, you can find a variety of healthy, whole food based meal plans that provide you with structure and convenience you need in your life, all while completely gluten-free!
Check out the variety of gluten-free meal plans Trifecta has to offer here: