Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Instead of gluten-free, why not go for less gluten?

 My friend Tania sent me a link today to an article in the Globe and Mail. The writer decided to eat a gluten-free diet for a week. This article brought to mind another friend who adopted a gluten-free diet last year. She attributed the absence of gluten for taking off five pounds from her core area including a slight pot belly (her words, not mine; if she had a pot belly, it certainly wasn't noticeable to me).

Both thewriter in the article and my friend completely gave up gluten. However, this post isn't really about offering an opinion about the merits of a gluten-free diet (for those of us who do not have an allergy or an intolerance to wheat). This is a post about the merits of completely eliminating an entire food or food group.

Why is it necessary to be so extreme as to completely eliminate certain foods or food groups?

Before therapy, giving up certain foods or food groups didn't seem like an odd thing to do. It was just one of those things that we had to do to shed weight. But now, I see it as a sure-fire way to fail, especially when the eliminated food is wheat and so many foods are made with that grain. 

What is wrong with moderation? Why as dieters do we find it necessary to change our eating habits overnight? Why can't you go from eating gluten one day to perhaps eating less gluten the following week or month?

In order to achieve permanent weight loss, we need to make changes that can be maintained permanently. There is no way I will completely give up gluten. However, what I can do is switch to a eating a piece of gluten-free rye bread at lunch.


  1. But the point of eating the gluten free bread would be? Gluten does not make you fat or lead to more gluten eating and whole grains HAVE been proven to help modulate hunger.

    I think people feel desperate for an easy remedy and maybe sometimes think if they can declare a certain food group or say... white food as off limits then they will lose weight. I have seen it.

    I have tried to say NO CAKE - or whatever is plaguing me. Then I eat every other thing in the house... but not cake.

    I wish I could learn to eat a piece and be done and satisfied. Istead I lay in bed thinking "I think I will have cake for breakfast, not eat lunch and eat cake at 3. I do eat the cakes, but also eat lunch and get mad. Crazy me.

    1. Good point, I totally can't remember why they say gluten-free food promotes weight loss.

      Yes, I too looked for that one thing that I could change to make it all click together. But, its about making changes one step at a time.

      You know what, you can learn to not want the cake. And then on the rare occassion you really do want cake, you'll be fine with one piece...

  2. People who genuinely have Celiac disease do need to go gluten-free. For the rest of us, it's probably true that less gluten would help in weight loss, but probably only because it means less empty calories.

    1. Hi Jen,

      Yes, I'm not talking about people with celiac disease. I agree with you, I think it works because less calories are consumed. I read somewhere that going carb-free works for the same reason!


  3. I'm with you...I've trained myself to eat less bread/wheat/gluten overall. I have not eliminated it however and I don't plan on it. Also, I go for good-quality bread or other gluten-containing products, when I do choose to eat it

    1. We are so on the same wavelength. It's interesting I used to value junk food, but now I truly only want to eat higher quality food like you!

  4. I read long ago that babies will refuse to eat things that bother them. Like foods that cause GI problems or foods that they are actually allergic to. Adults on the other hand, often crave the very foods that bother them. I also think adults can cycle thru this thing where they do not feel good and try food after food in an attempt to make them feel better. GI issues and migraines both come to mind.

    I think food allergies and sensitivities have a lot to do with many people challenged by weight issues.

    I also think the easiest way to check for these type of problems is elimination food studies.

    I think the main issue with wheat is not only glutton, but the fact that we don't just eat wheat. We eat wheat processed with all kinds of other things. Those additives can cause problems for a lot of people with sensitive systems.

    I looked up the most common allergy foods:

    Tree nuts (such as almonds, cashews, walnuts)
    Fish (such as bass, cod, flounder)
    Shellfish (such as crab, lobster, shrimp)

  5. Several women at my yoga studio, with no extra weight on their bodies, have tried moving to whole foods this year. This meant that they stopped eating wheat because it is processed/has additives. They felt a lot better immediately and lost fullness out of their bellies. It was very interesting to watch as they were like very clean science experiments because there were very few other factors. They noticed a big difference in their GI systems. Like I said - very interesting.

    I honestly think that if we have any secondary conditions (acne, allergies, migraines, GI, etc) that can be caused by foods, elimination is a good thing to try.

  6. Grains in general are evil, unnecessary and just bad for humans. Try reading "Wheat belly"

  7. 20 years of bad eating can be overcome in just a few monts. The culprits are processed white flour and sugar. Start each day with a breakfast of protein and fruit - this starts the metabolism buring which is part of the key.

    Your food should consist of chick, turkey, little meat, veggies(complex carbs), dairy, little good fat(good cheese).

    If I can over come open heart surgery at age 5 and do a 750 lb leg press at 65 - YOU can over come this. Also have a website if you want the link - also tweeted you from @seniorpower. Rog


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