Ask Amelia Nutrition

Will You Lose Weight On a Gluten Free Diet?

gluten free

The short answer?  No.  In fact I am still mystified, as are many other nutritionists, as to why the recent gluten-free trend is viewed by many as a weight loss tool.  It just isn’t.  Not only are many gluten-free products made with more refined starches than their conventional counterparts, they also tend to be higher in calories and have smaller portion sizes!  (Oh, and they’re more expensive).  But many people who have gone gluten-free don’t seem to hear this.  A recent study showed that among gluten-free consumers:

  • 46% buy gluten-free foods/beverages because they think they’re generally healthier
  • 30% do so for weight management
  • 22% view gluten-free labeled foods higher quality
  • 8-12% buy gluten-free because they or a member of their household has celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or a wheat/other allergy

In reality, it’s only this last 8-12% that need to be buying gluten-free products.  Everyone else could save their money.

But wait, why do so many people claim to “feel so much better” on a gluten-free diet?  Probably because in going gluten-free, they’ve cut out much of the junk food present in their previous diet, and are relying more on fruits and veggies.  These people probably will lose weight after going gluten-free, as they’ve switched from a diet high in processed foods, restaurant food, and refined carbs, to a diet high in the things we should all be eating more of anyway — fruits, veggies, beans, lean proteins, and wholesome dairy products.

If you want to lose weight, it’s best to stick with the old, unsexy basics: moderation, portion control, more veggies, less junk.  Here are some practical tips to get you started on losing weight.

More gluten-free info.

Sources for facts in this article.

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  • Mew Maurer
    April 5, 2011 at 9:49 am

    I do believe in you! I guess we can lessen gluten but we cannot avoid at all! Every ingredients we used from cooking has gluten more or less!

  • Reesa
    December 3, 2013 at 10:18 am

    I disagree. I lost 25lbs simply by cutting wheat out of my diet. I’m still losing and I eat ice cream, chocolate, potatoes, not foods you would eat on a diet or anything. I think what you’re not factoring in “like Dr. Oz” said is food allergies. We can be allergic to foods and not even now it, but our bodies go into survival mode and we gain weight. A woman was gaining weight from strawberries! With IBS an epidemic because Most wheat and food today is genetically modified it makes perfect sense that people are gaining weight. I weighed 164 height 5’6 1/2 and now I weigh 139 with a goal of 130.

  • Amelia Winslow
    December 3, 2013 at 10:43 am

    I’m glad your dietary changes have worked for you, Reesa. It must feel great. And I agree with you that food allergies are a real issue. However, I still maintain that going gluten-free is not in itself a weight loss plan. And actually, most wheat is not genetically modified. Corn (not sweet corn), soy and canola crops are almost always genetically modified but wheat is not.

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