Weight Loss - Natural and Gluten Free. No Gimmicks!
In my previous posts, I related my experiences with finally being diagnosed as gluten-intolerant after many years of aches and pains and general unhealthiness. It was all very mysterious because, having studied nutritional science and being a general fitness fanatic, it seemed impossible that I could feel so unwell all the time.
It is important to recognize the symptoms of gluten intolerance because most general pracitioners and specialists simply do not. In fact, it is the furthest thing from their minds, as well as yours. You have likely eaten pretty much anything you've wanted to over the course of your lifetime. You never had food allergies or anything remotely resembling a food intolerance. Here are some of the signs to watch for and take seriously:
- Joint pain and popping
- Muscle cramps and general muscle pain for no apparent reason
- Lack of muscle flexibility
- Constant stomach upset
- Severe and random stomach cramps
- Lack of balance (not vertigo, but your balance is just not like it used to be.)
- Vitamin deficiencies (your doctor can perform a blood test for these.)
- Diarrhea and/or constipation
- Puffiness and swelling
- Weight gain or weight loss
I experienced all of the above symptoms EXCEPT the weight loss. What kind of luck is that?! My gluten-riddled diet caused me to gain over 50 pounds with very dramatic and noticeable swelling and puffiness all over my body. This, of course, was a gradual compounding of symptoms, all while I was seeing doctor after internist after specialist, with no relief.
A gluten-riddled diet tends to deposit fat in the midsection. Does this photo look familiar? I was not acutely aware of this very obvious sign until I learned to manage my gluten intolerance. This type of belly fat affects men and women equally. I recognize this in other people now and want so badly to walk right up to strangers with this type of belly fat and invite them to consider a gluten-free lifestyle. Now, I am not saying that all belly fat issues are related to gluten-intolerance. That would be too easy! But, a discussion of other symptoms might well lead to someone else's relief from a lifetime of aches, pains, and general unhealthiness. The key here is whether or not your particular issue is, indeed, gluten-intolerance. If it is, you must learn to manage the lifestyle. Note that I call it a lifestyle and not a diet. You must change your understanding of food altogether in order to lose weight, find relief, and ultimately feel better than ever.
Successful Gluten-Free Weight Loss
Many people manage their gluten-free lifestyle by finding gluten-free alternatives to foods that have become every day staples in the human diet. Money is made hand-over-fist in the gluten-free processed food industry. You can find gluten-free pretzels, crackers, bread, cereal, cookies, and more. The key to successful gluten-free weight loss is to avoid these substitutions. Honestly, it is hard to find gluten-free alternatives that are even remotely close to the real thing. In fact, these substitutes do not really taste very good so why even go there?
You will be pleasantly surprised at how little you actually miss these items that you once could not live without. Here is a typical domino effect of avoiding gluten-free substitutions:
A Sandwich Free Lifestyle
Avoiding gluten-free substitutes means no bread. WHAT?! Believe me, it is doable. Your bread-free life virtually eliminates a sandwich. Here is the list of what else is eliminated when sandwiches are no longer a part of your life:
- Processed deli meats (most have gluten in them anyway.)
- Mayonnaise (no need for mayo if you're not having a sandwich.)
- Cheese (no sandwich, so what is the use of sliced cheese?)
You are automatically eliminating three high calorie items from your every day diet by avoiding gluten-free substitutions. In fact, if you eliminate the gluten-free crackers there is even less of a reason to eat cheese.
I have nothing against cheese, really. You will note in my previous post that I do avoid dairy products even though I do not have a dairy intolerance. Key word here is "avoid." Every now and then I will have cheese on a salad and I certainly do enjoy a creamy salad dressing here and there. Absolutely no gluten, though. Ever.
Consider avoiding (better yet, eliminating) gluten-free substitutes. No need for garbanzo bean flour, gluten-free baking mix, cookies, crackers, and other snacks. Instead, focus on fresh, whole, natural foods such as lean meats, fresh vegetables, and fresh whole fruit. Eat all you want and don't go hungry. You will lose weight naturally and be able to maintain your ideal weight by simply eating whole, natural, unprocessed foods. Not sure if you can do it? Give it an honest six-week effort and then see how you feel. I guarantee that, after that amount of time eating real foods, you will be able to taste the chemicals and "processing" of processed foods. And you will realize that they just don't taste good anymore.