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Posted on 03/20/2017 in Gluten Free Blogs

Why Gluten Free is a Lifestyle Change Not a Weight Loss Diet

Why Gluten Free is a Lifestyle Change Not a Weight Loss Diet

As the world becomes more and more image conscious and body obsessed, we have seen an increase in the number of fad diets, each promising a rapid weight loss result by sticking to their often unsustainable regimes. In recent times, a gluten free diet seems to have mistakenly joined the list of such fad diets and has become a popular choice for people looking to lose a few pounds.

This is an unfortunate development which seems to have come about because of a misguided belief that avoiding cereals, pasta and bread, which underpins the gluten-free lifestyle, will help with weight loss.  While this can sometimes be an incidental side effect, the reasons for choosing a gluten free diet extend far beyond just wanting to shed a few unwanted pounds – it’s a lifestyle change not a fad diet.

Can a gluten free diet actually result in weight loss?

There is little evidence to support the assertion that a gluten free diet can result in weight loss and while that may be the case for some of those who adopt the diet, it’s not a certainty. While you do not need to have a gluten intolerance or allergy to follow a gluten free diet – going gluten free can have health benefits regardless of whether you suffer from intolerance/allergy – if you are making that choice simply in an effort to lose weight, there are other more suitable diets that you can follow.

Where’s the confusion?

Gluten-free diets have been labelled alongside fad weight loss diets due to endorsements by Miley Cyrus and Victoria Beckham who attest that removing gluten from their diet helps to lost/maintain their weight. The word “diet” in itself has such a strong association now with weight loss or weight management that it’s no surprise that people are categorising gluten free diets as weight loss diets. In fact, a survey conducted over in the U.S. found that 27% of U.S. citizens believe going gluten free would help them to lose weight.

Why should I consider a gluten free diet?

Adopting a gluten free diet is a lifestyle choice that anyone can follow but if you have been diagnosed with an allergy or intolerance, it’s an absolute necessity. If you don’t suffer from an allergy/intolerance but find yourself experiencing symptoms of gluten sensitivity i.e. gas, bloating, fatigue or headaches after consuming gluten, you may also benefit significantly from following a gluten free diet.

It’s important that people don’t labour under the misconceptions that ‘going gluten free’ will help them lose weight or, worse still, are doing it just because it’s trendy. Remember, adopting a gluten free diet is intended to be a long term lifestyle change, not just your typical 28 day weight loss diet.

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