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Is it possible to diet AND be gluten-free?

And why does it seem so hard?

Over the course of the last several years, the combination of a liking for good food, a busy life and a sedentary job has lead to the piling on of the pounds. I’ve had a number of people say, “But you’re gluten-intolerant. All the gluten-intolerant people I know have lost weight because they’ve stopped eating carbs.” Well that’s all very well and good for them, but instead of not eating carbs, I learnt how to cook gluten-free. I researched products and substitutes and manage to eat very normally, for the most part.

By the evidence of the additional 20kgs that I now carry about my person, I apparently am eating too well. The time has come for me to do something about this. But I am finding that it is harder than I thought it would be to change my eating habits.

I think it’s that I already deeply resent that I have to deprive myself of so much because I am gluten- and egg yolk-intolerant. Eating is still a pleasure for me, but it requires a lot more thought and planning and preparation – it’s just not fun. And there is a lot of food I cannot eat, especially if I am eating out. When you add dieting into the mix, there is still more deprivation going on. For me, the more I feel deprived of something, the more I want it; the more I think about it and the less likely I am to actually stick to it.

So how to diet? Obviously, I need to change my eating habits. The premade food plan diets aren’t much good for that, and they definitely aren’t any good for the gluten-intolerant. Shakes which replace meals contain wheat. Also, I like the idea of learning to eat better, while still being able to have some of the food I like (the occasional piece of chocolate for instance), which will hopefully stop the cheating and feeling that I’m being deprived. I read the recent Healthy Food Guide article on diet plans and decided I would go with something which forced me to track my food intake and encourage me to be healthier in my food choices. I also wanted something which would allow me to easily track what I was eating using my various mobile devices. I’ve found a program, and very importantly, have found a couple of similar-minded folk at work, so we are having a weekly weigh-in to keep ourselves honest.

I’ve been at this for three weeks now, and have a few observations. One is that although what I eat is generally healthy, I eat far too much of everything. My portion sizes are a problem. So I’ve reduced those. Also, I don’t drink enough water. And I certainly don’t do enough exercise. I drink too much alcohol. I don’t drink to excess, but I often have one or two glasses of wine in an evening. And when that is most days, it probably isn’t very good for me. So in line with the new eating plan (which I’m not calling a diet!), I’m reducing my alcohol intake. To help me with this, I’ve signed up for Dry July. Not only will it help me be healthier and hopefully lose weight, but it will be raising money for cancer sufferers. Check it out at dryjuly.co.nz.

Now I just need to figure out how to add more exercise into my week!

Check back to see how I’m going on the weight-loss front, and whether I’m succeeding in eating better without resentment. What are your tips and tricks for weight-loss as a gluten-free eater?


For those wanting more information on coeliac disease, check out the NZ Coeliac Society website www.coeliac.org.nz.

This blog is the opinion and experiences of its author and should not be taken as medical or dietetic advice. Healthy Food Guide has not verified the content and cannot endorse any advice given. Healthy Food Guide recommends seeking professional health advice for specific complaints or symptoms.

Date modified: 22 February 2021
First published: Jun 2013


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