Sometimes people ask me about gluten-free and the benefits compared to the “cost” of excluding foods with wheat, barley and rye. I usually mention that I have much less upset stomach and that I lost a lot of weight and a lot of inches when I gave up gluten. Usually the stomach upset doesn’t faze people much (it does me, it’s the main reason I’ve stuck with gluten free), although the weight part usually does.
For what it is worth, I thought I would gain weight when I gave up gluten. The weight loss was a surprise to me. As to legitimate health improvement vs. vanity? Before I gave up wheat and other gluten containing food products, my BMI was 27, in the overweight zone. Giving up gluten (without going hungry or skipping meals or anything—remember this wasn’t a weight loss “diet”, but a dietary change made to address specific health issues) was followed by a 17 pound weight loss in about six weeks, which dropped my BMI from overweight to the normal range and my waist circumference from borderline risk to normal. OK, I rebounded a bit and am currently down about 12 pounds from my pre-gluten-free weight, but that still puts my BMI almost two points lower than it was and a waist circumference in the “OK” range.
So, again, how do I *know* that my tummy health and weight loss are attributable to gluten exclusion? With tummy health, my stomach aches come back if I eat things with gluten. And the weight loss? Well, it’s the only time in my life I’ve lost anywhere near that much weight, and everything else stayed the same. Of course, no one ever seems to doubt that the weight loss was the result of giving up gluten. Hmmm, too funny.
It may not be for everyone, but gluten-free works for me. 🙂