Help! My gluten free diet is making me fat!

Help! my gluten free diet is making me fat!

Help! my gluten free diet is making me fat!


Help! Gluten free diet is making me fat!

Hi! This post really has nothing to do with my kids, time to focus on us! Gaining weight on a gluten-free diet is common, but also manageable if you make the right choices. Some gluten-free substitutes can contain a higher calorie counts than gluten-containing foods. For instance, white rice is gluten-free but one cup of cooked rice contains 204 calories and a mere 0.6 grams of dietary fiber. Of course, many ready-made gluten free products are made with white rice flour.

Another reason for weight gain from a gluten-free diet is that gluten free products are many times higher in calories to make them taste better. As you know, gluten is a sticky, stretchy protein that gives structure to baked goods, breads and pasta. There may be added fats and sugar in GF products to help compensate for the different texture. I think generally, we all can agree that limiting processed foods is healthier, but sometimes the convenience is key. 

Help! my gluten free diet is making me fat!

Sigh, now what can be done?

This goes without saying, but I will emphasize it anyway : make sure your body gets 30 minutes of physical activity everyday. For reference, an individual weighing 150 lbs can burn about 90 calories by walking for 30 minutes. Regular exercise can add up benefits and keep you slimmer and fitter.

Satisfy your hunger with healthy foods

High-fiber foods make you feel fuller for longer on fewer calories. If you’re eating primarily low fiber gluten-free foods, you may be inclined to eat more to feel fuller, resulting in an increase in calories. You will also notice that you are hungry an hour after you ate! Try to eat fruits and veggie snacks to quell your hunger. Also consider adding high-fiber foods such as brown rice, millet, amaranth and quinoa into recipes. As many of you know, I like to add ground flax seed or psyllium powder to baked goods or potatoes to boost the fiber and nutrient density.

Cut down on ‘junk’ gluten-free food and go lean, nutrient dense

Have you been snacking a bit too much on gluten-free crackers, cookies and brownies? Seems every week when I go to the store, there is a new product that is made gluten-free. Sometimes it just so fun to try something new ….. and then maybe get carried away. (not that I have any first hand experience with that HA!) Keep a firm control over the added calories you’re consuming as a result of your snacking habits.

Nutrient dense, protein and fiber filled snacks will keep you motoring through your day:

Apple with nut butter (or sunbutter)

Sugar snap peas with hummus

Greek yogurt with blueberries ( I mix in a Tb of ground flax of chia seeds)

Hard boiled egg

Goat cheese stuffed mini peppers

DIY trail mix

Grilled veggies and pesto

Avocado with whole grain crackers (try Mary’s)

I think I’ll work on a few more recipes to fit this bill.

Stick to a balanced diet

Common wisdom dictates that a varied diet is a healthy diet. It is possible to go gluten-free and still enjoy a diverse diet, regardless of whether you prefer to eat naturally gluten-free foods or specially made non-gluten breads and pastas. There is an extensive range of fruits and veggies to put on your list as well as unprocessed meat products, dairy products, beans, nuts and seeds, and an array of other whole grains. Including a salad with every meal helps you fill up with fiber rich, nutrient dense foods before possibly over-consuming higher calorie foods. Watching the portion sizes can also go a long way in preventing weight gain. Here are my tips in a nutshell:

Fiber! eat more

Eat more protein

Whole grains, foods a must

Reduce refined carbs (like crackers, cookies, pasta)

Plan snacks ahead – include protein and fiber

Move for 30 minutes a day

Read food labels – less processed, whole foods you can pronounce, lower sugar content

Compare labels on gluten free products

Compare labels on gluten free products

I think another blog post about snacks may be in order – but perhaps focusing on the kiddos. Let’s face it – they are not easily persuaded to eat more whole grains. Do you have any go to snacks or tips to share?

12 replies
  1. Neil Alvin Nicerio
    Neil Alvin Nicerio says:

    Wow I didn’t know tjat there are a lot more to dieting than just cutting down on calories and working out.
    Thank you for this informative article.

    More power to your blog.

  2. Basedonyou.bytye
    Basedonyou.bytye says:

    Can you write an article on healthy ways to gain weight. I know it sounds strange because most people are looking to put off a few pounds but im really skinny and I’m tired of people making comments but Im gaining weight because it is something that i want to do. Thanks

    • Karina
      Karina says:

      Hi! I will work on something – I actually know a little bit about trying to gain weight. My son was underweight for a long while and I had some tips and tricks to adding extra high quality foods to his diet. stay tuned 🙂

  3. Sara Russell
    Sara Russell says:

    Great post! When we remove a food that’s causing issues due to intolerance, allergy, celiac or other health condition, it’s also important to assess what to replace it with. I’m allergic to gluten-containing grains but also to a number of other grains and some quasi-grains. I don’t buy gluten-free replacements for much of anything anymore, except for buckwheat and red lentil pasta every so often. Gluten-free packaged foods are not very healthy at all, but luckily we can fill that empty space on the plate with more vegetables and other high-quality real foods.

  4. Angela Maria
    Angela Maria says:

    I guess it’s all about balance. Some GF options ( as mentioned in your post and in some of the comments) are full of “filler” ingredients that don’t have much nutritional value but it’s all about being cognizant and reading the label. I try to incorporate or look for GF items with complex carbs like sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice etc. Great post!

    • Karina
      Karina says:

      Oh no!That’s tough! Being a newly diagnosed celiac presents other challenges and your body is adjusting. Wishing you the best! Reach out if you have additional questions! I was misdiagnosed as a celiac – but know all about it since I thought I was celiac for several years. I consider it training for me as now my son is allergic to wheat.


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