What is Celiac disease?
Celiac disease is a gastric illness sensitive to the gluten found in grains, such as wheat, barley and rye. Being celiac is a serious condition in which the immune system attacks its own tissue cells when gluten products are consumed. Over time this severely damages the lining of the gut; resulting in an inability to properly absorb nutrients during digestion. Celiac is not to be confused with a gluten allergy or intolerance.
The impact of celiac disease on weight.
"How to lose weight with celiac disease" is a common question amongst newly diagnosed sufferers. This is because patients often see a noticeable increase in body weight when switching to a gluten free diet. This usually has nothing to do with the food they are consuming, but instead the amount.
As the lining of the gut starts to heal in the absence of gluten, it begins to absorb nutrients normally; and this is why weight-gain can arise. When consuming gluten as a celiac, the body has to compensate for the lack of nutrients absorbed by eating more calories. Over time this can result in becoming accustomed to larger meals, far denser in calories than what would usually be required.
So, when nutrients are being absorbed at a normal rate, all of those calories are being absorbed, resulting in a calorie surplus; the premise of weight gain.
How to Lose Weight With Celiac Disease?
The basics for losing weight with celiac disease is no different from those without – except of course the avoidance of gluten. To lose weight one must consume fewer calories than what is burnt over a period of time, for example, if you consume 1300 calories in a day, and burn 1500 kcal there is a deficit of 200 calories. If a deficit of 200 calories is maintained over the period of a week there is a deficit of 1400 calories.
The accumulation of calorie deficit over an extended period of time will always result in weight loss; there are, however, here are are some weight loss tips with celiacs in mind:
Adjust serving sizes.
Eating 3 large meals a day is the norm for most people. It's easy, convenient and a practice the majority of people grow up with. Despite this, there are alternative eating routines that involve eating multiple smaller meals a day, more frequently.
Eating smaller portions spaced evenly throughout the day can help to keep someone feeling more satisfied and avoid reaching moments of severe cravings; that lead to binge eating and weight gain.
As a result of clever marketing, gluten free products are often branded as 'health foods' giving the impression that they are better for you than their gluten-containing counterparts. This can encourage consuming without consideration of their actual nutritional value.
To make up for the lack of gluten to hold starch-based foods together, gluten free products often rely on other ingredients such as oil, eggs and butter to do the job instead. It is paramount to always pay attention to food labels when watching your weight.
It is no secret that most westerners rarely achieve their recommended amount of daily fibre. Most of what is consumed usually comes from grain-based sources as well, which of course celiacs can not consume.
This makes acquiring enough fibre as a celiac even more difficult, which is why special attention should be taken to ensure enough fibre is being included in the diet from other sources.
Fruits and vegetables are full of both soluble and insoluble fibre; eating ample amounts of fibre will keep someone feeling fuller for longer, and help to regulate digestion.
Try a high protein diet high-fat diet.
High protein/fat (healthy fat) diets are becoming increasingly more popular with sufferers of celiac disease. This is because many carbohydrate foods are derived from grains, so folowing a diet, or lifestyle that avoids most carbohydrates altogether, can make food choices far easier.
Following such a diet can also encourage the body to enter a 'ketogenic state' which means that the body turns to its fat stores as its primary source of energy; instead of metabolised carbohydrates.
Top gluten free meal prep tips.
1. Plan ahead.
Gluten free meal prep for weight loss can be done a week, even a month in advance and is an excellent way to keep on track with your healthy eating. knowing what, and when your going to eat will take a lot of the guesswork out of mealtimes and encourage you to make healthy choices.
Planned meals can be pre-prepared and either frozen or refrigerated to be used as and when needed.
Having some gluten free healthy sweet snacks, such as peanut butter bars should be included in your meal plans, as only have strictly 'healthy' meals will be hard to stick to. it's okay to have a cheat meal every now and again!
2. Use a slow cooker.
Not everybody has the time or space to prep loads of meals at a time, this is where a slow cooker can be used to great effect. A slow cooker can be used to cook your meal for you, while your out and about doing other things.
There are thousands of slow cooker dinner and gluten free lunch ideas for weight loss available online; simply add your ingredients to the pot, put the lid on and set to cook. Return 6-10 hours later and your delicious, healthy meal will be ready to eat.
3. Be creative.
It is so important to mix things up and change what you eat regularly; it keeps things interesting. When following a celiac diet plan it can be easy to find foods you like, and just stick with them, but always strive to try new things and be adventurous. This will make healthy eating exciting and enjoyable, instead of a chore.
Healthy Snacks For A Gluten Free Diet.
Snacking should not be confused with 'grazing', which is when you constantly consume small amounts of food between meals, that might seem insignificant, but over the course of a day can really start to add up.
Healthy snacks for a gluten free diet should be used occasionally between meals; as a way to curb cravings and keep you on track.
Healthy snacks include portions of fruit, nuts/seeds even smoothies can be categorised as a snack; if you find that you often develop a sweet tooth during the day, best practice is to prepare some homemade sweet gluten free treats, such as honey protein balls, or sesame snap tuiles.