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Gluten-Free and Fat?

Posted on March 31, 2008 by Glutenfreeda

>I have been gluten-free, or at least to my knowledge gluten-free, for almost two years. I’m 49 years old. I have been very thin all my life regardless of what I have eaten. In grammar school my nickname was ‘Oliveoil’ and I was teased because of my skinny legs which were out of proportion with my knobby knees and over-sized feet. Even during my pregnancy, I gained only the baby’s weight and the weight necessary to develop the baby. When I was eight months pregnant, a stranger once remarked that I looked like a rope with a knot tied in it. In my early and mid-forties I still maintained my maximum weight of 116 pounds with little effort. I am 5’5″. I’ve always had a healthy appetite and enjoyed being able to eat all the typically fattening treats that my friends could not without gaining weight. I was immune to weight gain and enjoyed every minute of it, even flaunted my super-human ability to look cheesecake in the face, gobble it up and retain my thin figure. Over-weight women hated me, I was lucky, or so I thought. Of course, I had no idea that my gift of being naturally thin was the gift of Celiac Disease. I was unable to absorb food or its nutrients. My symptoms manifested themselves with acute anemia. So although I was thin, I periodically became exhausted, and not knowing the real cause, I attributed this to over-exercising or over-working. So that’s the past.

Here’s the present:

I am not anemic anymore, I have more energy and am not concerned that I will have a heart attach because my heart is over-working with even minor activity, that’s the good news. The bad news is I am gaining weight. In the past, if I gained 2 or 3 pounds, I would eat a salad for lunch for a couple of days and I would be right back on track. I have always exercised, but was able to skip the gym for a couple of months with no negative affects. Not anymore. Now I have to work at it, just like everyone else. I have to be aware of my calorie and fat intake and make sure I get regular exercise. I have found that it now takes commitment and effort to maintain my weight. It’s not impossible, just more work. So, I consider my options:

Option 1: Eat the way I used to and let the rolls fall where they may.
Option 2: Omit all fats and sugars from my diet, or
Option 3: Eat sensibly and stick to a regular exercise program.

Reject Option 1 because I can’t afford a whole new wardrobe and my husband really hates this option. Reject Option 2 because I have already given up so many ‘forbidden’ foods on a gluten-free diet that I refuse to give up fat, which makes everything taste better and sugar which is good for my psyche. So, Option 3 it is. I acknowledge that I have become a mere mortal in the war against fat and cellulite. I must face my vulnerability and get on that treadmill and try to out-run gravity and the enemy, fat. To those of you who share this phat phenomenon, don’t despair. The key lies in what we’ve always known and have always been told. The best formula for a healthy body is to eat right and get regular exercise. I believe that no fad diet, or new magic formula will produce better results than that piece of advice. As we have all learned, living on a gluten-free diet requires adjustments in how we’ve always done things, adding regular exercise to that list of adjustments is the healthiest way to control your weight and enjoy gluten-free cooking.


Posted in: Health, Nutrition & Food Safety



05-Apr-08 at 20:15

>Wow! Your story mirrors mine exactly! When I got really sick before I was diagnosed, I lost a lot of weight and bought new clothes thinking I would remain that way. Three years after going gluten free, I put all that weight back on plus another 15 pounds! Ouch! I’m taking option number 3, only I wish I could squeeze more exercise in. I’m just amazed at how many options we have today compared to when my uncle (now dead at a very young age–probably from the effects of celiac disease…) was diagnosed as a child. Well, off to make some GF spaghetti!


18-Apr-08 at 21:25

>I also have had the same problem, weight gain after diagnosis, and I am still trying to come to appreciate the fact that I have muscle tone again, and that I have energy and am not always fatigued. Most people who know me don’t think that I’m over-weight, but I’ll tell you, it is really disheartening to go from size 2 to size 6. I guess I’ll just try to keep telling myself everyday that “atleast I’m healthy, atleast I’m healthy.”


11-May-08 at 00:12

>I was diagnosed with celiac disease @ 54 & this fall will be 3 years. I, too, was tall and skinny most of my life and also a single mom. Last year I married, retired and between being blissfully happy and eating gluten free I have gained a tremendous amount of weight. I am now working on the treadmill, but it is slow. Any suggestions?

13-May-08 at 17:14

>I too lost a tremendous amount of weight. I have been heavy all of my life. I was doing chemotherapy last summer and was very ill from it. After the therapy was over I was still very ill. Long story short I was eventually diagnosed with Celiacs Disease. I was told that it was hard for Celiacs to gain weight, but leave it to me I have defied that! I have gained most all of the weight back and I am so sick of being gluten free. I eat very healthy….no choice, but I just keep putting the pounds back on. Any words of encouragement?


14-May-08 at 16:12

>Well, I guess this isn’t an isolated problem when recovering from the affects of Celiac disease. Recently, my husband and I challenged each other to a weight loss contest with an end date of July 4th. I have 8 more pounds to lose and I must say, it aint easy! What I am doing is counting and controlling my daily calorie and fat gram intake and drinking a lot of water. I am trying to stay at or under 1200 calories (not enough to keep a bird alive) and 30 grams of fat. I’m eating a lot of fruit and vegetables, avoiding snacks, fats added sugars when possible. So far, so good, I’ve lost 5 pounds since I’ve started. A typical days meals looks like this: Breakfast:1 banana or 1 hard boiled egg or fresh strawberries/coffeeLunch:Salad with as many vegetables as desired or bowl of Thai soup or fresh vegetables and fruitDinner:Fresh green salad with vegetables and a 6 ounce fish/pork/chicken or beef filet and any additional vegetable if desired.The trick will be maintaining my desired weight once I achieve my goal. Maybe I’ll be able to splurge a little on the weekends, maybe even add in a glass of wine! I’ll keep you posted.


05-Jul-08 at 21:25

>WOW! Me too, I have always eaten pretty much anything and EVERYTHING. I always boasted to my “fat” freinds that I was blessed with a fast metabolism. HA! Well, the shoe is on the other foot now. I gain 5 pounds just looking at tapioca starch. And now that I’m over, lets say, 40, it is soooo hard to lose.

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