Ask Dr. Nandi: Can a gluten-free diet help you lose weight?

Posted at 5:45 PM, May 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-15 08:56:28-04

Nearly two-thirds of Americans are overweight. So it may not surprise you that roughly 45 million people in this country attempt a diet every year.  

One popular program many try is the Gluten-Free diet, but can it help you lose weight?

The Gluten-free diet is still very big with dieters and even with some of our social media fans. 

Heather Dawn from Pennsylvania said, “I'm on a gluten-free diet but also eliminated white foods...flour, sugar etc. I've lost 155 pounds in 2 years.”  

Congratulations Heather on losing an amazing 155 pounds! That is beyond fantastic.  

But you may be surprised to hear that research tells us gluten-free diets don’t work.  

Yes, people can lose weight, but that’s not because they’re cutting out gluten, it’s because they’re not eating a common source of gluten – and that is carbs.  

I point this out because people can actually gain weight on a gluten-free diet. And that’s likely because they don’t choose enough nutritious food.

Instead, they’re filling up on processed products like gluten-free breads, wraps and pretzels.  

The gluten-free diet was really created for people with Celiac disease or those who are gluten intolerant, because these people can’t fully digest and metabolize gluten.

Tara Zolenski from Whitmore Lake posted, “I’ve been following the Ketogenic Diet since January. I’m down approximately 30 lbs. after an initial big loss up front. It’s been slow and steady...and it has been easier than I imagined giving up carbs would be. Not hungry. Feel great.”  

The Ketogenic Diet is also a strict nutrition plan - it’s high in fat and low in carbs.  

Research has suggested that this type of diet may reduce food cravings. And it may also help those who are obese or are insulin resistance.  

But the Ketogenic Diet could be hard on the liver and kidneys so please talk with your doctor first if you’re considering this.  

Now you all know I’m not a fan of the word diet. I don’t believe in them because so many people fail and end up gaining the weight back and feeling even more miserable about themselves.  

I suggest you let go of the diet mentality and instead eat mindfully choosing whole nutrient-rich foods and include exercise and natural movement into your daily lives.