Have you ever wondered, “Should I go gluten-free?”
Especially after the typical overindulgence of the holiday season, many people tend to try giving up gluten as part of their New Year’s resolution to lose weight.
As a nutrition specialist & wellness coach, I don’t use or promote trendy or super-restrictive dietary changes. It’s true there are some people who actually cannot tolerate any gluten in their diet, and what I’m talking about today mostly doesn’t apply.
My focus with nutrition, both personally and professionally, is more about preventing disease, relieving stress, and improving energy & mood. So my expertise is working with people who don’t have illnesses requiring dietary intervention.
Some people don’t have medical reasons to quit gluten, yet still notice that eating foods containing gluten makes them feel not their best. If you struggle with any of the following symptoms on a continuous basis (or you notice them specifically related to eating gluten-containing foods), you may have a more mild form of gluten intolerance:
- digestive irregularities
- abdominal pain
- brain fog
Whatever your reason, if you want to know HOW to give up gluten, here are some tips.
- Do not give up carbs completely!
Many people do this, thinking it’s the only way to remove gluten from their diet. This is a big mistake that can lead to overwhelming cravings for breads and sweets. It can also leave you feeling so fatigued and grumpy, you’ll have trouble functioning in everyday life!
Instead, switch from simple carbs to complex carbs.
Simple carbs are usually the processed foods we crave when our bodies feel like they need a quick energy boost or quick relief for hunger pangs. To break it down further, these would fall under the refined simple carbs category. (There are also simple carbs in fruit, honey, and other healthier options.)
Cookies, crackers, donuts, candy bars – these all contain refined simple carbohydrates – meaning they pass through our systems very quickly to give the body a jolt of relief. However, it doesn’t last long, and usually after a couple of hours, we will crash again and feel super groggy. Over time, repeated massive spikes and drops in blood sugar like this can cause many health problems.
Complex carbs are single-ingredient foods from nature.
The body takes more time and effort to break down and metabolize these. They give a steady, long-burning energy and help us feel full longer, with less amounts of food.
- Reduce or remove these refined simple carbohydrate foods:
- processed snacks (cookies, crackers, cake, candy/sweets).In order to go 100% gluten-free, you also need to completely avoid foods containing rye or barley, as these too contain gluten protein.
- Add these complex carbohydrate foods into your diet:
- baked sweet potatoes
- brown rice
- beans (black, kidney, navy, pinto, chickpeas)
- oatmeal (oats can sometimes have trace wheat/gluten-containing ingredients, so avoid if you have Celiac disease or severe gluten intolerance)
Sometimes, switching from the convenience of pre-packaged foods can feel overwhelming… even downright impossible!
HERE’S GOOD NEWS!:
Preparing your complex carbohydrate foods in batches saves a ton of time + makes it so much easier to stay consistent with your swaps.
I created a masterclass that’s focused on exactly this!
‘Batch Prep Bliss’ will set you up for success with your upleveled nutrition plans and includes a COMPLETE recipe book to make it super simple. Get details and access that HERE.
On a final note, if your motivation for giving up gluten is weight loss or ‘eating healthier’:
Be a conscientious label reader.
There has been so much hype around ‘gluten-free’ foods. Many food labels add this declaration to foods that naturally do not contain gluten anyway.
There are also many processed ‘gluten-free’ breads and snacks that are loaded with sugars and unhealthy fats. These are not helpful for weight loss or your health!
Did this post help you decide whether to try going gluten-free?
Do you have a better understanding now of how to do it without suffering nasty side effects (like grumpies, cravings, and weight gain)?
Get my SIMPLE + STREAMLINED system for delicious healthy meals & snacks!