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Weight Gain
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I have just recently been diagnosed with Celiac Sprue less than one week ago. Besides the fact that I am still in shock over my favorite foods that I can't eat anymore, I am worried about weight gain. All my life (I am now 26) I have been able to eat whatever I wanted and not worry about gaining weight. Now that I have started on my gluten-free diet I was told that I will most likely gain weight in time since my body will be able to absorb the fat. I have to admit that I do need to gain some, but my concern is that I will blow up after my villi have returned to normal. So, I was wondering if anyone that was underweight when diagnosed has had a problem with excessive weight gain? Please help put my mind at ease!

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Hi jaimek :) I understand what you mean about the weight gain. When i got sick I lost 40 lbs, I needed to loose weight and welcomed it! Since going gluten free in Sept 03 I have not gained any weight back, thank goodness.

Just watch what you eat and stay away from high fat foods and you should be fine. :D

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Hi Jaimek! I've actually found that I've lost weight since starting the gluten-free diet. I've been on for less than a month, but getting 'into' the diet and the whole transition has been rough. I lost 8 more pounds the first week and had lost almost 30 in the months prior to my diagnosis...not that I couldn't stand to lose another 20 or so...

Good Luck!

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Hiya! I'm 26 too, I've been gluten-free for almost 2 yrs now, I was at a normal weight when I was 'sick' as I had atypical symptoms. When I went gluten-free, I started to eat rice based products as everyone does, but one slice of rice bread has 2 to 3 times the calories of a regular slice of bread and does not leave you feeling as full for as long. The same goes for rice flour muffins, cookies etc. Expect these things to have a higher calorie count, above what they would normally be if baked with regular flour. As I do watch my weight, I generally avoid these things.

One thing I avoid like the plague is rice pasta, you get about half the serving for the same amount of calories as a full serving of wheat pasta, and again for me not as filling, which will cause you to eat again later.

I went from weighing 130 lbs (I'm 5'6") to weighting 154 lbs after 6 months of going Gluten Free. I've lost it all but I did have to cut back on the rice based food substitutes.

Better alternatives are are pure buckwheat noodles (try Eden brand - they're organic and have a 100% pure buckwheat noodle), mung bean noodles (I found them in Toronto, I'm not sure where else you can get them), corn flour, amaranth flour, low fat soy flour is excellent. In my own baking I try to use as little rice flour as possible substituting it for other gluten-free flours that are high in fibre (again buckwheat is excellent - and a super source of protien too) and I find that other flours actually yield better baked goods, although I don't much like the taste of bean flours, but you should try them as they are lower in calories and higher in fibre than rice flours, you may not notice or mind the taste.

gluten-free cereals are about the same calorie wise as regualr cereal, so if you like cereal in the morning, nothing much will change in that regard for you.

I tend to go without the breads, rolls, muffins, opting for meat with salads or veggies in my lunch. I will have these as a treat once in a while (but not the rice bread - I never did get used to that).

It's hard to say don't eat rice bread or muffins since you already feel so limited, but over time I had to give them up to keep the weight off.

Having said all that I do treat myself, but if I do, I make sure it's for a 10 and not a 3 (in other words, I'll go something I really like and will enjoy instead of something that I would have normally passed on even if I wasn't a celiac ;) )

Good luck!

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Thank you all for your replies, they were very helpful. I guess just like every other diet, you have to watch what you eat and make sure it is not all high in fats. I am very new to this so just figured I would cover all of my bases. Thanks for the suggestion on the buckwheat noodle/flour. I will keep that in mind when i go to the supermarket for the 5th time in 3 days!!! :D

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jaimek,

Just make sure the buckwheat noodles/flour is 100% pure buckwheat. Some brands add other flours into them and that might make them not gluten free.

Mariann

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I've put on a bit, but it might be from not exercising as much either. Plus, I think my lower metabolism from when I was eating wheat may play a role. (A bit here is 6 pounds in 6 months. But I'm having trouble getting it off.)

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Hi, I'm 13 and a little over 5 feet. Before going on the gluten-free diet, I was around 70 pounds, maintaining, but not gaining. Each year, I would gain about one-two pounds, or sometimes stay the same. After the gluten-free diet, I gained weight...but only what I wanted to. I wanted to get up to 85-90 pounds so I wouldn't feel guilty about running and playing on two sports teams (AND BURNING A LOT OF CALORIES) at school next year. I'm now up to 78.4 pounds...a nice improvement, but I'd like to break eighty pounds. I've gained weight, but weight that I've tried and desired to gain. I wouldn't mind adding another 5-10 pounds, now, either!

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I am 25 and I lost weight going gluten-free. Although I had started to gain weight before I was diagnoised. Now I am back to my normal weight. I watch what I eat very carefully. In the summer spegetti squash is a real good sub for pasta. I also do not eat bread or anything like that. I do eat a lot of rice, I eat rice cakes, rice pizza my family loves that! but mostly fresh fruits and veggies, with meat. It took me a while to get used to it but now I don't mind at all. Good luck I am sure you won't gain weight as long as you watch what you eat.

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I guess it depends on metabolism because I had gained weight in the last 10 years but then, in the last 6 mos of being gluten-free, have lost about 10 pounds or more. Back to what I used to be actually.

I do eat lots of rice products but have not found any bread-like substitutes to my taste. I just go without the bread products for now and have gotten pretty used to it.

Simone

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I agree with KayJay. I too had gained a few pounds before I started the gluten-free diet and now have lost about double that. I guess because I avoid all cookies, candies and muffins because of their gluten content. And I just can't justify spending so much money something that I shouldn't really be eating anyways.

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I have to say that I've gained weight and not happy about. I do not seem to be able to loose it either and that is very upsetting. Of course I was very much underweight but I think that I got used to and expect to stay that way. I still don't feel like I have the energy that I used to. I was running up to 6 miles about 3-4 times a week. I can't do that now and have packed on the pounds. My friends say that I look fine (5'3" 120lbs) but none of my clothes fit.

You will have to be careful. Eating gluten-free, I feel hungry ALL the time. Yesterday at work I ate 3 meals.

Charlotte

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I too am having a difficult time losing weight. I have put on 16 pounds the past 2 years which is also about the time I got serious about staying gluten free. I guess the constant diarrhea was helping keep my weight down but I certainly don't like this. I am 5 feet tall and weigh 129. I walk a mile or two three times a week plus do aerobic or toning exercises. No matter what I do the weight does not come off. Have even tried diet supplements to no avail. I do feel so much better since going gluten-free (except for the morning D), but would like to look nice in my clothes again. :rolleyes:

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Yep...my stomach sticks out too. I have a belly that I didn't have five years ago. Looks like I'm pregnant at times. Think that's another reason my clothes don't fit like they used to. <_<

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I'm with Clanning and Cmom. I just turned 19 and have been trying to be gluten-free since 17. I'm 5'1" and lost almost 20 lbs prior to going gluten-free. Since then I slowly started to gain some of it back...but recently have been packing on the lbs and I am none to happy about it. It really upsets me and gets me very depressed about everything in life. Now that I'm in college, I'm walking a lot and don't even eat as much as I used to (even though I'm hungry ALL the time!). I mostly eat healthy too, so I really don't understand why I still seem to be gaining weight. I'm also still bloated a lot, even though I've been gluten-free for almost 2 years. I, too, look like I'm pregnant sometimes. I"m still really tired all the time too, and have lots of troubles getting up in the mornings even though I get plenty of sleep. It almost makes me feel like being gluten-free is not worth it. It's almost worse than how I felt before I went gluten-free. Wish I was one of the lucky celiacs that couldn't gain weight...but no...I'm packing on the pounds like it's no one's business...which is not very fun when you already have issues about the way you look and are insecure. I do pilates whenever I have time and energy and sometimes go on hour long walks....I usually watch what I eat....is there any words of wisdom anyone could offer me?

Rachel :(

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Hi Rachel: I also starting gaining weight when I first started avoiding gluten. Prior to that I had controlled my weight by only eating when I was hungry, whatever I wanted and stopping when I was satisfied (BEFORE stuffed). However, I was in soooo much pain when I first when gluten-free that I comforted myself with new gluten-free foods, so I didn't always stop when satisfied. I also felt sorry for myself because of all those restrictions (I also can't tolerate dairy and soy) and overindulged in the foods I COULD eat (lotsa gluten-free cookies). ;) I rationalized that weight gain didn't matter as long as I was healing from celiac damage. However almost 4 months later, when I was NOT experiencing excruciating pain or other uncomfortable symptoms, I was STILL overeating. I had to honestly admit I was not always eating when hungry or stopping when satisfied. Celiac disease didn't excuse my gluttony. Also overloading my stomach with unnecessary foods certainly couldn't help me recover. So I returned to my tried and true weight control 'hunger and satisfaction' eating which works no matter WHAT I'm eating. I also found more effective ways to cope with frustration, stress and emotional pain. I'm back to my preGF weight now and 5 months gluten-free yesterday! :D

BURDEE

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I'm back to my preGF weight now and 5 months gluten-free yesterday! :D

BURDEE

Congradulations Burdee!!!

I wish I could say the same!! I was doing fine in the weight dept. till I stopped smoking in March '04 and started to eat candy in place of cigs. Now I've packed on 25 lbs. I also rationalized the candy ie, " at least I'm not smoking", but now it's time "get it off". I had lost 30 lbs prior to going gluten-free but I had to work at it and now it's time to do it again. Thanks for the reminder that "it can be done"!!

Granny

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Hi Granny: Thanks for your honesty about packing on the pounds because you substituted candy for cigarettes. So many people want to 'blame the food' (higher calories, more fat grams, more carbs, etc.) rather than their own negligent eating habits. Although some of the gluten-free foods (such as breads) are higher in calories, others are not. I feel satisfied with less of the higher calorie gluten-free products, so I should obey my body cues and eat less. If counting fat grams, calories, carbs, etc. really helped people control their weight, 67% of Americans wouldn't be overweight. <_<

So many undiagnosed celiacs were not absorbing nutrients well or were so sick they didn't like eating before their celiac disease diagnosis. When they go gluten-free and their intestines start healing, some gain too much weight. To prevent excess weight gain they must learn (maybe for the first time in their lives) to eat for physical hunger, rather than all those other reasons, like boredom, social conformity, to cope with emotional stress, frustration, sadness, etc. Then there's all those gluten-free restrictions ... feeling deprived (on any diet) can make people want to binge when life gets tough (and resume the diet TOMORROW). :o I never binged on my 'intolerant' foods (gluten/dairy/soy), but I sure overate my gluten-free/DF/SF cookies and rice milk when I got scared, angry or stuck in self-pity. :( Reassuring myself that there are LOTS of gluten-free/DF/SF foods which I LOVE and finding better ways to cope with negative feelings got me back to hunger/satisfaction eating (even those cookies). ;)

We live in a nation with conflicting messages that we 'deserve a break' to eat when stressed and that certain foods make us 'fat'. Most celiacs know they must choose foods according to their specific intolerances--they must choose safe, beneficial foods which will heal, rather than harm their bodies. We can also choose styles of eating--eat only when hungry, foods which satisfy hunger, stop when satisfied (before stuffed)--which can give our bodies just enough foods, rather than taxing our already challenged digestive systems with too much food at one time. Obeying our hunger and satisfaction cues can help us heal as well as reach and maintain a healthy body weight.

BURDEE

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:D hi all--when i first went gluten-free, i was eating cottage cheese and applesauce everyday for lunch--good thing i enjoy it--sometimes with pineapple or peaches--a fruit of some kind and i still to this day have to have my quaker caramel corn cakes with my jif--i cant eat any other rice cake--ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww--i did lose lots of weight in the beginning and i have noticed lately that i have gained a little back and it is frustrating--i would love to lose at least 30# more---my sister is a dietician---she says that your body does get used to eating and surviving on less--it learns to adapt to what you feed it, so if you start eating more, then you have to exercise that much more to keep the weight off---constant battle--i can eat almost anything with my cottage cheese--my daughter always says she doesnt like looking at my food :lol: oh well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!-----i guess the bottom line is--just keep at it and do the best we can---i tell people--i feel so much better then i used to--i can go places now--as i have read in here, i always knew where the bathroom was in any place i went--if i didnt then i didnt go there--my life has changed so much because of the celiacs--the biggest plus is--i have a disease and its not all in my head--i swear people used to think i made things up as i went--i used to tell them they dont know how lucky they are to beable to do anything they want anytime they want--i didnt have that luxury for years---keep your chins up all
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I guess that I am looking for is some easy way to lose weight. I was overweight to begin with when I was diagnosed in 5-03. I lost about 30 # when I went gluten-free but after 4 months, the weight started to come back on. I am really frustrated. I have started exercising but can't seem to lose weight. I am gluten-free, eat lots of veggies and fruit and have given up the gluten-free flours and pasta due to high calorie content. I am also a diabetic and have found it difficult to find foods that are ok for both diabetics and celiacs. Diet foods seem to contain gluten of some sort. Is there anyone else who battles both diabetis and gluten? I could use some help....... pam

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I dont know about you guys, but I am having trouble regaining weight. I went from 162(size 12 waist) to 118(size 5 waist)...back to 141, and now I'm down to about 130. The only way I gained was by getting fed up with the diet and eating little bits of stuff I wasnt supposed to. I started dropping weight again, even following my dieticians suggestion to eat more fatty foods--using more butter, more mayo-'-it doesnt help. I'm even trying to eat MORE. Even when I put on those 20 lbs, I stuck at the size 5 waist.

So I guess you should all be glad you can gain it back lol

~lisa~

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I'm not diabetic, but hypoglycemic, so have to watch my carb/sugar intake. I haven't really found it to be too big of a problem, but I cook my own foods, eat naturally gluten-free, whole foods, and don't eat packaged foods. (A box of gluten-free cookies will last me... well, I've been gluten-free a year and I haven't gone through a whole box yet... ;-) ) I do spent 10 mintues a day or so, however, planning out what I'll have the following day, using FitDay to see if I'm getting enough calories, but not too many, and distributing my food over the fat/carb/protein breakdown well enough (I am for somewhere between 25/50/25 and 30/40/30).

At the end of the day, putting into your body more than it spends, energy wise, is the only way to lose weight. Counting calories/fat grams/carb grams/whatever isn't the key - it's controlling them.

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HELP PLEASE!! I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease by biopsy in April 2002~ a month to the day after my wedding ~God Bless my husband... I have since gone from a size 6 to a 16!!! My stomach feels better since going on the gluten-free diet but I am extremely uncomfortable with my weight gain. I admit in the beginning I ate a lot of rice and potatoes because those were safe, but soon learned how to adjust to gluten-free ways and eat very little of them, as well as bread (I'm a bit lazy when it comes to making it. I can't handle the store's gluten-free selection-I find it to be gross).

My GI Doctor has been no help as he just says I look healthy now. Easy for him to say, I'M the one with no waist now and weigh what I did when I was 8 months pregnant with my son 21 years ago!! I also exercise at a gym 3 days a week, for 1 1/2 hours a day, and have been for the past 2 years. I continue to GAIN not LOSE. I am so frustrated that I am ready to go back to eating gluten and deal with the consequences! I am so overtired all the time and have no energy. I had more before I was diagnosed. What can I do??? I need to lose weight. I had a physical recently for work and the Dr. told me according to my BMI, I am overweight and on the edge of obesity. My Dr. has checked my thyroid, glucose, hormones, etc. Can't find anything. Why is my watching what I eat (I've cut down on sugar and carbs) and exercising regualrly doing exactly the opposite of what it should be doing? Does anyone else have this problem? :(

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I was diagnosed so quickly that I didn't have the unexplained weight loss problems that are so common. Then I substituted rice and potatoes for all the stuff I couldn't have anymore and have packed on weight. AAARRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!

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