Apparently, there's been a study that determined that about 80% of people who go on the gluten free diet gain weight during the first year (they even mentioned this on the popular Dr. Oz show). Some (including Dr. Oz) say it's due to the food.
I really think it's due to revenge-on-the-world eating -- where a Celiac finds a food she/he can eat and just eats "Because I can". I haven't seen any articles on this phenomenon, but so far many people I've spoken to have had similar experiences. I have never been one to really gorge on potato chips or junk food (I was an everything-in-moderation kind of girl) - but now it's suddenly hard to put a bag down. I get some pig-headed sullen feelings that seem to prevent me from putting it down.
This diet really seems to have released the emotional eater inside me.
Has anyone else experienced this? Opinions...? Is weight gain caused by the food or the emotions?
You certainly hit the nail on the head for me. I was diagnosed very quickly... only several months of symptoms... and spent the next year eating all the stuff I COULD to make up for what I could no longer have. I gained about 40 lbs!!
Dunno about emotional eating. I keep asking... WHY is it emotional and not that I just LIKE macaroni and cheese better than broccoli??
Living in the beautiful Ozark mountains in Arkansas
positive blood tests and later, positive biopsy
diagnosed 8/5/02, gluten-free (after lots of mistakes!) since that day
Dairy free since July 2010 and NOT happy about it!!
I have experienced this as well. I think there may be a physiologic explanation for this. I think it is possible that the body is trying to make up for lost nutrients.
I think I was starving myself for so long by not absorbing, that my body is trying to prepare for the next famine, or replete what has been lost. My appetite stays in overdrive.
There is also an emotional component, however, I think it is more a fear of being in a situation of being hungry, and not being able to find something to eat. So I eat before I go somewhere, even if I am not hungry.
I will call it opportunistic eating. I eat when I have the opportunity, because I am afraid I might not find food later.
I also ate a lot of gluten free cakes, brownies, pizza, etc., that I would not normally eat, just in experimenting to find what was available and to make sure I was covered if I ever wanted those things, lol.
I treat myself to junk food more than I should, probably to reward the child inside that is still pouting about feeling deprived.
Positive Bloodwork January 2007 Positive Biopsy Feb. 2007 Gluten Free since January 2007
I agree there is definitely an emotional aspect to eating after getting diagnosed. I travel some for work and I was always worried about not having something to eat so when I had an opportunity to eat I over ate.
I also think part of the problem is before I was diagnosed I was always hungry and could eat a ton of food without gaining any weight. I think your body gets used to consuming that much food,so when you actually start to absorb the food you are eating and do not change the quantity you'll definitely put on weight.
I lost weight. I didn't eat any of the gluten-free cookies or cakes or processed foods really (except the pretzels and those rice crackers). I lost about 7 lbs. I started eating more vegetables and chicken and fish. Also, I added a lot of fruit in place of stuff I was eating with gluten for snacks.
I think for me it made me think about more what I was putting in my mouth and I tried eating healthier too. I miss eating cookies and stuff, but the gluten-free ones had way more calories than regular so I just ditched them completely.
Positive TTG IGA blood test 8/13/10
Endoscopy confirmed 8/31/10
Started gluten-free diet 9/1/10
I've actually experienced that exact opposite! I've always struggled with weight, and gained weight very quickly and almost inexplicably. I just weighed in this morning and in the 2 months that I've been gluten etc etc free I've lost 20 pounds.
I have been trying to use this time to really think about what I'm putting in my body and the effects. After reading up some on soy and genetically modified corn I'm so glad I had a reaction because it is so bad for you!
I'm also paranoid that I will get glutened, soyed, corned or dairyed places, so I have really limited eating out at all.....and no fast food place will really see my face again. I just cook all my food, and veggies and fruit make up about half of my diet.
I travel a lot for work and I just finished making a "food bag" for my car. I have Orgram crispibread, peanut butter, raisins, lara bars, fruit leather and nuts in a cute fashionable bag so I can grab and go and that silences my paranoia about going hungry. I live in a tiny town about 50 minutes away from the big city and where I work, so I have gone shopping, or gone to work and ended up going hungry because I didn't plan ahead.
I've been mulling this very subject over for some time now. Thank you for posting this. I believe it is emotional eating, and we eat more because we feel deprived, so we pig out on the foods we find that we can actually eat. This thinking is not healthy. Think about when we ate wheat. We didn't think that we had to eat an entire package of cookies, just because we could and it was available. We ate 2 or three cookies, noting the calorie content. We still need to be accountable for the foods we eat, regardless of wether they are gluten free on wheat made cookies. I'm really working hard right now on this problem. I'm trying to get my head on straight so I can lose some weight.
You've cat to be kitten me right meow
Wheat Allergy-April 2010 Gluten Intolerant-April 2010 Dairy/casien intolerant-Aug 2012 Lactose intolerant- Aug 2012 Soy Intolerant-November 2012 October 2012- I learned that I am 1/2 Irish with a strong family history of Gluten Intolerance/Celiacs. I will never know If I am Celiac because I will never eat gluten again in order to test postive, it's poison and I do not ever want to feel the way I felt before implementing the gluten free diet EVER again!!!
Well, so far, I have lost 12 pounds since January. I still have a lot (35 to go), but I think it is because I have thrown out the processed foods. Blueberries are my friend. I think too that now my body is just letting go of the wieght. I hope it continues. After the first week or so of gorging on the gluten-free cookies, because I can, I slowed down. This is all a very emotional adjustment. Hopefully feeling better will inspire us all to eat better. I do love a cookie though, I am still eatng some, but aboe to lose. As I said I have quite a bit to lose. 35 will me to the right BMI, but jsut barely.
Great topic! I was diagnosed a little over 6 months ago and thought for sure I'd lose weight. After all..no more fast food, bread, pasta, beer and so on...but still, the things I can eat have calories and that was a lesson to be learned. I didn't put on a lot of weight, maybe 5 pounds but I work out regularly so I definitely noticed. I'm no longer eating big suppers of steak & potatoes or whatever else I can make since stopping somewhere on the way home is no longer an option. I've started doing nutritional (protein) shakes for supper and my usual veggie/fruit breakfast and Gluten-Free sandwich for lunch and I'm feeling better than I have in years. Plus, I've already lost a few of those pounds and just in time for short weather.
I know what you are talking about so well. I have eaten a lot more ice cream since going gluten-free. I used to rarely eat it but now I get it in my mind that I "deserve" it because I can't eat this or that. Also I eat way more french fries than before. If I find somewhere with a dedicated fryer I feel I must take advantage of it! lol
I'm one of those who is very slowly losing weight. I attribute it to the fact that my body is now actually absorbing the nutrients that I'm putting into it, so I no longer have that constant feeling of being hungry, even though I just ate.
I also am finding I have more energy, and enjoy physical activity far more than I did before.
Of course, discovering delights like the Brazilian Cheese bread is slowing that weight loss down considerably.
After a year gluten free, I find that I'm gaining weight without eating more. I think I got into my 40's not absorbing any food/nutrients. I could eat massive amounts of fattening food and not gain weight. My friends were so irritated. As for myself, I didn't realize that going to the bathroom several several times a day wasn't normal. Then after I went gluten free (and dairy and corn free) I lost more weight because I was trying to figure out what I COULD eat. Now a year later, I think I know how to feed myself enough food, I'm absorbing nutrients and I've just turned 43...this combination is making weight stick for the first time in my life. Now, I have to start being a little careful after years of eating a ton.
I agree with your idea of opportunistic eating. This starts when you first try to understand what foods you can eat and stock up on snacks just in case. After a year and a half I still have to watch that I don't over eat on snack food just in case I won't be able to find suitable food out.
I did start to put on weight. When I was diagnosed I started trying all the gluten free snacks. I started baking gluten-free cakes to try. Eating breads. The funny thing is I wasn't eating food like this before the diagnoses but felt I needed to try foods that were out there to see what my options were. I have gotten away for gluten-free "Junk foods/snacks" and I have started loosing again, which as a over weight Celiac , it is a good thing