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Eating gluten-free And Gaining Weight
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Hello,

I was wondering if anyone had advice or tips for someone who is trying to lose weight with celiac disease. I am actually gaining weight instead! Everyone says it seems like i should be losing weight with my lifestyle and what i eat but i cannot drop a pound. I did read somewhere that maybe im storing up everything because of celiac and my malnutrition. I know I'll feel better it I could keep my weight down because I am obese at this weight. If anyone has good resources on what to eat, when to eat it and how much I would love the advice!

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Hello,

I was wondering if anyone had advice or tips for someone who is trying to lose weight with celiac disease. I am actually gaining weight instead! Everyone says it seems like i should be losing weight with my lifestyle and what i eat but i cannot drop a pound. I did read somewhere that maybe im storing up everything because of celiac and my malnutrition. I know I'll feel better it I could keep my weight down because I am obese at this weight. If anyone has good resources on what to eat, when to eat it and how much I would love the advice!

Hey I hope I can help. Got plenty questions.

How long have you been gluten free?

Has you appetite increased? Mine did and is just now calming down 2 mo.

Are you eating a lot of processed foods? gluten-free flours are more fattening

What in general is your diet like?

Don't feel ashamed. This is a struggle I dealt with for a while but unless you have some other health problem, you should be able to lose weight eventually.

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I have been gluten free since January 1, 2012 and I did not start losing weight until just last week. I know that I was overcompensating at first and eating larger meals. I have gotten to the point where I do not eat unless my stomach growls and that has finally started a nice, slow weight loss in the past week about 3 lbs. came off. I hope it continues as I am in the 'obese' category according to the Mass Body Index on another website. I need to lose 40-50 lbs, but will be happy to lose 15 or 20 lbs, as then I can fit into most of the clothes in my closet.

I was never so ill that I lost weight, although I now believe that I have had celiac disease for many years. I am greatful that I was never that sick and I am sympathetic to any who have been terribly ill. I am told that I have 'mild' celiac disease, and that the villi in my intestines are not badly damaged right now.

Anyway, dmcook1990, what I think is that your body needs some time to adjust to the gluten free diet, and it may take weeks or even months before you start to lose weight. Everybody is different, everyone's body is different, and everyone's body reacts differently in some way to any change in lifestyle.

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I've said it many times ... I was diagnosed very quickly (only 2 months of symptoms) so I wasn't experiencing the unexplained weight loss that many do. Then, I began to thoroughly enjoy all the things I COULD eat and chowed down to make up for all the foods I could no longer eat... and gained about 40 pounds! I was eating Pepcid like candy to deal w/ the killer heartburn I was having.

I cut out carbs... not real Atkins, but I gave up bread, rice... the obvious starches. I've never been a gluten-free processed food person so that wasn't difficult to avoid. I ate lean meats and lots of veggies and fruit. Twenty pounds came off and the heartburn disappeared. I still need to lose that other 20!!

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What do you eat, dmcook 1990?

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OP, you might consider the paleo diet. I dropped a few pounds on it, lost my spare tire. And paleo is gluten-free by default. Wikipedia "Paleolithic diet" is a good overview or read the Paleo Diet book by Loren Cordain if you really want to study it. You will need to be prepared to spend significantly more time in the kitchen.. Good luck!

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Hello,

I was wondering if anyone had advice or tips for someone who is trying to lose weight with celiac disease. I am actually gaining weight instead! Everyone says it seems like i should be losing weight with my lifestyle and what i eat but i cannot drop a pound. I did read somewhere that maybe im storing up everything because of celiac and my malnutrition. I know I'll feel better it I could keep my weight down because I am obese at this weight. If anyone has good resources on what to eat, when to eat it and how much I would love the advice!

I was recently diagnosed with Coeliac disease and have the same problem. I am eating a lot more fish and healthy meals and yet i havent lost one pound of weight. I do exercise but its sporadic because my job takes me away from home, but i thought once i had the physical symptoms under control by eliminating Gluten that my weight would drop a little. Any advice would be really appreciated

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I have been gluten free for a few years now. I too have put on weight since being diagnosed. I went untreated for a long time, actually ended up with osteoporosis. I have never really had an issue with weight before. It sucks that when there are so many things you can't eat any more and you gain weight. Very frustrating. I am wondering if anyone has any diet ideas. I eat very little and try to eat fairly healthy. I also have thyroid disease... thanks :)

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I lost about six pounds the first week of being gluten free. The I discovered those tempting gluten free snack foods, like cakes, crackers, breads, and Pirate Booty (I'm a total addict to that stuff!). After about a month of eating those I put on all the weight I had lost plus about 8 pounds. Now I've cut all of that processed stuff out, and I'm trying to be more active. In the last month I've lot about 11 pounds.

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I gained a pile of weight after going gluten-free because suddenly I started absorbing everything I had never absorbed before yet I was still eating like I had eaten for 46 years. This is not unusual at all, particularly if you're eating those high-calorie wheat substitutes. My total cholesterol also went from an unusually low 120 to about 200 (although it is back down to 160).

richard

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I gained a pile of weight after going gluten-free because suddenly I started absorbing everything I had never absorbed before yet I was still eating like I had eaten for 46 years. This is not unusual at all, particularly if you're eating those high-calorie wheat substitutes. My total cholesterol also went from an unusually low 120 to about 200 (although it is back down to 160).

richard

Thanks Richard, I did read somewhere here that if you can't cook it, don't eat it. Guess that's a good rule, although, I can cook a muffin if I have too! :)

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This sounds so like me. Diagnosed & went gluten-free March 2010, lost a lot of weight but then gained, gained. I have leveled off b ut can't loose any. I don't eat gluten-free snacks, couple of times a month maybe. Mostly veggies, chicken and such. Am I doomed to keep this ring around the belly???

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Hi, hope things improve for you. It is easy to eat healthy foods that help you lose weight and retain nutrition going gluten free.

Also keep in mind that both buckwheat and quinoa are very good replacements for cereal and are higher in protein. Thus you cut down on the extra carbs.

You can use quinoa half and half with rice. You can coat or thicken with buckwheat flour. There is plenty of scope to use these.

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I too am struggling with this - been gluten free for 2 weeks now, started off with a quick weight loss and have gained it back and then some. I've always eaten healthy as my weight has always been a struggle, but to gain 4 lbs in a week is ridiculous, especially on a low-calorie diet. Is this all just part of it? I've yet to indulge on the gluten-free breads, pastas, cookies and junk, so I know that isn't my problem.

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In my experience (and everyone is different) I swelled up (water) off and in the first 6 months of gluten-free.

I was dealing with recovering from steroids as well as Hashis - which may or may not have been a part of it...but I did notice a few times bloating up after gluten exposure, which was very difficult for me to determine newly gluten-free. And then there was the DH thing, and the low blood sugar thing, and the eating all the time thing...

The beginning is a mess. I suggest mild exercise - walking, etc. to the level it makes you feel good. Also, you may examine if you are eating a balance of food (sometimes we develop crutches going gluten-free - mine was Junior Mints and Gelato).

My guess is that you will go through 200 more changes in the next 6 months. Hang on!

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In my experience (and everyone is different) I swelled up (water) off and in the first 6 months of gluten-free.

I was dealing with recovering from steroids as well as Hashis - which may or may not have been a part of it...but I did notice a few times bloating up after gluten exposure, which was very difficult for me to determine newly gluten-free. And then there was the DH thing, and the low blood sugar thing, and the eating all the time thing...

The beginning is a mess. I suggest mild exercise - walking, etc. to the level it makes you feel good. Also, you may examine if you are eating a balance of food (sometimes we develop crutches going gluten-free - mine was Junior Mints and Gelato).

My guess is that you will go through 200 more changes in the next 6 months. Hang on!

Thanks for the good advice - I too am recovering from steroids after they found colitis - the whole reason celiacs was even tested for! I've been sick for a good 15 years before anyone would actually listen to me that this wasn't ALL stress related. It's just been a rough 2 weeks, and I wasn't sure if this was normal. I keep saying I'll get back to my workout routine but I haven't had the energy. The one thing I know I'm lacking is protein, so I'm trying to get back on track there...and I'm 100% guilty of grabbing a handful of chocolate chips every night, if I didn't I'm afraid I'd binge elsewhere! I just hate this feeling, it's very frustrating as I'm sure everyone has felt at some point. I look forward to the day when I feel normal again :)

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Thanks for the good advice - I too am recovering from steroids after they found colitis - the whole reason celiacs was even tested for! I've been sick for a good 15 years before anyone would actually listen to me that this wasn't ALL stress related. It's just been a rough 2 weeks, and I wasn't sure if this was normal. I keep saying I'll get back to my workout routine but I haven't had the energy. The one thing I know I'm lacking is protein, so I'm trying to get back on track there...and I'm 100% guilty of grabbing a handful of chocolate chips every night, if I didn't I'm afraid I'd binge elsewhere! I just hate this feeling, it's very frustrating as I'm sure everyone has felt at some point. I look forward to the day when I feel normal again :)

Don't beat yourself up over a handful of chocolate chips. Seriously. Acclimating to the gluten-free diet is harrowing and a crutch is much needed, IMO. The hard part is accepting, at least for a while, that your body is a runaway freight train and you are merely along for the ride. Sure, you can do the obvious right things (and you should) but don't expect to convert to a perfectly gluten-free (no cc or mistakes) and whole foods diet overnight. It takes time for most.

And don't be surprised if you drastically lose that same weight in a week.

Then gain it back.

The first six months are weird.

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Don't beat yourself up over a handful of chocolate chips. Seriously. Acclimating to the gluten-free diet is harrowing and a crutch is much needed, IMO. The hard part is accepting, at least for a while, that your body is a runaway freight train and you are merely along for the ride. Sure, you can do the obvious right things (and you should) but don't expect to convert to a perfectly gluten-free (no cc or mistakes) and whole foods diet overnight. It takes time for most.

And don't be surprised if you drastically lose that same weight in a week.

Then gain it back.

The first six months are weird.

Good to know! :) I didn't expect this to be such an ordeal...it's just gluten, right?! I had NO idea what all this entailed before I was diagnosed. I'm thankful for this message board, as most people around me don't understand these "withdrawal" symptoms and why I'm not feeling 100% already. Because mine has gone on sooooo long undiagnosed, I expect it will take some serious time. And the choco-chips...I'd never beat myself up over that! I have a sweet tooth and that's my reward at the end of the day for giving up gluten! :)

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This is so reassuring. I have been gluten-free for about 4 months and haven't lost a pound either. BUT I am using things like plain potato chips and plain white rice to get me through. I'm going to get more fresh foods in the house so they are available instead of junk. I did notice that a lot of the prepared gluten-free foods are not very healthy as far as fat & calories go, so I've eliminated most of them. Now if I could just keep those Lays out of my pantry ;)

Don't beat yourself up over a handful of chocolate chips. Seriously. Acclimating to the gluten-free diet is harrowing and a crutch is much needed, IMO. The hard part is accepting, at least for a while, that your body is a runaway freight train and you are merely along for the ride. Sure, you can do the obvious right things (and you should) but don't expect to convert to a perfectly gluten-free (no cc or mistakes) and whole foods diet overnight. It takes time for most.

And don't be surprised if you drastically lose that same weight in a week.

Then gain it back.

The first six months are weird.

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This is so reassuring. I have been gluten-free for about 4 months and haven't lost a pound either. BUT I am using things like plain potato chips and plain white rice to get me through. I'm going to get more fresh foods in the house so they are available instead of junk. I did notice that a lot of the prepared gluten-free foods are not very healthy as far as fat & calories go, so I've eliminated most of them. Now if I could just keep those Lays out of my pantry ;)

I've cut out most starches to try and help the weight loss. I'm also battling extreme fatigue so that isn't working in my favor! Too bad this wasn't easier haha!! :P I finally stopped buying my tortilla chips that I live on...it's been tough, but I'm hoping it is worth it.

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I'm on the diet since 1,5 month and gained 6 kilos in the first 4 weeks. I was shocked. I think its mostly due to all those gluten free cakes I started eating to overcompensate - they contain huge amount of calories and almost no fibres :/

Doctor also said that my body started to absorb more nutritients... I cut the cakes and managed to stop gaining weight... I hope I will manage to loose some too...

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I was diagnosed in October 2010 and gained 20 pounds in about six months. I tried everything and finally found something that worked! Count your calories using my fitness pal and do cardio every day! I have lost 10 pounds and plan to lose the other 10, I just got a little burned out. Exercising every day is a huge commitment!

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I was diagnosed in October 2010 and gained 20 pounds in about six months. I tried everything and finally found something that worked! Count your calories using my fitness pal and do cardio every day! I have lost 10 pounds and plan to lose the other 10, I just got a little burned out. Exercising every day is a huge commitment!

I used to be hard core into my fitness, but my energy levels are soooooo low, it's hard to get my house vacuumed these days. I can tell you how many calories are in any food out there, because I've always been THAT into working out and my fitness. For 10+ years I've had a personal trainer, I know enough I could train others at this point. Never in my life have I struggled with weight until now. I swear my metabolism is non-existent. Kudo's to you, exercising every day is a big commitment, one I've always had until these last few months!

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I had heard before that to lose weight, you only had to eat fewer calories than you burned... but I never really believed it was that simple. It is, actually. There's more to being healthy - nutrients, etc - but there are exactly two ways to lose weight:

1. Exercise more

2. Eat fewer calories

Exercising is great, but it only gains you like 200 calories for a lot of time & effort... whereas a tiny, tiny bag of chips is over 300 calories. So controlling diet is actually the easier way, at least at first (exercising helps your metabolism get better, so it's good for the long run).

I am telling you this fresh off of having lost 10 pounds myself (and still going) so I hope you believe me when I say, it's not as hard as you might think: try counting your calories. For one week, even - you only have to keep going if you really want to. For one week, write down everything you eat. There are completely free websites that can help you do this, and they're super easy to use. Most of them have apps so you can do it from your phone. (I use MyFitnessPal, but there are others).

This does several things:

a) Makes you think twice about eating something, since you have to mark it down.

B) Helps you to realize where your problem areas are. (I never knew *just* how many veggies you need to eat to match a cup of rice. Sure, you're not as full from veggies, but subtract just a little rice and add some carrots, and you're golden).

c) Makes you feel less guilty about the "bad" things you eat. There is no cheating - just eat a little less elsewhere. No worries.

d) Gives you more motivation to eat less. Back when I didn't think about it, I'd eat 3 links of sausage without blinking. Now I know that that's 750 calories! No thanks, I'll just eat one, and supplement it with something else. Or butter on popcorn! It just about triples the calorie value! Maybe I'll have just a little less of that...

e) Motivation to exercise. You get free eating later when you do!

Do that for a week, and you'll learn so much that you probably won't need to keep doing it. (Although it gets easier because the app will remember the things you eat a lot or have eaten recently).

Good luck!

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Oops, I guess I'm not the first to say that. Still true.

Also, if you're using MyFitnessPal - note that it lets you enter recipes. It was much easier to put in the mixed cereal I eat every morning once I realized I could do it that way, instead of selecting all the items again or copying over the meal. That way, you can eat more or less of it each day without altering every single ingredient.

PS. I do know how hard it is to find motivation for this sort of thing when you are in gluten withdrawal or just feeling fatigued. If you're not there yet, put in on a shelf in your mind and do it later. There's no hurry. You'll feel better soon.

Edited by parmeisan
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    • Thanks Stephanie & Gemini for the info. that the 4 of 5 doesn't apply to children. I wasn't aware of that until now. 
    • I think the posters above have given you very good information and I will throw in my 2 cents worth.  I am surprised that they did not test her DGP IgA also.  I am sure that would have been positive.  They switched off with antibody classes and usually they do both tests for both antibodies.  IgA is more specific to Celiac but the IgG is also useful.  The testing shows your daughter is producing antibodies to the gluten in her diet. (DGP IGG). THe tTg shows positive for some damage or inflammation. You know........your daughter is only 4.  She hasn't been on the planet or eating gluten that long. It can take years for enough damage to occur for it to be able to be found on biopsy.  I would say it is highly likely that this is Celiac, especially with her symptoms. But because the damage hasn't graduated to bad enough yet, they won't diagnose her. I think you need to do what others have said and get all copies of testing and find someone else who will take a look and give a diagnosis, especially if they have you do a dietary trial and her symptoms go away.  That might be the only recourse if you want faster proof. I know I would want faster.  I would not really be happy if I thought I had to keep feeding her something that was making her sick.  If you keep her on gluten long enough, the diarrhea will probably show up. BTW.........the criteria mentioned regarding diagnosis does not apply to kids.  I know it's silly and stupid but most leading Celiac specialists do not go by this criteria for kids.......adults only.  Keep that in mind because it might come up.  You could recognize it but they might not. Have you considered gene testing, to help bolster a diagnosis? As far as false positives go, it's the other way around. False negatives happen more frequently than many people think.  It's a recurring theme here.  With her symptoms, which is what I had, a bloated belly and tummy aches are telling.  Have they tested her for lactose intolerance?  That can cause similar symptoms, although it sure won't raise those 2 blood tests.  Keep looking for Celiac because there are many red flags here.
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