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roxie

Weight Gain

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I'm wondering if it is normal to gain weight when you become gluten free. Before I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I lost a lot of weight. I was sad about all the symptoms I was having, but I was happy about the weight loss. Now I am eating gluten free, and I am gaining all the weight back. I don't understand this because my gluten free diet is extremely healthy and low fat (lots of natural foods). I was just wondering if anyone could help with this issue. Thanks.

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Hi Roxie!

The same thing happened to me <_< I was the same slight weight from high school up until I was diagnosed at 30. I thought I was just lucky, I eat whatever I want and never gain weight. Well, after going gluten-free I put on 20 pounds in a year!!!! I went up two dress sizes! I know that I'm a healthy size/weight for my height but, it's still takes some getting used to. I eat healthy foods, do yoga 3 times a week, and walk twice a week - yet the weight barely comes off in fractions.

Since I was essentially malnourished most of my life, my damaged gut became accustomed to conserving what little fat/calories it could hold on to. I was told by the doctor that when the gut heals, it will start grabbing every scrap of nourishment it missed pre-diet :) in other words - work properly. I don't know about you but, it seems like my system went in to overtime when it healed. It seems like I changed over night! So yes, the weight gain is common (albeit frustrating). The only thing that seems to work for me is increasing my cardio and reducing my carb intake. Good luck to you!


Diagnosed & gluten-free - April 2004 :)

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Hi Roxie!

The same thing happened to me <_< I was the same slight weight from high school up until I was diagnosed at 30. I thought I was just lucky, I eat whatever I want and never gain weight. Well, after going gluten-free I put on 20 pounds in a year!!!! I went up two dress sizes! I know that I'm a healthy size/weight for my height but, it's still takes some getting used to. I eat healthy foods, do yoga 3 times a week, and walk twice a week - yet the weight barely comes off in fractions.

Since I was essentially malnourished most of my life, my damaged gut became accustomed to conserving what little fat/calories it could hold on to. I was told by the doctor that when the gut heals, it will start grabbing every scrap of nourishment it missed pre-diet :) in other words - work properly. I don't know about you but, it seems like my system went in to overtime when it healed. It seems like I changed over night! So yes, the weight gain is common (albeit frustrating). The only thing that seems to work for me is increasing my cardio and reducing my carb intake. Good luck to you!

It's expected you should gain weight after healing has taken place otherwise, it might indicate that your gut is not healing. I also have found that most of us, after healed, eat way more than we think we are. People always underestimate how much they are actually eating and I believe it's because you are now able to eat without difficulty or getting sick....your stomach feels better so you eat more. Couple that with the aging process and you'll find with each passing decade, you have to eat less and less to maintain weight.

Wait till you go through menopause.....that adds another dimension of difficulty to it. I found that because I could always eat like a horse and never top 105 pounds, my reference point for how much exercise I needed to do was skewed. It takes some adjusting and still bothers me a tiny bit but I realize I look healthier and have more energy.

It's a trade-off for that 2 size bump up. I now have a butt! :lol:

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Roxie, I think your weight gain is a sign of your intestines healing. Now again you're able to absorb nutrients and if your diet is high in calories it might lead to weight gain. I understand you're eating healthy but it's possible to gain weight even on a healthy diet. I'm wondering, what exactly do you eat? Did you replace a lot of your bread with gluten-free stuff or did you switch to things like rice, quinoa, etc? gluten-free baked products are higher in cals because they're usually more dense. So if you're eating a lot of these it might be the culprit.

I would suggest counting calories for a week or two to see how much you consume and then go from there.


gluten-free since 9/30/09

positive gene test 8/11/09

endoscopy 9/30/09 (awaiting results)

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Weight gain has many reasons....

For a ex-undiagnosed celiac one main one is the empty calories.

Prior to a gluten-free diet we ate and didn't really adsorb calories but also we didn't adsorb nutrients, minerals etc.

When your body needs nutrients it just makes you feel "hungry" ... it can't say eat more iron or eat more potassium ... (although it can do weird things with cravings) .. but overall it just wants MORE ...

Now your gut is healing you are adsorbing both but you may have a backlog of nutrients to catch up on that you are deficient in. Hence you feel hungry...

Add to this that now every calorie counts ... you are now actually adsorbing those calories...

My advice is to identify what your missing .. (you can do testing or you can guess from cravings... however this isn't always the best) .. So the best i think is eat nutrient rich foods ... people say "cutting out carbs works for me" because most sources of carbs are poor in nutrients... (there can be other reasons too)

On top of this going gluten-free we also miss out on things like Vit E from wholegrain... etc. and it is easy to fall into a trap about eating things specially made as gluten-free. Most of the 'gluten-free' products are very poor nutritionally ...

I still eat carbs (rice and pots) but I rarely eat gluten-free pasta etc. rice and pots are also fairly nutrient poor...

So as someone else said, we tend to have histories of eating what we like and not gaining weight and this can lead us to believe what is "normal for us" based on when we were maladsorbing.

Concentrate on fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish ... preferably lean but the main thing is make sure you are getting the nutrients so you don't feel like snacking.... I rarely snack... mainly because almost anything gluten-free and easy is usually poor nutritionally so I try and wait and eat properly.


Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. (JC, De Bello Gallico Liber III/XVIII)

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