Celiac in the News, Chick Press, Gluten-Free Diet, Miscellaneous, Uncategorized, Videos

Busted: The GF Weight Loss Diet

30 Comments 13 February 2013

About a month ago, I was interviewed for a news segment about the gluten-free diet. I was excited about the media creating more awareness for all of us, and you know I was going to tell the truth about gluten-free processed foods.

(I think it’s kind of funny that I only caught a few hours of sleep in order to make it to DC in time for this, and lack of sleep evidently lets my Valley Girl accent out in full force! ;))

They didn’t quote everything I said, so let me tell you here:

If you trade in the typical American diet of pizza, cookies, cakes, and donuts for gluten-free pizza, gluten-free cookies, gluten-free cakes and gluten-free donuts… chances are you aren’t going to lose weight.

Just in case anyone out there still doesn’t get that.

And if you turn a gluten-free diet into an opportunity to eat less processed food, less refined flour baked goods, and less junk in general, then you might actually lose weight, improve your digestion, and feel better overall.

Do you really think that Kim Kardashian, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ga Ga are eating processed, sugary gluten-free cupcakes all day long? My guess is that they probably aren’t. And I’m sure they have personal trainers.

Not that there’s anything wrong with a sugary gluten-free cupcake now and then, but when your diet consists mainly of sugars and refined carbs you’re going to feel it.

And this seems like the perfect time to tell you about something I’m really excited about.

I’m co-creating a fun class with Dr. Samantha Brody that will teach people how to eat a healthy gluten-free diet. It will be online, so anyone can access it in the comfort of their home. This 5 week course titled Gluten-Free Vitality: 5 Weeks to Your Energy Breakthrough will help you create more energy than you ever thought was possible! There’s a stellar guest expert lineup too, and a few super fun surprises.

Can you see me jumping up and down right now? [squeal]

It’s great that there are so many gluten-free foods available and awareness is growing, but it has also led to a lot of confusion and frustration.

We are going to end that, and help people to make the gluten-free diet work for their lifestyle and their health.

So, stay tuned!

What do you think about the gluten-free diet trend? And did you gain weight after going gluten-free? Did it give you more energy, less energy? Please share your thoughts or experience in the comments below.


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30 Comments so far

  1. 1
    Hemhaw says:

    Thanks for posting this! What a great news segment! Finally, putting some truth out there! I gained 5 pounds in a matter of months after my Celiac diagnosis because I was turning to the processed products for ease and comfort (and binging). I then tried the paleo diet, and gained another 10 pounds; while this diet seems to work for a lot of people, it really zapped my energy (I will give it major credit for helping me transition to whole foods, though). I’ve lost it all by tracking my macronutrient levels (I was doing so for fat malabsorption, not necessarily to lose weight) and upping my vegetable intake. It’s amazing how large 1 serving of a vegetable actually is, and if you eat 5-7 servings a day, you will definitely not feel like you are dieting! Of course I also eat GF whole grains, protein, healthy fats, and fruit, with the occasional homemade treat 🙂 Homemade baked goods are great because you can control the amount of refined sugar, starch, fat, etc., and there are so many great food blogs out there with healthified recipes now! I still struggle with low energy some days, but I think I am still recovering from nutrient malabsorption, and it has definitely improved.

  2. 2
    Susan says:

    You gain weight after going gluten free because if you are a true celiac, you have not been able to digest/absorb your food properly since you villi has flattened and nutrient absorption is poor. Once the villi regenerate and are healthy again, you begin to absorb food like a normal healthy gut should. Your post celiac diagnosis weight gain has nothing to do with what you are eating, it is that you are absorbing EVERY THING that you eat.

      Amanda Onus says:

      HI Susan, I live in Australia and was diagnosed with Coeliac disease just before Christmas. I had an initial weight lose for the first couple of weeks but I am slowly gaining weight, whilst I’m not huge I would definitely like to loose 4 kg. I live on a farm so I am able to eat unprocessed foods. Could you explain to me a bit more about the after diagnoses weight gain? Many thanks I am enjoying reading you blog with you suggestions. Cheers Amanda

  3. 3
    Amy says:

    Isn’t Breyer’s also GF?!

  4. 4

    Yes this was an informative news segment, but I WAS SO EXCITED TO SEE YOU ON TV!!! Good job! Wow…I knew you when…

  5. 5
    Helemarie Reavis says:

    Thank youKelly, Loved this,and I’ve posted it on my facebook , for my friends to read. I also need to lose some weight, Since I have Celiac Disease. I’m so excited about the new class, please keep us inform.
    thank you sweetie,♥

  6. 6
    Stephanie says:

    I totally fell into the trap described in this news clip after going gluten-free (sensitivity, not celiac). I was so excited to find breads, pastas, cookies, etc that I could eat that I went to town…even though I didn’t regularly eat those things before going gluten free. As a result, I did gain some wait initially. Once it sunk in that a cookie is a cookie regardless of whether it has wheat flour or rice flour, I shifted my behavior. Since then, I’ve maintained a relatively healthy gluten free diet…losing (and keeping off) about 10-15 lbs and, with exercise, losing 13 lbs of body fat!! 🙂

  7. 7

    I did indeed loose some weight when I went gluten free, yikes, over twenty-five years ago. There were almost no gluten-free products available then. Now I bake with gluten free flour occasionally and do my best to stay sugar free. Much more challenging!!

  8. 8
    Kristin says:

    When in first cut gluten out of my diet, I made a trip to Whole Foods and bought just about every gluten free product in the store. When I got home and unloaded my groceries I was really disappointed because I ended up with a bunch of processed foods that I wouldn’t normally eat (frozen meals, chips, muffins, cookies etc.) I didn’t know a lot about going gluten free and it took me about 2-3 months before I learned that my options weren’t restricted to prepared foods. I ended up losing a lot of weight because we eat out most nights because of our busy schedules and my options were limited. Plus, I didn’t touch most of the things I would buy in the store. I bought the Lagasse girls’ cookbook and found your blog and it really changed my perspective. We now try to cook during weeknights. But, I have to say, going gluten free caused me to lose about 10 pounds and even though I’m eating better, 6 months later I have not gained any of it back.

  9. 9
    Dan Sullivan says:

    News! They’re looking for a contradiction to hook viewers and sell ads. But really:

    Just because some gluten free products have higher sugar doesn’t mean GF is bad (for dieting or any intent). It just means those products aren’t good for dieting. Ice cream is bad for a losing weight!? No way!

    Just because marketers mark products GF that always were doesn’t make them bad either; it makes GF shopping easier.

    GF is solid, this news article is a bit self-serving ABC news. Keep up the great work.

  10. 10
    Concetta says:

    There’s no magic formula that says you’re going to gain OR lose weight when you get the celiac diagnosis. I got it and did neither, but my health improved as I absorbed the proper nutrients. That’s what its about – fixing your health, not gaining or losing weight.

    Kelly, you sounded fine, though you are right, you did get a bit of a VG accent going! Thank you for standing up for us and saying what properly needs to be said!

    Eating only substitutes = a food swap, not a change for better health.

  11. 11
    Sara says:

    Once I went wheat-free I dropped about 5 pounds. I did it for healthy eating not because of celiacs. I tried going vegetarian first and dropped 5 pounds also with food pairing and macronutrient order of eating, but I like my meat too much. So I ended up down 5 pounds and eating more of a paleo diet. Sometimes have rice crackers or something similar but try to stay away from most processed foods.

  12. 12
    Patricia Waldrop says:

    I lost weight after diagnosed. Mainly due to limitations of what can eat. I lost about 20 pounds. I never had to cook prior to this and it has been quite a challenge to find good tasting foods.
    Thanks for your blog.

  13. 13
    Charlene says:

    Sorry I missed u! I was diagnosed about 8 yrs ago.s so hard t fnd tasty hinges Al’s bought lots of processed food, so now I have to keep an eye on carbs. & sugar. It’s hard. Bu we have t get more people aware…..

  14. 14
    Mary McGuire says:

    I had to be gluten free over 10 years ago. To think that someone goes on this diet to loose weight is crazy. Try traveling in France and not able to eat bread! As a Celiac I could loose weight, all I have to do is eat wheat again. My mother was undiagnosed for over 10 years. By the time there was more research and her gluten intolerance was found, she had gone from a size 16 to a size 10 with the start of severe osteoporosis.

  15. 15
    Alison says:

    I lost about 25 pounds without even trying when I went gluten-free. And I needed to lose those 25 pounds, so I was very happy.

    But I think it’s a myth that you will lose weight if you have intestinal malabsorption, and will gain weight if that is corrected by a gf diet. There is clearly a subset of us who GAIN weight with intestinal malabsorption.

    Few things are more frustrating than trying to convince a doctor that you are following a strict low-calorie, low-fat diet and exercising strenuously and still gaining weight, only to have the doctor not believe you and even mock you.

    Hopefully, that might change as more doctors see their over-weight patients lose weight on a gf diet.

    Oh, and I didn’t even try to stay low-cal or low-fat on the gf diet. And I still lost 25 pounds very quickly.

    Kelly, the valley girl thing was really interesting. You kinda combined the “valley girl lift” with “vocal fry” at the end of every sentence! Then again, the doctor they interviewed did the same thing, so whatever.

    If you are not familiar with the term “vocal fry:” http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/01/07/vocal_fry_and_valley_girls_why_old_men_find_young_women_s_voices_so_annoying.html

  16. 16

    I lost 7 pounds in the first week of being gluten free and a total of 22 pounds in the first year. However, I went from a whole foods diet that included gluten and dairy to a whole foods diet that didn’t include gluten or dairy (shortly to follow cutting out soy and egg whites). You can’t eat processed foods and expect to eat a healthy diet.

  17. 17
    Steve says:

    Gluten Free is not only about weight loss. I am surprised that the medical issues that are brought upon by genetically modified seeds were not part of this story. This also is fueling the Gluten Free boom. These seeds are causing the a lot if intolerance issues with wheat, rye and barley that people have. I think this issue should have been mentioned so the public is more aware of this underlining problem that exists and is causing medical issues in today’s living environment. By the way you were a great part of this TV piece. Congrats!!!

  18. 18
    Cass says:

    I was born with Celiac and diagnosed before age 2. This was due to a very sharp pediatrician. When I was around 10, in the 70’s, I ate a pb&j sandwich at camp and wondered if I was going to die or something. Nothing happened. I ate regular food, including soy, dairy and wheat (my folks thought I’d grown out of it) for decades.

    Then it came back with a vengeance in my early forties. Again I was very lucky to find a smart GI specialist. Biopsy confirmed it. Now even a trace of gluten will wipe me out. One bummer about this is how expensive it is to be GF. And time consuming. The upshot is after reading Wheat Belly by William Davis MD my husband has joined me. He wants to lose weight so I don’t prepare meals that have a lot of carbs.

    Our food has been depleted of minerals and nutritional value. I seek out the most nutritional bang for my buck – empty calories just don’t work. Occasional treats (molten flour less chocolate cake) yes! But I watch calories, too.

    I wish I’d seen Kelly’s program. Thanks for getting this out there. You rock, Valley Girl!

  19. 19
    Cass says:

    Also, to answer the question, I was initially diagnosed due to failure to thrive, extremely underweight toddler. I was a skinny kid but gained a lot of weight in my teens. When I was diagnosed the second time I was malnourished but overweight. I’m at an ideal weight now, but am careful. This Energy Breakthrough program is going to be great. Can’t wait!

  20. 20
    Linda says:

    I think that if we can tolerate whet, that a small amount here and there (like if attending a pizza party or at a pasta place) then indulge just a little. But wince wheat is no longer the wheat our grand parents ate back in the day, best to use alternatives. For instance, this morning I ground up some gluten-free oatmeal and used that as the flour to be mixed with the corn meal for corn muffins. The brown rice scare with the elevated arsenic keeps me eating brown rice pasta and breads only a few times a week now. I believe we need carbs but healthy ones.

  21. 21
    Sam 45 says:

    I think that if the general “non-Celiac” public could have an better idea of what Celiacs go through and know that not everyone wants (or can tolerate) gluten in their diet – great. That will give Celiacs more options when they go out to eat. As far as loosing weight on a gluten-free diet, only if you watch what you eat. Low or no carb works the best. You are what you eat. The Paleo diet works better for weight loss. I have been Celiac for my whole life and wasn’t diagnosed until 2000 (51 years) so I am very sensitive to gluten.

  22. 22
    Tammy Rosas says:

    I feel inspired every time i read one of your posts. Thank you… I am 53 yars old and am allergic to dairy, wheat, corn and potatoes–a great challenge for me, especially when my boyfriend and I go out to eat. often, I crave a taco or a bun on a burger or a nice piece of whole grain bread with a turkey avocado sandwich and I give in. Later, when my bowel feels swollen and painful and it even radiates to pain in my lower back, I think, “was that really worth it?” That’s where I am today, as a matter of fact…OUCH! 🙁 So, when i hear of people who are jumping on the gf diet bandwagon, and are not intolerant, I’m puzzled! Whole grain wheat in moderation is actually healthy for you with it’s fiber and bounty of B-vitamins, etc. Also, there are as many carbs to eat on a gf diet (if you know where to shop) so i think the bottom line for those who are changing to a gf diet (who do not have intolerance) is that they’re eliminating a lot of carbs by not eating bread, pasta and cookies, etc. and losing weight and the word gets out. The trick is, for those of us who are celiac and those who just want to “try it for weight loss”, whole foods with lots of veggies and healthy proteins is the way to a healthy body and in the process, you may lose some weight.
    Thank you for all that you do!

  23. 23
    Cass says:

    The hybridized wheat now grown all over the world is bad for everyone, not only those with gluten intolerance or celiac sprue. It spikes blood sugar faster and higher than pure sugar. It’s proteins bind to opiate receptors in the brain, the same ones that morphine bind to. It I indeed addictive, and causes hunger hours after consuming it. It causes inflammation and the illnesses made worse or directly result from inflammation.

    With increased cortisol in the body, the immune system is suppressed. This is not the wheat or grains grown 25 years ago. It’s Frankenwheat, stripped of nutrition, so don’t buy into
    the “healthy whole grains” campaign. It’s wrong and it’s about money, not health. Two slices of whole wheat toast will affect your blood sugar as would a tablespoonful of white sugar. The industry poured a lot of money to defeat truth in labeling, so wheat and grains can be in anything.

      Alison says:

      Cass, thank you so much for posting this.

      I am so sick of so many members of the celiac community turning on those who have found relief from various medical symptoms, INCLUDING WEIGHT GAIN–yes, that’s a medical symptom–just because they don’t have an official diagnosis of celiac. And yes, I do have a diagnosis of celiac.

      Shame on those of you who do this.

      Apparently, you’ve forgotten how many years it took YOU before you found a doctor who actually recognized that whatever your symptoms were, they had something to do with what you were putting in your mouth.

      According to the 2006 University of Chicago study, it takes an average of ELEVEN YEARS to get a correct diagnosis of celiac disease in this country. If you look at forums like glutenfreeandbeyond, you’ll notice a number of people who were tested for celiac, told that they didn’t have it, and years, even decades later, finally tested positive. You’ll also see people who have symptoms identical to those of celiac, and every bit as severe, who can’t even get a diagnosis of “gluten-intolerant.”

      Nobody should be criticizing anybody else’s motives in trying to manage their own health–which includes managing their weight.

      Yes, we all see the fad-followers who don’t know what the heck they are doing. But I know plenty of officially-diagnosed people with celiac who cheat, because they don’t have horrible reactions right away. And I know people who are careful to eat healthy and avoid gluten, because it makes them feel so much better to do so–even though they have no diagnosis.

      I think it’s time we stopped vilifying others who are at least trying–even if their efforts are incomplete and ineffective–and instead spend our energy setting a good example.

  24. 24
    Michelle says:

    When I went completely gluten-free for 30 days,I lost 10 pounds. And I mean I was STRICT about it. I also stayed away from products with nuts and most dairy. Might as well have just killed me on the spot, but our eating habits improved drastically. NOTHING processed at all: fresh fruit, veggies, and meat, all cooked at home. Of course, it’s much easier to do in the summer time. I’ve fallen off the wagon a couple times, but now, I am working at staying away from gluten free and am moderate about the amount of dariy products. The problem with GF is that people automatically think it’s healthy if it is GF. Heck, often times, especially if it is a packaged food, the GF is more “deadly” to the waist area than the original product. There are some basic steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle: cook w/ only fresh products at home; avoid fast/processed food; READ the labels; and exercise!

      Kelly says:


      Yep…cutting out gluten AND dairy and eating whole foods usually does the trick for the “last 10 lbs.”

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience!

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Kelly Courson


Thanks for stopping by! I'm Kelly Courson and this is where I've shared my gluten-free finds since 2003. The world has been my gluten-free oyster for 14 years now and I love sharing what I've learned in order to help others adapt to a gluten-free diet. Have a look around and feel free to leave a comment. Connecting with people like you is what has kept me going this long! Seriously.

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