Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) - And now for something completely different! Gluten Free!!!
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05-09-11, 10:51 PM
My company offered a "Well Being" program where every employee and their family (spouse and children) were offered a free health screening consisting of an online survey and blood work--all confidential! If you took advantage of the screening, you were awarded a "Well Being Day" that can be used like a vacation day any day after May 16th.
Once my wife and I got the lab work, we decided to see a new doctor. My results showed an iron deficiency. I knew I've been teetering on the low end of normal iron levels for the past few years, but this was the first time it dropped below the normal range--only by a few points.
The doctor decided to send me to a gastroenterology doctor for an endoscope to look for internal bleeding--the iron had to be going somewhere! And to look at my small intestine to see if there may be an absorption issue. He took a biopsy of my stomach to see if I had a bacteria and one of my bile to see if I had a wheat allergy.
Both biopsies came back negative. The doctor wanted to rule out the wheat issue, so he sent me for blood work. Sure enough, the blood work came back showing Celiac disease! I guess the area he took the biopsy from wasn't inflamed.
I'm kind of shocked! But it makes sense when he went over some of the symptoms--I have a few. But I was really surprised to learn that there's roughly 20% of celiac sufferers that are overweight! Because the disease can cause malabsorption and some serious digestive issues, most folks are fairly skinny. In fact, they have a tendency to gain weight when they go gluten free. In my case, the symptoms are just starting to come out and probably wouldn't lead to weight loss!
So now I need to learn to eat a different way. No wheat, barley, oats, rye, or derivatives. Maybe I can make this transition into a weight loss plan as well?
Anyone here lose weight on a gluten free diet? If so, how???
05-10-11, 12:15 AM
Don't have direct experience to answer your specific question, but do have "gluten free" experience. My brother-in-law had serious digestive problems that we thought were related to CD, but he was uninsured at that time, so he never knew for sure. As a show of support, we all educated ourselves about gluten - and in the couple years we thought he was allergic, we found more and more products that were gluten free.
We seemed to be on a "gluten free" quest whenever and wherever we shopped. We all delighted in finding yet another product that tasted good that was gluten free. I think we all ate more consciously and we all felt just a little better each time we ate completely gluten free. He eventually got health coverage through my sister's employer and found out he did not have CD. He is one of those guys who is genetically skinny, but he felt and looked much better when he was eating gluten free. Through his experience eating GF he learned a great deal about diet and nutrition - and while he still eats crappy on occasion, his experience eating more healthily inspired him to be more conscious about his diet generally - and his reward has been increased energy.
Good luck! The variety of products and number of alternatives to gluten are growing incredibly - at least so out here on the west coast. At the very least I think you can expect increased energy once your system adapts to nutrition that your GI system is better able to handle. I wouldn't be concerned too much with whether or not gluten directly will mean weight loss or gain for you. At least now you know how to best nourish for your body for those bike rides!! :thumb:
05-10-11, 11:21 AM
I've been gluten free (and MOSTLY dairy free) for almost a year and I've been losing weight the whole time. I'd recommend taking a look at the Paleo diet as a good starting point if you are going to go gluten free cold turkey, whcih you really should do ASAP if you have Celiacs. Paleo is a high protein diet that doesn't allow for complex carbs, focusing instead on lots of vegies and moderate amounts of fruit while eliminating processed sugars. The diet may sound strange and counter-productive, but I think it can lead you (eventually) towards a diet that avoids gluten while minimizing carbs that aren't quality calories in your diet. I hope that makes sense...
05-10-11, 12:24 PM
Yea. I agree with taking a look at the Paleo Diet. It's definitely not for everyone, and I'm sure different people react differently. My experience with it has been pretty overwhelming. I rode my bike FL-CA last spring, then did the Pacific coast mid to late summer. I didn't think once about calories or what I was eating. When I got home, and started up grad school in September, I rode my bike very sporadically, and started putting some weight back on. By Thanksgiving I was over 200 lbs(have always been around 175), not exactly thrilled about it. Decided I wanted to do collegiate racing, so I started training Dec. 1. By the beginning of Jan I was still high 190's. Mid-January I went Paleo, pretty much cold-turkey, and pretty strict. The weight started to melt away at a surprising rate. And I never once felt I was getting weaker, and looking at power files, I've been getting stronger. I eat a lot of veggies (broccoli, carrots, zucchini...) and lean meats (turkey, chicken, occasional steak,...), fruits as snacks, cashews, eggs are about the only dairy I eat, drink lots of water, the occasional green tea or decaf coffee. But I've never felt better. The weight loss has definitely been noticeable, but not to the point that I look emaciated(I was in a bad motorcycle accident a few years ago and dropped like 40lbs, but looked anorexic, so my fam and friends have made a point to say I still look really healthy and are supportive of my new lifestyle). As I sit here right now, I'm on the verge of breaking into the 150's.
05-10-11, 12:49 PM
Oh - I forgot to mention that I have dropped form 315 pounds to 235 lbs in the last year and a half. Much of that (most?) has been due to dietary changes, but I'm also getting a lot more exercise (walking, biking, crossfit, etc) than I did when I was 315 and pretty sedentary. I don't follow a hardcore Paleo diet most of the time, but I do find that cutting back on carbs really helps accelerate my fat loss process. Obviously your mileage may vary!
05-10-11, 01:02 PM
When you go to restaurants, ask for the gluten free menu; you'll be surprised how many restaurants have one.
05-10-11, 01:21 PM
I'm working on an elimination diet right now to determine WTF I'm allergic to, and two of the first things I cut out are dairy and gluten. I'm feeling a little better (only 4 days into it) and not having some of the reactions I was after meals, so maybe one of those two has been the primary culprit.
I'll be keeping a watch on this thread for further info since it looks like I'm headed this direction, too.
05-10-11, 01:32 PM
one of the best online stores is vitacost for gluten free products..
05-10-11, 01:44 PM
So there appears to be a common thread, no pun intended, but if we look back in history, my guess is most diets were paleo oriented. What did most of the farmers and settlers eat...meat and veggies, very rarely was bread eaten and absolutely no processed crap. I think we probably all know that it seems to be the processed crap (not to mention desk jobs) that is make us fat...well I shouldn't speak for the rest of you but for me. The ND told me...leans and greens...seems pretty paleo to me.
In restautants be VERY WARY of the little hand written note like "Try our gluten free pizza." My daughter has been eating gluten free due to allergy. She has had near seizures from gluten. She is very aware of what to look for.
Gluten free is becoming popular these days. There is a big difference between someone who is gluten free by choice and one who is by allergy. Like has been said a printed official looking menu is a good sign. Some places will have the Manager over-see the food prep and accompany the server to ensure the food stays gluten free. Real good.
I have a friend who also has Celiac's. He said of all places Disney World is great for anyone with a food allergy.
05-10-11, 10:13 PM
I have a friend that's going to school (starting his clinical in the next few months) to be an Osteopath. He suggested the Paleo path as well. Chris is an Ultra Runner that doesn't need to shed a pound and needs a lot of calories to keep up with his high mileage training and is Paleo. I need to get a better look at it.
Where do the carbs come from? I'm assuming veggies and fruit. But what do you take in on long rides? I now have to give up my normal Clif Bar and find something GF.
I'm also amazed at how many things in our lives contain gluten! It's everywhere! And not just in the wheat, barley, and oat form. It's in caramel coloring, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, and a ton of other additives to normal life. And sometimes it's hard to tell by the ingredient list. There's vegetable broth listed on the cans of tuna we have in the pantry. That vegetable broth may contain some form of gluten.
I really appreciate all the support and replies. I'd like to know more about the on the bike nutrition as a Paleo follower.
05-12-11, 07:31 AM
Larabars are gluten free, and pretty tasty. I have been eating the chocolate chip cookie dough ones for a while. As the temps are rising though, I've noticed they become kind of melty on hotter rides, I think due to the chocolate. Haven't really tried any others. Maybe ones without chocolate would hold up better. I also think Clif has started making some gluten free bars as well.
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