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Gluten Free – Results and Pizza

March 6, 2013
i searched "pizza" on the internet and found this. this picture is not mine.

i searched “pizza” on the internet and found this. this picture is not mine.

Here it is folks, the results of my 6 weeks on a gluten free diet!

Pounds lost: 13.5lb
I lost a significant amount of weight the first two weeks, but this quickly tapered off to 1 lb a week for the last few weeks. Remember, the contributing factors to this weight loss were exercise 3-4 times a week and counting calories with Lose It. I may have lost the same amount if I hadn’t been working out or paying close attention to quantity, but I’m suspicious. Remember, Wheat Belly claims you can lose 14 lbs in 14 days – it took me six weeks to lose less than that, and with a lot of hard work. I will note that the first week on the diet- when I lost a whopping 6 lbs – I was not counting calories, nor was it my best workout week. So I do believe that the initial detox phase of going gluten free jump started my metabolism, which is great.

Blood Test Results:
Every year I get the same battery of tests done – my employer offers them for free. This year I planned my gluten free experiment to end on the day of the tests, to see if doing this for 6 weeks would make a measurable difference in my blood pressure, blood sugar (triglycerides), and cholesterol. My blood pressure was marginally better, but my cholesterol was marginally worse. However, my triglycerides were phenomenal, well below the “optimal” range set by the American Heart Association. Interestingly, when you have high triglycerides (I didn’t, but I still did better on this test this year), they suggest you cut out starchy foods and sugar – which is basically what the Wheat Belly diet does.  Conclusion: not a huge change after six weeks, but can clearly see the positive effect on blood sugar.

Other Results:
Cravings: My only indiscretions on this diet were some sweets on Valentine’s day, and one really good roll at dinner one night. And while I may have incessantly talked about pizza and inhaled the smells of every passing bakery with gusto, I was able to stay away from gluten-y foods. Maybe it’s because I knew there was an end date to this diet, maybe it was because I was seeing tangible results, but whatever the cause, this was one of the easier diets I have tried.

Inflammation: The Wheat Belly books claims that eliminating gluten will reduce inflammation in your body. I’ve heard this said other ways – that carbs make one look puffy, that if you want to slim down quick you should cut out sugar. I think this is true. I look and feel far less puffy, and after my workouts I feel far less sore. After my experience I would definitely suggest anyone with a chronic soreness problem give this a shot.

Overall:
A lot of people have asked me “but do you FEEL better on this diet?” It’s hard to answer that one in a vacuum. Yes, I do feel better – but why? Is it because I lost weight? Is it because I am exercising more? Is it because I just feel more energetic eating a more plant-based diet? I think it’s probably all three. The Wheat Belly cookbook claims that just by cutting out gluten one can achieve these results, and maybe you can – I certainly think it was a big contributor to the last few weeks. But it wasn’t the only factor that made me feel better.

What now?
Well first, I’m having pizza for dinner tonight. But on the whole, I’m going to be eating differently. Less pasta, bread, and red meat, more fish, vegetables, and wine- I mean fruit. I’ve got my eye on the newly hailed Mediterranean Diet, and I’d also like to try the “Fast Diet,” a new idea that intersperses two days of fasting with 5 days of regular eating. Fasting here is defined as less than 800 calories a day – which, compared to the fasts I’ve done, is luxurious. Stay tuned!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Mom permalink
    March 6, 2013 12:51 pm

    Kate,
    I am so proud of your commitment to good health and also your fortitude in completing the six weeks! You also look wonderful, but then, you always do!!
    Mom

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