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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Gluten Free Detox

As some of you may know, I embarked on a lofty lent journey by giving up gluten for the whole six weeks. I am a serious foodie and rarely does a day go by that I don't indulge in some form of a carb binge, so this was huge for me. And I didn't even cheat!

The first few days were tough learning what I could and couldn't eat (and I initially gave up dairy too which quickly ended when I realized how hard the two would be). In the end, I lost 8 pounds and felt great. What I realized, though, was that it wasn't necessarily the gluten that made me "lose weight." It was more about the restriction of carbs for six weeks that made a huge impact (and yes- no beer was allowed!). I could still eat things like rice and potatoes, which I would normally cut out if I was doing a low-carb or no-carb diet, and I think had I cut out all carbs I would have lost even more weight.

In terms of how my body felt, it felt how it does when I give up carbs -- not bloated. Some people with a gluten allergy or intolerance describe a number of ailments going away but I didn't experience this. I found a lot of great recipes from Paleo websites. Paleo is essentially a "cave man" diet where you don't have to restrict how much you eat but rather what you eat. Processed foods are a no go and dairy, grains, alcohol and starches are supposed to be limited.This is an awesome diet and healthy lifestyle choice and I would recommend it to anyone looking to lose weight, keep it off and improve overall health.

So what do I do now that I'm done? I plan on continuing to eat a limited amount of gluten/carbs and try to adhere to an 80/20 diet (80% of the time I'm good and 20% I can cheat). This way I don't feel deprived and I also don't gain back 8 pounds that I worked for six weeks to lose. You can find paleo recipes on pinterest, Paleo OMG, Nom Nom Paleo, and other websites.

I'm also a huge fan of the Dukan Diet, which is a diet plan split into 4 phases, the first is an all meat and non-fat dairy phase, the second adds in non-starchy vegetables and the third and fourth re-introduce whole grains, full-fat cheeses, fruits and indulgences. This diet has worked the best for me in the past and I was never hungry on it. Have you tried any successful diets recently or gone gluten free?

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