You probably are well aware of the gluten free crazy going on at the moment. Typically those with celiac disease and wheat allergies are treated for their condition by avoiding foods with wheat. This cuts out so much food that we normally eat. Our diet has slowly evolved into more and more processed food over time and gluten is used as an additive in many of those foods. Because this limited the amount of food that was able to be consumed, people began losing weight just because they ate gluten free. This started a craze where people without allergies or celiac disease began following the same diet plan so they could lose weight too. When you are limited on what foods you can and cannot eat, it’s amazing what it will do for your waistline. But what happened to the low fat and the low carb diets has now happened to the gluten free diets. Food manufacturers saw this and took full advantage of it.
Just a little disclaimer here: For those with celiac disease and legitimate wheat allergies, this article is not for you. It’s simply for those who jumped on the bandwagon because they felt that gluten was the reason they couldn’t lose weight in the past.
So shopping in a grocery store and going out to eat at a restaurant became much more difficult when you are trying to eat gluten free. Many of the junk food purchases you made in the past were just not an option. You had to stick to whole foods, read labels, eat at home more often, and be careful to pay attention to your diet. It really was a great thing because you end up eating really clean and your body does respond to that. So we begin to equate gluten free foods with being healthy for us. And for a time, they were. But then food manufacturers saw the money making opportunity. “If people will only eat foods that are gluten free, let’s make the foods they are accustomed to eating gluten free. ” Before you know it, you can now find cookies, brownies, and various other foods available in gluten free packages. I’m not sure how, but somehow these were suddenly accepted as being good for you. But it’s simply not true. You have to realize that gluten free foods are for specific health conditions. Now don’t get me wrong, if you choose to eat gluten free, it’s not a horrible thing. It’s not that gluten is the most important element you should put in your body, but you do need to understand how everything fits together.
When the latest trend comes about (gluten free, fat free, low carb, etc..) realize that the majority of the time, the lack of selection has a huge impact on the effect it has on people. We have a limited selection process and can’t help but lose weight. But as time goes on and more foods are manufactured to fit that new diet plan, food manufacturers begin to find ways to sell you something that fits. Do you remember the Snackwell’s low carb cookies? I do. I thought I had found the perfect food. I got to eat cookies AND they were healthy for me! I couldn’t have been more wrong. Things like this have no nutritional value for our body. We have to be smart about the latest trend and advertising. When you heat about a certain type of diet that causes weight loss, think about why people are losing weight on it. The most important thing to realize is the root of the problem.
So what’s the secret? What is the perfect diet? I would say the perfect diet that gradually takes you closer and closer to eating real, nutritious, healthy food. It doesn’t have to perfect right away, but it does need to be something you can stick with and maintain for the rest of your life. I never said you are not allowed to have a cookie the rest of your life, but I will say that as you steer your habits away from foods like that, you will lose your craving for them. Shocking, right? But it’s true.
The trend I am starting to hear among some of my clients is getting away from processed foods. They are just refusing to eat them. I have tried to think of a way that food manufacturers would take advantage of this new trend, but at this point, I don’t know how they can. My clients are eating less processed sugar and instead are consuming more fruits and vegetables. As a bonus they are also leaning up more than they ever have been. I’m sure at least one of them will comment on this article with their experience with it, so I will let them do the talking on that part.
My goal isn’t to make you feel bad or to discourage you. I was one of those hooked on the Snackwell’s years ago, so I’ve been there. I just want you to think about what you are doing and how it is affecting your health over the long-term. Be smart about the things you put your time and energy in to. Trying to follow a gluten free diet to lose weight and convincing yourself that gluten free brownies are good for you is a travesty. Take the time to make good, positive, healthy changes and take baby steps to a healthy life. You can do this. Just take it one step at a time.
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