The Truth About Losing Weight On a Gluten-Free Diet

It’s no secret that gluten-free is on the rise, but is eating gluten free good for those trying it just to lose weight? We found this well-researched article from the Wall Street Journal that will answer all the questions you may have about gluten, gluten-free and your health. After you read the article let us know what you think by leaving a comment on our blog. “Giving Up Gluten to Lose Weight? Not So Fast”

“Gluten-free foods are everywhere these days—but they’re much more than just a health craze.


How widespread are gluten-free foods? Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, sells gluten-free hot dogs and beer.




The bevy of new products, from gluten-free pasta to pizza and beer, are a boon to people with celiac disease, wheat allergies or gluten sensitivity who are on very restrictive diets. That group has grown dramatically in recent decades, for reasons not understood.

Are they beneficial to everyone else? Probably not.

The notion that a gluten-free diet can help people lose weight or avoid carbohydrates is a myth. “Many packaged gluten-free products are even higher in carbs, sugar, fat and calories than their regular counterparts, and they tend to be lower in fiber, vitamins and iron,” says Shelley Case, a registered dietician on the medical advisory board of the Celiac Disease Foundation. “Gluten-free does not mean nutritious,” she notes.”-Melinda Beck @ Wall Street Journal, Health Journal

To read more of this insightful article explaining the wheat free celiac diet click here.

23 responses to “The Truth About Losing Weight On a Gluten-Free Diet”

  1. Connie says:

    I hear all of you! When I was diagnosed I weighed 95 lbs and a size 0…I didn’t even know that was a size. I gained enough back to look healthy enough about 15lbs but I must say discovering gluten free food has now put me way over what I’ve ever been in my life. Unhappy but honest enough to know I shouldn’t eat all four Udi’s blueberry muffins in two days!! I can’t blame the food, only myself – you have to limit yourself and Exercise!
    Happy Holidays

  2. Kirblar says:

    I lost 50+ lbs when I switched to the diet- but it wasn’t because of the foods I was eating. It was because I was CONSTANTLY hungry as food would rapidly pass through my system. So I ended up eating all the time, because my body wanted nutrients! But now because my body’s actually processing the food I’m eating, I’m eating a normal amount of food, and the weight came off naturally.

  3. Kaity. says:

    This article wasn’t saying that those with sensitivities won’t lose weight, just that those that think this is the new Atkins diet won’t lose weight. It is more common to lose weight if you are gluten free medically because your body is healing and you are getting healthy and likely more active because you feel better.

  4. Sarah says:

    It isn’t eliminating gluten that helps non sensitive/celiac people lose weight-its paying attention to what you eat. I had a cousin who would swear by a different elimination diet (no carbs, no sugar, and for a odd phase no red fruits or veggies) every other month. She would then complain "the effect wear off after you are on it a few weeks". She never made the connection that for the first month or so she was carefully reading the labels of everything and paying attention to how often she snacked. After a while she would find a "safe" snack and eat it mindlessly. With the possible exception of celery, anything you eat as a "default action" when bored is going to cause you to gain weight.

  5. Malessia Mason says:

    I have Celiac Dis. I have to drive 70miles round trip. to get to a store that sells UDI’S products. They are the best. Love the Pizza crust and the breads. Hope you come out with more products. Wish we could get them in grocery stores where I live. thank malessia

  6. wendy says:

    I have gained weight due to the fact that all the products are high calorie,fat and high impact carbs! ugggg! How do you fatten up cows and pigs for market? feed them corn! Well I am ready for market! Lol! White rice is horrible for blood sugar and most products are out of rice flour. Just diagnosed and having a very hard time with this ^$%#*^&)*& celiac %$*it.back to veggies and fish, chicken.

  7. gluten free dieter says:

    I’ve been on Weight Watchers for over a year. A few months ago I was diagnosed with celiac disease. Because I am on Weight Watchers, I still have to watch calories, fat, and fiber grams and do find gluten free products to be higher in fat. Udi’s is actually very reasonable and easier for me to fit in to my plan than other gluten free baked goods. However, the baked goods are still a special treat. Bottom line, I haven’t lost weight more quickly or more slowly on a gluten free diet. It has always been slow loss, and it is still slow loss!

  8. Sherry says:

    I was recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease (March 2010) and prior to the diagnosis I had lost about 40lbs- probably in part due to the celiac, but since being on a GF diet I have unfortunatley gained back about 12-14 lbs and I am very unhappy about this. I know that it cannot be from the consumption of GF products because the only GF product I eat is the bread and even then it’s not often. I cannot afford to but the GF products- so I just eat the foods that are naturally gluten free!

  9. Mary Held says:

    Agreed, gluten free is not less calories. you have to watch the calories.If you know what calories you need to maintain your body, you need to not exceed that amount. Balance of it all is the name of the game.

  10. Laura Bilger says:

    I gained about 70 pounds in the first year after going gf. I amhealthy, but now I am overweight. I have struggled with my weight ever since, but wouldn’t trade it for being skinny and sickly.

  11. Erin Elberson says:

    I have long said that a gluten free diet, the same as any diet, can be used for weight loss. In fact, for those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance there is no choice but to use a gluten free diet for weight loss, if weight loss is their goal. However, there is nothing inherently healthier or lower calorie about "gluten free." If you choose a diet primarily of naturally gluten free, nutrient dense food, then you may lose weight. But calories matter, and if you take in more calories than you expend you will gain weight-gluten free or not.

  12. Marta says:

    I’ve just recently discovered my gluten intolerance, and agree that many commercially available GF products are higher in calories & carbs than the similar regular items and many seem to have little or no fiber; so I have not lost weight. I’ve been careful of additives for years because of other sensitivities, and as I move towards preparing most of my own foods from raw/natural/organics, I hope to drop some pounds. I ultimately will probably make my own cereals and baked goods so I can add flax meal and rice fiber as needed.

  13. PSJohnston says:

    I am gluten intolerant. Since I am also diabetic I can not eat an excess of the gluten free foods, such as baked goods. I have to watch my carbs so I can only eat small amounts. I think you might lose weight because you immediately can’t eat regular bread, cake, cookies, pasta, pizza. You need to eat a lot of the naturally gluten free foods, especially vegetables. You need to make healthy choices whether g-f or not.

  14. Debbie Seymour says:

    Wow wish I could loose weight on this gluten free diet, but I’ve had to watch EVERYTHING I eat to loose any. I’ve went from unexplained weight loss to once diagnosed to gaining extra weight from changing my diet!! I continue to struggle with my weight and hope that someday soon I will get it off. I do know that I feel better then before I was diagnosed with celiac disease.

  15. melissa says:

    I am not gluten intolerant, but was put on a gluten free diet due to my RA. To my surprise and my doctors, I was pain free in just 3 days of starting the diet. I have however, tested it by eating gluten purposely and my pain was back the next day. I had no idea ingesting gluten could cause other problems. I have not lost any weight, although I was secretly hoping to. It can be challenging at times, but Udi’s makes it MUCH easier.

  16. Laura says:

    My son lost weight after going gluten free. Once his body stopped attacking itself, his metabolism stabilized, he began absorbing the nutrients from the food he was eating and so was not always hungry. I eat gluten free because everyone in my house is celiac, and I have not lost any weight – I find that most GF foods are higher in calories than regular foods!

  17. Mary Canevari says:

    Because I have celiac disease I must adhere to a gluten free diet 24/7. Thanks to all the wonderful gf foods that are available, I have to watch my weight just like most people do. The are tons of gf foods that are deliciously high in calories/fat and I love too many of them! Upon receiving my diagnosis 28 years ago, the first thing I said to my doctor was, "This means I can still eat tamales!" Tamales are definitely not low in calories/fat, but they sure are tasty!

  18. Kathy Anderson says:

    I have lost 50 lbs., but I deal with multiple food sensitivities. I went gluten-free first before I discovered other sensitivities and lost about 25 lbs. I am over-the-top sensitive to wheat, and ALL other grains are problematic, but not as bad. It"s all very hit-or-miss, but extremely serious. I have NO intestinal issues–just neurological

  19. Joan Fuller says:

    this is good for people to be informed of the distinction here. for folks with gluten sensitivities, thank goodness there is devotion to gluten-free alternatives. But for folks that are exercising their efforts in another arena, it’s important to know that this selection is likely counter-productive.

  20. Linda Filman says:

    Yes < I have lost weight by being on the gluten free diet..but not by choice! It is rather the necessity of my digestive system that has enforced my diet change. Abdominal comfort and other nasty dilemmaspersist when eating wheat and gluten containing foods and i do take supplements to add the vitamins missing from these foods. Its not the best way to lose weight! Believe me!!

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