Friday, October 28, 2016

Gluten Free Update

Way back in January I decided my body needed a break from gluten, but as it turned out the addiction to bread and breakfast cereal was so strong my new diet didn't actually begin until the end of March. 

Actually, I didn't start a "new diet" per se. I just stopped eating bread and cereal but kept everything else the same. 

Well to my surprise, about the middle of April I discovered that the scalp pain and tenderness I had my entire life just disappeared completely. The bleeding patch of dry skin on my pinky knuckle that had been there for two years also cleared up in a matter of weeks. And my hair that became so dry that it only needed to be washed once a week now needs to be shampooed every other day. It's soft and shiny just like it used to be. 

There was an unexpected downside to going gluten free and that is for many months, I had a terrible case of heartburn. Personally, I think bread may absorb stomach acid, but really--I have no idea. On the other hand, I had been taking a lot of ibuprofen at that time (I quit doing that), which I later learned can also cause stomach upset so that might have been the problem, too. Either way, I'm okay now---things seemed to have balanced themselves out.

And I have lost some weight, but I want to go on the record here to let you know that a gluten free diet is not the cause for weight loss. I gained weight by eating gluten because every time I did, I had an autoimmune reaction that caused my body to dump a ton of nutrients. In its attempt to keep me alive, my body began to grab anything it could from my food intake and stored it as fat. In other words, it was the autoimmune reaction that caused my weight gain. Not the gluten itself.

But from April to mid-August, I still hardly lost any weight, and that didn't make sense to me! I eat the same thing everyday (to cut down on something called "decision fatigue" which I plan to write about soon) and constantly walk, walk, walk! 

Well, to my surprise it turned out I wasn't eating enough (so I was still storing fat, grrrr)! Why? Because for the first time in my life I haven't been hungry in between meals. Nutrients are actually staying inside of me and are doing their job. It never occurred to me I was still starving (which is why I didn't do a calorie count sooner. Under eating has literally never been an issue in my life, so I didn't expect to encounter that at this point in my life!). Once some calories were added back into my meals, the weight did start dropping off rather easily. I'm down 15 pounds now and my clothes after being too small for a couple of years are beginning to fit me just fine. 

So there you go. If you think gluten is a real problem for either yourself or someone you know, then try to go without it for a few months (it takes that long or more to see how its absence really affects your body). If there's no difference, it's better not to quit eating grain. Otherwise the best diet tip I could ever give to anyone is this: If you do nothing else, cut down on your sugar intake. Next to smoking, there doesn't seem to be anything worse for our bodies next to excessive sugar consumption. 

Take care of you and God bless! 

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