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Newly Diagnosed and Overweight

May 03, 2011

Question:

I just found out I have celiac. I’m 6’4” and around 400 lbs. What should I do? Can this help me lose weight?

From,

Matthew

Answer:

Hi Matthew.  If you have celiac disease, you need to eat gluten-free foods, but it is not a “weight loss” diet. It is simply removing the grains wheat, barley and rye from your diet. 

Losing weight can be achieved by eating healthful foods, controlling the amount of calories you consume, and getting some regular physical activity. The number of calories equal to one pound is 3500. That means to lose 1 pound a week, you would need to burn an extra 500 calories a day (OR eat 500 fewer calories a day). Before you begin any exercise program, you should see your physician to determine a safe level of activity for you.

Sometimes, people newly diagnosed with celiac disease gain some weight because once the intestine heals itself on a gluten-free diet, you are able to absorb more of the nutrients you are eating.  Another issue is that some of the gluten-free processed foods have more fat than their non-gluten-free equivalents. Avoid processed, high fat, and high sodium foods by consuming fruits, vegetables, gluten-free whole grains (brown rice and quinoa, for example), lean protein and low fat dairy products.

Sincerely,

Nancy Dickens, BS, RD, LDN

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