In addition to having Celiac disease for most of my adult life, I also suffer from a very serious condition called “carbius addictus” – also known in lay terms as carb addiction. I have never been one of those skinny girls that couldn’t keep an ounce of fat on them…I’ve always been “average” weight or on the higher end of average. As I discover more and more delicious gluten free foods over the years (and my post-30 metabolism kicks in) my weight has started to slowly creep up over the last few months. Everywhere I turn there is a new gluten free pizza restaurant or new gluten free recipe that I have to try, and it dawned on me a few weeks ago that 90% of my diet consisted of carbs, which is why I could no longer button my pants. 🙂
I know, I know, there are a million foods out there that are naturally gluten free, but I got lazy when it came to my gluten free staples. I was stuck in my “go to” gluten free foods, that I realized weren’t exactly the healthiest. A bowl of cereal for breakfast, homemade quesadilla or gfree PBJ for lunch, gluten free nut bar for snacks, and gluten free pasta with meat sauce for dinner. There were one or two variations on this menu and my food life had frankly become stale and it was my hips that were suffering.
My other affliction was the “but it’s gluten free” disease. I felt so deprived when I would see others noshin’ down bagels or donuts, etc…that when I finally got my grubby little hands on something gluten free, I didn’t just eat one piece – I ate the whole pan/box/bag/bowl….you get the picture. Why? Because it was gluten free and safe for me to eat!
So, I finally sucked it up a few weeks ago and started Weight Watchers again. I used the program a number of years ago ago in my pre-Celiac days (and a few times post-diagnosis) and found it very successful, so I figured I’d go back again and give it a shot and just modify the items I was eating and expand my food comfort zone. And that’s where I saw just how many calories my carb-laden gluten free goodies had! In the last few weeks I’ve lost almost 5 pounds by just cutting back on the safe prepackaged “gluten free” foods and getting out of my menu rut. I’ve been doing low carb by accident really, and started venturing into lower calorie foods like cottage cheese, steak and veggie kabobs, tuna salads, baked chicken, eggs on toast, and eating apples for snacks instead of a prepackaged snack bar that falls under the gluten free label. Yep, you guessed it, foods that are all naturally gluten free (and coincidentally low-carb) for the most part.
Overall, I’m thrilled to be trying new foods that I seemingly forgot about over the years, but man, I could kill for a gluten free cupcake (or 3!) right now! If you’re interested in trying out Weight Watchers to get rid of a few of those post-diagnosis pounds, I would suggest it, but it’s important to note that they do not support or endorse a gluten free diet. I started a Yahoo group called Gluten Free Weight Watchers in 2005 and there are 700 members in the group that share meal ideas and give support where Weight Watchers won’t. If you need a little extra help you can also find info on the discussion threads at WeightWatchers.com.