Diets can make you feel like Tom Hanks on Castaway, stranded on a desert island. You feel like you’re eating alone in a corner with crazy eyes so you don’t make a mistake. You have to act like you are quarantined with some weird disease or ailment. You may climb just about anything to find fruit. When you are on a diet you have to tell your friends so they don’t pressure you into eating whatever pizza, pasta and/or baked goods they spring out on a rainy Saturday night. You don’t tell them because you want to, like you don’t really want to announce to the world, “hey, I think my tummy has gone totally out of control and I’m going to need to do something about it, nod if you agree”. You don’t really want to see the silent agreement in their eyes. But you NEED to tell them for your own safety.
About five weeks ago I reached “that point” (and my dieter friends all know what I mean by that) and cut gluten completely out of my diet for what I planned on being 2 week fast. I can’t explain the reason on that day of all days I just decided. I was struggling to limit carbs and I thought maybe a fast or elimination would help me get started to a lower calorie or lower carb diet. I also was feeling very tired all the time and wondered if my gluten intake had anything to do with it. I’ve now reached a month and now have to decide whether to continue or introduce some wheat products back into my routine.
- Energy. I was feeling exhausted and fatigued around 4pm every day and usually after I ate. Since going on this fast I haven’t felt exhausted after eating at all. I haven’t felt the 4pm slump on most days. I have felt more consistent energy.
- Skin. it’s improved in its moisture…this one is still baffling me and I need to continue to see if any other factors are contributing to this.
- Cravings. I’ve noticed that when I crave food now…I’m craving good things. I would normally think of a scone or a muffin if I am hungry but now I think of fresh foods or proteins.
- Poufiness. (yes, this is a word). I’ve noticed less poufiness in my face, hands, neck and tummy.
- Weight loss. I have definitely lost weight but not as extreme as I have noticed in others who try gluten free.
- Chips. Popcorn, chips and french fries are often gluten free…this is tempting because that’s a quick “go-to” food that you can eat. The best advice I’ve heard is to stay ahead of your hunger. They’re one of the few snacks that are easy in the gluten free life but are obviously a trip up to weight loss.
- Starbucks pumpkin scone. I definitely had a moment when I saw this had come out for fall and it called to me. But it passed quickly when I thought about how tired I would be if I ate this in the afternoon.
- Planning: you have to plan ahead so you don’t get into a hangry situation or a pizza night social problem.
- We all know this person the one whose dietary restrictions are always loud and vocal. And everyone else sighs and says, “ok”. So to avoid being this friend you just have to plan ahead so as to avoid awkward social situations.
- Time. Fresh food shopping has to be done more often…so it requires a little bit of a life-schedule shift.
I want to continue this journey but I think it’s time for me to raise the bar. Watching my sugar intake is the next on my list. I need to quick get this in place before the holidays rolls around-because then my “temptation” list will be a lot longer next time. Viva la diet!