Ask The Trainer #22 – Gluten-Free Diets


Hi, Chad. I really enjoy reading your articles. I’ve found them to be quite informative. Anyways, my question is regarding gluten. I’m sitting around 13-14% body fat right now. I would like to get down to about 10%. A trainer at the gym suggested that I try going on a gluten-free diet because gluten causes fat gain. Do you think going gluten-free would help me get my body fat level down a bit more?



First of all, Aaron, I want to thank you for the positive feedback regarding my articles!

Regarding your question about whether going gluten-free would help you bring your body fat levels down, my answer to you is: YES and NO.

Let me explain. Gluten is a major component of processed foods, like TV dinners, ready-made soups, soy sauce, candies, and cold-cuts. It’s also found in many low and no-fat products, as well as cereals, bread, pizza crust, pasta, cookies, crackers, and pastries which are composed of refined grain.

When you eliminate these foods from your diet, by default, you end up cutting out primarily those refined carbohydrates most commonly associated with weight gain, obesity, and insulin resistance.

Chad Shaw

Therefore, in theory, it’s possible that switching to a gluten-free diet could help you lose fat, particularly if you’ve been eating a significant amount of refined or processed foods containing gluten.

However, if you do decide to try a gluten-free diet, you need to make sure you’re replacing the gluten-containing foods with beneficial food selections like fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and other whole foods that are not processed.

In other words, if you begin devouring loads of the gluten-free processed or refined foods that have now infiltrated virtually every supermarket in the country, there’s a good chance you won’t lose fat. In fact, you’ll actually GAIN fat instead!

Keep in mind, gluten-free cake is still cake. Gluten-free cookies are still cookies. Gluten-free donuts are still donuts. You certainly get the idea.

I remember reading one particular study involving people with Celiac Disease who followed a gluten-free diet. The results? 81 percent of these people actually gained weight after two years!

The moral of the story is that gluten-free foods are not automatically healthy or beneficial to fat loss. Their calories are still calories.

So, if you truly want to reduce your body fat levels, follow the protocols of a healthy diet and focus on consuming whole, unprocessed food choices… NOT their processed or refined alternatives.

Oh, by the way. Research has also linked gluten consumption to increased Prolactin levels in the body, a hormone that’s a well-known to reduce testosterone levels!

Prove ‘Em Wrong,
Chad Shaw

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