If you're considering weight-loss diet options, you may have heard about the gluten-free diet, which has been endorsed by several celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, as a way to lose weight and flatten your stomach. There's no medical evidence showing that eating gluten-free can lead to weight loss beyond what you'd expect with other diets. However, in some specific cases, a gluten-free diet can help you shed pounds and flatten your stomach.
Physicians prescribe a gluten-free diet for people who have been diagnosed with celiac disease, a hereditary condition in which the protein gluten, found in the grains wheat, barley and rye, attacks parts of your intestines, according to the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. However, the diet has gained popularity for weight loss, which has led to a proliferation of gluten-free products on the market. Oprah claims that a 21-day gluten-free diet contributed to toning, stomach flattening and weight loss for her.
If you have celiac disease, you likely can count stomach bloating among your many symptoms. According to the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue and nausea represent some of the most common signs of celiac disease. Once you've been diagnosed with the condition and begin to follow a gluten-free diet, these symptoms, especially the bloating, will begin to subside. So, if you have celiac disease, a gluten free diet almost certainly will flatten your stomach.
About 20 million Americans may have some symptoms of celiac disease -- including bloating -- without the characteristic intestinal damage necessary to diagnose the condition, according to the "Wall Street Journal" article, "Giving Up Gluten to Lose Weight? Not So Fast." If you're one of these gluten-sensitive individuals, trying a gluten-free diet may help to flatten your stomach by eliminating digestive issues, including gas, caused by gluten.
If you don't have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, you may still be able to flatten your stomach and lose weight on a gluten-free diet, but only if you don't replace your gluten-containing staples such as bread, cookies, crackers and cereal with gluten-free processed alternatives. According to the "Wall Street Journal" article, many of these gluten-free foods include tons of fat, sugar and simple carbohydrates, and can be higher in calories than products made with wheat.
If you want to try eating gluten-free to flatten your stomach and lose weight, your best bet is to focus on naturally gluten-free foods while cutting calories and watching fat grams. Naturally gluten-free foods include all fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains such as quinoa and brown rice, and lean cuts of meat and fish, according to Colorado State University. If you're committed to eating completely gluten-free, you also need to watch out for hidden gluten in foods like creamy soups, soy sauce and salad dressings.