Five Things I learned Going Gluten-Free

0 Comment

I’m Drew Manning. A lot of people know me as the “Fit2Fat2Fit Guy”, you know, that guy who gained 75 pounds on purpose and lost it again? Well, I had another health journey that I tried recently and I wanted to share with you – I went gluten free.

With all the hype in the industry moving towards certain groups of foods – GMO free, organic, grass-fed, I wondered if gluten free was just yet another buzzword in the corporate scheme of selling to consumers. So I put it to the test to show people just how unhealthy it can be if you do it the wrong way. For two months, I ate only gluten free products.

Here are five things I learned while going gluten-free:

1: It’s possible to GAIN weight on a gluten-free diet.

Most people hear the word diet and assume it means weight loss. That’s why I prefer to call what I eat a “lifestyle change” – get rid of the connotation that you’ll automatically lose weight. Because guess what? I went gluten-free, and I gained 20 pounds and doubled my body fat percentage (7.4% to 14.8%) while eating only gluten free foods even though I exercised 3 times per week!

2: Gluten-free doesn’t come cheap.

Even though it was easy to shop for and find gluten free items, my grocery bills were immensely higher sticking to a gluten-free diet, making this a meal plan that not everyone can easily afford.  Gluten-free products are up to 5 times more expensive than their non gluten-free counterparts.

3. There is gluten-free version everything.

Love pizza? There’s gluten-free pizza for that. Can’t give up your breads, pastas and beloved cereals? Yep, there’s gluten-free options for all of those too. Pretty much any food you love, there is guaranteed going to be a gluten-free variation of it that (most of the time) tastes pretty similar to the foods you love (except there’s a slight “cardboard-ish” taste to a lot of it). The gluten-free section at the grocery store seems to keep growing and growing every time I go back.

4. There is definitely a need for gluten-free.

Considering the fact that 1 in 133 Americans suffers from Celiac Disease (that’s 1% of the population), and that 83% are still undiagnosed, there is definitely a need to be educated and aware of gluten intolerances. With the proper diagnosis, care, and nutrition Celiac sufferers can lead a very healthy, happy lifestyle.

5. Eating “whole foods” is usually a better option.

For the last two months of my gluten-free journey, I stopped searching out the gluten-free labels and stuck to old-school, unprocessed foods. I looked for meats, nuts, seeds, fruit and vegetables, especially what was in season at the time. Think “Farm-to-table” here. If you can pull it out of the ground, wash it off and dish it up? That’s pretty much what I ate. These foods didn’t need a “gluten-free” label on them.  I didn’t lose the entire 20 pounds that I gained, but it did start coming off and I wasn’t feeling as sluggish as I was on the gluten-free foods. (I lost 18 of the 20 pounds and got back down to 10% body fat).

I hope this helps you consider if gluten-free is a good option for you and your family. Always remember – eating healthy needs to be an educated decision and should be considered a lifestyle change, not a fad to help you lose weight.

Drew Manning is the owner of, and author of “Fit2Fat2Fit: The Unexpected Lessons from Gaining and Losing 75 lbs on Purpose.” He is a husband, father of two daughters, and has a passion for fitness and health and loves helping others succeed with their fitness goals.  

Related posts

Drew vs. Starbucks

19 Dec, 2018

Kicking Diabetes through the Keto

27 Nov, 2018

Keto-Friendly Pumpkin Cheesecake

03 Nov, 2018

Leave a comment