Avoiding gluten may help you lose weight and clear up your acne for so many reasons. Some people say gluten avoidance is just a trend, but I know from personal experience that leaving gluten out of my diet has helped me and so many of my clients drop weight and get smoother, more clear and even-toned skin. It’s not a trend; gluten is bad news, and not just for those with Celiac disease.

Why Going Gluten-Free Can Help You Lose Weight and Get Clear Skin

Gluten (which is the protein found in wheat, barley and rye) is extremely prevalent in many types of processed foods. You’ll find it in everything from packaged energy bars, cereals and even soy sauce. Even if you don’t think you have a problem with gluten because you feel fine after eating foods that contain it, gluten could be the culprit if you’re having trouble losing weight or getting rid of pimples/zits (ugh!). It has sticky, glue-like properties, which is not great for optimizing digestion! Not everyone with a gluten sensitivity knows they have it, and they keep dieting and trying new skin products to no avail.

Inflammation and Acne

inflamation elbowGluten sensitivity can trigger inflammation. If you’re sensitive (not the same as celiac disease or an allergy), the gluten in your food can irritate the inside and outside of the digestive tract, but it doesn’t actually destroy the intestinal wall the way Celiac disease does. The body thinks the gluten is an intruder (which, in reality it is), so it initiates an immune system response: inflammation. Inflammation doesn’t stay localized and only cause digestive discomfort. Instead, it spreads. And because there’s a link between gut health and your skin, acne appears.

Gluten Is Lurking in Foods You Shouldn’t Really Eat Anyway

condiments soyYou’ll generally lose weight and notice clearer skin when you skip the foods gluten is in simply because you’ll be eating less processed food and more whole fruits and vegetables that nourish your body. However, you will experience a decrease in inflammation and cravings for junk food may also subside. These benefits work in tandem with the superior diet to contribute to better skin and a naturally slimmer figure much more quickly and easily (and your results will be effortless to maintain!).

If you’re committed to avoiding gluten to at least give the gluten-free lifestyle a trial run, you should know that it shows up in some unexpected places, like:

  • Soy sauce (use tamari instead)
  • Some pickles (if malt vinegar was used)
  • Licorice
  • Veggie burgers (not all, but some. Check labels)
  • Processed grains (try to get oat groats or steel cut, and ones labeled as manufactured in a gluten-free facility)
  • Processed meats
  • Ice cream
  • Some soups, dressings, and sauces (including soy sauce)
  • Seitan (look out for this one!! It comes in some brand name forms now. Avoid it!)
  • Snack foods, like chips and crackers
  • Beer, unless specifically marked gluten-free

None of these have a beneficial place in a healthy diet when you’re purchasing the pre-packaged, processed version at the grocery store (like most soups, sauces, and dressings). If you want a burger without the meat, you can make your own alkaline grain burgers from millet and amaranth flour instead of taking a chance with the store-bought ones.

Leave Wheat Alone!

hands in wheatWheat is one of the biggest offenders when you’re looking at getting gluten out of your diet and keeping it away from your intestines (others are rye, spelt, and barley). Not only is the gluten an issue, but by avoiding wheat, you’re potentially helping to avoid a pull to eat more and more junk food that can lead to weight gain or at least difficulty losing extra pounds. Wheat is addictive on its own and contributes to visceral fat because of the insulin spikes it causes (nope, you’re not immune to those just by avoiding white bread!), but it also triggers you to seek out more refined carbs made with wheat flour.

When you avoid gluten, you’re avoiding all products with wheat and stopping the cycle. In turn, you’re avoiding something that may increase inflammation in your body and contribute to the storage of visceral fat. What does that mean? Reduced acne, a smaller waistline, and increased Beauty Energy!

A Word of Caution

caution heartsYou can’t just cut out gluten and replace all those foods you used to eat with gluten-free pre-packaged snacks. That won’t work. The amount of oils and other not-so-great ingredients they contain can also contribute to weight gain and acne over time. Gluten-free pretzels! Too good to be true. Yes they are. I bring up pretzels because they were my number one favorite junk food back in the day. Once in a great while I admit that I’ll eat some gluten-free pretzels, even though I know they are “bad” and not great at all (!), so I just take a handful and throw the rest of the bag away. They are a weakness of mine. But in all other respects, I avoid the junky gluten-free treats. 🙂

It’s best to go gluten-free without all these distractions and just choose natural snacks from the produce section of the grocery store. Or try some better options, like Mary’s Gone Crackers which are made with higher quality ingredients.

Reset Your System After You Drop Gluten for Good

When you’re removing gluten from your diet, it’s important to take some extra steps in order to restore the gut’s health and accelerate the healing process. Give the amount of beneficial flora in your gut a boost by taking your probiotics daily (have you tried my formula yet?).  Remember, the balance of the bacteria in your gut affects your skin, which is also an eliminative organ. Probiotics also assists with digestion, leading to less congestion and fat storage in the body. Try an enema or do a Glow Bio cleanse for further cleansing.

white bowl of blueberriesEat more foods that decrease inflammation, like ginger, turmeric, leafy greens, broccoli, blueberries, flaxseed, avocados, and mushrooms. Stay away from the ones that cause inflammation, too, of course. If you’re following the rest of the Beauty Detox plan in addition to eliminating gluten, you may notice your skin glowing in as little as just a few days. Remember, it may take a while to see dramatic results. The inflammation won’t go down overnight. Give the gluten-free life a try for at least a couple of weeks before forming an opinion. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much better you look and feel!

New York Times Bestseller and Nutritionist