What Happened When I Gave Up Gluten, Dairy, Sugar & Grains for a Month

January is always a good month for diets.

I kicked off the year with a simple plan of attack:

  • No gluten, dairy, grains or added sugar
  • One glass of wine a night
  • 6-7 servings of fruits and veggies a day

I figured there was no better time to start a nutrition reset (yay for postpartum weight loss!), get my energy back and shed some of the 15+ pounds of baby weight that had yet to come off.

The Results

Starting weight: 142 lbs

Ending weight: 138 lbs

Total weight loss: 4 lbs

The Bad

Four pounds. It’s not terrible, but I was expecting more.

If you look at the chart below, I spent the majority of the month fighting for two pounds.

weight loss

I knew that I’d be retaining extra fluid, thanks to a combination of postpartum hormones and sleep deprivation. But I also assumed that since I’m exclusively breastfeeding and burning an extra 500-700 calories per day, more pounds would come off. Instead, I was constantly RAVENOUS and looking for ways to replenish those calories (my goal of 2200-2400 calories/day factors in activity level and nursing).

It’s not easy for a person of my size to eat 2000+ calories when those calories can’t include bread, pasta, yogurt, sweets and the like. There were days when I couldn’t be satisfied, when I couldn’t bring myself to eat another bite of kale salad or carrots or walnuts. And that’s when I’d reach for the off-limits foods (and wine).

Most days I was perfect with my eating choices, sometimes even operating at a caloric deficit. The “seeming” lack of small wins coupled with my constant fixation on food made it extremely difficult to stay positive and motivated.

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In short, the entire month was a struggle and I’m glad it’s over. Fortunately, a lot of really good things came out of it.

The Good

1. I lost inches. While the numbers don’t look so hot, the photos tell a very different story, as do the way my clothes fit. I clearly shed several pounds of fat and gained it back in muscle (I did not track body fat). Yay!

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2. I was proactive about my meals. I planned, to the best of my ability, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and it made all the difference in the world.

3. I ate 6 cups of vegetables (almost) every day. I found a lot of creative ways to get my veggies in including lots of smoothies, sautéed spinach or guacamole with breakfast, homemade kale chips, and colorful salads.

4. I’m more energetic. I’m feeling stronger, sharper and more vibrant.

5. I finished! It’s so easy to throw in the towel and give up, especially when you fail and struggle, again and again. I proud of the fact that I always found a way to pick myself up and start over.

What Now

Now, I keep going.

I’ll be tweaking the diet (slowly), ramping up the workouts (enthusiastically), tracking results (meticulously) and listening to my body (obviously).

I hope to continue to reinforce the habits that allow me to eat well 90% of the time. If I can do that, the rest of those pesky pounds will come off… eventually.

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