The Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free (GFSF) Diet

Girl With a Basket of VegetablesFor the past few weeks, I haven’t been eating a “strict” low-carb diet.

My main goal has been to break my addiction to unhealthy foods by being completely abstinent.

And I’ve managed to do it. I haven’t eaten a single bite of junk food since September 3rd.

Not a bite, not a sip, not a sniff. For 7 weeks now.

This has been my primary goal and I’ve made it less of a priority to lose weight.

I’m not that much overweight anyway, but I have been building up a “wheat belly” in the past year or so due to excessive binge eating on ice cream, fast foods and other garbage.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel certain that a low-carb diet is the best option for those who are very overweight, diabetic or have symptoms of the metabolic syndrome.

But for those who are trying to break their food addiction, it might be best to pick your battles wisely and make it a primary goal to only abstain from the foods that you are addicted to.

So, this is the diet I’ve been following for the past few weeks. I call it the Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free diet.

What it basically is about, is avoiding all sources of added sugar and gluten and replacing them with real foods. Simple.

It is less restrictive than a low-carb, paleo diet as it does allow for some non-gluten grains.

Basically, it is paleo + dairy + healthier grains like oats and rice.

The 4 Rules of The Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free (GFSF) Diet

#1 – Don’t eat any added sugar or gluten. Not ever, not a single bite! Read labels.

#2 – Don’t drink calories.

#3 – Eat natural foods: meat, fish eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, health(ier) grains, full-fat dairy products, fats and oils.

#4 – Eat protein and fat at every meal, stick to the moderate-carb range.

What I’ve Been Eating

Basically, for breakfast I’ve had my usual stir fry with eggs and vegetables but I’ve added a bit of organic whole oats to it on my workout days.

For dinner, I’ll have lots of meat or fish with some vegetables. If I eat somewhere else (restaurant or mom’s) then I will often have some potatoes or rice with dinner.

During the first 3 weeks of this diet, I used to have lunch and a snack in the afternoon. A total of 4 meals throughout the day.

But after about 3 weeks on this program I started feeling so satiated that I only need to eat twice per day.

Late “breakfast” and dinner.

Breaking the blood sugar roller coaster and addictive cycle that comes with the sugar and gluten grains has really changed the way my appetite works. I just don’t need to eat that often.

Take Home Message

I’ve been doing this for 7 weeks now and I’ve lost 18 pounds and three inches off of my waist. I haven’t counted a single calorie.

I feel awesome too. Sleeping better, full of energy.

Going to the gym feels like something I actually want to do now, not a chore like it used to.

What worked for me was to focus on breaking the addiction first, for at least a few weeks, then allow weight loss to happen as a welcome side effect of removing sugar, gluten grains and their appetite stimulating effects.

I think going “completely abstinent” from sugar and gluten is one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.


 

49 Comments

  1. Fantastic, Kris. Congratulations! You know what’s best for your body.

    I had a chiro appt. yesterday. He is so happy w/ the 60 lbs. gone and the tightening of the ligaments in my joints. The pains that were a result of the digestive issues I was having are all but gone. Healing comes from the inside out–it is so awesome.

    One question: aside from losing another 70-80 lbs., is the big middle (wheat belly) every going to go away? Any specific exercises that will help?

    • Hey Bev.

      Yes, the fat in your midsection should shrink along with the rest of your body fat. However, this fat can be the last to go and is often called the “stubborn body fat.”

      I can’t tell you if it is all going to go away, that depends on the individual, but a large part of it definitely should.

      There are no specific exercises that can selectively burn fat off of a certain part of your body (spot reducing) but having a strong midsection will help you keep everything in the right place. Doing some compound exercises like squats, shoulder presses, lunges, etc. can help keep your core strong.

      Congratulations on the 60 pounds btw. That is beyond awesome!

      • Thanks, Kris. Keep the the good work. You are doing a good work here and affecting people’s lives—-including mine! Thanks!!!

  2. Kris,

    I have been doing this exact diet for a little over two weeks now. I found that I just totally stalled around 10 pounds from my ideal weight. I mean TOTALLY stalled. The weight just fell off at first and now it won’t budge. I don’t really exercise because I’ve got a bum knee and two herniated discs in my back. I should probably walk but I haven’t figured out how to fit it into my life yet. Is it possible to lose weight (all the way down to your ideal weight) on this diet without exercise? How do you break through plateaus? And finally, what are your thoughts on alcohol consumption while on this diet?

    • I just read about this…plateaus on a low carb diet can be due to lack of variety in the diet. If you are eating the same staples over and over, your body starts storing the excess that it can’t burn of those things, too. Even if the excess is in the form of healthy vitamins and minerals. If you can’t use them all, they will be stored. Try swapping out your fall back foods for things you haven’t eaten in awhile and see if that helps.

      A stationary bike might be an exercise solution for your bad knee and back. Or water aerobics. These things are pretty low impact. If nothing else, just start parking in the furthest spot from the entrance when you are out and about. A few extra steps here and there will add up over time.

    • You should check out this article here: http://www.kriskris.com/not-losing-weight-on-a-low-carb-diet/

      Regarding the exercise, swimming is pretty easy on the joints. You can lose weight without exercising, but it is recommended.

      Alcohol is fine in moderation.

  3. Bobby Brown says:

    Hey Kris I love your blog, so much information but I struggle with portion size for all my meals. I’m a big guy with an athletic body type. I’m 6’3 and 250 lbs. I want to drop down to 215 or 220lbs but I struggle so much I tend to give up or lose motivation. I was on the Ketosis diet and did pretty good for about 2 weeks and back slid. Could you give me some pointers on these thing that I struggle with please…. I’m 34 years of age.

    • Try avoiding all sugar and gluten for 30 days and see how that works.

      There’s often no need to control portions if you stay away from the junk food.

      • Bobby Brown says:

        Ok. Another question, is there a specific start time for breakfast and a cut off time for food. For example should I not eat after a certain time of night? My day starts very early so I tend to eat an early breakfast.

        • Bobby Brown says:

          And thanks for the quick response.

        • It doesn’t really matter in my opinion. I’d avoid snacking after dinner though.

          • Why avoid snacking? High fat low carb lifestyles don’t work long term only initially simply because you’re avoiding all the junk processed foods eventually all that protein and fat will catch up with you and downhill you go. Go vegan and eat as much as you want whenever you want and snack 100 times a day if you wish and be healthy.

          • There’s only one clinical trial that has compared a low-carb, high-fat (Atkins) diet to a low-fat vegetarian/vegan (Ornish) diet.

            The result: Atkins beat Ornish across the board; weight, biomarkers, etc. all improved more on Atkins.

            See here: http://www.kriskris.com/low-carb-vs-vegetarian-diet/

  4. Keep up the good work you’re doing for the world. You motivate us every day. I love the gluten free, sugar free diet thing, been on basically that myself since May and doing great.

  5. I think I feel some motivation coming on!!

  6. I love the idea of having a little fruit and some “healthier” grains especially to start. My husband and I going to try this. Could you just share what grains you find “healthier”?

    • I personally like rice and oats. I’d do my best to avoid gluten grains and soy.

      • Hi Kris, I just started eating gluten free 2 weeks ago, bum knee and lost 9 pounds. I, like Katie, have plateaued there.

        I have bought GF bread and am wondering if this could be part of the reason.

        I also have a question, do you think it’s ok to buy GF bread and pasta? I’ve cut way back on both but really love my pasta and bread. I will stop if GF is not advisable.

        I have one more question, I get bored with just meat and vegetables…and fruit. Any good recipe websites you can offer up?

        I grew up on that stuff, but we also had casseroles, pasta, ice cream, etc.

        My parents didn’t allow us to “sit and play” inside… we were outside til dark.

        I was 5’3 and 115 lbs Got married, had 2 kids and ballooned to over 250 lbs. ;-(

        I’m mentally ready to work on myself now that my children are all grown. I am trying to stay motivated…HELP. ;o)

  7. I stopped eating sugar and gluten about 5 weeks ago. I did this because I knew I was overloaded with candida, I was bloated, itchy and my face was always pale with these big black rings around my eyes (attractive I know). It usually took a ton of makeup just to make me look like i was alive!

    Well let me tell you…wow after the first 3 weeks of unending hell as my body did the biggest hissy fit about no sugar, no alcohol, no grains, no anything that I used to adore…I’ve come out the other end a new person, I literally look like a different woman. My skin is all glowy and not a lump or bump insight, my dark circles…gone. I look like I’ve stepped out of a fat suit, and here’s this slim me…I look younger (yusss!!!!) & my strawlike hair transformed into glossy tresses…amazeballs.

    I start every morning with a smoothie…half banana, protein powder, nuts, spirulina powder, coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut water, splash of vanilla essence, tbsp chia seeds, & half cup of craisons…delicious and Im full most of the day….Other meals are full of vege and meat…this is from the junk food queen, eating real food and lots of good fats way to go :)

    • Hi Jude, your persistance has certainly paid off, very inspiring. Can you tell me how much coconut oil, milk & water you put in your smoothie? What are craisons – I’ve not heard of them before. What do you do with the other half a banana? Thanks.

  8. Hi Kris, I’m always really inspired by your stories on weight loss, especially the idea of breaking one’s carb addiction. I’ve been trying to cut down on artificial sugars and carbs, abstaining from flour products, desserts and my favorite rice, amongst other things. I have to admit that I haven’t been the most persistent everyday, even though I’ve managed to lose about 5 lbs since I started last week. What I’ve noticed is that my skin is breaking out more: is there a reason for that? I always thought having most of the carbs gone would help improve my skin. I’ve also been drinking more water than ever because my body simply craves it. Any ideas on ridding the breakouts would be much appreciated. :)

  9. Love your website. Any tips on how to quit sugar? I’m completely addicted and every time I try to quit, I fall off the wagon. Thanks!

  10. One more question: what about portion sizes? If I have eggs, should I have two or three? I want to lose 20-25. I’ve been on WW but hate that I never learn to eat healthy. Paleo was too strict and I ended up eating too much meat. Help!

    • Generally, if you eat a low-carb, real food based diet then you don’t have to watch portion sizes.

      Just eat until fullness, at least in the beginning. If you plateau in a few weeks/months then it might be time to start looking at portions and calories.

  11. Hi Kris,

    Congratulations on the weight loss…

    My diet is very similar to yours and it keeps my weight under control too.

    I try to keep my carbs under 100 grams per day and eat an all-natural whole food diet…I don’t purposely avoid gluten but I very rarely eat any grains.

    My diet consists of mostly vegetables, fish, eggs, nuts and some fruit…with a cheat day every now and then..

    Best – Mike

  12. Hey so can you elaborate on the no sugar thing? I get that it means no candy, sweets, etc. But there is some amount of sugar in almost everything. Thanks!

    • When I talk about sugar, I’m usually talking about refined/added sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

      The natural sugars found in plants are absolutely fine.

  13. Hey kris as far as eating oats go, do you think instant oats are okay? If not what do you eat? Btw congrats on your progress!

  14. What about lentils, beans? Do you eat them? Thanks man.

  15. So what you’re saying is that when you eat healthy you get healthy and lose weight effortlessly? :)

    This is the way humans are programmed to eat….naturally. Things made by nature are what our bodies thrive on. Sugar is indeed an addiction for most of us, and the only way I’ve ever seen someone break an addiction is just like you did…complete abstinance. The thing is, your body isn’t going to enjoy those bad things as much any more now that you’re eating clean. Good job, Your longevity will thank you :)

  16. When is it right to start with this gluten, sugar free diet since I am pregnant? Please, I love your advice.

  17. So what are the code words for gluten? I don’t remember seeing the word “gluten” on ingredients lists so I’m wondering what words (and I’m sure there are many) I should be looking for? Is there any indicator part of the word like there is with sugar words ending in -ose?

  18. Great Kris! This really is an achievement. Your blogs are inspiring I must say. I am surely going to try it. There are different opinions about dairy products. Please let us know as to what amount of milk and dairy products intake will help in fulfilling the calcium requirement of our body without putting on weight.

    • I don’t think you really need any milk or dairy as an adult. You can get calcium from various other foods. If you eat a real food based diet, maybe with the occasional cheese, then you’re probably all set.

      For bone health, it is more important to optimize Vitamin D status.

  19. Hi Kris,

    I’d love your opinion on something. Would it be alright for someone who is starting the low carb diet to have a smoothie at night with berries, banana and almond milk? I’m trying to quit junk food and usually have something sweet at night. While my endgame to stop that, I’m worried that if I go low carb too fast, I might completely fall off the wagon. I want to set myself up for success. What are your thoughts? Thanks!

    • Sounds good to me. Just be aware that these smoothies can be pretty high in calories, depending on how you make them.

      • Chance Bunger says:

        Carrie – I’ve had a lot of success satisfying my sweet tooth with a square or two of dark chocolate and glass of red wine. Doesn’t seem to affect my progress at all and lots of good stuff (anti oxidants) in both of those for the body !

  20. Kris,

    Regarding Carrie’s comment, I used to have that exact protein shake – bananas, berries, and almond milk. Now, in an effort to go more low carb and low calorie, I’ve replaced the bananas with spinach and almond milk with coconut water. About half the carbs and half the calories and it still tastes great.

    Alykhan

  21. Chance Bunger says:

    Way to go Kris! I got off track a bit in September and gained three pounds. On Oct. 15 I went back to “strict low carb.” Lots of eggs from my local farmer (free range, not grain fed), lots of meats and vegetables of all kinds. I’ve had the same experience – I’m not very hungry when I get up, but have “brunch” and then dinner. If i get at all hungry in the afternoon i have macadamia nuts handy. Red wine – every day thank you. On the scale this morning (11/1) down 8 pounds. 77 total now, on the way to 100!

  22. That is great that you are on a gluten/sugar free diet. I am full paleo and have seen great results. I have started experimenting with ketosis and the weight is just melting off of me.

  23. the brown girl says:

    Hey, so i was reading one of your blogletter/newsletter you send us on our email..and totally amazed by your new junkfood free life-style! i was planning on it for a long time.. but everything i try turn out as a some kind of a junk food.. can you give a list of food you eat? because, if i have to eat vegetable ..i know i will combine those with some kind of junk food… that would be so much helpful if you give a list of your food! :)

    *pita + hummus.. is it a junk food?

    • Just read the labels. No sugar/corn syrup or wheat. Be aware that almost every processed food contains either of those.

      Eat non-processed meat, fish, eggs, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, tubers and even some non-gluten grains like rice and oats.

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