Most people know about "the freshman 15," referring to the 15 pounds freshmen in college often gain. I participated in that tradition, but I didn't expect that going on a gluten-free diet would yield a similar result.
It makes sense, really. Going to college is a culture shock of sorts. You're on your own with no one monitoring what you're eating or not eating--or when you're eating. Hence, the midnight pizzas. The same goes for starting a gluten-free diet. When I was told I had to avoid gluten, I started immediately--or should I say I stopped eating it--cold turkey. Now that's culture shock.
When I'm told to do something to improve my health, I do it. However, I wasn't prepared for the intense cravings for the food I had left behind. Each time I found a suitable substitute for that which I'd been deprived, I proceeded to scarf down as much of it as I could.
"You must be losing weight!" my friends and family would say. Surely having to give up many of my favorites would lead to a slimmer physique. Quite the contrary--ice cream, chocolate, most of the candy I loved, and other gf treats were still fair game...and I took advantage. No one was going to tell me I couldn't eat the yum I wanted to eat!
I write this not because I have loads of solutions to this conundrum, but to remind you that you're not alone in this struggle. I think everyone who begins a gluten free diet has to figure out how to navigate the huge change in eating habits. I chose to focus on eating more fruits and veggies without cutting out my favorite treats. Moderation was key. Doing a little P90X hasn't hurt. I'm a big fan of burning lots of calories so I can eat the way I want to eat.
There is no end to the lengths I'll go to find gluten free foods that taste like non-gluten free foods. It's just the nature of the beast. But, I'm learning to control how much of those foods I eat. And isn't that what eating gluten free is about--controlling what you put in your body for its own good?