GAPS diet: Weight Loss and Weight Gain

July 12, 2011 · 16 comments

GAPS diet weight loss & gain

GAPS diet weight loss & gain

My family started the GAPS diet a little over a week ago after starting on gluten-free and then deciding to take the whole plunge in order to get healthy.

I’d suffered from migraines, eczema, depression, and anxiety my whole life, but have otherwise been healthy and normal weight.

My older son had some troublesome behavioral issues (although he was still in the “normal” range, I had the sense that something wasn’t quite right) and he fell off the weight charts as soon as I started him on solid foods. Because his development was otherwise normal (and often advanced), I pushed my doctors to let us wait and see.

My husband had digestive issues since he was a young child, and his weight has fluctuated wildly since he was teenager. He had bouts of bad skin, and patches of psoriasis.

All our symptoms have improved, even in just a few days of doing the intro diet. I wish I’d taken “before” pictures, because we wake up every morning feeling and looking better.

What’s blowing us away is how our bodies are changing. We didn’t start the GAPS diet to lose weight, but both of us have. What’s fascinating is that we’re not “deflating” as is common with many diets. Instead, our bodies are morphing into their ideal shapes.

My waist, which hasn’t been the same since having my babies, is back. My stomach is flat. My hips and butt are still full, and my muscle tone seems to improve every day. I haven’t looked like this since I was in college.

My husband carries his weight in his belly and thighs, and previous attempts at losing weight tended to ignore these stubborn areas. Since we started GAPS, though, those are the first places that are shrinking. His shoulders are getting broader, and the muscles in his chest and upper arms are getting stronger, even though he’s not working out any more than usual.

My son who hasn’t gained weight normally is starting to round out and feel solid. He hasn’t had a real growth spurt yet, but from the looks of it, it seems like it will only be a matter of time.

Dr. Campbell-McBride, who developed the GAPS diet, says that the protocol helps normalize the hormones in the body that have been ravaged by processed foods and medications, and helps return bodies to the natural male and female shapes that we find beautiful and ideal.

I believe it. It explains why efforts at exercise alone won’t re-shape our bodies the way we want them to be, but eating the proper foods will.

I don’t know if I would embark on the GAPS diet simply for weight loss (it’s a lot of effort and change, and it takes some serious motivation to stick with it), but there’s absolutely no denying that it’s bringing us to our ideal weights in addition to all the other benefits we’re getting from it.

Photo credit:  Pink Sherbet Photography on Flickr

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brenda July 12, 2011

I totally agree! My husband and I both lost about 35 lbs after being on GAPS for a year. I feel like I “fit” my body now! I’m ME! I am thin, but not unhealthy–I have a lot of energy and am living a FULLER life because of GAPS. And I look better! Woo hoo! It’s the diet of all diets in my opinion!!
Congrats on the weight loss!! Enjoy feeling better & looking better all at once!
(Oh, and, for us, our underweight son GAINED more weight than he gained on a feeding tube with yucky formulas–so it’s a miracle diet for our family–feeding everyone the same foods makes the underweight kids grow & the slightly overweight parents lose weight. Amazing!!) =)

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2 Suchada @ Mama Eve July 13, 2011

Brenda, congratulations, that’s fantastic! I’ve always been thin, so the weight loss wasn’t a priority for me, but my husband’s weight has crept up and he’s really wanted to get to a healthier place. I can see already this will give him true health — not just an appropriate number on the scale. It truly is a health-giving diet and routine :)

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3 Sumeyye January 14, 2012

Brenda thats awesome! I have a 10 month old daughter. She has digestive issues and is a very small baby. She is eating less and less everyday:( I want her to start on Gaps but I am worried that she is going to loose more. Can you give me some advice. I would really appreciate if you do. Thanks.

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4 edyta March 14, 2013

I started GAPS with my 3-year old son. He lost some weight, but he eats a lot. What is wrong?

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5 Jeanie @ Simply Stated July 12, 2011

Wonderful news!

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6 Suchada @ Mama Eve July 13, 2011

Thanks Miss Jeanie! <3

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7 Kelly July 13, 2011

Looking over the intro diet, I didn’t see a clear timeline for each stage. Did I miss that, or is it totally dependent on the individual? I’m curious about the timeline you’ve been on for the intro diet… :)

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8 Suchada @ Mama Eve July 13, 2011

I’m going to write about that next . . .keep your eyes peeled! But in a nutshell, yes, the intro diet stages are moved through at your own pace, as digestive issues clear.

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9 Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama July 13, 2011

Thanks for this post. I am about to embark on the GAPS diet myself as my gut needs sealing BIG TIME! I too will be blogging about it and love that I can sort of follow in your footsteps. I have been really struggling with whether or not to take the plunge but have decided to do so. I am anxious to hear how long each step is taking as well!

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10 Imogen @ Alternative Mama July 18, 2011

I’ve been reading all of your GAPS posts with great intrigue. And as somebody who has struggled with weight and body image my whole life, this post has pushed me even further towards the idea of trying it.

The last time I tried to make a dietary change was when I attempted to give up dairy and I lasted all of two days, so I’m not sure if i’m ready for GAPS yet. But keep posting about all of the wonderful effects your family are experiencing and you may just push me over the threshold!

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11 Suchada @ Mama Eve July 18, 2011

Imogen, I’ve thought about you a lot as I’ve been on this journey, because you and I have so many parallel experiences. In addition to the changes we’ve seen in our bodies, my ability to deal with my children has increased exponentially since we started this. I really encourage you to start taking some of the steps in the diet, even if you don’t do the whole thing right away. You might be surprised to find it’s easier than you expected.

This is the first time in my life I’ve been able to cut items out of my diet. I’ve never been a dieter, and never felt like I needed to follow a particular regimen. I’ve been a big believer in moderation, but it took learning about the GAPS diet to realize how not moderate my diet was before. I have to admit I cheated this weekend when I was treated to a lunch out by a good friend and I ordered the creme brulee for dessert. It was heavenly, and I don’t think I had any ill effects from it. I’m sure you’ll be able to do it if you decide to take the plunge.

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12 Bina February 2, 2012

I have 40 pounds to lose and for some reason am gaining weight. I also have developed low bile. And haven’t been able to move off intro. As soon as I start eating any fiber I am back to lose stool. Sometimes it takes a few days. At first all was going amazing until I started adding foods in. I feel that the weight gain is from not getting enough veggies in to balance the meat and fat. Still not sure if this is my magic bullet. I’m already 3 months in and keep boucing back to how i felt before I started. Help!!! Please :)

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13 H April 17, 2013

If a diet is not making you feel better, then it is making you worse, or at the very least, not helping. Listen to your body.

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14 Biljana April 3, 2012

Bina,

Sorry to hear that. I think you can be on the intro diet even for one year, so you still have a way to go. I have been on the intro diet since February, and still cannot move to phase 4. Whenever I eat ground almond I get a bloody loose stool. So I wait again. Just make sure you are strictly adhering to it, and it will be a success.

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15 carol July 26, 2013

Hi, I have been on gaps for 4 weeks now have been sugar and grain free for a while. I am 5’5′ and now weigh 116 I am way to low in weight seems I level out and then some thing happens like a heat wave and have to adapt to that then down drops my weight. I will up my safe carbs and really that is all I can do for now. I will add them slowly building the amount most of my other symptoms have cleared up so grateful for that now it is just bloated gut and some digestive cramping. Just beginning to manage the leg cramps with more mag. and salmon and shell fish for hypothyroid it is just a little ways to go. I can not do the ketogenic phase could not stand to loose any more weight. I am an active individual for the most part. The only thing that is keeping me going positive is that 4 other symptoms have healed. I just want to gain weight back if you have any suggestions that would be helpful.
Thanks Carol

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