Risky truth behind the gluten-free diet

We all have that one friend who refuses to go near bread. He or she strives to adhere to a gluten-free lifestyle, a diet trend that seems to be growing.

Your friend might say he or she is allergic or has an intolerance to gluten. However, in reality, so few people have a gluten allergy (or celiac disease).

Even though people don't need to be following a gluten-free diet, some may still think their diet is working. They may say they feel much healthier after omitting breads and other foods -- but doctors warn that could all be psychological.

That's because often times, when someone decides to go gluten free, he or she is making lifestyle changes -- so it's not just them staying away from pasta, it could be hundreds of other factors as well.

So, what are doctors advising? Don't diagnose yourself! You could be doing more harm than good, as you could be dieting incorrectly.

Scroll through to learn more dieting tips:

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how to keep your diet at the office

Find a work mom or dad. 

Everybody is familiar with the work wife: the woman or man in your office who exists to keep you company, gossip, and tell you when your shirt is see-through. The work mom/dad is like that, but mean. Beauty editor Kathleen Hou suggests finding a person who is willing to both straight-talk and side-eye you when you go to grab even the smallest crumb of coffee cake. Your work mom is tasked with yelling sternly, "DON'T EAT THAT OR YOU'LL REGRET IT." They are brutal but they love you, somewhere inside of their dark hearts.

Photo: Getty

Get snacks diverted to another area of the office, far, far away from you. 

When asked how to avoid the inevitable ground zero in the office where all the good snacks get left for free nibbling, one Cut writer explained that at a former job, the snack table was situated close to her desk. How did she handle this constant source of temptation? "I lied and said I'd gotten a request from building management that all snacks had to be kept in the kitchen." You too can become a liar — for your health.

Photo: Getty

Locate other dieters and start a shaming Slack/chat channel. 

Right before the start of the New Year, myself and two of my less-attractive colleagues started a private Slack channel dedicated to our commitments to either "getting skinny" or just not eating like total slobs every day. It's a good place to shame your colleagues into eating better. When one member of the channel explained that she'd broken her strict wellness plan by "ordering a milkshake," we both seized the opportunity to boo, heckle, and yell at her until she wimpered. No pain, no gain.

Photo: Getty

Don't rely on salad to keep you full. 

Susan Rinkus, the Cut's extremely knowledgeable health writer, advises "eating real meals if you want to avoid the dreaded Magnolia cupcake later," meaning not the pathetic work salad but not Chipotle either. Hearty grains and proteins and lots of leafy greens. But if you're craving that Magnolia cupcake (or thousands of them), don't deny yourself the pleasure. "Go ahead and take a piece of whatever is in the kitchen if you want it and then effing enjoy it," Rinkus told me. "Beating yourself up is no good and food guilt/shame can actually lead to weight gain."

Photo: Getty

Exercise. 

You need it. Find a way to be constantly working out at your desk. Twitch incessantly. Tap your toes. Play air drums. Run laps around your cubicle. The more energy you expend, the more calories you can consume. Last I checked, typing is not aerobic exercise but burpees in the office kitchen are.

Photo: Getty

Unfollow all snack-based Instagrams. 

Were you salivating at the thought of getting a cake with Drake lyrics on it? Do you often find yourself scrolling mindlessly through SAVEUR's perfectly curated Instagram page? You're not doing yourself any favors, just unfollow them all. Alternately, you can pick up some new follows in the way of health and wellness bloggers, but are you really that hard up for new ways to make your eyes roll out of your head? Stick to the good meme accounts and leave it at that.

Photo: Getty

Quit your job. 

You never really liked that job anyway and this diet thing is a real drag.

Photo: Getty

Run away to Guadalajara. 

You quit your job and stopped dieting, so now you're going to have a lot of free time. May as well get the hell out of this town of sad dreams and broken promises.

Photo: Getty

Never come back. 

You may be in Guadalajara but you never have to worry about nibbling on raw almonds while Cindy goes on about how far she ran this morning ever again. You love it here. You start a new life. One night you wake up in a sweat having dreamed about promising your work mom that you'd never eat Munchkins again. Look around you: You're free. Smile. Life is good. Every day's a cheat day.

Photo: Getty

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