Cut Back On Added Sugars And Refined Starches
I need to begin with this clarification:
Carbohydrates are not inherently bad for you. That is, they do not make you fat or sick on their own .It always comes back to total calories consumed.
That said, carbs in the form of added sugars and highly refined starches are unhealthy and unnecessary. They offer almost zero nutritional benefit and make up a large portion of the excess calories we consume.
In fact, the average American adults consumption of added sugar increased by more than 30% in the last 30 years, with children consuming approximately 20% more. This was illustrated below by Obesity.org.
Fortunately those numbers have began to reverse a trend that needs to continue. Nevertheless, cutting back on added sugar is still the most simple and direct way to cut out excess empty calories.
This is done by limiting intake of junk foods, flavoured drinks , alcohol, white bread, most cereals and muesli bars, and a good portion of packaged food in your supermarkets health food aisle. That includes gluten-free junk food its still junk food.
Now its unrealistic to expect yourself to completely avoid added sugar every day of the year. But you need to begin taking actionable steps that help you cut back and form healthier habits.
Start by not having junk foods at home, or at least keep them out of sight in a cupboard you never use.
Look Into Optimal Treatment
In terms of weight loss, relief of symptoms, and overall good health, for many thyroid patients, it’s not enough for your doctor to diagnose hypothyroidism and hand you a prescription. In addition to standard treatment, you may need optimal treatment to ensure that your cells are getting the oxygen and energy they need to allow your metabolism to do its job.
The Best Thyroid Medications That Can Help You Lose Weight
It is worth mentioning that no thyroid medication is meant to be used as a weight-loss aid. The thyroid medication is to be used only as a part of the hypothyroidism treatment, while weight loss is only one of the benefits that are happening due to the normalization of the thyroid hormone levels. Do not use these medications to treat obesity and/or achieve weight loss.
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Weight Loss Tips For Thyroid Patients
June 26, 2020 By Yenny Rojas
Losing weight is a challenge for a lot of people, but for those with a thyroid problem, such as hypothyroidism, it can be an even bigger challenge. The good news is that with proper treatment, along with diet and lifestyle strategies, losing weight is achievable, allowing you to see the results you deserve.
The thyroid is a small gland located in the neck along the front of the windpipe. Its main function is to produce the hormones triiodothyronine and thyroxine , which help regulate the bodys metabolism, the process by which food is turned into energy. An underactive thyroid gland, known as hypothyroidism, is when the thyroid gland fails to produce enough of these hormones, which causes many of the bodys functions to slow down. Common symptoms of hypothyroidism include tiredness, weight gain, and moodiness.
When the thyroid is working properly, the body responds appropriately to dieting and activity levels when trying to lose weight. However, if the thyroid is underactive and doesnt produce a normal amount of thyroid hormones, it can slow down metabolism, which has a significant impact on body weight, fat percentage, and overall health.
Protein Is Paramount For Weight Loss
The main benefit of protein is that its much more satiating than both fat and carbs. That is, it has a unique ability to reduce appetite and therefore your overall caloric intake too.
Studies show high protein diets may also reduce obsessive thoughts about food by 60% and cut desire for late-night snacks by half .
Foods high in protein include meat, seafood, eggs, nuts, legumes and dairy.
Protein is also the muscle-building nutrient, so a high protein diet complements regular exercise.
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Cut Out Simple Carbs And Sugars
Kelly Austin, ND, a naturopathic doctor specializing in hormone disorders and the director of the Prime Wellness Clinic in San Diego, recommends a moderate- to low-carbohydrate diet that focuses on complex carbohydrates and avoids simple sugars . According to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, foods with a high a glycemic load may increase inflammation in the body. But Dr. Austin stresses the importance of eating enough calories because “low calories can cause a stress response and result in decreased T3 production, she says.
The Weight Loss Challenge
Losing weight is hard work for anyone, but it can definitely be more of a challenge when you’re dealing with hypothyroidism. Researchers aren’t exactly sure why this is, but low T3 levels and hormone resistance issues may play a role. In some cases, knowing how much to eat and discussing the best foods with a dietitian or nutrition professional can be a helpful first step.
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Optimise Your Thyroid Medication
I wanted to begin with a nutrition recommendation, but correcting your thyroid medication first priority.
Work with your health care provider to determine what type of medication is better for you, and also to find the optimal dose required. While Levothyroxine is on average more effective, Armour is reportedly much better tolerated.
There is no difference between taking your thyroid hormone meds in the morning vs evening. Choose whatever is easier for you to have it on a fasting stomach .
Summary: It is fundamental to work with your doctor to explore what type and dose of thyroid medication is best for you. Until your thyroid hormone levels are corrected, weight loss is much more difficult.
What Causes Hypothyroidism In Pregnancy
In most cases, women with hypothyroidism during pregnancy have Hashimotos disease. This autoimmune disease causes the bodys immune system to attack and damage the thyroid. When that happens, the thyroid cant produce and release high enough levels of thyroid hormones, impacting the entire body. Pregnant women with hypothyroidism may feel very tired, have a hard time dealing with cold temperatures and experience muscles cramps.
Thyroid hormones are important to your babys development while in the womb. These hormones help develop the brain and nervous system. If you have hypothyroidism, its important to control your thyroid levels during pregnancy. If your baby doesnt get enough thyroid hormone during development, the brain may not develop correctly and there could be issues later. Untreated or insufficiently treated hypothyroidism during pregnancy may lead to complications like miscarriage or preterm labor.
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The Relationship Between Your Thyroid And Your Weight
The American Thyroid Association notes, It has been appreciated for a very long time that there is a complex relationship between thyroid disease, body weight, and metabolism. One of the earliest tests for thyroid disease involved measuring a patients basal metabolic rate . That test isnt used anymore because many other things impact your BMR, so it wasnt reliable — but researchers have long recognized theres a relationship between the two.
Even after many years of study, scientists dont know exactly how much of an impact hypothyroidism has on your BMR, but they do know that theres a relationship.
Can Hypothyroidism Go Away On Its Own
In some mild cases, you may not have symptoms of hypothyroidism or the symptoms may fade over time. In other cases, the symptoms of hypothyroidism will go away shortly after you start treatment. For those with particularly low levels of thyroid hormones, hypothyroidism is a life-long condition that will need to be controlled with medication on a regular schedule. It can be controlled very well and you can live a normal life with hypothyroidism.
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Pick Up The Pace On Cardio While You’re At It
Cardio is essential for maintenance of weight loss, says Dr. Pearceespecially if you have a thyroid condition, which again affects the function of your muscles. Dr. Apovian agrees: ” can lose weight, but they have to do more resistance and cardio than the average person.”
Shoot for about 30 minutes to an hour of activity five days a week, suggests Dr. Pearce. That can include any sort of activity where youre sweating and getting your heart rate up, whether its jogging, walking whatever keeps you motivated and having fun is the right thing to do.
Its Possible That Low Thyroid Can Cause Weight Loss But Wait Till You Find Out How This Can Happen
Hypothyroidism is often blamed on gaining weight.
Hypothyroidism is associated with weight gain and being overweight.
How many times have you read or heard about overweight people blaming low thyroid on their inability to lose weight?
Hypothyroidism is even blamed on obesity! Its a fact that hypothyroidism can cause some weight gain.
However, low thyroid can cause weight loss, too. I know this because my mother has hypothyroidism and it has caused her to lose weight.
But how can this be? What few people realize is that hypothyroidism is a major cause of clinical depression.
A savvy doctor, upon being presented with a clinically depressed patient, will order a blood test to screen for low thyroid before hastily prescribing the antidepressants.
My mothers low thyroid caused her to sink into a profoundly depressed state. This went on for about two months before she finally got a blood test that revealed hypothyroidism.
Sequence of events: Mother starts losing appetite nobody thinks anything of this. She becomes increasingly edgy nobody thinks anything of this.
She undergoes knee surgery, and immediately afterwards slips into a deep, dark hole of depression, with absolutely no interest in eating.
She quickly loses 10 pounds and must be begged and pleaded with just to eat 600 calories a day.
Six weeks after surgery finally goes on Cymbalta .
Cymbalta works like a charm: My mothers interest in eating resumes the day after her first dose!
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Hypothyroidism: A Frustrating Condition
Even if you are able to get your hypothyroidism under control through treatment, some people still have problems shedding those extra pounds and preventing more weight from creeping on.
Angie, a Graves’ disease patient in Frankfort, Ky, was diagnosed with a hyperthyroid condition a few years ago. Hyperthyroidism is caused by an overactive thyroid gland. After receiving treatment, she developed hypothyroidism and has struggled with maintaining a healthy weight ever since.
“Since my thyroid was made inactive due to hypothyroidism, it has been a monumental struggle to lose and maintain weight. This is despite having a dedicated exercise program and watching what I eat,” says Angie.
She believes the weight loss process has become even slower for her specifically because of her hypothyroidism. “While it might take a normal person a week to lose two pounds, it may take me a month to do so. It is frustrating, but weight can be controlled through a consistent exercise program and watching what I eat. What works for me is to be consistent with my exercise,” says Angie. She hits the gym at least four to five days a week for 60 to 90 minutes each session, combining strength training with cardiovascular exercise. Angie also watches her calorie and carbohydrate intake, eats plenty of fruits and vegetables, and drinks lots of water to help maintain a healthy weight.
Does Everyone With Hypothyroidism Gain Weight
Weight gain is one of many symptoms of hypothyroidism, which means not everyone with this thyroid condition will gain weight.
Hypothyroidism can cause a wide variety of nonspecific symptoms to different degrees of severity, Montgomery adds.
However, many other symptoms of hypothyroidism can contribute to weight gain, including constipation, fatigue, muscle weakness, and heavy menstrual periods . For example, fatigue and muscle weakness can make you feel too tired and drained to exercise and do other activities that promote weight loss and the burning of calories.
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Exercise Almost Every Day
We recommend regular exercise for thyroid patients to lose weight. Exercise is a fantastic natural treatment for hypothyroidism, helping to:
- Relieve depression
- Lose unwanted weight
- Maintain that healthy weight
Physical therapists and endocrinologists alike would probably suggest low-impact cardio exercise, especially to start out. Consult with a doctor before engaging in higher intensity strength training.
Aim to exercise for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
How much weight should you lose with hypothyroidism? Determine your healthy weight by starting with a normal BMI range for your height. Every person is different, so talk to your doctor about exactly how much weight you should try to lose.
Take Regular Walks Or Start Lifting Weights Each Week
You cant out-exercise a bad diet.
This is true, especially when your metabolism is slower than normal. Thats why this article places so much emphasis on dietary changes.
However, if you want to kick-start your weight loss then regular exercise is the best way to do it.
Weight loss ultimately comes down to expending more energy than you consume. Although its much more complex than eat less, move more , being active helps to burn additional calories. It also improves aspects of health that even perfect nutrition cant provide, such as strength and mobility.
You dont have to put yourself through miserable high-intensity workouts either. Research shows that low-intensity exercise that lasts longer such as regular long walks are just as effective for weight loss, especially if you are just starting out .
A general guideline is to walk for at least 60 minutes or 10,000 steps on most days.
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How Much Weight Can I Expect To Lose Once The Hypothyroidism Is Treated
Since much of the weight gain in hypothyroidism is accumulation in salt and water, when the hypothyroidism is treated one can expect a small weight loss. As in the treatment with hyperthyroidism, treatment of the abnormal state of hypothyroidism with thyroid hormone results in a return of body weight to what it was before the hypothyroidism developed. Since weight gain may have many causes and develops over a long period of time, it is fairly common to find that there is not a large amount of weight loss after successful treatment of hypothyroidism. Again, if all of the symptoms of hypothyroidism other than weight gain resolve with thyroid hormone treatment, it is unlikely that the weight gain was solely due to the thyroid. Once hypothyroidism has been treated and thyroid hormone levels are in the normal range, the ability to gain or lose weight is the same as in individuals who do not have thyroid problems.
Are There Any Foods I Can Eat To Help My Hypothyroidism
Most foods in western diets contain iodine, so you do not have to worry about your diet. Iodine is a mineral that helps your thyroid produce hormones. One idea is that if you have low levels of thyroid hormone, eating foods rich in iodine could help increase your hormone levels. The most reliable way to increase your hormone levels is with a prescription medication from your healthcare provider. Do not try any new diets without talking to your provider first. Its important to always have a conversation before starting a new diet, especially if you have a medical condition like hypothyroidism.
Foods that are high in iodine include:
- Edible seaweed.
- Iodized salt.
Work with your healthcare provider or a nutritionist to craft a meal plan. Your food is your fuel. Making sure you are eating foods that will help your body, along with taking your medications as instructed by your healthcare provider, can keep you healthy over time. People with thyroid condition should not consume large amounts of iodine because the effect may be paradoxical .
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Does Caffeine Affect Thyroid
Even sips of coffee can affect your thyroid medication if the two arent spaced apart enough. In studies, coffee reduced the bodys absorption of thyroid medications by about 30%. Thats why experts recommend that you wait at least 60 minutes after drinking coffee to take your thyroid replacement medication.
How To Lose Weight With An Underactive Thyroid
There is no known prevention or cure for hypothyroidism but it can be successfully managed. Losing weight when you have an underactive thyroid can be done successfully by consistently following key steps over time. This article covers the 7 fundamental steps required to successfully lose weight with an underactive thyroid:
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S To Attaining Your Ideal Body Composition
Hope is not lost! Your motivation may be lagging because the weight is not melting off even while taking thyroid hormone replacement. There are proactive steps you can take to address issues keeping you from meeting your goals.
Get your thyroid tested Discuss the results with your doctor to see if your TSH levels are in the higher end of the reference range, or if your T3 or TBG is low. You may need to adjust your current medication or supplement with T3 in order to find your optimal thyroid levels.
Optimize your thyroid medication Take levothyroxine on an empty stomach either a half hour before breakfast or before bedtime. Wait at least three to four hours after taking your medication before taking supplements or drinks that contain calcium or iron. Also, discuss any changes in your medications with your doctor.
Get tested for insulin and leptin resistance If you have these conditions, discuss treatment options with your doctor.
Exercise regularly Lifestyle changes, such as physical activity, which improve body composition , improve thyroid function. Regular exercise raises your metabolism, curbs your appetite, lowers blood sugar levels, and reduces insulin and leptin resistance.
Change your diet Work with your doctor to find a diet plan that will provide optimal thyroid health and control your weight while helping to manage or prevent conditions associated with hypothyroidism.