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How To Lose Weight When Having Thyroid Problems

Follow A Diet For Hypothyroidism

Weight Loss | Lose Weight Even With Thyroid Problems

Being hypothyroid doesnt mean avoiding all your favorite foods. After cutting out sugar and going low-carb, you probably want to know what is on and off the table literally.

Weve made a list of foods to eat and avoid, but the bottom line is that foods that feed inflammation need to be removed from your meals. Clearing up inflammation through diet can help your thyroid function properly.

Change Your Brain Chemistry

Hunger is intricately tied to your brain chemistry. When the hypothalamus senses you need energy, it issues the brain neurotransmitter neuropeptide Y with the message eat carbohydrates. The surge of NPY is what you experience as hunger. This system can be dramatically altered by several factors, all of which can be present in chronic thyroid disease:

* Your metabolism is too slow for the appetite level set by your brain. What your brain perceives as appropriate food intake levels can then exceed your bodys metabolism, creating weight gain.

* Your body is under stress, which interferes with the neurotransmitter functions, and is known to reduce the release of serotonin.

Natural alternatives to boosting serotonin include aerobic exercise and the herbal treatment called St. Johns Wort .

It’s Easy To Get The Care You Need

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.

Your thyroid gland weighs less than an ounce, yet has the power to affect weight gain by an average of 20 to 30 pounds if its not working properly.

Your thyroid is a small gland in the front of your neck just below your Adams apple. When its working as it should, your thyroid releases hormones that play a huge role in how your body uses energy, and in how your organs function. Because your thyroid controls your metabolism it can also have an effect on your weight.

The thyroids function is to regulate the metabolism of the body how fast or slow things go, says Kimberly Bethel, MD, of Trotwood Physician Center. It affects everything from the top of the head all the way down to the toes. And we know it affects a persons weight. If you are a fast metabolizer you will burn more calories, or if you are a slow metabolizer, youre going to gain weight.

Thyroid function is often the first thing a physician checks when a patient is experiencing unexplained weight gain or loss, because improper hormone production affects so much more than a persons size. Thankfully, the disease is treatable, although not curable.

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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.

Thyroid Weight Loss Diet: Best Foods And Tips For Thyroid Patients To Lose Weight

Science Explains 6 Ways to Lose Weight With Thyroid Problems

PintrestDo people with thyroid gain weight easy?Can your diet help beat hypothyroidism?Increase your iodine intakeHaving fibre is importantHave more selenium-rich foodsLimit your intake of sugar and high-carb foodsIncrease anti-inflammatory foodsInclude more gluten-free productsConsider changing the timing of your mealsHydrate wellWhat foods should you avoid having?

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The Role Of Thyroid Hormones

Thyroid hormones heavily influence your metabolism, your body temperature, and your appetite regulation. Your thyroid works closely with your hypothalamus, a small area of your brain, to maintain both your weight and your energy balancewhat’s left after you eat and your body uses the calories it needs.

How this happens exactly isn’t clear, but one thing is certain: It isn’t thyroid hormones alone that play a role in how much energy your body uses. Thyroid hormones work along with a number of other hormones, proteins, nuclear receptors, and chemicals too, which is why it’s such a complicated process.

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

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.

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What Is Iodine And How Does The Supplement Work

  • A low-carbohydrate diet or very low-carbohydrate diet: Examples include the ketogenic diet and the Atkins diet.
  • Changing the timing of your meals: Try the intermittent fasting diet. Another approach that may be effective is the “mini-meal”/grazing-all-day approach to eating. Limiting your eating to two or three meals per day with no snacks and no food after 8 p.m. may help stimulate fat burning and help regulate hunger hormones.
  • Getting tested for food allergens: Common allergens include dairy, wheat, soy, and certain fruits and nuts. If you find you have allergies to any of these, work to eliminate them from your diet.
  • A gluten-free diet: There’s a link between gluten sensitivity and celiac disease and the development of autoimmune conditions, including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Some patients have reported significant weight loss when they shifted to a gluten-free diet.

Talk to your doctor before starting any of these diets. Your own health may make some diets suitable, and others unhealthy for you. For example, a ketogenic diet could be dangerous for you if you have kidney disease, while a gluten-free diet would not be useful for you if you don’t have gluten sensitivity.

Make Sure You Track It All

Lose Weight Even If You Have A Low Thyroid Problem

You want to track everything you do and feel. This isnt just about tracking the exercise you do or the food you eat. Its so important to track every little thing that happens throughout the day. Make it a habit to track how you feel about and within yourself.

Get into the habit now of tracking your energy levels and noting down the best times of day to do exercise. When you find yourself struggling with the plan that youve created, you will have something to look back over. You can see when you have the higher energy levels to work your exercise plan around that.

You will lose motivation to lose weight with thyroid problems. Youre only human, so give yourself a break! Dont expect yourself to perform perfectly 100% of the time.

Its how you handle the exercise levels that will affect your weight loss efforts. If you have a bad day, your journal or tracker will give you something to look back over. Youll get to see how far youve come to remind yourself why youre doing this. Youll feel good about yourself again.

This is also a chance to look back on the bad days that you had. Youll see how you tackled the bad days before and made sure you get over this slump much quicker.

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What Is An Underactive Thyroid

First up, it helps to swot up on what the thyroid is, and what its role is in the body. Essentially, the thyroid is a gland that sits at the front of your neck and straddles the wind pipe. Its primary function is to keep your cells active, which is done by secreting carefully balanced levels of the hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine into the blood. Together, T3 and T4 influence the speed at which your cells operate.

“Hypothyroidism is a slow burner it is often misdiagnosed as depression”

If the balance of these hormones goes awry, the thyroid is referred to as being either underactive or overactive . Note, hypothyroidism is different to Hashimotos, when the immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland, although the two do often occur together.

Eat Smaller More Frequent Meals

Hypothyroidism often slows digestive function, causing your body to hang on to fat instead of burning it for energy. Changing the standard three meals a day into smaller, more frequent meals can support your metabolism and balance blood sugar levels. Eating later in the day, when your metabolism is naturally slower, can impede your weight loss efforts, too.

Keeping a food diary or journal can help you remember exactly what you ate and when. Journaling allows you to go back to see what foods you ate on days you felt unwell. Working with a registered dietitian or nutritionist can help you best figure out how to make each of your smaller meals as impactful as possible.

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Want The Shopping List To Print

To make it easy for you, Ive compiled all the ingredients for each week of the Hypothyroid Meal Plan into a shopping list . You can then save it to your phone or print it out:


About Joe Leech, Dietitian

Joe Leech is a university-qualified dietitian from Australia.

He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in exercise science, followed by a Master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2011.

Learn more about him on the About page.

Joe Leech, Dietitian

Burn More Calories With An Exercise Plan

How to Lose Weight with Thyroid Problems

There are going to be days where you struggle to stay within your calorie count. There will be other days that you want to burn more calories than you burn by just sitting still. The best way to do that is by exercising.

The more you move, the more calories you will burn. I have some great news about this: you dont need to join a gym or take up classes with lots of people watching you! Just moving more will help you start burning more calories. You can always build up your confidence to do the exercise classes and find a form of exercise that you enjoy so much that you always want to do it.

Experts recommend that we do 150 minutes of low-medium intensity exercise on a weekly basis. If you do high-intensity workouts, then 75 minutes a week is enough. This is just to be healthy. You want to double that if you want to lose weight!

That can seem like a lot, right? The 150 minutes is 30 minutes a day, five days a week. If you did 300 minutes, then youre looking at 60 minutes! Just how do you fit all that in?

Create an exercise plan and choose activities that you enjoy. Youll have more motivation to get into them and fit them into your day. You can split the portions up into smaller and more manageable sessions.

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Choose A Physical Activity You Enjoy

Choose a physical activity that you will enjoy and continue, such as walking, yoga, swimming, Pilates, running, Zumba, or P90X. Whatever you do, make sure you enjoy it. Now perhaps you are saying, Physical activity?! Im exhausted even after a full nights sleep. I cant even imagine getting enough energy to think about exercise, let alone do it.

However, you will need to tailor your activity based on your adrenal levels and the stage of adrenal dysfunction your body may currently be experiencing . The more advanced the stages of your adrenal dysfunction are, the less likely youre going to be able to tolerate exercise.

Generally, when it comes to exercise, we find that in Stage I adrenal dysfunction, things like running, aerobic sports, and CrossFit are going to make people feel better. In people with Stage III adrenal dysfunction, however, these types of activities may make them feel worse and worsen their adrenal fatigue and dysfunction. A person with Stage III dysfunction may do better with more gentle, relaxing exercises like yoga and stretching, as well as with muscle building exercises like lifting weight. Remember: muscle boosting is great for our own internal metabolism. Having more muscles will actually make it easier for you to lose weight!

Again, its important to find the appropriate amount of exercise and tailor your needs to your own body.

Optimise Your Thyroid Medication

I wanted to begin with a nutrition recommendation, but correcting your thyroid medication first priority.

If your medication is not helping to correct TSH and your T3 and T4 thyroid hormone levels, as well as relieve symptoms, then weight loss goes from difficult to impossible.

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.

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How 3 Women With Hypothyroidism Maintain Their Weight

How we see the world shapes who we choose to be and sharing compelling experiences can frame the way we treat each other, for the better. This is a powerful perspective.

If you have hypothyroidism, you might deal with daily symptoms like nausea, fatigue, weight gain, constipation, feeling cold, and depression.

While the symptoms that accompany hypothyroidism , can disrupt several parts of your life, weight gain seems to be one area that causes significant distress and frustration.

When your thyroid is underactive, your metabolism slows down, which can lead to weight gain.

Hypothyroidism is typically diagnosed in adulthood, but many people will tell you they remember struggling with their weight and other symptoms for years.

Hypothyroidism becomes more pronounced with age and is far more common in women than men. In fact, 20 percent of women in the United States will develop the condition by age 60.

Healthline talked to three women with hypothyroidism about weight gain, how theyve accepted their bodies, and the lifestyle changes theyve made to manage their weight.

Maintaining a healthy weight with hypothyroidism has been a challenge for Ginny Mahar, co-founder of Thyroid Refresh. Diagnosed in 2011, Mahar says her doctors advice regarding her weight gain was eat less and exercise more. Sound familiar?

Adrenal Support And Stress Response

How to Lose Weight if You Have Thyroid Problems | Relationship Between Thyroid and Weight

Our bodies have this amazing capability to heal. When youre in the rest and digest stage, or anabolic process, your body is actively repairing and healing itself.

When you experience stress, your body goes into fight or flight response mode, diverting its attention from healing and digestion and goes into emergency mode, pumping your body full of adrenaline to prepare it to survive what your body perceives to be a life threatening event. Many people cite a traumatic incident in their lives as the precursor to when their Hashimotos symptoms began. Adrenal stress is a very common reason behind why people may hit a weight loss plateau.

There are 3 potential stages of adrenal dysfunction: Stage I, Stage II, and Stage III.

  • Stage I In Stage I, there will generally be too much cortisol production. Your total cortisol level is going to be elevated throughout the day.
  • Stage II In this stage, the total cortisol level will be normal, but there will be some abnormalities where it might be high in the morning, then too low in the afternoon, and then high again in the evening. This can produce some annoying symptoms like blood sugar swings, irritability, or an afternoon crash.
  • Stage III This is an advanced stage where the adrenals become depleted and do not produce enough cortisol. Youll be running on empty and have very low levels of cortisol throughout the day. This often times leads to chronic fatigue.

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How Much And When You Eat Matters

How much, or how little, you eat and when you eat are important factors that can affect successful weight loss for people with thyroid disease. New studies show that changing your timing of eating and the length of breaks between meals may help enhance your metabolism and promote weight loss.

And while we all know that calories often need to be cut for successful weight loss, they can be reduced too much, slowing metabolism. Find out if you are eating enough calories to lose weight.

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.

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