Losing weight is difficult for anyone much less someone diagnosed with hypothyroidism. You would think diet and exercise were all that were necessary to shed a couple of extra pounds, but for people with hypothyroidism, losing weight can be a daunting task. Why is this?
Hypothyroidism is a disease that causes the thyroid gland to malfunction and become underactive. The thyroid gland is responsible for producing hormones that regulate certain functions in the body including heart rate, breathing, and metabolism. When someone has thyroid disease, their thyroid hormones are basically out of whack. What that means is the body can burn calories too quickly or too slowly.
Unfortunately for someone with hypothyroidism, this typically means someone burns calories too slowly. They have a tendency to feel fatigued and lethargic, and may put on weight unusually easily. They may also have increased difficulty shedding pounds, even after normal or above average exercise.
So far this isn’t sounding like a very good diet plan!
SO, what is the secret to losing weight with hypothyroidism? The fact of the matter is there are no secrets when it comes to weight loss of any kind, there are only facts. When it comes down to it, you must learn the facts about hypothyroidism if you plan to shed unwanted pounds resulting from the disease itself.
In the next section we will review some of the most common sense knowledge available about hypothyroidism and losing weight. You will learn simple solutions to help jump start your weight loss and develop a healthy living lifestyle.
Hypothyroidism Fast Facts
So what are the facts about hypothyroidism? Hypothyroidism causes the thyroid gland to produce too little thyroid hormones in the body. Typically these include T4 and T3 hormones. In response to this the body may produce increasing amounts of TSH or thyroid stimulating hormones in the body. This may temporarily mitigate any signs or symptoms of hypothyroidism you are having.
This is meant to be a temporary solution your body creates toward hypothyroidism to “fix” the problem until you develop a more permanent solution to the deficit or crisis in thyroid hormone deficiency.
With time this increase in TSH can cause a lot of harm to your body’s natural processes. Some people have generally well producing thyroid glands that perform sub clinically or sub optimally. These patients may require treatment as well.
How do you lose weight if you fall into one of these categories? Here are some tips.
- Visit a competent health care professional for a proper work up. You will require blood tests to confirm your condition.
- Rule out other conditions. You want to be sure the cause for your sluggish condition is hypothyroidism and not some other underlying condition that needs to be treated in another manner.
- Start a diet as approved by your health care provider that is rich in iodine and selenium, vegetables, fruits, lean meats, seafood, and other foods that improve thyroid health.
- Eat several small meals per day rather than three larger ones.
- Make sure you get plenty of rest.
- Consume no more than main meal containing a source of carbohydrate for the day (e.g. bread, pasta, cereal, potatoes, rice, or any grain)
- Consume spices such as chilies, ginger and turmeric to naturally increase fat burning
- Eat a source of protein with each major meal of the day (lean chicken, eggs, and fish)
- Try to get exercise every day if you can, even if it is a walk around the block. (Some people don’t get as much as this each week!).
- Remember to keep a positive outlook on life, which goes a long way.
- Pack smart snacks so you reach for those instead of fast food when you are grabbed by a sudden snack attack.
- Talk to others about your condition. If you can, join a local support group or online support group for more information and advice about hypothyroidism. It often helps to elicit feedback from others and gain knowledge from others. Keep in mind however, that most of this information is subjective. Any medical recommendations should be verified by your healthcare provider.
You should also remember that weight gain or loss is a personal process. Try not to compare yourself to the people around you. One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to lose weight is to compare themselves to people around them. This can prove very discouraging and may encourage you to focus on your flaws rather than your greatest assets. Keep this in mind as you continue your journey toward treating hypothyroidism and the resulting weight loss success.