How to lose weight in thyroid problem: Thyroid Weight Loss and Diet Solutions
Thyroid Weight Loss and Diet Solutions
One of the most common complaints of people with thyroid disease is an inability to lose weight, despite a healthy diet and exercise. As a thyroid patient, you may feel like you are immune to the effects of even the most rigorous diet and exercise program, and some of you may even find yourself gaining weight, seemingly defying physics.
Verywell / Laura Porter
The Thyroid Link
The mechanism by which an underactive thyroid causes weight gain—or an inability to lose weight—isn’t well understood, but it has to do in part with several key factors:
- Somewhat slower metabolism
- Lowered energy, resulting in less movement and exercise
- Changes to the way your body processes, stores, and burns off fat and glucose
- Tendency to hold on to fluid in tissues
For some people, a thyroid condition is the reason for unsuccessful weight loss efforts. And we now know that, according to researchers, even slight shifts in thyroid function are linked to weight gain.
If you are a thyroid patient frustrated by your efforts to lose weight, take a look at some of the approaches that you may find helpful in overcoming these factors—and get on the right path to healthy eating and successful weight loss.
Optimal Hypothyroidism Treatment Is Vital
In some ways, no matter what diet or exercise approach you follow, you may find it difficult—or even impossible—to lose weight if you have undiagnosed and untreated, or undertreated, hypothyroidism.
For some thyroid patients, it’s not enough to get thyroid treatment that puts you into the “reference range.” You may discover that you don’t lose weight unless your thyroid hormone replacement treatment is optimized. So, first step, partner with a knowledgeable practitioner and get optimal thyroid treatment.
Other Hormones Play a Key Role
Some thyroid patients experience other hormonal shifts that can get in the way of successful weight loss. For example:
How Much and When You Eat Matters
How much, or how little, you eat and when you eat are both important factors that can affect successful weight loss for thyroid dieters. 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 cut too much and slow metabolism to such a degree that a weight loss effort is sabotaged. Find out if you are eating enough calories to lose weight.
Whatever diet or exercise plan you are following, there are two basic requirements that you should incorporate into your weight loss plan:
- Get sufficient sleep. Studies show that this is one of the most important things you can do to help lose weight.
- Drink enough water. Sufficient water intake and hydration is linked to more successful weight loss efforts.
Foods and Supplements for Weight Loss
For anyone trying to lose weight—especially thyroid patients who may have somewhat slower digestion—who more frequently experiences constipation, fiber may have some significant weight loss benefits. In particular, incorporating more high-fiber foods into the diet may be part of a successful weight loss approach.
Some other foods and supplements that may help, but have not necessarily been extensively studied as far as an impact on thyroid dieters include:
- Chia seeds
- Coconut Oil
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
- Hoodia Gordonii
- Green Tea
Sabotaging Weight Loss
It’s important to know about the role of goitrogens for thyroid patients trying to lose weight. Goitrogens are healthy, cruciferous vegetables, like spinach, kale, and broccoli. When overconsumed, however, especially raw, they have the ability to slow down the thyroid. You can eat these vegetables in moderation, steamed or cooked, but overdoing it may work against your effort to lose weight.
You also want to learn more about the potential concerns of overdoing it with soy-based foods. Not only is soy a goitrogen, but soy can also block the body’s absorption of thyroid hormone.
7 Essential Facts About Goitrogens and Diet
Movement, Exercise, and Workouts
Movement—whether it be sports, exercise, or other forms of physical activity—is an important part of any successful weight loss program and is particularly important for thyroid patients.
Start by learning how movement plays a role in boosting a slow metabolism. Movement can also help reduce fluid retention and bloating and make you feel more energetic. Not sure where to start? Check out this thyroid-friendly water workout.
There aren’t really any truly effective prescription drugs for weight loss on the market at present. But the drugs that are available can pose some dangers for thyroid patients. Saxenda is a weight loss drug that may increase the risk of a rare type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid cancer. Phentermine is a stimulant that can raise your heart rate and blood pressure—two things that can also be caused by out of range thyroid dosing. If you are tempted to try the drug Alli or Xenical (the generic name is orlistat) you will also want to learn how it interacts with thyroid medication.
A Word From Verywell
If you feel like you have been doing everything right and are frustrated by the scale refusing to budge, it’s time to troubleshoot your diet and weight loss program. Here are some resources to help:
Can I Blame My Weight on My Thyroid?
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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 it’s not working properly.
Your thyroid is a small gland in the front of your neck just below your Adam’s apple. When it’s 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 (among other things) it can also have an effect on your weight.
“The thyroid’s 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 person’s weight. If you are a fast metabolizer you will burn more calories, or if you are a slow metabolizer, you’re 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 person’s size. Thankfully, the disease is treatable, although not curable.
Unexplained Weight Gain
If your thyroid is underactive, it isn’t producing enough hormones, and your metabolism will be slower than normal. This condition is called hypothyroidism. That means your body won’t burn calories as quickly as it should. Slowly, over time, your underactive thyroid will lead to weight gain — anywhere from 10 to 30 pounds or more. Most of the extra weight is due to water and salt.
Because an underactive thyroid can be tricky to diagnose, you should talk to your doctor if you are gaining weight for no apparent reason. Other symptoms of hypothyroidism are feeling sluggish, increased sensitivity to cold, muscle weakness, dry skin and constipation.
Once you’re treated for an underactive thyroid, your weight should return to normal and you won’t be able to blame your thyroid for any extra rolls of fat. Could it be too many donuts or mocha frappés?
Unexplained Weight Loss
If your thyroid is overactive, it’s producing too much hormone and your metabolism will be faster than normal. This condition is called hyperthyroidism. That means your body burns calories faster than it should. Although you might be happy about this if you’re hoping to lose some weight, it’s not ideal for your overall health. Hyperthyroidism also causes heart palpitations, irritability, difficulty sleeping and diarrhea.
Because hyperthyroidism also increases your appetite, it can cause you to eat more, so there’s a chance you could have the disease and not lose weight.
Once hyperthyroidism is treated and your thyroid hormone levels return to normal, your ability to gain or lose weight will be the same as someone without thyroid problems.
If you are a fast metabolizer you will burn more calories, or if you are a slow metabolizer, you’re going to gain weight.
Dr. Bethel further explains how thyroid disease affects weight.
Click play to watch the video or read video transcript.
Thyroid is one of the six hormones that affect weight gain. What it does, it regulates how fast you burn food. If you are hypothyroid, where your thyroid level is low, then you’re not going to burn the calories. You’re going to hold onto those calories. If you’re hyperthyroid, where your thyroid gland is overactive, then you’re going to run through those calories, and you actually will lose weight. It’s a very important link.
She also explains how treatment for thyroid disease can help your weight return to normal.
Click play to watch the video or read video transcript.
Thyroid disease can affect a person’s weight by regulating how fast they burn calories, or how slow they burn calories. It all works toward speeding up if it’s overactive, or under active, it can slow everything down, so it makes them gain weight uncontrollably. Treatment for an under active thyroid will greatly increase their metabolism, burn off calories, lose the extra weight, and also prevent them from gaining future weight. It’s a very important hormone to have checked.
It’s easy to get the care you need.
See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.
Source: Kimberly Bethel, MD, Trotwood Physician Center; American Thyroid Association; National Institutes of Health; Womenshealth.gov
Doing All The Right Things, But Not Losing Weight: Could It Be Your Thyroid?
You’ve started a healthy eating plan, you’ve got a great exercise program that feels manageable, you’re active throughout each day, and you’re getting eight hours of sleep a night. But you’re not seeing all your hard work pay off on the scale. What else is there to do when you’re diligently working toward a goal but still not losing weight?
If you’ve heard that your thyroid gland might be to blame, you’re not alone. It’s a popular question in the Fitbit community, among those who just can’t seem to shed the desired pounds. According to the American Thyroid Association, about 20 million people in the United States have a thyroid problem; roughly 12 percent will develop one over the course of a lifetime.
Thyroid issues are a crucial component of your ability to lose or gain weight. “The thyroid gland makes thyroid hormone, which is a hormone contributing to your overall metabolic rate,” says Michael Langan, MD, FACP, who specializes in internal medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Here, Langan walks you through everything you need to know about the thyroid and its impacts on weight gain and loss.
What are the symptoms of a thyroid disorder?
A thyroid might be underactive or overactive. Langan says that underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism, is when the thyroid is “underfunctioning” and not producing enough thyroid hormone. The symptoms include:
- Difficulty losing or maintaining weight
- Weight gain
- Swelling in legs
- Hair loss
- Hair texture change
- Slow heart rate
- Cold intolerance
It’s also possible your thyroid might be overactive, which means it’s high-functioning and “producing too much thyroid hormone,” says Langan. The symptoms of hyperthyroidism are:
- Weight loss
- Loose stools
- Rapid heart rate
While it’s good to be aware of both high and low functioning thyroid symptoms, hypothyroidism is the condition that commonly impacts your ability to lose weight.
What are the causes of hypothyroidism?
A number of factors can affect the thyroid’s production of hormones, which can throw your body’s chemistry and metabolic processes out of whack. In underactive thyroid of hypothyroidism, which often impacts a person’s ability to lose weight, common causes are an autoimmune disease, thyroid surgery, radiation therapy, or certain medications. Women are five times more likely to have a thyroid issue than men.
How is thyroid disease diagnosed?
A primary care physician can diagnose a problem with the thyroid. “I’ll typically start by asking the patient a series of questions if thyroid is a concern,” he says. “I’ll examine the neck to see if the thyroid is enlarged, and then usually order a TSH [thyroid-stimulating hormone] blood test.” The test will measure the free levels of thyroid hormone. If your levels are low, you’re hypothyroid — which might be a reason you can’t lose weight.
What are the treatments?
If you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, the treatment is relatively straightforward. “If your thyroid is low-functioning, we will essentially give you a medication that is a thyroid hormone replacement,” says Langan. The medication, levothyroxine, will need to be taken lifelong; there is no cure or surgery to increase hormone production once the thyroid’s natural production has dropped off.
When should you see a doc?
Many people are clued into a potential thyroid issue when they’re looking to lose weight and can’t. “If you have a disciplined diet and exercise plan, but you’re not seeing any results in six to eight weeks, then it’s time to see your doctor,” says Langan. “But usually people with a thyroid problem aren’t just experiencing an inability to lose weight; they are usually experiencing two to three other symptoms of a thyroid problem, as well.” If you’re noticing a trifecta — like weight gain, fatigue and constipation, for instance — that’s usually a big clue for hypothyroid.
And while you should definitely be mindful of problems losing weight, don’t be afraid to visit your doctor earlier. “If you’re looking to start a weight loss regimen, your doctor can help you design the right plan for you in terms of diet and exercise,” Langan says, noting someone who’s had knee surgery, for example, may require specific changes for physical activity. “You can see your primary care physician right off the bat.” And you can get your thyroid function checked out before you begin to try and lose weight.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.
Jenna Birch is a health and lifestyle journalist. She has written for web and print outlets like Cosmopolitan, O, Psychology Today, SELF, Women’s Health and Men’s Health, among others. She is a relationship columnist for Yahoo, and author of The Love Gap (January 2018, Grand Central Life & Style), a science-backed guide for modern women navigating today’s complicated dating landscape. A University of Michigan alum, Jenna still resides in Ann Arbor, MI.
Stimulate Your Thyroid to Burn Fat & Increase Metabolism –Rose Wellness
If you have an underactive thyroid, you know how difficult it can be to lose weight. A sluggish thyroid can reduce your body’s metabolism and its ability to burn fat, making it harder to lose weight. Additionally, a sluggish thyroid can cause weakness and fatigue, which can further hinder your weight loss efforts.
Overcome Thyroid Problems and Burn Fat
There are several things that you can do to stimulate your thyroid, which will activate your metabolism and help your body burn fat.
Avoid Foods That Cause Inflammation
Avoid foods that trigger systemic inflammation. Processed foods, refined sugar, and refined oil can increase inflammation in the body. Furthermore, food intolerances can cause inflammation. The top food intolerances include soy, corn, gluten, and dairy products. By eliminating these foods from your diet, you can help heal the thyroid gland and rev up your fat burning capabilities.
Iodine Consumption for Improving Thyroid Health
Iodine is your best friend. In order for your thyroid to function properly, you need to include iodine in your diet. Iodine is a mineral that is used by the thyroid gland to make T3 and T4. Most people know that seafood, seaweed, and saltwater fish like tuna and cod are rich in iodine; however, many people do not realize that dairy products, cereals, and breads all contain ample amounts of iodine. Iodine deficiency can lead to development of goiter (an enlargement of the thyroid gland) or hypothyroidism
Eat Small Meals Frequently
Eat as soon as you wake up. Waiting more than 30 minutes after you wake up to eat can place undue stress on your body. When your body does not get fed upon rising, the famine response can activate and prevent the thyroid from converting T4 into T3. Once the famine response has been activated, your body will begin storing fat for a backup emergency food source. Finally, eat small meals throughout the day to prevent the body from thinking that food is scarce, and it should activate the famine response to protect against starvation.
If you have high levels of toxins, your thyroid may not be able to function properly. Toxins are found in groundwater, nonorganic foods, mercury laden fish, and oral fillings. Following a detoxification program can help pull toxins and heavy metals from the body and improve thyroid function.
Nutritional deficiencies can impact how well your thyroid functions. There are several minerals that can reduce the amount of thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid gland. Selenium, zinc, iodine, and tyrosine are necessary for the production of thyroid hormones. Taking a vitamin and mineral supplement can help to improve thyroid health.
Choose vitamins and minerals that can help to decrease the effects of stress hormones on your metabolism and thyroid. When you are under stress, your body produces cortisol. Cortisol decreases thyroid hormone production, decreases T3 production, and increases the destruction of T3 in the body. In addition to this, high cortisol levels can cause blood sugar imbalances which can further exacerbate thyroid problems.
Get a good night’s sleep. Many of the hormones that are necessary for improved health are produced while you sleep. If you are having trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, go to bed every night at the same time, get up every morning at the same time, lower the temperature of your bedroom by a couple of degrees, and only use your bedroom for intimacy and sleep.
Exercise is an important part of any weight loss plan. If you have a poorly functioning thyroid, you will want to include both strength training and cardiovascular exercises. Cardio exercises increase respiration and heart rate, melt fat, and burn calories. Examples of cardio exercises include aerobics, swimming, walking, jogging, and biking. Strength training exercise helps to build muscle. When your muscle mass increases, your fat burning capabilities increase. Strength training exercises are designed to build and tone your muscles and improve your strength and endurance.
Consume Enough Water
Drink water throughout the day. You must stay hydrated to stay healthy. Did you know that drinking two glasses of water increases the metabolic rate? In addition to this, drinking cold water before you eat can reduce the amount of food you consume and improve weight loss efforts.
Stress decreases metabolism and slows down thyroid function. Furthermore, when you are stressed, you are more likely to stress eat, resulting in weight gain. Stress reduction techniques like meditation, deep breathing, and yoga can help improve how well your thyroid functions and help you burn fat and increase metabolism.
Heal your Thyroid and Lose Weight
Our functional medicine practitioners understand the importance of treating the body as a whole rather than just treat the symptoms. When you suffer from a low functioning thyroid and low metabolism, you must address the underlying issues that are preventing your body from burning fat and losing weight. Some of the most common underlying issues including stress, sleep deprivation, nutritional deficiencies, and toxic build up in the body.
It is advisable to consult with your functional medicine doctor specializing in thyroid health. Your doctor will help determine how well your thyroid is functioning, identify any nutritional deficiencies that need to be addressed, discuss dietary changes, and recommend a fitness program that will bolster metabolism and fat burning.
Do you have an overactive thyroid
Millions of people have an overactive thyroid gland. Many don’t know it. This condition, known as hyperthyroidism, occurs more often in women than in men. Since the thyroid gland controls the body’s metabolism, an overactive thyroid puts the body into overdrive.
The symptoms of an overactive thyroid can be subtle and suggest any number of other health problems, ranging from a bowel problem to heart disease or a mental health issue. Some of the signs and symptoms of an overactive thyroid include:
- Heat intolerance. A sped-up metabolism leads to an increase in body temperature.
- Exhaustion. A body perpetually in overdrive tires out more quickly.
- Emotional changes. Fatigue coupled with an overstimulated central nervous system can lead to a variety of emotional changes. Anxiety intermixed with depression, as well insomnia or irritability, are not uncommon.
- Perspiration and thirst. As your body temperature rises, your sweat glands tend to overwork, and you feel the need to continually replenish fluids.
- Constant hunger. As your body uses up energy, it tends to cry out for more. Some people have an insatiable appetite.
- Unexplained weight loss. Even though you may eat constantly, you could lose weight, usually between 5 and 10 pounds—even more in extreme cases.
- Racing heart. You may notice your heart racing out of the blue. This can occur when you are exerting yourself or when you are relaxing. You may find your pulse is much faster than normal.
- Enlarged thyroid gland. Sometimes, but not always, the thyroid gland becomes enlarged and may protrude from the neck to form a goiter. If the goiter is large enough, it may feel lumpy.
- Hand tremors. Overstimulated nerves can make your hands shake. The shaking may be subtle, or it could be to the point where you can’t steadily carry a drink without spilling it.
- Diarrhea. An overactive thyroid causes the digestive system to speed up, and this leads to frequent, loose bowel movements.
- Eye problems. In some people with an overactive thyroid gland, eye problems can occur and be quite severe. The most common eye symptom is a retraction of the eyelids that makes the eyes appear to bulge or stare dramatically. Your eyes may also be puffy and watery, and you may experience double vision.
- Hives. You might notice an itchy rash, which can be relieved with antihistamines.
- Menstrual changes and infertility. Women may notice lighter or missed periods, and may have trouble becoming pregnant.
If you notice these symptoms, call your doctor and ask about having your thyroid tested. Left untreated, an overactive thyroid can cause other health problems, such as an increased risk for osteoporosis and potential heart trouble.
To gain a greater understanding of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, as well as how your thyroid works, buy Thyroid Disease, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.
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Hypothyroid Diet Strategies That Actually Work
When Susan first came to see me, she wanted an intense diet plan.
She weighed about 260 pounds—and she longed to part with more than 60 of them as fast as possible.
She was ashamed, frustrated, and angry.
“I had my thyroid tested,” she told me. “My doctor said it was low-normal—nothing to worry about. But I think it’s why I’m struggling.”
Her words? I’d heard them before, almost verbatim, from so many women with hypothyroidism (the medical term for an underactive thyroid).
Susan wanted me to tell her how to change her eating habits to lose weight—and she wanted something that would work quickly.
But I knew that until she quieted her negative self-talk, reduced her stress level, made peace with her body, and gained a sense of control, she would struggle with any diet or exercise plan I gave her.
So before suggesting specific nutrition and lifestyle strategies, I set out to help her transform her mind.
Later in this article, I’ll explain exactly how she made this critical mindset shift—and most importantly, how you can help your clients do the same. This new mindset can then form the foundation for those lasting habits that lead to weight loss, energy, and soaring health.
But first, let’s step back and go over some basics.
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What is hypothyroidism?
Your thyroid, a tiny gland in the middle of your lower neck, makes hormones that regulate metabolism, energy level, and heart rate, among other things.
When someone has hypothyroidism, the gland doesn’t produce enough triiodothyronine (T3) or thyroxine (T4), so everything slows down. This leads to symptoms like:
- Cold intolerance
- Dry skin and hair
- Brain fog
- Menstrual irregularities
- Fertility problems
- Yellowing of the skin
- Hair loss
- Brittle nails
- Muscle cramps
- Low libido
- Puffiness in the hands and face
- Difficulty losing weight
- Weight gain
Susan? She dealt with at least half of those symptoms on a daily basis.
No wonder she came into my office feeling tired, frustrated, and betrayed by her own body.
Hypothyroidism is most prevalent in women.
Women are five to eight times more likely to be diagnosed with hypothyroid than men, possibly because oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy, and the hormonal shifts that take place during and after pregnancy as well as during perimenopause can all boost risk.
- 2 percent of adult women
- 2.5 percent of pregnant women
- 5 to 9 percent of postpartum women
Hypothyroidism is also underdiagnosed.
Up to 60 percent of people with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition, according to the American Thyroid Association.1, 2
That likely stems from a number of issues, including:
- The medical community doesn’t agree on what constitutes a truly “low” functioning thyroid or how and when to prescribe medicine.
- Blood tests for hypothyroid occasionally deliver false negatives.
As for Susan, her blood work put her in a medical gray area. Her thyroid wasn’t making enough T3 and T4 hormones. That was clear.
What wasn’t clear to her doctor: whether her thyroid was slow enough to necessitate medication. He thought the risks of the medicine outweighed the potential benefit.
Susan, of course, felt differently.
Do some people think they have a slow thyroid, but really just… don’t?
Yes. And I usually see this when someone has struggled to lose weight and has hit a stubborn plateau.
I often encourage people to see their doctor and get some blood work done. Because that way, they can find out for sure.
Other than that, however, the process of coaching someone who wrongly thinks they have a slow thyroid is basically the same as coaching someone who really does have one.
In both situations, you want to help the client shift the sphere of control away from the disease and toward what they can personally do: Eat more whole foods, move their bodies, rest and de-stress, and get enough sleep.
There are no toxic side effects to a healthier diet and better self-care. So we’re going to win either way, whether they ultimately have a thyroid condition or not.
Hypothyroidism can lead to a number of serious health problems.
In addition to fatigue and weight gain, a sluggish thyroid can raise risk for:
- Elevated levels of LDL cholesterol
- Heart problems
- Peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage, usually in the legs)
- Frequent miscarriages
- Birth defects
This is why people with hypothyroidism benefit from nutrition and lifestyle changes, even if those changes don’t ultimately lead to significant weight loss.
It’s common for people with hypothyroidism to blame their doctors.
After being dismissed by her doctor, Susan was angry, and she wanted to spend a lot of our 60-minute coaching session complaining about her primary care physician.
This, however, wasn’t a good use of her time.
First, regardless of how she felt about her doctor, I knew Susan would greatly benefit from client-centered collaborative care.
When doctors, registered dietitians, nutrition coaches, personal trainers, and other healthcare providers all work together to support a client, the client wins.
Just as important: When people get caught up in placing blame, they tend to resist change.
Susan wanted her doctor to hear her—really hear her—when she talked about her overwhelming fatigue. And rather than scare her with a lecture about diabetes, she wanted him to give her a real solution, specifically a prescription.
But, right now, she couldn’t control any of that.
Instead, I wanted to focus Susan on what she could control:
- Her self-talk
- How she respected, cared for, and loved her body
- What she ate
- How she slept
- What she did to de-stress
- How much she exercised
- What she did to support her efforts, such as bringing in a nutrition coach and personal trainer to help her achieve her goals
I showed her the “Spheres of Control” diagram below.
“Let’s consider what’s within your sphere of control,” I told her. “Because you’re much more likely to get support from your medical team if you show that you are helping yourself.”
Something clicked. The anger on Susan’s face began to soften. Her shoulders relaxed, and a curious look came over her face.
“Okay, I guess that makes sense. But what would that look like?”
From there, we worked together to list specific changes that fell into the “total control” and “some control” categories. More on those soon.
Weight loss with hypothyroidism can be a lot harder—and it makes some people want to give up altogether.
Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) includes the calories your body burns to keep you alive: powering your heart beat, growing and repairing cells, adjusting hormones, and breathing.
It accounts for somewhere between 50 to 80 percent of all the calories a person burns. (The rest comes from exercise, digestion, and minor fidgeting movements, called non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or NEAT).
Just how much a sluggish thyroid slows BMR will vary from person to person.
- Someone with no thyroid at all—due to surgical thyroid removal, for example—may experience up to a 40 percent drop in BMR.
- Someone with a functioning thyroid may experience a milder slowdown, in the neighborhood of 6 percent.3-5
For some people, this drop doesn’t make much of a difference, especially if they’re taking thyroid medication. They don’t struggle with their weight anymore than someone without thyroid problems.
But for many others, untreated thyroid issues can reduce the number of calories their bodies burn in a typical day by more than 300 calories. That makes successful weight loss a lot harder.
Someone without thyroid issues might drop a pound or two a week, whereas someone with low thyroid might lose only a fraction of a pound—or not even see the scale move for a week or two.
That’s pretty discouraging, which is why I tend to hear a couple phrases a lot: “Why bother?” and “I don’t even know why I’m trying. It’s hopeless.”
Because of this discouragement, I generally focus on someone’s mindset long before I suggest nutritional or lifestyle changes.
Here’s my step-by-step process.
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Step 1: Address mindset.
Despite what many people believe, a number on the scale just isn’t enough to motivate someone long term. The scale’s readout is also super hard to control.
End result: many people rely on brute force, also known as “willpower.” They think, ‘If I just tried harder, I’d be able to get the scale to move.’
So they tackle a new diet—keto, vegetarian, 100 percent whole food—and they may do okay for a while, but inevitably fail.
Why? Because successful weight loss starts in the mind.
To help get this idea across, I showed Susan “The Iceberg of Success.”
As the iceberg shows, mindset creates a foundation for everything else.
Once someone works on shaping their mindset, it’s much easier to shape their environment: the foods they stock in their kitchen or at work, who they lean on for support, and what they allow themselves to look at online.
For example, continually seeing success photos of a certain friend in a bikini? It’s usually pretty demotivating for someone with a low thyroid.
And once they reshape their environment, it’s a lot easier to change habits: what they eat, how much they exercise, and what time they go to bed.
By tackling change in that order, willpower becomes a lot less important.
In fact, some people can be successful without using much of it at all. That’s why, in the Iceberg of Success, you see willpower at the top—above the level of the ocean.
Once I showed Susan the iceberg, she got it, immediately.
Then, to help her shift her mindset, I used four exercises.
Exercise #1: The destination postcard
Precision Nutrition coaches ask their clients to envision their future. What will their body look like? How will they feel? What will they be able to do?
Then PN clients write a postcard from their future self to their current self. The postcards inspire them throughout their journeys and remind them of their eventual destinations.
I asked Susan, “So let’s start with your destination. Where do you want to go?” I wanted her to envision her life after she reached her goal.
“I want to weigh less than 200 pounds,” she told me.
While Susan was clear about where she wanted to go, I knew the number on the scale was somewhat arbitrary, very much outside of her control, and not likely to motivate her over the long term.
I wanted to shift her mindset to a goal that was intrinsically motivating and also more achievable.
“Okay, but what do you want your life to be like? How do you want to feel?”
She was stumped.
“I don’t see what the point of that is,” she told me. “If I don’t lose weight, my doctor says I’m going to get diabetes. I just need to weigh less than 200. It’s that simple.”
The exercise was a good start, but it was clear that Susan needed more to shift her mindset, so I changed direction.
Exercise #2: Imagine your aura
Yes, this technique is more than a little woo woo.
But bear with me: I wouldn’t tell you about it if I hadn’t seen it work wonders.
I asked Susan to close her eyes.
“I want you to picture a glowing ball that represents someone’s inner spirit. What would that glowing ball look like if someone exercised regularly with joyful movement, ate healthy foods because they tasted good, felt energetic, slept well, and rested when their body needed it? Describe to me what you see in that glowing ball.”
“Sparkly yellow,” she said.
“Okay, now I want you to picture someone who beats herself up with exercise—who doesn’t even take a day off when she’s sick. She starves herself and then binges on a cheat day. She never relaxes or spends time in nature, and she will do whatever it takes to fit into a size 4. What color is that person’s inner spirit?”
“Oh awful. The color of sludgy green sewage,” she said.
“Now, we all come in different sized packages. But regardless of the size or shape of the body that holds this spirit, which of those two spirits do you want to feed?”
“Duh, the yellow one,” she said.
“Which one are you currently feeding?” I asked.
She was silent. I could tell she understood it in an abstract way. But I wanted to make it more tangible. So we moved on to a third mindset exercise.
Exercise #3: Imagine self-care
I wanted Susan to tackle habit change from a place of self-respect, self-care, and self-love.
So I asked, “What would it look like if you respected your body? Talk to me about that. What does respect mean to you?”
“I guess,” she said, “if I respected my body, I wouldn’t try on clothes that are too small every week and then stare at myself in the mirror so I can see my love handles hanging over the top of my jeans. And I’d probably stop weighing my body every day and calling it names based on whatever the scale told me.”
“Great. Okay, now talk to me about what body respect looks like.”
“Well, I’d probably eat better food because it would make me feel better. And I’d probably go to the gym more because it feels good to move my body. But I wouldn’t put pressure on myself. I’d just make it a habit to go regularly. And maybe sometimes I wouldn’t even go. Like, for me, body respect is ‘I don’t want to go to the gym. I want to ride my bike with my son.’”
And then I asked her the same question, but about self-care. She mentioned, among other things, that, if she was caring for her body, she probably wouldn’t raid the vending machine in the afternoon when she was tired.
Then I asked her about self-love.
“If I loved my body, I wouldn’t hate it for the size that it is.”
That was a beautiful and powerful moment.
“Whatever package you come in, you’re going to feel amazing as a human being if you treat your body with love and respect and care and consideration,” I told her.
Exercise #4: If this happens, then I’ll….
Susan was like so many people with messy lives.
She had messy problems.
And those problems kept getting in her way. She’d try to change. She’d do okay for a while. Then her life would… get messy. She’d pause everything. Then weeks later, she’d try again.
For example, Susan wanted to be a person who packed a healthy lunch every day. But she was a single mother with a full-time job and a small child. Her life was busy. Especially on the weekends.
So sometimes she didn’t get to the grocery store.
Which meant that, on Mondays, she often couldn’t pack a lunch because she had nothing to pack. Instead she’d grab fast food. Then she’d forget about packing her lunch—for the rest of the week.
Another messy problem: Frequently, as Susan tried to get to her favorite exercise class, her toddler would melt down—kicking, screaming, hugging her legs, and throwing himself between her and the door.
She’d miss her class—and then she wouldn’t exercise for a while.
More willpower wasn’t going to get her past this.
Instead, we looked at the roadblocks that she kept stumbling over again and again and we brainstormed alternative options for getting around them. We did this by finishing this phrase: If ________________, then ______________.
Here are two examples.
If I don’t pack my lunch then….
… during my lunch break, I’ll run to a grocery store where I can buy chicken with salad.
If I can’t get to my exercise class then….
… I’ll do one of the 25- or 30-minute circuits my trainer created for me to do at home.
By strategizing ahead of time, Susan was able to solve problems as they came up, allowing her to eat healthy foods and exercise more consistently.
Step 2: Build a foundation.
Fundamental skills provide the largest ROI.
Many people with hypothyroidism want to start with fairly intense and specific dietary changes that they’ve read about on the internet.
These often include elimination diets to rule out food intolerances as well as elaborate supplementation protocols to patch deficiencies.
And though such strategies can be helpful eventually, most people can benefit a lot more from a number of simpler and more basic strategies.
- Eat more minimally-processed whole foods and fewer highly-processed refined foods. This one strategy can help fix most nutritional deficiencies.
- Consume more protein, trying to have a palm’s worth at every meal to reduce hunger and increase satisfaction.
- Prioritize colorful fruits and vegetables, having a serving at every meal, to reduce the inflammation that can signal your immune system to attack your thyroid.
- Shift away from highly-refined carbohydrate foods to slower-digesting smart carbs like beans, legumes, fruit, tubers, and whole grains. This will help to stabilize blood sugar.
- Prioritize healthy fats—such as nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, fatty fish—over other fat sources to help keep inflammation in check.
- Get regular physical activity. Find your sweet spot between pushing yourself—and enjoying it—versus overdoing it and hating it.
- Rest and recover, finding enjoyable ways to reduce stress and relax. Examples: You might enjoy spending time in nature, playing with a pet, getting a massage, or taking a leisurely stroll with a family member.
- Make time for sleep. Create a sleep routine that allows you to drift off quickly, sleep deeply for at least 7 hours, and wake feeling refreshed.
- Build an environment that makes healthy choices easy, for example, by keeping easy-to-grab nutritious foods on hand, such as sliced carrots, apples, and trail mix.
- Tune into your internal sense of hunger and fullness by eating slowly and mindfully, recognizing your sense of hunger and fullness, and stopping when you are 80 percent full, or just satisfied.
If the above sounds like the foundational skills from the Precision Nutrition Level 1 coaching program, it’s because they are.
And, sure, these practices might seem like a big “duh.” Maybe you’re even thinking, “Come on. Tell me something… transformative.”
Here’s the thing: These very simple practices are transformative. Yes, they’re straightforward. But straightforward isn’t the same as easy.
Consider this: How many people do you know who could get a perfect score in 8 out of 10 of the bulleted categories above?
Helping someone master the fundamentals also takes time, creativity, lots of listening, and even more patience.
But the payoff? It’s huge.
These strategies alone can help people lose a significant amount of weight, regain energy, and feel amazing.
They also create the foundation that allows someone to move onto step 3 (coming up next) successfully.
Susan, for example, spent 2½ years building and sharpening these foundational skills until she’d mastered them, consistently using them 80 percent of the time. And they paid off, helping her to lose the first 20 pounds in 14 months. That’s a significant amount of weight—roughly 10 percent of her starting body weight.
She still had a long way to go, however, to reach her goal, which brings us to step 3.
Is there such a thing as a perfect hypothyroidism diet?
Not really. The same types of changes that help everyone get healthier—for example, more whole foods, more protein—tend to also help people with hypothyroidism improve their overall health, too.
That said, there are three specific diets that people with hypothyroidism may want to explore.
The autoimmune diet: A modified Paleo diet, the Autoimmune Protocol Diet (or AIP for short) eliminates inflammatory foods and potential allergens: eggs, grains, legumes, dairy, nuts, seeds, nightshades, sugar and sweeteners, alcohol, and several food additives. Emerging research suggests that following an AIP dietary approach may alleviate symptoms in people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid.6
The anti-inflammatory diet: Because inflammation can worsen the autoimmune response in people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an eating pattern that showcases anti-inflammatory foods can be helpful.
The elimination diet: By cutting out certain foods and then slowly reintroducing them, you can quickly get a handle on food sensitivities and intolerances.
Step 3: Target any specific nutrition issues that come up.
Occasionally, an underlying issue stands between someone and continued weight loss. I’ve explored three common ones below.
To determine whether clients have any of these problems, ask them to write down everything they eat for seven days, along with other lifestyle factors:
- how and when they move their bodies
- their stress level
- how they sleep
See “What to Look for in a Food and Lifestyle Diary” (coming up below) to learn how to examine a seven-day food log for clues.
Several deficiencies can contribute to hypothyroidism. These include:
Iodine: The thyroid gland can’t make enough thyroid hormone if it doesn’t get enough iodine. Thanks to iodized salt, very few people have iodine deficiency, but I do occasionally see it in clients who eat very clean. They usually opt for sea salt, which doesn’t contain as much iodine as iodine-fortified table salt, and eat very little if any processed food, which tends to be a rich source of iodine-containing salt.
Iron: In addition to helping the body make red blood cells, iron is essential in the production of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Up to 43 percent of people with hypothyroidism also have iron-deficiency anemia.7, 8
Selenium: This mineral helps the thyroid use iodine to create the thyroid hormones T3 and T4. Though deficiency is rare, some people are at a higher risk, including people who’ve had gastric bypass surgery or who have Crohn’s disease or kidney problems.
Zinc: Zinc is found primarily in seafood, which explains why deficiency tends to show up in people who are strict vegans or vegetarians.
Copper: Usually we consume all the copper we need from our drinking water, but someone can end up deficient if they supplement with zinc, for example, by taking a lot of zinc-containing cold medicine. Zinc binds to the same cell receptor sites as copper, so too much zinc can crowd out copper, preventing it from getting where it needs to go.
Tyrosine: This amino acid found in dairy products, meats, fish, eggs, nuts, beans, oats, and wheat, is involved in the creation of thyroid hormones.
No matter which deficiency a person has, I try to help them close the gap by eating whole foods, which are less likely than supplements to create a secondary deficiency.
Certain foods contain substances called goitrogens that stop the thyroid from absorbing the iodine that it needs to work properly.
These foods include cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and bok choy, as well as peanuts, turnips, grapeseed, cassava, and soy.
It’s important to note that people with hypothyroidism don’t need to avoid goitrogenic foods. They’re not a problem for everyone.
And when they are a problem, the fix is pretty simple. All they need to do is cook these foods, as heating and cooking deactivates most of the goitrogens.
When Susan hit a plateau at 240 pounds, I suspected a food intolerance, especially because she was consuming a lot of gluten-rich foods as well as complaining about bloating and brain fog.
“Would you be willing to try an experiment?” I asked her. “It seems your body is trying to communicate with you. It’s trying to tell you that gluten doesn’t work.”
And within 8 weeks she was down another 10 pounds.
What to look for in a food and lifestyle diary
To find deficiencies, intolerances, and other issues, I ask clients to keep a 7-day food and lifestyle log. Each day they jot down:
- What they ate
- A stress rating, using a 1 to 10 scale
- The number of hours they slept
- How much and when they exercised
As you and your client look over the log together, consider whether they are:
- Eating enough high-quality minimally processed whole foods such as fruits and veggies, lean protein, healthy fats, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
- Getting enough sleep.
- Managing stress effectively.
- Finding that exercise sweet spot between pushing themselves just enough—or overdoing it.
And are they doing all of these things consistently, at least 80 percent of the time?
Not everyone gets to their goal—and that’s really okay.
At some point along their journey, most people hit a huge brick wall.
Too often, when this happens, they keep trying to move forward, thinking, “I need more willpower. I just need to try harder.”
Usually, more willpower isn’t what they need, though. Instead, they need to find a path around the wall.
For some people, that alternate route might be hand portions. Or intermittent fasting. Or more exercise. Or more rest and relaxation. Or maybe it’s just finding ways to be consistent with what they are already doing.
For Susan, it was realizing that her original destination wasn’t where she wanted or needed to go.
After hitting 230 pounds, Susan got a bit obsessive for a while. She restricted calories, eating the tiniest of portions. And she punished herself at the gym, never allowing herself a day off.
To a degree, it worked. She got super close to her original goal, with the scale hitting a plateau around 206 pounds.
But she was miserable. Not with the size of her body, but with what it took to maintain that size.
I worked with Susan to find her “best weight,” a term borrowed from Yoni Freedoff, MD, an associate professor of family medicine at the University of Ottawa and author of The Diet Fix.
Your best weight is whatever weight you reach while you’re living the healthiest life
that you actually enjoy.
As it turned out, Susan’s best weight was around 220 pounds. Yes, that was 20 pounds more than her initial goal, but it was also considerably less than where she started.
Is she living in a bigger body? Absolutely. But she’s also incredibly healthy, with normal blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar.
And she’s wicked strong.
It was when Susan nailed a new PR during CrossFit’s Grace workout that she knew, for sure, she’d reached her destination. That day she did 30 clean and jerks in record time, beating everyone else at the gym.
Afterward, Susan walked over to her son, who was playing nearby. She looked down to see a picture he’d just drawn. It was of Susan, holding a giant weight over her head.
That picture is now on her fridge, to remind her of her deepest why: to be a healthy role model for her son.
Click here to view the information sources referenced in this article.
- Canaris GJ, Tape TG, Wigton RS. Thyroid disease awareness is associated with high rates of identifying subjects with previously undiagnosed thyroid dysfunction. BMC Public Health. 2013 Apr 16;13:351.
- Re: Bad medicine: thyroid disease. 2020 Mar 5 [cited 2020 Mar 5]; Available from: https://www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e7596/rr/619446
- Welcker J, Chastel O, Gabrielsen GW, Guillaumin J, Kitaysky AS, Speakman JR, et al. Thyroid hormones correlate with basal metabolic rate but not field metabolic rate in a wild bird species. PLoS One. 2013 Feb 20;8(2):e56229.
- Mullur R, Liu Y-Y, Brent GA. Thyroid hormone regulation of metabolism. Physiol Rev. 2014 Apr;94(2):355–82.
- Yavuz S, Salgado Nunez Del Prado S, Celi FS. Thyroid Hormone Action and Energy Expenditure. J Endocr Soc. 2019 Jul 1;3(7):1345–56.
- Abbott RD, Sadowski A, Alt AG. Efficacy of the Autoimmune Protocol Diet as Part of a Multi-disciplinary, Supported Lifestyle Intervention for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Cureus. 2019 Apr 27;11(4):e4556.
- Soliman AT, De Sanctis V, Yassin M, Wagdy M, Soliman N. Chronic anemia and thyroid function. Acta Biomed. 2017 Apr 28;88(1):119–27.
- Erdogan M, Kösenli A, Ganidagli S, Kulaksizoglu M. Characteristics of anemia in subclinical and overt hypothyroid patients. Endocr J. 2012;59(3):213–20.
If you’re a coach, or you want to be…
Learning how to coach clients, patients, friends, or family members through healthy eating and lifestyle changes—in a way that’s personalized for their unique body, preferences, and circumstances—is both an art and a science.
If you’d like to learn more about both, consider the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification.
How to Speed Up Your Thyroid to Lose Weight
The thyroid is a small gland located just below your Adam’s apple. The gland is a powerful organ that regulates the production of hormones that control metabolism. Many people associate thyroid activity with weight loss and gain. The truth is that your thyroid can affect your health and fitness level. However, occurrences of obesity based solely on an ineffective thyroid gland are rare, according to the Mayo Clinic. Weight gain is usually the result of poor diet and inactivity. Determining the cause of your weight problems will help you learn how to control your situation and pinpoint possible problems with your thyroid.
Get your thyroid-hormone levels tested. Your doctor can order a blood test that will determine if your thyroid needs to speed up. A sluggish thyroid may require medication to stimulate it. The doctor can also prescribe a synthetic form of the necessary hormones to help manage your metabolism. The first step is to find evidence that your thyroid is part of the problem.
Can I Eat Seaweed If I Have Hyperthyroidism?
Increase the amount of vegetable-based protein in your diet. Dr. Edward Bauman recommends, in an article for Thyroid-Info, a diet rich in seeds and seafood to help normalize and regulate the thyroid. Incorporate seafood into at least one meal a day. Add snacks that include pumpkin and flaxseeds.
Avoid processed foods and preservatives in your meal plan. Bauman points to the sugar substitute aspartame, or NutraSweet, and iodized salt as two ingredients to avoid. Replace iodized salt with sea salt and stay away from aspartame products.
Gout and Iodine
Use hormone-feed meat for all your animal proteins. Your body may absorb some of the hormones from the meat you ingest. Inquire at the store or butcher about meat from hormone-feed livestock.
Start working out regularly. Workouts should include both cardiovascular exercise and strength training. Building muscle mass is the best way to increase your metabolism and lose weight. Talk to a personal trainer to develop an exercise schedule that will help improve your musculature and speed up your metabolism.
Follow the advice of your doctor if diagnosed with hypothyroidism. The doctor will instruct you on proper diet, exercise and medication. Some dietary supplements can affect the processing of medication. Discuss any vitamin supplements you take with your doctor before beginning the program.
90,000 Briefly and clearly about hypothyroidism
It sometimes happens that even if all the principles of a balanced diet are observed, it is quite difficult for an adult to lose weight. If your diet is generally balanced in the amount of all the necessary substances, and the arrow on the scales stubbornly stands still, then it’s time to contact an endocrinologist!
How weight gain and the thyroid gland are related
One of the reasons for malfunctions of the thyroid gland and, as a consequence, weight gain, may be, for example, low activity of the production of thyroid hormones (HYPOTHYROUS) .As a result, the production of dopamine (the hormone of joy) and serotonin decreases. To compensate for them, the production of adrenaline and cortisol increases, which are responsible for tension and stress. And now you are exhausted and alarmed at the same time. The metabolic rate in hypothyroidism decreases, proteins and fats are processed more slowly, and carbohydrates are less digestible. Plus a decrease in vitality. And the kilograms begin to grow even without increasing the amount of food.
What to do if hypothyroidism is suspected
WHAT TO DO? First of all – contact an endocrinologist, donate blood.A wonderful endocrinologist-nutritionist works in our clinic SKLIF. And you can also pass all the necessary tests, perform an ultrasound scan, which gives an accurate assessment of the malfunctioning of the thyroid gland.
Principle of hypothyroidism treatment
TREATMENT of hypothyroidism is carried out by hormone replacement therapy, designed to very gently “wake up” the thyroid gland, to stimulate metabolism. Do not be afraid to gain even more from hormones. In this case, they are designed to speed up metabolism, that is, they directly contribute to the processing of fat!
What else is important to know
IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW that hypothyroidism takes 3-4 times more time to “lose” weight than a healthy person.It is important to return vigor and vitality – start with walks, gradually increase physical activity, try to experience more positive emotions. And then the body will begin to return the metabolic rate more and more actively.
The administrator will help you make an appointment with a doctor, select a convenient time and day to visit the clinic + 7 (921) 80-80-219
Hormones you should make friends with in order to lose weight. Reedus
Despite the modern body-positive trends, many people do not stop striving to lose weight and acquire the body of their dreams.They are actively exercising, experimenting with diets, and even starving. But it often happens that a person spends several months with exercise machines and broccoli, and the weight and waist volume stubbornly refuse to decrease. It seems to a losing weight that he does not exercise hard enough or cuts calories too little, but he forgets that there is another important factor that can put a spoke in the wheel of the fight against excess weight – hormones.
Hormones are signaling substances that are produced by the endocrine glands and then enter the bloodstream, where they interact with target cells to help regulate their activity.
All body systems are influenced by hormones. We grow and become taller under the influence of somatotropin (growth hormone), the work of testosterone and estrogen makes us sexually mature, and even body temperature is regulated by hormones – thyroxine and triiodothyronine. Therefore, it is not surprising that fat burning and storage are also influenced by these mobsters.
First of all, it is necessary to pay attention to the hormones of the pituitary gland.The pituitary gland is the main regulator of all organs that affect the activity and production of hormones. It transmits a signal to the thyroid gland, the thyroid gland to the adrenal glands, the adrenal glands to the genitals, etc. Therefore, if there are problems with excess weight or fat accumulation that are not associated with overeating, it is worth starting the examination of the body by excluding disorders in the pituitary gland , – said “ Ridusu “nutritionist, member of the National Association of Dietitians and Nutritionists Marina Apletaeva.
Thyroid stimulating hormone
Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) affects the receptors of the thyroid gland, thereby stimulating the production of hormones: thyroxine and triiodothyronine.TSH indirectly affects obesity or weight loss when thyroid hormones are disrupted, which alter the body’s energy balance.
One of its main functions is to stimulate lactation in women. An increase in the level of this hormone promotes the accumulation of fat in both men and women.In the female body, prolactin takes over the control of the creation of additional energy reserves, which should be useful to the body during pregnancy and lactation. Prolactin acts on neuropeptide Y (it increases hunger), increasing its content in the central nervous system. It also blocks the production of adiponectin, a hormone that regulates eating behavior and prevents the accumulation of fat in the walls of the arteries. In men, increased prolactin leads to an increase in the action of estrogens, which, in turn, negatively affect the production of testosterone.
Thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3)
Disorders associated with an excess or deficiency of thyroid hormones lead to a strong change in metabolism, a slowdown or, conversely, an acceleration of metabolism.With hypothyroidism (lack of hormones), energy consumption decreases, tissues consume less oxygen, excretion of fluid from the body, synthesis of fatty acids and lipolysis worsens. All these processes will inevitably lead to edema, increased cholesterol levels, impaired bowel function and obesity. Excess thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) does the opposite. Despite a sufficient amount of food, a person with hyperthyroidism begins to lose weight, energy metabolism is greatly accelerated. One would be glad, because with such a metabolism a person eats and does not get fat, is this not a dream? But the side effects that come with hyperthyroidism are few people might like.Among them: increased appetite, diarrhea, heat intolerance and sweating, tremors, irritability, genital disorders and fatigue.
Due to a very sluggish and slow metabolism with a lack of thyroid hormones, it is quite difficult to lose weight. It is necessary to choose the right tactics for stimulating metabolic processes and establish a good, clear rhythm of nutrition , – the specialist explained to Ridus.
Is an active participant in carbohydrate metabolism in our body, and also helps to counteract stress.However, if stress becomes chronic, then the level of cortisol in the blood is constantly increased. High cortisol levels can lead to insulin resistance, which causes insulin to build up. And an increased amount of this hormone contributes to the development of obesity.
The main male sex hormone, which is also produced in women, but in much smaller quantities.Testosterone has high anabolic and lipolytic activity. What does it mean? It helps to build muscle and burn fat due to its ability to act on adrenergic receptors that enhance lipolysis, the process of breaking down fat. Unfortunately, you can’t just go and start raising your testosterone levels. Firstly, testosterone esters are prohibited for free sale, and secondly, a long-term special increase in this hormone leads to a deterioration in the production of its own testosterone and to health problems in both men and women (acne, seborrhea, etc.).etc.). As strange as it may seem, an excess of the male hormone can lead to breast enlargement in men – gynecomastia. This is because excess testosterone is aromatized into estradiol, which stimulates breast hypertrophy.
Female sex hormone, which is formed from testosterone by the aromatase enzyme.Just like testosterone, it is present in both sexes, but in different quantities. The increase in estradiol promotes the accumulation of water in the body, which leads to swelling, and this hormone also stimulates the deposition of fat in men according to the female type: on the thighs, buttocks, lower abdomen and chest.
Weight loss can normalize the level of sex hormones in both men and women without the use of hormonal drugs, – comments Marina Apletaeva.
The following parameters also affect the accumulation and burning of fat.
Hormones characterizing the volume of fat depots
A very important hormone that promotes the removal of glucose from the bloodstream and its subsequent conversion into energy.And in the body, he plays the role of a thrifty hamster, preserving glycogen and fat, which can provide the body with energy if we suddenly stop regularly throwing food into our mouths. Alas, elevated blood insulin levels are closely related to increased body fat.
So far there are no convincing results of studying the mechanism of the effect of this hormone on obesity, but numerous studies of people with type 2 diabetes mellitus and people with insulinoma (a tumor that secretes insulin uncontrollably) have shown that a decrease in the level of insulin in the blood led to weight loss, and its increase – to overweight and obesity.
Active participant in the regulation of our weight. This hormone is produced by the cells of the adipose tissue.It sends a signal to the brain that we are full and can stop sweeping away anything that is not nailed down, thereby preventing further accumulation of fat. But, unfortunately, the more adipose tissue in the body, the less beneficial leptin is. Its increased concentration in the body, which will grow in proportion to the increase in body fat, causes leptin resistance. Simply put, the brain starts to ignore the signals of leptin and the feeling of fullness does not come.
Hormones of the gastrointestinal tract
Makes us feel hungry.Its concentration in the body increases greatly during weight loss and prolonged diets. A 2011 study of hormonal adaptations to weight loss showed that even a year after the end of a strict diet, the level of this hormone remains elevated. It is ghrelin that can be thanked for the constant “zhor” and the lack of a sense of satiety, even after a dense and high-calorie meal. This hormone cannot be called an assistant in losing weight, rather, it pushes to the opposite, insidiously whispering that to diminish one more extra pie is a great idea.
If you are actively fighting overweight, but do not suffer from morbid obesity and want to know if hormones hinder your progress, first of all, you should get tested and check the indicators of these hormones.In the presence of obesity, their list may be broader and depends on the characteristics of your general health and the localization of body fat.
Norms of hormones
The norm for women 18-50 years old is 0.52-1.72 nmol / l.
The norm for men 18-50 years old is 8.9-42.0 nmol / l.
The norm for women from 18 years after puberty to menopause, in the ovulatory phase – 131-1655 pmol / l.
The norm for postmenopausal women is <73 pmol / l.
The norm for men from 18 years old is 40-161 pmol / l.
The norm for women over one year old is 109-557 mU / ml
The norm for men over one year old is 73-407 mU / ml
- Thyroid stimulating hormone
The norm for women and men over 19 years old is 0.4-4.0 mU / l.
- Thyroxine and triiodothyronine
The norm for women and men over 19 years old is 62.68-150.84 nmol / l.
90,000 Depression, fatigue, overweight? Check your thyroid gland.
The thyroid gland is a very small organ located in our throat, under the larynx. Normally, it weighs no more than 20 grams, consists of two lobes and an isthmus.The thyroid gland synthesizes thyroid hormones; T3 – triiodothyronine, T4 – thyroxine and calciotonin (parathyroid hormone) – regulating the level of calcium.
The first two hormones are responsible for the physical, mental state of the body, seriously affect the immune system, stimulating the production of T-cells. With the most active participation of these hormones, almost all metabolic processes in the body are carried out, a constant body temperature is maintained, and energy is generated.Will the orchestra play without a conductor?
It will probably be, but we will not hear a beautiful, well-coordinated melody. So it is with the thyroid gland, it regulates all the endocrine glands, affects metabolism, determines our well-being on a global, so to speak, scale. Accordingly, if the conductor (our thyroid gland) is ill, can barely stand on his feet and impulsively twitch his hands, the symphony will not work. There will be no time for the game, just to somehow survive. And the body, exhausted and unbalanced, withstands … until the first serious illness, until the first weakness …
Not only sex hormones affect the way you look and feel.Among the most influential are the hormones produced by the thyroid gland.
Too low activity of the thyroid gland – and you feel like an amoeba. Yes, hypothyroidism makes you feel like you just want to lie on the couch with a bag of chips all day. Everything works slower, including your heart, intestines, and your brain. A general drop in brain activity in hypothyroidism leads to depression, cognitive impairment, anxiety, and confusion.
The thyroid gland controls the production of many neurotransmitters.These include serotonin, dopamine, adrenaline, and norepinephrine. A low thyroid gland can lead to a compensatory rise in adrenaline (produced by the adrenal glands), which makes you feel constant tension, as well as cortisol, another stress hormone. This way, you feel tired, stressed, and stressed at the same time.
Experts conservatively estimate that one third of all depression is directly related to an imbalance in the thyroid gland.More than 80% of people with mild hypothyroidism have poor memory.
Symptoms of an underactive thyroid gland:
- Feeling of chills
- Increase in body weight
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Dry, thinning hair or no hair, especially on the eyebrows, where one third of the hairline is often missing
- Dry skin
- Dry eye syndrome
- Thin, breakable or flaking nails
- Irregular menstruation 90 140
- Miscarriage 90 140
- Severe menopause
Even if your thyroid is slightly reduced, you may still have symptoms of what is known as subclinical hypothyroidism.If you are chronically tired, overweight, have dry skin, dizzy, are prone to depression, are constantly cold, and if your body temperature is constantly below 36.6 degrees, then you may not have an active thyroid gland.
An overactive thyroid gland gives rise to hyperthyroidism. In this condition, everything in the body works too fast, including the heart, intestines and digestion, as if you are rushing forward at a crazy speed. The person feels nervous and nervous, as after large doses of caffeine.If you suffer from insomnia, anxiety, irritability, chaotic thinking, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, weight loss despite increased appetite, unreasonable fever, then you may have an overactive thyroid gland. In extreme cases, other characteristic signs appear: goiter (outgrowth on the thyroid gland), significant weight loss, bulging eyes.
What does the thyroid gland suffer from?
The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland located in the lower part of the neck.When your doctor runs his hands along the base of your throat, he checks for an obvious enlargement of your thyroid gland. But without a blood test, you can’t tell exactly what’s going on there. And it may take a while to optimize the thyroid gland.
The main hormones associated with the thyroid gland – TSH, T3, T4 – must be balanced. It is believed that tens of millions of people around the world (5–25% of the world’s population) have thyroid problems. In their book Thyroid Mental Strength, Richard and Cariley Shames write that “over the past 40 years, we have witnessed a significant increase in the amount of synthetic chemicals that lead to hormonal disruption.These substances penetrate into our air, food and water … the thyroid gland turned out to be the most sensitive human tissue. ”
Most thyroid problems are autoimmune, when the body attacks itself. This could be due to environmental toxins present in the body or allergies to the food we eat or anything in the air we breathe. It is suspected that the recent spike in hypothyroidism may be due to the toxins we absorb interfering with the peripheral conversion of T4 to T3.
Thyroid inhibitory factors:
- Excess stress and cortisol
- Selenium deficiency
- Protein deficiency, excess sugar
- Chronic diseases
- Disorders of the liver or kidneys
- Poisoning with cadmium, mercury, lead
- Herbicides, pesticides 90 140
- Birth control pills, excessive estrogen production
Thyroid problems – after childbirth.
Problems with the thyroid gland can arise in a woman’s life at any time. But a particularly vulnerable period is the birth of a child. During pregnancy, the immune system relaxes somewhat so that immune cells and antibodies do not reject the placenta that the baby is feeding on. This is why many women with thyroid problems believe pregnancy is the best condition in their life.
However, after nine months, the situation changes. The baby is born, there is no placenta, and the functions of the immune system, which were turned off to prevent early rejection of the placenta, are now abruptly turned on.It is well known that thyroid disorders usually return within 6 months of childbirth. According to researchers from the Charles University in Prague, in 35% of women who have antibodies to their own thyroid gland, 2 years after the birth of a child, the thyroid gland begins to function with malfunctions again.
Having a thyroid problem while struggling to cope with a two-year-old is a disaster. Research indicates that about 70% of women with hypothyroidism during the postpartum period become careless and make more mistakes when caring for their babies.
Thyroid problems are one of the main causes of postpartum depression and anxiety. One study found that 80–90% of postpartum depression is associated with a thyroid disorder. And without effective treatment, it is impossible to recover.
The post-pregnancy period is not the only vulnerable period in this regard. It has been estimated that one in four postmenopausal women has a thyroid imbalance.
How to check the thyroid gland?
You can check the thyroid gland with a blood test.Don’t settle for a TSH (pituitary thyroid stimulating hormone) test alone. Its level may be normal even when you have undiagnosed thyroid problems.
Insist that the doctor checks the following:
- TSH (according to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, values above 3.0 are abnormal and need further verification)
- Free T3 (active)
- Free T4 (inactive)
Thyroid antibodies: thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO AT) and thyroglobulin antibodies (TG AT).
Checking the functioning of the liver. The fact is that 95% of T4 is activated in the liver, so the state of the liver should be taken into account.
Ferritin level. Ferritin transports active T3 into cells. Its value must be higher than 90.
These tests may be helpful, but you should still be diagnosed by a doctor. If you have thyroid problems, there are a number of medications that can effectively treat them. Your doctor should regularly check your thyroid hormone levels to make sure that you are not taking too much or too little medication.
How to lose weight with thyroid problems?
How to lose weight with problems with the thyroid gland
Can’t lose weight for a long time? All attempts to adjust your diet are not helping, or are you simply unable to withstand weight correction? In this case, it’s time to check the thyroid function. Very often, it is because of failures in the work of this important organ that all your attempts to lose weight fail and new kilograms are quickly gained.
So, are you ready to find out what prevents you from losing weight quickly and effectively? Then read on …
Influence of the thyroid gland on weight loss
The thyroid gland produces a large number of different hormones that affect different systems in our body.Thyroid hormones are directly related to the reproductive system and female hormones.
With an imbalance in the thyroid gland, the nervous system suffers (irritability, insomnia, tremors may appear), the digestive tract (there is a tendency to constipation, food is difficult to digest), the reproductive system (the production of female hormones is disturbed, infertility develops) and metabolism is disturbed.
It is the metabolic disorder that prevents you from losing weight, and also contributes to the rapid set of the next extra pounds.If thyroid hormones are produced in insufficient quantities, the metabolism slows down so much that literally every extra calorie is deposited in fat accumulations. And there will be a lot of extra calories with a very low metabolism and a standard diet.
In order not to gain weight in case of thyroid problems, the calorie intake should be low enough. Not everyone will be able to withstand such dietary restrictions. Therefore, the best option is to solve all problematic issues in the thyroid gland as soon as possible and, finally, start losing weight.
How to check the functioning of the thyroid gland?
To check the functioning of the thyroid gland, you need to contact a specialized specialist, namely an endocrinologist. The doctor examines the thyroid gland, if necessary, prescribes to donate blood for thyroid hormones, undergo an ultrasound of the thyroid gland.
After examination, if the problem and its cause are identified, the endocrinologist will prescribe the appropriate treatment. Sometimes it is impossible without hormonal correction, but you should not be afraid of this.After the thyroid hormones return to normal, the metabolism will recover, which means that it will be much easier to lose weight. Sometimes one hormonal correction is already enough to normalize weight (provided that the initial nutritional status is correct).
There is another simple test for determining the lack of thyroid hormones, which can be done at home. To do this, women of reproductive age need to measure their morning body temperature starting from the second day of the monthly cycle (after menopause, any day) and within three days.
To do this, you need to put a thermometer near the pillow before going to bed, and immediately after waking up, trying not to move much and not getting out of bed, you need to measure the temperature in the armpit. If the morning body temperature is above 36.5 degrees Celsius, then almost certainly everything is in order with the thyroid gland.
If the body temperature is significantly lower than this indicator, then in most cases this indicates a lack of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism), if the temperature is much higher than normal, then there is a likelihood of an overabundance of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism).
Laboratory tests for the corresponding hormones will be able to confirm your guess.
How to lose weight with thyroid problems?
In case of minor problems with the thyroid gland, it is enough to adjust your diet, start taking suitable vitamin complexes, expand your menu with products useful for this organ, and start exercising regularly. In case of serious problems, you will need the help of a doctor and, possibly, hormonal correction.
To start losing weight with thyroid problems, you must first remove from the diet an abundance of animal fats and simple carbohydrates, replacing them with complex ones – fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain cereals.Next, you need to add low-fat dairy products, bran and fiber to the diet, which will normalize digestion.
Increasing the amount of protein foods will make it easier to lose those extra pounds. The drinking regimen will also need to be adjusted by starting to drink at least 30-40 ml of water for each kilogram of body weight (if the excess weight is significant, then you should focus on the ideal body weight).
The most important thing in dietary regulation will be the introduction into the diet of a large amount of foods containing a lot of iodine, selenium and zinc.These include all seafood, seaweed, sea fish, buckwheat, oatmeal, dried apricots, figs. Replace regular salt with iodized or sea salt. Start taking a complex of iodine-containing vitamin supplements on the advice of your doctor.
People with reduced production of thyroid hormones should be careful when using the so-called goiters, i.e. those that inhibit the production of thyroid hormones. These include cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, soy products, turnips, spinach.
It should be borne in mind that crop products can harm hypothyroid patients only in their raw form, and during heat treatment, their unpleasant properties almost completely disappear. But in any case, they should not be abused.
Also note that taking coffee, orange juice, and foods high in calcium or iron may worsen the effects of thyroid hormone medications. It is better to use them no earlier than an hour after taking the medication.
Here, in fact, are all the recommendations that can be given without consulting a doctor.
To learn more about the endocrine factor of excess weight gain and dietary habits for thyroid problems, please visit our nutritional courses:
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How to lose weight for a woman after hormonal disruption
Many women, when they cannot get rid of excess weight, complain of hormonal disorders.Is hormonal imbalance a common cause of weight gain? Expert Vilya Tarnopolskaya answered this question.
Severe weight loss can be caused by hormonal disruptions. According to statistics, 8 out of 10 women in the world suffer from endocrine disorders that threaten rapid weight gain. Vilya Tarnopolskaya, gynecologist-endocrinologist and nutritionist, told how to lose weight after hormonal failure in the program “Your Day”.
The problem of losing weight due to hormonal disorders is very relevant for many women.Expert Vilya Tarnopolskaya said that hormonal disorders account for 10-15% of overweight problems.
The fact is that adipose tissue is a separate endocrine organ that contains many other hormones. Therefore, with weight gain, the volume of adipose tissue also increases. As a result, new endocrine disorders arise. It turns out the so-called vicious circle.
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Causes of endocrine disorders
The causes of endocrine disorders that become a triggering factor for gaining excess weight can be:
- thyroid problems (decreased function)
- disruption of the adrenal glands
When there is already excess weight and it does not go away, then the reasons may be: a failure in the menstrual cycle, problems with fertilization, and the like.
Overweight women who become pregnant very often have problems with being overweight during pregnancy. Therefore, the expert advises to deal with the problem of excess weight in advance.
How to determine if hormonal imbalance was the cause of weight gain
With rapid weight gain, additional factors indicating hormonal imbalance may be:
- rapid hair loss
- weakness and constant fatigue
- high blood pressure
- the appearance of rashes on the face, which did not exist before
- violation of the menstrual cycle
- Gaining weight in unusual places
►With problems with the adrenal glands, weight gain is observed in the upper body: face, abdomen, shoulders.While the legs and buttocks remain thin.
►With thyroid pathology, rapid weight gain does not occur, but constant edema is present.
Are there hormonal disruptions in adolescent girls
Not only adult women, but also teenage girls can suffer from hormonal disruptions and gaining excess weight, because their hormonal system is developing. Moms should monitor proper nutrition and physical activity of adolescent girls to prevent overweight.Dance and yoga classes will be very useful.
It is important in adolescence not to be nervous, to have a good rest and to reduce the time spent in gadgets. This will help prevent the development of overweight pathology.
How to lose weight after hormonal failure
Vilya Tarnopolskaya advises, when fighting overweight, first of all, to undergo a thorough examination by a specialist, lead an active lifestyle and control your diet.
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In case of hormonal imbalance, a doctor prescribes a diet.Vilya Tarnopolskaya, gynecologist-endocrinologist and nutritionist, also advises to independently control their own nutrition.
Sometimes you can eat fruits with a high sugar content: grapes, plums, peaches and sweet apples
Do not eat: fast food, sweets, flour products
You can often use : all types of vegetables, berries (200-300 g per day)
Watching a video clip with advice from the gynecologist-endocrinologist and nutritionist Vilya Tarnopolskaya:
90,000 WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT TO LOSE
What are extra pounds? For many girls, even a weight of 60-65 kilograms is already a disaster.Others feel very comfortable at 80. Everything in the world is relative, and normal weight is also a ratio of weight to height. And it is also necessary to take into account what body tissues this weight is composed of – bones, muscles, fat? Doctors have come up with a concept such as body mass index to determine overweight. BMI) is a value that allows you to assess the degree of correspondence between a person’s mass and his height and thereby indirectly assess whether the mass is insufficient, normal or excessive.
But this is where these extra pounds come from … Most often, of course, they appear due to a sedentary lifestyle, heredity, overeating, stress.However, hormones responsible for metabolism also play an important role. Therefore, if you have limited yourself in food, increased the load in the gym, but there is still no result, then this is a reason to go to the doctor …
The adrenal glands release adrenaline and norepinephrine into the blood in response to body stress. And if the body experiences stress too often, this can lead to imbalances in the hormonal component and, as a result, result in a set of extra pounds.
In addition, the adrenal glands secrete the stress hormone cortisol.High cortisol levels lead to fat deposition in the middle and lower abdomen
Symptoms that indicate an imbalance in adrenal hormones
• – Fat deposition in the middle and lower abdomen;
• – a moon-shaped face and a “bullish” neck, a fairly full torso, but at the same time thin arms and legs;
• – increased blood pressure;
• – increased blood glucose levels, frequent mood swings, muscle weakness, tremors background, undergo an ultrasound of the adrenal glands “
Problem in the liver
The liver is the main organ” detoxifier “responsible for our health and well-being.If the liver is sick, the whole body is sick, in addition, fat begins to form in the abdomen. And given that all metabolic processes in the body are connected, as a result, the following may appear:
• – increased blood sugar;
• – high blood pressure and cholesterol levels;
• – joint pains, allergies and skin problems.
If fat began to accumulate in isolation in the abdominal area (and you did not change your diet and you are eating relatively correctly), see your doctor.Possibly, the reason for your fatness is the malfunctioning of the liver.
Diabetes and prediabetes.
Everyone probably knows about diabetes. A failure that occurs in the pancreas leads to insufficient intake of insulin in the human body and the impossibility of processing carbohydrates in the body (glucose, fructose, starch, polysaccharides.) To be precise, this is a description of diabetes mellitus, the so-called first type. Insulin in this case is extremely small or not, and it must be injected into the body in order to break down carbohydrates.But with diabetes of the second type, currently the most common, the situation is somewhat different. Insulin is secreted from the pancreas enough, even excessively, but the sensitivity of cells to insulin is impaired. The cells do not perceive the “desire” of insulin to process glucose into energy or convert it into glycogen (as a “long-term storage carbohydrate”), which is subsequently used by organisms as a reserve source of energy during fasting. Glucose accumulates and circulates in the blood.Most of it is converted into fat, which in turn will interfere with the absorption of the next portions of carbohydrates entering the bloodstream, thereby only aggravating the state of insulin resistance, and increasing the percentage of fat accumulation in body tissues. That is, a so-called “vicious circle” is developing, which is practically impossible to break without the intervention of specialists. In the future, as the condition worsens, the pancreas becomes incapable of producing insulin at all (after all, it has been trying for so long to block the amount of incoming glucose with an excess intake of insulin), and then there is a true insufficiency of insulin in the body, and a patient with type 2 diabetes requires the introduction of insulin from the outside , as well as a patient with type 1 diabetes mellitus
And prediabetes? In fact, this is still the same type 2 diabetes, but at an early stage, the vicious circle in which it is still possible to break.Other names for this disease are glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, latent diabetes. How do you recognize it? Make a glucose tolerance test and pass an analysis for glycosylated hemoglobin. It is he who will show if you have an initial stage of diabetes or prerequisites for it.
When to go give up?
• – weakness, drowsiness, difficulty concentrating;
• – unreasonable weight gain;
• – close relatives have type 2 diabetes mellitus;
• – began to enter the toilet more often and get up to urinate at night;
We typed two points – it’s time to contact an endocrinologist
When the reason is in the “thyroid”
The thyroid gland is the organ that regulates the use of energy by our body.If there is an excess of thyroid hormones, the body “utilizes” energy extremely quickly. The person looks thin and sometimes haggard. If it does not work actively enough, then weight gain will occur, even despite a decrease in the calorie intake of food. The distribution of body fat in this case occurs in the upper, middle and lower abdomen, as well as in the lumbar region.
Signs of insufficient thyroid hormones:
• – fatigue, muscle weakness;
• – weight gain;
• – Hair loss and skin laxity;
• – bradycardia;
• – depressive conditions.
If you notice such symptoms in yourself, do not postpone contacting an endocrinologist on the back burner. Consult a specialist.
Weight gain due to malfunction of the ovaries
This problem occurs in women with hormonal imbalance in the ovaries. All carbohydrates that a woman consumes are converted into fat in the body. Regardless of how correct the diet of such a woman is, she will gain excess weight.
Signs of malfunctioning of the ovaries are:
• – weight gain with a low-calorie diet and high physical activity;
• – cravings for sweets and milk;
• – fatty deposits in the middle and lower abdomen and in the thighs
• – sometimes pain in the ovarian region.
Of course, these 5 reasons for the appearance of extra pounds are not the only ones.