How to Lose Weight with Hypothyroidism
People always ask me about ways to lose weight with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (hypothyroidism) and it can be a challenge but when these 3 factors are dialed-in the scale will start to shift.
Few things are more discouraging than going to the gym 5 days per week and gaining weight. If you suffer from hypothyroidism, you very likely have had this experience (or one similar to it). In this article, we’ll outline the first three steps to lose weight with hypothyroidism.
Quick Rundown: Meet Your Thyroid
Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland that sits right in front of your wind pipe. It is responsible for producing hormones that control metabolism, energy and growth. If your levels of thyroid hormones are low (AKA, hypothyroid), you will often experience symptoms such as extreme fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, feeling cold, weak muscles and joints, dry skin, trouble concentrating, depression and/or constipation.
First 3 Steps to Lose Weight with Hypothyroidism
While losing weight with hypothyroidism isn’t easy, here are three steps you can begin today that can make a huge difference:
Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Acute (short-term) inflammation in response to a stressor such as an injury or stressful event is normal and necessary. What is problematic is long-term (chronic) inflammation that is internal, and therefore, largely unseen.
Chronic inflammation plays a major role in weight loss resistance (not to mention a myriad of chronic and degenerative conditions), and if you have hypothyroidism, this holds especially true. The two main dietary culprits that can lead to inflammation are sugar and grains.
Studies show that sugar is a leading cause of insulin resistance, which is also linked to hypothyroidism. Insulin resistance has been studied as a natural consequence of hypothyroidism, or it could be the other way around (kind of a which came first, the chicken or the egg scenario).
Unfortunately, grains are converted to sugar by your body, so basically pose the same problem as sugar. Your best bet for losing weight with hypothyroidism is to bid farewell to grains and sugar alike, except for modest amounts of natural sugar from fruit.
Get Your Medications Right
First and foremost, getting the right testing done and finding medications that work for you is key. Unfortunately, many people go years without the proper diagnosis or medications, and this can wreak havoc on your body (and your life). You’ll need to find out if your hypothyroidism is autoimmune in nature or not (Hashimotos Disease is the autoimmune version of hypothyroidism), which will be treated differently than non-autoimmune hypothyroidism (although the dietary guidelines discussed above still stand).
While some people want to treat their hypothyroidism with diet and lifestyle alone, others find that hormone replacement medications are necessary and can dramatically improve quality of life. And, they might not be a permanent (or they might be), but perhaps you only need them to get your body back on track.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach, so check out this amazing resource to find qualified practitioners in your area who you can trust.
Also, consider reading Dr. Datis Kharrazian’s book, Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal.
Manage Your Stress and Heal Your Adrenal Glands
Last but certainly not least, never underestimate the impact that stress can have on your health and your thyroid function. In fact, chronic, high-level stress is one of the main triggers of autoimmune hypothyroidism, largely due to the role in plays in damaging your gut (another important factor in losing weight with hypothyroidism), and inflammation.
Your adrenal glands are two, grape-sized glands located near your kidneys, and are responsible for producing stress hormones (cortisol topping the list). Research shows that high stress levels over time can damage your adrenal function, which in turn could cause problems for the hypothalamus and pituitary glands that work to regulate the thyroid.
In short, it’s a complex cascade of hormonal production and reactions that can play a leading role in hypothyroidism and weight loss resistance. Stress management is largely individual, so find what works for you to lower your stress levels (hint: start with just 10 minutes per day of deep breathing).
Hypothyroidism can make weight loss feel impossible, but it doesn’t have to. By adopting a Paleo diet and eliminating inflammatory foods, healing your adrenal glands and making sure you are taking the right medications and/or supplements, you can start shedding that excess weight your body has been holding onto.
Need more help?
If you need help make sure to enlist professional help from my friend Vivica. She has a wealth of knowledge and expertise with women’s health and thyroid wellness. Contact here here, and tell her you are a friend of Grass Fed Girl.
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