Losing excessive weight is one of the priorities for people suffering from hypothyroidism, but it might be tougher for them than for most other people.
This is mostly due to the lower activity of the thyroid gland which regulates metabolism. A body with low thyroid hormone levels can’t burn energy as efficiently as it should, thus causing the weight gain.
However, not all is lost. Keep reading to find out how to lose weight with hypothyroidism in a safe and healthy way.
Top Methods for Losing Weight with Hypothyroidism
Although it might seem like an uphill battle, it is possible to lose weight even if your thyroid is not functioning as well as it should. The process requires discipline and willingness to adapt and try new things.
Before we dive in, be aware that not every method works for everyone. There are, however, some universal tips, such as staying active, hydrated, and keeping away from inflammation-inducing foods. Let’s see how to lose weight with hypothyroidism.
Proper hydration can help your overall health, not just your weight loss efforts. It speeds up your metabolism, improves toxin elimination, and reduces bloating. It also helps regulate digestion and might reduce your appetite.
If you have hypothyroidism and want to lose weight, you should consider taking more than the recommended 8 glasses of water a day. For starters, for every 25lbs you want to lose you should add one standard 8-ounce glass to the count.
Walking is among the healthiest activities one can take up. You should start walking every day for at least 20 to 30 minutes. The regular physical activity will boost your metabolism, thus helping you lose weight faster.
Regular walks will activate your entire body, including your muscular system. A stronger and more resistant muscular system will, in turn, allow you to take up a regular workout routine.
Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods
A healthy diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods can help alleviate the depression, pains, and joint aches commonly associated with hypothyroidism. They can do wonders for your immune system and overall health, too.
Look for foods rich in B vitamins, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, selenium, and zinc. Olive oil, nuts, fruit, fish, tomatoes, and veggies in general are your best allies. An anti-inflammatory diet will ease the pressure on your liver, which is responsible for converting the hormone T4 to T3. As you may already know, these hormones are essential to optimal thyroid function.
Cut the Calories
The trick here is to eat slightly less than your body optimally needs. For example, if the optimal intake for your weight is 2,700 calories a day, try cutting down a few hundred. That way, you won’t feel too hungry, but you’ll have a steady calorie deficit.
There are tons of quality apps on both Google Play and Apple Store that can help you track the calories you eat on a daily basis. Alternatively, you can use an online calorie calculator.
Make sure not to go too low, as a severe calorie deficit can decrease your T3 levels and cause a stress response in your body.
Kick Processed Sugars and Simple Carbs
Processed sugars and simple carbs are among the worst foods you can eat, regardless of your health status. If you have hypothyroidism and want to lose weight, you should ditch candy and carbonated drinks.
Try to minimize the intake of simple carbohydrates. Instead, take starchy vegetables and legumes, as they’re rich in complex carbohydrates. Also, have in mind that foods like sugary drinks and refined grains have a high glycemic load and may thus promote inflammation.
Even though you might feel a lack of energy, you should commit to a regular exercise regimen. The workouts don’t have to be long or strenuous, but they do need to be regular.
Apart from speeding up your metabolism, regular exercise will have beneficial effects on your mood and the production of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine in your brain. Regular exercise will also increase your self-confidence.
If you’ve been physically inactive for a longer period of time, start small and build from there. If you’re not sure whether a certain workout regimen is good for you, consult your doctor before taking it up.
Take Your Medications Regularly
Every hypothyroid patient is different, so you should work closely with your doctor to figure out the right treatment for you. Once you’ve dialed in the right medications and the right dosage, you should stick to the regimen and take your meds on time.
Monitor regularly how you feel and how well the medications work. If you notice any changes or a certain medication stops working, make sure to tell your doctor as soon as possible.
Skipping your medications might seriously jeopardize your health and reverse any progress you have made thus far.
Researchers have established a link between celiac disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis on one side and gluten sensitivity on the other. In addition, some patients suffering from hypothyroidism have reported improvements in weight loss once they went gluten-free.
If you opt for this type of diet, give it at least two to three months. Make sure to monitor how you feel on a daily basis. If you feel more energetic and less bloated by the end of the period, you should continue with the diet.
Consider Taking Supplements
Certain dietary supplements can help reduce your insulin resistance. The list includes but is not limited to flax seeds, fish oil, vitamin D, magnesium, vitamin B complex, alpha lipoic acid, chromium, and more. Make sure to consult your doctor before starting with the supplements as some of them might have unwanted side effects.
Try the Paleo Diet
If you want to lose weight with hypothyroidism, you might want to give the popular Paleo diet a try. The diet is based on seafood, eggs, vegetables, grass-fed meat, seeds, nuts, and natural oils. Forget processed sugars, simple carbs, legumes, dairy, salt, and grains. In fact, forget any food item that wasn’t available to an average cave man or cave woman.
This type of diet is great at suppressing inflammation which can be a big problem for people suffering from hypothyroidism. If you opt for the Paleo diet, be sure to take sufficient iodine.
Eat Frequently, Eat Small
Due to the fact that hypothyroidism slows your metabolism, you might have to change the way you eat your meals. Instead of three large meals, you should try having five, six, or even more small meals throughout the day. That way, you won’t burden your digestive tract as much.
While losing weight with hypothyroidism might be harder than with a healthy thyroid gland, you shouldn’t give up. It might take more time and effort, but the payoff is invaluable.
How to lose weight with hypothyroidism? Eat healthier, smaller, and more frequent meals. Also, walk and exercise regularly and stick to your medications.
Discuss all dietary and therapy changes with your doctor before adopting them. Also, keep a diary where you’ll track your meals and how your body responds to therapy, physical activity, and diet.