How to Lose Weight with an Underactive Thyroid
Is it possible to lose weight with an underactive thyroid?
Yes. According to health experts, it is possible for people who are diagnosed with an underactive thyroid to lose extra weight. However, it will, of course, be more challenging than for people without thyroid issues.
An underactive thyroid, otherwise known as hypothyroidism, is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce sufficient thyroid hormones. These hormones are required for our bodies to function properly. According to a report, about 5% of the total population suffers from hypothyroidism. An iodine deficiency is the major cause and worldwide, it is more common in women.
Worryingly, about 5% of all hypothyroidism cases go un-diagnosed.
What is the Relationship Between the Thyroid Gland & Weight?
The relationship between the two is a very complex one. Put simply, we know that thyroid hormones regulate your body's metabolism. When your thyroid isn't producing enough hormones, your metabolism slows down. Therefore, this reduces the number of calories your body burns which will likely result in weight gain.
Furthermore, the issue is that people with an underactive thyroid generally feel more fatigued and don't have as much energy which makes exercise even harder.
As you know, having extra weight is not healthy because it promotes further health issues such as cardiovascular problems, hypertension, high blood sugar, joint aches, etc. Therefore, it's necessary for people with an underactive thyroid to make extra efforts to maintain and/or lose weight.
The best way to manage weight is by managing the hypothyroidism. Control the condition, control the weight.
Additionally, here are a few tips to keep in mind if you are trying to lose weight while battling an underactive thyroid:
1. Avoid Carbs
A high-carb diet is one of the major reasons for weight gain in people with hypothyroidism. The reason for this is because consuming a diet with higher amounts of carbohydrates will trigger the imbalance of thyroid hormones. According to a study, a low-carb diet can promote fat loss in people with an underactive thyroid.
2. Consume More High-Protein Foods
There are various studies that show a higher intake of protein helps boost your metabolic rate. According to a cross-sectional study, the use of protein during hypothyroidism is beneficial because it improves the functioning of the thyroid gland.
If you are a vegetarian or vegan, plant-based protein is just as valuable so don't feel like you must be a meat eater to get all your protein in. Protein sources include eggs, lean meats, poultry, fish and dairy. Plant-based sources include beans, protein-rich nuts, protein powder and pea protein, for example. Finally, try and incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables and remember to drink lots of water.
3. Avoid Sugar
As you know, sugar is our big enemy! A high consumption of sugar can cause far too many health issues including high blood sugar, weight gain, kidney issues, etc. The intake of sugar in hypothyroidism triggers further weight gain.
As said by Ruth Frechman, a world-renowned registered dietitian and nutritionist, sugar slows the metabolic process down. A high intake of sugar may also promote fat storage in your stomach and liver.
4. Daily Exercise
Exercise is such an important part of burning those extra calories. A combination of cardio exercises and weight training is most effective. This can help speed up your metabolic rate which also means that your body burns more energy throughout the day.
But if you have yet to treat your hypothyroidism condition and suffer from great fatigue and very low energy levels, avoid high-intensity exercises. This can further suppress the condition. It's extremely important to remember that each person is different; what might work for one person may not work for someone else. Listen to your body and do the best you can.
5. Eat Foods Rich in Selenium
Selenium is an important mineral required for the proper functioning of thyroid hormones and for speeding up weight loss.
A study was conducted on 37 adults; they gave them a small amount of selenium daily for 12 weeks with a low-calorie diet. The results showed that people who took selenium daily resulted in greater fat loss. Additionally, the daily selenium dose improved thyroid function significantly.
The easiest way to up your selenium intake is to consume 3-4 Brazil nuts daily. Other foods rich in selenium include: chicken breast, cottage cheese, halibut, etc. Our Natural Thyroxine food supplement is very rich in selenium, in amongst other nutrients.
If you are deficient in vitamins and minerals, weight loss can become impossible. Unfortunately, despite exercising, eating less sugar and limiting carbs, trying to lose weight with an underactive thyroid is hard so ensuring you're not deficient in nutrients is critical. Most of the time, you won't know how deficient you are until your levels are extremely low. This is why it's best to also include a natural multivitamin supplement into your daily routine.
6. Limit Goitrogen-Rich Foods
Goitrogens are substances found in many plant-based foods that actually inhibit the synthesis of the thyroid hormones. This means that the output of these hormones is reduced which worsens the hypothyroidism condition and contributes to additional weight gain.
Although goitrogens can be destroyed by cooking, doctors do recommend that that people who suffer from an underactive thyroid should avoid foods that contain goitrogens. These include Brussel sprouts, turnips, radishes, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, certain beans and sweet potato.
7. Take a Natural Thyroid Supplement
Levothyroxine, the traditional medicine prescribed to hypothyroidism suffers, comes with a multitude of side effects. Furthermore, Levothyroxine only treats the symptoms and not the cause of the under-performing thyroid which means you will likely be on this harsh medication for the rest of your life. This can be detrimental to your health in the long run.
Instead, try and stick with a natural alternative. Our food supplement is very rich in iodine and selenium which helps to regulate your thyroid hormones and promote weight loss. The key ingredients include:
- kelp (insanely rich in iodine)
- Brazil nuts (high in selenium as we discussed)
- maca root (the energy and mood boosting Peruvian superfood).
Most importantly, the supplement is completely safe and has NO side effects.
If you are currently taking Levothyroxine and wish to switch to our natural alternative, it's recommended that for the first two weeks you continue the Levothyroxine and start taking the Natural Thyroxine as well. Then, depending on your current dose, slowly lower the medication until you are solely dependent on the natural alternative.
Please get in touch if you have questions regarding dosage.
Hypothyroidism is directly linked with weight gain. People with an underactive thyroid can’t shed extra weight as easily; it can take a long time and extra effort. It's important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, eat a low-carb high-protein diet, and avoid sugar. Boosting your nutrient levels, specifically selenium and iodine is key. Additionally, to help improve these key nutrients in your body and to see results faster, you should take a natural underactive thyroid supplement.