With almost 60% of the American population is obese or overweighed, it comes as no surprise that more and more people begin to realize the problems of their weight and decide to change their lifestyles. From countless diets to miraculous lotions and potions, the weight loss industry is one of the most blooming ones throughout the world. Either you appeal to professional nutritionists, personal trainers or weight loss supplements, one thing is for sure – losing that extra weight is not going to be an easy process. Add a problem with your thyroid gland and your efforts will be ten times more intense. However, you should not despair in the process as there are countless solutions for you on how to lose weight with hypothyroidism and acquire that body you always dreamt of.
The first and most important step when trying to lose weight is to watch your dietary habits. An underactive thyroid can give you a lot of struggle if you want to lose weight. Unfortunately, most patients with hypothyroidism are told their weight is only merely linked to their weight gain and once they start a hormonal treatment to regulate the unbalance they will miraculously get rid of the extra fats and will acquire the desired body weight. However, not with the help of prescribed medicines you will be able to get back the control upon your body weight if you keep on making the same mistakes regarding your diet and especially regarding your eating habits. A thyroid treatment will probably last throughout your life so, unless you are really keen on making some substantial changes in your lifestyle you will constantly suffer from massive weight fluctuations or simply find it impossible to lose the amount of weight desired.
This article treats the main tips on how to lose weight with hypothyroidism and you can start apply immediately. Since these two are highly interconnected, here is what you should do:
Consider replacing or optimizing your thyroid medication
Some thyroid medications may not serve their purpose especially if you want to balance your weight. A good medication should not only help you correct TSH and the hormone levels in your thyroid gland but also relieve you from all symptoms and repercussion. If your current medication doesn’t do all that then losing weight will pretty much become an impossible task for you.
Consider replacing your health care provider if you are not happy with their services or the medication they provide. Also, do not be afraid to ask for a second opinion regarding your state and even a third opinion if you are still not satisfied with the results. According to studies, one of the most common medicines given for your health condition is Armour, which is also better tolerated by patients than other drugs. Also, you don’t have to worry about the time of the day you decide to take your medication – whatever timeframe works just fine as long as you take them at an approximate same hour each day.
Last but not least discuss with your health care provider about the right dosage of medicines for you. The medicine you currently take might be the best option for your condition but the dosage may be wrong. If you have difficulties getting rid of that extra weight no matter how much effort you put into this or how hard you work at the gym, you might need a correction in your thyroid hormone levels. Work with your doctor until finding the right solution but do not despair if this doesn’t come at first. Your body might just need more time to adjust with the drugs administrated.
Lower the quantity of added sugars and refined starches
As previously mentioned, strictly watching your dietary habits may be the only solution you have to take control over your own body weight and lose the desired amount of weight. Although carbohydrates are not essentially bad as they provide you the energy levels you need to go through the day, the type of source providing these carbs is an entirely different story. If you take your necessarily daily intake of carbohydrates from sugars and refined starches, you will receive in exchange almost zero nutrients. In other words, the calories consumed are empty and do not provide you with the necessary amounts of vitamins, proteins, minerals and antioxidants.
The simplest way to ensure no bad carbs reach your daily diet is to simply limit your munchies regarding fast food products, junk food, flavored drinks, alcohol, white bread and, obviously, sodas. If you think gluten-free junk food is any better to your health, think again! It is as harmful as the regular burgers fried in pig grease so it would just be better to avoid all of this. If you still are not sure which foods are good for your health, consult the labels of the products you want to buy – this should give you a detailed overview of all important nutritional information, including the number of calories and carbohydrates from sugars and starches. Although it is impossible to avoid all sugary and bad foods, it is highly important to train your body in accepting a healthier diet. Quit your guilty pleasures gradually and do not cut out all sugars at once because your body can experience a withdrawal similar to drug addicts. In fact, it is said that sugar is the only legal drug we gladly consume daily!
One last tip – avoid cereals on a daily basis as well. Unless they are organic and contain a low amount of sugars (no more than 4-5 grams per serving), dump them immediately! It doesn’t matter you consume low fat milk or soy milk, you still won’t be able to lose as much weight as you would want.
Create your daily meals around veggies and proteins
Once you limited the amount of saturated fats and carbs coming from starches and sugars, it is time to actually consider what to eat on a daily basis. Although the easiest way to lose weight with hypothyroidism is to appeal to the counseling of a specialized nutritionists, most people don’t afford professional help. Thus, the easiest way and cheapest option is to simply follow common sense pieces of advice based on a natural diet and as many organic fresh fruits and veggies and clean meat in your daily diet.
Protein is considered the paramount for a healthy weight loss, especially when dealing with an underactive thyroid. No matter the type of protein you prefer – vegetal or animal, a highly protein diet will in fact reduce the need to obsessively eat and will help you lose weight naturally. The key factor is to know exactly how to combine protein to release as much energy as possible and provide you with the satiety required to get through the day. As recommended high sources of protein you should include in your daily diet the following aliments: meat (avoid pork though as it is high in fats – replace it with “white” meat such as turkey, duck or chicken. Beef should be consumed in moderate amounts), seafood (all seafood including fish), eggs, nuts, beans, avocado and dairy products (choose low fat dairy products). Diets based on high intakes of proteins will help you build up muscles and redefine your entire body line while also promoting a healthy weight loss.
Veggies, on the other hand, provide unbeatable sources of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and other necessary nutrients. As a general rule try not to boil or overcook your veggies as they will most likely end up losing all their properties. People suffering from hypothyroidism should specifically take this into consideration and consume green leafy veggies, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower) and mushrooms. Mushrooms represent an unbeatable source of vegetal protein while broccoli, apart from vitamins and proteins is also the biggest source of calcium.
For those wondering about portion size try to stick to this general rule – vegetables should be the size of your hand, while the protein source (mainly meat or fish) should not exceed the size of your palm. This means the rest of the plate can be completed by starch-based products (pastas, rice or potatoes).
Try higher sources of selenium and zinc
These two elements are directly involved with the thyroid gland, thus you should introduce higher amounts of these in your daily diet. Selenium and zinc will help optimize and balance hormone production and help you regulate your metabolism. In other words, appeal to higher sources of these two minerals and it will be easier for you to control your body weight and lose the extra pounds. The foods with high intakes of selenium are: Brazilian nuts, fish products (tuna and sardines), meat (especially chicken and beef), eggs and vegetables. Zinc is the other element extremely benefic to your body and may help not only balance your hypothyroidism but also fight against regular skin problems such as acne, acne marks and hair loss. Those wondering what the most important sources of zinc are, we can count for: oysters and shellfish, meat (again beef and chicken), nuts, seeds, dairy products (especially yogurt and milk).
All these diet-based tips should have in mind one thing: following the right type of diet for you. The basic guidelines tell you to follow a low-calorie diet but you will be able to get the best results only by appealing to a professional nutritionist. Starving yourself with green leafs and some shrimps is not the type of diet you want to follow as it can prove extremely dangerous for you.
Keep a food journal
If you are not entirely sure of what you should do on a daily basis, x try keeping a food journal. It may seem a bit time consuming at first, but nowadays there are plenty of health apps on your smartphones helping you do just that in no time. Establish the maximum amount of calories per day (usually between 1600 and 1800 if you want to lose weight) and try writing down exactly everything you eat on a daily basis. Don’t forget to also add alcohol and juices.
However, speaking of alcohol, you should definitely avoid it. It is rich in refined sugars and your hypothyroidism will definitely have a problem with it, especially if you struggle with weight fluctuations.
Moving on to the second lifestyle changing subject for those who want to lose weight in a healthy matter is to start exercising. As much as possible and as often as possible. Exercise remains the most effective way to lose weight, increase body muscle mass and reshape the appearance of your body. You cannot acquire your desired body without fully committing to changing your lifestyle and this includes long hours at the gym. On the other hand, the exercises you do shouldn’t be too complicated either. Choose a sport that gives you pleasure – from aerobic to swimming or tennis and you it won’t even feel like an unpleasant activity. Combine your favorite sport with easy cardio exercises and a good daily walk and you will notice results in time.
Bear in mind that there are no miraculous lotions and potions to help you get rid of hypothyroidism or promote a healthy weight loss. Most weight loss supplements on the market come with a high risk regarding your own health and should be avoided by all means. The old fashion method of smart dieting and exercising is the only combination which will work in 100% of the cases by transforming your entire body gradually. All you have to do is be patient and hard working. Losing weight is not impossible but results will take time to show up.
Avoid alcohol and tobacco
Needless to say any of these vices will jeopardize your health and even help you gain weight a lot easier. Alcohol and cigarettes exacerbate your hypothyroidism symptoms and create an even bigger hormone unbalance. Stick to a healthy lifestyle and avoid drinking more than one glass of alcohol per week or month. As previously mentioned the road to acquiring the perfect weight will not be easy, especially if you suffer with your thyroid gland.