How to Lose Weight with Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism, also known as underactive thyroid disease, is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce sufficient thyroid hormone. But dealing with hypothyroidism does not have to be a defeat, nor should it be. Although it may come with more obstacles, there are steps to conquer hypothyroidism and weight loss!
Hypothyroidism, also known as underactive thyroid disease, is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce sufficient thyroid hormone. The thyroid gland and the hormones it produces is imperative in keeping the body running, amongst dictating metabolism. So in the case of hypothyroidism, individuals have a compromised metabolic rate, with likely side effects of weight gain, fatigue, weakness, hair loss, constipation, cold intolerance, muscle cramps, depression, memory loss, abnormal menstrual cycles in females. But dealing with hypothyroidism does not have to be a defeat, nor should it be. Although it may come with more obstacles, there are steps to conquer hypothyroidism and weight loss!
How to Lose Weight with Hypothyroidism
Comply to Medication
Following a thorough evaluation of hormone metabolism, a clinical diagnosis of hypothyroidism poses the need for thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Partnering up with a care provider, typically an endocrinologist, can help manipulate and optimize thyroid treatment to best suit metabolic needs. It is imperative to continue and comply to medication, along with routine doctor visits, to monitor thyroid status and identify any changes that may need revisited. Though it may not lead to significant changes, an improved metabolism from medical treatment may result to weight loss.
Healthify the Diet
Following thyroid replacement therapy, healthifying the diet is critical in receiving adequate nutrition and monitoring calories. Reduce the intake of highly processed and refined products and incorporate more wholesome foods, including whole grains, fruits and veggies, lean proteins, dairy products, and healthy fat sources. Sticking to a healthful diet naturally reduces caloric intake when metabolism is slowed down, along with lowering inflammation in the body that often coexists with an underactive thyroid. Additionally, Celiac disease may be a risk factor for hypothyroidism, necessitating a thorough evaluation for a gluten-free diet.
Supplement with Appropriate Nutrients
Though supplementation does not dramatically result to weight loss, restoring related nutrients may augment the severity of hypothyroidism. Iodine deficiency raises the risk of hypothyroidism, as iodine houses in the thyroid gland and assists in the production of thyroid hormones. Interestingly, too, the pairing of iodine and iron has shown to restore iodine deficiency and improve thyroid function. Selenium is also a mineral of interest, as several studies have shown supplementing with selenium can improve hypothyroidism.
Reduce Goitrogen-Containing Sources
Though plants tend to never be discouraged, goitrogen-containing produce may be the exception to the rule. Goitrogens can inhibit thyroid activity, mostly by interfering with iodine uptake from the thyroid gland. The compounds are mostly found in cruciferous vegetables, including cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, and turnings. Soybean has also been investigated to display goitrogen properties when iodine intake is scarce, leading to suggested reductions in soy products, including soy milk and cheeses, tofu, tempeh, and miso.
Dismiss Diet Drugs
At this point in time, there really is no drug that should substitute or piggyback onto thyroid medication. Even if an assumed weight loss drug appears tempting, or even effective, they can pose dangers of thyroid patients by interacting with medications. Always discuss the interest of, risk factors, and potential side effects of any medications or pills before taking.
Drink Enough Water
Water plays a vital role in health, including weight maintenance and loss. Not only can keeping hydrated lessen preconceived feelings of hunger, but reduce the risk of overeating come mealtime. And not to mention, water is free of calories unlike soda and other sweetened beverages. As a general rule, healthy adults should consume at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
To supplement medication compliance and a healthy diet, exercise on a regular basis. Individuals should aim for at least 150 minutes of cardio per week, including in the forms of jogging, cycling, dancing, and swimming. Complement aerobic exercise with strength training two to three times per week to facilitate lean body mass, in turn increasing basal metabolic rate (BMR), the rate at which calories are burned at rest.
Obtain Adequate Sleep
Obtaining adequate sleep can result to weight loss by controlling hunger hormones, lessening cravings of a high-carb and fat food sources, and optimizing energy levels to keep active. The National Sleep Foundation advises adults to sleep between seven to nine hours of sleep, while striving for sound shuteye.
Stress can exacerbate hypothyroidism symptoms, mostly by the adrenal gland’s release of cortisol. High cortisol levels have been associated to weight gain, signifying the importance of lowering stress. Along with a nutrient-dense diet and adequate sleep, stress can be reduced with the practice of yoga, deep breathing, meditation, or simply being outside.