Weight gain and the inability to lose weight may be a devastating consequence for many with hypothyroidism.
Many of you have been asking how to lose weight with Hashimoto's and hypothyroidism...
Here are some helpful strategies for weight management and Hashimoto's
1. Get Your Latest Lab Values
Get your latest lab values for TSH, Free T3 and Free T4 from your doctor. You may have been told that these numbers were “normal”, but sometimes when these numbers are on the outskirts of normal, your metabolic rate may still be impaired making it more difficult for you to burn calories.
Additionally, new guidelines have redefined the normal range for TSH to be below 3, however, not many labs have implemented this guideline. Your doctor may be using old ranges.
Most people report feeling well with a TSH between 0.5-2. 0. Remember, thyroid medications are dosed in micrograms, (that is 1/1000 of a milligram), sometimes a teensy increase in the dose can make a world of a difference. Talk to your doctor.
2. Consider The Type of Medication You Are Taking
Some report more weight loss with T4/T3 combinations (Armour, Nature-Throid, compounded medications) versus T4 medications (Synthroid, Levoxyl, Tirosint) alone. T4 is a precursor to T3, but some individuals do not convert T4 to T3 properly, and the T3 component is the metabolically active one. For more information, make sure to read my article on which thyroid medications are best and my top 11 thyroid medication tips.
3. Consider the Type of Diet You Are Eating
The Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) full of sugar and simple carbohydrates is perfectly designed to cause us to gain weight year after year. Even yogurts that are marketed as "healthy" contain the equivalent of 16 teaspoons of sugar!
I like to think about eating "real food". If it wasn't considered food 200 years ago, we probably shouldn't be eating it now!
Divorcing the S.A.D. is often a step that many of us must take to not just lose weight, but to also feel better and in some cases minimize or eliminate the immune system attack.
Some Hashimoto's and hypothyroidism diets that have been helpful include the Body Ecology Diet, the Paleo Diet, the Virgin Diet, Autoimmune Paleo Diet, GAPS diet, SCD diet, Weston A. Price Diet, or the Mediterranean Diet.
These diets are meant as a starting point, you may need to modify these diets to fit your own individuality. People with Hashimoto's usually have multiple food intolerances, especially to gluten.
My advice is to eliminate sugar, processed foods of all kinds, gluten, dairy, corn, rice and other simple carbohydrates. Carbohydrates get stored in our bodies as fat. Instead, focus on eating lots of good meats and vegetables (preferably organic), and good fats like avocados, olive oil and coconut oil. Don't count calories, rather eat until you are satisfied. After an initial week or two of withdrawal, your body will start to thank you. You will start noticing stomach aches, bloating, acid reflux and fatigue subside. You will also start to lose weight without trying.
4. Consider Taking a Probiotic or Eating Fermented Foods
New research is showing that people who are overweight have an imbalance of bacterial flora in their guts. The particular bacteria found in overweight people extract more calories from food than people who have normal weight! This means you could be eating the same amount of food as your skinny friends, and gaining more weight from it! Probiotics and fermented foods that contain beneficial bacteria may be helpful with balancing your bacterial flora.
5. Choose a Physical Activity
Choose a physical activity that you will enjoy and continue, such as walking, yoga, swimming, Pilates, running, Zumba or P90X. Whatever you do, make sure you enjoy it.
I wish you all the best in your healing journey!
Your Thyroid Pharmacist,
Dr. Izabella Wentz, Pharm D.
PS. You can also download a free Thyroid Diet Guide, 10 Thyroid friendly recipes, and the Nutrient Depletions and Digestion chapter by signing up for my weekly newsletter . You will also receive occasional updates about new research, resources, giveaways and helpful information.
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