Many people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, as well as other forms of hypothyroidism, gain a fair amount of weight and have a very hard time losing it. Of course, a big reason for weight gain is that any hypothyroid condition will slow down the body’s metabolism. When it comes to weight loss in these people, there are essentially three different factors that one must consider. With the first two factors you will be very familiar, although many people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis do not consider the third factor, which is often the main reason why people with this condition are unable to lose weight:
1. Diet. Almost everyone who tries to lose weight does so by modifying their diet. And without a doubt, eating healthy is an important component to losing weight, as well as keeping it off. Of course, many people don’t really understand what a “healthy diet” is, and part of the reason for this is that different sources will recommend different diets. For example, some “experts” will tell you to cut carbs altogether and eat whatever type of protein you want. Others will tell you that it’s a “calorie game,” and as long as you limit yourself to eating a certain number of calories per day, you will lose weight.
When you really think about it, you probably know what you need to eat to help you lose and maintain weight. Yes, restricting calories can work, but if you’re eating unhealthy foods most of the time, this is definitely not a long-term weight loss solution. And I am in no way suggesting that you need to eliminate all junk food from your life forever, as if you eat healthy most of the time, for most people it is okay to “cheat” from time to time.
So what should you eat when it comes to losing AND maintaining weight? Well, you definitely want to try to eat at least 3-5 servings of fresh vegetables every day. Of course, you should be careful to minimize goitrogenic vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, as they can further inhibit thyroid function. You can also eat a few servings of fresh fruit daily, such as apples, blueberries, raspberries, etc. Ideally, you want to minimize fruits with a high glycemic index, such as bananas.
Assuming you’re not a vegetarian, you can eat lean meats like organic chicken and turkey. You can also eat certain types of fish, such as wild salmon. Organic eggs are fine too, assuming you’re not allergic to them. And raw nuts and seeds are fine to eat, too. Of course, I haven’t included everything you can eat here, but I hope you get the idea. The general point is to avoid refined and sugary foods and stick to whole foods.
Two other important points to note are that you want to make sure you don’t skip breakfast, as this can wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels. The second point is that after breakfast you do not want to spend more than two hours without eating, even if it is something small. Every meal should consist of some healthy protein. Taking this approach will help control your appetite and stabilize your blood sugar levels, which are essential to any weight loss program.
2. Exercise. We all know the importance of exercise, and as a result I won’t go into too much detail here. I realize that many people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have low energy levels, which will make it difficult to start a regular exercise program. And to be frank, some people will need other areas addressed to help restore their energy levels. This will not usually be accomplished by consulting an endocrinologist or general practitioner, as most physicians simply prescribe their patients thyroid hormone, which may help with the symptoms of hypothyroidism, but often does nothing for the disease. actual cause of the disorder. .
As a result, many people will continue to have low energy levels and will not be able to exercise. So for those people who fall into this category, I recommend consulting with a natural endocrinologist, who will do more than just recommend natural or synthetic thyroid hormone, and take a whole-body approach that will more often than not help restore thyroid levels. Energy. of people with different types of hypothyroidism, including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
For those who have the energy to exercise regularly, I recommend exercising at least three to five days a week, consisting of at least 30 minutes of cardio. This could be as simple as taking a 30-minute walk. Some people may not be able to start with 30 minutes as they may have to start with five or ten minutes and then work their way up. But the ultimate goal is to rack up up to 30 minutes of continuous exercise that makes you sweat. As usual, you should always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
3. Hormones. When it comes to functional endocrinology, one of my mentors is Dr. Janet Lang, who used to tell attendees during her seminars that “hormones are stronger than diet.” What this means is that if you have a hormonal imbalance, which many people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have, then it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to lose a significant amount of weight by eating and exercising alone.
Eating a lot of refined foods and skipping meals affects two of the body’s main hormones, cortisol and insulin. And when someone continues these habits for many years, this will put pressure on the adrenal glands and can eventually lead to insulin resistance. And until this is corrected, you can eat a perfect diet and exercise daily and it will be difficult to lose weight.
Many people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and other types of hypothyroidism also have an imbalance in the ratio of the hormones estrogen to progesterone, which can also cause weight gain and therefore make it difficult to lose weight. This is yet another reason why I recommend that people with these conditions see a competent natural endocrinologist, as they will be able to detect a hormonal imbalance and, if determined that you have one, will help correct it.
So these are the main factors to consider when trying to lose weight with any hypothyroid condition, including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Although most people focus on one or both of the first two factors I mentioned, very few are aware of the impact a hormonal imbalance can have on weight loss. But if you want to lose weight and keep it off, then you really need to consider these three factors. Eating right, exercising regularly, and correcting any hormonal imbalances will not only help you lose unwanted weight, but will also help keep it off for good.