Thyroid issues will cause weight loss to be harder, but not impossible.
The American Thyroid Association estimates that 12% of Americans will develop a thyroid disease in their lifetime (either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism). Hypothyroid, or underacting thyroid, is a condition with symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, digestive issues, depression, and more.
Many Americans with hypothyroid have goiters (abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland), or diseases such as Hashimoto’s, thyroid cancer, or other diseases. Many of the treatment plans for thyroid conditions include synthetic prescription thyroid hormone (such as synthroid) or the removal of the thyroid in addition to synthroid.
Why Hypothyroidism Causes Weight Gain
The thyroid is a remarkable organ. This butterfly shaped organ helps increase metabolism, heart function, digestive system, brain development, and muscle control, among others!
When your thyroid doesn’t work properly, weight loss becomes harder. This is because the thyroid helps regulate metabolism. This has a direct impact on your basal metabolic rate. This is the amount of calories your body needs, at rest, to maintain current weight. The more efficiently your thyroid works, the more calories your body needs to maintain its weight.
We all have those friends that can eat everything and not gain weight. This is because they have a fast metabolism. The faster the metabolism, the easier it is to lose weight.
What Should You Do To Maximize Weight Loss with Hypothyroidism?
Here are a few tidbits from studies that I have found to help maximize weight loss with hypothyroidism.
- Talk to your doctor before starting any supplement or diet plan!
- Get routine blood checks to help the doctor better regulate your thyroid. Thyroid medication comes in extremely small dosages (micrograms) and it sometimes takes the doctor a while to get the right dose.
- Count your calories! If you are not counting your calories, then you do not know how much you are eating. Use an application like My Fitness Pal to assist.
- Lift Weights! Your metabolism is based on two main factors: Thyroid Performance and Lean Muscle. More lean muscle you have, the more calories you burn!
- Beware of Soy! Soy and Hypothyroidism don’t mix. I prefer Whey Proteins or even Rice/Pea Protein like Vegan Pro!
- Protein helps build lean muscle, increase protein consumption.
- Watch your sugar intake. Studies show correlations with diabetes and thyroid issues.
- Low carb is okay, Keto may or may not be. Too low carb may cause your thyroid to perform even worst. Talk to your doctor, but my suggestion is to stay around 80 or so carbs if you do go lower carb.
- If your thyroid is slightly under-active, a doctor may suggest multi-vitamins to help. Many times iodine is the culprit. Your thyroid needs iodine to create hormones.
- Do not take fat burners without consulting a specialist. Many fat burners will counteract with your thyroid medication.
Hypothyroid Weight Loss Gameplan
Find a diet you can stick to and log all calories
Lower sugar consumption
Increase protein consumption (80% of goal weight)
Lift weights 3-5 times a week
Listen to your DOCTOR!!!
If you follow this game plan, you can see great results. Don’t make excuses, create actions!
Thank you for reading, share with friends!
NASM Weight Loss Specialist and Personal Trainer
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Disclaimer: Please see a doctor or medical professional before starting any dieting or fitness journey. I am not either.