Hypothyroidism can lead to weight gain. The reason it happens is that your metabolism slows down and secretes less thyroid hormone. Many people are affected by the same problem when they develop this type of thyroid disorder. Some people do not even know they have a thyroid imbalance and attribute weight gain to changes in lifestyle.
If you don’t believe that changes in your lifestyle have impacted weight gain, and you cannot explain why you have gained weight, you might consider checking out why it has happened.
You may want to identify some signs:
- Why are you constantly tired?
- Are you losing your motivation to exercise?
- Do you feel weak?
- Do you feel pain and stiffness in your body?
- Are you feeling down?
- Are you stressed agitated or irritable?
If you feel a combination of the above, you might want to get your thyroid levels checked with advanced blood testing.
In the case of hypothyroidism, the gland located in your neck – the one shaped like a butterfly – is underactive.
That gland is important because it regulates your energy levels.
What does it mean?
As the chemistry in your body changes due to the drop in hormone production, your system slows down. Typically, it is due to your T3 and T4 hormones.
When T3 and T4 levels drop, it affects the messages sent to the brain. Ultimately, your hormone levels go down; and, the lower they are, the lower your energy levels. Hence, you constantly feel tired even if you had a good night of sleep.
Your gut health starts to degrade and can have some serious impacts on your bowel movements. Your mental functions are gradually negatively impacted. Your heart is less efficient to pump blood. Your cholesterol goes up. Your arteries narrow down.
In other words, hypothyroidism creates a vicious circle.
Address The Root Cause of Hypothyroidism
To fight hypothyroidism, control weight gain, or lose weight; you need to address the root cause of the problem. Thyroid issues can sometimes start because of stress, missing nutrients, or a poor diet. These can cause inflammation in your body.
In order to fight hypothyroidism, you need to address the inflammation.
If you do not want to add medication to your fight against hypothyroidism, there are some nutrients, and supplements that can help fight inflammation and the underlying causes of hypothyroidism.
Therefore, based on your blood tests, you might need to talk to your doctor about:
- Cut the high-sugar content and stay away from any processed foods, especially the ones with GMOs. These foods are the worst and fuel inflammation in the body. Most of the time, these are the most difficult to get rid of in your diet because they taste too good, are comforting, and convenient. You need to prioritize plant-based foods. Remember that a diet with high sugar content has a negative impact on your good gut bacteria and ultimately on weight.
- Increase the intake of probiotics and prebiotics; they are your gut’s cavalry. Probiotics are good bacteria and prebiotics are food for these good bacteria. Overall, both contribute to better microbiome.
- Consider some vitamin B-12 supplements. Essentially, vitamin B-12 can help with the fatigue that hypothyroidism causes. Based on your blood results and findings, seek your doctor’s recommendation regarding the levels of vitamin B-12 right for you.
- Vitamin D influences your TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) to get your thyroid gland to secrete T3 and T4.
- Prioritize selenium intake. Selenium is a mineral found everywhere in the water, soil, and foods and plays a big role in your metabolism. Rich with anti-oxidants, selenium is found in greater concentration in tuna, shrimp, salmon, chicken, turkey, and shitake mushrooms.
- Zinc helps to improve T3 and T4 levels. Make sure to discuss with your doctor about the levels of zinc right for you.
While supplements and vitamins can help people with hypothyroidism, it is important to note that they can also interact with your thyroid medication. To avoid interactions, you may need to take them several hours before or after your medication. Hence, it is essential to always seek professional medical advice.
How to Lose Weight With Hypothyroidism?
As you reduce sugars and processed foods and increase the intake of the good stuff, it’s time to go a step further into lifestyle changes.
Food aside, there are three major tricks to lose weight with hypothyroidism:
- Take time to sit down and eat slowly. Take your time to chew your food and practice portion control. Try to ritualize your meals. Your gut health is part of your weight loss strategy.
- Address what causes stress. Stress is a big contributor to a dysfunctional thyroid. Try breathing techniques, mediation, cut-off with the technology around you to avoid a constant flow of constant information, go to bed when you feel tired, and try to have a full night of 8 to 9 hours of sleep. If nothing works, try to seek the help of a professional who can address the psychological component of stress, and assist you to put in place an approach to cut with negative patterns.
- Exercise is essential. Go for a walk, run, or go swimming. No matter what you want to do or try, consistency is important. If you are not motivated, try to pair up with a family member or a friend. Exercise will help you regain strength, increase energy, relieve stress and ultimately, you will lose weight. Try to start with a low intensity, low impact cardio exercise especially if you have not exercised for a while.
Let's Summarize What We Said
Hypothyroidism leads to many different symptoms that can make it difficult to identify. If you feel constantly tired, depressed, suffer from muscle aches and joint stiffness, gain weight, contact your physician, and request a blood test to measure your thyroid hormones.
Based on the results, a holistic approach considers lifestyle changes:
- Avoid high-sugar content and processed foods
- Increase plant-based foods intake
- Consider dietary supplements based on your doctor’s advice
- Find ways to relieve stress
- Exercise regularly
- Take time to eat
- Rest and get good nights of sleep
There are many different ways to address hypothyroidism. Are you ready for a lifestyle change?