Divania Timmal, Staff Writer
Weight And The Thyroid
The thyroid is a tiny gland in the throat that affects numerous bodily functions, most notably the metabolism. There are two main types of thyroid dysfunction: hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism occurs when the the thyroid is underactive. A few common symptoms of hypothyroidism are: brain fog, fatigue, muscle pain, dry skin, thinning hair and a heightened sensitivity to cold. Arguably the most widely known symptom of an underactive thyroid is inexplicable weight gain, and the inability to lose this weight.
A compromised metabolism can make weight management seem like an uphill battle, but there are a few things that can be done.
Weight Loss And Hypothyroidism Tips
Here are some ways to lose weight with an underactive thyroid.
1. Take Thyroid Medication
It is important to take your thyroid medication. This will help keep the thyroid hormones in your body at optimal levels. Once the thyroid levels are controlled, it will really help with weight management. Thyroid medication should be taken in the morning on an empty stomach (although some people have had success taking it at night).
2. Avoid Refined Sugar
Refined sugar is bad for everyone. And unfortunately, it can also be very difficult to avoid, present in soft drinks, sweet treats, fruit juices, etc. Sugar is actually worse for us than fat. Fat has been given a terrible reputation over the years, despite good fats (like those found in avocados and coconut oil) having various benefits for the body. Consuming healthy fats can help hypothyroidism sufferers.
Anyway, before I get sidetracked singing coconut oil’s praises, back to that (unfortunately delicious) sweet deceiver: sugar. Trying to avoid it can have a massive impact on your well-being. It is better to keep your sugar intake limited to natural sugar (fruit, vegetables, raw honey).
Constant fatigue can make exercising seem impossible, but if you do have the energy for it, moderate exercise is one of the best ways to lose weight. I say “moderate” because over-training can actually have a detrimental effect on hypo sufferers. Walking, yoga, pilates and some light weight-training are beneficial.Fat has been given a terrible reputation, despite good fats having various benefits for the body Click To Tweet
Yay! Now I can talk about one of my favourite things. I only cook with cold-pressed virgin coconut oil and ghee. Both are rich, fatty, and good for us. Coconut oil is pretty amazing. It can be used as a skin moisturiser (hypo often causes dry skin, so this is very helpful), cooking oil and hair conditioner! The medium-chain fatty acids present in coconut oil help the thyroid to function normally, and can therefore help with weight loss.
5. Healthy Snacks
When one has an underactive thyroid, it is important to eat small meals throughout the day. Healthy morning and afternoon snacks can help with weight management. Nuts and seeds are a great choice. Nuts contain selenium, a vital mineral for the thyroid. Seeds, like flax and chia, are great for fibre and omega 3s.
We can also make our own health bars and snacks, just with a quick Google search. There are various health food bloggers out there who have incredible, delicious recipes. Sprouted Kitchen, Oh She Glows, and The Domestic Man are some good resources for mains and snacks.
6. Take Fish Oil Supplements
Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which we must get from food. These can improve the functionality of an underactive thyroid. Omega 3s are also present in spinach, chia seeds and fatty fish (e.g. salmon).
7. Try Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar may also help deal with hypothyroidism and weight gain. Consuming ACV is also a great way to detox. It can regulate thyroid hormones and improves the metabolism. Keep in mind, however, that vinegar can create a histamine response in some people. (and if you have known candida, it might be best to avoid ACV.)
About the Author
Divania Timmal is an avid writer (and book reader). She was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Disease in January 2015, and has tried since then to educate herself, her friends and family as much as possible on these conditions. Check out her website, DivAndBeanWrite, with her friend Kate (Bean). Click here to check out her typical weekly meals. Be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!