Sarah Wartman, Guest
Thyroid Nation


By now you know (or you should!) that your thyroid regulates your metabolism. Your metabolism is the way your body uses the food you eat as energy. Hypothyroid patients may get extremely frustrated with all this metabolism talk, as our metabolisms are “impaired” from this disease. If you are hypothyroid, and have trouble losing weight, it is imperative you get the proper medication and treatment. Otherwise, efforts to lose weight may be futile. And, quite frankly, it can still be a struggle to lose weight even if your thyroid is being treated “accurately” by your physician.

How we metabolize our food falls into three different areas:

– Basal metabolism: 60-65% of what we eat keeps us alive
– Physical activity: 25% go to movement and physical activity
– Thermic effect of food: 10% goes towards processing and digesting the food you eat

The sad (infuriating!) thing? Most overweight people do not eat more than those who are average weight or thin. All the areas above, just work at lower levels, for most overweight people.

*cut to me shaking my fists in an angry manner*

The efficiency of our metabolism is affected by different factors:

Food Intake: What we eat is the central driver for our metabolism. If calorie intake exceeds the body’s ability to use it, the calories will be converted into fat.

H2O: When we drink “sufficient” amounts of water (close to half our weight in ounces), our body temperature can be maintained for an optimal metabolic rate.

Vitamins: When there are vitamin deficiencies, especially in B and C, the metabolism can slow.

Muscle vs. Fat: Muscle is close to 8x more metabolically active than fat. Ergo, the more muscle you have the more fat your metabolism is burning.

Aerobic Exercise: These sort of exercises increase the heart rate, while also raising the metabolism and increasing calories burned.

Age: As we age we start to lose muscle… making weight loss more difficult for those older in age.

Brown Fat: Basically we have a special kind of fat that collects below the neck and extends down our back, helping convert body fat into heat. The hypothalamus helps our nervous system trigger the “action” of this brown fat… and those who are overweight may have lost the assistance of this “brown fat”, turning our excess calories into fat storage.

Genetics: it’s the luck of the draw, folks. Some people are blessed… and others are not. (life’s not fair, blah blah blah)

So what are some things you can do to help your odds?

  1. Make sure you are being mindful of what you eat.
  2. Drink lots of water! Try to hit half your body weight in ounces everyday. (I’m still working on this!)
  3. Make sure you are getting enough Vitamins B and C.
  4. Lift some weights! Get that heart pumping! (I’m Crossfit obsessed… I LOVE LIFTING HEAVY WEIGHTS!)

About the Author

Sarah-WartmanSarah Wartman is an average girl living with hypothyroidism…. these are her stories and passionate posts. (Cue Law & Order’s *dun dun* music). Please note that she is not a medical professional.  She works in advertising, is mother to Emmy the “party pug”, has a profound love for Kansas State football, and listens to questionable 80′s music. She’s also a current Thyroid Thrivers, (read about her thyroid journey). She blogs at, follow her on Facebook.


This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

 Questions or anything to ask Sarah about metabolism? We want your thoughts in the comments section–Please! 

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