How to Lose Weight if You Have Thyroid Problems

Plagued by unexplained weight gain?

It may not be your fault:
Weight loss when you're struggling with thyroid problems can seem like an uphill struggle.
You eat well, take the right supplements, you even hit the gym.  Yet nothing you do seems to make a difference.
So what's the solution?
Don't worry – we discuss a few things you can try to get your metabolism up and running again.

Thyroid Problems and Brain Chemistry

It isn't just one part of your body that is affected by this tiny gland.
The thyroid gland is connected to all kinds of processes going inside you, including hunger, fat burning, satiety, and fat storage.
When you feel hungry, it is actually your body releasing neurotransmitters that trigger the hunger.
These chemicals guide you towards the consumption of simple carbs that you can consume to get quick bursts of energy.
There are similar neurotransmitters in charge of satiation that tell you when to stop eating.
There is yet another group of chemicals, the hormones that are released into the body that decides the fate of the glucose in your blood.
When the thyroid gland isn't functioning at its most optimal, this delicate balance of chemicals can get disturbed.
The rate at which your body burns fat to obtain the fuel it needs can change due to a thyroid disease.

That means you will have to match what you eat to the rate of metabolism at which your body is burning fat.
If that doesn't happen, you can start to gain weight.

Thyroid Problems and Stress

Another reason why thyroid problems can make it difficult to maintain weight is linked to stress.
This isn't your garden variety of stress…it is chronic stress that won't be going anywhere.
When stress from other sources, including life stress, less sleep, physical stress, and nutritional deficiencies are added to the chronic stress, your body starts producing more cortisol.
This chemical makes you feel exhausted, which is your body's way of telling you to slow down.
On the other hand, stress can lower serotonin levels, which will allow the cravings for carbohydrates to kick in.

This leads to overeating and gaining weight.
If you want to lose weight while dealing with a thyroid problem, then you will have to make some changes:

Changes in Your Diet

What you eat will need to change, if you aim to lose weight.
However, no two thyroid conditions are the same, which means the changes you'd need to make will depend on the following factors:
  • Physiology
  • Food Allergies
  • Nutrient Absorption Rate
  • Metabolic Rate and Effectiveness
  • The fate of Carbohydrates Consumed
Even so, there are general guidelines that you can follow:

1. Eat Less Foods Containing Simple Carbs

These foods also have a high glycemic index, which can cause your blood sugar to spike.
The result would be storage of the excess sugar as fat.
Such foods include corn, refined flour, white bread, muffins, desserts like cakes, and, of course, refined white sugar.

2. Limit Foods Containing Goitrogens

Goitrogens are substances that can interfere with the healthy functioning of the thyroid gland.
Gluten, soy, broccoli, peanuts, strawberries, kale, and other vegetables are all on the list.
However, you don't need to avoid these foods completely, as many are highly nutritious.
Simply cutting down on foods that contain goitrogens can limit their harmful effects.
Whilst steaming foods can break down and eliminate goitrogens found in vegetables.

3. Eat a Balanced Diet

Always take care that you eat a balanced diet, so that your body doesn't develop any nutritional deficiencies.
An iodine deficiency is one of the factors that lead to impaired thyroid functioning in the first place.
Iodine is required for the production of the enzymes that the gland produces.
Similarly, selenium will keep recycling iodine, so your body always has it in sufficient amounts.
You can find these micronutrients in tuna, eggs, Brazil nuts, salmon and sunflower seeds.

4. Consume Complex Carbs

While it is a good idea to stay away from refined carbs, it isn't such a smart thing to cut out ALL carbs from your life.
This refers to complex carbs and fibers of course.
Enjoy complex carbs with a sprinkling of common sense and include plenty of fiber in your diet.
More on this later!

5. Keep Protein High

Consume more protein because it satisfies cravings more quickly than both fat and carbs.
We tend to keep eating until we feel satiated.
That means you tend to consume more calories by eating more fats and carbs since they don't let the satiation set in until much later.
Moreover, when you consume a high protein diet, you are more likely to feel relaxed about cravings and decrease the number of late night snacks you consume.
Try eating more meat, eggs, seafood, nuts, dairy, and legumes/beans for a high protein diet.

6. Eat Your Greens

Consuming more veggies will mean that you get a nutrient dense meal every time.
This isn't always the case if you only eat meat.
Food allergies, autoimmune diseases, and nutritional deficiencies become much likely for thyroid patients since they have impaired nutrient absorption.
You will be able to derive more nutrients from foods such as green leafy and cruciferous vegetables, and mushrooms.
Veggies also provide our bodies with fiber, which can keep our guts healthier.
As mentioned before, fiber is a good thing to consume during a weight loss regimen.
If you are worried about how much of each food group to consume, aim for a protein portion as big as your palm.
The size of your hand will be the amount of salad/vegetables you need to have.
This would automatically leave just 1/4 of the room on your plate for carbs!
Lastly, there are additional micronutrients, like vitamin E, Zinc, Niacin, and Riboflavin that your body will require.
Most of these can be obtained by consuming fruits, green leafy vegetables, nuts, and whole cereals.

7. Changes in Fiber Consumption

Fiber is so effective in making weight loss happen because it leaves you feeling full for longer.
That means you consume less food, which means that you take in lesser calories.
This is especially good for people with thyroid problems since their digestive processes are slower.
Fiber consumption can also decrease constipation, which is a problem regularly faced by thyroid patients.
The fiber content of the following foods is high, which makes them a good fit for people trying to lose weight and avoid constipation:

Other Helpful Tips to Heal Thyroid Problems

1. Maintain Healthy Sleep Patterns

Thyroid problems are linked to poor sleep quality, resulting in daytime tiredness, muscle weakness, fatigue and brain fog.
Combat restless nights and bouts of insomnia by establishing healthy sleep hygiene habits:
Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime.
Alcohol may cause drowsiness, helping you to drop off, but ultimately reduces sleep quality.
Try to avoid daytime naps, especially if you have trouble getting to sleep at night.
Napping does not make up for an inadequate nighttime sleep.
Go to bed and rise at the same time every day, even at weekends.
This will help build firm sleeping schedules and train your body clock to be more efficient.
Lastly, don't use digital devices in bed, keep your bedroom cool and take a good magnesium and calcium supplement to promote muscle relaxation.
I take magnesium threonate before I hit the hay.  This is the best form of magnesium for sleep.
And the BEST investment I ever made for an amazing night's sleep was purchasing the ChiliPad

2. Reduce Inflammation

As well as eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep, reducing inflammation will help fight the flab.
Mindfulness and meditation are two proven ways to help lower blood pressure and help you let go of stress.
We hope these tips help you lose those pounds and achieve the weight you desire.
Why not enroll in a local meditation class?
Arrange to go with a friend who's also feeling a little frazzled. This way, each of you is unlikely to break the date.
No friends?  No problem!
Download the Calm app.
I recommend starting with "7 Days of Calm".  This consists of just 10 minutes each day of guided meditation.

3. Heal Your Gut

The thyroid gland is delicate and is easily weakened by toxins in the bloodstream.
A common cause is a condition known as 'Leaky Gut'.
Undigested food particles, toxins and bacteria "leak" through the intestinal membrane and flood the bloodstream.
If you suspect that you have leaky gut, here's what you can do:
Heal your gut lining by consuming bone brothprobioticscollagen powder and foods high in antioxidants and folate such as blueberries, dark leafy greens, kombucha, eggs, and avocado.

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