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It’s no secret that maintaining a healthy weight can be difficult under the best of circumstances. However, if you have hypothyroidism it can make losing weight even more challenging. There are ways to turn this vicious cycle around. Effective treatment coupled with small changes in diet and lifestyle can dramatically increase your weight loss success.

Here’s the information you need to kick-start your weight loss journey.

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone. This little gland at the front of the throat regulates many metabolic processes and an underactive thyroid causes a person’s metabolism to slow down. Millions of people, (mostly women) have this condition, which means that weight gain is often the first obvious symptom of low thyroid function.

The good news: You’re not alone!

Making small adjustments can boost your weight loss success.

7 Tips to Boost your Weight Loss

  1. Regular Medication and Monitoring

In terms of weight loss treatment and good health it’s essential that you take your medication as prescribed by your doctor and have regular, ongoing assessments of your hormone levels. Thyroid medication should be taken on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning. Drink plenty of water and wait at least 30 minutes before eating. It’s important to see your Doctor regularly so that the condition is monitored and any adjustments in medication can be made quickly.

  1. Carbs and Sugars

Processed foods and foods containing high sugar cause inflammation in your body. Foods made with refined flour (white bread, pasta, crackers) fall short of essential nutrients. Sugary foods like biscuits, cakes, and soft drinks are especially low in nutrients and high in calories.

But you knew all this right?

What you may not know is that a low carb diet improves insulin sensitivity. Put another way, reducing carbs results in improved thyroid hormone, which means less pressure on your thyroid. According to Vasanti Malik, a research scientist in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “Carbohydrates in their natural packaging are an excellent choice for health, while refined carbs, which currently make up a large and growing part of [our] diet, are not.”

Try to eat whole grains like brown rice, legumes, whole meal bread, fresh fruit and natural yogurt instead of calorie dense, nutritionally deficient processed sugar and carbs.

  1. Move it!

Yes, you’ve heard it before- move it to lose it.

There’s no avoiding exercise if your aim is to lose weight. It doesn’t have to be marathon running either. Start small. 20 minutes five times a week and then build up from there. This can include any activity where you’re sweating and increasing your heartrate. Jogging, walking, swimming, cleaning- it all adds up.

Above all, you need to be doing something that you enjoy because you will be more likely to keep motivated.

“Normalizing the thyroid with thyroid hormone will not cause the weight gain to be reversed,” says Dr. Marilyn Tan, MD an endocrinologist at Stanford Health Care’s Endocrinology Clinic. “To lose that weight, you actually need to work at it, which I know seems very unfair because you just gained it easily.”  

No, it’s not fair but adding more cardio into your routine will help you on your weight loss journey.

  1. Portion size and Frequent Small Meals

Because hypothyroidism slows down the digestive function and metabolism, eating smaller potions at more regular intervals may help to balance blood sugar levels.

Above all, avoid eating after 8 pm at night. Remember, with a slower metabolism you don’t need as many calories.

  1. Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods

According to Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health,  “Many experimental studies have shown that components of foods or beverages may have anti-inflammatory effects,” 

Foods that are anti-inflammatory include:

·         Tomatoes

·         Olive oil

·         Fatty fish (salmon, Mackerel, tuna)

·         Nuts ( almonds, walnuts

·         Green leafy Vegetables (spinach, Kale)

·         Fruits- blueberries, cherries, oranges

  1. Drink Water and Hydrate

Water helps your body function more efficiently and therefore your metabolism.

So, start drinking!

It is also a great appetite suppressant. When the pains of hunger hit, try drinking a glass of water first before heading for that sugar fix. If you don’t like to drink water, add a twist of lemon or some fresh fruit to give it a burst of flavour.

  1. Mindset

Losing weight is not as simple as “eat less and exercise more” for those with hypothyroidism. Escaping the toxic diet cycle is not merely a matter of willpower either. Shifting the way you think about food can help.

Be mindful of your own body and what it is telling you. Take time to savour the food in your mouth, pay attention to the signs your body is giving you and adjust accordingly. Instead of going to war and fighting against your body, embrace it. Marvel at the things it can do and be kind to yourself. No scale can ever sum up who you are and sometimes the number doesn’t reflect the hard work you have done.

Look at the changes you make as lifestyle changes NOT a diet. Aim for high-nutrient, anti-inflammatory meals with healthy fats, animal protein and grains. By changing how you view food it becomes less of a battle and more of a lifestyle choice.

And Finally,

Your best weight is whatever weight you reach while you’re living the healthiest version of life that you actually enjoy.