I often receive emails, phone calls and messages from thyroid overweight patients who have the same frustrating concern
Well...it can be difficult and sometimes it may seem impossible to lose weight with hypothyroidism but with patience and correct approach, it is possible.
Here are some of the important tips I am sharing based on my personal clinical experience with clients that will help you in losing your stubborn weight.
People with hypothyroidism have a sluggish metabolism. That means they burn fewer calories for the same amount of food consumed compared to other people of the same height and weight. No, this does not imply that you need to reduce your food intake. If you do so your metabolism will slow down even further, making it even more difficult for you to lose weight. So what can be done??
The best approach is to first focus on the ways you can increase your metabolism and there are numerous ways that can help you in achieving this goal.
Let's have a look at some of them
Exercise: A key way to kick start your metabolism is through exercise. Exercise not only helps you to burn excess calories but also improves other aspects of health that even proper nutrition can't provide- mobility and strength.
You don't have to worry about straining yourself through high-intensity workouts. Research suggests that simple low-intensity workouts like regular brisk walk are equally effective.
Green Tea: Drinking green tea on a regular basis is one of the easiest ways to boost up your metabolism. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that green tea increases the metabolic rate by 4% over a 24 hour period.
A moderate to low carb diet that focuses on complex carbohydrates (like whole grains) and avoiding simple sugars is an effective strategy for weight loss.
This can be easily done by avoiding the junk food like aerated drinks, pasta, cakes etc that are not only unhealthy but also unnecessary.
Also eating complex carbohydrates and avoiding simple sugars help reduce production of cytokines- tiny proteins that cause inflammation in the body.
Selenium and zinc are the two micronutrients that are involved in thyroid function. Hence it is important that your diet contains adequate amounts of these two nutrients to optimize thyroid hormone production and metabolism.
Selenium: Selenium is an essential mineral that plays a significant role in the production of Thyroid hormone and regulating the Thyroid Hormonal Levels. It also helps the body to recycle iodine.
For all the above-mentioned reasons it is very important to include a variety of selenium rich foods in your daily diet. Foods like tuna, eggs, bran, legumes, whole wheat, chicken, beef are all rich in selenium and must be included in some form in each of your meals.
Zinc: Zinc is crucial for the regulation of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). Hence, it must also form an integral part of your daily diet. Sources of zinc include nuts, legumes, beef, chicken, milk, yogurt, fish.
When the body is dehydrated our cellular functions slows down. Proper hydration helps your metabolism to work more efficiently. In addition to this, it also helps reduce appetite, eliminate water retention, bloating and aids the body to get rid of toxins.
Above the general recommendation of 8 glasses of water per day, it is recommended to drink another 8 glasses of water for every 10 kg weight you want to lose.
This diet is only recommended if you consistently follow the above steps but are still overweight.
Gluten is high in goitrogens that interfere with the iodine uptake by the thyroid gland and thereby suppress thyroid function. Several studies have shown a strong association between thyroid and gluten intolerance. I have also seen excellent weight loss results in my hypothyroid patients when they cut off gluten from their diet.