Hypothyroidism, underactive thyroid or slow thyroid is a hormonal problem in which the thyroid gland, which produces thyroid hormones, reduces its activity so it produces less of them. These hormones are mainly responsible for growth and regulate the body's metabolism. Therefore, one of the main symptoms and problems of this disease is weight gain and the difficulty of controlling it.
As we know how complicated it can be, in we give you a series of tips that will help you if you are wondering how to lose weight if I have hypothyroidism. Take note of them and talk to your doctor before putting them into practice
What is the relationship between hypothyroidism and weight gain
According to Mayo Clinic, the main symptoms of hypothyroidism are:
- Weight gain
- Dry skin
- Swollen face
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Muscle weakness
- Reduced heart rate
- High LDL cholesterol level
- Muscle pain and stiffness
- Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling
- Irregular or heavier menstruation
- Weakening of the hair
In addition, according to this same clinic, hypothyroidism also produces many more problems, such as enlargement of the heart, goiter problems and it has also been shown that hypothyroidism affects fertility, among many more aspects. However, in this article we focus on weight gain that is really difficult to control, since it is one of the main problems that affect those who suffer from this thyroid problem, both physically and psychologically.
Focusing now on the relationship between hypothyroidism and weight gain, according to the American Thyroid Association, this is that basal metabolism is decreased by the lack of thyroid hormone and the body works much slower when it comes to metabolizing or processing nutrients and other substances. This produces a clear tendency to weight gain, which can range from mild to severe depending on the type of hypothyroid, since the body begins to store fats, salts and liquids very easily.
That is why many people who suffer from this condition wonder how to lose weight having hypothyroidism and go to their doctors to look for the solution and seek additional advice to achieve it. For this reason, in the next few lines we will try to solve this doubt in the clearest possible way.
How much weight can I lose when I treat hypothyroidism
If you're wondering how much weight you can lose if you have hypothyroidism, you'll be interested to know that the American Thyroid Association actually has weight gain associated with an underactive thyroid is between 2.5 kg and 5 kg and that this condition actually affects salt and water retention more than fat retention. Therefore, when it is possible to regulate thyroid hormone levels and, especially if you take care of your diet, it is possible to recover the weight before the onset of hypothyroidism, losing a maximum of about 5 kg, generally. Keep in mind that it will cost you less to lose weight if you have subclinical hypothyroidism, the mildest, than if you have one of its most severe forms.
If there is still significant overweight or even obesity after this treatment, it is clear that the problem of increased volume and weight is not only due to this thyroid condition. So, the doctor will have to continue investigating in each case the possible causes, such as a sedentary lifestyle, an unbalanced diet or other diseases related to basal metabolism.
Thyroid hormone treatment for weight loss with hypothyroidism
Is thyroid hormone treatment really effective for weight loss if I have hypothyroidism? This is what many people with this problem of slow or underactive thyroid wonder having ever heard that when treated directly with the thyroid hormone that they lack, the body can rebalance and lose weight.
According to the American Thyroid Association, doctors long ago recommended this type of treatment as effective. It was about giving a high dose of this hormone to be able to get the body to use it and as a result the levels were equalized and weight was lost. However, it is not a treatment that can be done for life, since it affects more aspects such as the loss of muscle mass, and it was shown that once this hormone was finished and stopped being used, the patient recovers the lost weight, which is known as the rebound effect. Thus, today it is not considered a good option to lose weight with hypothyroidism.
How to lose weight if I have hypothyroidism
Answering now to your main question “how to lose weight if I have hypothyroidism?”, we inform you that it is only possible to lose weight with treated hypothyroidism, that is, if the condition is not controlled by more efforts you try to make you will not lose weight, or at least not in a noticeable way in your health.
For example, there are those who when treated with medication such as levothyroxine or euthyrox for hypothyroidism manage to lose weight, because the mere fact of regulating the levels of the hormone that is provided already helps them lose weight to their normal weight. On the other hand, there are other people who even with the treatment hardly notice a change in terms of this aspect of health and need something more to get off overweight or obesity. In this other oneHOWTO article you can consult How to treat hypothyroidism, but you will certainly have to follow the guidelines that your endocrine gives you.
Once the treatment is being effective, or from the beginning of this if the doctor deems it necessary, you will have to start putting your efforts into improving your diet and combating sedentary lifestyle with some daily exercise. The endocrine can indicate a diet, surely low in normal salt and high in iodine foods. We recommend that you try to go to the gym to perform cardio and weight exercises adapted to your current condition, do not overexert yourself, as well as incorporate small things into your daily routine such as using the stairs more, walking between 30 minutes and 1 hour at a brisk pace, etc.
Additionally, you can reinforce the treatment with lymphatic drainage, a type of massage that will help you eliminate fluid and fat retention.
How to eat to lose weight if I have hypothyroidism
When you want to know what you should eat and what not to treat hypothyroidism and regulate your weight, the best thing you can do is talk to your endocrine doctor to make you a diet to lose weight with hypothyroidism, because this way you will have guidelines as they will be more effective than if you follow diets or generic plans. Anyway, to give you an idea, here are the good and bad foods for hypothyroidism:
Good foods for hypothyroidism
If you want to know how to lose weight with a slow thyroid through a better diet, these are foods that you should include in your day to day. These are mainly foods rich in iodine.
- Legumes and other vegetables: beans, lentils, fennel, spinach, garlic and tomato.
- Cereals and seeds: corn, oats and sunflower seeds or pipes.
- Fruits: strawberry, mango, coconut, dates and apple.
- Nuts: pistachios and hazelnuts.
- Spices and herbs: ginseng, hyssop, cinnamon and earth ivy.
- Algae: fucus, kelp and other seaweed.
Foods you shouldn't eat if you have hypothyroidism
Both because they can affect treatment and worsen the sluggishness of the thyroid gland, and because they prevent returning to normal weight, these are foods to avoid:
- Cereals: millet and wheat.
- Nuts: nuts, chestnuts and peanuts.
- Fruits: grape, orange, figs, lemon, melon, peach, plum, pomegranate and avocado.
- Legumes: chickpeas and soybeans.
- Other vegetables: carrots, onions, endives, asparagus, eggplant, potatoes, parsley, peppers, celery, cucumber, cabbage, lettuce, radishes, pumpkins.
The important thing is a diet rich in iodine and low in sugars, salt, simple carbohydrates and gauze.
How to lose weight with hypothyroidism and menopause
A situation with added complications, but quite common, is how to lose weight with hypothyroidism and menopause. In the event that you suffer from these two conditions, without a doubt the issue of weight is complicated, since you will probably suffer much more fluid and salt retention. The keys to lose weight with hypothyrioidism and menopause in this case are:
- Eat properly, taking into account these health conditions. For example, reduce salt intake.
- Exercise regularly to combat a sedentary lifestyle.
- Follow your doctor's advice and the treatment you prescribe.
- Do treatments such as lymphatic drainage to remove fluids, if your doctor doesn't tell you otherwise.