Hypothyroidism makes it hard to lose weight but it can be done.
Could you dtect a difference if your thyroid gland slowed down ints production of thyroid hormone?
The symptoms of decreased thyroid hormone synthesis, known as hypothyroidism, are hard to spot. About 10 million Americans have thyroid disease and many others are undiagnosed, under-diagnosed, or under-treated. Many times the symptoms-including weakness and fatigue, weight gain, persistent constipation, or thinning hair-are often mistaken as other illnesses or simply the progression of aging, hence its nickname byphysicians as “the great mimicker”.
At the base in the front of your neck sits the thyroid, a small butterfly-shaped gland that plays a huge role in the endocrine system, which creates, distributes, and regulates hormones in the body. The hormones produced by the thyroid gland, T3 and T4, regulate the body’s metabolism by providing cells with energy they need to function.
When your thyroid does not produce enough of these hormones, the balance of chemical reactions in your body can be upset and many times results in a slowed metabolism. Weight gain is the most common clinical symptom of hypothyroidism.
Daily less calories are burnt when thyroid hormone levels are low. An underactive thyroid makes every calorie count more, sometimes double. It makes losing weight really hard.
Here are seven things to consider if attempting a weight management program when you have an underactive thyroid:
1. See your healthcare provider
If you are experiencing the symptoms of hypothyroidism, it’s essential to get proper treatment from your physician. Your doctor will order a blood test to determine if synthetic thyroid hormones are needed.
Releasing weight doesn’t always happen even when you take thyroid hormones and your blood test return to normal. Diet and lifestyle changes must still be followed to help shed the pounds (more about this below).
2. Stay away from thyroid absorption hindering foods
Stay away from foods and nutrients that hinder thyroid hormone absorption when taking thyroid hormones. Iron or dietary calcium are some nutrients that can interfere with the absorption of thyroid hormone. Many doctore recommend taking thyroid medicaiton immediately upon rising and to allow two to three hours before eating calcium or iron containg foods. Antacids, calcium-fortified orange juice, and multivitamins are some supplements that you may not consider as containing calcium and iron but they may so do your research.
There are foods that disrupt thyroid function as well (goitrogenic foods) which should be avoided also. Non-fermented soy foods, legumes such as lima beans,and raw cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are all common goitrogenic foods. You can reduce the amount of goitrogens in these foods by cooking or fermentation.
3. Eat balanced meals with quality protein
Muscle tissue is the greatest contributor to the rate that your body burns calories- basal metabolic rate (BMR). To rebuild and restore, even when you are at rest (such as sleeping), muscles require energy. Which means it is important to preserve muscle when losing weight. Faster metabolism, more muscle mass, hugher BMR, and greater energy expenditure can be obtained by consuming meals higher in protein compared to carbohydrates and fats. The thermic effect of food (the digestion and absorption) of protein requires more calories than fat and carbohydrate combined.
4. Be smart when choosing calories
When trying to lose weight, every calorie counts. Every calorie counts when trying to lose weight. Dealing with a slow metabolism highlights this even more. Stay away from sugary drinks, white-flour pastas and bread, and other sources of refined carbohydrates that leavee you feeling hungry and fatigued because of quickly spiking your blood sugar. Instead of refined carbohydrates, choose portion-controlled meals that are higher in dietary fiber to help satisfy your appetite and keep you feeling fuller, longer. Along with curbing appetite, dietary fiber is an important bulking agent for solidifying and softening stools thus helping avoid hypothyroidism-induced constipation.
5. Exercise, start slow and work up
Motivation to exercise can often be dampened by the hypothyroidism symptom fatigue, but, exercise- particularly resistance training-greatly helps to stimulate metabolism and aid in muscle growth. If you are short on time or just can’t seem to get motivated to exercise try (HIT) high-intensity training. HIT is exercising in 30 seconds to several minute intense intervals then doing recovering periods lasting one to five minutes. When it comes to improving body composition and metabolic health the benefits of HIT are greater than longer, continuous exercise.
6. Sufficient vitamins and minerals daily is a must
Key to thyroid health is getting ample amounts of the minerals iodine and selenium. Iodized salt and sea vegetables like kelp are great sources of iodine. Selenium can be found in animal products, seafood, dairy, and Brazil nuts. Also, you can ensure you are receiving sufficient amounts through supplementation.
It has been proven that those with thyroid disorders and other autoimmune problems need to focus on vitamin D. Because of the many roles vitamin D plays in the body-from bone health to brain health-it’s important to be sure you are getting enough through your diet, supplementation, or by soaking up the sun’s UVB rays.
7. Quality sleep and plenty of it
Getting enough sleep is important is any weight loss effort but particularly if you have hypothyroidism. Too often, people who are sleep-deprived try to increase levels of alertness by eating and those foods tend to be high-calorie options. Your trim figure and your health are both at risk with this unhealthy cycle of fatigue and using unhealthy foods to self medicate. A metabolic meltdown can be the result of decreased insulin sensitivity because of sleep deprivation. The average adult needs to shoot for seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
Even with hypothyroidism reaching your weight loss goals is possible. Attitude, persistence, and action will lead you to your healthy happy place.
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