Located above the Adam’s apple, the thyroid gland has a huge impact on bodily functions. This butterfly-shaped gland produces the thyroid hormone, which regulates the body’s heartbeat, metabolism, and temperature.
An under-active or overactive thyroid can affect your body. An under-active gland produces too little of the hormone causing hypothyroidism; an overactive one produces way too much leading to hyperthyroidism. Research has shown that women are 10 times more likely than men to have a thyroid problem.
What leads to a dysfunctional thyroid gland? The reasons could be one of many: genetics, pregnancy, stress, an autoimmune attack, nutritional deficiencies or toxins in the environment.
- You’re exhausted
- You feel low, jittery and anxious
- Your appetite has changed
- Your skin is dry
- Your hair is falling
- You’ve put on weight
- Your period rhythm has changed
- You have little interest in sex
- You can’t sleep the way you used to
- Your bowel movements are unpredictable
- You suffer pain in the muscles
- You have high blood pressure/cholesterol
Losing weight with Thyroid
Weight gain seems to be a given with thyroid disorders, especially hypothyroidism. The slowing metabolism contributes to the weight as well. How do you ensure that you don’t put on the kilos? Losing weight with any disease, be it thyroid or Hashimoto’s, isn’t easy. But it can be done. Try our top tips to lose weight with thyroid:
1. Eat small and frequent meals
Much has been made of small meals distributed through the day. They work especially well in people with hypothyroidism as the disorder tends to slow digestive function. Smaller and more frequent meals with balanced macronutrients support balanced blood sugar.
2. Shun simple carbs & sugars
Go for a moderate- to the low-carbohydrate diet that’s rich in complex carbohydrates such as starchy vegetables and legumes and shuns simple sugars. A Harvard Medical School report states that consuming complex carbohydrates and avoiding simple carbs can help reduce the production of cytokines, tiny proteins that can influence inflammation in the body. This is the ideal thyroid diet for weight loss.
3. Consume enough calories
You may be worried about your weight but it’s not wise to cut down your calorie content drastically. Experts stress the importance of eating enough calories as too few calories can cause a stress response and lead to a drop in T3 production.
4. Balance your hormones
Ensure that your hormonal system gets back in gear by providing your body with proper nutrition. The diet for thyroid patients should include foods that balance hormones. Try foods with good fats, since they are the raw material for hormone production. Foods to pick include ghee, butter, seeds, coconut oil, quinoa and whole eggs.
5. Go for anti-inflammatory foods
Hypothyroidism may lead to joint aches, pains, and depression, and anti-inflammatory foods can help ease those by soothing the immune system. Put tomatoes, fatty fish, leafy green vegetables, nuts, fruit, and olive oil on your shopping list and see the difference they make to your health.
6. Make exercise a habit
We all know that exercise can make you happy and help you beat stress. Regular exercise along with a healthy diet is the only way to burn calories and keep your hormones humming. But ensure that you’re never fatigued when you begin your workout; if you are, skip the workout that day.
7. Take your medication the right way
The thyroid medication should be taken on an empty stomach first thing in the morning with plenty of water. Never club it with other medicines and wait for at least 30 minutes before getting yourself your morning cuppa or breakfast. Also, try not to skip your medication.