What is hypothyroidism?
‘Hypo’ means less; ‘Thyroid-ism’ means a disease of the thyroid gland. The malfunction of the thyroid gland resulting in decreased production of the thyroid hormone is called hypothyroidism.
What is the role of the thyroid gland in our body?
The thyroid gland produces and secretes thyroid hormone in our body. It is the only gland which can absorb iodine from our food and use it to make the thyroid hormone. The thyroid hormone once released in the body travels through the blood stream and increases the metabolism of our body. Thus, thyroid hormone facilitates the breakdown of calories in our body to produce energy.
What happens in hypothyroidism?
The thyroid gland releases less or no thyroid hormone in spite of the brain sending signals to it for production and secretion of the hormone. As a result iodine uptake by the thyroid gland stops, leading to an Iodine deficiency in the body. The reduced secretion leads to the hormone’s inability to facilitate metabolic reactions. Hence the breakdown of calories to produce energy in the body stops leading to weight gain and subsequent fatigue. That is exactly why people suffering from hypothyroidism gain weight so abruptly and fast. Their fatigue comes as result of their calories not being converted into energy.
How to lose weight with hypothyroidism?
The reduced levels of thyroid hormone in the body reduce its ability to burn calories at a normal rate. Losing excess weight and maintaining a healthy weight in hypothyroid patients can take some effort. The important thing to note is as long as you are willing to work towards your health there is nothing that can stop you.
Another major symptom in hypothyroidism is water retention which causes the body to become bloated and puffy. Water retention is caused by the low temperature created within the body when enough calories are not being burnt to produce heat and energy.
So, a person suffering from hypothyroidism has to be careful while attempting to lose weight as their metabolism is already low and crash diets can lower it further. Hypothyroidism causes fat build up in cells which then lead to insulin resistance in the body resulting in weight gain and susceptibility to diabetes. In such a scenario, carbohydrate intake needs to be monitored to decrease any chances of developing diabetes and excess fat storage in the body.
To manage weight during hypothyroidism is challenging and therefore requires professional guidance to help you get on track. For thyroid patients simply cutting calories from the diet is not effective in bringing about the weight loss because their metabolism is already on the slower side.
They require a combination of diet and exercise to achieve their goal as both are critical to regulate the metabolism and burn calories. Here are some basic diet and exercise dos and don’ts for a hypothyroid patient recommended by our diet experts:
Also, water retention can be lowered with the help of the following tips:
Further aids of weight management:
Given below is a sample diet for your assistance:-
|Breakfast||Mid Morning Snack||Lunch||Evening Snack||Dinner|
|Paneer sandwich with plain lemon water||Fruit chaat||Salad, Vegetable/dal, Curd, Chapati||Chickpeas chat||Soup, Vegetable roll|
Exercise and diet both go hand in hand to manage weight for a hypothyroid patient.
Some of the benefits of doing exercise during medical condition like hypothyroid to lose weight are:
1) First, exercise helps you to fight water retention by sweating out the excess water from your body because when you exercise your body’s BMR goes up means body temperature raises.
2) While doing exercise your body starts burning those extra calories which under normal circumstances your body is storing, resulting in weight loss.
3) Exercise also promotes better sleep patterns, because when you exercise your body secretes happy hormones that keep stress away throughout the day and helps you sleep better at night because of decreased stress level.
So, you can start with a 15 minute home workout routine that is a combination of cardio, which increases the blood circulation in your body and also prepares your body for the strengthening exercise like knee pushups, lying superman, Russian twist, burpees, jumping jacks, etc. that help in muscle toning. Finish your regimen with stretching exercises that helps in cooling down your body to avoid the chances of muscle injury.
One key factor when burning excess calories is to concentrate on strengthening exercises as muscles burn more calories than the same amount of fat. Hence building lean muscles will help in losing more weight even when you are not exercising.
Along with the balanced diet, regular exercising not only helps in building strength, but also increases the metabolism and improves insulin sensitivity. What is needed is proper guidance from an expert regarding diet and exercise for achieving the weight loss target and also to manage the condition of hypothyroidism.
|Warm up||Strengthen Exercises||Stretching exercise|
|High Front Kick, Toe touch stretch||Russian twist, Knee pushups, Lying superman, Frog situps, Leg lift with chair||Calf stretch, Thigh stretch, Hamstring stretch, Shoulder stretch, Triceps stretch|
It’s a fact that thyroid patients face difficulty in losing weight, due to their subnormal metabolism but there are no shortcuts to weight loss. One has to be patient and focused towards the goal.
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