Tag Archives: hypothyroidism

Is Thyroid Making You Fat?

A tiny sized butterfly-shaped thyroid gland placed in the lower front of your neck that produces the thyroid hormones T3, T4 and TSH has a huge impact on almost every aspect of our health, from weight to mood to heart rate to energy level. The thyroid hormones control the metabolism of the body i.e. how the food is metabolized and used up. So when the gland’s hormone output goes out of gear, it can stop or slow down the process of weight loss.

There are two ways your thyroid can get out of whack. Over activity of thyroid leads to hyperthyroidism showing the symptoms of weight loss, anxiety or irregular heart beat. The other condition is under active thyroid causing hypothyroidism which shows the symptoms of weight gain, hair loss, constipation, lack of energy. Risk of hypothyroidism increases in women after the age of 50 when the estrogen production goes down in the body.

An under active thyroid leads to slow metabolism due to the fact that there is constant tiredness irrespective of how much you rest. An under active thyroid also means deficiency of iodine in the diet which is very essential for a healthy thyroid. A daily recommended amount of iodine can be incorporated in the diet but it should not go in excess as it leads to acne, allergic reactions and goiter.  Hence there is no motivation to workout, which in ways hinders the weight loss process. The other reason is joint problems and a feeling of depression that is observed during hypothyroidism, Joint immobility or pain makes the workout and hence making weight loss a difficult phenomenon. Depression makes you feel demotivated to achieve your targets.

There are three major hurdles to weight loss in an under active thyroid. One is the sluggish metabolism. The low production of the thyroid hormones is unable to keep up your metabolic rate and makes you unable to burn calories you are consuming. The best way to keep up your fat burning is to exercise. Exercise will not only help you burn your excess fat but it also helps build muscles and boosts your metabolism. Low thyroid activity alters the brain chemistry by releasing certain chemicals that makes you feel hungry and increases their cravings for carbs even when the body does not require them. This builds on the excess calories that are converted into fat leading to weight gain. Hypothyroidism may reduce the levels of serotonin, which prevents you from feeling satisfied even after having eaten. Exercise will help you to regulate your chemicals to a more normal level. The result of overeating makes your pancreas secrete insulin excessively to absorb the carbs into the cells. The overworking of this endocrine gland causes insulin resistance.  The best remedy for insulin resistance is a low carbs, low fat diet that is rich in fresh produces and lean protein.

Hence to counteract the problem of hypothyroidism which poses major hassle in losing weight is to keep you motivated. Monitoring your diet and exercise are the best two ways to defeat your disease. Most importantly, take the medications regularly as advised by the physician and keep yourself updated on the new advancements in treatment and information on the disease.


— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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Hypothyroidism Diet Chart for Weight Loss

There exists a complex relationship between hypothyroidism, BMR and body weight. Hypothyroidism slows down body’s metabolism and as a result, aids weight gain. The extra weight gained during hypothyroidism is also the result of water retention which is very common symptom of hypothyroidism. One has to be careful while attempting to lose weight as in hypothyroidism the person’s metabolism is already low and crash diets can lower it further.

Hypothyroidism causes insulin resistance in the body resulting in weight gain. Carbohydrate intake needs to be monitored to avoid any chances of developing diabetes. 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 already their metabolism is on the slower side. They require a combination of diet and exercise to achieve the goal. Exercise is critical to regulate the metabolism and burn calories.

Here are some basic dos and donts of a hypothyroid diet recommended by diet experts:

Diet: The diet for the hypothyroid patient on a weight loss plan should essentially be low in carbohydrates. Avoid pastas, potatoes, yam, and sweet potato, include more of complex carbohydrates in the form of fiber rich foods like whole cereals, vegetables, whole pulses etc. The diet need to be restricted in terms of high glycemic  foods such as corn, white bread, refined flour, muffins, cakes,  rich desserts etc.

The other important food that needs to be avoided for hypothyroidism are goitrogens like soya and its products, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale, mustard greens, cauliflower, radishes, turnips, spinach, strawberry, peaches, pears, peanuts etc. Cooking these foods can deactivate  their goitrogenic compounds and make them safer for consumption.Goitrogens are the substances that interfere with the thyroid functioning and avoiding them provide relief from the symptoms. (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo