Thyroid and weight loss have been a common problem among women. The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped organ situated in the middle of the neck. It is one of the largest endocrine glands and helps in the secretion of many hormones, such as thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3) and calcitonin, that regulate the metabolism rate of the body.
Thyroid and weight loss; The relation:-
You may be wondering what leads to weight gain during thyroid problems. The thyroid gland regulates the metabolism of the body and it is indirectly related to body weight. When the body enters ” hypothyroidism”, the production of the thyroid hormone decreases and the body metabolism decreases leading to weight gain. It also causes fluid retention which may lead to added weight. Other factors which add up on the weight gain include, increase in food intake as well as a decrease in physical activity as a result of fatigue and aging process.
If you too have hypothyroidism and are looking to lose weight, here are some tips for you.
Thyroid and weight loss
Losing weight with hypothyroidism is a challenging task. All those with hypothyroid and weight loss on their mind go for a very low-calorie diet and this may further lower the body’s metabolism. It may worsen the problem and hence a correct approach is needed.
Keep a check on your thyroid levels:
Remember the answer to your weight loss question is solving the reason for weight gain. If you have a thyroid problem and weight loss is your goal, then you must keep a check on your thyroid levels. Take your medications regularly and keep your levels as close to the normal range as possible. Then you will see your weight coming to normal. Either check your thyroid levels every 3-4 months or at least once in 6 months.
Increase your activity:
Lowered metabolism is the main hurdle for those struggling with thyroid and weight loss. Increasing the activity levels through exercise will not only help in increasing metabolism but also in losing weight. Increase your activity levels by including a 30-45 minutes exercise session, be it walking, yoga, tai chi, swimming, cycling or a gym workout. Take the stairs every time you have to climb up or down. A short-medium paced walks after your meals will be beneficial too.
Increase your water and fiber intake:
Hypothyroidism can cause chronic constipation, water retention, and edema. Increasing water and fiber intake will help in regularizing bowel movements. Increased water consumption will also help in flushing out your lymphatic system, further helping water retention problems.
Increase selenium intake:
To supplement selenium in your diet, include bran, whole wheat, tuna, onions and tomatoes in your diet.
Increase iodine intake:
Increasing iodine intake will help in improving thyroid functions. Eat iodized salt. If your doctor advises, go in for iodine supplements as well.
Increase your metabolism:
The key for thyroid and weight loss is increasing your metabolism. Here are some tips on how you can do that.
i] Have 5-6 mini meals –
Small and frequent meals help in reducing the sugar spikes and balance the blood sugar level. This will help in avoiding hunger pangs. Small frequent meals help by keeping the digestive system on the go. It helps in burning more involuntary calories and prevents the storage of fat.
ii] Green tea –
Drinking green tea will increase the metabolic rate and energy levels. Hypothyroidism makes you feel tired and fatigued all the time. Green tea will help in decreasing the stress levels and will give you the most needed energy kick.
iii] Warm water and lemon –
A glass of warm water and lemon early in the morning and after your main meals will help you in keeping the metabolism rate up throughout the day.
Thyroid and weight loss:-
- Foods to eat: Include a lot of carrots, whole grain cereals, avocado, apricots, fish, asparagus, olive oil, and sunflower seeds.
- Foods to avoid: Eat less of broccoli, Lima beans, cabbage, peanuts, sweet potato, mustard, kale, kohlrabi, linseed and soy products. These foods may interfere with iodine uptake in the body. Don’t cut these foods out completely, just keep these to a minimum.
Here is a sample diet plan for thyroid and weight loss. Diet plan for weight loss in hypothyroidism.
Whether the excess weight comes from thyroid or other hormonal issues, the key to weight loss is to correct the underlying condition while monitoring your diet, eating the right things and avoiding what’s wrong and exercising. A healthy lifestyle since the very beginning is the solution to every weight-related problem, including thyroid and weight loss.
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