Thyroid problems occur when the thyroid doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones, which are responsible for the proper functioning of our brain, muscles, and organs. Manu people with thyroid problems don’t even know they have them until consequences start showing, including changes in body temperature and skin texture, but also frequent weight fluctuations.
Low level of thyroid hormones also leads to slower metabolism, which makes the whole process of reducing weight harder. Still, it’s not an impossible task if you follow these couple of rules.
1. Change your diet
This isn’t going to be an easy task as there isn’t one right diet. The right diet will depend on your specific physiology and the way you react to certain food, as well as the speed your body burns calories.
This means that you’ll maybe have a few misses until you identify which type of diet suits you best (or at all).
You can try with avoiding raw goitrogenic foods and vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and kale. Another approach would be to reduce the use of simple carbohydrates and sugar through a low-glycemic diet.
For some people, diets like the Autoimmune Protocol/Anti-Inflammatory/AIP Diet help, while others find the ketogenic diet (very low-carbohydrate diet) the right for them.
It’s also important to get tested and identify any dairy, soy or wheat allergies. Lastly, a gluten-free diet has proven to be successful for some people, too.
2. Number of daily meals
It’s not just about what you eat; it’s also about how often you eat. You need to have frequent meals throughout the day, but any of them should a big one. Smaller meals help to balance blood sugar, especially if it’s a balanced meal with quality proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs.
3. Timely diagnosis and correct treatment
In most cases, the thyroid is underactive, and the longer you wait for the correct diagnosis and suitable treatment, the less are chances of reducing the weight. In other words, the more you postpone visiting the doctor, the more weight you will gain in the meantime, as your metabolism is slowed down significantly and you’re less motivated to be active.
Also, don’t just assume that thyroid medication you get will help you lose weight. It takes time to optimize your treatment in order for it to have the right effect.
Lastly, some experts believe that hormone resistance such as leptin resistance and insulin resistance can also make it difficult to lose weight. That means you should also get yourself tested for fasting glucose and leptin levels.
4. Step up your strength exercise routine
It’s unclear why, but the fact is that the thyroid hormone affects your muscle function. For those with hypothyroidism, it means that it will be harder to build muscles. So, be prepared to work much harder, even if you’re on meds.
There’s also a bonus to this hard work – muscles burn more calories than fat, meaning you will have bigger chances of putting on weight if you don’t exercise.
For optimal results, build your muscles through three strength workouts a week, each one lasting an hour. And don’t forget to focus on your lower and upper body, as well as the core.
5. Don’t forget cardio workouts
You won’t achieve much if you neglect cardio exercises, especially if you have thyroid problems. It is possible to lose weight if your thyroid doesn’t work properly, but you will have to do more cardio than an average person. You will have to do cardio five days a week for at least 30 minutes (an hour would be even better).
The important thing is to find an activity that makes you sweat and gets your heart rate up. You can try jogging, which you can do before work or in the late afternoon. You can make the route longer every 7 days to challenge yourself.
Another great cardio activity is riding a bike because you can’t get bored with it. You can change the route every day and it’s always fun to enjoy the scenery, especially if there’s a park near your home. You only need to have a quality bike to maximize the effects. There are always good folding bikes for those who wants to enjoy a long ride, whether it’s on a bumpy road or hours flat terrain.
Just find your right cardio activity and make a habit out of it.
6. Get enough sleep
You need your eight hours of sleep. Sleep deprivation will slow down your metabolism, making way to weight gain. It’s not the same as whether you sleep for 5 or 8 hours every night. Some experts even recommend skipping the morning exercise if it means you’ll get the sleep you need.