Thyroid weight gain is one of the most frustrating aspects of an underactive thyroid. It is especially true for hypothyroid patients. The condition itself causes you to burn fewer calories, leading to extra pounds. A typical thyroid cure like prescription medication can also send the scale soaring. You can’t neglect your health for the sake of your figure. But there are some thyroid weight gain solutions you can still try while treating your condition.
Thyroid Weight Gain Solutions You Can Try
In This Article:
Ask About Treatment Plan Adjustments
Regulating your thyroid should be your ultimate goal. But your current treatment plan may unnecessarily contribute to weight gain. It’s possible your medical team can adjust your current treatment.
Depression is often a symptom of thyroid problems. Has your doctor prescribed anti-depressants? If so, ask her if these might be contributing to your weight gain. Alternatives which do not wreak havoc with your appetite or your metabolism may exist. The same holds true for beta blockers, hormone therapy, and specific anti-thyroid medications. There are versions of these which cause weight gain in some people. Ask your medical team for potential substitutions.
If no alternatives exist, don’t stop taking your medication. Focus on other weight loss measures rather than abandon your prescriptions. In fact, your current medication may need supplementing to encourage weight loss. Many patients take meds that balance thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). Others control the T3 hormone. These adjustments may be the key to staying healthy and losing weight.
Proactive patients can avoid some weight gain following a thyroid diagnosis. Some people wait too long to begin recommended treatment. Or they may put off surgery. Others complete surgery but fail to start the recommended post-operative hormone therapy. Any of these delays can lead to weight gain.
Design a Thyroid-Specific Diet
If you’re dealing with thyroid weight gain, a normal weight loss plan may not be enough for you. Some “healthy” foods might throw your thyroid gland hormones out of whack. The thyroid definition of a healthy diet for you may be different than for another patient. Even some people with hyperthyroidism gain weight because of increased appetite.
Here are a few diet tips for people coping with thyroid weight gain:
- Don’t assume cutting calories will solve the problem. Eating too little can actually cause your blood sugar to spike, then crash. A steady blood sugar level is best for maintaining proper metabolism.
- Eat less if you’ve been consuming more calories than your doctor recommends.
- Get tested for food allergies. Patients with thyroid conditions like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis often develop dietary intolerances and allergies. These can lead to bloating and weight gain. If you verify a problem like gluten intolerance, begin to transition to a gluten-free diet.
- Don’t have too many cruciferous veggies. Sure, kale smoothies and spinach-egg white breakfasts may work for your dieting friends. But they can be a disaster for people with an underactive thyroid. Cruciferous vegetables contain high amounts of goitrogens. These natural compounds slow down the thyroid, leading to more weight gain. Avoid foods like spinach, kale, cabbage, turnips, broccoli, and cauliflower.
- Eat natural, low-sugar foods. Processed foods, or those with natural sugars, can slow your thyroid function. Whole foods are best. In addition, eat fewer carbs. Extra carbohydrates can cause blood sugar fluctuations.
- Consider intermittent fasting. This meal plan kick-starts metabolism for some people with sluggish thyroids. One sample plan would be the 16:8 schedule. That means that you eat a few meals within a period of eight hours. You then fast for 16 hours. Longer fasting periods may also suit you. But it’s best to ask your doctor before undertaking this diet. Various eating plans may affect your medication schedule.
Maximize Your Workout
Boosting metabolism is one goal of anyone who’s trying to lose weight. For people with hypothyroidism, it needs to be the main focus. Before you start any regimen, check with your medical team. Thyroid patients need to reach a certain threshold of normal hormonal activity. Until then, it may not be safe to exercise.
Unfortunately, you may have to work harder than ever to burn calories. Is your regular routine not budging the scale? Try to do more than an hour each day of physical activity. That may seem excessive. But for people with compromised thyroids, it’s often necessary for boosting metabolism
What sort of exercise is best? Starting with strength training can be a good idea. Building lean muscle boosts metabolism and sets you up for weight loss.
You’ll also need to include cardio in your routine. If you haven’t worked out for some time, start out with walking. Build up to a faster rate of the aerobic exercise of your choice. Options include running, walking, hiking, biking, Jazzercise, or the treadmill.
Overcome Exercise Obstacles
Still feeling sluggish and toting around extra pounds? Look for workouts geared to people with compromised internal functions. T-Tapp is one such program. These DVDs or classes are designed around specialized moves. Proponents say these moves stimulate the endocrine, digestive, and lymphatic systems. They also help boost metabolism.
Some people experience side-effects from hypothyroidism that make working out painful. Underactive thyroids can cause joint and muscle pain, as well as swelling. If this is the case, focus on low-impact workouts. This activity type keeps you moving, without bringing on more pain.
Walking is a great all-around metabolism booster that’s low-impact. But if you’re dealing with swollen feet, swimming might be easier. Not only are you off your feet in the pool, but the water supports your body weight. Swimming also avoids excess pressure on your joints.
Do you find yourself out of breath as a result of thyroid struggles and excess weight? Yoga may be key. Yoga classes train you in breathing techniques. This allows you to strengthen your lungs as you also work your muscles.
Here are some tips from Dr. Eric Berg DC to address thyroid weight gain issues:
Remember that you’re not alone when it comes to dealing with thyroid weight gain problems. Don’t think of it as a vanity concern that you can’t ask your doctor about. Staying at a healthy weight is part of your overall thyroid cure. Your medical team is your best resource. They recommend foods and workout plans that work best for your thyroid condition.
Did this article help you with your thyroid weight gain problems? Keep us updated on your progress by leaving a comment below!