When you’re battling a thyroid condition or imbalance, trying to lose weight can feel like a cruel joke. You try to eat well, and you take your thyroid medication. But nothing seems to help. So what gives?
It’s common knowledge that the thyroid regulates metabolism. If the thyroid is struggling, so does your waistline. But what if you’re on medication, and your thyroid numbers look good? And you’re still not losing weight? What then?
There are a few factors to consider.
Looking at the reason why your thyroid is struggling in the first place can often reveal sources of inflammation. Even if your thyroid is being balanced by medication, an inflamed body is going to struggle to let go of weight.
Managing thyroid disease (or hypothyroidism) is about more than just medicating for good lab-test results. It’s about living an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, which includes a diet rich in vegetables, and lifestyle factors that support general well-being (such as enough sleep, gentle exercise, and good hydration).
Yoga, acupuncture, and meditation are all ways to support relaxation efforts, which can then help reduce inflammatory levels.
Proper Thyroid Testing
Maybe your thyroid is only being monitored by TSH. If so, there’s a chance that your T3 and T4 numbers are way off that—even though your TSH number looks right. And that could be the culprit behind an inability to lose weight. In order to get a true reading of your thyroid hormones, you need to have your Free T3 and T4 monitored. In fact, TSH is less important than those two, because TSH is actually a pituitary hormone.
Additionally, people who’re taking thyroid medications can often have very low TSH levels. Then the pituitary doesn’t have to tell the thyroid to work, thanks to the presence of enough thyroid hormones. In that case, the only true barometer of thyroid wellness is seeing how many free thyroid hormones are available for the body.
Mistakes with Metabolism
Thyroid problems can slow the metabolism. So to speed up metabolism, people may exercise more frequently and in a more challenging way. It’s a huge mistake. Gentle exercise that’s a regular part of your routine will help reduce inflammation, which will promote weight loss and support the thyroid in the process.
Bottom line: The thyroid needs to be properly monitored, but there are also bigger factors (such as exercise, sleep, and inflammation levels). They can influence how the metabolism responds.
Thyroid and Blood Sugar
When the thyroid is off-balance, many other things within the body can also get thrown off. Blood sugar is no exception. When blood sugar is high, it can spur on the immune system to attack the thyroid, particularly in cases of established autoimmune disease or inflammatory processes. (1) Low blood sugar (referred to as hypoglycemia) can stimulate a cortisol stress response.
When blood-sugar levels fall below the norm, the body can begin to think there’s an impending crisis. It releases extra glucose for the brain and restricts the process of digestion. When this process repeatedly happens over time, cortisol levels remain high. And stress levels get higher. When the body is in this state of chaos (no matter how well you’re eating, or how regularly you take your thyroid medication), the thyroid will remain in a teeter-totter state.
When thyroid sufferers attempt to ditch their extra weight by restricting calories—usually at a level that won’t sustain proper hormone production—the body doesn’t respond by shedding extra pounds. Rather, it believes it’s starving, and moves into fat-storage mode. The thyroid needs balanced blood sugar and carbs to produce hormones. The first things to go in times of caloric restriction are regular meals and carbohydrates.
Bottom line: The thyroid responds to blood sugar, and so does weight loss. Keeping blood sugar balanced is essential for weight loss. Counting calories is useless if your blood sugar is a wreck.
Thyroid and Hydration
The actual amount of water that’s needed for optimal health is still up for debate. The short answer is that it varies for everyone. Water needs will change based on season, fitness level, diet, and health condition.
As a nutritionist, I frequently see that people are dehydrated, even when they don’t think they are (especially people who have hormone imbalances or thyroid issues).
After being chronically dehydrated for a long enough period, our thirst signals don’t accurately represent how much water we truly need to be hydrated at optimal levels. While half the body weight in ounces might be too much water for some, it might not be enough for others . But it’s a good starting point to help you determine your hydration baseline.
Being well-hydrated not only influences hormone wellness, but also weight loss, skin health, energy levels, and detoxification (since toxins are partially flushed out of our bodies via the kidneys and bladder, as well as the intestines). (2)
Bottom line: Often, people with chronic health issues are actually more dehydrated than they know. Balancing water intake can help release body weight and toxins.
Thyroid Health, Insomnia, and Healthy Sleep Habits
The thyroid is a tiny gland, but it can mess up sleep in a big way. Insomnia tends to be a common symptom for those who suffer from thyroid imbalance. Fatigue also tends to creep in, especially the type of fatigue that leaves you feeling tired but unable to fall asleep.
Thyroid sufferers may give up on normal sleep habits because they don’t automatically sleep well. This reaction can actually lead to further sleep disturbance, and cause the body to get weaker and more rundown.
Even if sleep doesn’t come naturally, that’s no reason to give up on a regular bedtime. Help train the brain by creating sleep hygiene. Don’t use digital devices in bed, and keep the bedroom a dimly lit, cool place of relaxation. Even if you go to bed and can’t sleep, you can train your body to fall into a feeling of calm, which may be beneficial when dealing with thyroid-induced anxiety.
Sometimes, magnesium can be a beneficial supplement. When taken before bed, it can promote muscular relaxation. A lack of a proper thyroid balance can also lead to magnesium deficiency. So replenishing it in supplement form can boost thyroid function and decrease inflammatory markers. (3) Magnesium is also helpful in regulating blood sugar and managing anxiety. (4)
Bottom line: It’s very hard for thyroid sufferers to get restful sleep, but that shouldn’t stop you from creating a healthy sleep routine.
Thyroid and Gut Health
Leaky gut is a digestive problem that’s been linked to autoimmune and chronic disorders, and thyroid conditions are no exception. The thyroid is particularly susceptible to toxic overload. Perhaps your body is dealing with leaky gut, toxins, and partially digested food particles. If so, viruses and bacteria are left to circulate through the bloodstream, unchecked by the normal immune and digestive protocols.
You can effectively addressing your gut health with a Paleo diet. But beyond that, it’s important to nourish the gut with good bacteria (probiotics), as well as foods that are rich in antioxidants (leafy greens and berries), folate (avocado and eggs), and collagen (bone broth).
Bottom line: It’ll be very hard to lose weight if your gut is a wreck. Through specific dietary support, you can improve your beneficial bacteria, and reverse leaky gut.
Trying to lose weight when your thyroid is messed up can feel impossible. But when you start looking at the problem from a whole-body perspective, you can see that there are ways to address weight beyond the thyroid.
- Reduce inflammation with healthy diet and lifestyle principles.
- Support nutrient needs.
- Stay hydrated.
- Make sure that you’re getting your thyroid levels properly managed—by testing your Free T3 and T4.
Breakfast, blood sugar, & inflammation
Recent research has shown that Inflammation is responsible for 7 out of 10 Deaths in the United States. But it doesn’t have to be the same way for you.
In fact, in a fairly short amount of time, you could start to experience better sleep…less stomach issues…more energy and stamina…less muscle and joint pain…a drop in weight…lower stress levels…and much, much more!
Learn how to Prevent—Even Reverse—Most Major Diseases by “Turning Off” Inflammation!
Did you know that one of the best times to stretch is right before bed? However…
What stretches should you do? Here’s a 1-minute stretch routine you can do before bed...
Lisa, Yoga Coach
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody
...easy, 3-minute exercise that completely cured his horrendous snoring! We can both finally sleep!
Today is a good day. Tonight will be even better. Why?
Because you're about to learn easy throat exercises that cure (not just treated) your stubborn snoring – in 3 minutes – starting TONIGHT!
...even if straps, sprays and even torturing CPAP masks have failed you in the past.
Most people heal their snoring in just a few minutes per day using these powerful throat exercises. And they're so easy, you can do them, regardless of your age or physical shape.
Use them anytime, anywhere... even while stuck in traffic or watching TV.
Plus the results are permanent!
Did you know that your bodyfat can become "calorie-resistant"?
True. And it's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
However, there's good news- Calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive. It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know. Read more to find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:
To your health!
PS - Studies show that it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a debilitating condition-and you"re not sure what the culprit is-now's the time to find out...while you can still do something about it!
--> Grab your FREE copy of this groundbreaking soft cover book today (while supplies still last.)
Over the past year, my friend Dave over at PaleoHacks has been working on a super secret cookbook project with our good friend Peter Servold a Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef and owner of Pete's Paleo...
And today, this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE!
The cookbook is called Paleo Eats, and it's filled with over 80 chef created, insanely tasty Paleo recipes which means they are free from gluten, soy, dairy, and refined sugar.
Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because they only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)
Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.