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How to Lose Weight When Diagnosed With Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

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Many people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, as well as other forms of hypothyroidism, gain a significant amount of weight and have great difficulty losing it. Of course, a major reason for weight gain is that any hypothyroidism slows down the body’s metabolism. When it comes to losing weight in these people, there are essentially three different factors to consider. The first two factors will be very familiar to you, although many people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis fail to consider the third factor, which is usually the main reason people with the condition are unable to lose weight:

1. Diet. Almost everyone trying to lose weight does so by changing their diet. And without question, a healthy diet is an important part of losing weight, but also of maintaining it. Of course, many people don’t really understand what makes up a “healthy diet,” and that’s partly because different sources recommend different diets. For example, some “experts” will tell you to cut out carbohydrates entirely and eat whatever type of protein you want. Others will tell you it’s a “calorie game” and as long as you limit yourself to consuming a certain number of calories per day, you will lose weight.

If you really think about it, you probably know what you need to eat to help you lose and maintain weight. Yes, cutting calories can work, but if you eat unhealthy foods most of the time, then clearly this is not a long-term weight loss solution. And by no means am I suggesting that you have to eliminate all that junk food from your life forever, because if you eat healthy most of the time, most people are okay with “cheating” every now and then.

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So what should you eat when trying to lose AND maintain weight? Well, you definitely want to try to eat at least 3 to 5 servings of fresh vegetables every day. Of course, you must be careful to minimize goitrogenic vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, as these can further inhibit thyroid function. You can also eat a few servings of fresh fruit like apples, blueberries, raspberries, etc. daily. Ideally, you want to minimize those high glycemic index fruits like bananas.

Assuming you’re not a vegetarian, you can eat lean meats like organic chicken and turkey. You can also eat certain types of fish, such as wild salmon. Organic eggs are fine too, provided you don’t have an allergy to them. And raw nuts and seeds are fine, too. I haven’t listed everything you can eat here, of course, but I hope you get the point. The general point is to avoid refined and sugary foods and consume whole foods.

Two other important points are that you should not skip breakfast as it can wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels. The second point is that you don’t want to go more than two hours after breakfast without eating, even if it’s just something small. Every meal should consist of some healthy protein. This approach will help curb your appetite and stabilize your blood sugar levels, which are essential to any weight loss program.

2nd exercise. We all know how important exercise is, so I won’t go into too much detail here. I realize that many people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have low energy levels, making it difficult to begin a regular exercise program. And to be honest, some people need to address other areas to restore their energy levels. This isn’t usually accomplished by a visit to an endocrinologist or general practitioner, as most doctors simply give their patients thyroid hormones, which can help with the symptoms of an underactive thyroid but often do nothing for the root cause of the condition.

As a result, many people will continue to have low energy levels and be unable to exercise. Therefore, I recommend that people who fall under this category seek the advice of a natural endocrine physician who does more than just recommend synthetic or natural thyroid hormone and takes a whole body approach that helps restore energy levels most of the time in people with various Types of hypothyroidism, including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

For those who have the energy to exercise regularly, I recommend exercising at least three to five days per week consisting of at least 30 minutes of cardio. This can be as simple as a 30 minute walk. Some people may not be able to start with 30 minutes as they may need to start with 5-10 minutes and then work their way up. But the ultimate goal is to build up to 30 minutes of non-stop exercise that will make you sweat. As usual, one should always consult one’s doctor before beginning any exercise program.

3. Hormones. When it comes to functional endocrinology, one of my mentors is Dr. Janet Lang, who frequently told participants in her seminars that “hormones are stronger than diet”. This means that with the hormonal imbalance that many people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to lose any significant amount of weight through food and exercise alone.

Eating a lot of refined foods and skipping meals affects two of the most important hormones in the body, cortisol and insulin. And if someone continues these habits for many years, it puts a strain on the adrenal glands and can eventually lead to insulin resistance. And until this is corrected, you can have a perfect diet and exercise every day, and it will be difficult to lose weight.

Many people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and other forms of underactive thyroid also have an imbalance in the balance of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which can also lead to weight gain, making it difficult to lose weight. This is another reason why I recommend that people with these conditions consult a knowledgeable natural hormone doctor as they will be able to identify any hormonal imbalance and if they determine you have one, you can help correct it.

So these are the most important factors to consider when trying to lose weight with hypothyroidism, including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Although most people focus on one or both of the first two factors I mentioned, very few are aware of the impact hormonal imbalance can have on weight loss. But if you want to lose weight and keep it off, then you really need to consider all three of these factors. Good diet, regular exercise, and correcting any hormonal imbalances will not only help you lose your unwanted weight, but keep it off for good.

Thanks to Dr. Eric Osansky

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