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5 Weight Loss Tips for Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism, if not treated, can make weight loss a challenge. Adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle can shed those unwanted pounds. Here are 5 weight loss tips for hypothyroidism

Vaishali Ratnam
February 11, 2021

Hypothyroidism is a condition that is the one hormone; thyroxine that controls the metabolism in the body. Metabolism is what is responsible for our digestion and absorption in our body. The more efficiently your body digests and absorbs the food you will have a better metabolism, and the moment your metabolism becomes sluggish you would be storing more energy as fat rather than using it up for energy. In Hypothyroidism our aim is to ensure we can keep our metabolism high and maintain our weight through a healthy diet, giving our body enough antioxidants to reduce internal inflammation and swelling of the thyroid gland.

1. Consume Fat Burning Foods

Millets, cinnamon, raw vegetables (cucumber, tomato, green capsicum), pulses/lentils, green tea, fat-burning fruits (apple, pear, guava) are foods that consume more energy to digest that provide our body with energy, moreover, these foods have more fiber, meaning the release of sugar is much slower than other foods because slower the sugar release would provide more satiety and will prevent the conversion of excess sugar to fat. More fiber in your diet would also help in the growth of healthy bacteria as a prebiotic and assist in a healthy mind-body connection, furthering the better functioning of the thyroid gland

2. Avoiding gluten and milk can hasten weight loss

Gluten-containing foods like wheat and wheat products and milk do hinder the good bacterial numbers in the intestine causing the intestinal wall to corrode after years of consumption. This causes the intestine to leak out the intestinal contents into the blood, which attacks various organs especially the thyroid gland causing it to become inflamed and reduce its thyroxine production. Hence replacing wheat-containing foods with thoroughly cooked locally available millets (cooking millets deactivates the goitrogens/thyroid attacking compounds) does not only increase metabolism but also eventually helps the intestinal wall heal and as a result, the attack on the thyroid gland would not occur. Milk has been found to have the same result due to the carbohydrate in milk that is indigestible after a certain age, causing excessive fermentation in the gut producing unhealthy bacteria that attack the gut lining and consequently leak into the blood hindering the thyroid gland functioning.  Hence it's best to remove milk and instead just stick to curd (as it is rich in probiotics) also milk can be substituted with plain milk like almond milk or rice milk.

3. Exercise is not an option, it's a mandate

We have never been made to understand the importance of regular physical activity as a part of our culture. This makes us consider physical activity as an additional task that we find difficult to add as a part of the routine. Physical activity can be extremely rewarding if you choose the activity that you like the most, it doesn't have to always be walking it can be dancing, taking up a sport, aerobics, simple acts of skipping and taking the stairs. Engaging in 30-40 minutes of designated physical activity every day naturally increases your metabolism by increasing the uptake of sugars into your muscles and preventing the excess conversion of sugars to fat. Regular physical activity produces happy hormones in the brain that trigger a positive association with moving your muscles. 

4. Spot Mineral and Vitamin Deficiencies

Getting yourself tests for Vitamin B12, Vitamin D and Calcium can be very crucial when it comes to hypothyroidism. Because all these three nutrients play a very important role in the functioning of the thyroid gland. Vitamin D receptors are present all over the body and since the thyroid gland is not functioning properly the vitamin D levels fall low and consequently, vitamin D that has a property of healing/anti-inflammatory is unable to be exercised leading to worsening of the disease. Vitamin D and calcium are two minerals that always go hand in hand and need each other for the absorption of the other, low Vitamin D meaning low calcium and decreased bone mineral density. Since muscles reside on the bone it causes decreased muscle strength. B12 is another crucial mineral that is important for boosting your energy levels since hypothyroidism causes your energy levels to get lowered as a symptom and vitamin deficiency can be a possible reason for furthering lethargy.

5. Happiness is your natural weight loss pill

Prolonged periods of stress-causing sadness and depression worsen the condition by preventing you from adhering to healthy lifestyle practices. Hence, it's always best to figure out the root cause of your stress with the assistance of an authorized counsellor and medication if needed. Taking the help of alternative healing techniques like meditation, pranayama, yoga can also act as adjuncts to heal you naturally and facilitate your moving towards a healthy lifestyle. Cortisol (stress hormones) attacks the thyroid gland causing its functioning to further be hampered. 

Healing holistically through food, physical activity and mental is a triad that would make the process of hypothyroid reversal long term.

About the author
Vaishali Ratnam

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