Losing Weight with Hypothryoid

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Has anyone successfully lost weight after being diagnosed with hypothyroid? My weight has steadily increased - I'm now fifteen stone and seem to struggle with all diets, I lose half a stone and then get stuck. Bad sugar cravings and often needing carbs.  Would love to hear from anyone who has battled with their weight and finally found a way to tackle it.


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  • Posted

    Hi Jane, losing weight with thyroid disease is not easy. However, once you get the weight off, the good news is that it's easier to maintain than the initial task of losing the weight. Clearly, the fact that you've lost weight shows tremendous effort and resolve on your part!

    You have to solve the thyroid stuff as well as the adrenal stuff caused by throid disease to a certain extent before attempting to lose weight. If you're still having cravings and are on the thyroid- caffeine-sugar-chocolate merry-go-round, you need to recognize that you really body isn't regulating energy properly.  To help with cravings, you'll need to be taking a good quality multivitamin and multimineral.

    Foods that curb cravings- beef, chicken, fish, (other meats) low fat minimally processed cheese, dandelion greens. Supplements that help are dandelion, white kidney bean extract, chromium picolinate.

    My experience with weightloss and thyroid disease is that you'll have completely unexplained plateaus that last a really long time. This is just frustrating and feels unfair. When you hit those plateaus, instead of getting discouraged, do your best to stay on track. As the discouragement can result in emotional eating. It may take weeks to break through, no kidding!

    Getting enough protein is super important and you may find that snacking on a low calorie protein smoothie will get you through some of the cravings. Mix in the blender: ice, whey protein powder, 1/2 cup of fresh fruit such as peaches or berries, stevia if needed. Add spinach to your smoothies or if you can handle it, add dandelion greens. But I have to warn you, the dandelion greens are bitter, while the spinach doesn't much change the taste of your smoothie.

    You can also supplement with essential amino acids to help boost protein. This is incredibly helpful! Also keep in mind that lean protein is the best way to get the most nutrition with the least calories. I know you know a lot of this since you've managed to lose weight. 

    I've found typical diet instructions to basically sabotage a thyroid patient's diet efforts. While typical diets say 13-1500 calories a day, I find this is a road to frustration and weight gain. Instead, I've found the only way to lose weight is to really budget your calories for good nutrition, let go of the junk food of all sorts and the false belief that you can have treats while dieting or with thyroid disease, as the junk just isn't worth it! You can budget your calories with good food choices or primarily lean protein and vegetables, to get excellent nutrition while still keeping your calories between 800 and 1100 per day. Ive read that varying calories also helps by relieving some of the stress on your body. If you MUST have sweets or treats, remember that one bite really is just as good as a whole portion. I always remind myself that whatever the issue is, a box of cookies can't solve the problem any better than one small cookie can. 

    Health issues, toxicity, emotional strain, stress, loneliness and other factors are key in losing weight. Any of these, if allowed to run their course unfettered, will sabotage your weightloss. To be honest, I've done spiritual work and meditations as part of my weightloss. Letting go of family drama and regrets...

    The REALLY good news is that keeping your weight down really helps with the thyroid symptoms.

    Finally, I can tell you that it's possible and worth the effort! I enjoyed a blissful 10 years at a size three once I got the weight down. The work I did for the weightloss put my thyroid disease into remission for many years. Unfortunately, environmental factors eventually retriggered thyroid disease, so I'm back to coping

    please feel free to pm me and let me know what sort of things you're finding helpful!


    • Posted

      Thanks for your lovely reply - I totally agree with your comments and certainly feel stress etc. plays a massive part in all of this.  I need to find the strength to start a new regime, I had a spell where I was doing well, smoothies etc.every day, extra vitamins etc but I've fallen right off the wagon!  

  • Posted

    Yes, over the last 18 months I have lost around 2 stone.  Once I have lost one more stone (I live in hope!) I will be back to pre-diagnosis weight.  The main difference in my lifestyle is that I booked up with a "get fit program" at my local gym which was 3 times a week (40 minute sessions doing different activities) for 12 weeks, plus they made me keep a food diary and gave me lots of advice about what I was eating.  After completing that (although it was enjoyable and I did lose a little weight) I knew I wasn't really a gym kind of person (I prefer the outdoors) so I joined a couch to 5k programme, running once a week with the group plus 2 practice sessions up to 40 minutes.each week until I could run 5k without stopping.

    Well, turned out I love running and have kept it on.  What I love about it is that it's cheap, it doesn't matter how fast or slow you are (I am only really competing against myself rather than anyone else), you get a lovely high after most runs, and there's a social element about it which is nice and I didn't really expect, I've also become part of the parkrun community.  Parkruns are timed 5k runs which happen every saturday - I could never have imagined doing something like this a couple of years ago, but now I'm a regular, and do it for fun smile

    What I have found is that I am a little bit slower than average and I don't have great stamina - even 18 months in I am struggling to extend my runs beyond 5k and i often need a day's rest if I push myself on a 5k, which is not ideal when you have a fulltime job and kids to look after.  I give myself regular days off, or go for a walk rather than a run when i feel too fatigued to run (and don't give myself a hard time about it)

    So anyway, while all this has been going on, I have steadily dropped in weight, only about 1-2lb per month, but sustained over 18 months it starts to add up!  I haven't had to make any major changes to my diet, but have cut out alcohol on a friday night so I can run sat morning, and I am more conscious of what I eat, but not to the extent that I would go without regular treats smile

    I wish you luck, I don't know your situation, but what I would say is that if you keep looking and trying different approaches, you will find something that you enjoy  and works for you.  i was pretty desperate and had more or less resigned myself to getting bigger and bigger before I started this journey, but I feel so much better now that I 've managed to turn things around.

    All the best to you smile

  • Posted

    Jane is your hypothyroidism being optimally treated as in do you "feel hypo" still?  Until your numbers are at the optimal readings, you will find it very hard to lose. It is still slower when you are properly medicated but it can be done.  I hope the chart below will blow up but it shows you where your numbers should be to feel well. Hope it helps. 

    • Posted

      Terry, this chart is great! What was the source? I'd like to copy and keep for reference, but can't save it from the post.

    • Posted

      Sorry I hadn't replied to you Terry. My numbers a now balanced and I'm feeling pretty well.  This week I'm going to try and get onto some sort of plan for fitness and diet - fingers crossed! Thanks for the chart.

  • Posted

    I recently began slimming world, it's tough to get into, but you will see results, I've hat Underactive thyroid for 3 years now (7 years just below borderline), I've increasingly gained weight, and so far i've lost 7lbs in 6 weeks, which ii never though would be possible, especially since i have fibromyalgia, so i cant exercise!

    I hope this helps!

    Charley x


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