Hashimoto Diet To Lose Weight

How to Lose 15-20 Pounds by Eating Soup

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Losing Weight with Hashimoto's

Hashimoto thyroiditis is an inflammatory disease in which antibodies are generated by the immune system to attack the tissues of the thyroid gland. The thyroid makes hormones that regulate the body's metabolism, and because this disease causes thyroid tissues to be inflamed, fewer hormones are released. This is known as hypothyroidism, and results in a lower metabolism rate that causes weight gain. There are certain methods, however, that can be effective in reversing weight gain.

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A diet that consists of unprocessed food without added sugar and preservatives is ideal for those suffering from weight gain caused by Hashimoto's. Organic meats and vegetables should be primary staples, with healthy oils that include coconut and olive oil included. In addition, identification and avoidance of food intolerances (especially gluten, dairy, corn and rice) can result in weight loss as well as a reduction of harmful thyroid antibodies.

Thyroid Hormone Levels

Weight gain can result if hypothyroidism is not controlled with medication. The thyroid uses iodine from food to make two thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). If levels of these hormones remain consistently low during treatment with common thyroid medications, even after dosage adjustments, then different types should be considered. Most medications replace T4, which converts to the metabolically active T3. If there are problems converting to T3, then a combination of the two should be considered.

Gut Bacteria

People suffering from Hashimoto's have an unhealthy ratio of friendly to unfriendly bacteria in their gut. In fact, certain unfriendly bacteria in the colon extract more calories from food than other types of intestinal flora, causing weight gain. By consuming friendly bacteria in the form of fermented foods or probiotic supplements, as well as the prebiotic nutrients that the friendly bacteria consume for energy, the gut bacteria ratio can be normalized and pounds shed.

Although Hashimoto's and weight gain can cause fatigue, exercise remains a good option for weight loss. Any enjoyable exercise that raises the heart rate for a minimum of 30 minutes, four times per week is effective, and may also help control fatigue. In addition, lifting light weights that target major muscle groups have been shown to burn calories throughout the day. When combined with a healthy diet that includes probiotics, consistent exercise results in weight loss.

Hypothyroidism Diet – Much More Than A Weight Loss Plan

Not only what we eat but how we eat can affect thyroid gland function. Getting started with just the right diet for hypothyroidism care requires some understanding about how food choices impact thyroid function. Fortunately, a great hypothyroid diet can be an introduction to new, healthy and delicious ways of living.

Dealing with the weight factor

Thyroid hormone is the body’s main metabolic booster. With inadequate levels of this hormone, a condition known as hypothyroidism, the body burns fewer calories and as a result, most people suffering from hypothyroidism experience weight gain.

In addition to low metabolism, hypothyroidism causes a feeling of excess fatigue. This makes it even more challenging for people living with hypothyroidism to feel up for a workout. Not only can keeping active help improve mood, boost energy levels and help to balance all hormonal systems, it can enhance the overall effectiveness of a hypothyroidism diet.

The must-haves in a hypothyroidism diet

Whatever the precise hypothyroidism diet, be sure to include plenty of water. This is a time-tested tool for making the belly feel fuller, helping to stave of cravings and prevent unhealthy snacking. It also helps stimulate good digestive health, counteracting the constipation so many people experience with hypothyroidism. In addition, dehydration can hinder proper thyroid function making eight glasses of good-old H20 an important part of any diet for hypothyroidism.

Including lean protein with every meal will ensure enough of this macro-nutrient is always available to help shuttle essential iodine into the thyroid gland. Coconut oil is another great addition to any meal. This superfood provides a rich source of medium-chain fatty acids, a high-energy source that the body burns for fuel instead of storing as fat.

Probiotics found as pills or as part of natural yogurts, can help to replenish the gut with a healthy supply of friendly bacteria. These same agents are associated with keeping thyroid function in check, making fresh yogurt a great addition to any hypothyroidism diet.

Get your produce cooked and your vitamins supplemented

There are several goitrogens, the blockers of thyroid hormone production, that lose this characteristic when they are cooked. This includes spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, strawberries, peaches and peanuts, to name a few.

While healthy, whole foods can be rich sources of essential vitamins and minerals, it may be worth including a daily vitamin supplement as part of a hypothyroidism diet. Here are a few vitamins and minerals to include in a diet plan

The big dietary no-no’s for hypothyroidism

No dietary recommendations for thyroid health would be complete without mentioning these big downers: caffeine, sugar and processed foods. While none of these foods in excess make for a sensible nutrition plan, they are especially troublesome for people battling hypothyroidism. If you’re a real java fiend, try substituting at least one cup of coffee per day with black tea. It’s still got a bit of the caffeine kick and even tastes great with a dash of milk.

Having trouble cutting out the sweets? Try having a piece of whole, fresh fruit in place of the usual processed sugar snacks. This whole-food substitute will still have a delicious, sweet flavor while containing a lot less sugar and a lot more thyroid-boosting vitamins. Better still, fruit can also provide an added dose of fiber, a great tool to overcoming constipation.

A hypothyroidism diet against autoimmunity

When dealing with autoimmune hypothyroidism, such as Hashimoto’s disease, it may be worth considering a diet tailored to this family of immune disorders. Healthy fats like olive oil and coconut oil have important anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activity. Another potent antioxidant to help to put autoimmune problems in their place, glutathione production is stimulated by a substance in cooked brocoli, cauliflower and cabbage.

So closely resembling the structure of thyroid tissue, gluten can stimulate the body to increase its attack on the thyroid gland. Going gluten-free can make a great natural thyroid treatment and a world of difference for people suffering from autoimmune hypothyroidism. Fortunately, a number of gluten-free options for favorite foods are available in most large grocery outlets.

Many people on a hypothyroid diet find that five or six small meals per day of about 300 calories each is ideal. This prevents the blood sugar peaks and valleys that can strain all the hormonal systems. It also helps to stave off the cravings that can make sticking to a healthy meal plan more challenging.

Some health care practitioners recommend following the Zone diet, again, for its capacity to stabilize blood sugar levels. This high-protein diet can naturally include good sources of the trace minerals necessary for supporting thyroid health, making it a simple hypothyroidism diet plan.

4 Keys To Successful Weight Loss With Hypothyroidism

Many women who have hypothyroidism gain weight and have difficulties to shred these stubborn pounds despite taking thyroid medication, diet modifications and regular exercise. The main reason why hypothyroid patients cannot lose weight is due to uncorrected or undertreated hormonal imbalances.

At hypothyroidism, metabolism slows down all body functions. Many patients who take thyroid medication and have normal lab test results still can experience hypothyroid symptoms including difficulties to lose weight.

In fact, there are more than 20 thyroid defects that lead to hypothyroidism, however only 6 of them will show up on the TSH blood tests that most doctors order. Many of these thyroid defects are caused by hormonal imbalances, dysbiosis, poor diet, high cortisol and vitamin deficiencies and can also be present in patients with Hashimoto’s disease making this autoimmune condition worse.

Furthermore, doctors rely on the reference ranges provided by the labs instead of the “functional ranges” which are intended to support optimal thyroid health. Unfortunately, the majority of doctors do not try to investigate what are the causes of hypothyroidism or thyroid dysfunction and just give a prescription for Synthroid and/or antidepressants instead. However, most of these defects cannot be corrected by thyroid medication alone and leave a lot of thyroid patients with numerous symptoms and unhappy with their weight.

Hormones are stronger than diet and no matter how well you eat and how hard you exercise you won’t lose weight without balancing your hormones.

In addition to hypothyroidism, women can have one or more of other 3 most common hormonal imbalances that determine whether or not you will be successful in losing weight:

1. Many women with hypothyroidism have estrogen and progesterone imbalance which is called estrogen dominance. This condition can be caused by not only excess of estrogen (estradiol) but also by low levels of progesterone

  • High estrogen leads to elevation of thyroid-binding globulin (TGB) that results in decreased production of thyroid hormones and suppressed thyroid function.
  • Excessive estrogen increases thyroid autoimmunity contributing to Hashimoto’s disease which is one of the most common causes of hypothyroidism.
  • Progesterone deficiency down-regulates TPO activity and overall metabolism leading to low thyroid hormones when the levels of TSH, T4 and T3 are normal.

Estrogen dominance causes weight gain and makes it difficult if not impossible to lose weight. When estrogen dominance is corrected many women do not need thyroid medication or are able to decrease their dose and have success in their weight loss efforts.

You can order a special test for Thyroid Binding Globulin (TGB) at True Health Labs that can reveal if your weight gain is caused by estrogen dominance and suppressed thyroid function due to female hormonal imbalances. In this case by balancing estrogen with sufficient progesterone hormonal balance and thyroid function will be restored and the person can lose weight.

2. Cortisol imbalances. Normally functioning adrenal glands secret balanced amounts of steroid hormones and cortisol. One of cortisol’s main functions is to stimulate the release (and storage) of glucose from the liver, fats from the adipose tissue and amino acids in the skeletal muscles for the energy production when the body needs it. To keep balance you don’t want cortisol levels to rise too high or fall too low.

Depending on the degree and types of adrenal imbalance profound changes can occur in carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, fluid and electrolyte balance, heart and cardiovascular system and sex drive. The body tries to compensate for overstressed or underfunctioning adrenals by adjusting all bodily functions.

One of cortisol’s important functions is to stabilize the blood sugar. When it becomes impaired at the times of chronic stress it can lead to blood sugar problems. High stress equivalents high cortisol and high blood sugar levels that result in catabolic effects on muscles, brain and tissues and promotes storage of body fat.

Chronic stress causes an increase in the appetite making you feel hungry almost all of the time and triggers cravings for certain foods especially sugars and carbohydrates.

The result of stress induced appetite is an accumulation of abdominal body fat which is also highly associated with the development of blood sugar imbalances (dysglycemia) such as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), metabolic syndrome X, diabetes and also heart disease, cancer, impaired immune response and affects thyroid in many different ways.

Cortisol acts in synergy with thyroid hormone at the receptor-gene level. It makes thyroid work more efficiently: every cell in the body has receptors for both cortisol and thyroid and nearly every cellular process requires optimal functioning of thyroid.

High cortisol tends to suppress immune system, lower TSH hormone secretion, inhibit the conversion of inactive thyroid hormone T4 into its active T3 form, increase reverse T3 levels and block thyroid hormone receptors. When cortisol is low due to adrenal exhaustion, thyroid hormones are less efficient at doing its job of increasing energy and metabolic activity and slow down all body’s functions including the thyroid gland.

People who have adrenal fatigue, frequently have erratic or abnormal blood sugar levels in a form of hypoglycemia. In fact, those who have functional hypoglycemia are usually suffering from decreased adrenal function and have sub-optimally low cortisol levels. Hypoglycemic diet can help improve adrenal function and Hashimoto’s by balancing blood sugar levels.

There is a higher tendency to experience allergies, arthritis, pain, PMS and decreased immune response if a women has a low adrenal function. Low cortisol levels can cause fatigue, low energy and sugar cravings that are often confused with hypothyroid symptoms and remain undiagnosed.

3. Insulin resistance is also very common in hypothyroid patients and is frequently caused by poor eating habits, skipping meals, diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugars and impaired adrenal function.

Furthermore, people with low thyroid function are prone to develop insulin resistance because hypothyroidism slows down the metabolism affecting how the body processes carbohydrates and proteins possibly by delaying the insulin secretion.

Large amounts of glucose or sugar are poisonous to the human body because it makes us addicted to sugar and induces an oxidative stress which is harmful to the brain, gut, blood vessels and kidneys. After you eat carbohydrates it converts into glucose and releases into the blood stream causing the pancreas to produce insulin necessary for balancing the blood sugar. Insulin brings the glucose to the cells where it is either utilized for energy production or stored as fat in form of triglycerides in the adipose cells.

If the person continues to eat carbohydrates and sugars in large amounts with time it diminish the body’s ability to deal with excess of sugar by cells becoming more resistant to insulin. As the body stores glucose the excess of sugar turns into fat deposits (lipogenesis) and leads to weight gain.

2 mechanisms how high blood sugar can contribute to hypothyroidism:

  • High testosterone and elevated estrogen are associated with insulin resistance and PCOS that can lead to hypothyroidism. The up-regulation of 5’deiodinase enzyme activity promotes conversion of too much T4 into T3. The excess of T3 makes the cell lose sensitivity to thyroid hormone and become resistant preventing the active hormone to enter into the cells.
  • Dysglycemia is imbalance in the body’s sugar metabolism and energy production mechanisms and is a common cause of low progesterone. Suboptimal levels of progesterone lower TPO activity which results in a decreased production of thyroid hormones and hypothyroidism.

Blood sugar irregularities are the number one factor that contributes to weight gain and degenerative disease development such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Correct evaluation and management of blood sugar issues often helps with weight loss and correction of other hormonal imbalances including related hypothyroidism.

According to Dr. Bryan Walsh, ND the author of Fat Is Not Your Fault educational program, hypoglycemia followed by insulin resistance are stages on the way to the development of type 2 diabetes.

The good news is that hypoglycemia and diabetes are reversible in the most cases by using a special diet, natural compounds and certain supplements. Dr. G.Levy, MD has a step-by-step program how to reverse diabetes type 1 and type 2 using natural approach.

Many people develop sugar addiction and feel that they are dependent on chocolate, sugary drinks and foods, however they do not get relief by craving sweets. This type of behaviour has physiological reasons and can be broken with a special diet such as Hypoglycemic Diet. Stabilizing blood sugar levels in these patients is the key to restoring a balance and to achieve a long lasting weight loss.

In the following video Dr. Walsh explains how to use standard blood chemistry to evaluate your blood sugar imbalance and why these tests are not always helpful to determine if you have hypoglycemia or other blood sugar issues.

One of the best ways to evaluate your body’s ability to manage blood sugar is to perform a glucose tolerance test . In the following video Dr Bryan Walsh briefly explains a simple and reliable way how to do it yourself at home using glucometer and blood glucose test strips.

Insulin resistance, estrogen dominance, cortisol imbalances and thyroid issues are only 4 out of top 10 medical reasons why you may not be losing weight. You can learn from Dr. Walsh how to identify and correct all factors that prevent you from losing weight here

Do you like what you read? Would you like to get more? Subscribe to the Outsmart Disease thyroid blog updates and get your FREE e-mail course Nutritional guide for Hashimoto’s disease.


Why do I still have thyroid symptoms when my Lab tests are normal? by D. Kharrazian, Morgan James Publishing, 2009

The cortisol connection: Why stress makes you fat and ruins your health – and what you can do about it by Dr. Shawn Talbott, Hunter Hause, 2007

The cortisol connection diet: The breakthrough program to control stress and lose weight by Dr. Shawn Talbott, Hunter Hause, 2004

Adrenal fatigue: The 21st century stress syndrome by Dr. James L. Wilson, Smart Publications, 2001

4:31 pm Updated by

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