Your thyroid is responsible for producing just three hormones, but two of them – T3 and T4 – act on most of your cells and power your metabolism. So if you have an underactive thyroid – called hypothyroidism – then you can probably guess what’s happening to your weight. (1)
This places proper thyroid function quite high up on the list of things that need to happen for proper weight loss to ensue. While it’s not the only thing on that list, underactive thyroid sufferers rejoice. There are ways to circumnavigate your health condition and shed those pounds in spite of it.
Here are 6 tips to help an underactive thyroid.
1. Ditch The Simple Carbs
When your thyroid is underactive, you’ll wind up craving carbohydrates a lot more. This becomes a problem if you try to quell that craving with simple carbs like refined sugar.
Because of the lack of fiber, your body processes simple carbs much faster. As a result, you’ll feel hungry sooner than you would with complex carbs. In the long term, you’ll wind up eating more to stay satiated. Simple sugars and starches should never be a part of your diet, but at the very least, save them for special occasions. (2)
Simple carbs include: (3)
- Anything made with white flour
- Flavored juice
- Anything with corn syrup
- Table sugar
- Most packaged cereal
Replace those things with complex carbs like:
- Whole wheat
- 100% natural fruit juice (better yet, eat the fruit!)
- Brown rice
2. Get Lots Of Exercise
Exercise speeds up your metabolism, working against the major weight loss challenge an underactive thyroid poses. (4)
As a bonus, exercise at moderate intensity also boosts your thyroid’s hormone secretion rate. This, in turn, tames the LDL cholesterol level spike hypothyroidism causes, reducing your chance of obesity-related conditions like diabetes and heart disease. (5)
Focus on exercises of the aerobic variety. For example, activities like walking and running will provide the best benefits for someone with an underactive thyroid looking to lose weight.
3. Switch To Coconut Oil
Many oils – including the vegetable kind – contain long-chain fatty acids that promote weight gain and slow thyroid function. (6)
Coconut oil, on the other hand, contains medium-chain fatty acids that actually boost thyroid function. This works against the trademark hypothyroidism weight gain factors like sluggish metabolism and high cholesterol. (7)
Medium-chain fatty acids also improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance.
You can use coconut oil in your cooking or even eat it straight off a spoon. Doing the latter 20 minutes before a meal will help your body process it efficiently in a way that prevents fat buildup. (8)
4. When You Must Snack, Choose Unprocessed Nuts
This will benefit you in two ways. For one, frequent small snacks throughout your day will help you gorge less at meal time, reducing your overall calorie intake.
Raw, unsalted nuts are a great choice for frequent snacking since they contain a whole host of great nutrients and healthy fats.
Nuts also contain selenium – a compound that boosts thyroid function and, by extension, metabolism and weight management. (10)
5. Use Fish Oil Supplements
Fish oil supplements contain omega-3 fatty acids, which – as you should be able to guess buy now – boost thyroid function. (11)
Omega-3 fatty acids also work to increase your weight loss potential by improving body mass index and decreasing your likelihood of developing a weight issue.
Clinical trials have also proven omega-3 fatty acid supplementation as low as 300 mg daily to be effective at reducing belly fat.
6. Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar aids in restoring the hormonal imbalance characteristic of an underactive thyroid. It also encourages weight loss on its own accord by reducing your appetite. (12)
Feel free to swallow a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar straight if you’ve got a strong stomach. If not, mix a tablespoon of the stuff with a glass of water and drink it.
Have a look at this video from Dr. Eric Berg for more tips on dealing with hypothyroidism.