Hypothyroidism is the most common type of thyroid disorder and nearly 5 in 100 Americans ages 12+ have an underactive thyroid. Although most cases are mild or have few obvious symptoms, the symptoms that accompany the condition can disrupt several parts of life. Specifically, weight change seems to be one area that causes significant distress and frustration.
Maintaining a healthy weight can be very challenging for those living with hypothyroidism. While it is not impossible to lose weight, it can take some extra focus and effort on your diet and lifestyle. At Profile, we create personalized meal plans that are rooted in evidence from top researchers, dietitians, and physicians to help members balance their medical needs and weight loss goals. Pair that with our motivational tracking tools and compassionate one-on-one coaching, and what once felt impossible is now in reach.
So, how can you manage weight loss when living hypothyroidism, what kind of healthy habits will make the most impact, and how can Profile help you through this journey? We’re here to answer those questions and give you the advice you need when it comes to hypothyroidism and weight loss.
1. What is Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is not active enough and in turn, does not produce enough thyroid hormones. This gland located in the front of your neck may be small, but it is mighty. Thyroid hormones control how your body uses energy and affects nearly every organ. So when your thyroid isn’t acting accordingly, it makes sense why it can slow down different parts of your body. Even functions such as the way your heart beats and how your digestive system works.
2. What is the relationship between hypothyroidism and weight?
While the symptoms and signs of hypothyroidism vary, weight gain seems to be very common and cause significant distress and frustration. Because the thyroid is responsible for many of your bodies functionalities, when it does not produce enough hormones, metabolism can slow down to a great extent, decreasing your BMR (basal metabolic rate).
Why does this matter? Our metabolisms, or metabolic rate, is the series of chemical reactions that create and break down energy. More simply put, it is the rate at which our body releases energy or burns calories. An individual with a low BMR suggest low hormone levels and an underactive thyroid, which is associated with weight gain. And because our BMR keeps energy and vital bodily functions running properly, metabolism-boosting should be the goal of anyone aiming to lose weight. These chemical reactions that take place naturally in your body set the tone for how fast we burn calories and how well our body sheds pounds.
Profile Member Traci H. says,
3. Control the controllable
So what can you do? While most individuals with hypothyroidism treat the condition with hormonal medication, achieving healthy weight loss extends further than just simply getting a prescription. There are some simple steps you can follow to not only manage weight gain, but minimize your symptoms and improve your overall health and well-being.
There is no specific thyroid diet, but by making adjustments to your nutritional routine and knowing what foods to avoid can help boost weight loss success. So what does that look like?
To fine-tune your nutrition try cutting out “bad fats” and simple carbohydrates. As in, reduce saturated fats which commonly are found in animals products such as meat and cheese, as well as trans fat that are found in processed foods. Instead, mix in fats that help reduce cholesterol like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Some healthy choice are: vegetable oils, fish, seeds, nuts, and legumes. Another helpful tip is to add foods rich in fiber to your daily routine. Dietary fiber helps improve digestion so eating whole-grain foods and a variety of vegetables and fruits can boost your metabolism!
Adopting a nutritious diet for your thyroid not only keeps you feeling good, but it helps your digestive system function smoothly and your heart pumping efficiently. And aiming for a healthy diet doesn’t have to be bland. Profile has a variety of healthy recipe options that are dietitian approved and easily incorporate the fruits, vegetable and whole grains you need when living with hypothyroidism. They might even surprise you will how delicious they are!
Moving is one of the best things you can do for your health. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends 150 minutes a week. We understand that may be overwhelming but exercise plays an important role in managing hypothyroidism and weight by improving your heart health, boosting your mood and increasing energy levels.
Your workout routine does not need to be extravagant or intense, especially if you are new to working out. Walking is a great place to start! Try walking at a pace that you feel is comfortable for 20-30 minutes a day and work to build more time in your routine. You can also check out these 4 simple exercises great for anyone shared by Profile coaches Farrah and Kelsey.
Profile Member Angela N. speaks about her experience with hypothyroidism while being on Profile:
Let’s be honest, it is not as simple as changing your diet and moving more. Losing weight and getting healthy is not an easy task and even harder to do alone. It is important to rallying up the support of those around you. At Profile our health coaches are built in support systems that serves as a guide through your journey to wellness. But even more than that, a Profile coach becomes your biggest cheerleader and accountability partner who can create a meal plan tailored exactly to your needs and tastes and help you find the right exercise plan for you.
Making changes for the future
With the support of one-on-one health coaching and the latest technology to track your success, you can get your hypothyroidism under control and see health results even beyond weight loss. Profile Member Angela W. says: