If you have a thyroid problem, you may have trouble losing weight. You may have even gained weight while trying to diet. Your thyroid is an endocrine gland that is located in your throat. It produces hormones that are responsible for many things, including regulating your metabolism. If your hormone levels are unstable, your metabolism becomes sluggish and unresponsive. It is possible, however, to lose weight despite your thyroid disease. Here are some tips to help you.
Take Your Medication
It may sound a little too simple, but it is a very important rule. If you are on hormone replacement medication read the label with your prescription–you’ll notice that it has several directions for you to follow. First, it is best if you take it in the morning, because your body would naturally produce the thyroid hormones in the morning. Second, take it on an empty stomach, because certain foods can inhibit the absorption of the hormones. Take it either an hour before eating or 2 hours after eating. Finally, talk to your doctor about any other medication you are taking, whether they are prescribed or over-the-counter. Some, such as antacids, certain cholesterol medications, and even ulcer treatments, may interfere with your thyroid hormone replacement. Do not quit taking your other medicines without talking to your doctor first.
Monitor Your Intake of Iodine
Iodine is necessary for a healthy thyroid, but it can also be damaging if you take too much. Foods rich in iodine, such as fresh fish, sea salt, mayonnaise and eggs can help you naturally increase the amount of iodine you consume. If you notice your thyroid becoming larger or tender, then reduce your intake of iodine-rich foods.
Goitrogens are foods that slow or inhibit the absorption of iodine. They can possibly even cause your thyroid to become enlarged as it tries to make up for the loss of iodine. The foods in this category are cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli, peanuts, and soy products.
Thyroid diseases cause your metabolism to run less efficiently, so cutting calories alone will not help you to lose weight. In addition, you will have to exercise longer to achieve weight loss. Aim for 60 minutes 5 times a week. Walking is a great aerobic activity that will help boost your metabolic rate and help you to burn more calories.
Add Strength Training
Aerobic exercise will help you achieve weight loss, but since your metabolism is hampered by your thyroid problems, strength training will give you a greater advantage. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn. The strength training will also push your metabolism to burn fat and calories all day long instead of only during the time that you are exercising. It will take time, and it will probably take longer than it would for a person without thyroid disease, but you will eventually be able to boost your metabolism and reach your weight loss goal.