zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

The Best Weight-Loss Plan for Hypothyroidism

by
author image Tracii Hanes
Based in Las Vegas, Tracii Hanes is a freelance writer specializing in health and psychology with over seven years of professional experience. She got her start as a news reporter and has since focused exclusively on freelance writing, contributing to websites like Wellsphere, Education Portal and more. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication arts from Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
The Best Weight-Loss Plan for Hypothyroidism
Fatigue, a common symptom of hypothyroidism, can interfere with your ability to exercise. Photo Credit James Woodson/Digital Vision/Getty Images

The thyroid gland helps regulate metabolism and plays a vital role in weight management. Hypothyroidism causes the body to produce too little thyroid hormone. Also known as underactive thyroid disease, it can affect males and females of all ages. Symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as weight gain and fatigue, may require medical treatment to overcome. If you suspect hypothyroidism, talk to your doctor.

Symptoms

The Best Weight-Loss Plan for Hypothyroidism
Thyroid is central to the body's functions. Photo Credit BakiBG/iStock/Getty Images

The thyroid plays a central role in regulating body temperature, metabolism and other vital functions. An underactive thyroid can cause your metabolism to slow, resulting in less efficient use of calories and weight gain. Other symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as fatigue and depression, may further contribute to weight gain by discouraging regular exercise. Additional symptoms of thyroid dysfunction include dry skin, constipation and heavy menstrual bleeding.

Diet

The Best Weight-Loss Plan for Hypothyroidism
Blueberries are high in antioxidants. Photo Credit Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Some foods help reduce symptoms of thyroid dysfunction while others may interfere with thyroid function and thyroid medication. Before making any dietary changes for weight loss or adding dietary supplements, consult your doctor. To reduce hypothyroidism symptoms, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends eating foods rich in B-vitamins and iron, such as fresh vegetables, whole grains and sea vegetables, which include dulse and kelp. UMMC also suggests foods high in antioxidants like blueberries, cherries, tomatoes, squash and bell peppers. Avoid foods such as broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, spinach, turnips, soybeans, and peanuts, because they may interfere with thyroid function. Limiting your intake of fried foods, sweets and white flour products reduces the amount of fat and calories in the diet and helps prevent weight gain.

Exercise

The Best Weight-Loss Plan for Hypothyroidism
Regular exercise is necessary. Photo Credit ULTRA F/Photodisc/Getty Images

The fatigue and weakness that often come with hypothyroidism can make exercising difficult. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each day for adults. Dividing exercise into three periods of 10 minutes each can make it easier to meet your daily goals. Activities like brisk walking, swimming and cycling can effectively help you manage your weight and stay fit.

Medication

The Best Weight-Loss Plan for Hypothyroidism
Medication may be necessary. Photo Credit Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images

While it’s possible to lose weight with untreated hypothyroidism, symptoms like fatigue and slowed metabolism can make it more difficult. Levothyroxine, the most common life-long treatment for hypothyroidism, replaces a hormone normally produced by your thyroid. To ensure adequate absorption of levothyroxine, do not take it with fiber, calcium or iron supplements. In addition to weight gain, hypothyroidism can cause serious health problems, such as high cholesterol, heart failure and birth defects. If you suspect hypothyroidism, your doctor can perform blood tests to diagnose the condition.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

CURRENTLY TRENDING

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.
Demand Media