Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is the most common thyroid disorder. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight gain, fatigue and intolerance to cold and dry skin. Left untreated, people with hypothyroidism may develop high cholesterol, heart problems and infertility. The weight gain associated worth hypothyroidism is troublesome, and, as long as the hypothyroidism remains untreated, weight loss will be difficult.
Make calories count. Losing weight is a matter of eating few calories than you burn. If you are suffering from hypothyroidism, it is important to choose these calories wisely. Fatigue is a common side effect of hypothyroidism, and the body's defense against this fatigue is often to seek calories. Going on a severely calorie restricted diet will only leave you more fatigued that you currently are. Choose healthy foods that are full of healthy calories. Lean protein, low fat dairy and whole grain carbohydrates are all good choices.
Add gentle exercise. Fighting through the sluggishness and fatigue of hypothyroidism is difficult, but adding daily exercised can be a great aid in losing weight. If you aren't currently exercising, start with an easy walk. You may soon find that you look forward to an after dinner or early morning walk.
Get plenty of rest. The National Sleep Foundation reports that people who sleep less than 6 hours each night have a higher body mass index than people who sleep 8 or more hours. While sufficient sleep is important for anyone attempting to lose weight, it is particularly vital for those who suffer from hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism leads to fatigue and sluggishness, which leads to two problems. The first is that the person suffering from hypothyroidism often has trouble maintaining an exercise program because of fatigue, and the second is that they often try to increase their levels of alertness by eating. The National Sleep Foundation reports that people who are tired often crave high calorie food such as carbohydrates.
Take synthetic thyroid medication. There are currently no lifestyle changes that will treat hypothyroidism. If you are diagnosed with an under-active thyroid, your doctor will prescribe synthetic thyroid medication that you will be required to take the rest of your life. It may take some time to get the dosage adjusted properly, but once in place, you may find yourself losing some weight without making any other lifestyle changes.
Visit the doctor regularly. Once you begin taking synthetic thyroid medication, it is important that you regularly visit your physician to have your thyroid levels checked. The same dosage may not work as you age, and you may gradually begin to develop symptoms of hypothyroidism. Regular doctors' visits are the simplest way to stay on top of hypothyroidism.
Be patient. Weight loss is challenging normally. An under-active thyroid makes it more challenging but not impossible.