Boost Your Thyroid to Boost Your Weight Loss
If your metabolism is a revved engine, thyroid hormone is the gas. But when you have hypothyroidism, or your thyroid has begun to slow down (which is inevitable as we age), your thyroid gland doesn’t make enough of the hormone. A slower metabolism can make it hard to lose weight, but it has other negative effects as well, such as fatigue and weakness. Here's how to get a metabolism boost when hypothyroidism is slowing it down.
Hypothyroidism and Metabolism: What’s the Connection?
Thyroid hormone isn’t the only component involved in metabolism, but thyroid hormone is essential and is needed to run nearly every organ system in the body.
More often, problems with losing weight have to do with fluid buildup, which can happen when a slower metabolism causes a slower heart rate.
Other symptoms of hypothyroidism may include fatigue, sleepiness, weak muscles, constipation, feeling cold, cognitive problems, dry skin, a hoarse voice, lower appetite, joint pain, and menstrual changes.
According to the Canadian Thyroid Association, an estimated 200 million people in the world have some type/form of thyroid disease, and more than 20 million Americans have a thyroid disorder, with less than half being properly diagnosed.
This certainly was my story, and I struggled for years with depression and weight gain. With the debilitating fatigue, I was always getting sick, yet my doctors couldn't agree on the proper way to treat it or if they should treat it all, despite my suffering.
The more I learn about the thyroid, the more I realize we need to be in touch with our body and keep them nourished and healthy—especially our thyroid function. Sadly, doctors don't take it seriously enough, despite the fact that the thyroid gland controls every organ function, specifically our metabolism.
As we age, it's inevitable that our thyroid function will decline. It will also decline when we decrease calories and try to lose weight. Thyroid hormones also directly affect heart rate, cholesterol levels, muscle contractions and relaxation, skin and hair growth, mood, and memory (brain fog). What I find the most annoying is the upset to the digestive system, also known as constipation, that can cause us to get stuck in a weight gain rut.
Weight gain, difficulty losing weight, and fatigue are the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism. As you can see, they certainly aren't the only ones.
An underactive thyroid can also severely affect your health, and it's going undetected. Some endocrinologists will go so far to say they think the blood test for low thyroid function are a waste of time, leaving you to rely on knowing your body and to be able to recognize when it's not functioning properly.
In this article, I'm going to help you understand why you need to boost your thyroid, even if you've never struggled with thyroid issues before. At some point, as you age, you will be dealing with a sluggish thyroid.
Bottom line — without enough thyroid hormone, which is produced by keeping your thyroid well-nourished and healthy, every system in your body slows down. You'll feel tired and sleep a lot but never feel recovered. Weight gain almost always occurs, which is why most people end up at their doctors for treatment. Without enough thyroid hormone, attaining your ideal weight and melting body fat is practically impossible.
How is hypothyroidism diagnosed?
An optimal TSH level should be less than 4.0, not the currently accepted 4.7 rebooted by most labs—which is why most good endocrinologists believe the blood test for this is a waste of time and money.
Free T3 and Free T4 should be the middle of your lab's reference range, and your thyroid antibodies should be negative.
I always suggest that my clients get copies of all lab reports and carefully read them over to stay on top of findings your doctor could easily miss, or dismiss because they don't feel it's worthy. If you don't feel well, speak up until you get your needs met. Frankly, I suggest finding another doctor who will listen to you. It's not just your weight loss that will suffer—your health depends on it.
What symptoms should you pay attention to?
Thyroid symptoms vary greatly and not all individuals will show the same signs. If you are experiencing two or more of the following symptoms, you should consult your doctor and begin to nourish/boost your thyroid right away.
- Unexplained weight gain or inability to lose weight
- Constipation / digestive issues
- Food intolerances
- Frequently feeling cold despite the room temperature or intolerance to cold
- Dry skin
- Brittle hair
- Splitting nails
- Hair loss
- Irregular menses or heavy menstrual bleeding
- Poor memory
- Decreased sex drive/libido
These symptoms are not the worst part of a hypothyroidism diagnosis. It doesn't end once you begin treatment. Taking medication for thyroid issues doesn't fix or cure your condition, it only treats the symptoms. So if you thought you would just get a prescription for thyroid medication and you would magically begin to lose weight, and your troubles would be over, you couldn't be more wrong. Sadly I see this dilemma all too often, and that's why it's important to treat your thyroid holistically to get the results improvements you’re looking for.
I spend 10 hours or more weekly studying thyroid issues and seeking alternative ideas. I turn over every rock, searching global ideas, vs. one-trick pony methods. Here is what I've found.
The thyroid gland needs very specific nourishment to stay healthy and function optimally. It requires outside help by taking supplements daily, such as LynFit Thyro-Boost. The thyroid functions best when fed the proper diet and requires specific exercise (not all exercise is created equal). The more you support your thyroid, the better it will be.
Before we begin nourishing your thyroid to boost its function, it's important to understand what's slowing it, to begin with. Hypothyroidism is a very complex disorder that can also be caused for different reasons, even if you never struggled with it before.
What are some reasons your thyroid may be slowing down?
- High cortisol levels (stress hormones) that may interfere with the conversion of thyroid hormones into the active form that closely regulates metabolism.
- Excess consumption of soy-based food products and beverages may decrease thyroid activity in the body. Now you know why I hate most protein bars and shakes (especially vegan ones) that are made from cheap soy. That's why they cost less than $2.
- Nutritional deficiencies may also prevent proper manufacturing or functioning of the thyroid hormones in the body. For example, iodine (found in seafood and iodized salt, but not sea salt), zinc, tyrosine, and selenium are necessary for optimal function of the thyroid.
- Not getting enough sleep can change your metabolism, according to the National Sleep Foundation, which recommends that most adults get about seven to nine hours of sleep a night. If you're not sleeping, you need LynFit Lean Sleep. It helps to balance hormones and makes melting belly fat off easier. It will help you sleep without slowing your metabolism the way other night time sleep aids may.
- High levels of estrogen (being overweight can cause this) or a deficiency of progesterone can hinder thyroid function. Many menopausal women using estrogen replacement therapy drugs or supplements can develop symptoms of an underactive thyroid and may need to increase medication and or supplement dosages to help boost thyroid function and begin to lose weight.
- The thyroid may fail to produce enough thyroid hormone as a result of an autoimmune response against the thyroid (Hashimoto's Thyroiditis) or many other thyroid problems within thyroid function itself.
- Toxic levels of mercury that typically result from mercury fillings in the mouth or from consuming large amounts of mercury-laden ocean fish inhibit thyroid function. Worst offenders: swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, shark and most tuna (see The Metabolism Solution for the best choices).
- Consuming foods that contain gluten. WARNING—it's lurking in a lot of foods, especially most diet and weight loss, low-carb foods such as Medifast, and many others. My philosophy is when in doubt, don't! LynFit Nutrition always makes sure gluten is not found in any of our supplements or meal replacement shakes or protein bars. Can you say that about the one you’re eating every day?
- Eating too many raw cruciferous vegetables, also known as goitrogens, that interfere with thyroid function or its ability to use iodine (food for your thyroid). Foods you are probably eating every day such as kale, (you know the big bunch you add to your shake every day) as well as broccoli, cabbage Brussels sprouts, just to name a few. It’s okay to eat a small amount of these foods if they are lightly steamed.
- Eating too many peanuts and peanut butter. This popular legume is very acidic and contains those pesky goitrogens. This includes PB2.
- Overconsumption of soy and flaxseed oil (including flax seeds). These oils can act like estrogen and may force the thyroid to make more than usual which eventually wears it out, so it doesn't function as well.
I’m sure you’re saying, "Oh my! I eat those foods every day. It's no wonder I can't lose an ounce." I've been there, and I know firsthand how that feels. That's exactly why I specialize in weight loss for difficult metabolisms. I'm in the club too.
Not to worry—it's not your fault, and there's more hope than you think. If you follow the special instructions provided you will begin to lose weight faster and easier than ever before. If your weight loss slows, reread this and get back on track 100 percent, and you'll begin to lose weight again.
THE THREE-STEP PLAN TO BOOST YOUR THYROID AND POWER UP YOUR METABOLISM
If you have been experiencing thyroid symptoms, or you even think you have, there are natural methods that may help support your thyroid function. The good news is you can and should incorporate these steps along with your doctor's advice to address your symptoms. The more ways you can support your thyroid the better it will function. Do not rely on medication to alleviate your thyroid issues. It just won't be enough to help with your weight loss.
Boost #1: Avoid The Thyroid Destroyers for 14 Days
To boost your thyroid, you'll need to remove the foods that have been keeping it running optimally while helping to balance your hormones. Some of these foods may be forcing your thyroid to work harder so avoiding them for two weeks may help alleviate some of your symptoms.
Raw cruciferous vegetables: These are the vegetables that contain goitrogens that may interfere with the thyroid's ability to use iodine. Lightly steaming these vegetables helps but it's best to avoid them for two weeks.
- Soy and flaxseed oils (as well as flax seeds):. These oils can act like estrogen and may force the thyroid to make more hormone than usual, wearing it out and eventually slowing it down. *NOTE: Most store-bought weight loss products, especially cereal, and protein bars, contain soybean oil.
- Peanut butter and peanuts: This popular legume is very acidic and contains goitrogens.
High Mercury fish: Mercury is a well-known thyroid disruptor. Stick to white fish (refer to The Metabolism Solution for the best choices). Remember, the lighter and whiter the fish, the better for your metabolism. A high-fat fish and may contain higher levels of mercury. The worst offenders are (salmon is good for you but is a high-fat fish):
It's best to avoid the foods mentioned above for two weeks. Remember to replace them with the foods your thyroid loves, such as white fish, whey and leafy greens like spinach, and romaine. Use oils such as extra-virgin olive oil, sesame oil, or cold pressed canola oil. The best option is to take (2) LynFit Pure Omega 3 every day to feed your thyroid. LynFit Pure Omega 3 is purified to make certain it's pure and free of all contaminants, making it the best Omega 3 you can buy.
If you decide not to remove these foods, you'll be aggravating the imbalance you have in your stress hormones and blood sugar hormones while also hampering your metabolism, which may prevent you from losing weight and increase your symptoms.
The following foods should also be removed and avoided from your diet for 14 days to help detox your body of thyroid inhibitors. These foods are considered inflammatory or allergenic, meaning they also can cause joint aches and pains.
Pre-made store-bought protein shakes (this does not include LynFit Protein Shakes — LynFit Whey Protein Shakes are the only one of its kind that are micro-filtered to remove all traces of dairy products.
Gluten products and foods that contain gluten:
Potatoes — White potatoes and sweet potatoes
Palm kernel oil
Limit your intake of safflower and sunflower oil. A good virgin olive oil is allowed.
- Alcohol — cut out completely
- Caffeine — decrease or eliminate, if possible. If you absolutely must have a cup of coffee in the morning, drink it black, or use LynFit Complete Protein Shake as a leaner creamer.
Any food that contains sugar, such as soda, juice, packaged foods, candies
- Citrus fruits — use sparingly (lemons and ½ cup of grapefruit are allowed). All others should be avoided for 14 days.
Red meats and processed proteins:
When in doubt — don't!
Boost #2: Consume the following thyroid-favorite, anti-inflammatory, thyroid-boosting foods/nutrients for 14 days (Aim for at least one serving daily)
- Vitamin A to activate your thyroid balance. The best way to get you Vitamin A is in LynFit Daily Power Shot. You can also get Vitamin A from eating ½ cup of tomatoes.
Iodine: This nutrient is a thyroid-favorite food, and we don't get enough of it. Iodine is essential for healthy thyroid function because it helps it produce the hormone thyroxine, or T4, one of the metabolic hormones produced by your Thyroid when it's working properly. The best way to meet your requirement for iodine is by taking LynFit Thyro-Boost three times daily.
You can also get iodine be eating seaweed, or making sure to eat seafood and fish. Seafood and fish contain iodine which is why it's the best food to eat when losing weight; however, it's best to supplement with LynFit Thyro-Boost to guarantee you're getting the proper amount.
Selenium: Mandatory for normal thyroid function. The best way to meet your daily Selenium requirement is through LynFit Daily Power Shot.
Brazil nuts also contain Selenium. Remember, however, that Brazil nuts are very high in calories so eat only one.
Tyrosine: This essential amino acid is necessary because our thyroid gland combines it with iodine order to make thyroid hormone. If you're deficient in it (and most women are because they don't eat enough protein), your thyroid can't perform its task. That why it's critical that you drink a LynFit Metabolic Boosting Protein Shake every day to provide your body with what it needs while boosting your metabolism, making weight loss faster and easier. Tyrosine is also found in LynFit Thyro-Boost.
You can also get Tyrosine eating egg whites and turkey breast.
- There have been studies suggesting a connection between hypothyroidism and vitamin D deficiency. For instance, research published in 2013 in the International Journal of Health Sciences found that people with hypothyroidism were deficient in vitamin D. The bottom line: Take a supplement like LynFit Vitamin D3 Boost if you’re deficient. Testing for deficiency is as easy as getting a blood test.
Vegetables: Unlimited amounts of vegetables except for corn. Don't forget to limit the cruciferous vegetables or at least steam them.
Starchy vegetables are not the best for weight loss and should be limited. These include squash, turnips, pumpkin, beets, carrots, and peas. If you eat them, limit to portion and frequency. If they disrupt your weight loss, it may be better to avoid them altogether. Especially during the two-week detox.
Limit or avoid oranges, tangerines, canned fruits, fruit toppings, raisins, dates, and dried fruits.
If weight loss isn't an issue and you’re still losing weight, your daily food list may also contain one serving of the following foods. Be sure to weigh and measure, so you know how much one serving is, and read labels as these foods may vary. Most of the time, one serving is a little less than the size of your fist.
- Rice or rice products, including gluten free rice cakes
- Beans: All beans are allowed during this time, however, be sure to measure your servings as beans are higher in calories than most of us expect, so we tend to overeat on them, which slows weight loss.
Nuts and seeds:
Lean proteins (2–3 servings daily)
LynFit Complete Whey Protein
All forms of fish and seafood except those previously mentioned (King Mackerel, Marlin, Orange Roughy, Shark, Swordfish, Tilefish, Ahi Tuna, Bigeye Tuna)
- Fats and oils: Canola, olive oil (extra virgin) and coconut oil are best. Be sure to measure out portions and stick to one serving daily.
Boost #3: Turbocharge your thyroid with a cheat day, also known as an upzig or refeed
While the weight loss process always includes becoming conscious of how many calories we eat and modifying accordingly so we lose weight, studies have shown that eating a cheat meal once a week is essential for anyone who is trying to lose weight. This is especially important for those of us who suffer from underactive thyroids.
Upzigging our calories prevent your body from going into starvation mode while decreasing your calories; aka dieting. It also helps to keep our T3, the active type, running optimally, which boosts metabolism and may help make losing weight faster and easier.
I don't suggest that you have your cheat meal until you've completed 14 days of the Boosting Plan. As a lifestyle, you may be able to have a cheat meal weekly.
How do you know how often you can cheat or on which foods you should cheat on? Your weight loss will dictate how often and on what you can cheat on. If you gain more than two pounds, you went too far. It's always easier not to gain weight in the first place, so you never have to lose it later. This can be a way to enjoy a glass of wine or your favorite dessert weekly, so you don't feel deprived.
Cheat days are a great way to incorporate special events like weddings or travel, so plan ahead, or plan on not losing!
Rev Up With the Right Kind of Exercise
We all have the ability to increase metabolism with exercise. Both cardiovascular and strength training exercise are important for boosting metabolism. Strength training exercises like weightlifting build muscles, which help burn more calories. Stretching, core, as well as cardio exercises, including walking, jogging, biking, swimming, and aerobics, also help boost metabolism.
Higher intensity cardio exercise is more effective at improving metabolism than lower intensity exercise, so try to do metabolic workouts and incorporate them into your exercise routine. Exercise can impair weight loss when you have hypothyroidism so if you’re feeling tired opt for Recovery Stretch or Lean Core instead until you feel better.
Bonus Tip — Keep a Food Diary
As The Metabolism Solution says, "If you bite it, write it!" Your daily caloric intake can quickly skyrocket unless you log everything you eat and drink. On the other hand, it can also help ensure that you're on track and not overeating. Keeping a thorough and honest food journal is important, especially for someone with hypothyroidism, to track your intake. A diet high in lean protein, healthy Omega 3 fats, and a lot of leafy green vegetables is best for thyroid function.
For optimal results, combine these boosting steps with the LynFit Lose 1 Pound Per Day Kit to turbocharge your weight loss.
- Lisa Lynn