“It’s my thyroid!” say many people struggling to lose weight.
(And yes, it’s a legit struggle.)
You’ve probably heard that low thyroid can contribute to slow metabolism.
But what does that mean, exactly, and more importantly: Are there legit ways to support a sluggish thyroid?
A Quick Primer
Hypothyroidism—a.k.a. low thyroid—is way more prevalent in women than men.
And it’s no fun: Along with a host of difficult symptoms—fatigue, low mood, constipation, dry skin, fertility issues—a low-functioning thyroid can slow metabolic rate, making it easier to gain weight (and harder to lose it).
In fact, research suggests people with mild to moderate hypothyroidism may experience a metabolic slow down of 140 to 360 calories a day.
As if weight loss wasn’t already a pain in the glands.
However, if you do have hypothyroidism, it does NOT mean you should double-down on restriction, willpower, and strenuous gym labor.
That often fails.
Here’s what to do instead.
(And btw, this is a good process for anyone looking to lose weight.)
✅ Nail the basics.
Many people with hypothyroidism want to start with fairly intense and specific dietary changes they’ve read about on the internet.
Like most, those with hypothyroidism typically benefit more from simpler strategies, done with high consistency: Emphasize minimally-processed foods, get regular physical activity, prioritize sleep, and eat slowly and mindfully.
(If these sound too basic, ask yourself how well you’re doing all these things consistently now.)
✅ Target specific nutrition issues.
Several deficiencies can contribute to hypothyroidism, making weight loss—and better health overall—harder.
Some common deficiencies that contribute to thyroid function include: iodine, iron, selenium, copper, zinc, and tyrosine. Whole foods and a multivitamin are a great place to start when attempting to fill those nutritional gaps.
✅ Envision a hopeful future—then take action.
Develop a crystal-clear vision of what a healthier you looks like. Then begin embodying it.
For example, if Future You sprints up the stairs no sweat, start taking the stairs. Action often drives motivation, not the other way around.
Although people with hypothyroidism may have unique biological challenges that make weight loss a little harder/slower, the process for success isn’t so different.
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