Not being able to lose weight can be a frustrating feeling. If you have been working out consistently and are having trouble reaching your weight loss goals, consider seeing your physician, and ask about testing your thyroid function. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the body lacks sufficient thyroid hormone. The main function of thyroid hormone is to control your body’s metabolic rate, and when it is under active, people will have a hard time losing weight as a result of a slow metabolism. Hypothyroidism is 10 times more common in women than men and the greatest onset is said to be in those adults between the ages of 40-50. Since those who are diagnosed with this condition are already at a disadvantage, it is crucial that you stick to a healthy diet and regular exercise program.
Here is a short list of the signs and symptoms associated with Hypothyroidism. They typically develop over time and can vary on the level of onset and severity.
– Weight gain/ or difficulty losing weight
– Thinning hair
– Dry, rough pale skin
– Muscle cramps
– Cold intolerance
Tips for Managing Hypothyroidism in diet and exercise.
Stay on a consist program
Physical activity is especially important if you suffer from hypothyroidism. Exercise will play an important role in helping speed up your metabolism and increase weight loss.
Stress is a major factor and is thought to be a contributing factor to the development of hypothyroidism. Reduce stress by exercising, take time for yourself to relax or do something you enjoy.
Cabbage and other brassica vegetables (eg. Chinese leaves, brussel sprouts, turnips and kale) contain compounds known as ‘thioglucosides’ which, if taken in excess can disrupt the function of the thyroid gland. However, it should be stressed that this tends to occur only in people whose diets are already deficient in iodine.
Avoid caffeine drinks like coffee, soda; avoid stimulants like smoking and alcohol as these all can negatively affect thyroid function.
Supplements that may help.
Iodine is a trace mineral produced by the body that is essential for normal growth and development. A majority of the body’s iodine is found in the thyroid gland in the neck. The rest is distributed throughout the body, particularly in the ovaries, muscles, and blood. A deficiency of iodine can lead to hypothyroidism
It is also believed to help if you increase your selenium intake. This can be done by eating foods such as whole wheat bread, bran, baked snapper, pacific cod, yellow fin tuna, onions, tomatoes and broccoli. Include some of these foods on a regular basis.
Cabbage and other brassicas vegetables (eg. Chinese leaves, brussel sprouts, turnips and kale) contain compounds known as ‘thioglucosides’ which, if taken in excess can disrupt the function of the thyroid gland (1). However, it should be stressed that this tends to occur only in people whose diets are already deficient in iodine (2).
Studies suggest that severe zinc deficiency can cause hypothyroidism. For hypothyroidism, zinc should be supplemented along with selenium. Sources of zinc include chickpeas, baked beans, pumpkin seeds, roast lamb, beef tenderloin.
I have worked with a number of clients who came to me frustrated about not being able to lose weight, and in fact had some weight gain even though they had been on a consistent workout regimen. It wasn’t until we recognized the symptoms associated with Thyroid deficiency that we were able to identify this challenge. See your physician if you can identify with these symptoms and are having trouble with losing weight. Seek out a Registered Dietician who can help you with your dietary needs and monitor the type and amounts of foods that will optimize your ability to get results.
1) Herbal Medicine Dr R.F.Weiss (Beaconsfield Publishers) p.279
2) Raw Food (century) L & S Kenton p. 165