1

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Weight loss for hypothyroid- such confusion!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 04, 2013 at 9:16 AM

I've been dealing with hypothyroidism for about 9 months now, and I have just switched to natural whole thyroid treatment. I started eating Primal just after Christmas, and although I really like how it makes me feel I'd really like to see some weight loss. I have decided to try a Whole30, to see if it makes any difference with removing dairy and being strict.

I have been reading many responses and advice to people with my condition, but it seems so conflicting with what most people say you should follow if you want to see weight loss. (It probably goes without saying that anyone who's hypo would like weight loss.) Some people say go low carb, which is basically what I've been doing, and then others say moderate carb. I'm a runner and training for a half marathon, so I run 4 times per week, heavy strength training 2 x per week, and a few short bike rides and/or aqua-jogging in there too. And I'm a personal trainer, so yes, I'm pretty active.

As for dairy, many say to cut it out. So I'm trying that. But I struggle to deal with very high levels of hunger, so I'm keeping in a protein shake daily. Yes I know protein shakes aren't Paleo as such, but when you work really long hours in the day you need to have things that are easy nutrition to make life manageable.

Many also say avoid nuts for weight loss. But if I avoid nuts I a) find it even harder to consume enough to keep my hunger at bay, b) get more stuck on the fat intake side of things, which is what helps satisfy hunger. For other fat sources I cook with coconut oil, usually have half an avocado in my salad for lunch daily, and dress my salad with avocado oil. If people say to have more fat how exactly are you meaning?

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on March 18, 2013
at 09:26 PM

Training in a fasted state is just what you described, training without having eaten anything during a more or less prolonged period of time. Another similar approach would be to eat, but do it low carb or a small snack as you said. Some argue that this leads the body to become more efficient using fat in the long term. It's not that you have to do it, just wanted to point than even if you consider it (to stick with the low carb advice you we're given) it should be feasible as long as you don't train very hard.

D41ce736cfc4e7362093793f579f846b

(45)

on March 18, 2013
at 08:28 PM

I make for snacks. I don't have a problem with overeating them. Macadamia nuts are so expensive! They'd be a treat to buy them. I've got a supplement by Accelerade arriving soon which is an endurance training support- helps with lowering the threshold at which you burn fat for fuel, and helps with recovery.

D41ce736cfc4e7362093793f579f846b

(45)

on March 18, 2013
at 08:26 PM

Thanks for the advice. I'm gonna be moving up to training for a full marathon in 2 weeks after my race, so I think the carbs will be more important. I find after a particularly long run I can feel pretty sick, which I think is largely glycogen depletion, so I do make sure I get some in after a long run. What do you mean by training 'partially fasted'? You mean just having a small snack? I find it really hard training completely fasted because I usually wake up really hungry. As far as nuts go, I usually have a serving with my breakfast (12 or so) and then a little bit in homemade larabars that

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on March 18, 2013
at 04:44 PM

Borderline insane to tell someone wiht thyroid issues not to go above 150 grams carbs, especially without an overfeeding day.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on March 18, 2013
at 04:42 PM

You did, people have critical reading issues.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on March 18, 2013
at 01:27 PM

I agree with Lazza, with the addition it may require taking thyroid medication to get your thyroid functioning again. Since it sounds like you haven't been tested for Hashimoto's, that would be a good idea to have it done. Chris Kresser has a lot of information about thyroid. I'd recommend reading through his website if you haven't already checked it out.

D41ce736cfc4e7362093793f579f846b

(45)

on March 04, 2013
at 05:29 PM

I don't know if it's Hashimoto's, the doctor has never mentioned it so I'm presuming not? From what I've learned I have trouble converting T4 to T3, which is why the thyroxine never worked for me. That seems to be from inflammation in the body. I take fish oil tablets, as I know they are very good for reducing inflammation. I'm already cutting out gluten, I'm just being strict with it now. And I am giving full Paleo a try now, including eliminating dairy. But I've never really suffered from gut or digestive issues as far as I can tell.

D41ce736cfc4e7362093793f579f846b

(45)

on March 04, 2013
at 04:05 PM

I know they're not, I tried to make that pretty clear.

A3a4696c919e916ec971691559e9c942

(2043)

on March 04, 2013
at 01:37 PM

FYI- Protein shakes are not whole 30.

D41ce736cfc4e7362093793f579f846b

(45)

on March 04, 2013
at 09:49 AM

And fruit? Some people have said that if you're really active to get a large portion of your carbs from fruit. But then almost all the advice given for weight loss says to avoid fruit. Can you see my confusion? Currently I may have some frozen berries or 1 piece of fruit in a day, plus I make some small homemade Larabars which have dates in them.

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3 Answers

3
75d65450b6ff0be7b969fb321f1200ac

(2506)

on March 04, 2013
at 12:50 PM

If you have gained weight due to hypothyrodism then the key is to do whatever is required to get your thyroid functioning again. This will improve your metabolism and your excess weight should go away w/o dieting. If you have been tested for Hashimoto's thyroiditis, which means you have an autoimmune illness, then you should:

1) Eliminate gluten. Plenty of anecdotal info out there on people who have greatly improved their hypothyroid condition by going on a gluten free diet.

2) Consider going on a full Paleo diet, which means eliminating all grains and dairy. Why? Autoimmune disease often have a "leaky gut" as an underlying cause. Grains and, to a lesser extent, dairy can cause gut issues.

3) If #1 and #2 are insufficient then proceed to a full Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), which means you also eliminate all starchy veggies. Again this is to make your digestive tract happy.

As for a proper macro nutrient balance, I suggest you read Perfect Health Diet (Jaminet) then proceed with a carb/protein/fat balance you are comfortable with. But generally speaking, try not to go with more than 150 grams carbs and make sure you get ample protein and fat.

_Lazza

D41ce736cfc4e7362093793f579f846b

(45)

on March 04, 2013
at 05:29 PM

I don't know if it's Hashimoto's, the doctor has never mentioned it so I'm presuming not? From what I've learned I have trouble converting T4 to T3, which is why the thyroxine never worked for me. That seems to be from inflammation in the body. I take fish oil tablets, as I know they are very good for reducing inflammation. I'm already cutting out gluten, I'm just being strict with it now. And I am giving full Paleo a try now, including eliminating dairy. But I've never really suffered from gut or digestive issues as far as I can tell.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on March 18, 2013
at 04:44 PM

Borderline insane to tell someone wiht thyroid issues not to go above 150 grams carbs, especially without an overfeeding day.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on March 18, 2013
at 01:27 PM

I agree with Lazza, with the addition it may require taking thyroid medication to get your thyroid functioning again. Since it sounds like you haven't been tested for Hashimoto's, that would be a good idea to have it done. Chris Kresser has a lot of information about thyroid. I'd recommend reading through his website if you haven't already checked it out.

1
048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

on March 18, 2013
at 03:33 PM

I'm also an endurance runner, will try to throw in some advice for if it may come in handy. I'd advise to keep in check your salt intake, you know that with endurance running we lose plenty of mineral salts, so having your electrolites and minerals in check is always good idea. May be you could benefit from taking some multi-vit, even if eating healthy, when ongoing endurance training it seems that the body has it's need for some additional stuff (at least that's what is usually recommended).

If the multi has some iodine in it (maybe listed as kelp or algae extract) it may have a nice boost on your thyoroid, hyphotiroidism seems to be quite related to iodine deficiencies.

I'd also support the idea of avoiding nuts at least partially, they are too calorie dense, and the problem is not with the nuts itself, it's how easy it is to overeat on them. Think about it: gathering nuts in a natural fashion would be a very costly task for ancestral people, but nowadays we can have 100gr of nuts with very few effort and they're eaten very easily and not very filling (at least I end with more hunger when I taste them!). A handful every now and then may be ok, everyday? Not by any means... also keep in mind that unless you eat only macadamias, chestnuts and cashews you're probable taking some decent amount of omega-6 which seem to be wiser to avoid.

As for the carbs, having too many may hinder your weight loss, but on the other hand endurance running has some special needs about this and low carbing does not mix very well with it. Wait, that's in part CW. I've been pretty successful with endurance running and LC as far as I go low carb only when running in an aerobic fashion. That means not surpassing your lactate threshold point in this runs. In fact, you can develop some nice performance and fat consuming abilities by training partially fasted and then restoring glycogen reserves post-workout with the right amount, I'd throw in more protein than carbs, actually. As long as you stay aerobic that should provide you enough recovery rate. But if you have to train at faster paces, like racing or doing interval training, then you need the glycolitic pathways of generating energy and carbs are needed for this, so you may up your intake on these days. If you don't, you may have a hard hit on performance and health and this may also be related to hypothyroidism because in the end, fatigue, inflammation, metabolic stress and hypothiroidism all seem to be related (or that's my understanding on this at least). Keep in mind that endurance running it's very stressful on the body and quite catabolic, many sports science gurus are even against it... whatever you do, focus a lot on recovery.

Some random thoughts on it, hope it may help.

D41ce736cfc4e7362093793f579f846b

(45)

on March 18, 2013
at 08:26 PM

Thanks for the advice. I'm gonna be moving up to training for a full marathon in 2 weeks after my race, so I think the carbs will be more important. I find after a particularly long run I can feel pretty sick, which I think is largely glycogen depletion, so I do make sure I get some in after a long run. What do you mean by training 'partially fasted'? You mean just having a small snack? I find it really hard training completely fasted because I usually wake up really hungry. As far as nuts go, I usually have a serving with my breakfast (12 or so) and then a little bit in homemade larabars that

D41ce736cfc4e7362093793f579f846b

(45)

on March 18, 2013
at 08:28 PM

I make for snacks. I don't have a problem with overeating them. Macadamia nuts are so expensive! They'd be a treat to buy them. I've got a supplement by Accelerade arriving soon which is an endurance training support- helps with lowering the threshold at which you burn fat for fuel, and helps with recovery.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on March 18, 2013
at 09:26 PM

Training in a fasted state is just what you described, training without having eaten anything during a more or less prolonged period of time. Another similar approach would be to eat, but do it low carb or a small snack as you said. Some argue that this leads the body to become more efficient using fat in the long term. It's not that you have to do it, just wanted to point than even if you consider it (to stick with the low carb advice you we're given) it should be feasible as long as you don't train very hard.

0
A8dc0864e48ea2e8368b7a93f06dd850

(115)

on May 21, 2013
at 09:46 AM

do you have hashimoto's? if yes you should not be training for half marathon, you shouldn't really be running that much, walking and yoga should be your exercise. thyroid and adrenal are very closely knit hormones and you can't stress your body like that, as it's immensely stressed already by your thyroid condition. check out balanced bites podcasts for more info on this

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