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How To Lose Weight With Hypothyroidism

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Updated June 14, 2003

Many hypothyroid patients struggle with an inability to lose weight. If you are on thyroid hormone replacement, but find that the weight is not melting off, there are some steps you can take.
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Here's How:

  1. Make sure you're not undertreated. Some endocrinologists believe that patients do not feel well and can't lose weight unless TSH is in the low-normal range.
  2. Ask your doctor if you need T3. Research has found that many hypothyroid people fare better when they add T3, a second thyroid hormone, to the typical treatment of levothyroxine (i.e., Synthroid or Levoxyl.)
  3. Don't sabotage your thyroid drug treatment. Calcium supplements or calcium-fortified orange juice, vitamins with iron, and antacids may interfere with thyroid drug absorption unless taken at least 3 hours apart from thyroid hormone.
  4. Consider taking your calorie requirements for the day and breaking them into smaller, 250-calorie mini-meals. Frequent smaller meals can help balance blood sugar, prevent fat storage, and help you feel less hungry in general.
  5. Consider a low-glycemic and/or low-carbohydrate diet. This means you limit the amount of starches - such as bread, pasta and rice - that you eat, and eliminate refined sugars.
  6. Eat a diet of low-fat protein and complex carbohydrates like vegetables.
  7. Ask your doctor if you need an antidepressant. Some hypothyroid people find their weight loss efforts are more effective when they're on a prescription antidepressant therapy.
  8. Exercise 30 minutes a day. You don't have to run marathons, or become a fanatic. Even brisk walking in 3 10-minute segments a day will raise metabolism and help you burn more calories.

Tips:

  1. Consider participating in a regular support group, such as our online Thyroid Diet and Weight Loss Forum. Sharing tips, techniques and support with others can make your weight loss efforts more effective.

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