Weight gain is the most common symptom of hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid. About 42 million people living in India are suffering from this problem and the difficulty they face to lose weight is unexplained. A person suffering from hypothyroidism is not able to burn calories due to the reduction in the level of thyroid hormones and hence they start gaining weight. This medical condition is known to cause fat build-up in the body.
It is surely difficult to lose weight when suffering from this disease, but it is not impossible. The combination of the right diet and exercise is important to shed kilos, but there are a few other things you need to take care of when you are suffering from an underactive thyroid.
Balanced diet: It is, of course, important to consume a balanced diet when trying to drop kilos. Same needs to be followed when you have an underactive thyroid. You should be able to overcome nutritional deficiencies like selenium and iodine that disturb the thyroid functioning in the body.
Add iodine and selenium: Iodine and selenium are two important nutrients you need to take when suffering from hypothyroidism. Iodine is important for the synthesis of the thyroid hormone and selenium helps in recycling of iodine in the body. Include seafood, Brazil Nuts, eggs, tuna, salmon, sunflower seeds in your diet, these are some natural sources of iodine and selenium.
Include complex carbs: Complex carbohydrates are rich in fiber. It will help you to keep fuller for a longer period of time and prevent you from overeating. Include whole cereals, vegetables, whole pulse in your diet.
Try metabolism boosting exercise: An underactive thyroid can decrease your metabolism and to lose weight it is necessary to boost the same. If your aim is to lose weight, you need to exercise more than you may have expected.
As per Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a healthy person of normal weight needs to do at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week to maintain weight or to avoid excessive weight gain. In case you have hypothyroidism, you may need to do more than an hour of exercise everyday. Walking, pilates, lifting weights are some form of exercises that you can try. You can also consider strength training and exercise that builds muscle.
Foods with high glycemic index: Restrict food with a high glycemic index such as corn, white bread, refined flour, muffins, cakes. Such food items increase the glucose content in the body which in the end is converted into fat.
Do not cut down goitrogens intake: Goitrogens are substances that interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland and block enzymes that allow thyroid to use iodine. This forces the thyroid gland to produce more cells to counter the deficit, which leads to the enlargement of the thyroid gland. But do not completely cut down on goitrogens-rich foods as it contains other important nutrients essential for staying healthy.
-Take an adequate amount of sleep and avoid stress as they lead to overeating and unhealthy food choices.
-Limit your intake of processed food and drink lots of water.
-It is important to consume iodine when trying to lose weight, but restrict processed salt intake and opt for natural sources of iodine.