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Action Steps to Overcome Thyroid Weight Gain

Overcome Thyroid Weight Gain.

For many people with a thyroid condition, “thyroid weight gain” is not only common, but it is often THE most frustrating part of a thyroid disorder. Nobody likes the thought of gaining weight when you are eating clean and exercising.  Weight gain tends to be more common in people who have hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis then people with Hyperthyroidism. The reason for this is that the Thyroid gland is one of the main hormone regulators of our metabolic rate. Hypothyroidism happens when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones, specifically thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These two hormones help your metabolism convert food into energy.  Not all thyroid weight gain is fat! some of this weight gain may also be fluid retention.

There’s also evidence that low thyroid hormone levels contribute to insulin resistance or insulin sensitivity  When cells in your muscles, fat and liver don’t respond well to the hormone insulin, glucose or sugar levels rise in your blood. This prompts your body to pump out even more insulin to help balance blood sugar, this ultimately end in weight gain.

What Can I do about Thyroid Weight gain.

In either case, thyroid weight gain usually isn’t as difficult as you might imagine. In Functional medicine our approach to thyroid weight gain is centered more around the root cause. While it may seem that just increasing your thyroid hormone would address the root cause, nothing could be further from the Truth. You see, taking thyroid hormones may increase your thyroid levels, but it never addresses why the thyroid levels are low in the first place. This is one of the biggest reasons, patients with thyroid disease continue to suffer with thyroid symptoms despite taking thyroid medication. In Functional medicine, we look at something called “The Big Picture”. What this means is that we often look at the many contributing factors to thyroid disease. In Functional medicine, we want to support the thyroid gland rather than simply raising low levels. 

The problem is that most people with a thyroid condition who experience thyroid wight gain, resort solely to minimizing calories and overtraining with exercise. Keep in mind that in order to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you take in. Those men and women who are suffering with a thyroid problem will never lose weight and keep it off if they don’t correct all of the hormones involved. The main function of your thyroid is to direct how your body will utilize energy from the foods you eat. In other words, your thyroid, with the help of other hormones controls how efficiently you burn calories. Without question minimizing calories and exercise regularly is important, but doing this alone (when you have a thyroid problem or other hormone imbalance) is not.

If you follow these steps that we have outlined in this article you will lose weight…and keep it off!.

How To Lose Weight When You Have Hypothyroidism-Cut back on Refined Carbohydrates. 

Refined carbohydrates are empty calories for a person suffering with thyroid weight gain. Eating too many refined carbohydrates and added sugars — present in foods like white bread, pasta, sugary cereals and drinks — isn’t good for your weight or your long-term health. Because refined carbohydrates can create a blood sugar spike, they are especially bad for people with hypothyroidism. Remember what we said earlier, many people with hypothyroidism suffer with insulin sensitivity and are insulin resistance. If you suspect problem with your blood sugar check out these videos on

  1. How Blood sugar Effects the Thyroid 
  2. Is Sugar a Hidden Cause of Your Thyroid disease
  3. 12 Tips to Balance your Blood Sugar When You Have Thyroid Disease 


Now you might be wondering if you should track your calories. Don’t overly focus too much on reducing calories- Eat Smarter! Low calorie diets have proven to be disastrous for men and woman who have existing thyroid disease. Low calorie diets put enormous stress on your thyroid and ultimately lead to suppressing the thyroid gland. When it comes to calories, obviously you don’t want to consume unnecessary calories. If you eat mostly whole foods, and you are not drinking your calories in cappuccinos, café latte and sugary soft drinks this will be one huge step in the right direction. Other tips to consider when it comes to eating for thyroid weight loss include

  1. Cut Out Simple Carbs and Sugars
  2. Increase protein intake. 1gram per pound is a good start.
  3. Eat More Anti-Inflammatory Foods
  4. Eliminate Transfats
  5. Stick to Small, Frequent Meals
  6. Keep a Food Diary
  7. Stay hydrated

Action Step #2 Exercise 

Exercise regularly. Yes, exercising regularly is important for anyone looking to lose weight but especially for people with low Thyroid. If you have any degree of blood sugar handling issues exercise is extremely important and has a proven track record in healing the insulin receptors. If you aren’t currently on an exercise program then you will want to go about this slowly, perhaps starting with a five minute workout, and then slowly building your endurance to 45-55 min.

In addition to participating in cardiovascular exercise, doing some light weight lifting can also be beneficial. This can not only help with weight loss, but can also help to prevent osteoporosis. So I would try to engage in at least 15 to 20 minutes of light weight lifting three or four times each week.

If you have a thyroid condition and don’t have the energy to exercise for 30 minutes, then you obviously will need to do what you can, and focus on other areas of your health. So for example, if you can find the energy to do five to ten minutes of light walking each day, and at the same time eat better, get sufficient sleep, and do other things to help restore your thyroid health, then over time you will gain more energy to allow you to increase the amount of time you exercise. Makes sense right?

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Low T3- Why You Are Always So Tired 1

Action Step #3- Increase Fiber

Hypothyroidism can shut down digestion leading to the symptoms of constipation and bloating. Increasing fiber not only helps with insulin resistance,  like we mentioned earlier, but fiber promotes softer, bulkier stools.  Adding more of it to your diet can make it easier to pass excess feces that are trapped in your colon.  High fiber diets promote stable blood sugar and help keep you full between meals, this in turn can prevent unnecessary snacking.

Action Step #4 Hormone Optimization

Correct Any Existing Hormone Imbalance. This is one of the main reasons why people with thyroid conditions have difficulty losing weight and get sicker year after year. Most people with thyroid conditions are in a state of estrogen, dominance, insulin resistance, leptin resistance, and adrenal insufficiency. If you don’t address all of the pieces of the puzzle, you will more often that not be disappointed with long term results.

In Past articles, I have spoken about these ignored hormone imbalances and how detrimental these imbalances are to a someone suffering with thyroid weight gain.

Most conventionally trained endocrinologists and other types of medical doctors, rarely, if ever, do anything to determine if someone has a hormone imbalance and whether that may be a contributing problem.

Some the more common problems we often see at our office include insulin resistance, high cholesterol, Metabolic syndrome, anemia, abnormal cortisol levels, vitamin D deficiencies, elevated thyroid antibodies and estrogen dominance. The good news is that these hormone imbalances, once the root cause has been identified are relatively easy to correct once detected.

So, if you are experiencing “thyroid weight gain”, and regular exercise and diet has not been as successful as you has hoped, contact our office today! We have over 20 years of experience in working with metabolic disorders that lead to weight gain.

Final Thoughts

  1. Thyroid weight gain is not fixed by simply taking thyroid hormones. You need to address the root cause of the hormone imbalances. If you have low T4 levels are low, why are they low? if your T3 levels are low why are the T3 levels low, If Reverse T3 is high… WHY?
  2. Insulin resistance is often seen with weight gain and insulin resistance can affect your thyroid.
  3. Hypothyroidism slows down your metabolic rate which means you don’t burn calories efficiently.
  4. Adopting simple dietary habits can also support thyroid function and help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight without deprivation.

Other Article about Natural Thyroid Treatments and Methods

  1. Estrogen Dominance and Thyroid Problems| 
  2. Naperville Thyroid Doctor|6 Warning Signs Your Thyroid Problem Is Being Mismanaged.
  3. The Causes Behind Poor Thyroid Conversion. Dr Richard Hagmeyer
  4. Natural Thyroid Treatment Requires Healthy Blood Sugar Balance. Chicago IL. Dr Richard Hagmeyer.
  5. Gluten and Autoimmune Diseases| The Longer You Eat Gluten The Sicker You Will Become|Dr Richard Hagmeyer D.C| Naperville Institute For NeuroMetabolic Solutions.
  6. Adrenal Fatigue Or Iron Deficiency| Dr Hagmeyer Explains Why Its Important You Know
  7. My Top Countdown Of The 5 Most Common Mistakes Made when it Comes To Treatment For Thyroid Disease.


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