Hypothyroidism is a condition where your body produces less of thyroid hormones. The butterfly shaped thyroid gland is responsible for maintaining normal metabolism and hence the under-active gland leads to body’s processes to slow down. As the process slows with hypothyroidism, you may notice that you feel colder, feel tired faster, experience drier skin, forgetfulness & other side effects. In hypothyroidism, body’s metabolic rate is much lower than the appetite level set by your brain. As a result in hypothyroidism, you consume more calories than you burn, leading to weight gain. Along with this, hypothyroid condition also lowers serotonin levels which further decrease the ‘feeling of fullness’. So, it becomes essential to try to the hypothyroidism diet for weight loss.
One study indicated 25% more prevalence of thyroid in women than in men. The yo-yo pattern of dieting (fasting and then feasting) interferes with the metabolism leading to hormonal fluctuations in women. The bad news is that excessive dieting (staying on low calorie unhealthy diets for extended periods) can lower the metabolism further and make weight loss even tougher.
Certain foods alter with the medication and thyroid hormone functioning and hence needs to be reduced. Goitrogens are substances hindering the synthesis of thyroid hormones.
- Brassica family of vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage can reduce thyroid hormone.
- Some studies have shown the isoflavones in soy beans can also decrease the thyroid hormone by blocking the enzyme responsible for adding iodine to thyroid hormones.
- Peanuts and spinach also have mild goitrogenic effect so should be avoided.
- Reduce the intake of caffeinated drinks like coffee, aerated drinks and stimulants like smoking, alcohol as these can affect the thyroid function.
Since eating actually stimulates metabolism, people who want to lose weight with hypothyroidism may benefit from eating six small meals at regular intervals throughout the day instead of three larger meals.