A tiny sized butterfly-shaped thyroid gland placed in the lower front of your neck that produces the thyroid hormones T3, T4 and TSH has a huge impact on almost every aspect of our health, from weight to mood to heart rate to energy level. The thyroid hormones control the metabolism of the body i.e. how the food is metabolized and used up. So when the gland's hormone output goes out of gear, it can stop or slow down the process of weight loss.
There are two ways your thyroid can get out of whack. Over activity of thyroid leads to hyperthyroidism showing the symptoms of weight loss, anxiety or irregular heart beat. The other condition is under active thyroid causing hypothyroidism which shows the symptoms of weight gain, hair loss, constipation, lack of energy. Risk of hypothyroidism increases in women after the age of 50 when the estrogen production goes down in the body.
An under active thyroid leads to slow metabolism due to the fact that there is constant tiredness irrespective of how much you rest. An under active thyroid also means deficiency of iodine in the diet which is very essential for a healthy thyroid. A daily recommended amount of iodine can be incorporated in the diet but it should not go in excess as it leads to acne, allergic reactions and goiter. Hence there is no motivation to workout, which in ways hinders the weight loss process. The other reason is joint problems and a feeling of depression that is observed during hypothyroidism, Joint immobility or pain makes the workout and hence making weight loss a difficult phenomenon. Depression makes you feel demotivated to achieve your targets.
There are three major hurdles to weight loss in an under active thyroid. One is the sluggish metabolism. The low production of the thyroid hormones is unable to keep up your metabolic rate and makes you unable to burn calories you are consuming. The best way to keep up your fat burning is to exercise. Exercise will not only help you burn your excess fat but it also helps build muscles and boosts your metabolism. Low thyroid activity alters the brain chemistry by releasing certain chemicals that makes you feel hungry and increases their cravings for carbs even when the body does not require them. This builds on the excess calories that are converted into fat leading to weight gain. Hypothyroidism may reduce the levels of serotonin, which prevents you from feeling satisfied even after having eaten. Exercise will help you to regulate your chemicals to a more normal level. The result of overeating makes your pancreas secrete insulin excessively to absorb the carbs into the cells. The overworking of this endocrine gland causes insulin resistance. The best remedy for insulin resistance is a low carbs, low fat diet that is rich in fresh produces and lean protein.
Hence to counteract the problem of hypothyroidism which poses major hassle in losing weight is to keep you motivated. Monitoring your diet and exercise are the best two ways to defeat your disease. Most importantly, take the medications regularly as advised by the physician and keep yourself updated on the new advancements in treatment and information on the disease.