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4 Hypothyroidism Weight Loss Mistakes Sabotaging Your Thyroid

By | 2017-04-24T22:38:25+00:00 April 27th, 2016|Hypothyroidism|7 Comments
  • hypothyroidism weight loss

When it comes to weight loss, 99% of thyroid sufferers have it all wrong.

Think about it for a second.

If you were/are losing your hair, which is a common thyroid symptom…

…would you think that using a hair re-growth product would help fix your thyroid?

Of course not, right?

It’s not addressing the real underlying cause of the hair loss.

It’s what we call a band-aid fix that just covers it up.

So, why do so many thyroid sufferers believe that if they could just lose a little bit of weight their thyroid problems would all disappear?

Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.

Weight gain (and excessive weight loss) is a symptom of hypothyroidism.

So, you don’t lose weight to fix your thyroid… you fix your thyroid first to lose weight.

When you do it the right way, you can get results like Sharon.

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However, it’s not always easy… which is why most thyroid sufferers try to lose weight in very dangerous ways.

And the worst part is that they don’t even realize how much harm they are truly causing by making these hypothyroidism weight loss mistakes.

They are sabotaging their thyroid health to lose a few pounds today…

…only to set themselves up for even more weight gain in the future.

We’ll cover the four biggest hypothyroidism weight loss mistakes in a second, but first you need to know what makes them so dangerous, and why forcing weight loss only leads to long term weight gain.

Short Term Weight Loss = Long Term Weight Gain

Because you’re hypothyroid, you have a lot going against you making weight loss sometimes seem impossible.

But it’s unfortunately to what lengths some are willing to go to lose a few pounds.

Many of my clients have confided in me personally, telling me about the drastic measures they’ve taken in the past.

And in many cases, the damage done from previous dieting has become so severe that they it can take a long period of time to dig themselves out of the hole they’ve dug themselves into.

Few ever realize that these dangerous weight loss mistakes work by sacrificing long term thyroid health for short term weight loss.

This results in further suppression of your thyroid and you becoming even more hypothyroid in the process.

And if you remember that weight gain is a symptom of hypothyroidism…

…this almost always leads to regaining of any lost weight, plus more.

Losing Weight In All the Wrong Places

These four hypothyroidism weight loss mistakes oftentimes do result in weight loss.

However, they do so by depleting your liver and muscles of glycogen/sugar and over-activating your body’s stress response.

In other articles we’ve covered how this over-activating of your stress response results in further suppression of your thyroid by both further blocking your Thyroid Hormone Pathway along with perpetuating other hormonal imbalances.

(Note: Not sure what your Thyroid Hormone Pathway is? See this article on “How We Overcome Hypothyroidism When All Else Fails”).

So, while you might be seeing a downward trend on your scale, you might be surprised to find that it’s coming from almost all the wrong places.

1. Organ and Muscle Glycogen Wasting

It’s a fact.

Healthy organs and muscles weigh more than unhealthy organs and muscles because they store lots of glycogen.

But these hypothyroidism weight loss mistakes result in the depletion of glycogen within your organs and muscles…

…leaving you a few pounds lighter, not because of fat loss, but at the expense of your organ and muscle health.

2. Muscle Wasting

When glycogen is depleted and blood sugar drops, your stress response becomes over-activate and you secrete lots of cortisol to compensate.

Cortisol works by breaking down healthy muscle tissue to convert it into sugar to bring your blood sugar back up.

Any sort of exercise (almost all) that promotes a cortisol response can help you lose weight…

…but it does so, not by fat loss, but by the loss of healthy muscle.

And because lean healthy muscle tissue increases your metabolic rate, your metabolism takes a nosedive too, promoting future weight gain.

3. Bone Density Wasting

While it may not seem like a lot, your bones account for roughly 15% of your bodyweight.

A healthy person with a healthy metabolism stores a lot of carbon dioxide in their tissue and bones, resulting in greater bone density and bone weight.

Hypothyroidism, carbon dioxide loss, and stress hormones all play a direct role in the loss of bone mass.

4. Fat Wasting

This is the one that most are trying to achieve, oftentimes with little success.

And this is because most methods used to “promote” fat loss do so by forcing your adrenaline levels higher and higher.

Adrenaline works in part by releasing fatty acids from your fat cells as an alternative source of fuel.

However, this also blocks your cells from being able to use thyroid hormone efficiently.

The truth is that you’re not designed to waste fat by under-eating or killing ourselves in the gym.

You’re designed to use fat when our body is at rest and energy demands are low.

This allows your body to release small amounts of fatty acids that won’t compromise your thyroid health in the process.

Otherwise, you’re simply pushing yourself further into a survival state that promotes long term weight gain.

And that’s exactly what all of these hypothyroidism weight loss mistakes do.

Hypothyroidism Weight Loss Mistakes Sabotaging Your Thyroid

If you’re using, or have used, any of these methods to lose weight, then unfortunately it has come at the expensive of your thyroid.

Mistake #1: Cutting Calories

Most doctors will tell you the answer to losing weight is to simply eat less.

But we both know that doesn’t work, especially not in the long run.

But I’ve had many clients who have gone prolonged periods of time eating 500 to 1000 calories per day, trying to simply maintain the few pounds they lose and prevent it from coming back.

When your liver becomes under-nourished…

  • Your liver can’t store glycogen
  • Your blood sugar becomes very unstable
  • Your stress hormones rise further, and
  • Your metabolism and thyroid become further suppressed

I’ll tell you what it takes for healthy weight loss in a second, but it doesn’t involve eating less.

It involves eating more.

Mistake #2: Low-Carb Dieting

Low-carb diets have become the go-to diet for those looking to lose weight.

But they too work by depleting liver and muscle glycogen, and flooding your body with stress hormones.

Because low-carb dieters produce predominantly cortisol, the majority of weight loss comes from the wasting of healthy muscle tissue and from loss of glycogen weight in the organ and muscles.

The higher cortisol oftentimes also leaves you with less muscle and more belly fat.

And in any event, low-carb diets are well known for suppressing your thyroid and metabolism setting you up for future weight gain.

(Note: Want to learn more about how low-carb diets are dangerous for your thyroid? Take a look at this article on “Stop Eating Low-Carb (If You Care About Your Thyroid)”.

Mistake #3: Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting (or intermittent starving as I like to call it) has gained a lot of popularity lately.

The idea is that by eating for a period of time, and then starving yourself for a period of time, you can lose weight faster and in a healthier way.

Unfortunately, it’s not healthy at all for hypothyroidism sufferers.

While this may be possible for someone with healthy liver function, as a hypothyroidism suffer that’s something you’re lacking.

During the fasting portion of this type of diet, your liver can’t store enough glycogen to keep your blood sugar stable.

So, it still elicits the same stress response followed by the same thyroid suppressive effects of these other diet mistakes.

Mistake #4: Over-Exercising

Not only do doctors tell you to eat less, they oftentimes tell you to exercise more.

However, think about that for a second.

Glycogen is a source of fuel for your body.

So, if your liver and muscles aren’t storing fuel, exercise might not be the best solution.

Exercise (cardio exercise in particular) causes your body to use what little fuel it does have very quickly.

And once you’re out of fuel, the thyroid suppressive stress hormones start pouring in.

This is why many hypothyroidism sufferers become so fatigued so quickly when attempting to exercise.

Anytime you overexert yourself physically, your thyroid suffers.

So, What Is the Best Way to Lose Weight with Hypothyroidism?

Unfortunately the whole idea of eating less and exercising more just doesn’t work.

At least not in the long run.

The only safe way to do it is to maximize and maintain your thyroid health and metabolism, which oftentimes requires you to eat more, not less.

And as Dr. Raymond Peat points out, the more your metabolism heals the more nutrition you need to sustain it.

“Usually the increased metabolic rate, with adequate protein, causes some muscle increase, and when that happens the basic calorie requirement will increase. The increase of muscle mass should continue for several weeks, and during that time the weight might increase a little, but usually the loss of water and fat will compensate for the greater muscle mass.”

– Dr. Raymond Peat

This is how eating more can oftentimes lead to more weight loss.

But when done in a healthy thyroid supportive way, weight loss becomes a slow and steady process.

And it’s a process that leads to long term sustainable weight loss.

So, remember, you don’t lose weight to fix your thyroid.

You fix your thyroid to lose weight.

And an easy way to get started fixing your thyroid is to use our 3 Food Triple-Thyroid-Boosting Daily Protocol.

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This daily protocol will show you a very different side to your hypothyroidism. It’s based on real science (not modern day myths)… It’s been tested with real hypothyroidism sufferers… and it simply works.

The 3 Food Triple-Thyroid-Boosting Daily Protocol is all about taking the first step to overcoming your hypothyroidism by fixing some of the hidden underlying issues that are holding your thyroid hostage.

If that sounds like what you need, then just download the protocol and use it for yourself.

Click here to learn more about the 3 Food Triple-Thyroid Boosting Daily Protocol.

About the Author:

Tom Brimeyer is the founder of Forefront Health and the creator of the popular Hypothyroidism Revolution program series. Specializing in thyroid and metabolism disorders, Tom's work has impacted over 50,000 people spanning more than 60 countries. Tom is also a highly sought after practitioner who runs a successful health consulting practice where he continues to help clients across the globe to take back control of their lives from their devastating health conditions.

7 Comments

  1. robert King April 28, 2016 at 8:49 am - Reply

    will this work on me as they removed my whole thyroid ,and since then my weight went from 85 kilos to 140 kilos ?? how do i stop gaining weight and start losing it instead ??

    • Tom Brimeyer April 28, 2016 at 1:30 pm - Reply

      Hi Robert, I’ve thyroidectomy in some detail here: http://www.forefronthealth.com/rai-and-thyroidectomy/

      The short answer is yes, everything we teach still applies 100%. The only difference is that you will need to supplement thyroid hormone to the degree that you cannot produce it. However, it’s important to understand that just because you take thyroid hormone doesn’t mean that the hormone is getting to your cells. Thyroid hormone can get blocked many places along this pathway. For example, most hypothyroid people can’t convert inactive T4 thyroid hormone to active T3 thyroid hormone that your cells need. Thyroid hormone can also get blocked in the bloodstream, at the cell receptor, etc. You can supplement all of the thyroid hormone you want but if you can’t get the hormone to your cells then you will still be hypothyroid. We focus on all facets of the thyroid. You can learn a little more about this here: http://www.forefronthealth.com/overcome-hypothyroidism/

  2. Sandy April 28, 2016 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    What do you do when you can’t eat carbs because of having SIBO? Every time I eat fruit or starchy carbs, I get intense pains. I agree with you that low carb destroys the thyroid, I feel much warmer, sleep better, and put muscle weight on when I do eat more carbs, but my stomach just won’t tolerate them. I’m really not sure what to eat anymore, and barely weigh much over 100 pounds. I need help! Thanks for the great articles!

  3. JP April 29, 2016 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    With an elevated cortisol, I was recommended to avoid coffee… How will this interfere with the 3 food daily protocol?
    JP

    • Tom Brimeyer May 2, 2016 at 12:44 pm - Reply

      Hi JP, Coffee itself is only ever a problem when the liver is void of glycogen. That’s commonly promoted by low-carb advocates without realizing that a low-carb diet is thyroid-suppressive, depletes liver glycogen, and promotes excessive cortisol production. I’ve talked about this here: http://www.forefronthealth.com/low-carb-thyroid-dangers/

  4. Stephanie May 15, 2017 at 11:09 am - Reply

    Still unsure about dairy. Do we eat full fat or low fat dairy? Also, still unsure why we can’t eat nuts. Is it because the oils in nuts are PUFAs? I’m starting to understand the science behind the program and I am seeing some improvements. Just wondering if I’ll ever be able to eat some of the forbidden foods someday occasionally. So excited for the hope I now have for healing. Thanks for getting the info out there to us.

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