The thyroid is a small gland located in the lower part of the neck; it is essentially responsible for regulating metabolism by releasing specific hormones. It makes sense that a poor function of the thyroid or its hormones would result in weight issues. In one specific case, hypothyroidism, which is when the thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones, more times than not leads to unexplainable weight gain, along with other rather annoying symptoms. While hypothyroidism can be caused by a variety of factors, regulating the thyroid’s function through medication and diet should be at the top of your to do list.
Take into Consideration…
If the thyroid function or its hormone production is out of whack, it will most likely be so for the rest of your life. That said, taking certain precautions for your condition will help ease the side effects of, in this case, hypothyroidism. Since the main concern is with unnecessary weight gain, watching caloric intake and starting on an exercise program are crucial components. Your metabolism will be, or is, slower, so you must compensate for that. Don’t worry, you won’t have to starve, nor will you have to give up all the foods you love; just start watching what you eat and the portion sizes in which you eat it. Similarly, there are certain foods that are more healthful for the condition of hypothyroidism, in both helping boost the production of thyroid hormones and maintain or losing weight. We will discuss all of this throughout this article. First off, let me say that only a professional can design the individualized diet plan that you will need. Also, all of these principles should be a part of any healthy diet.
Tips for Eating
Get in the habit of eating 5-6 meals daily, with regular intervals in between. Do not ever skip breakfast. By doing both of these things you will help boost and regulate metabolism and control blood sugar levels throughout the day. Iodine, which helps stimulate thyroid hormone production, should be taken in daily as well. This can be found in seafood, iodized salt, fish oils, and cheddar cheese (this list is not limited to only these items). Iodine-rich foods are also helpful in regulating heart rate, blood pressure, body weight, and iodine also makes for healthy skin!
Foods rich in the minerals zinc and selenium are also thought to be beneficial in a hypothyroidism specific diet. Foods with these two minerals include, but are not limited to, Brazil nuts, tuna, shellfish, sunflower seeds, lentils, all-bran cereals, avocadoes, and bananas. As with most healthy diets, drink plenty of water, at least 64 ounces a day. That may seem like a lot, but that is only 8 cups, or 4 water bottles. However you want to look at it, it needs to be done to keep you hydrated.
Fiber is another beneficial nutrient in any diet and also in those with hypothyroidism. Fiber helps keep you feeling fuller for longer, and therefore can lead to the consumption of fewer calories. In addition, it can regulate bowel movements and help lower cholesterol. Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are high in fiber. Tyrosine is also needed for thyroid hormone production. Consuming lean meats, fish, lentils, and low-fat milk will ensure the consumption of tyrosine.
Just as you should eat foods rich in iodine, you should avoid, or eat only minimally, foods that impair the absorption of iodine in the body. These include broccoli, cabbage, kale, lima beans, sweet potatoes, peanuts, and soy products.
Reduce stress. This seems a lot easier than it is, but if we could all let loose of all that stress we are carrying around, it will make each and every one of us a happier and healthier person. Stress is said to be a contributing factor to the development of hypothyroidism.
Talk to your doctor about starting on an exercise program. Not only will this burn additional calories, but it will help in many facets of life, contributing to an overall healthy well-being.