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HYPOTHYROIDISM – Is losing weight possible?

Three elements that make losing weight difficult:

  1. A changed metabolic set point
  2. Changes in brain chemistry due to illness and stress to the body
  3. Insulin resistance

The hypothalamus (see earlier post about the thyroid, pituitary and hypothalamus axis) senses your body needs energy and sends the message “eat carbs” which the brain translates to hunger.

  • Fruits and vegetables provide carbs = lower sugars verses
  • Breads and pastas provide carbs = higher sugars
  • Too many carbs = insulin resistance = not good

So, how do you lose weight when you have hypothyroidism?

  1. Reduce stress; when you reduce stress, it changes your brain chemistry (one of the critical elements against you)
  2. Take a low level anti-depressant and perform regular aerobic exercises to increase your serotonin level (patients need to exercise as much as they need their daily pill)
  3. Practice deep breathing for 10 minutes each day
  4. A low-glycemic / low-fat diet such as one found on

“Some tips for eating a low GI diet: At breakfast, choose cereals made from oats, bran, or barley. Switch white bread to wholegrain, stone-ground flours, or sour dough. Eliminate or reduce the amount of potatoes you eat, but increase all other fruits and vegetables. When making rice, choose brown rice instead of white, and select whole wheat pasta. Eat smaller meals, four or five times per day to stabilize your metabolism and maintain blood sugar levels if you’re trying to lose weight. Doing this will burn calories more effectively.”

So, it all comes down to the basics we’ve known all along:

  1. Exercise every day, even on the days you don’t want to do so
  2. Increase your daily fruits and vegetables and decrease your carbs and sugar intake
  3. Reduce the areas of stress you have you have control over in your life
  4. Create healthy habits to become resistant to those areas you don’t have control over; eat well, aerobic exercise daily, practice yoga stretches and breathing (discussed in an earlier post), socialize with friends and family members who are positive in your life, and regular prayer and meditation
  5. Remain patient and steadfast despite the oppositions, difficulties, and adversities. And remember, “the best way to predict the future is to invent it.” – Alan Curtis Kay

Has this worked for me? Nope not yet. But so far, this is the first year since having this condition that I haven’t gained more weight so that is a  victory and I still have a month left to see if I can add a negative to this year’s total.  I’ll keep trying and I’ll keep you posted. This is the last post on this hypothyroidism series.  Thanks for the emails. I appreciate them. Feel free to check out the book listed below for more good information.

Cite: M. Shomon (2000) LIVING WELL WITH HYPOTHYROIDISM: What Your Doctor Doesn’t Tell You That You Need to Know. Harper Resource, New York.



Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

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