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Constance Tambakis Odom, MD graduated in 1987 with her Doctorate of Medicine from the New York Medical College, and was an Anesthesiologist Resident from 1988 to 1991 at the Brookdale Medical Center PGY II (CA-I)-PGY IV (CA-III). She is Board Certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology since 1998 and American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine since 2002. Constance Odom, MD is affiliated with the American Medical Association, American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, American Society of Anesthesiology, Georgia Society of Anesthesiology, Hellenic Medical Society of New York, North Carolina Society of Anesthesiology, and Society of Ambulatory Anesthesia.
When it comes to dieting, the key to losing weight typically lies in eating a healthy diet, increasing physical activity, and consistently shedding pounds. For those with hypothyroidism, however, the road to weight loss is a little more complicated.
But why is that? Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not manufacture enough of the thyroid hormone. Also called underactive thyroid, hypothyroidism does not present any noticeable problems at first. If it is left untreated, however, hypothyroidism can lead to a number of problems, such as heart issues and high cholesterol.
Unfortunately, there is only one way to diagnose hypothyroidism. According to experts, your doctor will request a blood test that checks your hormone levels and determines if you have hypothyroidism. If you suspect that you have this condition, you should contact your medical provider as soon as possible.
You do not need to see a specialist, but you should instead contact your general practitioner to set up a test. Hypothyroidism is characterized by lowered levels of hormones, such as thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). When you have low levels of thyroid-producing hormones, the way your body handles fat changes.
The thyroid produces hormones that control metabolism. If your thyroid does not produce enough of the hormones needed for proper functioning, your metabolism slows. As a result, your body does not burn off calories as quickly as it should, often leading to weight gain. While the weight gained is usually minimal, the weight you accumulate can vary from five to 10 pounds.
This can take a toll on your confidence and can be disillusioning for anyone. Weight tends to creep up, and you may wonder how you can lose the weight. So, where do you begin?
According to experts, one of the best ways to lose weight when you have hypothyroidism is to adopt a healthy diet. You should eliminate sugar and simple carbohydrates from your diet. You should reduce the number of carbohydrates you consume and eat more complex carbohydrates, such as vegetables. This means giving up soda and candy in favor of natural, low-calorie foods.
Foods with high glycemic levels can lead to elevated levels of inflammation in your body. However, it is important to consume a sufficient number of calories, as a lack of calories can lead to stress. This stress response can reduce T3 levels.
Another way you can lose weight with hypothyroidism is to consume more anti-inflammatory foods. Anti-inflammatory foods ease the immune system. Immune systems in people with hypothyroidism work very quickly. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet can stop further inflammation. Of course, it is also important to consume the nutrients your body needs to function properly.
The body needs zinc, B vitamins, and Vitamin D to function properly. To get these nutrients, you should focus on eating fruits, nuts, fatty fish, and leafy greens. These foods in particular fight inflammation. Additionally, when you eat healthy foods like these, the body does not have to work as hard to break down processed foods.
Another way to help you lose weight is to keep a food diary. Take time to write down the number of calories you take in each day. You can also hold yourself accountable by writing down healthy foods that you consume. List all of the foods you consume, and ensure that these foods are healthy. This allows you to eliminate unhealthy foods that hinder weight loss.
You can also make lists of foods containing healthy fats. You should consume these foods, if you are serious about losing weight. You can make a list of carbohydrates you consume, and then make a list of carbohydrates you should cut from your diet. The end result is a list of healthy foods that will help you lose weight.
Make note of how much food you eat at mealtimes and when you snack. You can measure the amount of food you eat in volumes, such as a half cup of fruit or a cup of broccoli. You can also list the number of foods you consume. For example, you could say you consumed seven pretzels. It may also help to write down what kind of food and drinks you consume throughout the day.
It may also help to download a calorie counter app. You can also make note of the people with whom you ate.
Another good way to lose weight is to get and stay active. Exercise helps your body function properly. You burn calories when you exercise and also while you rest. Ideally, you should aim to do 300 minutes of aerobics exercise per week. Forms of aerobic exercise include biking, jogging, and playing sports, like tennis. That makes a total of an hour of exercise each day, five days per week.
Another good way to get rid of weight is to stop yourself from gaining more weight. Although this is only a short-term fix, stopping weight gain makes it easier for you to focus on activities that help you lose weight. If you are having trouble maintaining your weight, your doctor may need to prescribe you a thyroid hormone medication. This type of medication increases your production of thyroid hormones.
In addition, your metabolism increases. When you’re on the proper dosage of a medication, your weight will become stable. As a result, weight will come off more easily. Unfortunately, though, this medication won’t get rid of extra weight you’ve gained. To get rid of that, you will need to exercise and eat healthy. There is a link between hypothyroidism and cardiovascular disease.
In addition to changing your diet, lowering stress levels can also help you lose weight brought on by hypothyroidism. Because of this, it is important to find ways to reduce stress. One 2018 study found that stress can lead to weight gain. Although science does not know how these two are related, research suggests that addressing and minimizing stress plays a key role in helping you lose weight.
When you are under stress, your adrenal glands release a hormone called cortisol into your bloodstream. When cortisol levels spike over an extended period of time, abdominal fat builds up. This can lead to weight gain. There is something called “the stress belly.” The stress belly is a buildup of belly fat that is caused by persistent stress. This is not an official medical term, but professionals use the term to describe extra abdominal fat.
But how does one get a stress belly? According to experts, a number of factors contribute to the development of a stress belly. Believe it or not, stress makes you feel hungry. This is thanks to a hormone called ghrelin, which increases appetite. Having higher amounts of ghrelin in your system leads to extraneous weight gain.
If you have a stress belly, you will find that the amount of food that used to fill you up no longer does. In fact, you may begin to get hungry after each meal.
Having too many things to do can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Having too much to do creates more stress, which can lead to weight gain. In some cases, exercise may aggravate the situation. Working out really hard can increase your cortisol levels, which makes you feel hungry. When you are ravenously hungry after a workout, it is easy to grab unhealthy food to satisfy your hunger.
This can turn into a vicious cycle where you work out hard and feel hungry. The more you do this, the more likely you are to crave food. The goal of working out is to lose weight, so this can be counterproductive.
It is also worth noting that belly fat poses health risks. It puts you at an increased risk of developing a number of comorbidities. It has also been linked to death. Abdominal fat can also build up in your internal organs, such as your intestines and liver. Fat can also build up under the muscles. Once this happens, the omentum, a flap under the muscles, increases the size of your waist.
This fat causes your body to release a retinol-binding protein. This can cause insulin resistance and increase your risk of developing diseases, such as cancer, dementia, asthma, and cardiovascular disease. Although it is hard, try to keep stress to a minimum. Take some time out of each day to sit and meditate.
Make time for activities you enjoy. These could be activities such as reading, yoga, and spending time with friends and family.
Incorporate moderate intensity exercise into your routine. Working out heavily can increase your stress levels, so participating in lower intensity exercise may help you shed pounds.
Sleep is essential to your overall well-being. Stress and excess belly fat can interfere with sleep. They can make it hard to get the sleep your body needs. If you get fewer than six hours of sleep per night, you may accumulate more fat. It might help to go to bed earlier and get some extra shuteye.
Stop smoking and drinking. Both of these can lead to a buildup of fat and can hinder weight loss.
Nu Image Medical has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.