If you’ve been thinking your thyroid could be a potential reason why you’re not losing weight, today’s post is for you.
By understanding how your metabolism works, you can effectively take control of one of the most important factors in losing body fat.
In a previous post, I shared 3 Simple Ways To Make Your Metabolism Love You.
However, the rate of your metabolism can also be affected by many other factors in the body.
So today, lets talk about one of those important factors, your thyroid health.
If your metabolism is feeling sluggish, it may be caused by low thyroid function, also known as, hypothyroidism.
The thyroid is a gland that is located in front of the neck and plays a major role in many different aspects of your overall health.
One of the big roles of the thyroid is to regulate your metabolic rate.
Essentially the thyroid affects how active your metabolism is, and when healthy, can help you lose body fat and maintain a healthy body for life.
T3 is an active hormone in the fat burning process.
T4 is a non-active hormone that can be converted into T3 by the liver and kidneys.
Thyroid problems exist when these hormones are not functioning properly and are out of balance.
So if you think you may have hypothyroidism, check out these common symptoms.
So if you are experiencing these symptoms, rather than just making the assumption that you have hypothyroidism, due yourself a favor and see your physician.
Weight loss plateaus often occur when people follow prolonged excessive calorie deprivation diets.
You’ll often see people starving themselves in an attempt to lose weight fast.
Unfortunately, this is counter-productive as the body fires back by releasing less of the fat burning T3 hormone, thus slowing your metabolism and burning less calories at rest.
The body does this as a defense mechanism.
It’s called entering starvation mode.
Rather than burn calories at a normal rate during rest, the body slows your metabolism, thus allowing your body to survive longer.
This is not good, because in reality, you’re not starving in the wilderness.
Less production of T3 can also affect muscle repair, decrease protein synthesis, and cause sluggishness.
Again, this is not a good thing since maintaining and building muscle is one of the key drivers of a healthy and fast metabolism, and when you’re sluggish, you won’t move as much, thus burning less calories throughout the day.
Here’s Your Solution: if your goal is fat loss, of course a calorie deficit is required.
However, there are better strategies to achieve a calorie deficit, without ruining your metabolism.
One of these strategies is cycling your calories via carb cycling as well as incorporating a weekly cheat meal to keep your metabolism elevated during this calorie deficit.
A certain level of insulin production is required to convert T4 into the T3 fat burning hormone.
When following a severe zero carb diet, insulin levels are extremely low, thus thyroid function is negatively affected.
Here’s Your Solution: although I recommend you limit carbohydrates, I don’t recommend you 100% avoid them, especially if you’re suffering from hypothyroidism.
If your goal is fat loss, depending on your activity level and body type, I usually recommend you stick between 50-150 grams of carbohydrates per day.
Yes, you guessed it, with an increase in body fat, more inflammation is created in the body thus leading to negatively affect your thyroid health.
Here’s Your Solution: Follow a workout program designed for fat loss and get on a structured meal plan that contain quick, easy, and delicious recipes so you can consistently stick to it.
Not surprisingly, the foods you eat have a big impact on the health of your thyroid function.
Consumption of specific foods may actually reduce the production of T3, while the underconsumption of other healthy nutrients can also affect thyroid function.
Here’s Your Solution: Focus on the following thyroid healthy nutrients…
Iodine is used by the thyroid to produce the T3 and T4 hormones.
Foods rich in Iodine include:
Here’s another thing.
People diagnosed with hypothyroidism are generally instructed to stay away from foods containing goitrogens.
Goitrogens can interfere with the absorption of iodine and inhibit T4 to T3 conversion.
Foods containing goitrogens include cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach, and even fruits like strawberries and peaches.
But if you haven’t been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, continue eating these healthy foods.
Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B12:
Without proper levels of vitamin A, vitamin B2, and Vitamin B12, the body doesn’t produce sufficient amounts of the healthy hormones required for thyroid function.
Vitamin A is also required for proper absorption of iodine.
So even if you are consuming sufficient amounts of iodine, the body won’t absorb as much without vitamin A.
Get the majority of your dietary fat from monounsaturated sources like avocado, nuts, olive oil, and seeds as well as healthy seafood, and saturated fat, and limit the amount of polyunsaturated fats from refined vegetable oils like corn, soy, and canola oil.
The mineral selenium may also help in the conversion of T4 to T3 and works with iodine.
Foods high in selenium include: brazil nuts, tuna, beef, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, and halibut.
Over exposure to chemicals such as bromine, chlorine, and fluorine can affect the absorption of iodine in the body, thus reducing the production of T3 and T4 hormones.
Some municipal sources of tap water, swimming pools, and refined foods like bread, baked goods, soda, sports drinks, and vegetable oils can contain these chemicals.
Here’s Your Solution: drink filtered water, reduce time spent in chlorine pools, reduce consumption of refined foods containing these chemicals, and avoid cosmetics, shampoos, deodorants, and other personal hygiene products containing BPAs, parabens, and phthalates as these can not only affect estrogen and testosterone balance, but also thyroid health.
But don’t use this as an excuse.
For women, menopause can affect thyroid function due to the drop in progesterone and estrogen levels becoming more irregular.
The change in these hormones, along with the reduced T4 to T3 conversion, can negatively effect thyroid health in older women.
Also for aging men, reduced production of DHEA can also reduce T4 to T3 conversion, thus negatively effect thyroid health in older men.
Here’s Your Solution: Follow all the other solutions that I’ve given you, and you will be well on your way to keeping your thyroid healthy and your metabolism on fire.
Put this tips to create a healthy thyroid to work and spark up your metabolism for life.
Start by taking our FREE Live Lean Body Quiz to get access to the best program specific to your goals!
Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.
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