Hypothyroidism is a common condition that occurs as a result of an underactive thyroid. This condition results in people producing low amounts of thyroid hormones.
The main function of thyroid hormones is to regulate our metabolism. If our thyroid is underactive, it may result in our metabolism slowing down, which can lead to weight gain, tiredness, and feeling lethargic.
Hypothyroidism is very common in middle-aged women and the symptoms can often overlap with the menopause. It’s believed this may be associated with the drop in oestrogen levels that occur during the menopause, which then impacts on our thyroid function.
An underactive thyroid often goes undetected, as the symptoms can be presumed to be related to the menopause or just general fatigue. However, it can be easily detected using a blood test and successfully treated through your GP or health care practitioner.
How does an underactive thyroid impact weight?
As mentioned above, one of the main functions of thyroid hormones is to regulate your metabolism. If your thyroid is underactive, it means your metabolism will be slower, which can lead to weight gain or slower weight loss if you're trying to lose weight.
Can I still lose weight on the programme if I have an underactive thyroid?
Yes! It's definitely possible to lose weight on the programme with an underactive thyroid. However, your weight loss might be a little slower.
Here we have a story from Jo, who has successfully lost weight on the programme despite being told by her GP that she had an underactive thyroid.
How do I stay motivated if my weight loss is slow?
Keep in mind that weight is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to your overall health.
To stay motivated, we'd recommend taking the focus away from the scales and instead looking at the other benefits of changing your diet and lifestyle. For example, are you sleeping better? Do you have more energy? Do your clothes feel looser? Have you had a change in mindset?
It can be a good idea to write down these positive changes you've noticed in your journal. Then on days when you need a boost of motivation, you can use these journal entries to reflect on how far you've come.
Also try not to compare your progress to others on the programme. We each have different backgrounds, goals, and health conditions that can impact how quickly we lose weight. Just because your weight loss is slower than others, it doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong.
Do I need to adapt the programme recommendations if I have hypothyroidism?
No, you won't need to make any changes to our recommendations if you have an underactive thyroid. Reducing your intake of added sugars and refined carbohydrates are great ways to promote weight loss with an underactive thyroid. Also make sure you're having three balanced meals a day, including a good source of protein, plenty of non-starchy vegetables, and a serving of complex carbohydrates.
We also take a holistic approach to health by looking at exercise, sleep, and stress, all of which will have a big impact on your weight loss and overall health.
- Hypothyroidism can impact your weight and the rate at which you lose weight, but weight loss is definitely still possible
- Weight loss is only one measure of success. We suggest moving your focus away from the scales and instead measuring and celebrating non-scale victories.
- If you have hypothyroidism and you feel this is impacting on your day-to-day life, consider booking an appointment with your GP