January 25

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1 Simple Way to Lose Weight with Hashimoto’s

By Sunny Brigham, MS, CNS

January 25, 2021


One of the biggest questions I get is how to lose weight with Hashimoto’s. Women feel an emotional connection to their weight or body image. This could be due to a few reasons.

  • Having a parent or sibling when growing up that talked a lot about other women’s weights in a positive or negative manner
  • Being around other women that diet frequently or restrict their calories for the purpose of looking “better” – that’s in quotes because the word better is relative
  • Tying your personal worth to your outward appearance – feeling like others won’t think you’re attractive
  • Feeling that thinness = beauty

I could go on here. There’s a lot that goes into what drives our emotional connection to our physical appearance.

And when I work with clients that have Hashimoto’s, their primary goal is weight loss because they feel like they can’t lose weight. In this blog, I’m going to tell you the one thing you need to do to lose weight with Hashimoto’s. And, no, it’s not eating less…I promise. After reading this blog, you’ll feel relieved at knowing the simple solution and motivated to make a change.

Let’s jump in!

The Weight Gain Isn’t Your Fault

I’ve seen women with Hashimoto’s gain 15 lbs per month and some as much as 30 lbs per month! Look, this is important for you to know. It’s nearly impossible to gain upwards of 60 lbs of fat in 3-4 months.

To gain a pound of fat, you have to consume 3,500 calories more than you burn. If you’re burning 2,000 cal/day, you need to eat 5,500 cal/day to gain a pound of fat for just that day. To gain 15 lbs, that’s an extra 52,500 calories you’d need to consume.

To put that into more perspective, that’s 77.5 Whoppers with cheese. So, if you’ve gained 15 lbs in one month, I guarantee it’s not because you ate 77.5 Whoppers with cheese ON TOP OF your normal daily food intake.

Right?

Rarely is weight gain tied to excessive caloric intake. Especially when it comes to Hashimoto’s weight gain. Your Hashimoto’s weight gain is due to your autoimmune condition. It’s due to water retention, inflammation, and an out of control immune system.

It’s not your fault! Repeat it with me…it’s not your fault! I know it’s easy to feel like you’ve eaten too much or not worked out enough, but that’s not the case at all. You can lose weight with Hashimoto’s but know how you got to where you are isn’t your fault.

Focusing on Weight Loss = Weight Gain

I’m a big proponent of weight loss without counting calories. And here’s why.

When you focus solely on calories, you tend to eat “diet” foods that leave you unsatisfied and craving more foods. People that consume diet foods tend to eat more calories at the end of the day. And those that focus on calorie restriction tend to store more body fat over time.

On top of that, restricting calories leads to overeating. When you’re starving your cells, your cravings increase and you eat more. Think of those “cheat days” that people have. They allow themselves to eat anything they want. And they overeat. They create inflammation, which causes water retention. And then they’re over hungry for several days after once they go back to restricting calories.

Add in the fact that focusing on weight loss and getting nowhere leads to increased stress. Stress causes the body to release cortisol. And cortisol creates insulin resistance and more inflammation. With this, comes cravings! You know, those cravings for crunchy, salty things?

Look, I’m all for losing weight. It’s important we feel good about ourselves. It’s important that we have a healthy view of our weight and our body. And it’s important to be healthy. But, you can get there without crash dieting or counting calories.

I promise.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Weight Loss

Here it is. The one thing you need to do to lose weight with Hashimoto’s. Focus on the inside. You cannot change the outside until the inside is well. I’m going to say that again…

You can’t lose weight until you’ve healed the inside!

Focusing on weight loss before healing is like spending your lottery winnings before winning the lottery. You get excited and hopeful only to have your soul crushed in the end when your numbers don’t come up.

With Hashimoto’s, your body is stressed. Your immune system isn’t functioning the way it should. And your digestive tract is on the fritz. You can’t absorb nutrients that you need and you’re probably eating things that contribute to inflammation (hellooooo gluten and other inflammatory foods).

If you change the way you think right now, you’ll be successful in the end. You’ll lose weight without focusing on it. And it’ll feel ah-MAZING! Focus on healing. Focus on putting your Hashimoto’s into remission…because that IS possible. Take time to focus on your health.

The weight is a side effect of your disease. When your disease is in remission, the weight will leave.

Conclusion

You may have come to this blog looking for a pill, potion, or quick fix to the weight gain. There is a fix, but you have to refocus what you need to fix first.

You can feel better on the inside and out.

Now you know the 1 simple thing you can do to have lasting weight loss with a Hashimoto’s diagnosis…focus on healing the inside first. This will help with your emotional state in reference to your weight. And, it’ll help you reduce your Hashimoto’s symptoms!

If you’re ready to start right now…and I know you are because you want to ditch those symptoms and feel better, keep reading!

Take the first step on healing the inside so you can lose weight by joining my low-cost gluten-free course ($19). Learn why you should try going gluten-free. You’ll get step-by-step guidance to achieving success by learning more than you ever wanted to know about how gluten affects Hashimoto’s.

Click below to learn more about the course!

References:

Park, S., Mori, R., & Shimokawa, I. (2017). The fat regulator neuropeptide Y and caloric restriction. Aging9(11), 2243–2244. https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.101338

Polivy, J., & Herman, C. P. (1985). Dieting and binging: A causal analysis. American Psychologist, 40(2), 193–201. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.40.2.193

  • What if you are already gluten/dairy/soy/grain/processed sugar free (mostly) and STILL gaining weight with exercise? I am currently training for a Half Ironman (6-8 hour triathalon) and gaining weight (4-5 lbs ) I am soooo big its embarrassing. I am working with an online nutrition company that encourages to eat plenty of food to fuel my training. But it seems as the food increases so does my weight regardless of 1-2 hours training 5 days a week and one 4-5 hour training session on the weekend. I am so frustrated! I need help! Currently toxin free for one year, Paleo for 6 years. No medication. TSH in January just under 7 ant antibodies just under 200. What gives??

    • Casandra…I’m so sorry to hear of your struggles with weight. While being GF, SF, and grain-free can be helpful, often it’s not enough. Most people don’t need to avoid all these things unless their body is reacting to those foods. There are a few things to think about here…your TSH is high. This causes a rapid slow down in your metabolism. So, eating more due to training may not be benefiting you because your TSH is not controlled. Secondly, those are great antibody numbers but they still indicate some inflammation and activation of the immune system is at play. Training at such intensity isn’t often helpful when inflammation is present. Just a few things to think about during your healing journey.

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