Thyroid And Weight

Most of my life I have struggled with weight.  I have also been told that many obese people have thyroid problems, and this contributes A LOT to their weight gain, and difficulty losing weight, or keeping it off.   And it is especially likely that they have a thyroid problem, if they have lots of family members who are seriously obese (I do).  

So...    What exactly is a thyroid?  Where is it located, and what does it have to do with gaining or losing weight?

Your thyroid is a gland in your throat, which plays a VERY big part in how fast your metabolism is (a.k.a., how quickly your body burns up its stored food and energy), and your general energy and mood levels.

Now even though I will mostly be discussing the SLOW thyroid in this blog, I would first like to take a couple of minutes to also go over FAST thyroids, and overactive metabolisms, just to promote knowledge and understanding. 

Thyroid Too Fast-- HYPERthyroidism 

If your thyroid is too FAST, then you'll have your own set of problems.   You might just have the typical symptoms, or your metabolism might be up in the clouds, causing you to be very thin and lose weight too fast.  Some even have symptoms like bulging eyes.  You might have a fast pules, feel anxious or shaky.  Or get hot very easily.   Not everyone with an overactive thyroid will have an overactive metabolism too.  But for those who do, you might feel frustrated with how thin you are. It may seem that no matter how much you eat, or lay around the house, or pump weights in the gym-- you just cannot seem to build u any body mass.

I want to remind everyone to not be too judgmental of people with a super-fast metabolism.  Sure, joking around, we might all think, "I wish I could eat whatever I want, and stay thin." But it comes with its own set of problems that can be as bad as being overweight.  Women might feel like they don't fill out a bikini, bra, tight dress, or yoga pants very well.   They spend their lives buying padded bras, or padded underwear.   Or saving up for risky surgeries.   Feeling insecure around shapely women.   For men, they are often ostracized by other men or boys, for not being "manly" or "muscly" enough.  They get bullied a lot in school, because other guys think of them as "wimpy".  Problems like this can really be painful and frustrating to live with.

And while they may be thin, they can still get clogged arteries, diabetes and a variety of heart problems.  So they still have to eat right, because in their case-- thin does NOT equal healthy.  So please try to be considerate of these folks, and the pain they might be living with.
Thyroid Too Slow-- HYPOthyroidism

But...   If your thyroid is too SLOW, then the exact opposite is true.  You may feel like you don't eat any more, or exercise any less than other people-- but you are still overweight!  And even when you go on a diet and exercise, it feels like it is twice as difficult (and takes longer) for you to lose the weight, or keep it off!   And you gain it back very quickly.  

Other symptoms of a slow thyroid can be:

  • Feeling tired, weak, or depressed.
  • Mood swings.
  • Dry skin and brittle nails.
  • Not being able to stand the cold.
  • Constipation.
  • Memory problems or having trouble thinking clearly.
  • Sleep disorders. 
  • Heavy or irregular menstrual periods.

Can My Doctor Do Anything About My Slow Thyroid?

Well...   In very extreme cases, some people might need surgery.   But most of the time, the problem is not an immediate threat, and can be treated.

There are hormone therapies for thyroid problems, which can be prescribed by your doctor....

But if you are like me, then you really prefer to achieve health in as natural a way as possible.   Especially since fooling around with hormones brings its own set of problems...

I'm not saying there is no place for medical treatment of the thyroid.  You may have a severe enough case where that is your only option.  Which is why I strongly suggest that everyone speak to their doctor before making any lifestyle or diet changes. My video and blog are not meant as a substitute for medical advice, or medical treatment.  But it is helpful information.    

What Is Causing My Thyroid To Be Too Slow, And What Can I Do About It?

A lot of the time, a thyroid is slow because it BADLY needs a nutrient called "iodine", but it has a problem absorbing or processing it. 

Furthermore there are foods which can BLOCK your iodine receptors, and slow your thyroid down even more.  

So I did some research, and this is what I found out.  There are foods that a person with a slow thyroid SHOULD NOT eat, because they contain something called “goitrogens”. Apparently, goitrogens cause your thyroid (and metabolism) to be too slow.  Flourine is another problem for a slow thyroid, as it blocks the iodine receptors.   

So if you have a SLOW thyroid, here is a list of foods that contain either goitrogens, or flourine, which you should avoid:

Onions (contain fluorine)
Tea (contains flourine
Coffee (contains flourine)
Artificial sweeteners
Soy (or anything made from it)
Peanuts (and most nuts, except almonds)
Mustard greens
Brussels’ sprouts
Cassava root

Ok...  I Know What Foods To Avoid Now.   But Are There Any Foods Or Natural Supplements That I CAN Take / Eat To Improve My Thyroid?  If So, What Are They?

Yes.  If your thyroid is slow, then you need to eat more foods that contain “Iodine” and the amino acid “L-Tyrosine”.  These are VERY good for your thyroid, and help it to produce healthy thyroid hormones-- thus raising your energy levels, improving your mood, and making it easier for you to lose weight and keep it off. 

The GOOD foods that contain either iodine or L-Tyrosine and are good for your thyroid are:

Sea salt

**Kelp**, avocados, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, squash, asparagus, mushrooms, potatoes, peppers

Bananas, cantaloupe, kiwi, citrus, strawberries.
Apples, apricots, grapefruit, grapes, pineapple

Grains and Nuts:
Wild/brown rice, cream of wheat, whole grains, almonds, brazil nuts

Fresh Herbs:
Parsley, rosemary, garlic

Eggs, seafood, chicken, turkey, lamb

Ok.   And What About Supplements?   Which Ones Should I Take To Boost Thyroid Health?

Eating the above foods does help quite a bit, yes.   But honestly, your best bet to deliver the nutrients you need more directly, is to take L-Tyrosine and Iodine in the form of natural supplements.   

Take a Kelp supplement. Kelp is the BEST natural source of iodine, and contains the highest levels.  But rather than eating kelp, a supplement is best, to ensure that you are getting a significant amount.   

Also, take an L-Tyrosine supplement.   Both of these can be found online, and in many health food stores.    Follow dosing instructions, and do not exceed the recommended amount.  


If you are taking a multivitamin that contains iron or calcium, or if you take antacids-- DO NOT take them at the same time as the L-Tyrosine or the Kelp supplements.   

There is no danger in doing so...    But it can cause the other supplements to not work.   Please take your multivitamin several hours apart from your L-Tyrosine and Kelp. 

Here is to your thyroid health, and pairing it with great weight loss results.  :) 

1 comment:

  1. Have you been tested for Hashimoto's condition? Is your thyroid normal size or enlarged?