Weight loss is a common side effect for those with an overactive thyroid, and it’s true that the thyroid hormone (TH) is a key hormone in terms of metabolism and weight loss; but hold off on the celebration – these natural substances are not the newest, no effort way to lose weight. Here’s what you need to know.
It’s well known that severely limiting your calorie intake (as many dieters start out doing) has been found to be counterproductive – you simply trigger inborn, natural survival instincts that actually lower your metabolic rate. You starve yourself and don’t lose a pound. What you need to do is eat enough of the right type of (nutrient dense) calories so that you will lose weight the healthy, lasting way.
The thyroid hormone that’s getting all the attention in terms of weight loss is made up of two parts, Thyroxine (T4) the most abundant form of thyroid hormone and Triiodothyronine (T3). T4 is changed into the more active form, T3. This is the one you would like to increase. Those who have thyroid issues either don’t produce enough T4 or they can’t convert it into the T3 form. T3 is known to directly impact the metabolism in mitochondria (cell powerhouses) and regulates the metabolism of fat, protein and carbs.
You can impact your thyroid levels best by eating a nutrient rich, balanced diet that has enough calories. Not empty calories, but nutrient dense calories. As we mentioned earlier, when most people start a diet plan, they cut calories, but usually lower the level too far. Not getting enough calories causes the body to lower its metabolic rate (not producing thyroid hormone is one mechanism used) in order to more effectively use the food it does get.
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Thyroid Hormone And Weight: The Truth Continued…
Another great way to increase thyroid levels is exercise. Research has found that the heart rate you workout at is directly related to the level of thyroid hormone in your blood. As a result, high intensity exercise and weight training need to be a standard part of your routine. You might also try high intensity interval training to get your heart rate up further and cause the natural release of TSH, which when elevated signals the release of thyroid hormones.
You notice we are not suggesting you take any medication, as these substances are intended for those who have a diagnosed thyroid condition such as hypothyroidism that can be treated (not cured) with drugs. A healthy diet and regular exercise are the only safe, effective and natural ways to help you optimize your thyroid hormone production and set your body up for efficient weight loss.
So while research has found excess thyroid hormones can produce more weight loss than just dieting, the studies have also shown that once the hormone is stopped the weight is typically regained. That’s not what you’re after. Using thyroid hormones when you do not need to might also cause you to lose muscle protein and set yourself up for other metabolic issues, perhaps even serious, life threatening consequences.
It seems that metabolism is only one part of the weight loss picture. The relationship between our metabolic rate, energy balance and weight is complex and likely affected by many factors. Altering one isn’t likely to bring the results you might expect.
To your good health,