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Do you struggle to lose weight because of your underactive thyroid? These tips will help you lay the foundations for losing weight with hypothyroidism in a sustainable way and, more importantly, for improving your overall health.
Please note you should listen to your doctor’s advice. These tips are to be intended as a replacement for taking thyroid medication or following any other medical prescription.
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Losing Weight with Hypothyroidism: how to improve your mindset and have more willpower
You may think that you are struggling to reach your goals because you lack willpower. However, the reality is that willpower is finite for everyone, and there are also a lot of other factors that you cannot have control over. This is why it’s essential to focus first on those things you do have control over.
One of those things is your environment. You might not be able to choose what food is being served at a party or who your work colleagues are, but you can control your house environment and some facets of your work environment as well. You also can control who your friends are and what kind of social media content you’re following.
Setting your environment up for success is foundational to creating a more positive mindset. You also have control over the habits you choose to adopt, such as creating the habit of going for a walk every day, making yourself a healthy snack, reducing your stress, and getting enough sleep.
Here are some exercises that you can do to establish a better mindset. This in turn is going to help you create those healthy habits which are going to ultimately lead to your success and to your goal of losing weight with hypothyroidism.
1. Finding Your Moving “Why”
The first exercise is finding your “why“, which is what moves you. Here is a video on this. This allows you to have a deeply moving emotional reason for why you’re trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle. This “why” is the key to your success.
2. Make a Vision Board
The second exercise is to create a vision board. The aim of the vision board is to depict a healthy and vibrant version of yourself. In this way, you can more easily remember the destination you’re aiming for from day one. Make then sure to put it somewhere you do see every day.
3. Envision the Spirit and Energy of Somebody Who’s Healthy and Vibrant
The third practice is to envision the spirit and energy of somebody who’s healthy, vibrant, and confident in themselves, who nourishes their body and uses exercise as a way to reduce stress and feel good, instead of seeing it as just a way of losing weight.
Imagine then the energy and spirit of somebody who works out too hard, who is really disappointed with themselves because they didn’t lose that last 5 or 10 pounds, and who doesn’t have a healthy relationship with food.
Which person do you want to be? This is critical because a lot of us struggle with being way too hard on ourselves. Instead, the real goal should be to become a healthier and more energetic version of yourself.
4. Gain Clarity About What Self-Care Means To You
For this fourth exercise, I suggest you use a journal and answer the following questions. These will help you gain clarity about what self-care means to you.
The questions are:
- What would it look like if you choose to respect your body?
- What would it look like if to practice self-care?
- How can you implement more self-care, self-love, and self-respect for yourself?
Then, commit to implementing more of these practices in your everyday life.
5. Analyze your poor lifestyle decisions
The last exercise is to analyze some situations where you make poor lifestyle decisions and understand the factors that drive you in making these “bad” choices.
The lifestyle habits to assist you in losing weight with hypothyroidism
Once you’ve got your mindset in order, it’s important to address your lifestyle habits. Many people want to try all these crazy diets but they don’t even have a solid foundation in the most important healthy lifestyle habits.
Some of them are more obvious like learning how to eat more fruits and vegetables or getting enough high-quality proteins, incorporating more healthy fats, or consuming unrefined complex carbohydrates.
In addition, it is also really important to learn how to manage your stress, as high stress levels can really make you gain weight. It is also essential to get enough sleep, have solid meaningful relationships with others, exercise, and many more.
Working on these habits might not be as sexy as some weight loss pill, but once you have nailed them, you will start to effortlessly lose weight and feel better.
What to eat for losing weight with hypothyroidism
When it comes to the “perfect” diet for an underactive thyroid, the best thing you can do is to eat mostly whole foods. In addition, there are a few other dietary approaches that you can try with approval from your doctor.
One is called the autoimmune diet which aims to eliminate all potential allergens and inflammatory foods. Another one is an anti-inflammatory diet which aims to implement more of the top anti-inflammatory foods such as berries, fatty fish, broccoli, and turmeric, into your diet. Finally, if you have some food sensitivities, an elimination diet is probably the best way to go.
For example, a lot of people with hypothyroidism have gluten sensitivities. If you think this is your case, try removing gluten from your diet for several weeks and see how you feel. If nothing changes, you can then reintroduce it slowly.
You’re also going to check yourself for other potential nutritional issues. I suggest starting this with a seven-day food diary. In this diary, you’re going to include the food you eat, how and when you move your body, your stress level, and how you sleep. I have a link down in the description for a template you can use for this food diary.
Once the seven days are over, you can do a little sleuthing to see if you can find any potential issues with your diet. Are you eating mostly high-quality minimally processed foods? Do you get enough sleep? Are you managing your stress levels? What might your sweet spot be with exercise?
In addition, check with your doctor to see if you can get a blood test to check for any vitamin deficiencies. Some good ones to check are iodine, iron,n selenium, zinc, copper, and tyrosine. If you have an iodine deficiency consider cooking the following foods because when raw they can inhibit the thyroid from absorbing iodine. Those foods include cruciferous veggies like kale, broccoli, and cauliflower as well as peanuts, turnips, grape seeds, cassava, and soy.
With all those basics implemented you’re now going to have a solid foundation. It is then possible to implement other strategies to lose weight. Make first sure you have your doctor’s approval and avoid following ridiculous diets like the keto diet. For a free custom safe and healthy eating plan, see the link here and just remember it’s always possible that you’re not going to get to your initial weight loss goal. Sometimes we need to ditch the scale and just realize that the most important thing is regaining your health and feeling energetic and vibrant. You living a long fulfilled life is more important than hitting a number on the scale.