It is so common to hear – “I can’t lose weight because I have hypothyroid”. And many nutritionists and health professionals will claim that “this is not true”, that “thyroid has nothing to do with weight gain.” But let me tell you, it is wrong. Hypothyroid does have a role to play. How does it impact your weight and how can you deal with it? Let’s find out what Nutritionist Niti Dhulla, Founder-Owner of 'NutriDietbyNitiDhulla' has to say on this....
When you have hypothyroid, it means that your thyroid gland is not able to effectively produce the thyroid hormones – T3 and T4. So, the brain (via TSH), keeps signalling the thyroid to produce more T3 and T4. But the thyroid tends to act like an employee who is not willing to do his/her job.
With less T3 and T4, your body cannot use energy properly. So, you feel tired, disinterested and lack alertness. Moreover, you find it difficult to tolerate cold temperatures as the body’s temperature regulation goes haywire. Bad mood, hair fall, irregular menses, poor bone & muscle strength, lustreless/ pigmented skin and constipation follows. As a result of all of this, you begin to put on weight. Doctors recommend thyroid tests and you land up with a pill to gulp for your entire life. With time, the medication dose increases and you make peace with the fact that this will stay. Well, life gets dull, monotonous and irritating.
But what if I give you simple nuskas to beat all of this? To gain control of your health and your thyroid levels. To reverse all the annoying symptoms and feel energetic back again. To eat without the fear/ guilt of gaining weight. You must be thinking that I am either lying or I will come up with something super-complicated to follow. Hang on! It is very simple.
Follow the pointers below for next 4 weeks and notice a change yourself –
Tip #1 - Have a meal within 30 mins of waking up (If you are on medication, don’t forget to take the pill as soon as you wake up).
Preferably a fresh fruit or some soaked nuts will give you energy to get going with your day. It will prevent weight gain in the long run and provide the much-needed dose of anti-oxidants! Say bye bye to hair fall and dull skin!
Tip #2 - Include 3 different season-specific millets in your diet per week.
For example, Nachani/ Ragi, Jowar, Bajra, Kaang/ Foxtail millet, Kodo millet, Proso millet etc. Millets are the most unadulterated nutritious food available to us. Inclusion of these will prevent muscle cramps and joint pain.
"You must be thinking that I am either lying or I will come up with something super-complicated to follow. Hang on! It is very simple."
Tip #3 - Stroll for 30 mins daily.
Preferably after lunch and dinner – Remember the key word here is ‘stroll’ and not ‘brisk walking’. Good digestion is the key to prevent weight gain. A good stroll post meals helps to improve physical activity and promotes digestion.
Tip #4 - Distraction-free meals
Skip the gadget – television, laptop, mobile phone and even newspaper. Sit down on the floor cross-legged while eating and make sure you eat with full attention. Portion control will help you feel light on stomach and eventually help to attain fat loss, while improving on your nutrient reserves.
Tip #5 - Exercise for 90 mins per week
Fixing exercise into your routine is art. Yes, I am not exaggerating.
Firstly, you should only indulge in an exercise routine that you enjoy. If your trainer gives you exercises that you dislike, then RUN AWAY.
Secondly, if time is a constraint, take help of a health professional or get in touch with us, to beautifully weave exercise into your life without disturbing your existing plans.
Thirdly, follow a workout plan, which is diverse. Variety is needed not just in food but also in workout. It should cover 4 parameters of fitness – flexibility, strength and endurance, body-mind connect (read more about this in next blog).
When you include all the 5 pointers mentioned above, you will go through these 3 phases –
A. Nutrient Replenishment - Please note, that initially you will gain a few kilos (about two to three), because your nutrient reserves are refilled. Muscles are built, bones get stronger and energy levels get better.
B. Fat Loss Initiation – Within 3 to 4 weeks, you will notice that your clothes get looser and it fits you better. You observe a change in how your skin looks, reduction in hair fall and regularity in your bowel movements.
C. Fat Loss Maintenance – After about 6 to 8 weeks, the scale has now budged, but you no longer care about it, because you are continuously losing on inches and feeling stronger from within. You walk better and can easily sustain 30 minutes of exercise. Your aches and pains have vanished.
In another 1 month, it’s time to check your thyroid levels again. And boohoo! Here’s the magic!
Stay tuned for more such informative posts !
- By Niti Dhulla
Owner and Founder at Online Nutrition Consultancy “NutriDietByNitiDhulla”
(Gold Medalist in Foods Nutrition and Dietetics, Nutritionist, Certified Yoga Instructor and Certified Acupressure Therapist)