When hypothyroidism goes unnoticed, people do not realize that their slower metabolism is wreaking havoc on their waistline. The same amount of calories consumed are not burned as efficiently. The symptom of general fatigue sets in and the afflicted individuals lose their desire for physical activity, which means even fewer calories are burned. Finally, thinking that eating will generate more energy, calorie intake increases but the combination of a slow metabolism and no physical output only compounds the problem. However, once diagnosed and treated, people with hypothyroidism can effectively reverse the process and return to a healthier weight.
Regular Healthy Meals
Consume at least three meals totaling 1,200 calories spread out over the course of each day as a means of reducing hunger while keeping blood sugars level and getting vital nutrients. Divide a plate into fourths. One fourth should feature meat, another grains and the last two vegetables or fruits and vegetables. Select whole grain options that might include oatmeal, quinoa and whole wheat instead of white bread, pasta or other refined starchy foods. Whole grains are also an ideal way to ensure that the diet contains enough fiber, which is essential for a healthy gastrointestinal system. Avoid high-fat, high sodium fast foods as much as possible. Satisfy snacking needs with fresh fruits or vegetables.
Move It to Lose It
Calorie restriction and a healthy diet are not enough to lose excess weight. A regular regimen of physical activity boosts metabolism and burns more calories while reducing insulin levels. If having been sedentary, 20 to 30 minutes of physical activity three times a week is good for starters. However, trainers recommend striving for a goal of 60 minutes a day. Choose activities that offer a cardiovascular workout and strength training. Strength training builds lean muscle, which burns anywhere from six to 10 times more calories.
Importance of Hydration
Water hydrates and lubricates, which enables the body to perform more efficiently. Water also plays a role in reducing appetite, minimizing bloating and water retention while improving gastric function. The old standard involved drinking approximately 64 ounces a day. However, more recent guidelines suggest drinking one ounce of water for every pound of body weight. Some fitness experts advise that increasing water intake when hitting a plateau might make a world of difference.
Certain medications designed to treat various medical conditions have weight gain as one of the side effects. However, avoid the urge to stop taking a medication before consulting with a physician. Some of the medications that may pose a weight problem include:
• Beta-blockers for hypertension and heart rate reduction
• Glimepiride, pioglitazone and similarly classified oral diabetic medications
• Estrogen and progesterone replacements
• Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft and similar antidepressants
• Carbamazepine, lithium and valproate for bipolar or seizure disorders