Our thyroid function and health can have a HUGE impact on our metabolism, weight loss and weight gain. Unexpected weight gain and having difficulty losing weight for instance, can be one of the first visible signs of a thyroid condition called hypothyroidism.
28 Day Weight Loss Challenge member, Cicily, has faced hypothyroidism for sometime. For Cicily, this means she typically finds weight easy to put on and even harder to shift.
This is Cicily’s story and how she was able to improve her health and lose more than 42kgs despite living with hypothyroidism…
At first, Cicily ‘gave up’ trying to lose weight
Cicily was diagnosed with hypothyroidism when she was 20 and pregnant. Hypothyroidism can slow down metabolism which, in turn, can result in weight gain or the inability to lose weight.
“When I found out I had thyroid issues, I didn’t really understand how much it was impacting my life,” says Cicily. “But I was tired ALL the time.”
Cicily adds, “My whole life I’ve been a bit larger than average. My mum was a nutritionist, so growing up I always had healthy foods. She made everything from scratch. We never had packaged foods. It was frustrating never being able to lose the weight.”
Cicily says that because she struggled to lose the weight when she was younger, she ‘gave up’.
“I’ve always had a lot of trouble losing weight despite going on countless diets and trying my hardest over and over again,” she says.
“I began to have a toxic relationship with food, where I didn’t care if I ate healthy because it didn’t seem to matter. I think that’s where a big part of my health issues started.”
Making changes and discovering the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge
Cicily eventually stumbled across the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge and she says she started making a more conscious effort to check and monitor what she was eating.
“I’ve found the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge – the most effective program with my thyroid issues,” she says.
“Hypothyroidism means I should avoid a lot of foods, and also strive to eat a lot of certain foods. This is where the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge recipe hub was amazing! I could search for specific ingredients,” she says.
“Things like dairy, eggs, nuts, beans, chicken, beef, seafood and most vegetables are great for thyroid health. Gluten is something I try to avoid completely, soy I limit and make sure I eat fermented, organic or GM free. Highly processed foods also affect my thyroid negatively too.”
What’s more, Cicily reveals that exercise is great for hypothyroidism. It was just a bonus that the exercises on the Challenge were easy to follow, realistic and appropriate for busy mums to do at home and quick.
“Getting those extra endorphins pumping is so beneficial. It can help alleviate symptoms too,” she says.
“I do take medication for my thyroid. I have tried a few different kinds to see what suits me best. I have found since finding the right medication my thyroid health has improved dramatically.”
Cicily’s top tips for trying to lose weight if you suffer from hypothyroidism
Although every case of hypothyroidism is different, and should be evaluated by your healthcare practitioner, Cicily says these following tips helped her manage her condition successfully while also losing weight.
1. Know your foods
“Customise your meal plan around what you can and can’t eat. I make sure I have plenty of fish, nuts and wholegrains in my meal plan. I’ll avoid gluten using the GF search option.”
2. Talk to a health professional
“You should make sure you are on the correct medication, as it could hinder all of your efforts it you are not.”
3. Try to boost your metabolism
“Thyroid issues can also mean a slow metabolism, so eat foods that aid it and drink a lot of water. I try to drink around three litres of water a day.”
4. Get as much sleep as you can
“I know it’s not always possible to control this if you are a busy mum, but if you can go to bed early, then do.”
5. Keep going!
“You may go through stages of not losing anything. I hit a point last year where I didn’t lose anything for several months. You can’t let this dishearten you, it is difficult to lose weight with thyroid issues, but keeping your body healthy gives you the best chance at getting there.”
6. Try The Healthy Mummy Super Greens
“I found I was always exhausted and feeling flat during the day.
“The Healthy Mummy Super Greens have been an amazing energy boost for me. I’ve managed to lose 42kgs with Hypothyroidism by doing these things whilst on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge. It may be hard, but it is definitely possible!”
What foods should you eat/avoid if you have a thyroid disease?
Nutritionist Samantha Gemmell tells The Healthy Mummy certain nutrients and foods can help your body deal with thyroid disease, including:
“Most people know that iodine is good for the thyroid, but aren’t sure why,”Samantha explains. “Iodine is the building block for your thyroid hormones. The easiest way to include it is by consuming seaweed. If you don’t love sushi, why not grind up some kelp and sprinkle it over salads for a salty crunch?”
“Another one of the critical nutrients for thyroid health. Selenium is a natural antioxidant. In fact, it’s currently being studied as a potential treatment for autoimmune thyroid conditions. Eating enough selenium is simple – just a few Brazil nuts a day will get you a daily dose. Don’t go too crazy though – excess selenium can be bad for your body.”
“Making thyroid hormone is only half the battle. A lot of people have issues with converting the thyroid hormone into its active form. This is where zinc is critical. Zinc can be found in healthy amounts in seafood, eggs and meat. If you’re plant-based, you should be munching away on pumpkin seeds daily, and possibly consulting a health practitioner about supplementation.”
4. Vitamin A
“Cooking plant foods, such as carrots, in a fat source will greatly enhance the levels that you absorb. You can also get true vitamin A through animal sources such as butter, liver and egg yolks.”
When it comes to what food to avoid, at the top of Samantha’s list is excess caffeine and alcohol: “Anything that depletes the body of nutrients is going to worsen the problem at hand,” she explains.
High GI foods should also be kept in check, because keeping blood sugar levels steady helps keep your energy levels up. Finally processed foods are also on the avoid list.
“Fake food is not food, it’s a food-like product. When you’re healing your thyroid, you want to have nutrient-dense foods 90 per cent of the time. Processed foods aren’t just empty, they can even drain the nutrients already in your body.”
More information can be found at The Australian Thyroid Foundation.
For more on Cicily’s incredible 42kg weight loss transformation, watch this touching and inspiring video blow:
Join Cicily on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge
Our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge is an affordable, customisable weight loss program PROVEN to help mums reach their weight loss goals.
Each month is NEW Challenge theme and August is all about helping you BOOST your metabolism with food and exercise. Think recipes using and loaded with chilli, pepper, capsicum and ginger – ALL OF WHICH stimulate receptor cells in the body that increase fat mobilisation.
Our Challenge entails:
- 28 days of at home exercise routines (no gym needed) – with video instruction
- Customisable and breastfeeding friendly meal plans
- Time-efficient exercises for busy mums – under 30 mins
- Challenge combines Pilates exercises with interval and circuit training (HIIT)
- Suitable for basic to advanced fitness levels
- Home to thousands of EASY-TO-MAKE recipes!
To find out more on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge click here.