How to lose weight with thyroid disease is one of the most common concerns of patients. Weight gain affects almost half of the women with hypothyroidism. What diet to follow if you have a thyroid disorder is a question that most people struggle to answer.
A simple Google search will give you lakhs of results. However, gaining a deeper understanding of what foods you need to consume and avoid needs the advice of an expert. Once you get your diet plan, the difficult part begins.
A thyroid diet plan may require replacing many of your regular foods such as wheat flour or milk and curd. You may need to introduce a few new ingredients that you don’t usually consume. And these changes are for life!
When you actually start your weight loss journey, there are numerous challenges to overcome. Inevitably you may find yourself returning to old habits and getting increasingly frustrated. Here are 7 tips to help you stick to your diet without getting stressed:
Weight loss is a lifestyle, not a one-time task
After I lose 10 kgs, I can eat whatever I want. I just have to diet for 3 months, then I can eat the food I love again. NO!
Don’t think of the diet as a punishment you are giving yourself by avoiding your favorite foods. Instead, it is a conscious decision to take care of your body and give it the nutrients it needs to function well. These are nutrients that will help improve thyroid function over time.
Weight loss is not about restrictions for a few weeks or months. To lose weight in the long term and control your thyroid disease, you need to learn how to love healthy food and make it tasty.
Do not weigh yourself daily
Your journey will always have ups and downs. There are days when you may be bloated. Eating a high-carbohydrate meal can cause sudden weight gain because of water retention. Your menstrual cycle affects your weight too.
Seeing the number on the weighing scale go up can be demotivating. Instead, fix one day every one or two weeks to monitor your progress.
Make meal prep your best friend
For a couple of days, see what makes you turn to high carbohydrate meals. You will notice that most of them are very quick to prepare. When you are tired at the end of the day, making a soup or salad seems tedious, whereas Maggi would only take 2 minutes.
A way to overcome this is by planning your meals appropriately. Every Sunday, plan what you will eat throughout the week. Plan your grocery shopping accordingly, so you don’t have to run at the last minute to get missing ingredients. When you have some time, clean and chop the vegetables for the next day and refrigerate them. This will reduce your cooking time.
Your thyroid diet may need you to change what you were eating earlier. First, take some time to read and understand what foods you need to avoid and use and stock up your pantry accordingly. Eating healthy does not have to be a full-time task!
Keep a check on what snacks you bring into the house
What do you think of when you hear the word snacks? It could be chips, samosas, momos, or biscuits. The first step is to shift the mindset to understand that fruits and vegetables can also be snacks!
Snacktime is when most people are tempted to go for a high-calorie treat. Whether that is a hot cup of sugary tea or some cookies, some simple replacements can work wonders.
Make sure to keep some fruit easily accessible such as an apple or a banana. You can also cut a watermelon and store it to grab it on the go. Instead of opting for packaged food mainly fried or made of maida (refined wheat flour), you can opt for foxnuts or dry fruits.
The key is not to wait until you are starving. Plan your snacks in advance so that if you get hungry, you have access to a healthy option immediately. This will reduce your dependence on packaged snacks.
Avoid crash diets and sudden fasting
Typically, when people try to diet, they think they have to eat less. However, suddenly dropping your caloric intake can do more harm than good. It can leave you feeling tired and low on energy and even slow down your metabolism.
It is natural to feel tired and lethargic when you have thyroid problems. This makes it more critical to ensure that you eat at regular intervals. If you wait until you are starving, it also increases the chances of overeating at the next meal.
Fasting has also been found to affect thyroid hormone levels and the metabolism of thyroid medications. If you plan to fast, consult your thyroid doctor and follow their guidance.
Be consistent, not perfect
One bite of cake, one slice of bread, or any mess up from your regular diet is natural. Don’t let it throw you off and affect the next meals too.
The key to weight loss with any kind of diet is following it regularly for a long time. A minimum of three to six months is required to see noticeable results. If you keep getting on and off the diet every couple of days, it is difficult to see results to keep you going.
Weight loss with thyroid disease is challenging even by itself due to its nature. The thyroid hormones affect your metabolism and energy levels, and lower levels can even make digestion of food difficult. This is why losing weight with hypothyroidism can be more difficult.
The next time you see people posting pictures of rapid weight loss, and you have slower results, don’t feel bad. Just keep going forward.
You don’t have to wait for a new month or new year to take care of yourself. There will always be some family event, work stress, anxiety, or festival around the corner. If you wait for the ideal time to start your diet, you will be waiting forever.
Besides, the most essential part of starting a diet is ensuring that it does not affect your routine life. Trying to lose weight does not mean you cannot enjoy yourself or you can never go out. It means understanding the healthy choice and eating in moderation.
The bottom line:
Weight loss with thyroid disease is a challenge you can overcome with the proper support. After you make a diet plan, making sure that you follow it consistently is very important. Building a lifestyle where you eat and enjoy nutritious food is the key to good thyroid health.