Is your Thyroid Sabotaging your Weight-loss Goals?

Never miss a gym class but you’re still not losing any weight? It might be time to look at your thyroid. This small but mighty gland is located just below the Adam’s apple in your neck and is responsible for the production of hormones that regulate several metabolic processes, such as your heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and your weight.

If your thyroid becomes underactive, your metabolism will slow as a result, which can lead to a variety of symptoms such as unexplained weight gain (and difficulty losing weight), excessive fatigue, cold hands and feet, trouble sleeping, slow, foggy movements and speech, persistent pins and needles, breathlessness, dizziness, heart palpitations, digestive issues, dry skin, and a low libido.

Some of these symptoms can be passed off as the result of a tough day (or week), which means there are many people living with an underactive thyroid who are not seeking treatment. According to the World Health Organisation, there are 750 million people currently living with a thyroid issue, and a whopping 1.6 billion people at risk for thyroid dysfunction.

A few years ago, I personally struggled to shift weight, and despite countless doctor’s appointments, nobody could tell me why. It wasn’t until I saw a functional medicine doctor who thoroughly checked my thyroid levels that I realised I had a slow metabolism. Most GPs don’t perform in-depth thyroid testing. I see it over and over again. To get your thyroid checked, ask your medical specialist to test all T3, T4, Thyroid antibodies, TSH and reverse T3.

How to support your thyroid (aka, your metabolism)

Once you’ve identified any potential thyroid issues, there are many tweaks you can make to your diet to help it function as optimally as possible. One of the main reasons people have subpar thyroid health is that they are lacking certain micronutrients in their diet. Here’s what to include:

Iodine: This can be found in foods like kelp, spirulina, chlorella and other sea vegetables.

Selenium: Get your fix via Brazil nuts, sardines and pasture-raised chicken, turkey and eggs.

Zinc: Found in things like organic eggs, wild-caught salmon, grass-fed beef and organ meat, pumpkin and chia seeds, spinach and almonds.

Fat-soluble vitamins: Score your vitamin A from orange veg and dark leafy greens, vitamin D from seafood, eggs, fermented dairy and mushrooms, vitamin E from almonds, dark leafy and mustard greens, avocado and olives, and vitamin K from fermented dairy, grass-fed beef, dairy and eggs.

Iron: Sources of iron include grass-fed beef and organ meat, chicken, duck, turkey, fish, quinoa, lentils, nuts, and leafy greens. Be sure to take iron with a form of vitamin C (like oranges) as this assists absorption.

B-complex vitamins: These include grass-fed beef, poultry and fish, organic eggs and dairy products.

Tyrosine: Think soybeans, beef, lamb, pork, fish, chicken, nuts, seeds, eggs, dairy and avocado.

Vitamin C: This can be found in most whole foods, but especially in all types of berries and citrus fruits, watermelon, capsicum, leafy greens, broccoli, Brussel sprouts and cauliflower.

Omega 3 fatty acids: Get this from wild-caught fish (especially fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel), flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts.

About Bec

Bec Miller is a qualified nutritionist, founder of Health with Bec and specialises in weight loss and gut health. She is the host of the Body Bites with Bec podcast and works with women to help them achieve long-term, sustainable results. For years, Bec struggled with weight fluctuations, a slow thyroid and chronic digestive issues. As a healthy young woman who visited multiple GPs and specialists whilst studying nutrition, it drove her crazy to say the least. 

It took around four years of her own research (and finally finding the right functional medicine doctor) to discover that she had a multitude of food intolerances, an imbalanced microbiome and a slow thyroid. Only then was she able to heal herself and find a way of eating that kept the foodie side of her happy, her bloating at bay (this was life changing), her energy sustained and her weight stable easily. Find out more here, or follow her on Instagram here.

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