Trying everything but no weight loss!


I am new to this site and I am hoping someone might be able to give me some good weight loss tips. I have been hypothyroid for three years and my blood test results are optimal. My tsh is under 1, my free t4 is mid range and my free t3 is also mid range and I feel we'll BUT I can't shift any weight despite working out three to four times a week and dieting like crazy. It's so demoralising! Is it possible to be slim with our condition?

Thanks for your help


39 Replies

  • I exercise everyday 30 mins and walk 30 mins (slow walk) diet too like you. I have lost 0.9 pounds a week since February. initially i was happy but now its getting tough and mentally exhausting. maybe we need to fix our adrenals? my range is similar to yours and im on Armour. Really dont know what to do next.

    Sorry not a positive reply but there are others like you and it sucks :(

  • Yes, adrenals could well be part of the equation. Make sure you get plenty of rest as well as exercise and good quality food too.

    It is very frustrating isn't it? I'm in the same boat :(

  • Low Dose Naltrexone good for weight loss Sue :))

  • This is from Thyroidscience. PS you can enlarge the page if it is small print:-

  • This doesnt work for me. Im on Armour thyroid and TSH 0.44 FT3 5.9 FT4 9.2 :(

  • On reading the link, it is when some patients are not on a suppressive dose that weight is gained. Excerpt:

    To keep this critique as short as possible, I selected only one sign of hypothyroidism, weight gain, and one symptom, depression, to prove that Dr. Guttler’s belief is wrong. I selected weight gain and depression for two reasons: (1) many patients develop these only after becoming hypothyroid, and (2) many patients report that they continued to suffer from weight gain and depression while on "adequate" T4-replacement, but then recovered from them upon switching to TSH-suppressive doses of thyroid hormone (usually T4/T3 or T3). Many alternative thyroid doctors have anecdotally confirmed these patients’ reports. But we don’t have to depend on anecdotes to confirm them; we have studies that do.


    Dr Toft ex of the BTA says (not dealing with weight gain but wellbeing):-

    But some need a higher dose of levothyroxine to suppress serum TSH and then the serum-free T4 concentration will be elevated at around 24-28pmol/l. This ‘exogenous subclinical hyperthyroidism’ is not dangerous as long as serum T3 is unequivocally normal – that is, serum total around T3 1.7nmol/l (reference range 1.0-2.2nmol/l).

  • You may had food sensitivities and that keeps your weight up. Did your Dr check for thyroid antibodies? Make sure you don't have Hashimoto's which could show up as a hypothyroid on labs

  • Hi wellness I do have Hashi's. What does that mean in terms of weight loss?

  • Hashi can show up as a hypothyroidism. I do believe, that adjusting diet and ruling out food sensitivities, can make a big difference in how you feel and with your weight as well. Hypothyroidism simply slows down the body's overall metabolism and fat burning. Inability to burn fat for energy also contributes to fatigue and chronic cravings for sweets and starchy foods.

  • My daughter eats very healthy and eats no carbs. She exercises for 2 hrs 4 days a week, cardio and light weights. Despite all her efforts she can't lose weight. She only maintains her weight. If she ate a balanced menu she would gain much weight very fast.

  • Im actually thinking candida and low stomach acid which would feed the candida. There's articles on TPAUK about a link between Candida and hypot. If i have it it is mild though. I do have problems with wheat and possibly milk. Ive cut out wheat and reduced milk intake. Im also taking digestive enzymes to see if that helps

  • vwellness wrote:

    Make sure you don't have Hashimoto's which could show up as a hypothyroid on labs

    Please explain further what you mean in your comment above. Autoimmune thyroid disease (frequently referred to as Hashimoto's) is by far the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the UK. Most of us here will have a positive thyroid antibody test. What are the implications of this with regard to weight loss?

  • It's best not to cut your food intake too much as this can be detrimental to your weight loss. Eating healthy foods is key as is avoiding sugar and processed foods.

    I found Slimming World was very good when I was properly medicated. I had good weight loss and I didn't feel hungry. It is based on healthy eating so certain foods you can eat as much as you like, others are limited but you can have a good amount of them and others (sweets, chocolate etc) are very much more limited.

    Some find Weight Watchers to be good but I was hungry all the time and didn't lose a single pound!

    Others find the Paleo diet very good. It is also based on healthy, wholesome foods but also eliminates some of the foods that tend to cause problems, like wheat. This is another 'diet' that is based on what you eat rather than how much.

    I hope that helps.

    Carolyn x

  • And some swear by intermittent fasting, like the 5:2 diet, and it has proven health benefits too. However, this is not one to try if you have sluggish adrenals. Get the adrenals sorted out first if you want to try it :)

  • Hi Caroline I wanted to do slimming World but none in my area. The SW website version is expensive (might try anyway). Ive just got "400 calorie fix" but am a little disappointed tbh. my TSH: 0.44 FT4: 9.2 FT3: 5.9 on 2 grains. Gone up to 2.5 but have no bloods for this dose. Im thinking 3 grains might be right for me. Any ideas?

  • You may find you need 3 grains. How long have you been on 2.5 grains? If it's been more than 6 weeks you could give 3 grains a try. I don't think you'd need more than that if you are feeling well, but it might be the missing link and you may find you feel even better. Your TSH is still in range (I think) and there is no need to worry unless your TSH goes below 0.04 or you start experiencing hyperthyroid symptoms.

    You might be better with a book on Paleo instead of forking out all that money. To be honest, the reason I was happy to pay £5 a week on SW was because of the meetings and support. I don't think I'd be willing to pay that much for a diet plan without that.

    There are various free calorie counting/food logging websites around. I like Only go for losing 1lb a week though. You might find you lose more. If you try to lose it too quickly you might come into problems because of your thyroid. Slow and steady :)

  • Thanks Caroline. I might need to pick your brain more. Can i PM you? (and how do i do that?) Im on myfitnesspal and have found it very good. I tend to use exercise more to reduce my calories than starving myself, but im fed up with all the effort and very little return. I remember when i lived on 3 choc bars a day and was a happy size 12 :(

    Ive been on 2.5 for about 5 weeks now starting to feel a lot more tired in the evening than before. I posted about how to take Armour a couple of days as i have no bloods for 2.5 grains but from my bloods at 2 grains and 1.75 grains i would say going up to 3 should be ok. I know my adrenals and DHEA are low but that was from December need to check again. what do you think? :)

    Any way Thyroiduk can get some kind of discount on Slim World? Could be a good relationship there as it seems alot of ladies have done well on it.

  • It would be best if you posted questions on here because there are others who may know more than me, but feel free to PM me to let me know you have posted. To send a message you click on your name on the green bar at the top which brings down a menu, then click 'messages' :)

    It does sound like you would be ok with 3 grains. Listen to your body, take your temperature and heart rate and note your symptoms.

    It would be good to get a relationship between TUK and Slimming World wouldn't it. I don't know how practical that would be.

    I find myfitnesspal very good for keeping an eye on what I'm actually eating :)

    Hopefully the increase to 3 grains will help with your weight loss. It seems the average patient needs 3-5 grains.

    Carolyn x

  • Very true - eat wholesome foods and eliminate high sensitivity foods that make you feel tired, gain weight and feel "blah"

  • ive just started WW again online and am up a pound this week...i feel like crying!! that said, im not at optimal levels yet, tsh was 2.57 last week...t4 mid range.

    would love some advice, im not hashis and have gone gluten free but that hasnt helped either!

  • Personally I found WW made things worse. There is not enough food allowed per day to keep the metabolism going if you are hypothyroid, in my experience. I believe it also puts stress on the adrenals making things even worse. I was hungry all the time and didn't lose a single pound. Slimming world worked much better for me but even that doesn't work for me if my thyroid isn't properly treated.

    I think your best bet for now would be to eat wholesome, healthy foods. Avoid processed foods and low fat foods (unless they are naturally low fat, like fruit and veg) and stick to eating as natural as possible. Try to get plenty of lean protein such a chicken, fish and so on. Eat when you are hungry and just enough to feel satisfied. When you are optimised you should then be able to lose weight more effectively.

    Your TSH is still pretty high so no wonder you are having trouble losing weight :(

    It will hopefully help when you get an increase in your thyroid meds :)

    Carolyn x

  • Sign up to myfitnesspal it's free and basically works like weightwatchers. keep your info from ww too and the two may help? but slimming world looks the better choice.

    Ive found the exercise I do more beneficial. half an hour aerobics actually gives me more energy for the day. Im really fit now but the weight is holding me back :( If you see a little fat woman racing past you it could be me! :)

    Something else that helped is i didnt weigh myself because i would get depressed when i did it and just carried on with the diet.

  • Did you measure your waist and all that you might be smaller that way? It's depressing i know. The problem with gluten free depending on how you look at it is there are more calories in gf foods and bread :( but it does me the world of good digestive wise!

  • thanks Carolyn,

    my doc didnt want to increase me after last tests even though im still symptomatic, although i have lots more energy etc...the funny thing is i had a couple of weeks of just eating what i wanted and didnt gain any weight! so i kind of thought it was catching up with me this week even though im doing WW...but then its designed for people with a normal metabolism isnt it???

    is the Mary Shomon book "the thyroid diet" good? my sister got it for me but i havent really started applying it yet.

    thanks for the advice!

    i might try and do my own eating plan then...although i find that hard, im better with some sort of "system" to stick to! the alternative WW program "filling and healthy day" is probably better, where you eat unlimited wholefoods, proteins etc...has anyone had success with this?

  • I find the same thing since getting nearly there with my thyroid medication. I haven't gained weight recently despite eating what I want however, when I reduce my calorie intake, I can't lose weight! Very strange isn't it. I know I'm not optimised yet (although much better than I was) so that is probably why. Hopefully when we are both optimised we'll be able to lose weight :)

  • yay to that!!! think i might go and get meself a nice ice-cream and sod WW today.... ;)

  • Just don't go overboard! Try to eat healthily most of the time so you don't gain, but the occasional treat doesn't hurt. Enjoy the ice-cream :)

  • I didnt have one in the end..will try and stick it out for a few more days!

  • Now that's what I call willpower! :)

  • Hypothyroidism simply slows down the body's overall metabolism and fat burning. Inability to burn fat for energy also contributes to fatigue and chronic cravings for sweets and starchy foods

  • I know it's not to everyone's taste, but it's working for me. I became vegan in December after watching my daughter blossom after she turned vegan. I eat so much now that I should be putting on weight, but I've gone from 12 st 4 lb down to 10 st 10 lb without doing anything extra. I have more energy and my bowels now behave as they should. Every time my endo lowered my levothyroxine I put on weight. I still have issues that we are working on but I'm mid endo due to house move. I love the food and the explosion of taste and for anyone who cooks then it's easy. As I'm vegan for health reasons not ethical I do occasionally eat things that aren't vegan and Ice cream on a hot day is one of them. Maybe try it for a few weeks and see if you manage to lose weight. Good luck.

  • That's interesting and I'm glad it's working for you. You might want to keep an eye on your iron, folate and B12 but it sounds like this way of eating is suiting you very well :)

  • Thank you, I will. I try to be very careful to eat the right things to make sure I have a balanced diet and take a lot more notice what I'm eating now.

  • I was so interested in your always happier eating "plant foods " than meat etc.

    Not sure how I'd give up dairy foods though ...think I'd find it hard.Can you recommend any reading on Vegan diets?

    I once read that what we prefer to eat can be governed by our blood group....mine is A,

    which was said to originate from Asian vegetarian farmers.....interesting.

    O groups were said to be big meat eaters.

    Anything that helps me lose weight would be worth considering.......I have seen Slimming World adverts at my local sports centre and might push myself into giving it a try.I achieved W W goal weight three times over 20 years ago but it all went back on.I said I'd never go to slimming classes again as it all became obsessive .....couldn't talk of anything else.Of course at that time I didn't know I had Thyroid problems.

    Anyway it is good to hear that your diet is working for you .It is such a big boost isn't it?

    Best Wishes X

  • Sorry, I've only just seen your post as I'm not getting email notifications when someone reply's any more. I'll ask my daughter for the best reads for you.

    I'm AB+ and was never been a big meat eater. I thought that with milk, yogurt etc. I'd have big problems giving up, but after thinking about what milk is and what it's true use is (I'm really trying not to be too vegan here as there's nothing I hate more than someone who preaches) I found it easy. There's such good alternatives now that I don't even think about it and the plus side is more and more coffee shops etc. are providing milk alternatives.

    I feel so much better for loosing the weight, though I still have a bit more to go. I'd just come to the end of my tether as every time my thyroxine was reduced I put weight on even though I cut out sweet things I liked, so I became determined to do something everything and this works for me.

    I'll get back to you soon.

    Jean x

  • Thanks everyone for your comments and help. Yes I have hashimotos but my antibodies are in remission at the moment as my endo checked them 6 months after my second child. I doubt it will stay that way as they tend to go up and down. I have terrible insomnia and a fast pulse so I should probably look into my adrenals. I have been dieting and exercising since February and it is so slow but I am determined to stick with it.

  • You are right, balancing your adrenals is key. Food intolerances stimulate the adrenals so people actually get an "adrenal rush" from the foods to which they are sensitive, which creates intense cravings

  • After your post I've decided to be really thorough with my diet. I'm experimenting and will let you know. I'm on1200 cals a day but that goes up to 1500 because i exercise. breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner. eat every 2-3 hours. unfortunately i like a midnight snack but have decided no carbs just veg fruit and protein at this snack time. low low sugar, from fruits and half a spoon in my gf porridge in the morning. we shall see! according to myfitnesspal i should have lost 7 pounds in 5 weeks! I've written it in my diary. I have to keep saying to myself its an experiment for thyroiduk girls must keep it up!

  • I am overweight and my wedding is in Oct and I have to loose weight almost 15lbs and I am really very tensed about this but I have started daily walk and exercise too and I am taking a slimming product Admin edit to remove advertising in line with our Guidelines: 18.Any Post, Question or Comment considered to be advertising will be edited and/or deleted at the discretion of the Admin team. ,can you please give me the best tips for weight loss?

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