Weight loss when hypo

Is it possible to ever lose weight when you are hypo without being over medicated? I have a lot of weight around my tummy and look pregnant. Since starting NDT it has reduced slightly but before hypo symptoms I was a size 8-10 and I hate it my tummy was very flat. Does exercise reduce it ever as before I knew I was hypo and not on any meds I would walk, run 6 miles a day and actually ended up putting on weight.

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  • Sorry I don't know about meds but belly fat is caused by sugar and grains (and alcohol!). Have you tried replacing these with fats? I realise it's much harder when you're hypo.

  • I don't drink much alcohol very rarely say once every 10 weeks. Longer simetimes. I do have sugar in coffee though and have cut that out in the past and it did nothing.

  • Thank you yes I do eat grains! Lol

  • Belly fat can be caused by other things too Josiesmum! That is why it is so deeply frustrating for people suffering from underactive thyroids. Many of us are rigorous with our diets - including no grains or sugar - and we exercise yet still see a shape akin to Bart Simpson in the mirror!

  • Yes, of course. However fructose specifically is metabolised by the liver and the energy produced is stored as visceral and belly fat:


  • Hi Katiekatie

    I was just the same as you and had a lot of belly fat, in desperation i joined a slimming club and lost half a stone and my belly fat has reduced a lot, i keep a food diary and cut out bread,pasta and sweets, i was a bugger for snacking and started going to the gym twice a week.

    I do enjoy a tipple at the weekend red wine only i cant give give up everything.



  • Thanks dotti I've just ordered a fitness DVD and you do 10 mins a day workout that is meant to work on the whole of your body. So hoping that will burn calories and target My tummy. My main weakness is bread I have to admit! I need to cut it out.

  • Do you have hashimoto's? If so, cutting out gluten may also reduce antibodies:


    Definitely worth considering a trial of grain free, although some people have severe withdrawal symptoms so better to taper off rather than go "cold turkey".

  • I am not 100 percent sure. I have a blue horizon test in the cupboard waiting to do after the bank holiday so I will know then. I think I display some symptoms as when I was a teenager, young adult I would go up and down in mood and was just given antidepressants, sleeping pills and sleeping pills. I would get a surge of energy then have non. I have been told a few times after blood tests I have high white blood cells but they never looked into this further. To be honest I think I have just been unlucky and not got great doctors as I moved areas and then back again so my GPs surgeries have changed a few times.

  • That was meant to say I was given antidepressants, beta blockers and sleeping pills. I do think if I was hashi's it has now gone to hypo though. My thyroid has just given up lol

  • I have lost 5st (30kg) so yes you can most definitely lose weight when hypo. The trick is finding the diet that will work for you. I just calorie count, I havent cut anything from my diet. It seems to be the only thing that works for me. You have to hit that sweet spot with your meds though too, to finally start losing weight.

  • Thank you, that is good news. I was looking at some calorie counting apps, might give them a go.

  • I use a calorie counting app and have lost 2.5 stone since Feb. I make sure I have some calories left for a treat in the evenings but yes it can be done. Give it a go. Have stopped eating bread too.

  • Yes some of them are really good with the scanners for food items and everything. Thanks. I have used them in the past and I lost a little. Will go back to one again.

  • I use myfitnesspal it's free with a pretty good food database (I do recommend to cross reference with the packaging where possible) it has a good support community too. It a bit of effort to begin with but it keeps a history of foods you've eaten so after a while it takes just minutes to fill in your food diary. Good luck!

  • Thanks will have a little look at that one. I used one called value diary last time and that was identical to weigh watchers points. I lost about half a stone the first time I used it, quite a few years ago but nothing when I used it a few months ago. But I was under medicated then.

  • I am hypo with Hashimoto's. I put on 2 st before being diagnosed and lots of it was around my trunk area. My Meds are good now and I joined Slimming World as I find it hard to 'diet' alone. It is a healthy eating plan, calorie control really, with lots of support. I have lost just over 11/2 stone and rediscovered my waist and cheekbones! I also think medication needs to be right. Good luck. It would be so much easier if there was a magic potion for weight loss!

  • Thanks for the reply, so good to hear it can be done, well done that is an amazing amount you have lost! I have a few friends who did slimming world and it looks good with the red and green days. I do suspect I am hashi's but will soon become clear after my blood test. I started taking t3 two days ago and reduced my NDT right down and it seems to have gone down a bit already. I have become so unfit. I was doing some gardening yesterday and after 30 mins I went all shaky and funny.

  • where to start? I have counted calories since as a chubby 17 year old I went on diet. Through 2 kids stopping drinking and smoking kept my figure through calorie counting till 46. Collapsed 1 day and have just got worse over the next 16 years. The first year my weight would just go up and up despite cutting cals, eventually way to low to 800 cals a day but I was desperate... gained 12 lbs in a year then went through a few months of suddenly losing up to 10 lbs in a week then gaining rapidly again then back to just gaining. Guess I maybe slowed it but not stop the weight gain. now 2 stone over weight and just stick to 1500 cals a day... still. 9 months now on ndt and one week in feb I lost 4 ilbs and in March 5 ibs then in April gained 2... and stuck. Every few months I cut cals to 1000 a day for a month. If I lose weight continue till start gaining on same cals then just stop weighing myself again and back up to 1500 cals a day. I am going to have to try again and cut to 1000 as I hate being this fat but it is a nightmare when no matter what I do still the weight goes up. I am always hungry but have iron self control. I hoped NDT would help and it looked for a while it was going to then up again the weight went. Just hoping I still have tissue resistance as bloods say my T3 is slightly over while t4 is good and tsh suppressed.

    I have cut out everything and tried everything over the years in desperation even though for 30 years eat less move more worked great. In the early years I even tried Atkins... I am now a vegetarian :).

    Just saying some of us can do everything right and still not lose weight. I have read it can take 2 years or more after getting all ducks lined up before the weight, and myexedema starts to go so holding on to that.

    Good luck

    Linda x

  • Thank you Linda. I really struggle too. I was ill with tonsilitus a few months back and literally couldn't swallow anything apart from water through a straw for 2 weeks. I didn't lose a lb!! I am too on NDT and like you saw results at first and then nothing. I have just reduced and added T3. I can have 1 small meal a day and still have a fat tummy lol. The joys! Hope you get it sorted too.

  • Why do you think you have to be over-medicated? Why not just optimal? But, optimal FT3, not optimal TSH. If TSH is all your doctor ever tests, then you will never know if you are optimal. A low/suppressed TSH does not automatically mean you are over-medicated.

    It's low T3 that causes symptoms, like weight-gain. And, a lot of us still have low T3, even though we're on a decent dose of T4 - what is your dose, by the way? - because T4 has to be converted to T3. And, we're not all very good at doing that.

    Your first step should be to get full bloods done :






    vit D

    vit B12



    Your nutrients need to be optimal for you to absorb and convert the T4 you're taking to T3. I doubt if your doctor will test all those, so it's probably best to invest in a private test. Then, post your results on here - with the ranges - and let us see exactly what is going on.

    So, why did you gain weight with walking/running 6 miles a day? Because any sort of rigorous exercise, like running (walking is ok) uses up your T3, which you cannot easily replace, and there for makes you more hypo, and put on more weight.

    Your hypo weight-gain, has nothing to do with calories - it might not even be fat. So, exercise really isn't going to help you lose weight. Nor are low calorie diets, because you need calories to convert T4 to T3, so not eating enough calories has an adverse effect on conversion.

    Another thing wrong with counting calories is that fat contains the most calories per gram, but the body needs fat. And, those that eat the most fat, lose the most weight. But, people cutting calories, usually cut out fat first! It's shooting yourself in the foot!

    So, plenty of good fats - butter, lard, olive oil, nut oils, avocado - avoid processed seed oils - plenty of protein. Fresh fruit and veg, some carbs - hypos need carbs - but not too much fibre, because that affects absorption of thyroid hormone. And don't skimp on the salt. The adrenals need salt.

    But, most of all, you need to get your T3 level up to lose weight. :)

  • I am not very clued up on all the ins and outs but my T3 was well below range and NDT doesn't seem to be giving me enough. I started t3 a few days ago and reduced my NDT right down. So hopefully that will start to help along with exercise and diet.

  • But Katie, I just told you that exercise and diet - if you mean low calorie - is not the way to go. That will just make you more hypo.

    Eat the way I described above, and just do gentle walking, to stop you seizing up! But nothing strenuous until your T3 is optimal.

    Personally, I lost a lot of weight just by getting my T3 and my nutrients optimised - it's not just about hormones - without any dieting or any exercising (I hate exercise!).

    Have a look at the photos here :



    And you might find this helpful, too :


    How much T3 and NDT are you taking? If your FT3 was under-range, then it's not surprising you put on weight, and that exercising made you put on more!

  • Thank you Grey Goose. I will wait until my t3 levels are optimal. My T4 levels were even lower. I was taking 6 thiroyd NDT a day but I have reduced to 2 NDT and 50mg of T3. I do intend on reducing the NDT more. I have a blue horizon test waiting to do tomorrow morning. I do take ferritin, b12, vit c, selenium, folate. My main weakness is bread and I do need to reduce this. Apart from that generally I do eat healthily and do have healthy fats in my diet.

  • oh and so also take vitamin d3 as well.

  • OK, well, it could be that you just can't tolerate the T4 and need to be on T3 only. That was my problem. I didn't manage to feel well at all until I got onto T3 only.

    If you were taking NDT, then your FT4 is bound to be low. The body doesn't hang on to as much because it doesn't need it anymore.

  • Another day and yet post from you Greygoose that has uplifted my spirits and given me hope that i can conquer whats going on!! You deserve an award!!

    Have you ever considered writing a book with all the knowledge you have aquired ?!!!! (Assuming you have not all ready that is?)

    I for one would definitely buy myself a copy and a number of friends and family who i strongly suspect might be suffering without the feintest idea it could be due to their thyroid.

    Thank you for being such an inspiration and ray of light and knowledge amidst the lack of this from our gps or endos!! ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜

  • Thank you, Tiamosta. I'm flattered. Yes, I have considered writing a book about it all. But, dismissed the idea. It's such a monumental task that I wouldn't know where to start! Besides, there are others that can do it far better than I! :)

  • Apologise if not supposed to do this in kk post. Greygoose I switched to full fat yogurt and cheese etc from low fat several months ago but of course still stuck to calorie allowance ...Bad girl ??? .I use drizzle of olive oil on salad and veg and eat avocado. I printed off the vegan protein list you posted(very handy thank you) As a veggie I do struggle at times with protein. I have to stop counting calories dont I? Ohh I'm a control freak whose controlled my Cal intake for over 40 years!๐Ÿ˜ญ My t3 is over range and T4 in top 1/4. If I try to reduce ndt I feel worse and have no hyper symptoms. Blood pressure great, heart rate high seventies and temp slowly increasing but still slightly erratic.... ESA 50 time again so very stressed. Everything is Thyroid uk optimum... vit d was last test and came back as 96.3.

    ๐Ÿ˜ฉ Linda x

  • Well, hardly your fault. We've been brain-washed since the 60s to believe that calories in vs calories out was everything.

    You could very well be one of those people who needs their FT3 slightly over-range. Mine is, too. I'm on 75 T3 only, but if I try to lower it, I instantly start piling on the weight! And losing my hair. So, I'm just not going to do it.

    Try eating more. Add butter - luscious butter! - into your diet. Everything tastes better with butter on it!

    So, if all your nutrients are UK optimal, and you still can't lose weight, and are stressed, the next step should be to have a look at your cortisol. 24 hours saliva test?

  • Done it, overall cortisol was fine but have highs and lows. Haven't been able to tolerate anything tried so far to support adrenal... just ordered liquorice capsules with fingers painfully crossed ๐Ÿ˜ As a child butter made me throw up๐Ÿ˜– and still can't stand it. Now if you'd said clotted cream lol

    I will TRY to eat more... more fats... and be patient... not my strong suit. Afternoon temp today down to 36.3, was 36.9 yesterday. I bought nail varnish for my newly lovely nails and before I had chance to use it nails all started splitting and breaking again grrrr Its a fun journey eh๐Ÿ˜€

    Thanks gg

    Linda x

  • OK clotted cream. Eat more clotted cream. You've got lots of lovely fresh fruit to eat it with at the moment, strawberries and such. And banana with clotted cream! So many nutrients!

    If your nails are splitting, something isn't optimal!

  • Lol at Eat more clotted cream... easy ๐Ÿ˜Š unfortunately strawberries, raspberries and blackberry make my fibromyalgia flare big time ๐Ÿ™ as does any citrus, but the rest oh yeah.

    My nails grew great for the first time in years then just over a week ago back to splitting and flaking again and no idea why or what's different... sigh

  • That is very unfortunate about the soft fruit!

    Have you tried biotin for your nails?

  • Yes take 50ug daily... maybe I should increase.

    Just wonder why they did great for a while then blah again

  • Oh, gosh! Who knows. Have you changed your diet at all?

  • wracked whats left of my brain but only change is I have been eating more fruit the past couple of weeks... thats it... :/

    Thank you so much for trying to help :) Aw heck it was buying the nail varnish... it scared them :P

    Thanks Greygoose

    Linda x

  • Eating more fruit shouldn't make your nails flaky, I was thinking more of decreased iron intake. Or, a sudden decrease of T3...

  • Hmm well I take thyroid s and same bottle so shouldn't be T 3. I did switch ferrous fumarate 210mg to every other day when my iron levels were good but that was in February. I will go back to daily and see what happens... maybe I need to take that to maintain. Trying to save a little money ๐Ÿ˜ฉ. Oops. Thanks Gg


  • :)

  • Exercise uses up precious T3 and if you don't convert very well then you have a problem . Personally I did not lose weight until I went into hospital the food was so bad I could not eat it! I have kept up the early rising and impromptu diet and have lost 10 kilos. I used to be a size 12 but am now much larger and I too do not like it, but its the nature of the illness that doctors put you on levothyroxine which, in my opinion, makes you fat.

  • Yes when I first took levo I went from a size 12 to a size 16. I don't do great on it. I used to exercise by walking 6 plus miles a day and that contibuted to the weight gain I think. Hopefully once I get more t3 into my system and get that optimal I can exercise a bit and that will help.

  • I've lost 8lb in the last two - three months by calorie counting - I halved my breakfast and lunch and had a sensibly sized dinner each day. One more pound and I'll be where I want to be! I've noticed that it's easier to maintain at the moment as well.

    I tried last August / September (before I was on levo) and managed to lose a bit but I had to eat less than 800 calories a day to do so. And it all went straight back on when I increased to 1000 calories a day. But now I am eating about 1200 - 1400 a day and am managing to lose.

    I'm not optimally medicated yet and have still been feeling hypo. So yes, it can be done.

  • Well done, will be a real achievement once you get to that goal weight. Today I had a lovely Greek salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for my evening meal. I seriously don't eat much or have large portions. I guess everyone is different but think I need my t3 to be optimal before I see results. I have lost weight in the past by calorie counting but it was very slowly. Now it's just stopped.

  • katiekatie you sound exactly like me! You should look into getting a stool test as you may have a bacterial overgrowth in your gut or the swelling could be down to food intolerances! Having a food intolerance and leaky gut cause stress and inflammation in your body.

  • Thank you, that is another to add to the list then. I do get repeated candidia infections. I have noticed that it goes bad when I eat rice and someone mentioned on here that rice can turn to gluten in the gut. I went gluten free for a while but didn't see much change. When I eat no grains at all and only eat veg, fruit and fresh meat and fish it does make a difference, its just having the will power to do it!

  • I'm the same, rice cross reacts with gluten and I discovered after a flare up the other day that I can't tolerate rice.

    I'd really recommend finding a Functional Doctor and looking at your gut - 70% of our immune system is in our gut and we need to get our floras back in balance.

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