I can't lose weight?

I have joined weight watchers as I have been steadily gaining weight, over the last two weeks I have ran 5 miles every morning had a poached egg on brown bread for breakfast and a balanced meal at tea time yet I have gained half a pound? My doctor told me my thyroid levels are fine and said my thyroid medication does not need changing....I'm at my wits end trying to keep my weight down and it's really getting me down.....is anyone else having this problem?


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33 Replies

  • I did read once of someone even managing to gain weight whilst in hospital on a drip...... The usual advice. Is not to leave too long between meals... Breakfast to tea time is a long while.... Your body is supposed to hang on to calories if it thinks there isnt another meal on the way....

    Apart from the weight gain, how you feel? Probably best if you get the actual numbers from your doc... They have a nasty habit if calling anything vaguely in range ok.....


  • Thanks for replying, I will ask for my levels next time I'm at the doctors.

    Health wise I'm very up and down, sometimes I go through really low periods with no energy and all I want to do I sleep. Then I seem to perk up and feel ok (ish) though I still sleep very easily (as soon as I hit the pillow). I'm really forcing myself to keep fit as I do not want to gain any more weight and this is really getting to me. Last week I ran a total of 45 miles and put on 1/2 pound - I was devistated and really starting to lose the will to get up and run (and some mornings it's very hard to find the motivation)....

    I'm taking 175micro grams of Levothyroxin a day.

  • You need to take into consideration that fluids in the body can be retained due to the exercise/inflammation of muscles etc.

    Also, if you eat salty food one day, you get thirsty the next day, retain the fluid and get a nasty surprise the following morning.

  • Hi

    If you ran 45 miles weight you have gained could be possibly due to muscle increase .

    Also as someone else as said two meals a day is not enough I joined Slimming World some years ago and found my problem was I did not eat enough it was hard but did manage to lose 3 stone and kept it off till having to take steroids for another illness ,

    I am not saying it was easy but that it is possible but their are lots of other factors to take into account with this illness .

    Best Wishes


  • Just a thought, are you gaining muscle as it weighs more than fat.

    If your clothes are tighter it is probably fat you are gaining but if they are the same or slacker you may be altering your body composition to more muscle and less fat.

  • Your doctor doesn't really know if your thyroid levels are "fine" for you. Your doctor probably thinks "in range" is fine. It often isn't!

    Get hold of your thyroid blood tests (you're entitled to them) and post them here for comment. If you're undermedicated exercise will be completely counterproductive - it uses up too much thyroid hormone (I'm in awe that you can run 5 miles - I'd be in bed for a week if I tried running a mile :) ).

    Diet and exercise have surprisingly little to do with weight loss when you're hypothyroid. Optimal medication is the key.

  • What do you mean optical medication?

  • Sorry, Optimal medication?

  • Optimal medication is when you are given enough meds to bring your free t4 and free t3 to the top of the range and all your symptoms are gone. Usually the docs give you enough meds to get your free t4 above the bottom of the range and they have no idea if your free t3 is in or out of range because they donT test it....


  • Thank you for taking the time to reply, I will get in touch with my GP surgery tomorrow and arrange to get a copy of my last results.

  • I am suspecting you have LOW T3 - and you may have a conversion problem. How are your levels of B12 - Ferritin - Folate - VitD ? They all need to be optimal for the T4 to convert into T3 and for you to feel well.

    Exercise depletes T3 I have read.

  • Are you taking any other meds besides what I assume is levothyroxine?

  • Running 5 miles everyday isn't a good way to help you lose weight even if you had optimal thyroid hormone levels.

    If you want to use exercise as part of a weight loss regime you need to vary it. So even if you stick to running only you need to run different distances, different speeds or types of running plus have a rest day or two. (In fact after a rest day you may find you look leaner.)

    Once you get your thyroid hormones optimal it would be worth talking to a personal/fitness trainer or someone who does coaching at a running club. The running clubs you are looking for are the ones without harriers or athletic in the name and have beginners sessions. These clubs normally allow you to attend 2-4 sessions without you joining.

  • How frustrating for you. To be putting in all that work and not getting any results. I know exactly how that feels. I once went on a juice detox, where everyone else reported multiple lbs lost. I of course gained a lb. I wonder if you are not optimally medicated. An earlier post by Marz suggested the t4 to T3 conversion issues. That was my problem. Finally got that sorted and I have started to lose. Good luck. Don't blame yourself. It's clear something is not working as it shouk

  • What did you mean conversion issues of T4 to T3? some form of pills?

    I also cannot lose weight and I really need to. When I change the ways, times, type of food or drink I take, I start loosing a little weight. Then after some time, I will be back to where I was if not more. I am also having allergies from Eltroxine since last year when the manufacturer was changed, and cannot take Levotyroxine of other manufacturers as it is worse, besides feeling so tired, slow motion, and more...... Anyone has any ideas how to loose weight?


  • I think the medical side of your questions have already been answered better than I can. I tried so hard to lose weight when on Levothyroxine. Nothing helped. I was eating extremely well. Exercising regularly and I just kept gaining. All I could say was that if I had not been doing these things I would have been the size of a house. My weight only started to become manageable when I switched my medication over to NDT. I am not advising you do that. It's just my experience. Best of luck. I know how frustrating this can br

  • Thanks Jillkh.

  • Welcome to our forum Andyp13 and you've not given any thyroid history in your Profile, i.e. when diagnosed, etc.

    Weight gain is a clinical symptom of hypothyroidism. It can also be a side effect of levothyroxine, which is the only thyroid hormone replacement (if in UK) that doctors have been told is 'excellent'. It isn't for many of us otherwise we wouldn't have so many members on our forum - many with the same complaint - unexplained weight gain.

    When we are hypothyroid our whole system slows, heart rate, temp low, no energy and a myriad of other symptons.

    The main thyroid hormone is T3 and is active and required in all of our receptor cells. When healthy and we exercise our body is able to adjust it as necessary. When on thyroid hormones - levothyroxine converts to T3 but if we exercise before we are on an optimum it reduces the T3 in our body and we don't appear to get the benefit.

    Dieting is not helpful either, until on an optimum of hormones and that's not so easy to reach as hormones have to be at an optimum level.


    The following archived website is helpful and the topics are at the top of the page but some links within may not work.



    Whatever you do you must not stop levothyroxine at present without a replacement. It might just be you need a higher dose to raise your metabolism to normal. Unfortunately, there's no quick fix.

    When you go for blood tests it should be at the very earliest possible and dont eat before it but can drink water. Also leave about 24 hours between your last dose of levo and the test and take it afterwards. Levo should be taken on an empty stomach either a.m. or bedtime with one glass of water.

  • Hi, thank you for the reply...I have tried updating my profile many times and all it saves is mu Country and my postcode everything else just comes back empty after I have saved so I have given up with that.

    I have collected my results from my GP, should I just copy out what it says? There are five pages so it's quite a lot of info.

  • You don't need five pages, the most important ones are those you've stated.

    If you haven't had B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate, ask for these too as we can be deficient which can also cause us to have symptoms.

  • I know we are different and what works for one won't work for all, but after 13 years on thyroxine and probably several years before that struggling to lose weight, having gone up 3 stone, I seem to be losing weight by taking a mix of selenium, zinc, B12, magnesium and coenzyme q10. It looks like this combo is helping with the uplift of thyroxine, which I take last thing at night and the vits in the morning with breakfast!!

  • The only diet that I have found to work is low carb which means no potatoes/bread/cakes/biscuits/sugar but good fats, protein, a little fruit preferably berries and loads of veggies/salads. It worked for me and I lost a stone and a half which I kept off for over two years, sadly I fell off the bandwagon this year and have put weight back on again. I know when I can get myself psyched up to again follow the low carb diet I will lost weight again even though I am hypo thyroid.

  • This diet has also worked for me in the past, but doesn't any more. I have some bad carbs occasionally. I like coffee, a glass of wine or beer in the evening. When I'm really motivated I don't even do that, yet the weight just doesn't budge. I also understand we are not suppose to over due it in the exercise area.

    I would make a great refugee. I could eat nothing for days and still be chubby. But then again if I didn't get my medication I'd probably drop dead in a month.

  • There has been lots of good advice here re meds so I'm writing this purely from weight loss aspect. I have been severely underactive thyroid for 30 years and went up to 17st. I'm now 11st 12lbs. Key pointers:

    Eating too little is counterproductive.The body goes into starvation mode. The Slimming World diet plan got me moving BUT you simply cannot eat unlimited cards if hypo. More protein less carbs is the way to go.

    A personal trainer could help you with nutrition and exercise. You can clearly put in the effort but weights will build muscle (don't panic not that much muscle) and muscle burns loads more energy than fat. So you change shape AND weight. But it's not a quick fix.

    You need lots of hydration and if you don't get enough you'll retain fluid and therefore weight.

    My fitness pal app is mega helpful with lots of info if the PT is not possible. If you need support on this message me.

    There's so much more to say but I can personally recommend modified SW (far fewer carbs) and a PT. Wish you all the best. You can get there.

  • hello iam writting for HELP ive had problems with my weight now for a year since i was put on tablets ive put on around 15kgs iam depressed my doctor does not want to know and i just feel like sliting my throat i have nasty colleagues at work sorry if iam going on to much made a apointment with the doc end of sept please help xxxx

  • Sorry to hear that. I've given quite a few tips in the post above but I'd also suggest asking whether your surgery does referrals to weight loss clubs. Some do, some don't. Some refer to WW,others to SW. I prefer SW but the main thing is to be with others to help your motivation. This would also help you to overcome depression (I hope) since you would be taking charge of yourself. See what they say and let us know. Good luck.

  • I got the print out from my GP -

    TSH = 0.72 (0.27 - 4.2)

    Free T4 = 19.1 (10.0 - 21.0)

    Free T3 = 4.8 (3.5 - 6.5)

  • Your results look not too bad although your FT3 is on the low side so you should ask for an increase in levo, hopefully to allow you to have more FT3 in your system. Some of us don't convert sufficiently. Did you have the test as early as possible and fast and leave about 24 hours between your last dose of levo and the test?.

  • Hi, the doctor just told me to book in for a blood test with the nurse, he never said to fast or leave 24 hours from my last dose, my appointment was in the morning so I had breakfast and popped into the docs for the blood test on my way to work.

  • It's a big learning curve for us to get the best possible results. Doctors know little as you will find out and are completely unaware that our TSH changes throughout the 24 hours of the day, i.e. higher early a.m. and lower p.m.

    Your results will probably be skewed, I am afraid.

    Taking food also lowers the TSH which can result in the GP adjusting dose of levo unnecessarily so.


    It is a learning curve when we're hypo/hyper as doctors only notice the results but not the symptoms.

  • Hi Andy, I'm not an expert but you need to put the ranges (numbers in brackets) in beside the actual results. Without knowing the ranges it looks as if you might be high on the T4 and low on the T3 which would indicate a conversion problem so you might need to take a combination of T4/T3 - but as I said I am not an expert and the other members know a LOT more than me! I am sure someone will reply soon.

  • I found the only recourse was to fast every third day. I am gradually getting pounds off. The other two days you have to keep within 1200 (for me) calories, less than 100 carbs (the less carbs the better).

  • Ask GP to check levels of Vit D, b12, folate and ferritin. These all need to be at very good levels for your thyroid hormones to actually work.

    If GP won't oblige, like many of us, you can get private tests done to work out what is going on


    Thyroid plus eleven test is popular option.

    This also checks antibodies too. Do you know if you have high antibodies - if you do this us Hashimoto's thyroid - most common cause of being hypo

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