Weight loss

OK folks...getting desperate now!

I'd love some advice/opinions/thoughts on low carb dieting please. I've done it a lot in the past and feel fine on it (apart from the constipation!) but have since read that the thyroid actually needs carbs?

I am considering the Ketogenic diet (dr.myhill.co.uk) and the 8 week Blood Sugar diet by Michael Mosley. The 2nd one entails 8 weeks of low carb and 800 cals per day. It seems effective and there are testimonials from hypo people but I'm a bit worried about reducing my calories so much?

I started T3 in November and was hoping it would help but the opposite has happened and it seems to be impossible to lose anything! (T3 is 5.00 (3.1-6.8) )

I eat really well, am GF and more or less dairy free, plenty of good fats, keep grains to a minimum and really don't know what else I can do :-(

Any help gratefully received!

32 Replies

  • Are you on T3 only? Because low calorie and low carb can have a negative effect on conversion. But, if you are on T3 only, that possibly won't affect you too much (but, remember, you still need to convert T3 to T2 and T2 to T1).

    Like you, I would be very dubious about reducing my calories to that level, but I don't know what his reasoning is. The only way to find out, is to try it, I suppose, but...

    Of course, you do still have room for an increase in T3...

  • Link to the Mosley diets - thebloodsugardiet.com/

    To be honest the first one is extreme. I know people who undergo weight loss surgery and the anaesthetist won't allow them to be operated on due to their weight, often have to go on a diet like that for weeks to months to get down to a weight where they can have the surgery.

    I've worked in offices with people on the 5:2 diet on the days they are fasting and they aren't their normal selves by the afternoon so 8 weeks of it daily...

  • Bluebug, I have done the autoimmune protocol so I'm used to punishment!! I could do the Keto diet no problem but dunno about 800 cals per day. I tried the 5:2 as well but didn't do well on it. It lowered by temperature by quite a bit so I ditched it.

  • Mmm maybe this will cause the same problem. Did your temperature get low on the fasting days or just all the time?

  • Can't really remember now to be honest but as it was pretty low then anyway I decided it maybe wasn't a good idea for me.

  • No Greygoose I'm on T4 125mcg and 12.5 T3. The funny thing is I could lose on T4, albeit very slowly but since I added T3...nowt!! My T3 is probably higher than 5 as I didn't realise I had to stop T3 as well as T4 before my test so not sure if I can actually afford an increase :-(

    I have bought the Blood Sugar diet book but haven't actually read it all yet so maybe there's some science behind it all? Hope so!

  • If you took your T3 before the test and got the result of 5, then your normal T3 level would be lower than 5, not higher.

  • Sorry Greygoose I'm talking crap! (Bloody brain fog :-()

    What I actually did was leave it too long (about 27 hours instead of what I now know should be 12).

  • Ahhh OK Well, we all talk crap from time to time! lol It comes with the disease! So, yes, you probably would be over-range.

  • Last time I posted about it Clutter reckoned my actual result would be 6 so I am still just in range :-)

  • That's ok, then. If you feel good on this dose, don't change a thing! :)

  • Twelve months of 800calories a day and gained 12 lbs. After another couple of years of slow gain on 1000-1200 calories a day in desperation I tried Atkins.... after 1 month my husband had lost just over a stone and I gained 8lbs. Oh and became a vegetarian :o I have been looking up LCHF, just goes against the grain (no pun intended) for me ☹ for now anyway but soon who knows, when desperate enough. Keep hoping NDT will finally get t3 to my cells and I can lose eating sensibly.


    Linda x

  • Dear me Fibrolinda...I thought I had problems! I'm not losing but I'm not gaining (yet!!) It's a pain isn't it?

  • Oh it is certainly a pain. Let us know how you get on 🙂

  • Will do :-)

  • I know we're all different but I've given up sugar for February. Its very difficult to cut it out completely as its in so much food, so anything coming out of a packet has been less than 5% sugar per 100g. I haven't changed anything else in my diet & I've lost 3.8lbs.

    I've put 3 stone on in 2 years despite having a personal trainer who works me hard & advises me on nutrition. I began NDT in November.

    I don't eat many carbs anyway, the odd bit of bread & rice, I can't remember the last time I had pasta. Cutting out the sugar seems to be working but I'm not sure I can keep it up forever :-\

  • Well done to you :-) I've been doing the auto immune paleo diet so haven't been having sugar anyway but it's still not shifting!

  • Stop eating wheat and only occasionally other grains later on after several months. Eat greens. Drink water. Eat Celtic salt and never table salt eat celery when you need to crunch something or pumpkin seeds. Get serious about what you out in your mouth equals early death. I've had to face all these things myself and I'm getting better. Over two years I've lost 30 pounds and kept it off. Yes I backslide sometimes and I give myself treats. But now my body react immediately when I eat something rich and full of processed wheat and sugar, I'm down for two days easy. It's not worth it to me. And absolutely nothing I knownhas msg or anything like that in it. Nothing! Msg will cause me to lose control of my mouth and I will eat anything and everything. Choose to live ❤️

  • Hi EllenFrances, I have been gluten free for about 4 years now and rarely eat any grains at all. I also have minimal dairy, sugar and nightshades and have cut out fluoride, coffee, soya and I rarely have anything processed, so I don't think my difficulty losing weight is down to my diet!

    I have eaten a load of rubbish (weight watchers meals, low fat stuff etc) for years but since being diagnosed with hashis I am VERY careful with my diet-like you say, it's just not worth risking your health for a "treat" that will be bad for you.

  • Everyone is different but the thing that made the difference to me was exercising. I started really gradually with interval training cardio and weights and lost a stone doing it.

    I'm Hashi's but going gluten free didn't seem to have any effect for me. Tried that for 6 months.

    I ate smaller portions, more veg but a healthy diet cutting out no particular group of foods but for me the cardio was the main factor.

    When my old knees hurt from jogging I rowed.

  • HiNickinoo, it's a bit of a vicious circle for me because I never have the energy to do much exercise (though I do walk a lot) but then if I wasn't carrying so much lard around I probably would feel a lot better!

    GF has been good for me and to be honest, even if I was cured of Hashi's tomorrow I would stay gluten free. Portion control is something I do need to look at however.

    I am going away the week after next but I'm going to give the 8 week Blood Sugar diet a go when I come back...and pray it works!

  • Yes I totally understand I started with no energy to do exercise but I did a week of one gentle thing and built up so slowly. I felt good after I had done it even though no energy to want to. As advised though make sure you have the T3 to cope with exercise. I found I had to be patient and not rush the increases. I always had a day off afterwards to recover whatever stage I was at or did some gentle Pilates.

    Walking is great that's what I did only I would increase how fast I walked and swing my arms to raise my heart rate. When I could do whole walk at a fast rate I introduced some slow jogging for stretches of the walk and so on.

    I hope you are able to get the results you want xx

  • Thanks Nickinoo-that's very encouraging...and gives me the kick up the bum I need!

  • Keep going it will happen I work on the theory any help I can give my metabolism to pick up the pace.


  • Go ketogenic. I have, and even not sticking to it as closely as I might, lost weight and feel fab.

    My macros are 20g carbs, 70g protein and 107 fat. I rarely hit the fat, and tend to go over on protein which is not ideal given that it is changed to glucose. But I am still doing well.

    I will not go back to a normal diet. If you look at my profile you should be able to find what I wrote about the huge benefits I have found, quite unexpectedly.

    Personally I would not go as low as 800 calories. You risk slowing your metabolism. And I'm not at fair with Dr Myhill's version. If you are really in a hurry look at fasting. I know average calories go down, but fasting boosts metabolism, whereas low cal slows it down.

    PM me if you want more information.

  • Hi Ruthi-I'm glad it's working so well for you. Not many people on here claim to be feeling fab so you must be doing something right! My only problem with the ketogenic diet would be constipation, which always gets me when I do low carb. How has it affected your thyroid?

    I have read the whole Blood Sugar diet book now and he turns the metabolism/rapid weight loss thing on it's head, citing cases when people have been on water only and their metabolic rate has increased. (Whether that works with a chubby hypo woman however is anybody's guess!) He also recommends doing strength training exercises to keep the rate up too. Oh to have the energy!

  • Right, constipation is an issue, but forewarned is forearmed. It all went well for a while for me, and then I go thoroughly bunged up a few weeks ago. I have psyllium husk and macrogol in stock, plus senna, glycerine suppositories and if all else fails an enema kit (not as bad as you would think once you master it. I dabbled a bit with coffee enemas at one point, but for clearing out salt is fine). Then there are nice fibrous keto foods - chia seeds and ground flax which cook up into a kind of porridge. I also make a bun out of them in the microwave and use it for cheese on toast! Electrolytes, or lack of them, can also contribute to constipation and managing them is important in the early days. I'm back to regular now. But certainly if you are prone to constipation keto is not a cure. To be honest, my problems became worse when I quit bread.

    My need for thyroid medication has dropped from 2.25 grains of NDT to 1.5(so far). In discussion with others there seems to be a view that conversion improves on this way of eating and I have not historically converted well. If I can just get my dose stable (on how I feel) I'll test my FT3.

    Your man with the Blood Sugar diet is wrong. When we restrict calories our metabolism slows down in anticipation of lean times ahead, and in an attempt to conserve energy. This is the big problem with low calorie diets - and when we go back to normal eating our slower metabolism persists so it all goes back on again. But if you stop eating altogether (except for water) metabolism speeds up. Its no good when starving to be too tired and cold to go out hunting or gathering!

    You need to read Dr Jason Fung 'The Obesity Code', entirely based on good quality research and beautifully dogma free.

  • Constipation was the thing that got me hunting around to see what was wrong before I was diagnosed. I had an enema kit too!! Since going GF I have been pretty regular but when I remove carbs everything grinds to a halt!!

    I'm going to take a look at Jason Fung as a friend has mentioned him to me too. Let's hope he's got all the answers :-)

  • He has! Although I think he is pretty old hat when it comes to dealing with constipation! Nothing new or exciting - if only someone came up with a breakthrough (if you'll pardon the term!)

    I read a book by someone with an unpronounceable name called 'The Fiber Menace' that basically argued that fibre is bad and we don't need it. Well, I am afraid I do. Too old, too used to using fibre to keep me going. On Amazon Kindle.

    This may be TMI for some but only someone who has struggled with constipation will understand the sheer relief and pleasure of an empty rectum!

  • Too right Ruthi! When I talk to people who say they are up and out of the door in 1/2 an hour in the morning I think "but what about your poo??" I have myself a little routing in the morning...nothing comes between me and my bowels!!

  • I think it's good to mix it up. If you go too low calorie long term your metabolism will respond by slowing down. I think that's the idea of the 5-2, as your body doesn't get enough food on fasting days so has no choice but to burn fat. Agree about exercise being important. Exercise such as swimming is good because it is resistance and aerobic exercise and your weight is supported so joints are protected from impact, and it burns lots of calories.

  • I really liked the 5:2 but it wasn't for me. My temperature went really low and other than the first couple of weeks I didn't lose anything :-(

    I wish I could get motivated to exercise. I keep threatening to walk to work (25mins) but this weather puts me right off!

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