Weightloss Plateau

Right, I'm after some decent advice.

I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism in 2013, at that point I weighed just shy of 18stone.

Currently I'm on 175mg of Levothyroxine a day, and I now weigh 15st 3lbs. The trouble is that this has been my weight now for over a year and I want to lose another stone.

I eat well and train consistantly (I actually work as an exercise therapist for the nhs)

Has anyone got any suggestions?


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62 Replies

  • Hey Mark well done on the weight Loss so far. Just a few questions? i'd love to be able to help you a bit I also have hashimotos hypothyroid and have managed to maintain a good weight so far :-) Also I have studied nutrition so I am more than happy to give you a few potential tips.

    What kind of training are you doing? Weights/cardio/Hiit/ a mixture?

    Are you tracking calories and Macros such as protein / Fat / Carb or are you following something such as Paleo, slimming world or weight watchers etc?

  • Hey! Thanks for replying!

    Right so......

    I weight train 4 times a week, strength/hypertrophy training. 3 day split routine with an extra session of deadlifts.

    Cardio wise I run twice a week, 1 long run (10k+) and one short (5k). I'm training for the great north run you see.

    On top of this i do 2 or 3 short HIIT workouts.

    Nutrition wise I eat three meals per day, plus two snacks. My wife follows the Joe Wicks Lean in 15 plan so I loosely follow that with her. Obviously I increase my protein intake, but try and keep the carbs down. Usually I only eat carbs in my meal directly after I've trained.

    At a guess i'd say my Macros are:

    40% Protein

    35% Fats

    25% Carbs.

  • Thats great info Mark_Hen 😊 before you ask for an increase in medication I definitely think you should try a different aporoach to your food plan and see if that works first. Nutrition is often overlooked and I believe making some simple changes can have a big difference. I'll post some more info for you once I get home from work. I weight train regularly too so have a good bit of experience with nutrition for training.

  • Thanks!

    feel free to email me.


  • hey Mark_Hen sent you a message there have a look at it and come back to me when your done :-)

  • I shall give you a link:-

    As you also exercise and I realise it is your job but if you aren't on an optimum of hormones you don't have sufficient T3 to last the day.

    Quote "I eat well and train consistantly (I actually work as an exercise therapist for the nhs)"

    Exercising if not on an optimum of hormones reduces our T3 and it is the only active thyroid Hormone required in our receptor cells.

    I'd get your Free T4 and Free T3 tested as you may not be converting levo (T4) to sufficient liothyronine (T3).

    Adding some T3 to your T4 may raise your metabolism but I know NHS has stopped prescribing

    web.archive.org/web/2010103... T3

  • Hey! Thanks for replying!

    I've just had this discussion with my doctor today about T3 conversion. I was told that they only test T4/T3 levels if theres a need i.e. if there is an abnormal TSH reading.

    I'm booked in for a blood test next week so i'll see what comes of that.

  • If the NHS won't do it, you'll have to get it done privately.

    I agree with everything shaws says. And make sure you get enough calories, because low-calorie diets will negatively affect conversion. You need a good level of calories to convert.

  • Thanks for replying.

    Oh I wouldn't class my diet as low cal, I work off my BMR with the suggested tweek of -200kcals for Hypothyroidism.

  • Suggested by whom?

  • Pretty sure it was this very forum....... but it was a while ago.

  • Must have been before my time, then. You cannot just generalise about that sort of thing. Lowering your calorie intake by 200 is not likely to make much difference to anything. Because it's not about calories, not in the way most people think. It's not excess calories that have made you put on weight, so how is ingesting less calories going to help? But, not enough calories can make you more hypo and put on more weight. It's about optimising your T3. When that's done, then you can start thinking about your weight.

  • Yeah seems this T3 reading is what I desperately need!

  • You do indeed. But, not just the FT3, you also need an FT4 reading, taken at the same time, to compare it to, to know how well you're converting.

    Have you been tested for antibodies? It's important to know if you have Hashi's.

  • I've only ever been tested for whatever my Dr has suggested. I'm far from an expert on the matter.

  • Do you get copies of your results, after a blood test? If not, you really should. And, if you live in the UK, it is your legal right to have a copy - but doctors won't just give it to you! They'd rather you didn't know! lol

    You need to know exactly what was tested, and exactly what the results were. You cannot just trust your doctor to know what he's talking about, because half the time, he won't.

  • I asked that today and was just told that my TSH level was checked.

    I spoke to a different Dr today and she has booked me in to run a few different tests, details of which I'll get on monday. If a T4/T3 test isn't included i'll sort out a private one.

  • OK, but don't forget to get a print-out of your results. Every time. You need to keep your own records. :)

  • Thanks for your advice.

  • You're welcome. :)

  • Make sure you get the ranges too - not just the results. I always ask for a print out of the lab results.

    Mind you, had a funny letter from the GP the other day - as TSH high, T4 low - T3 in low end of range. GP asking me to ring 'unless you have already got a copy of your results from the receptionist'??????

    A badly worded letter or a 'if you have got your results you don't need me to advise you' response ??? LOL

  • My GP told me that if the TSH is in normal range the lab won't look at T3/T4 and antibodies even if she requests it? It's well worth a private blood test from blue horizon or medicheck

  • Markwhufc82,

    If you post your recent thyroid results and ranges we can advise whether you are optimally medicated. If you are undermedicated it will be nigh on impossible to lose weight.

  • Hi! Thanks for your reply!

    Only result i have from my Dr is my TSH level (1.9)

  • Markwhufc82,

    Most people do better with TSH lower so you might want to ask for a dose increase. The goal of Levothyroxine is to restore the patient to euthyroid status. For most patients that will be when TSH is 1.0 or lower with FT4 in the upper range. FT4 needs to be in the upper range in order that sufficient T3 is converted. Read Treatment Options in thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/about_... Email louise.roberts@thyroiduk.org.uk if you would like a copy of the Pulse article to show your GP.

    You could show your GP your diet and exercise schedules to demonstrate that weight has plateaued because you are under medicated.

  • That interesting as late last year my Dr actually considered reducing my dosage of Levothyroxine.

    So the lower the TSH level the better? I've never really had all this explained to me before, and there's so much conflicting information online!

  • Markwhufc82,

    Usually the lower the better as long as it remains within range or just mildly below range.

  • Thanks for that, I'll see whats included in the test I get done next week and take it from there.

    I wonder if I can ask to be referred to an endocrinologist?

  • Markwhufc82,

    Why not try to persuade your GP to increase dose and see how you feel on the higher dose? Endocrinology referrals can take months and quite honestly some of them really aren't worth the long wait.

  • Dare I increase it myself by 25mg and see what happens?

  • Markwhufc82,

    If you have sufficient Levothyroxine go for it.

  • Whats the risks of self medicating t3?

    i'm on 175mg of Levo, so would 125mg Levo + 10mg of T3 do me some good? or is it dangerous/stupid?

  • Markwhufc82,

    No risk, if you're sensible and make sure FT3 remains within range.

    I can't advise about dosing without seeing TSH, FT4 and FT3 results and ranges.

    10mcg T3 is equivalent to 30mcg Levothyroxine.

  • Right!

    I'll probably have to pay for that test privately

  • Mark, having gone down this route myself, if you have been coping well on levo without any other symptoms then I'd go down the route of upping your levo dose as the first port of call, as Clutter says if you have enough of a supply you could try a 25mcg increase or perhaps maybe a 25mcg increase every other day as a starter and see how that goes. I'd not go down the T3 route until you establish that you have a levo issue.

  • Very sensible advice. Thanks for that.

    I have been on 200mg before and was reduced for some reason.

    Would taking more levo in theory reduce my TSH level?

  • Yes it should, if you go for the Blue Horizon blood test then get the Thyroid +11 finger prick test and do it yourself a home. Will check all the levels you need to ensure you are optimal.

  • Did you get decent results from the finger prick? Just I noticed on the Medichecks site that it recommends a venous collection ideally.

  • Yes, they pretty well matched my NHS results, you can also take the venous option if you like but you will have to find someone to draw the blood for you, Blue Horizon do have thing with one of the private hospital chains that can do that for you if wish.

  • Get tested for thyroid antibodies, FT3, TT4, FT4 & TSH. Also essential to check vitamin D, folate, ferritin & B12

    Always get the full results including ranges

    When you go for blood test usual recommendation is to go early as possible in morning, fasting and don't take Levo in 24 hours prior. Delay taking till immediately after blood test

    Do you always take Levo on empty stomach and then nothing apart from water for at least an hour after

    If GP won't/can't do all these then private tests are available. See Thyroid UK website

    Medichecks Thyroid & vit ultra or Blue Horizon plus 11 are most popular - £99. Both companies often have money off offers

    If you have high antibodies this means Hashimotos- autoimmune Thyroid. Common to have low nutrient levels, low stomach acid and/or gluten intolerance

    Lots of posts about this on here

    See also The Thyroid Pharmacist website

  • Thanks for your reply!

  • Start a new thread once you have your test results. Post the test result and range to get advice.

  • Hi Mark try exercising every second day and just sticking to a whole food diet and cut down on gluten also have you got a Fitbit or something to keep track on how input and output you have.

  • I'm finding high fat low carb diet is meaning I'm losing weigh but I've cut out all grains and diary

  • I also have Hashimoto's desease and have been trying to loose weight, I also do regular exercise but the loss ground to a halt for a while. I think it would be a very good idea to get a Blue Horizons blood test done, see how well your converting T4 to T3 ... My convertion ratio was very low and I also had high range RT3 ... I have been self medicating with T3 as the Dr's and Endo's won't precribe it ... I have lost over a stone since Feb BUT I have lost the last 6lb in the last 5 weeks ... I'm not trying to promote T3 as a weight loss supplement so people don't get me wrong but other than being able to function more coherently and feeling much better the weight loss is a nice side bonus and is reflective of the exercise I do ... So maybe you may be in a similar position with your levels as I was and if you get them to a good decent level your body will start to behave more normally allowing your metabolic rate to increase relative to your exercise and loose weight relative to that too.

  • Can i ask what dosage of Levo you were on pre taking T3, and what your dosages are now including your T3?


  • I was on 200mcg Levo ... I started combination at 100mcg Levo -25mcg T3 but felt no different, then stepped it up to 50mcg T3 .. Started to feel ok, I'm just trialling 100mcg Levo and 75mcg T3, been on that dose for about 5 days now and I feel a lot better ... The weight loss is a bonus .. Not feeling shaky, not having sweats etc as it sounds like a big dose but it's working for me.

  • i'm currently on 175mg of levo, where did you get your T3?

  • If you find you have Hashimotos, you should try being gluten free, and you may find you have other food intolerances. But I'm sure people will mention this in more detail once you post your results.

    I agree with some others that you should ham up how much you exercise and a controlled diet when speaking to your doctor, if you ask to have these further tests. They love to suggest it's our fault we're overweight.

    Although don't be surprised if you get the switcheroo I got:

    Doctor: You need to start exercising and these symptoms will disappear.

    Me: Oh, I already exercise quite a lot.

    Doctot:I see. You must be exercising too much, and that's why you're getting symptoms.

  • As I have said many times before you should have knocked your Dr's lights out, tell him to stick his lieing, rubbish diagnosis up his bottom and gladly accept the conciquences ... At least he will think about it twice next time he decides to talk bull just to keep his NHS salary safe!!

  • I've just paid for private blood tests to be done. I chose Blue Horizons, through the Thyroid Uk website. I ordered the Thyroid Check 11 and received a 20% discount. I think some companies sometimes do discounts on a Thursday. Have you tried the keto diet or the low carb/ high fat diet? It might be worth reading to see if it would suit your lifestyle.

  • Hi, I'm thinking of getting blood tests done and also have PCOS as well as taking thyroxine having had a sub total thyroidectomy several years ago.Do Blue Horizon do all the checks including checks for deficiencies in vitamins and hormone imbalances? Just wondering if you knew?

  • I had the Thyroid Check 11. This includes crp, ferritin, tsh, total t4, ft4, ft3, Anti-Thyroglobin, Anti-Thyroiperoxide,vitamin d, vitamin b12, serum folate. They do other tests. If you go on Thyroid Uk website, there are a few companies there.

  • Thanks for that, I'm at the Docs on Monday so if they won't do the blood tests I'm after so might get them done off Blue Horizons! Thanks : )

  • how did you get the 20% discount?

  • It was a may day bank holiday offer, should have been £99, was £79.90.

  • Being strong and deleting bread, all diary products and gluten keeeps me at 9 stone 1.

    I eat lots.

    Large smoothie for breakfast ( can go into detail) and never go hungry.

    My Iyengar teacher gave me a program .

    Being an excerise therapist you may like their approach.


    No perfume or chemicals in your home.

    I have organic food delivered from Riverford ...well recommended

  • I know where you are coming from. Metabolic disorders are difficult as far as weight management.

    I can speak from personal experience. and from having experience at running a slimming club.

    From personal experience a weight plateau means that the diet you have been used to

    has now not drawn on the fat stored round the body. In one way its a good sign as the dose you are on is stabilising. What you might find useful, if you have been on a calorie controlled diet with a mixed diet is to change to a low carbohydrate diet with protein, but sufficient carbs so your kidneys and heart are not affected.

    As a diabetic I followed the nhs recommendations using pasta as a sustaining slow release carb

    but my weight stayed static. If you cut out potatoes sweet potatoes peas and root vegetables relying on salads and green veg such as cabbage, runner beans broccoli in addition to cutting out sweets bread, cakes, biscuits, chocs, sweetened yoghurts - and eat eggs, meat, fish, cottage cheese; it will stimulate your metabolism. As you have a thyroid condition you wont lose weight

    probably for 3 weeks. After three weeks you will probably lose 21bs.

    I have found out that sugar free drinks, often have sweetners which convert to glucose in the

    liver, and store as fat. This applies to slimline tonics, sugar free sweets. I use canderel

    or hermasetas and allow a quarter of a pint a day of green top milk plus an orange or an

    apple. However supplements of vitamin c of up to 1000 grams a day helps your adrenal glands.

    Other starch foods include porridge oats, dried fruit, rice pasta, cereals.

    Also using iodised salt when cooking vegs will help your iodine, along with fish products and fish.

    Too much salt can make you oedematous, as you know, so cutting back on salty snacks

    peanuts crisps cheddar cheese bacon will help you with water retention.

    A brief diet could be breakfast- one or two boiled eggs with a thinly buttered crispbread

    midmorning snack - a crisp bread with fish paste or marmite - lunch- cottage cheese salad with

    celery tomatoes lettuce cucumber - evening mea-l cheese or mushroom omelette with salad

    supper ham on a crispbread. Drinks of coffee and tea can be used with your milk allowance

    and weak no added sugar squash can be drunk. I drink filtered water.

    As an experienced dieter you know the routine. I find once I start down the slippery slope

    of one cream cake - my resolve goes - so I get back on the diet a.s.a.p.

  • Thanks for your reply!

    This had crossed my mind, and I have started a protein/fats - low carb diet about a fortnight ago. So i will stick this out for a bit!

  • It sounds similar but if you feel rocky you should have some extra carbos to help

    your blood sugar evels and drink more water if you are on a high protein diet.

  • No, more carbs is 100% not the way forward for me personally.

  • They say that thyroid disease can be a forerunner of diabetes. As you are feeling ok

    and don't get the shakes, or feel weak on the low carb diet, you are probably ok but some people may react to a low carb diet - hope you get down to your target.

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