Diet and exercise confusion

Is anyone like me and utterly bamboozled at all the conflicting info out there re diet and exercise?

I know food is really key to doing well and that we should have good healthy diets with plenty of good fats (which I do) but alternatively there are Thyroidies out there who are losing weight on Slimming World, which is low fat. Also, we are told not to exercise too much or we will deplete our T3 stores...yet Davina flippin' McCall and her washboard abs is constantly banging on about doing marathons!

I am DESPERATE to lose weight to see if I can do something about my Plantar Fasciitis and generally knackered feet but nothing I do seems to work.'

I have been fasting for 14-18 hours this past week and lost 3lbs most of which I have gained back this morning :-(

Any ideas anyone?


Featured Content

HealthUnlocked User Stories

How did you improve your fitness, general well-being or cope with your illness?

Share your story

Featured by HealthUnlocked

76 Replies

oldest β€’ newest
  • Infomaniac,

    If you are optimally dosed you should be able to exercise although recovery may take a little longer than prior to you becoming hypothyroid.

  • It's a bit of a vicious circle-I want to exercise but am too knackered to do anything other than walk and I'm even finding that hard at the mo because of my feet :-(

  • Hi, you made me laugh! It's all such a flipping struggle but struggle on we do. My plantar fasciitis was excruciating until I found some comfortable shoes with a heel. I'm such a flattie. Bingo, the pain disappeared. Never had a problem pre total thyroidectomy. Might not work for everyone but the raised heel changed everything. I could now exercise in trainers if only I had the energy, physically, emotionally and mentally to stuff them on my feet....but that would mean getting up and trawling through the wardrobe. Slimming World does work. Until you stop going 😫 The biggest difference to me was researching all the minerals and vitamins that the body needs to convert T4 into T3, magnesium, B12, B1, B17 (often forgotten) NAC and all the rest, buying them off Amazon and consuming daily! Huge, huge improvement. I'm trialling myself off my T3 just to see if I remain upright and coherent for a day or two. I will share the results with those in the medical world who rarely show much interest in thyroid problems but am amazed they never shared with me the humungeous (?sp.) importance of vitamin/mineral replacement. B17 I take (when I can afford it) as a cold pressed oil. It's found in the kernel of apricots among other things.

    Best wishes, Sarah xx

    Ps. I am also very FAM......but in my case the FAM is from chin(s) to my backside(s). My legs are quite elegantly slender though, so I look a bit like something off 'Toy Story'....the unseen version.

  • I think Davina was Hyper so possibly needs to use up her excess T3 😊 I think finding the perfect solution is out there somewhere but damned if I can find it 😊 At almost 71 I swim miles every summer - walk my dog - teach yoga twice a week - organise a letting business - and still I am FAM - fat around the middle. 😊

    I know you are knowledgeable so will have checked B12 & VitD levels regarding the Plantar Fascitis ....

    Just read this morning about this American lady who went to France to meet her new family - ate masses and lost weight 😊 She has now written a book.

    Fasting for so long sounds a bit drastic 😊😊

  • Drastic times drastic measures Marz!

    I supplement with Vit D, B & B12 but didn't actually know there was a connection?

  • VitD helps with inflammation and B12 works on myelin sheath among other things πŸ˜†

  • FAM πŸ˜‚ Not funny to have it (I do too) but love the abbreviation x

  • Love the FAM label, sooo accurate!!! I'd be happy to get rid of middle from under bust to hips!!!

  • There is a book by the name - Fat Around the Middle. I once borrowed it from a friend - worth a read 😊😊

  • Thanks will have a look for it

  • I suspect Ms McCall is one of those who are happily getting on with Levo, I found I could do as much exercise as I wanted when Levo was working for me, different now of course. It is really hard to exercise when on T3/NDT, I've recently just started walking/jogging again, but I'm yawning like a lion a couple of hours later, I think with my ferritin slowly improving is helping, not lost any weight yet though.

  • Yes she must be one of the lucky ones. Slim, shiny hair, plenty of energy, no depression...lucky her!

  • infomaniac, everyone has their 'own key' to unlock... it's a matter of finding it.

    After inexplicable weigh gain and then 12 years of lots of really good exercise (great PT's too) + exemplary diet, yet only a few pounds up/few down = no real movement, even when on T3 (but my square face went and the [trapped fluid] mucin must also have started to decrease).

    I stopped all exercise (to let my adrenals rest!) and did this (see link) whilst eating the same food just changed FATS... to drop almost 50 lbs from July - Oct. I never went hungry :-)

  • LCHF is great for people with normal bowels but I have had constipation since I was a child and low carb to me = instant constipation which as you can imagine does nothing for my weight loss nor my well being :-(

  • Carbs from veggies? I have really bad bowel issues (from March 2012 - dreadful - veggies tend to give fibre :-) ) - huge amounts of antibiotics for bloating and IBS C + D. I appreciate that it's horrible! :-(

  • Takes more than that sadly! My regime is to have a pint of hot water every morning then a full cafetiere of coffee...and whether I "go" or not depends on what I've eaten the day before...and sometimes I still don't!

  • Oh my! :-( xox

  • :-(

  • How about finding the very best 'natural stool softner'? They do exist (like syrup of figs or... Eliminex from L'bs??) - because if that is your stumbling block - that clearly has to be fixed. :-)

  • I've just googled Eliminex and it's now called FOS...which bloats me horrendously. I am apparently sensitive to figs so syrup of figs is out too :-( Great eh?

  • Epsom salts are harsh - I used to get constipated as a kid (badly) and my mother used to say, "They shift horses with Epsom Salts"... never worked. xox

  • Bleurghhhh....ES are vile!!! I have a couple of pet remedies that I use when all else fails but there's nothing better than going off your own bat!

  • Syrup of figs isnt really a stool softener as such - it is more of a stimulating laxative usually because it is combined with senna. Stool softeners include things like psyllium or flax seeds which contain mucilage to soften the stool providing you drink plenty of water with them

  • I have already suggested psyllium husk (not here) - and, for those with such issues, S of Figs can certainly help some people and stools do become softer with it :-)

    Different strokes for different folks, eh? Constipation is a dreadful thing... so trying can't really harm? As it happens, infomaniac is sensitive to it, so... :-( Hope something is found.

  • My bowels are terrible too. Take two Laxido every day and eat a ton of fruit but still no go!

  • If I eat normally most days I do go but it usually takes hours. Thank heavens I don't start work early!

  • I start work at 8am!!

  • :-(

  • I am hungry all the time. I eat a healthy diet on the whole but really do struggle with constant hunger. I am not overweight yet but soon will be, despite my best efforts. It gets me down :-(. Any advice would be much appreciated

  • That sounds like your Ghrelin hormone is out of whack. Try reading up on Leptin and Ghrelin and try to 'reset' those hormones to get them under control so you'll be less hungry. When really ill, I used to feel like a bear searching for stuff - I didn't succumb to it but I'd find myself opening cupboard doors 'searching', looking for food.

    Timing between meals is EVERYTHING, seriously.

    I did this and it worked:

  • I thought my own plantar fasciitis improved and finally disappeared when my T3 levels improved. I think optimising my low iron helped a lot too.

  • That is very interesting humanbean . I started to have pain in my heel recently and couldn't figure out why ? Is it a T3 connection and Iron ? I was thinking maybe nightshade foods . I recently started eating red peppers in my salad . I thought that might have caused the pain . To the point that I have times that I can't work out . It's at times very debilitating . Mornings I find it to be hard . I wonder if anyone else has this problem too ? Thank you for bringing it up .

  • I think your best bet will be low impact exercise such as yoga and swimming. Have you tried gluten free and low sugar?

  • I've been GF for approx 4 years, am more or less dairy free and have very little sugar (unless it's in the form of wine! Hey nobody's perfect!!)

  • Believe it or not, some people find that eating enough fat is key to, erm,... lubricating and regularising their bathroom habits. I am one of those people.

    Enough fat doesn't mean eating slabs of cheese with butter spread on top, or main-lining extra thick double cream, for me it's just avoiding low fat or fat-free versions of foods.

    If I go OTT on the fats (like too much cream, or indeed too many oily nuts), then my regular becomes "Make way to the small room,.... NOW!".

    I now eat a reduced carb, balancing fats diet. When I started on it, I lost weight, and quickly. Many do, but of course, like all other things in life, one things doesn't work for everyone.

  • Lucky you! Fat doesn't seem to do much for me bowel-wise unfortunately. I would have no problem being low carb-high fat forever...if it wasn't for my bowels :-(

  • Thank you Josiesmum for your response . Yes I am off gluten sugar dairy and grains . Yoga and swimming is off the radar for me . I do walking and cycling . But of late because of my heel spur pain it's become a bit difficult . I see my chiropractor but I don't see much results . I started to omit now night shade foods if that can be the cause? I would love to hear from anyone if they had or have it and how they are dealing with it ? Thank you for trying to help .

  • This is a link I've put up previously.

  • Yes thank you shaws, I got this from you :-) I'm putting a project together and will be including this, since I know that you too are a great fan of Dr Lowe.

    I do believe that obesity can partially be due to trapped fluid (mucin) under the skin (not the fully blown situation) but that, over time, T3 slowly unblocks the receptors... eventually making weight loss [more] possible.

  • I agree about mucin too. I doubt modern doctors know there is such a thing nowadays.

  • Thank goodness for those smart, brave souls who recorded this history, or no one would have a clue now!

    I seriously noticed a point where the square face left me (I never had one before that) and skin on arms etc that couldn't be lifted (given excess weight, I should have been able to)... x ? steps from the myxoedema path. I was very lucky: I never got to 'huge weight gain'.

    (My G Grandmother died in 1950; pics of her when really thin, just as my G'mother was into her 40's, until - WHAM - excessive weight that couldn't be shifted. They lived through times when people had little choice than to eat 'sensibly' - no junk food - scarcity of food. The Depression, then WWII, continued rationing until 1950's. I wasn't born but heard about this poor woman who filled a 2-seater sofa and couldn't walk, she was so obese. They" said she had dementia... sounds like Myxoedema! to me? It certainly wasn't food!)

    I have documented a (now Five Generation) 'Family Tree' on this - there must be quite a few families like this about. Endocrinology simply has no interest - shame on their ignorance.

  • Myxedema sounds the most probably cause of woman's death.

  • Indeed!

  • What worked for me weight-wise was going gluten-free. I began losing weight without trying before I'd even started Levo. That was a year ago, I've gone from 74 kg last summer to 64 kg now - that's the weight I was in my early 20s. I wasn't hugely overweight but I had a real 'barrel' around the middle. My weight is still edging downwards.

    I don't exercise at all. That's due to a combo of having a crook back and also being under-medicated thyroid-wise, I get exhausted by the simplest tasks.

  • I've been GF for 4 years Jadzhia, as well as being very strict in other areas too...fat lot of good it's doing me (no pun intended!)

  • I think, as someone else said higher up, it's a different combination of factors for each of us. Hard to say exactly what might work for you, I know it's horribly frustrating!

  • One day, with T3 receptors 'unclogged', it could just work :-)

  • Plantar fasciitis is likely too much T4 and/or low T3

    My feet were appalling for over a year, plantar fasciitis so bad barely able to stand or walk.

    Now under endo guidance I have reduced T4 (from 125mcg to 100mcg) and added 20mcg T3 in split doses (10mcg waking, 5mcg noon and 5mcg 6pm) Levo at bedtime. T4 reduced in 2 steps. T3 added initially in minute split dose and increased in small steps over 2-3 months.

    Feet are transformed. Walking and strength returning. Only taken 23 years!!!! More on profile.

    I have DIO2 gene variation, Hashimoto's, gluten intolerance, & low vitamins - all now well supplemented and at very good levels - essential before adding T3

    Lots of posts on here link plantar fasciitis to low T3

    My previous GP thought it ridiculous & hilarious when I said plantar fasciitis was result of thyroid. Now who's laughing

  • Well that's a bit of positive news at last SlowDragon :-) It did go away for a while (maybe coinciding with me starting T3?) but it's been dreadful for a while now. I am left with just a couple of pairs of tatty old mules to wear as I can't wear flats, and despite wearing PF socks, using a massage ball and doing stretches it's not responding. Added to that I was woken in the early hours with a throbbing pain at the side of my foot...God knows what that was!

  • Too much T4 or high reverse T3?

  • I suffered with plantar fasciitis for over 5 years -started thyroxine in March and it disappeared with a month so I'm convinced there was a link!!!

  • Slow Dragon, may I ask you how you manage to split your T3 and divide your doses? When I tried to cut my 20 mcg. pill in half with the little cutting gadget, it turned to dust. It's not scored so trying with a knife got nowhere. The other thing is that I thought T3 had to be taken 4 hours after any food and a minimum of 1 hour before food. For goodness sake, I can't go 4minutes without planning what next is heading towards my mouth! I take my tablet at 7am. and hope for more sleep until I can race (well, shuffle) to the kitchen. I know it's short acting so would do better in split doses but how do you space it in relation to food?

    Thanks, Sarah.

  • Hi SarahReins

    I use a craft or medical scalpel to cut T3 up.

    Uni-Pharma was easier than Mercury Pharma

    But 1/2 and 1/4 perfectly possible

    I take each dose an hour before food

    3 doses advised by endo. as you say, T3 is short acting

  • Thank you 😊

    How long would it be since you last ate before taking your T3.....and is it ok to take T4 and T3 together which I was doing each morning before I started my trial of not having T3?

  • Well I take T4 at bedtime (as advised by endo)

    Been doing that about 4 years - found it very much better

    T3 - 10mcg at 6am so I can have cup of tea at 7

    5mcg at noon - so that's about 4 hours after breakfast

    5mcg at 5.30pm

    I take most vitamins with breakfast

    Split dose of B complex as it's 2 tablets per day - 2nd midafternoon or with dinner

    Magnesium is difficult to fit in

    Currently not taking often, as result, might try mag oil on skin instead

    I don't need to take iron fortunately

    Vitamin d I use mouth spray

  • Thank you. :)

  • It's fasting for a certain number of hours only-I am still eating! There is evidence out there that fasting has a positive effect on your health and can improve autoimmune conditions which is another reason why I am doing it.

  • That's a first for me!

  • I've read this in several article that fasting even for 24 hours once a month can really benefit autoimmune conditions. But who knows?? I thought my doctor was Fountain of all knowledge until I came to this forum! πŸ˜‚

  • At the moment I am doing 15:9 which is fasting 15 hours (from 6pm so a lot of it is in bed) then eating in a 9hr window (9pm till 6). It's OK but nothing is happening weight wise :-(

  • I take 2 magnesium citrate capsules & 2 probiotics before going to bed , this has cured my constipation.

  • I have to take 8x200 for anything to happen which is obviously far too much. I haven't taken them alongside probiotics however. Is there a specific reason for doing that sianbarn?

  • I have seen Debbie Lewis Nutritionist , who advised me about my gut, sleeping & constipation( & other thyroid ailments) These 2 things together really work for meπŸ˜ƒI'm not sure why but will ask her at our next appointment in September .

  • Thanks a lot. You are so lucky to have found someone who can help you.

  • Great to see such a supportive community on here, I come from a Functional Medicine perspective and am a registered osteopath. For me, the medical way of thinking places way too much emphasis on the area or organ of the body that has started to display symptoms.

    This can lead to getting hung up on T3/Thyroxine/Iodine etc. when from my decade long of reading and research has led me to believe that the root cause of most ongoing health problems should be addressed first at the digestive system. This doesn't just mean what you are eating either, it's just as important to achieve as relaxed state as you can whilst you eat and for the following hour in order to optimise digestion.

    This was just my initial thoughts, happy to answer further questions.

  • I completely agree. If I could get my gut sorted I feel like everything would fall into place...but it's SO hard!

  • Have you had any testing done to give yourself a baseline of where you're starting from? A stool test to identify bacterial levels and a urine test to identify 'organic acids' metabolism pathways should be your first starting point.

    Otherwise in my opinion all your interventions in terms of fasting etc. are just guess work if you can't measure their effectiveness other than symptom resolution which can be misleading in the short term.

  • You are so right. I have looked at stool tests but they don't always get very good reviews and as they are very expensive this puts me off a bit.

  • I can completely understand that but what I understand from the mentors I've been trained under is that the tests are now much more accurate than they've ever been. The way medicine is being practised is changing and it has to when it comes to solving longer term issues, the movement is gathering pace with programs like 'Doctor in The House'.

    I'd be happy to recommend a Functional Medicine Practitioner to work with you in a private message.

  • That would be great-thanks a lot :-)

  • Dear Infomaniac - I know where you are coming from - being told to exercise to help your weight

    loss when you can hardly walk with plantar faschitis is disheartening.

    I've had plantar faschitis too. I treated this myself with tow different types of methods

    I had plantar faschitis where the skin broke down, and the base of the sole particularly round

    the big toe was red but not scaly. However between my toes was a small bit of athletes foot.

    I went to the doctor who prescribed an atheletes foot cream terfinadine which I smothered

    all over the base of my soles and feet. As I am diabetic I have to watch my feet carefully and have to buy shoes with soles which are thick enough to prevent me feeling pebbles or stones.

    If I walk with shoes with a thinnish soles on rough ground, it can start it off again.

    I also use Neutrogena foot cream or if I've run out of this the hand cream which is the best

    moisturising formulation for me. I wear cotton socks at night and during the day, to save any sticky

    cream staining bedclothes. You can buy packs in supermarkets cheaply.

    I also found that real leather inserts which you can buy in shoe smith or in shoe shops and online.

    I've tried the foam inserts and they are useless for me.

    As for diet having run a slimming club along time ago, I know that watching your carbs

    is the most important help in losing weight. It is the hidden carbs and sugars which might delay

    your weight loss for example sugars are in root potatoes such as turnips swedes carrots sweet potatoes potatoes squash. Also in tonics even when they say 0 calories the sweetners used

    convert to glucose in the liver. We all know about sugars in confectionery cakes biscuits potatoes

    but even in plain biscuits for cheese sugar is added - even in sausages there may be bread or cereal, or glucose added and may not appear on the labels. Reduced sugar fruit drinks

    are deceptive as they only cut the sugar down by 20 percent and with no added sugar the fruit

    concentrate has fructose or sweetners in it but are better than with normal soft drinks and squashes. As you have a thyroid metabolic disorder it takes longer to lose weight.

    When you try the scales you might find it takes four weeks to lose a couple of pounds.

    The best way to lose weight is to boost your metabolism by eating protein meals five times a day

    as snacks. Not eating at all - does not help lose weight.

    A daily menu could be breakfast - boiled egg with thinly buttered crispbread/or flora

    a cup of tea. Or a slice of ham with tomato with crispbread.

    Mid day snack could be a fishpaste on a plain thin biscuit with no sugar, or an apple.

    Lunch could be meat fish cottage cheese, with salad including a bit of grated carrot

    lettuce raw spinach , tomatoes and cucumber with a teaspoon of mayonnaise or saald cream.

    tea or coffee with hermestas is ok

    Supper could be cauliflower cheese, or a chicken curry on a bed of cauliflower.

    Spaghetti and pasta and rice rice cakes and rice biscuits are like dripping sugar into

    your liver but it is slow release.

    Cottage cheese is better for you than too much red meat as this can affect your kidneys and create

    uric acid giving gout or arthritis so having these occasionally will be better for you. Chicken and fish are better for digestion.

    The weight should come off if you stick to the diet. If you are tempted and have a binge

    don't lose heat just go back to your diet again. Once you see the weight dropping off this is an incentive. The first two weeks of dieting, you will lose water from your tissues.

    After this you will start to burn off the fat about a pound or two a week - depends on your metabolic problem. If you have at least a quarter a pint of milk a day and apiece of fruit such as orange and apple this should help your vitamins. Iodine in yoghurt fish fishpaste will aid

    metabolism.. vitamins supplements in c form up to 1000mg a day in either small pills from boots

    orange flavoured or other multivitamins can aid your diet. You wont feel hungry on this diet

    and I am sure you will lose weight.

  • Thanks gadgrantg. I'm going to see a podiatrist tomorrow so hopefully they will be able to help. I always keep away from flat shoes but at the moment even my trusty comfy wedges and trainers aren't 100% :-(

    As far as diet is concerned I am gluten free and (almost!) dairy free so a lot of your suggestions would be no good for me. So sorry you took time to write all that out!

    Like you say, I am never going to lose quickly so I really need to learn to be patient instead of expecting to lose stones overnight!

  • The info re exercise affecting your hormone levels is no myth, If you have a look at my bio you will see a post I did on the subject, all my blood results are on my bio including the one where I tanked my T4 by doing the Virgin global exercise challenge and it was starting to bring down my FT3 too. I also found I had to exercise every single day or I crashed.

    If we do not eat enough calories our bodies go into starvation mode, this affects conversion. Instead of producing FT3 we produce more rT3 which lowers metabolism to save energy to survive the famine.

    I lost 4 stone with slimming world a few years ago and pre diagnosis. Greygoose and other reading had suggested that we need a reasonable amount of carbs and calories to enable good conversion so despite it being counter to my eating habits for years I recently added in a couple of slices of quality brown bread (I dont have hashi) and some starchy foods and raised my calorie intake slightly. I have also spent the last 6 months fixing some dire vit levels with Seasidesusies advice. Optimal levels of Vit D , B12 and magnesium all play a big role in maintaining healthy muscles, ligaments and tendons. My bloods last week show my conversion is now spot on at 3.5:1 it was about 5:1, my free levels are also optimal. I also cut right back on the exercise and my weight has finally stabilised without having to fight just to stop going up. I now feel well and will start experimenting with judicious amounts of exercise and am hopeful I can shed a few pounds but need to avoid over doing it.

    I also had PF and did find that having memory foam insoles in shoes with a rubber wedge type heel of about an inch helped tremendously as it took some if the pressure off the heel. I also bought scholl gel sport insoles, they are expensive at about Β£12 a pair (I got two for Β£20 on a deal) but I can honestly say they are the best money ever spent, they give very good arch support and are designed to minimise the shock from heel strike. I also bought a pair of trainers with curved soles, they make you roll your foot properly when walking. I certainly found the PF was making me walk flat footed with a shorter stride, this in turn affected my hips, then my back muscles. Since sorting my vits and conversion the PF is practically gone and it is still early days on that front.

  • Hi Phoenix605. I've looked up Scholl sports insoles but there seem to be a few different kinds.

    Please could you post a link to the ones you have found helpful? Thank you x

  • Apologies for the delay, my phone is playing silly buggers and wont copy the links and I finally gave up! On the plus side they have gone down in price since I bought mine.

    Scholl Women's Gel Activ Insoles - Sport

    I haven't tried the gel massage or the orthotic ones.

    Dr Scholl's Massaging Gel Sport Insoles- Women's

    Scholl Orthaheel Sports Orthotic

  • I have the curved trainers too...they are the most comfortable things ever! I have tried Scholl insoles but they did nothing for me. I also have some wedge heel inserts which are OK but at the moment nothing is working which really makes me think my T3 and T4 levels must be off as others have suggested. I bought a couple of pairs of gorgeous flats earlier in the year, thinking I was cured and it's killing me not wearing them :-(

    I'm glad you managed to sort yourself out-good to know it can be done.

You may also like...