Dieting with Hashimotos : Hi. I have Hashimotos... - Thyroid UK

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Dieting with Hashimotos

McPammy
McPammy

Hi. I have Hashimotos and a poor converter of T4 to T3. I’m positive DIO2 gene tested. I’m on Levothyroxine and Liothyronine medication.

Has anyone successfully lost weight when their thyroid levels are optimal.

I’ve been going to the gym for a little under 3 months. I only do cardio workouts. Treadmill, cross trainer and rower. I also walk fast every day around my village for 30 mins. I’m a vegetarian and keep an eye on my food intake. Admittedly I did eat more over Christmas.

When I was prescribed T3 medication I’d put on 2st in about 6 months prior. Thankfully I lost the 2st within the next 6 months with T3 help. However, I’m still overweight by another 2 stone. I just cannot lose one pound, not one. I haven’t put weight on and can’t lose any either. My next idea is to go on a diet. And I wanted to ask people in our forum if they’ve had any success. If so what was it that helped. I’m considering cutting out carbs but I’m wary of doing that

Many thanks and a very happy new year to everyone.

41 Replies
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Hi McPammy, my first endo said the right diet was anything that worked for you. She said it needed to be healthy and sustainable and obviously not make you feel worse. After a bit of trial and error I lost weight by following a Mediterranean diet and watching portions and walking more. I learned this through a weight loss research project I took part in where I basically had to weigh everything I ate to learn what a healthy portion was. Before this I tried intermittent fasting and low carb but both made me too shakey and weak so not sustainable.

Good luck but go easy and maybe be cautious of extremes like cutting carbs or fasting.

Michael

McPammy
McPammy in reply to Mike77

Hi. Thank you Mike77. I agree cutting carbs may make me shaky and therefore not sustainable as you say. Especially as I go the gym 3/4 times a week. It’s just so annoying as I’m trying hard with my exercise of walking fast and cardio work. I can’t up my T3 as I go dizzy and balance off and leg weakness.

I’ve just come back from marching around my village lol.

Thanks again I forgot about the med diet.

SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator

Like you, after starting T3 initially I lost just over two stone.......it wasn't easy.

I do cut some carbs, but nothing too extreme. Strictly gluten free diet tends to be lower carb anyway and still remain on roughly same diet. (No potatoes, no rice, no cakes etc)

ideally I have at least 2 more stone to loose. But weightloss stopped about 6 months ago. In fact recently gained a few pounds.

I do tend to gain weight in Autumn/winter especially over Christmas. Less active in winter and more chocolate...not a good mix

Hoping to make further progress

McPammy
McPammy in reply to SlowDragon

Thanks Slowdragon for your reply.

I’ll try and cut carbs but not drastically at all and try more salads with fish etc. It’s so annoying as I am trying hard with the exercise. I have put weight on over Christmas as I stayed away with my partner and the gym and walking didn’t happen. I’m back in the swing again now. So I’ll give it a few more weeks to see if I can shift anything. Sometimes I think it’s water retention more so than fat as I still have fluid build up from 2018 in inside of my knees.

I wonder if our private prof would know how to shift this fluid?? Did you ever ask him.

SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to McPammy

I wonder if T3 dose needs slight increase...as doing more and much fitter.

I certainly have had to start pacing myself more regularly again

I still suffer same solid swelling below knee

McPammy
McPammy in reply to SlowDragon

I had an increase but unfortunately I went over medicated on 2 occasions. The minute I go over the T3 level I go dizzy, off balance and my legs buckle. It’s so frustrating at times. But hey... I can go the gym and walk a lot when others are struggling so much. A complete change for me from a year earlier.

McPammy
McPammy in reply to SlowDragon

I often wonder is it to do with T4 medication. I can hardly convert only 8% to T3 re my blood tests for T4?? Where does it go if not converting much??

SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to McPammy

Do you mean FT4 is only 8% through range ?

Are you still only on 75mcg liquid Levothyroxine ?

You can't tell how much you convert once you are on T3

McPammy
McPammy in reply to SlowDragon

My T3 was only 8% through the range when on T4 Levothyroxine alone.

T3 was 3.9 ( range 3.7-6.0)

T3 is now 5.2 with T3 Liothyronine and no T3 prior to blood test.

SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to McPammy

Well FT4 needs to be at least 50% through range

If I was only on 75mcg Levothyroxine I would expect my FT4 would be at least that low

Personally I think you need dose increase in Levothyroxine

McPammy
McPammy in reply to SlowDragon

When I had an increase from 75 to 100 my T3 was still only 8% through the range and the T4 was above the range.

So I’ve tried that and unfortunately I can’t seem to convert any better than 8%. I wonder why I’m on T4 at times.

SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to McPammy

But have you tried increase in Levothyroxine since adding in T3?

McPammy
McPammy in reply to SlowDragon

No. I asked Prof W. He said increase T3 to third dose. And leave Levothyroxine as is at 75. But I went over medicated in 7 days. We reduced increase to 2.5 and I went over medicated in 14 days. I asked him as I was going to the gym 3/4 days a week and thought I might need the increase. Turns out I don’t. As if I do increase I go very dizzy, balance is awful and my legs won’t work properly. So I’m back to 5mcg twice a day and I feel fine going gym, walking more etc. It’s just my weight I want to get down.

Hi McPammy, As you seem to be exercising more than before it is possible that you have lost fat but gained muscle which weighs more?

Have you noticed that your clothes are slacker?

Before I became hypothyroid I used to swim a lot over 3 miles a week and although I initially lost weight, that stopped but I went down a couple of dress sizes and I was very muscley and toned so maybe you are changing the composition of your body through exercise.

I too take T3 and levothyroxine and have lost a small amount of weight, but not as much as I would like.

As others have said I think portion sizes are crucial, we have been accustomed to eating larger meals for years, plates are bigger and if you go out the meals are huge.

I recently visited my mum and she still has the crockery we ate off when we were growing up and the dinner plates are much smaller and we never seemed to go hungry.

Good luck I can appreciate how frustrating it can be. :)

SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to knitwitty

Vintage 1950-60's plates are brilliant way of cutting portion sizes ...and stylish too

knitwitty
knitwitty in reply to SlowDragon

Couldn't agree more!

McPammy
McPammy in reply to knitwitty

I wish it was muscle and not fat. My clothes fit the same unfortunately.

I’d just love to drop one size in my clothes. I think I’m gonna turn to salads for a few weeks. I don’t eat meat. My B12 and ferritin are good as I have either injections or tablets for these regularly. I like fish. So I’ll do tuna, mackerel, salmon and egg salads for a few weeks and see it that helps.

I did increase my T3 with my Endos advise however I went over medicated after a week with 5mcg increase. So I reduced to 2.5mcg T3 increase but after 2 weeks I went over medicated again. So now I’m back to my normal dose of 5mcg twice daily. This gets me to the top of the blood level.

Thanks again. Isn’t it infuriating lol.

knitwitty
knitwitty in reply to McPammy

That sounds like a good plan, if I were you I'd include good fats in your regime, if you're eating salad make a dressing with extra virgin olive oil and include the oil in the tuna.

I know eating fat sounds a bit counterproductive when you want to lose weight but the fats help you to feel full for much longer, and reduces the urge to eat between meals.

I have started to have cream on my gluten free porridge ( and nothing else) and I haven't gained an ounce.

I have also tried to cut out sugar completely ( very difficult over Christmas!!) as I think it is much more harmful than fat.

I haven't gained any weight, but not lost much either but I will see how I get on in the new year.

I think it is probably a very slow process, but don't give up, I'm sure you will see results soon.:)

McPammy
McPammy in reply to knitwitty

Ah what a positive message...thank you.

Yes that’s good advise. I will make up my own dressing with a good olive oil, good thinking.

I have to watch my cholesterol too. It did shoot up to 6.8 a couple of months ago. I’m not sure why as I generally eat healthy. After going the gym for 2 months it’s come down to 5.2. So me and my GP are happy with that. I think I’m quite fit and essentially healthy but the weight won’t go. I’d like it to come down to 4.8. And my weight to drop one stone. It normally would be doable but not lately.

Great advise and thank you very much. I won’t give up. I’m a fighter.👍

SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to McPammy

Increase in cholesterol would suggest under medicated

Being hypothyroid raises cholesterol. 4.8 is still on high side, this suggests you have room for dose increase

Many people need to increase Levothyroxine when on T3

As our metabolism improves we need higher dose

Have you tried 3 x 5mcg doses of T3?

7am, 3pm and 11pm

I split my Levothyroxine

100mcg at 11pm

25mcg at 7am

McPammy
McPammy in reply to SlowDragon

Yes tried a third dose. I went over medicated by day 7. I reduced the increase by half then went over medicated on day 14. I just can’t tolerate if I go over the T3 or T4 range. I go all dizzy and off balance and my legs crumble. So now I’m back to the original dose of twice daily.

Hello McPammy,

I gained 3 stone last year as my thyroid was all over the place, and having had a few thyroxine increases my levels became optimal (although I have had conversion issues in the past). But I wasn't losing any weight, so I decided to try keto for three weeks before Xmas...

It worked very well for me - not only did I lose 10 pounds, I felt better than I have done in years!!!

However I know it doesn't work for everyone, and I haven't tried it long term to see if the weight loss continues.

We gave it a break over Xmas, and are starting again this coming Monday - I honestly can't wait coz I felt so good!!

I think you can only try to see if it works...but what worries me slightly is that it could mess me all up again... however, so far it has done the opposite!

Good luck! 😁

McPammy
McPammy in reply to Molly161018

Well done you. 10lbs loss is great. I’m a little worried about no carbs. I did it once some years ago and nearly passed out. Maybe I went too hard. I did lose weight though.

I guess, as you say, it’s all individual and it needs to be sustainable.

I’m going for salads and protein with some carbs to keep me going I think. I guess I’ll have to weigh myself tomorrow morning, not looking forward to that after Christmas as my little routine was all messed up.

Thank you again 👍

i lost 3.5 stone when optimal by doing a calorie controlled diet. i got a fitbit to count my calories out and used my fitness pal to count calories in. i aimed for 500 calorie deficit each day and was successful. this was when i got optimal the first time, it seemed to have got harder as i’m getting older to keep the weight off, but currently as my thyroid and vitamins are all good levels i can lose a bit with that same calorie deficit approach. i initially joined a group on face book for motivation- team RH fitness, i’m not a member now but it was good for motivation and accountability.

london81
london81 in reply to london81

PS i didn’t need to cut carbs i just reduced sugar and worked around my many intolerances! i like to focus on staying full and not aggravating my tummy so i stick to things like apples, pears, potatoes, celery, cucumber, chick peas, popcorn and fish.... you get the drift :)

McPammy
McPammy in reply to london81

Yes. I get the drift. I forgot about celery. I love it. I’m going out food shopping shortly to get in things to steer me away from the stuff I shouldn’t have. X

McPammy
McPammy in reply to london81

That sounds like a good plan too. I do have a fit bit but don’t currently log my calories. I think I’ll do the salads mainly and also start logging the calories. About 10 years ago I did that using an app that escapes my mind just now. And it did work. I think I lost 20lbs in 6 months. I do eat healthily but maybe I don’t watch those calories. I should!!

Thank you. I’ll include this in my effort. Let’s hope it works for me.

Thanks again 👍

london81
london81 in reply to McPammy

it’s called my fitness pal, sorry i forgot to name it! it’s a bit of a faff weighing and logging things but once you have got on top of it the app does all the work! it really helps me because i graze and portion control isn’t my strong point. but when i can see for example i’ve done 500 calorie run on my fitbit i am less inclined to eat high calorie things, and overall i can see that consistently if i eat 500-600 calories less than i’m burning each day i lose one pound a week.

if you use this method ensure to log your weight in the fitbit app but not in my fitness pal because it skews the data, and don’t follow the my fitness pal generic guide on how much to eat it’s too low if you are exercising. so for example i can see i’ve burned 2500 calories on average each day, i therefore eat 2000 calories. i log it all down in a paper book and don’t link the two apps.

McPammy
McPammy in reply to london81

Yes that’s it my fitness pal. I have used it about 10 years ago. It did work and focus your mind. My friend and I did it together. We both lost quite a bit.

I’m going to shops now followed by the gym, treadmill, rower and cross trainer once again. I’ve been on a fast walk this morning for 40 mins and I’ve taken all the lights down from outside my house and put them all away in the loft for next year. Let’s hope calorie counting does it again! 👍😀

london81
london81 in reply to McPammy

resistance training can also help build up your bone density- you could start with body pump maybe. but be aware when muscles build it can make the scales stay still but if you measure with a tape and take photos you can see inch loss! that’s only if you want to but i found it helpful

McPammy
McPammy in reply to london81

Thank you. As I go the gym for cardio a few times a week now. I thought I might try Clubercise as it looks fun and I use to love going out clubbing and dancing in my younger days. I understand about muscle building and weight not dropping unfortunately I don’t seem to be building any muscle with all my cardio work. I just got back from my gym. I spent 35 mins on the treadmill, not all running. I walk for 3 mins fast then run 10 mins sometimes more. Drenched coming out. I really am trying but no weight loss. Maddening at times.

Thank you for your positive response. I’ll make a goal to lose something by Easter. That should give me long enough. This thyroid business is unfair for us all.

I joined S.W. last March and I have managed to lose almost 2st my doctor told me I would have no trouble losing weight. My medication was at the right level and he was right, all I have to do is keep the weight from coming back and maintain.

McPammy
McPammy in reply to san_ray70

Excellent. You are exactly where I’d like to be. Thank you for your positivity. I hope I will lose the weight by Easter or Whit.

👍😀

The best thing to do is do your best, either join a club or find a friend to be together losing weight. I was scepticle at first. Celebrate when you lose, buy a book or C.D. Do not worry when you do not lose, tomorrow is another day, you can begin again. The best of luck.

McPammy
McPammy in reply to san_ray70

Thank you. 👍

May I throw another idea in the mix...Michael Mosley's Fast800/5:2 'diet', I say 'diet' but it becomes a sustainable way of eating. If you start with the Fast800 it's based around removing the beige carbs, rice bread, cakes, spuds, etc and looking at foods that greatly affect your sugar levels (inc fruits, root veg) and cause spikes, eating 800 good calories a day for up to 12 weeks. It focuses on a Mediterranean diet. It's also not just about losing weight, it's about the whole body and how foods affect it.

Once you've achieved your idea weight or done the Fast800 for the max recommended time, you move onto the 5:2, then going forward you just eat a balanced Med' diet.

I did it for about 8 weeks, got to my idea weight in that time and have been able to maintain it going forward. If you buy just one book to read and understand it more, get the Fast800 book. It's truly an eye opener and repeats a lot of research that I had read elsewhere about food, diabetes, insulin resistance, dementia, CVD.

If you do decide to look into it further there is a HUGE community on Facebook & Instagram of people who have done it or are doing it.

Just another idea... 🙂

McPammy
McPammy in reply to janey1234

Thank you Janey. I did the 5:2 diet a few years ago a couple of times. Unfortunately each time I tried it I was ill. I think it effects your adrenals. I have had very low cortisol which is prod by your adrenals. I did lose weight but unfortunately became very unwell also. It maybe to do with that I have a conversion disorder and hardly convert T4 to T3. Since I finally got T3 my cortisol is much higher. Maybe I could do the fasting diet now but I’m a little scared of it.

I know it works for others as my partner swears by it. I did feel energised by it but after a few weeks became seriously unwell.

Thank you I’m glad you’ve found your level with weight. I hope I do too. 👍😀

janey1234
janey1234 in reply to McPammy

I got all my levels, T3, T4, folate, ferritin, vitamin, D, B12, Etc all optimal long before I started. I wish you well x

McPammy
McPammy in reply to janey1234

Hi Janey,

Yes, very wise. All my thyroid and vitamins are optimal at the moment. 👍

Hi McPammy, similar to you I finally managed to shift some weight (21lbs so far) with the introduction of medication, but now it has slowed down and am more conscious of what I am eating and how it is linked to my weight. For me, a Mediterranean style diet seems to work, getting carbs from veg, very low sugar. When I am on holiday I manage to lose a bit of weight without much effort (including 3lbs over this festive break 🤷‍♀️) - not sure if it’s being totally relaxed or having the time to eat a big cooked breakfast every morning to kick start my metabolism. It’s my goal to test this out and make time for bacon and eggs every morning and see how it goes! Just thought I’d share this as in the past I have taken the action of eating less without any weight loss, much to my frustration. Good luck!

I know I'm really extreme. But I've been really unwell in the past with ibs (and other disorders) and I've found an elimination diet, autoimmune protocol has worked for me.

I'm planning on starting again in a few days, and bringing new foods in very slowly. In my 20s I lost a lot of weight due to ill health (I was about 7 stone at one point but my food made me sick), and it helped me gain weight... As my body didn't reject the food I was eating in the same way it did previously.

In my 30s I was unwell and put on weight and the diet helped to control my symptoms and I lost weight quickly. I was never hungry.

I'm stating again now as it removes the symptoms I have like swollen glands, brain fog and gives me more energy. I'm hoping it will improve my thyroid too, which has been fluctuating with thyroid globulin antibodies. I will be very careful reintroducing foods over the next few months/year so I know what is most beneficial for me and what things increase my symptoms.

The only problem I found as it can be hard when doing a lot of Excercise, I still managed to run 10 miles on it but there were days that I felt I needed more carbs. It is gluten, dairy, processed sugar and all processed food free. I love the food, roast veggies and meat, some fruit, all homemade soups and salads. But it takes a lot of preparation and a change in mindset. I'm looking forward to feeling much better though, which has started. And, although my weight isn't too far over what I'd like to be, I know my weight will reduce in a couple months too.

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