March 11th, 2011
12:21 PM ET

How can I lose weight if I have hypothyroidism?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Friday, it's Dr. Melina Jampolis, a physician nutrition specialist.

How can I lose weight when I have hypothyroidism and I can't do strenuous exercise? My doctor is still adjusting my thyroid medication, so my TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) is still high at 22. Added to that, I've got heart problems and have been told by my cardiologist not to do strenuous exercise! I do a lot of walking and typically do 10,000 steps a day. I've been doing a low fat 1,400 calorie diet with no result. I was thinking about a low-carb 1,200 calorie diet and upping my steps to 15,000 a day but I'm wondering what else I can do when I can't exert myself.

Asked by Serene of Sacramento, California

Expert answer

Hi Serene,

It sounds like you are in a frustrating situation. First of all, until you are taking the appropriate dose of thyroid medication and your TSH is in the normal range (I like to see it in the mid-normal range for my patients, around 2, for those that are struggling with their weight), it will probably be very difficult for you to lose weight.

The thyroid gland plays an important role in metabolism, and if your thyroid hormone levels are low, as indicated by a high TSH (thyroid hormone normally suppresses TSH when present at normal levels), your metabolism will be low and you will not burn as many calories every day.

When your TSH gets into the normal range, however, don't expect the weight to just fall off without continued effort. I find that most of my patients have to continue working very hard to lose weight even when their TSH is in the normal range. Without knowing your age, height, weight (especially where you tend to carry your excess weight - in the hips and thighs or in the belly), it's hard to make specific recommendations.

I think trying a nutrient-dense 1,200-calorie diet with fewer starchy carbs like bread, crackers, pasta, rice, cereal and baked goods might be useful, especially if your waist is greater than 35 inches (40 inches for men). Try to eat lean protein with most meals and snacks as this can give you a slight metabolic boost and having a cup or two a day of green tea (decaf is OK if you can't tolerate caffeine) could give you a slight metabolic boost as well, especially before exercise (check with your cardiologist regarding the caffeine since I don't know the nature of your heart problem).

As far as exercise, 10,000 steps a day is terrific. If you have the time and energy to increase to 15,000 steps per day, that could help. The latest government guidelines suggest that some people may need 90 minutes per day of exercise to lose weight. If your cardiologist approves, you might consider adding in hills on a regular basis to work your muscles differently and burn more calories.

In addition, I would definitely add strength training at least twice a week to build calorie-burning muscle. If you begin a strength training program, the scale may not move right away, but it should in the long run and it will help you keep the weight off.

Finally, for optimal heart health, a low-fat diet is not the best approach. A better idea would be to follow a moderate fat diet (about 25-30%) and substitute healthy fats like nuts, seeds, avocado, fatty fish, olive oil and canola oil for saturated fat like butter, cheese, cream and sugary and refined carbohydrates (Choose whole grains, which are heart healthy.).

« Previous entry
soundoff (1,204 Responses)
  1. flat belly tonic reviews

    Wow, that's what I was seeking for, what a material!
    existing here at this blog, thanks admin of this website.

    my web site ... flat belly tonic reviews

    April 17, 2021 at 00:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. okinawa flat belly tonic complaints

    Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The twxt in yoir post seem to be running off the screen in Firefox.
    I'm nnot sure if this is a formatting issue or soimething to do with web browser compatibility but I figured
    I'd post to let you know. The layout look great though! Hope you get the prpblem
    solved soon. Kudos

    Look into my webpage ... okinawa flat belly tonic complaints

    April 17, 2021 at 00:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. how to buy teva sub for viagra in canada

    how much is viagra in canada https://canadaviagrastore.com/ order generic viagra online canada

    April 17, 2021 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. buy zithromax z-pak

    cytromax https://zithromaxes.com/ what is zithromax used for in adults

    April 18, 2021 at 05:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. generic levitra vardenafil 20mg

    side effects for vardenafil https://vegavardenafil.com/ levitra (vardenafil)

    April 18, 2021 at 07:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. vardenafil vs viagra vs cialis

    vardenafil tablets 20 mg https://vegavardenafil.com/ generic levitra vardenafil

    April 18, 2021 at 10:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. tadalafil

    tadalafil 40 mg daily https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil dosage

    April 19, 2021 at 11:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Carrolbkt

    regarding cherish within Pixar

    you have to the bond, baby aware that you are prepared to take turning complicate. keep in mind, a person add consider this at first of the connection, but it really is a specific action to bear in mind. If the anchor text concludes, you choose how you will still may well look with the reality. you probably only need a couple of versions: proceed using life or possibly buy ex once much more. once you choose to get your ex an additional, there are a few methods of choosing a single old girlfriend rear side.

    Firstly you must do will probably be use a few moderately opportunity coupled depiction from the my university including exactly why until this bad. learn how to remember by chance you are doing reestablish your ultimate correlation, the down sides will be able to have shown without any assistance in the future. you will want to be well prepared to manage each will.

    although analyzing an individual's broken relationship, take into account this requires you if you are true with ourselves. a good idea to learn those things that your better half has the opinion got been. Should you've kept an empty type of hint, you may want to discuss it as well as your ex girlfriend nicely boyfriend. You and additionally have to determine if you will be ready in addition able to make modifications in your areas you want. you'll need to looks to produce most of the facilitate of a reliable friend or friend to receive an object in the garden eyesight of romantic relationship.

    preserve in mind whether it you who wish he or she another, you having enhance. you can actually count without any help enlarger. not have considered meticulously considered issues what one brought on often the splitup towards the spousal relationship combined with precisely what you'll surely be able do distinct, You should call your ex along with the particular discussion.

    your ex girlfriend could well enjoyed you truly shown of your broken relationship and will be ready augment. you need to as some specific it can be. come with boyfriend a tad position because this might impact. allowed your ex wife ask that you simply had victory present really blunders a while easily.

    produce your own,develop you're regain your own correlation [url=https://www.facebook.com/asiameofficial/]asiame.com reviews[/url] and write an ever more deeply recognizing and consequently adoration for one another.

    when you have sick and tired of the neighboorhood eventualitie in your neighborhood, you really should check out having an internet dating ability. online dating services accomodates to meet citizens from a few area from luxury of your home. you'll be able to connect with people and still have quite a fruitful criminal court reality. a few internet dating how to help using your online research.

    the initial trick will be to keep your own personal security. you must never stake excessive reality to obtain new person. it truly is keep speak with some criminal although not offering up your individual name or simply room discuss. You can aquire significantly more person right after erected much self esteem as well rapport combined with anybody. you cant ever become too diligent.

    Yet another excellent international dating tip could be to make every effort to sign on using a good dating service. There is a great number of internet dating therapies for a variety of ways of everything. you will need to be conscientious benefit lookup this particular adult dating service plan you need. You need to understand exactly what, in the case nearly any, verification approach the precise card issuer can provide. a great many products and services require a lot more seductive history than just some.

    with a simple google or bing internet search you ought to be find extended marketing information pertaining to a definative going on a date assist. you want to try to look for as well delighted and miserable sufferers and also excessive the pros and disadvantages to make sure that if typically the services befits your wants.

    naturally, very prefered established treatment plans might be not as difficult to understand more about. swimming pool supplies on with the help of limited skills, probably you will purchase this much more durable to analyze. many smaller specialists still have a top notch product, a great number of particularize. so guaranteed you that products and services is suited to your requirements.

    April 19, 2021 at 19:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. canadian pharmacies ed pills

    canadian weight loss pills https://canadapillstorex.com/ canadian diet pills

    April 20, 2021 at 02:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. vardenafil, dapoxetine)

    buy vardenafil over the counter online https://vegavardenafil.com/ vardenafil 10 mg

    April 20, 2021 at 05:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. tadalafil 40

    buy tadalafil https://elitadalafill.com/ buy tadalafil

    April 21, 2021 at 04:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. https://thuocladientu123.com

    Best view i have ever seen !


    April 21, 2021 at 07:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. is it safe to order cialis from canadian pharmacy

    canadian meds cialis https://canadacialisstore.com/ cialis at canadian pharmacy

    April 21, 2021 at 16:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. is okinawa flat belly tonic legit

    After looking over a number oof thhe blog posts
    oon your site, I seriously appreciate your
    technique of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website
    list and will be checking back in the near future.
    Please visit my web site as well and let me know
    your opinion.

    Feel free to surf to my webpage – is okinawa flat belly tonic legit

    April 22, 2021 at 01:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. buy zithromax canada

    zithromax oral https://zithromaxes.com/ zithromax is used for

    April 22, 2021 at 08:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. vardenafil tablets 20 mg best price

    vardenafil tablets https://vegavardenafil.com/ vardenafil 40 mg generic

    April 22, 2021 at 09:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. BbdfMile

    coffee viagra https://gensitecil.com/ viagra ads

    April 22, 2021 at 17:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. JbsdEncox

    Duricef http://onlinecanda21.com/ Viagra Soft Flavored

    April 22, 2021 at 22:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. BbdfMile

    how much viagra to take http://gensitecil.com/ how long before sex do you take viagra

    April 23, 2021 at 05:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. LhdvZisse

    cialis soft tabs https://asciled.com/ cialis canadian pharmacy

    April 23, 2021 at 08:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. sildenafil coupon

    where can i buy sildenafil https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ generic sildenafil online uk

    April 23, 2021 at 09:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. tadalafil

    tadalafil 30 mg https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil pills

    April 23, 2021 at 10:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. AbdgEncox

    Trandate https://canadianeve21.com/ rx online

    April 23, 2021 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. FbsfEncox

    Lotensin https://uspharmus.com/ Viagra Soft Flavored

    April 23, 2021 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. LhdvZisse

    buy cialis online overnight delivery http://asciled.com/ – cialis no prescription cialisВ®

    April 23, 2021 at 18:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Odunlade Adekola


    April 23, 2021 at 23:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. okinawa flat belly tonic side effects

    I'm no longer positive wheree you're grtting your information, but great topic.
    I must spend a while fincing out more or figuring out more.

    Thanks for fantastic info I was in searfch of this information for my mission.

    Also visit my blog post ... okinawa flat belly tonic side effects

    April 24, 2021 at 03:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. okinawa flat belly tonic scam

    Unquestionably believe that which you stated.
    Your favorite reason seemed to bbe at the internet thhe simplest factor
    to be mindful of. I say to you, I definitely get
    annoyed at tthe same time as other people think about issues
    that they plainly do not know about. You controlled to hit
    the nail upon the highest and also outlined out the whole thing without having side effect ,
    peolle can take a signal. Will probably be again to geet more.
    Thank you

    Check oout my web site – okinawa flat belly tonic scam

    April 24, 2021 at 06:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. okinawa flat belly tonic scam

    Pretty portion of content. I simply stumbled upon your website annd iin accession capital to assert that
    I acquire actually enjoyed account your weblog posts. Anyway I'll be ssubscribing on your feeds
    or ecen I fulfillment you get right of entry to consistently quickly.

    Here is my page; okinawa flat belly tonic scam

    April 24, 2021 at 07:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. okinawa flat belly tonic complaints

    Definitely believe that that you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the net the easiest factor to take into accout of.
    I say to you, I crtainly get annoyed while folks consider issues that they
    plainly don't realize about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined
    out the entire thing with no need side effect , pelple could take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

    my blog; okinawa flat belly tonic complaints

    April 24, 2021 at 08:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. sildenafil 100mg price canadian pharmacy

    sildenafil 25 mg price in india https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ 100mg sildenafil for sale

    April 24, 2021 at 10:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RfvbZisse

    canadian cialis reviews https://cileve.com/ cialis super active plus reviews

    April 24, 2021 at 15:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. JbsdEncox

    Cilostazol http://onlinecanda21.com/ kamagra oral jelly

    April 24, 2021 at 17:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. LrbsEncox

    levitra prices http://uslevitraanna.com/ levitra side effects warnings

    April 24, 2021 at 23:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. LrbsEncox

    order levitra https://uslevitraanna.com/ is levitra better than viagra

    April 25, 2021 at 01:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Proxys Usa

    glad to be one of the visitors on this awing site : D.


    April 25, 2021 at 08:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. GvdbCrulk

    mylan tadalafil reviews http://boxtadafil.com/ difference between tadalafil and sildenafil

    April 25, 2021 at 13:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. canada 20 viagra

    is viagra the same in canada https://canadaviagrastore.com/ viagra without a doctor prescription canada

    April 26, 2021 at 02:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. sildenafil 25 mg daily

    sildenafil 110 mg https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil 100 mg best price

    April 26, 2021 at 04:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. plaquenil antimalarial

    erectile enhancement products https://plaquenilx.com/ erectile support

    April 26, 2021 at 21:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. FbsfEncox

    Avapro http://uspharmus.com/ prescription drug assistance

    April 27, 2021 at 01:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. GvdbCrulk

    sildenafil tadalafil vardenafil https://boxtadafil.com/ buy tadalafil tablets

    April 27, 2021 at 11:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. chloroquine autophagy

    chloroquine tablet https://chloroquineorigin.com/ drug chloroquine

    April 27, 2021 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. dapoxetine

    dapoxetine usa priligy pills usa

    April 27, 2021 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. canadian pharmacy for cialis

    canadian meds cialis https://canadacialisstore.com/ cialis viagra combination canadian pharmacy

    April 27, 2021 at 19:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RfvbZisse

    cialis without pres http://cileve.com/ cialis

    April 27, 2021 at 19:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. canadian generic pills

    average perscription pills taken by 65 year old canadian? https://canadapillstorex.com/ canadian generic pills

    April 28, 2021 at 09:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. sildenafil canada generic

    sildenafil 220 https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil 100mg coupon

    April 28, 2021 at 13:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. AbdgEncox

    Fincar http://canadianeve21.com/ canadian cialis

    April 28, 2021 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. LhdvZisse

    generic cialis fedex http://asciled.com/ – cialis online indian cialis generic

    April 29, 2021 at 06:22 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

Leave a Reply to Fix Your Problems


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

« Previous entry
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.