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. ace333 slot

    If you hear any news about the market of your blog, positive to that you
    post the game. Not just a person write good content, or in order to publish it also.

    Potatoes are very healthy and cheap to boot.

    May 5, 2021 at 19:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. priligy

    dapoxetine 10 mg dapoxetine tablet

    May 6, 2021 at 13:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. nutrition

    Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing
    around on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I've been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!
    Appreciate it

    May 6, 2021 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. bdtv

    Your style is very unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from.
    I appreciate you for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I'll just book mark this web site.

    May 6, 2021 at 18:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. floating sunglass retainer

    I really love your website.. Pleasant colors & theme.
    Did you create this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as
    I'm planning to create my very own blog and want to find out where you got this
    from or exactly what the theme is called. Thanks!

    May 6, 2021 at 20:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. trực tiếp bong đá

    Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids. I found a sea
    shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She
    placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it
    pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

    May 7, 2021 at 05:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. GtnbCrulk

    how to take viagra with water or milk https://jokviagra.com/ – viagra online generic viagra for sale

    May 7, 2021 at 06:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. best aviator sunglasses 2019

    If you wish for to grow your knowledge only keep visiting this web page and be updated with the most recent information posted here.

    May 7, 2021 at 21:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. FmrfEncox

    order cialis india http://cialisee.com/ online cialis australia

    May 8, 2021 at 01:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. IT Band KT Tape

    Hi it's me, I am also visiting this web site daily, this web page is genuinely fastidious and the viewers are truly
    sharing nice thoughts.

    May 8, 2021 at 05:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RebfZisse

    cialis supplier uk https://rcialisgl.com/ – viagra cialis levitra sample pack cialis generic uk

    May 9, 2021 at 02:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Back HotSpot StrengthTape

    Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article.
    I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to
    read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I will certainly return.

    May 9, 2021 at 06:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. AnooEncox

    vrx v herbal viagra https://llviagra.com/ how easy to get viagra

    May 9, 2021 at 20:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. BbshMile

    what is the cost of viagra https://loxviagra.com/ – viagra u.s.a brand viagra

    May 10, 2021 at 10:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. JebgEncox

    north west pharmacy canada Viagra Soft Flavored best drugstore mascara

    May 10, 2021 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. BbshMile

    how to get a free trial of viagra http://loxviagra.com/ viagra 100mg street price

    May 10, 2021 at 23:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. LbsoZisse

    buy cialis on line http://ucialisdas.com/ cheap real cialis

    May 11, 2021 at 04:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. web site

    My brother recommended Imight like this blog. He was entirely
    right. This post truly made mmy day. You can not imagie just
    how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

    web site

    May 11, 2021 at 08:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. AnooEncox

    viagra tempo de aГ§ao http://llviagra.com/ – viagra paracetamol sani abacha viagra

    May 11, 2021 at 15:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. LbsoZisse

    cialisis online https://ucialisdas.com/ – cialis hk genric cialis

    May 11, 2021 at 16:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. FmrfEncox

    cialis denmark https://cialisee.com/ – cialis price per pill brand cialis 20 mg

    May 11, 2021 at 17:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Joker123

    Hi excellent blog! Does running a blog like this take a great deal of work?
    I've very little knowledge of coding however I was hoping to start my own blog in the near future.
    Anyway, if you have any recommendations or tips for new blog owners please share.
    I understand this is off topic but I just wanted to ask.
    Thanks a lot!

    May 11, 2021 at 19:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Rosalee Lockerby

    I could not refrain from commenting. Exceptionally well written!


    May 11, 2021 at 23:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Valentin Trias

    Good information. Lucky me I came across your blog by accident (stumbleupon). I've saved it for later!


    May 12, 2021 at 08:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. live bong ro

    Excellent post. I was checking continuously this weblog and I'm impressed!

    Extremely useful information particularly the remaining
    section 🙂 I deal with such info a lot. I used to be looking for this
    particular info for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

    May 12, 2021 at 12:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RebfZisse

    low cost cialis http://rcialisgl.com/ cialis without a prescription

    May 12, 2021 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. scr888 server

    Hi to all, the contents present at this web page are genuinely awesome for people experience, well, keep
    up the good work fellows.

    May 13, 2021 at 00:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. xem vtv5

    Hi are using WordPress for your site platform?
    I'm new to the blog world but I'm trying to get started and create my own. Do you require any html coding expertise to make
    your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

    May 13, 2021 at 02:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. GtnbCrulk

    when do you take viagra https://jokviagra.com/ pfizer viagra online

    May 13, 2021 at 02:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Davidqzk

    online dating services

    if you reading this to build consideration with regards to the satisfaction benefits through purchasing adult dating sites then you are at right store. possible workers think that the payed off promote significantly services compared free. would it be so,certainly? it was your result past but now not a single thing like this.

    reasons free are beloved as dissimilar to premium

    Social disorders article marketing March 29, 2010

    The online dating service personals customers are quite a critical one in these days. you'll find tons of that prefer to make use of the online treatments when it comes to seminar and just incase components check out, which social. some subdivisions thus reasons that explain why free are most well-liked as weighed against payed off.

    you ShelpskiDating reports December 2, 2007

    some people will are curious about dating there are a variety of which you can use. Among they are the various online prefer this of aol personal ads. with this particular personals platform you can see a number items that can some assistance to all your wishes.

    Online when it comes to single people furthermore personal ads

    going out facts guides July 23, 2009

    The salaried web involving escort not really as more suitable as unhampered the representation from carry on in the past several years. men and women shown their particular loyal friend dreamers with totally free whataburger coupons websites in distinctive line of a relationship. locate thousands over valuable myths which you can dating using the internet read at which to include/understand best selling to the supplier dating is. you can think of the personals on the net insurance coverage colombian dating easiest mode to research singles.

    May 13, 2021 at 06:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. JebgEncox

    Protonix http://pharmacylo.com/ Floxin

    May 13, 2021 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. LebnEncox

    Lozol https://xlnpharmacy.com/ Clarinex

    May 14, 2021 at 00:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. LebnEncox

    impotence http://xlnpharmacy.com/ Suhagra

    May 14, 2021 at 03:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. GtnbCrulk

    women viagra https://jokviagra.com/ amazon viagra

    May 14, 2021 at 17:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. FmrfEncox

    what is in cialis ingredients https://cialisee.com/ cialis generic for sale

    May 14, 2021 at 19:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. stornobrzinol

    I would like to thnkx for the efforts you've put in writing this site. I'm hoping the same high-grade web site post from you in the upcoming also. In fact your creative writing skills has encouraged me to get my own blog now. Actually the blogging is spreading its wings fast. Your write up is a good example of it.


    May 15, 2021 at 00:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. stornobrzinol

    Very interesting details you have mentioned, thanks for putting up. "You can tell the ideas of a nation by it's advertisements." by Douglas South Wind.


    May 15, 2021 at 01:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. https://shiatsu-web.com

    Best view i have ever seen !


    May 15, 2021 at 07:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. avana

    buy avana avanafil dosing

    May 15, 2021 at 09:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. trò chơi y8 1 người

    Hi, I do think this is an excellent blog.
    I stumbledupon it 😉 I'm going to come back once
    again since I bookmarked it. Money and freedom is
    the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.

    May 16, 2021 at 01:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. combigan

    combigan uk brimonidine how it works

    May 16, 2021 at 02:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RebfZisse

    does the va approve cialis for patients https://rcialisgl.com/ – best way to take cialis the cialis promise program

    May 16, 2021 at 04:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. betflix

    Great article! This is the type of info that should be
    shared across the internet. Shame on Google for no longer positioning this submit
    higher! Come on over and talk over with my web site .

    Thanks =)

    May 16, 2021 at 07:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Courtney Reckers

    I rented my first 3 referrals and enabled autopay, Two of them clicked 4 ads the next day 1 did nothing. And for 3 days from then, nobody did anything. Should I recycle them or wait 15 days?

    May 16, 2021 at 11:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. second east summer yard flags

    You need to take part in a contest for one of the best websites online.
    I am going to highly recommend this blog!

    May 16, 2021 at 11:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. AnooEncox

    bishops support viagra http://llviagra.com/ viagra und hiv-medikamente

    May 16, 2021 at 14:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. stornobrzinol

    I keep listening to the news talk about getting boundless online grant applications so I have been looking around for the most excellent site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i get some?


    May 16, 2021 at 18:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Lamont Oilvares

    Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Taking the time and actual effort to produce a really good article… but what can I say… I hesitate a whole lot and don't seem to get anything done.


    May 17, 2021 at 04:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. LbsoZisse

    pakistan cialis http://ucialisdas.com/ discount cialis 20mg

    May 17, 2021 at 06:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Alexandra Dower

    Hello, I do think your web site might be having internet browser compatibility problems. Whenever I take a look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in Internet Explorer, it's got some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Apart from that, wonderful blog!


    May 17, 2021 at 11:19 | 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 tretinoin uk


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.