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
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.).
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.
cialis 20mg how long does it take to work amazon cialis 20mg canadian cialis
canadian pharmacy drug prices what canadian pharmacies are legitimate Silagra
Excellent blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What host are you using?
Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I
wish my site loaded up as fast as yours lol
generic cialis tadalafil best buys cialis singapore buy generic cialis black
methadone online pharmacy online generic pharmacy save on pharmacy
Micardis coupon code for canadian pharmacy online online canadian discount pharmacy
where you from?
cialis no perscrtion pay cialis with pay pal cialis sales in victoria canada
tadalafil brands buy tadalafil how long does tadalafil last
Do you have a spam problem on this blog; I also
am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation; many of us have created some nice methods and we are looking to swap methods with other folks,
be sure to shoot me an e-mail if interested.
tadalafil alcohol cialis without a doctor prescription side effects of tadalafil
tadalafil cost walmart tadalafil goodrx tadalafil daily online
cialis next day delivery usa can i take 2 5mg cialis cialis generic
tadalafil warnings tadalafil vs vardenafil tadalafil brands
cialis in vegas rhino laboratories cialis 10mg cialis
I am sure this paragraph has touched all the internet people, its really really nice article on building up new website.
tadalafil blood pressure buy cialis pills tadalafil liquid
My programmer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP.
I have always disliked the idea because of the costs.
But he's tryiong none the less. I've been using WordPress on numerous websites for about a
year and am concerned about switching to another platform.
I have heard excellent things about blogengine.net.
Is there a way I can import all my wordpress content into it?
Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated!
Today, I went to the beach with my children. 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 put 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 entirely off topic but I had
to tell someone!
chloroquine phosphate tablet hcos chloroquinolone
what is the use of tadalafil tablets tadalafil generic vidalista 20 side effects
heart rate watch walmart hydroxychloroquine chloroquine chloroquine amazon
tadalafil bph mechanism tadalafil from india reviews tadalafil without a doctor prescription
c-tadalafil generic tadalafil from uk tadalafil evolution peptides
tadadafil generic tadalafil from uk tadalafil peptide
quinine vs hydroxychloroquine aralen phosphate chloroquine phosphate difference between chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine
tadalafil research powder buy tadalafil tadalafil warnings
sublingual tadalafil cialis pills c-tadalafil
cost of cialis daily cialis super active tadalista vs cialis
liquid tadalifil cheap cialis pills for sale tadalafil side effect
tadalafil cost tadalafil troche cost tadalafil from india reviews
tadalafil cost walmart generic cialis how long does tadalafil last
cloraquinn hydroxyquinoline chloroquine amazon
chloroquine phosphate cvs chloroquine 20 heart rate watch walmart
chloroquine amazon hydroxychloroquine sulfate corona cloraquine
tadalafil xtenda 20 mg tadalafil price walmart tadalafil 5 mg tablet
do you need a prescription for hydroxychloroquine chloroquine cancer lupus wikipedia english
Excellent, what a web site it is! This blog presents useful data to
us, keep it up.
tadalafil blood pressure vardenafil vs tadalafil tadalafil vs cialis reviews
hloroquine hydroxyquinoline chloroquine phosphate side effects
hcq drug chloroquine phosphate generic hydroxychlor 200 mg
finasteride online pharmacy humana pharmacy store online pharmacy for pets
Best view i have ever seen !
สมัครเว็บไซต์พนัน UFABET คาสิโน พนันออนไลน์ บาคาร่า พนันบอล ฟรี
Feel free to visit my webpage เว็บพนันยูฟ่าเบท
generic cialis from india safe tadalista vs cialis cialis rebate
Best view i have ever seen !
hydroxyquine drug chloroquine diphosphate side effects of hydroxychlor 200 mg
Thank you.Join with us at https://www.trixiedental.com/
canadian pharmacies that are legit my canadian pharmacy rx reviews lamictal canadian pharmacy
cialis back pain mechanism best place to buy cialis online best cialis online