“I found that I was suffering from hypothyroidism at the age of 20. I frequently felt tired and short of breath which led me to the hospital. The doctors ran some tests and announced that I had hypothyroidism. I started losing my body shape, gaining too much weight. All efforts from my family, going to multiple doctors, following strict exercise and diet regimen, went in vain. I am still struggling to get back in shape and feel depressed about my condition. I am desperately looking for a solution to my thyroid condition since the last 5 years.” This is what my friend Maya had to say. Unfortunately, Maya is not alone in her plight. 750 million people around the world suffer from Hypothyroidism. It is so widespread now that it is estimated that over 30% of Indians suffer from thyroid disorders, especially women. That is one in three! The thyroid gland affects the functioning of ever little cell in our body. No wonder its malfunction has more than 300 hypothyroidism symptoms associated with it.
If you are one of them, here are some simple ways which you can incorporate in your already existing exercise or diet plan to beat the weight loss plateau is.
Thyroid imbalance degrades the metabolism of our body, so the aim is to regulate metabolism by adding metabolism boosting habits into our daily life. Increased metabolism will burn calories and thus resulting in weight loss in case of hypothyroidism. In a similar manner, by reducing metabolism, hyperthyroid patients can gain weight. Here is the list of easy to implement metabolism regulating habits.
Stress: Manage it well
Stress is unavoidable in life but when unmanaged, excessive stress leads to an increase in cortisol levels which results in bad food choices and overeating. Hypothyroid patients have already low-functioning adrenal glands which otherwise would control stress. Hence hypothyroid patients have a difficulty to counter stress.
There are various ways to manage stress but what we have found most effective and universally applicable is meditation. Make excuses to find 20 minutes of alone time daily and practice meditation. This particular meditation channel has some very impressive stress busting techniques:
Breathing: Be more aware of it
We often are told to exercise to control weight. However, the breathing rhythm during exercises plays a key role in boosting metabolism and many a time we ignore the breathing process. Focus a little more on deep breathing during Yoga.
Deep breathing can help you take in more oxygen and release more carbon dioxide with each breath. It will also help with weight loss, stress reduction, and relaxation.
You can find a good example of breathing during exercise if you follow the right technique of Surya Namaskar.
See the video link:
Also, adding “Pranayama” to your exercise regime can help in breathing awareness. Especially the Ujjayi Pranayama is considered to help in thyroid function. See the video below for details on how to perform Ujjayi Pranayama.
Acupressure: Give it a go
The Chinese therapy of Acupressure increases the vital energy allowing organs to efficiently function and boosting metabolism. Pressing and holding the right pressure points can rejuvenate the organs resulting in improved metabolism leading to weight loss.
Thyroid acupressure points enable energy to flow through the thyroid gland and can balance both hypothyroid and hyperthyroid. The link here talks about further details.
Caffeine: Reduce it
We Indians have a habit of making excuses to drink coffee or tea multiple times throughout the day. Unfortunately, these stimulating beverages add caffeine to our body. Our diet plans usually do not mention about the amount of caffeine that we unintentionally consume.
The adrenal glands are pressurized due to so much stimulation and they start to under-perform which leads to stress in the body. Stress is one of the top reasons for bad weight management.
So, try to reduce the number of cups of coffee or tea to maximum 2 per day. Try herbal teas instead to perk you up. To learn more about the effects of caffeine on hypothyroidism see the link.
Sodium: Cut down
Salt is a necessity in all our day to day cooking. However, too much sodium has been found to retain water and add to the weight of the body. To maintain an Indian diet plan, means we have adequate salt already in our diet. On top of that, eating processed and salty foods on the “cheat days” can make matters worse.
Avoid consuming more than 500mg of sodium per day. You can always replace sodium from diet by potassium-rich foods such as bananas, apricots, oranges, sweet potatoes, and beets. Refer to the link for effective ways to replace excess sodium from your diet.
The above pointers will work only if you are following them consistently and supplementing them into your existing diet and exercise regimen. There are also some fabulous dietary supplements that can help you control your hypothyroidism most effectively.
So, go break the weight loss plateau and win over hypothyroidism.