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Old 04-22-2014, 03:38 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2014
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Please help!!! Hypothyroid and want to lose about 10-15 lbs

Hello,

I am 38 yr old female and I have hypothyroidism (the autoimmune variety, Hashimoto's). I am 5'5, and currently weigh about 139-140 lbs. I am aware that I am not overweight, but since diagnosis of this disease I have gained about 10-15 lbs (all body fat) and cannot lose it no matter what I try. I am gluten and grain free, soy free, almost dairy free (minimal butter). I have been Paleo since last summer and have even tried the autoimmune paleo protocol (AIP) and I did lose a couple lbs, but have not been able to lose anymore. The good thing though, is with these diet approaches I have stopped gaining! I do not eat any processed foods. Also, transitioning from Paleo to LC/HF style is relatively easy. I also exercise 5-6 times a week, a combo of heavy weight training and cardio (Chalean Extreme/T25 or Insanity). I am military, so it is not an option to not exercise...if I want to keep my job! I am currently treated for my thyroid with .100 mcg of Synthroid and 10 mcg of Cytomel daily. My levels/labs are a little up and down, but that is expected with this disease. Currently, TSH is lower and FT4 is good, doc won't check FT3 even though she gives me Cytomel...I have to pick and choose my battles, at least I get the medication!

So now that you know about me, I will tell you about my LC/HF experience and ask for advice...

I have been LC/HF since 7 April and I have not cheated once, 20 net carbs per day. I track all my carbs in a Carb manager app on my phone. I am eating a high amount of fat, do not have cravings for bad things and am satiated quite well. I have not had any dairy except some butter a couple of times. I eat avocado, coconut oil, and EVOO. I eat the veggies and meats. I am getting the required amount of carbs from veggies, zero starches or fruits. I have lost about 4 lbs +/- since the beginning (I didn't weigh myself in the beginning, but I am happy for any loss!!!). I know that weight loss is slower for people with my condition and I also do not have a large amount to lose. This means even slower. I think people that are hypo really have a problem with metabolizing carbs, even when they do not come from processed foods.

I know I have not gained a large amount of weight with this disease like many do, but my body fat has increased from around 27% to about 34% over the last 5 years despite exercise and diet...weight lifting, half marathon, etc...weird. I have one of those scales that measure everything. I just want to get back to 125-130 lbs, or lose the gained body fat plus 1-2% more. I am not so concerned about the number on the scale if I could lose inches and BF. I have no desire to be rail thin, I think I have a healthy idea of what is appropriate and I do not have unrealistic goals. I would like to lose 10 lbs by 20 June. It just seems that Hashimoto's make fat suck to your body with all it's might! It really is SOOOO ANNOYING, especially when you are trying to everything right!!!

I am feeling okay with this LC/HF eating, as I am used to a smaller variety of food with Paleo/AIP approach. I am not tired or hungry and I am able to do my workouts. But how long should I go at this very low level of carbs before adding since I am so resistant to lose or move on and go up to the 25 carbs by first adding in more veggies? Anyone have experience with this?

I think LC/HF might be the right move for me, but with a Paleo approach. I am not advocating Atkins per say, but I am using it as a template and tailoring my personal eating needs.

Sorry this was so long, I just wanted to give the whole picture up front to aid in advice. Thanks for taking the time to help me out!
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Old 04-22-2014, 07:35 AM   #2
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Welcome to the club! I have Hashi's too,and I have a couple of suggestions based on my experience.

1. Of course it's nuts that they won't test your T3 but have given you Cytomel. How can they determine the dosage without testing? Low t3 may be your problem because when my T3 is below lab range, I will gain if I eat more than 500 cal a day. I'm on Cytomel, and my dosage had to be increased 3x within one year when I began taking it.

2. I would suggest increasing your carbs because of all the exercise. The amount you must do stresses the thyroid, and more carbs would help. I happen to be very carb sensitive, but unless you are too, I think that Paleo would be better in for you than LCHF.

3. As you indicated you already know, hypo slows our metabolism even with the supplemental hormones we take. So to lose, you may just have to eat less than you have been.

Last edited by Leo41; 04-22-2014 at 07:39 AM..
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Old 04-22-2014, 01:20 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2013
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Hi pickles,
I also have autoimmune thyroiditis, but mine is Subacute Lymphocytic Thyroiditis, also known as Silent Thyroiditis. This type commonly affects women after pregnancy, but mine started after menopause (I'm a lot older than you). Silent thyroiditis starts out as hyper, then crosses over to hypo, and then after a couple of years many patients return to normal, but a percentage stay hypo which is my situation. I take 50 mcg Synthroid which seems to keep me on an even keel. When I was in my hyper phase, I was losing weight very quickly (which is to be expected), and then when I crossed over into hypo, I quickly gained 10 pounds. But once I was on Synthroid, I lost those 10 pounds just as quickly and have stayed around 108 pounds since then (which was around 5 years ago). I've exercised my entire life, like you 5-6 days per week with weights and cardio. My situation isn't the same as yours because we have different autoimmune thyroid conditions plus I'm 62 years old, but I will tell you what I've found works for me as far as weight. I watch my carb intake not because of weight but because my blood sugar spikes from simple carbs and I do not want to develop diabetes like my brother (I check my blood sugar with a meter). I don't count my carb intake, but I have cut out pasta, bread (except for special low carb and very occasional regular bread), desserts, cereal, low calorie frozen dinners (which used to be my staple), potatoes, rice, crackers, sugar. I also watch my fat intake, especially since I'm not a strict low carber. I found that eating this way takes no effort to keep my weight low. I still exercise consistently, but I've cut back on the frequency, from 5-6 days per week to 3-4 days per week. So, for me, living with my type of autoimmune thyroiditis, what keeps my weight low and also what keeps me quite fit (especially for an old broad ), is lowering my fat intake, eating lower carb (trying to get my carbs from complex carbs), and cutting back on the frequency of my exercise. For full disclosure, I will add that I still love having something sweet with my coffee, so I do eat Atkins bars as dessert and also as a quick breakfast. So, maybe if you lowered your fat intake and/or cut one day per week from your exercise, you may get better results. I weigh less now than I did when I was your age when I was exercising 5-6 days per week (also, I didn't have thyroid disease). I had a harder time losing and keeping my weight down when I was younger and normal (as far as my thyroid) than I do now with a non working thyroid. I now think I may have been stressing my body too much with the constant exercise. If you don't want to reduce your exercise, would you consider just lowering your fat intake to see if that helps? Just a suggestion. By the way, I also eat dairy in the form of cheese (soft & hard), yogurt, and reduced fat half & half in my coffee. I do wish you good luck!
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Old 04-23-2014, 02:00 AM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2014
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Thanks for all the great info!

Yes, I agree that the doc should test my FT3...I've even questioned it and I basically get ignored. I am a trapped customer since my doctor selection is limited in my area and I am military.

I think I will increase the carbs starting next week with more veggies or some nuts and see how it goes. I am gluten/soy/almost dairy free. This is because I tested for an intolerance to these. I am also intolerant to egg whites. I don't notice much from dairy, so that is why I allow it a little and when I travel...gotta have something to eat when you travel! That can be difficult, especially with the language barriers of living in Europe. I try to have ghee if I can get ahold of it because it is easier on people who have a dairy issue.

As for LC/HF, I think maybe I haven't given it enough time yet for someone with a thyroid condition...but I have lost a little and I actually feel quite good. Less bloated, heavy, or "thick" feeling. I have been sleeping better and I am not hungry or tired. I have read many sites that indicate if I stick to it faithfully, it should work. It will just take longer with Hashimoto's.

I think I am carb sensitive too. I haven't have fruit sugars in almost three weeks and it seems like my face break outs are significantly less. I wasn't eating a lot of fruit to begin with (usually berries if I had it), but I think I was around 80-120 carbs a day on paleo and I was not losing. Just wondering if going VLC will help to shed a little, and then transfer back to the Paleo way I was where I was not gaining? How do you guys feel about fruit? I also miss red wine...the occasional glass...I'm not a heavy drinker.

I am also not overeating calories, I am averaging between 1600-1800. I think this is okay with the amount of exercise I do. Not starving, but creating a deficit.

I have tried EVERY way of eating and the removal of all grains has been the best so far. I've tried calorie restriction, small meals, high protein, etc...it is very discouraging and tiring. This is my next effort! I just wish my body would release this damn fat!
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:03 AM   #5
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I used to work with the military so I fully understand your problem in getting T3 tested. I just wanted to comment that low T3 definitely inhibits weight loss, and you have no way of knowing if that is part of your problem.

Personally, I love all fruit, but it has too many carbs for me, and the sugar is a trigger to overeating for me, so I do not eat fruit.

I drink only red wine, and I find that an occasional glass is not a problem for me. But my limit is one glass.

I hoe this helps.
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