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Anyone have experience losing weight while struggling with Hypothyroid?

ellybessellybess Member Posts: 3 Member Member Posts: 3 Member

I have always had weight issues since I was a kid, I developed an eating disorder when I was a preteen that lasted until I was maybe 18. When I was 19 I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I am now 24 and doctors have still not been able to keep my levels in range.

All the common symptoms are there, the fatigue, dry skin brittle nails, sensitivity to cold, all of it, and now unfortunately the weight gain is there too, and my cholesterol has sky rocketed. I'm trying to stay on a bland diet and going to the gym to lose some weight hoping it may improve my cholesterol some as well. I go to the gym 5 times a week for 45 minutes. My fitness pal has been great to keep track of the sugars, sodium and carbohydrates. I started January 14th, I quickly dropped about 7lbs but now I haven't lost anything in 2 weeks, I'm tired, and I feel a little discouraged.

I am getting my labs rechecked the first week of March, I hope my cholesterol levels have dropped but I know I need to drop a good chunk of weight. When I was diagnosed at 19 I weighed about 115lbs. Now in January I was 166, I'm at 159 now, and I'd like to get back to that 115. I've ping ponged up and down these 5 years, I've mainly been between 125-135 but this last year I jumped up to 166, and I have never weighed this much, ever. I'm 5'1 so I'm a smaller person, and I just want to deal with this in a healthy way since I over restricted in my teen years and I don't want to do that out of desperation, not to mention having hypothyroidism my system is slow enough as it is.

Sorry for the long post. Thank you in advance.


  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 18,776 Member Member, Premium Posts: 18,776 Member
    This is a really good post:

    It was written by a guy who is a scientist in the hypothyroidism field, hypothyroid himself, who lost weight calorie counting. It's good, solid scientific background. There are a lot of myths in the world, so it's good counterbalance.

    It should be possible to lose weight while hypothyroid, even with levels not fully controlled. It still should be possible to use calorie counting. Unfortunately, it's possible (not guaranteed) that your calorie needs may be a bit lower because of the thyroid condition. Still, I'd suggest starting with the MFP calorie recommendation for a sensibly slow loss rate (pound a week at most, at your current size), then follow that for at least one full menstrual cycle, logging as carefully as you can manage, and see what your average weekly results are.

    Compare your body weight at the same relative point in at least two different menstrual cycles, to get the average loss rate. If your first two weeks are wildly different from what happens later, go for another two weeks or so (sometimes the first week or two are distorted by water weight fluctuations).

    It's also possible that you may have more confusing than average scale results because of water weight fluctuations, since *maybe* either the thyroid condition, or the ongoing efforts to get you medicated properly, will cause more extreme or persistent water weight changes. That's not fat, but it can confuse results as measured by the bodyweight scale. You may benefit from taking multi-point tape measurements once a month or so, and taking front/side/back progress photos (wearing snug or minimal clothing, but not just undies because - believe it or not - you may want to show off those "before" photos someday). Sometimes measurements or photos will show progress even if the scale is being stubborn.

    I know this may sound discouraging, but I don't mean it that way. For anyone losing weight, patience is required. You may require just a teaspoonful more of it, at times. Hang in there: This can be managed.

    A common pitfall for hypo people is to think that if things are hard, it's because of the hypo. It isn't, always. We can have difficult stages for exactly the same reasons other people do: Needing to learn more about logging accurately, falling into days when it's hard to manage calories, etc. This year, many people have gained some weight because of the pandemic, either stress eating, or changes in daily routine, or unavailability of preferred exercise modes or normal foods, and more. So, you're not unique in gaining over the past year.

    Since a common hypo symptom is fatigue, it can be easy to fall into habits of doing less in daily life, and that can cost us in calorie burn. Sometimes the body just needs rest, and that's OK, but sometimes we can keep things revved up a bit by being conscious about movement. If you can summon the energy, these ideas may help:

    I'm severely hypothyroid, but lucky to be under more effective medication control than it sounds like you're able to be. I'm hanging around MFP now maintaining a healthy weight (125ish at 5'5"), year 5+ of that now, after several previous decades of obesity (I'm 65). I'm not the only hypothyroid person here who's lost weight. It may not always be easy - isn't always easy for anyone, hypo or no - but it's achievable.

    Keep working on the thyroid control, keep getting exercise, eat nutritiously (enough protein, fats, veggies/fruits), try to keep daily activity up without overtaxing yourself, and take it gradually. Hang in there, you can do it, I'm sure!
  • yirarayirara Member, Premium Posts: 5,892 Member Member, Premium Posts: 5,892 Member
    This! Everything that annP wrote. I lost the weight with Hashimotos while not receiving treatment yet. The exhaustion was exhausting, but I lost weight just fine by tracking. It's also true that we tend to move a bit less when replacement therapy is too low. Even little things such as moving your leg underneath a desk or fidgeting with a pen burn calories, and those are the things you might stop doing when being low in energy. Also, some people hold a lot more onto water when poorly medicated. This doesn't mean that weight loss isn't happening, but that the water might mask weight loss.
  • ellybessellybess Member Posts: 3 Member Member Posts: 3 Member
    Thank you for your suggestions. I appreciate it a lot. I read the links and it's good to know it just takes time. :)
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