Exercise and Stalled Weight Loss with Hypothyroidism

jne79
jne79 Posts: 5 Member
edited May 2017 in Health and Weight Loss
I've had Hashimoto's since I was 21 (16 years). I was in the Navy at diagnosis and my weight, with a very defined, athletic body was 138 (at 5'6"). My heaviest post-Hashi's weight was 220. Anyway, I've tried SO many times to lose weight, have had a few successes and many failures with a lot of yo-yo weight along the way. I have 4 children and my weight has predictably inched up with each kid.

Recently, I discovered that intermittent fasting combined with calorie recording and ketosis has made me move past a point I haven't been to in 8 years. I'm at 181 right now. Previously (in the last 8 years), 193 was the best I could do. I have been losing steadily with IF for about 6 weeks now. This past week, I decided to add in an honest exercise routine and went to the gym 3 times. Total stall, plus a pound of gain.

At first I reminded myself that muscle weighs more than fat (even though 3 workouts logically haven't made me gain muscle weight). Then I remembered back over the last 8 years or so during many efforts to lose weight - including 2 times working with frustrated personal trainers that, no matter how hard they worked me and tweaked my diet, could not produce a pound of result. I thought of the summer I ate whistle clean paleo and did kettlebell swings religiously every day to no avail. The ONE time I've lost a significant amount of weight between children (50 lbs) I was eating low calorie/carb and only walking my dog and doing some yoga.

I've come to the conclusion that even a regular workout routine must be producing a lot of cortisol in my body that prevents me from losing weight. Has anyone else experienced this? I think I need to go back to what was working and maybe just try taking low impact walks to keep moving but not break too much of a sweat until I'm (hopefully) able to hit goal (155 lbs which is considered a normal weight for my height). This seems so counter-intuitive, but I guess following my body's patterns is the smartest thing to do right now.
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Replies

  • jne79
    jne79 Posts: 5 Member
    edited May 2017
    But it doesn't go away for me. I've tried workout/calorie deficit routines several times for months at a time with zero loss.
  • Psychgrrl
    Psychgrrl Posts: 3,176 Member
    How are you measuring your calorie burn and determining your caloric intake/deficit?

    I'm not sure your connection between workouts and too much cortisol are correct.

    If low carb and IF works and you like them, are they something you can stick with in the long term? If so, why not?
  • bluets2011
    bluets2011 Posts: 241 Member
    I have hashimotos too and the same has happened to me. I'm part of the thyroid community at healthunlocked and learned a lot there. Still can't shift the weight.
  • jne79
    jne79 Posts: 5 Member
    I'm not sure that it's cortisol either. I do know that I've experimented with my body post-Hashimoto's for 17 years and the only way that weight comes off is when I'm recording all my caloric intake religiously and doing no or very low impact exercise. I monitor caloric intake by using the app for this site and record every last bite. As far as sticking with my current eating habits, I've been eating low carb for a very long time and am happy with it. I'm new to intermittent fasting, but I feel good doing it and plan to stay with it (with a modified, longer eating window) after I hit my goal weight.
  • flosoup38
    flosoup38 Posts: 71 Member
    Im following this as I also struggle to lose despite doing well
  • mirnagomez
    mirnagomez Posts: 1 Member
    I've had Hashimoto's for over 20 yrs. it seems like nothing works, long term that is.
    I'm good for a while, I log in my food intake, water etc. and I walk 2-3 miles several times a week.
    But it seems like all it takes is one day of slight cheating on something sweet and I fall off the good eating wagon and gain everything I've lost super fast, I'm so frustrated and discouraged
  • Lyrica7
    Lyrica7 Posts: 88 Member
    I have hypothyroidism and did so before I had a thyroidectomy. Hashis is an autoimmune disease-key things are the proper thyroid testing and medications, and getting your antibody levels down. Vitamin D and ferritin levels are often low with thyroid disease and any insufficiencies have to be addressed. Sometime you have to get health issues in control before you lose weight.
  • Lyrica7
    Lyrica7 Posts: 88 Member
    Stopthethyroidmadness.com and Mary Shoman's website are good places to start researching.
  • Tried30UserNames
    Tried30UserNames Posts: 561 Member
    I'm hypo among other issues. I tend not to lose unless I severely restrict calories to a level that is unhealthy long term (500-800 per day). Therefore, I tend to lose about 5 lbs at a time when I do that for a week or two. I've also experienced long periods where I gain uncontrollably no matter how little I eat. As far as I've been able to determine, exercise doesn't really affect my results one way or another. I believe it does for you if that has been your experience. I've learned enough from my own experience to believe that there's a whole lot more to weight loss than calories in/calories out for some of us with some diseases. CI/CO worked extremely well when I was healthier, but not now.

    It sounds like you need to restrict exercise and do what does work for you regardless of whether it's supposed to work best or not.
  • liftorgohome
    liftorgohome Posts: 25,455 Member
    Ever ask your doctor about thyroid medication? T3 or T4?
  • CSARdiver
    CSARdiver Posts: 6,257 Member
    If you are not losing weight, then you are not in a caloric deficit.

    What is your daily calorie goal and what is your daily intake?

    What were the latest results of your thyroid panel - TSH, fT3, fT4, rT3?

    Hypothyroidism, or any other hormonal disorder may cause temporary weight gain, but this is water weight
    caused by increased cellular absorption and will resolve itself after a few days/weeks. Hypothyroidism impacts your Resting Energy Expenditure (REE) by ~5% from clinical observation. This equates to 80 kcals/day on a 1600 kcal/day budget.
  • jne79
    jne79 Posts: 5 Member
    Tjkita - been on thyroid meds for 17 years. I'm euthyroid on 200 mcg of Synthroid and take D3, ubiquinol, omega 3-6-9, multi vitamin and iron daily.
  • ninyagwa
    ninyagwa Posts: 328 Member
    I have Hypothyroid, and have had it since I was 16, I didn't start medicating until I was 27 and pregnant.
    I work with my doctor, and I know my numbers, if the levels they measure are around 2.5-3 I am good, anything over 3 and I feel tired and like crap, and moody. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, or you aren't regularly taking your meds exactly the way you are supposed to, they can affect the balance of your system.
    I am not accusing you of anything, but it seems that people typically just don't realize they are missing a piece of the puzzle because they've always ignored or downplayed the importance of that piece.
    I also take a multi vitamin and vitamin D supplement.
    In the last 6 months I have lost 83.6 lbs, and that is by tracking meticulously all food, and using a food scale.
    I workout 5 times a week (but in the beginning only 2 or 3 times, still with consistent weight loss) 3 days is intense kickboxing classes, not aerobics but in a Judo studio. 2 other days I do 25 mins of medium impact cardio on a tread mill and either strength training or one on one sparring for 25 mins.
    Your profile is sparse to say the least, and you have no friends. I was going to look at your food diary, but that is also unavailable. My food diary is open, and I eat a lot, feel free to look at it.
    I hope you find something that works for you.
  • Tried30UserNames
    Tried30UserNames Posts: 561 Member
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Hypothyroidism, or any other hormonal disorder may cause temporary weight gain, but this is water weight
    caused by increased cellular absorption and will resolve itself after a few days/weeks. Hypothyroidism impacts your Resting Energy Expenditure (REE) by ~5% from clinical observation. This equates to 80 kcals/day on a 1600 kcal/day budget.

    I remember reading something similar to that quite a few years ago. I thought it was really funny, and one of my earlier introductions to the fact that doctors and scientists are sometimes complete idiots. I'd always believed all those scientific studies until my own body betrayed me and acted contrary to everything I firmly believed to be absolutely true beyond a shadow of a doubt, proven by science. Oh well, live and learn.

  • jnalxndr
    jnalxndr Posts: 1 Member
    I just started seeing a nutritionist last week to talk about food and my thyroid. What I got from that conversation was that when it comes to the hypothyroidism sometimes it's about what you're eating that makes shedding pounds difficult.

    So here are some tips I can share that she gave me:
    • Limit goitrogenic foods (broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, kale, mustard greens, collard greens, cauliflower, etc.), soy products, and gluten. (You don't have to completely cut them from your diet, just eat them sparingly.)
    • Limit excessive dairy. (Again, you don't have to completely cut.)
    • Increase iodine in your diet (sea vegetables and seafood will help with this.)
    • Take fish oil and probiotic supplements to help with digestion.

  • Duchy82
    Duchy82 Posts: 560 Member
    jnalxndr wrote: »
    I just started seeing a nutritionist last week to talk about food and my thyroid. What I got from that conversation was that when it comes to the hypothyroidism sometimes it's about what you're eating that makes shedding pounds difficult.

    So here are some tips I can share that she gave me:
    • Limit goitrogenic foods (broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, kale, mustard greens, collard greens, cauliflower, etc.), soy products, and gluten. (You don't have to completely cut them from your diet, just eat them sparingly.)
    • Limit excessive dairy. (Again, you don't have to completely cut.)
    • Increase iodine in your diet (sea vegetables and seafood will help with this.)
    • Take fish oil and probiotic supplements to help with digestion.

    Hashi's and iodine are not a good combo it can actually make your hashi's worse, keep a close eye on your symptoms if you choose to increase your iodine intake.

    You may find that strenuous exercise is actually counterproductive as your cells will use more thyroxine as they are using more energy. It may mean you need a little increase in your dose to account for it.

    It can be done though, I have lost 73lbs with hypothyroidism, patience is definitely a prerequisite though, it most definitely hasn't been fast!
  • jne79
    jne79 Posts: 5 Member
    CSARdiver, I have NO idea where you heard or read that nonsense. Weight gain with Hashimoto's disease is NOT temporary and does NOT resolve itself. It takes intense dedication and hard work to stop gaining weight, much less to lose it. Ask any of the millions of people on the planet with autoimmune hypothyroidism. In addition, most of us are very aware of our hormone levels and have them checked regularly.

    I was clear that I DO lose weight with calorie restriction and wasn't asking for dietary advice. I stop losing weight with regular, heavy workouts. I was simply reaching out to other thyroid patients who may have experienced something similar. Thank you to those who shared their own experiences with this struggle.

  • deannalfisher
    deannalfisher Posts: 5,601 Member
    jne79 wrote: »
    CSARdiver, I have NO idea where you heard or read that nonsense. Weight gain with Hashimoto's disease is NOT temporary and does NOT resolve itself. It takes intense dedication and hard work to stop gaining weight, much less to lose it. Ask any of the millions of people on the planet with autoimmune hypothyroidism. In addition, most of us are very aware of our hormone levels and have them checked regularly.

    I was clear that I DO lose weight with calorie restriction and wasn't asking for dietary advice. I stop losing weight with regular, heavy workouts. I was simply reaching out to other thyroid patients who may have experienced something similar. Thank you to those who shared their own experiences with this struggle.

    @CSARdiver works in the scientific community and has also had a thyroidectomy (IIRC)