The temptation is great to either give up exercise all together or to go all out with exercising when trying to lose weight while suffering from an under active thyroid.
Some people will work out for hours ever day, cut their food intake to almost nothing and STILL see no results for all of that “work”. Which often leads to ….
Don’t give up – get smart.
When you over exercise you are stressing your thyroid and working against yourself. That is good news really. Don’t work out so much!
Cortisol is released when we are under stress. You know that terrible horrible no good very bad hormone that causes us to hang onto what ever fat we already have and then add more to it? Our goal is to exercise in moderation, almost stealthily, so that the cortisol doesn’t even know we are working out.
How do we do that?
We walk. The best place to walk is outside so that you can smell the fresh air. If you can add prayer or meditation into the process all the better.
Walking alone isn’t going to help you lose weight if you have hypothyroidism, but in combination with a diet that includes the vitamins and mineral your thyroid needs to function properly it should improve your mood, make you feel better and is a solid part of an over all strategy to lose weight.
There are basically three factors to losing weight with hypothyroidism.
The first is diet.
Admittedly this is a difficult factor to get in line as it seems that everyone has their own idea about what one should and shouldn’t eat to jump start your thyroid.
Over all the consensus is that processed or refined foods are bad, as are sugar, white flour and alcohol. A diet high in lean protein, good fats, like those found in coconut oil and avocados and Brazil nuts, and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, as close to organic as possible tends to produce the best results.
The second factor is exercise.
While you do not want to over exercise and therefore stimulate that ole cortisol, you do want to get some exercise. Exercise gives you energy, allows you to sleep better at night and builds muscles. It also produces endorphins which make you feel better.
The third factor is hormone balance.
This one you are probably going to have to address with the assistance of the medical profession. There are tests that you can have performed that will help you figure out if you have an hormonal imbalance like estrogen domination that is causing you to have trouble losing weight even though you have got your diet and exercise under control.
Over all walking is not hard on your body. You can choose to walk on level ground, around the block or on a walking trail. As you build up your stamina try adding in some hills and walk on a variety of terrain.
Stay committed to a walking plan for three weeks. It is better to start slow and not walk as far, but to do it at the same time every day, then to go way over board and not want to go again. Generally it takes about three weeks to develop a habit. While it might feel “weird” during the adjustment period, once you get going, the “weirdness” will wear off and you will be a walker!
I like to walk with my dogs up in the hills behind our house. Seems like every day we discover something new. As it is now spring, flowers are blooming – I think the apple tree up the way will be sporting lots of organic apples this year! And how yesterday I found one of my wayward ducks and the day before that the dogs flushed out three deer. Silly dogs (I have four of them) they knew the deer were there, but couldn’t find them. I, however, got a perfect view of them as they jumped up the side of the mountain. It was spectacular.
So, to answer the question does walking really help you lose weight – I would have to say yes it can.
Recently I have started to do the Flexible Diet. I put this video together to help you get started too.