Many people’s thyroids aren’t functioning up to speed. Because of lifestyle habits, their thyroid is underperforming, making it harder to lose weight and feel energized.
The thyroid sits below your Adam’s apple in your neck and plays a crucial role in controlling the metabolism of your cells, or the rate at which your cells perform their duties. This organ interacts with cells in the body through the hormones it produces, and if it's not producing enough, you will feel weak, cold, and not very good.
If you’re looking to lose weight, you should know that the thyroid and weight loss are deeply connected. Hypothyroidism not only slows down your metabolism, taking longer for you to burn calories, it also can make you gain water weight.15
Ways to Lose Weight by Boosting Your Thyroid Performance
Ashwagandha has been shown to promote fat loss and increase muscle mass.1 So while it might not technically lower the numbers on your scale because of the muscle you might gain, indications are that Ashwagandha burns fat.
Ashwagandha also boosts thyroid hormone levels. In humans, more thyroid hormone was produced as a result of daily Ashwagandha supplementation. Patients’ levels increased in the range of 7-24%.16
2. Moderate Exercise
Take the middle road. Or “everything in moderation” as they say. Research has found that moderate-intensity exercise, as opposed to light or intense exercise, causes the most prominent increases in thyroid hormones, including the most active form of hormone – T3.2
Long-range endurance exercise, such as long runs or long cycling rounds, is found to decrease your thyroid hormone blood concentrations (at least for a few hours, up to a day).2, 3
To keep your exercise moderate, aim for 70% of your maximum heart rate, and you probably shouldn’t be gasping for air or in pain during moderate exercise.
3. Cayenne Pepper
This spice is a great adjunct herb for boosting metabolism and energy expenditure (this means it burns up fat).4 Although it might not directly boost your thyroid, it boosts your metabolism, helps you lose weight, and might help increase your energy level.4 Cayenne is a great tool for fighting the clinical disease signs that accompany weight gain – diabetes and metabolic resistance.4
We’re not talking about controversial or unproven methods of detoxification here. It is a fact that animals and humans “bioaccumulate” environmental pollutants in their tissues over time. Unfortunately, these pollutants can also affect thyroid function. Toxic metals like mercury can interrupt thyroid hormone production, transport throughout the body, and increase autoimmune attacks on the thyroid.5 6
One of the few clinically validated ways to excrete metals from your tissues and lowering measurable metal levels in your body is to sweat.10 11
This can be accomplished by saunas, steam baths, exercise, or anything that makes you sweat! And of course, sweating can help burn off extra pounds as well.
(Note: If you want to discover the top 10 foods that Master Herbologist and Nutritionist Dr. Donna Schwontkowski recommends to boost your thyroid, then you can check out the guide here.)
Stress profoundly affects immunity, and research shows that stress can even be involved in the development of autoimmune reactions against your thyroid.7 So, in a way, if you are chronically under emotional stress, you’re encouraging your immune system to attack your own thyroid. And if your thyroid is being attacked, you’ll produce less thyroid hormones.
Also, stress is correlated with weight gain and increased body mass index.8 The stress hormone cortisol is associated with “abdominal obesity” and stress often causes people to overeat.9
Guggul has been used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for close to 3,000 years. This herb has been shown in animal studies to promote thyroid function, and there is some evidence that it reduces body weight.12
7. Eliminate Toxic or Thyroid-Inhibiting Foods
As with the threat of metals to thyroid function, foods that commonly contain high amounts of toxic metals should be avoided. Not putting toxins in your body in the first place plays a huge role in successful detoxifying.
Large fish are the most dangerous source of bad metals because of our polluted oceans. Large fish are high on the food chain so they soak up metals from the smaller creatures that they eat, thus, accumulating more metals.
Some people could have problems with foods like raw cruciferous vegetables that contain goitrogens that inhibit thyroid hormones in cases of iodine deficiency.
8. Fight Inflammation and Oxidative Stress
Inflammation and oxidative stress are intimately related. Often, inflammation causes oxidative stress, but the reverse can be true as well. Both have been correlated with underactive thyroid performance.13
Eating plenty of colorful fruits and veggies along with other antioxidant-rich whole grains and nuts sets the foundation for your body to be supplied with antioxidants to fight free radicals. (An excess of free radicals causes oxidative stress.)
Antioxidant-rich plant foods are also anti-inflammatory, so they can inhibit the signals that cause your immune cells to produce oxidative stress in your body. Also, an array of herbs has been shown to be anti inflammatory. The most powerful of these might be bioavailable formulations of curcumin and boswellia which inhibit some of the master-enzymes responsible for initiating inflammation.
Obesity might also contribute to thyroid dysfunction because fat cells cause increased oxidative stress in the body.14
Keep Your Thyroid Healthy and Shed the Pounds
In order for you to have the best chance at staying lean, healthy, and feeling young, you’re thyroid has got to be functioning well. These lifestyle habits and herbs will cultivate vitality in your thyroid. By implementing the right habits, you’ll have a much better chance of being lean and energetic
Natural Ways To Support Normal Thyroid Function
Did you know that you can naturally support your thyroid function with certain foods and remedies without the harsh effects of prescription drugs?
It’s true - and we’d love to share them with you!
Evan Burns, lead nutritionist and researcher at Nutracraft, shows you exactly what foods and natural remedies work to naturally maintain normal thyroid balance and function.