weight loss

I’m often asked does hypothyroid cause weight gain? Are you struggling to lose weight no matter how much you diet or exercise? Are you frustrated that you put on weight if you so much as look at food?

Hypothyroid symptoms

  • Do you wake up feeling exhausted?
  • Do you have trouble concentrating?
  • Do you feel the cold easily?
  • You cannot lose weight no matter how much you diet or exercise?
  • You have a sluggish metabolism
  • Do you have hormonal imbalances like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Pre menstrual tension or menopause?
  • Do you get anxious or depressed?
  • Is your hair thinning?
  • Is there a family history of thyroid problems?
  • Do you have high cholesterol?
  • Do you get colds and flu often?
  • Do you have dry skin?
  • Are you constipated?

If you relate to 3 or more of the symptoms above, you could have an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) which affects every area of your metabolism and hormonal health emotionally and physically. Your thyroid controls all your hormones, weight loss, well being and immune health. To answer the question does hypothyroid cause weight gain? It certainly does and slows down your metabolism leading to weight gain!

What is metabolism?


Metabolism describes all the chemical processes that go on continuously inside your body to keep you alive and your organs functioning normally, such as breathing, repairing cells and digesting food.

These chemical processes require energy. The minimum amount of energy your body requires to carry out these chemical processes is called the basal metabolic rate (BMR).

Your BMR accounts for anything between 40% and 70% of your body’s daily energy requirements, depending on your age and lifestyle. A “slow metabolism” is more accurately described as a low BMR.

Tips for increasing metabolism, weight and fat loss

  1. Eat plenty of protein at all meals – Protein keeps you full so you eat less. Protein is vital for building muscles, and boosts your metabolism so you burn more calories.
  2. Drink more water – Research shows that adults who drink a 500 mls of water before a meal lost over 40% more weight than those that don’t. Often you may think you’re hungry, but it could be thirst and water will quench it as well as keeping you away from soft drinks that contain sugar and is high in calories. Water also increases your metabolism.
  3. High intensity interval training (HIIT) involves quick and intense bursts of activity. It helps burn more fat by increasing your metabolic rate even after your workout has finished. Varied exercise like weight bearing mixed with high intensity exercise helps boost metabolism and burn fat.
  4. Regular meals and snacks – to keep your metabolism working at its best, have small meals throughout the day with protein at each meal and two snacks as this will keep your metabolism firing and stop sugar cravings.
  5. Adequate sleep – The amount of sleep you get directly affects your diet. People who are sleep deprived tend to weigh more and have more trouble losing weight than those who get adequate rest, even when they follow the same diet. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body over produces the hunger causing hormones leptin and ghrelin.
  6. Keeping stress under controlCortisol, the stress hormone is released when your anxious or stressed.Cortisol stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism for fast energy, and stimulates insulin release and maintenance of blood sugar levels. … This disruption of cortisol secretion may not only promote weight gain, but it can also affect where you put on the weight in the body, especially abdominal fat.
  7. Spicy food speeds up metabolism — spices like cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, peppers, and chilies — can raise your metabolism and slow your appetite. 
  8. Green tea may be beneficial for weight loss by helping the body’s metabolism to be more efficient.  Research suggest that catechin can help to break down excess fat, while both catechin and caffeine can increase the amount of energy the body uses.
  9. Herbal supplements for thyroid health – your practitioner will assess your health history and advise what is recommended for you.