As you may know, I’m a Nutritionist, who specializes in weight loss, or at least that’s what people think they are seeking me out for. The reality, however, is often somewhat different.
Allow me to explain.
Carrying extra weight is simply a symptom of an underlying problem. As a registered Nutritionist, it’s not so much my job to help someone lose weight, as it is to find the underlying cause of the weight gain. While there are many reasons, including digestive issues, poor nutrition, allergies, toxic load and emotional factors. Hormonal imbalance often plays a significant role.
There are four main hormones that can really impact weight loss, estrogen, insulin, cortisol and a collection of thyroid hormones. They all play significant roles, and it’s very common to see one or more completely out of balance.
I’m going to be talking about each hormone individually over the course of the next few weeks. But for starters, let’s talk about the gland responsible for your metabolism, the thyroid, and how to optimize the hormones it produces.
Here are some simple tips to help support your Thyroid, thereby firing up your metabolism.
Algae was the first food on earth, created solely by the sun’s rays and photosynthesis. This makes it extremely nutrient dense boasting vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K. It also has a wide range of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iodine. The most important mineral for your thyroid is iodine. However, it’s particularly hard to get in your diet, so you’ll have to make the extra effort.
Try getting in some sea vegetables at least twice a week. This could be in the form of roasted seaweed or nori sheets (these make a great grain-free wrap), or you could sprinkle some kelp granules over your salad or use in soups and stews. If the taste of sea vegetables just isn’t’ your thing, you can buy them in capsule form at your local health food store.
All hormones require fat, so in order to nourish your body so it can produce enough thyroid hormone; give it some yummy fat! Raw organic coconut oil is fantastic for supporting the thyroid. Plus the medium chain fatty acids are perfect for energy and even reduce muscle soreness. Use it for cooking and include a tablespoon in your smoothies instead of a nut butter here and there.
While adding a little spinach to your smoothies will do you just fine. Too much, raw cruciferous veggies such as kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower can hinder thyroid function. So if you suspect your thyroid needs help, skip the green juices because the sheer concentration of these vegetables is much higher in a glass of juice than a smoothie. The reason these nutrient dense vegetables can cause problems is due to the goitrogens that can disrupt the thyroid if eaten in large amounts. Don’t let that deter you from enjoying them though. Just steam, roast or lightly sauté these veggies to ensure they won’t impact your thyroid function.
When you put your cell phone up to your ear, it is sitting very close to your thyroid as well. Radiation can reduce thyroid function. So instead use headphones as a precaution.
Too much, steady state cardio or too intense exercise generally is taxing on the adrenal glands which are closely connected to the thyroid gland. So ensure to include weight training, which is protective for the thyroid, long walks outside as well as yoga in your exercise regime.