Keto and Hypothyroidism
“Your labs indicate subclinical hypothyroidism. Let’s start you on Levothyroxine.”
These were the words Keto Girl Tara heard from her doctor one month prior to starting the Keto Girl program. You may have even heard something similar from a medical professional recently and be concerned about starting medication.
You might also be totally fed up with counting calories and feeling deprived, yet not seeing any real progress with your weight loss.
Weight gain and struggling to shift extra pounds are common side effects of hypothyroidism and if you’ve recently been diagnosed or have recently started medication and want to look at an alternative way to boost your thyroid function, the Keto Girl method might be just what you’re looking for.
Let me give you a rundown on what is happening inside your body when you have hypothyroidism, how a keto diet helps and show you that just like Tara, you can get results.
What is hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, is a condition where your thyroid does not produce enough of certain hormones.
Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of your neck. Its main job is to release T3 and T4 hormones into your bloodstream to control your metabolism. These hormones tell the cells in your body how much energy to use while also controlling your heart rate and body temperature.
When your thyroid works as it should, it constantly makes and releases hormones to keep your metabolism in check and your systems functioning correctly. However, when your thyroid is underactive, it can affect your entire body, creating hormone imbalances, causing fatigue, sensitivity to cold, constipation and weight gain.
Trying keto with little success
Tara was tired of gaining weight. She had tried calorie counting and a vegan diet, but neither were successful. In the fall, before her hypothyroid diagnosis and joining the Keto Girl program, Tara decided to try regular Keto. She comes from a data-driven career, and she decided to religiously track 20g of net carbs daily.
Tara did notice some positive changes, but she felt super restricted due to the lack of flexibility in the diet. Although she lost 10 pounds over 7 months, it was not sustainable for her and her sanity; she still felt exhausted and blah.
How keto can help
“An anti-inflammatory keto approach that is dairy-free and gluten-free with no carb tracking?! How am I even supposed to make that work?!”
This was Tara’s initial response, but she knew she had to try it because of the success she had heard from others. It only made sense, but how?
Well, let me tell you! A traditional keto or ketogenic diet focuses on low-carb, moderate protein and high-fat foods and is designed to help you burn fat.
When you take in more carbs than your body needs, your body produces glucose and insulin for energy. Once all your energy needs are met, the body stores what’s left as fat. A keto diet triggers your body’s natural metabolic response, known as ketosis. When your body is in ketosis, it doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to use for energy so instead, your body starts burning your excess fat stores.
The keto diet can also reduce inflammation, modulate the immune response, improve thyroid function, and reduce hypothyroidism symptoms. This is because, with a keto diet, you are limiting highly inflammatory foods that contain substances that can negatively impact the thyroid.
Doing it the Keto Girl way
Tara trusted the Keto Girl process. She started avoiding high inflammatory foods, and rather than tracking her carbs, she listened to her body. She began taking note of when she was hungry and full, and what inflammation felt like.
Within a week she had lost weight, had more energy and was sleeping better.
After a month, she was incorporating several higher carb days while still being able to go back into ketosis the next day. With these keto and hypothyroidism changes, Tara watched her weight consistently drop.
The final week with keto and hypothyroidism
After 12 weeks of following the Keto Girl method, Tara was 10 pounds down compared to the 7 months and only 10 pounds down she was after following a regular keto diet and strict fasting beforehand.
During her last week, she went to her doctor to have her thyroid panel redrawn. Her thyroid levels were surprisingly high, so the doctor took her off her Levothyroxine. Her thyroid levels were normalizing due to the new Keto Girl diet.
Tara will continue to follow the Keto Girl Method; it is her new medicine.
“I’m more than willing to trade in my thyroid medicine for the Keto Girl diet, as I’ve lost more weight, sleep better and finally have the energy to do the things I love! My goal wasn’t to lose a lot of weight as I’m petite, but it feels good to consistently see the scale go down and feel empowered that I know how to eat for my body and my hormones.”
Get help with your hypothyroidism
If you are struggling with hypothyroidism and want to lose weight and feel better, I can help!
As a keto weight loss nutritionist, I can support you with tailored advice so that you can eat foods that are filling, make you happy AND will help you shed those unwanted pounds.
Apply for keto coaching today to get started on your journey.