One of my Hashimoto’s client came to me because she was gaining weight rapidly, dealing with low thyroid symptoms and symptoms of menopause.
Exactly a year later, not only has her weight stabilized, but she is down 10 pounds since July. Steady, slow, and healthy weight shifts. Something she really didn’t think was possible with eat more and move less. Yes, you read that right. Eat MORE, move LESS.
In her own words:
You helped me learn, even though I was a skeptic.
Even for dietitians like myself, sometimes it’s hard to believe in the power of our physiology and recognize that our body can take care of itself–much better than anything our logic can conjure up. This is because diet culture is so prevalent in our society – we are constantly told that eating less, moving more is the only option for weight loss. That we must constantly be in control of our bodies, or else we will become unhealthy slobs.
I generally don’t work with people who want to lose weight because sustainable, healthy weight loss cannot happen without HEALING. Healing our bodies from all the fluctuations of dieting. Going back and forth from safety to starvation. Our body does not know we are restricting to lose weight, it just knows that we are restricting. It sees restriction as not having have access to enough food.
And you know what? Most of us, including myself sometimes, just aren’t willing to let go of the fear of being fat(er) to actually give our body the time to heal. As soon as we see the scale going up, we panic and feel urgency to try the next thing to control our bodies. It’s so hard for us to see weight gain as a symptom of too much stress, poor gut health, poor thyroid function, poor sleep, or hormonal imbalances. We see it as THE thing that needs to be fixed. And fixed yesterday. It’s like having a wound on our leg and wanting to chop our leg off, instead of healing the wound.
So here’s what my client did to get here and will continue to work on:
- Listen to her hunger and eat when she was hungry
- Eat enough carbs, protein, and fat for her body
- Eat enough calories for her body (anywhere between 1800-2400 calories a day)
- 4-5 days of gentle movement, like walking and weight training with light weights
- Rest when she needed it
- Practice compassion towards herself
- Consistently showing up to take care of herself, because it wasn’t just about the weight loss. It was about re-training her body to recognize what it means to be in a safe food environment. Consistency tells our body we are SAFE.
Here’s what she didn’t do:
- Eat green vegetables or other low calorie foods touted for their “health” benefits, like cauliflower and broccoli. In fact she barely eats these types of vegetables now
- Reduce the amount of food she is eating and find ways to suppress her hunger (like drinking more water, or chewing gum)
- Drink copious amounts of water
- Gym for 1+ hours every day or do stressful exercises like CrossFit or HIIT
- Avoid dairy or sugar or other delicious carbs
- Become a vegetarian or vegan for weight loss purposes
When we hit the sweet spot for nutrient-dense foods (also foods that are high calorie), movement, rest, and self-care, our body feels SAFE and is able to let go of the back-up resources it’s holding on to for tougher times (i.e. the extra fat we carry around). Finding this sweet spot takes time, patience, and lots of unlearning.
So here’s to unlearning,
If you have Hashimoto’s or hypothyroidism and are struggling to lose weight – you might just need to HEAL first. Schedule a FREE information call to learn more about how I help my clients feel better [CLICK HERE].