Is your thyroid making you fat? Does your thyroid feel stuck in low gear? Then one doctor has an easy thyroid diet plan for you to try. His easy eating strategy will help rev your thyroid — also known as your "metabolism gland" — so that you lose weight faster than ever. When your thyroid is happy, your metabolism soars, so spare pounds melt away quickly.
Thyroid Diet Plan That Works
Millions of people in America have thyroid problems and could use a boost. Are you one of them? "Up to 90 percent of women experience thyroid issues at some point in their lives, so I recommend everyone start eating for improved thyroid health today," says Gary Foresman, MD, a California-based integrative physician who has worked with the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. "There's no downside, and you'll likely lose excess weight and feel great in the process."
A fan of the book Paleo Thyroid Solution (Amazon, $14.92), Dr. Foresman encourages us to switch to staples similar to those enjoyed by ancient hunter-gatherers. Why? As it turns out, "cavewoman-style" meals and snacks load our bodies with thyroid-revving nutrients while eliminating thyroid blockers. So our thyroids — little glands in our necks that regulate metabolism and dozens of other crucial functions — do a way better job of helping us turn calories and stored fat into energy. No wonder thyroid patients who have gone Paleo report slimming down by up to 200 pounds! "When you optimize your thyroid, it can make your life amazingly better," says Foresman.
How to Start a Paleo Thyroid Diet
The No. 1 rule of Paleo eating means enjoying meals and snacks similar to ones that our ancestors might have hunted or gathered before farming existed. "The types of foods that helped humans survive when many species went extinct still deliver the nutrients we need to thrive," explains Foresman. Go for lean protein (eggs, fish, poultry, beef, pork); nonstarchy vegetables and fruit (preferably in season); nuts, seeds, plant-based fat; and small amounts of root vegetables and wild rice. There are no rules beyond that. Eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full.
Quick-start trick: "For a basic meal, sauté lots of veggies in coconut oil or make a big salad with olive-oil vinaigrette. Add a nice portion of high-quality protein, and that's it!" says 40-pounds-slimmer Paleo Thyroid Solution author Elle Russ, 42, whose thyroid-related weight gain wouldn't budge until she went Paleo. If you're in the mood, add some fruit, sweet potatoes, or wild rice pilaf.
Why your thyroid responds: Research shows that Paleo-style eating delivers up to 900 percent more nutrients than a typical diet, which helps ensure you get everything you need for optimal thyroid health, including vitamin A, selenium, zinc, and more. You also get a lot more omega-3s — fatty acids that are being studied for their ability to help thyroid hormone clear away fat. That's not all: Omega-3s and a flood of antioxidants from Paleo foods help soothe an internal inflammation strongly linked to poor thyroid function. Paleo also eliminates the main culprits behind that inflammation — especially blood-sugar surges triggered by excess sugar and grain. One preliminary study even found that a Paleo diet relieves signs of thyroid-suppressing inflammation by up to 82 percent.
Bye-bye, big appetite: Natural culinary staples amp up the production of your hormones that tell you to "stop eating" so much, that one study found Paleo dieters eat 400 fewer calories per day than other healthy dieters — and they do it without trying. "I used to think about food all of the time. Luckily, going Paleo eliminated every food obsession I ever had," says Russ. "That freedom is miraculous!"
Do I need to see my doctor first? Always talk to your doctor before starting a new diet. If you're experiencing stubborn weight gain, unexplained fatigue, intense PMS or menopausal symptoms, thinning hair, dry skin, sensitivity to cold, or insomnia, ask to have your thyroid screened. Prescription medication may be necessary to protect your health. Already take an Rx? Never stop unless your doctor tells you to.