Your Thyroid – The thyroid is a complicated organ with many very important responsibilities, especially regarding weight loss. Common signs of low thyroid function include low body temperature (including cold hands and feet), elevated LDL cholesterol, depression, constipation, fatigue, dry skin, thinning of the outer third of the eyebrows, and what’s called weight loss resistance (either gaining weight or inability to lose weight).
If you suspect your thyroid many be affecting your weight loss, get your TSH, free T3 and T4 as well as thyroid antibody levels checked. One tricky part is to look for optimal levels, not “normal” ranges. “Normal” is based on the last few years (usually around five) of tested patients so the “normal” has changed significantly over the years.
Take the time to discuss the results with your practitioner. Slightly elevated TSH or low levels of free T3 can be due to low iodine or selenium levels, chronic stress, heavy metals, and gluten intolerance.
Coffee Could Effect Your Weight Loss
Don’t freak out yet! Coffee has many great points too such as lots of beneficial antioxidants and the ability to increase your metabolism when drank in small doses. Any more than a cup (that’s an actual cup – 8 oz. not a giant Double Gulp mug) starts the detrimental effects. Plus it’s not just coffee that has caffeine, which is truly the issue. Hunt out any hidden sources of caffeine such as chocolate, medications, and weight loss supplements. All caffeine keeps adrenaline in your system longer potentially leading to stress on your adrenal glands so if you’re indulging in chocolate and coffee you might have an issue.
Gradually cut back to one cup of regular coffee or switch to decaf. Another option is to switch to green tea instead of coffee. Yes, green tea has a small amount of caffeine but it has other great benefits like antioxidants, plus my favorite amino acid theanine which calms the body, plus catechins that have been shown to boost metabolism, increase weight loss, and decrease hunger. Another option is my favorite – Teeccino (no this is not a sponsored article), I just really love this product and it helped me get off coffee. It’s a wonderful herbal tea that tastes a lot like coffee but has the health benefits of tea with no caffeine and no gluten.
Stress and Weight Loss
I just had a client tell me that stress helped her weight loss. She was so busy and stressed that she wasn’t ever hungry, she didn’t need much sleep, she was going so much that her calorie burn was great, and her energy was high. At first glance that seems pretty awesome but unfortunately a number of problems are also occurring. The body can’t sustain that type of schedule. The body is fantastic and can do if for a while by releasing additional adrenal and cortisol. But, eventually you’ll crash which means excessive fatigue, more likelihood of getting sick, and late night food cravings.
Hormones are incredible here. While you sleep, your stomach secretes a hormone called ghrelin which increases your human growth hormone. This is the hormone considered the “fountain of youth” – people actually inject it into themselves trying for weight loss and looking younger. But, when you indulge in that late night food craving the human growth hormone is suppresses and insulin is raised. It’s like a one-two punch for weight loss . . . not good!
Low Stomach Acid
This is another complicated bio-chemistry area, low stomach acid causes a number of problems. When it comes to weight loss it’s all about proper pH in the body. Most people notice it when they have heartburn, bloating, or gas after eating. Low stomach acid impairs protein digestion and create gut bacterial overgrowth. It also lowers the pH which means any number of enzymatic reactions may not take place because everything about digestion starting in the stomach is based on pH. When the pH is correct, the enzymes are signaled to do their jobs.
To help, try 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before your meal. This will increase the stomach acid and help protein digestion. Read more about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar here. Another suggestion is to not drink liquids while you eat. This will help the stomach acid from being diluted.
Skipping Breakfast and Weight Loss
If weight loss is your goal, you can’t skip breakfast. When you don’t “break” the “fast” from the night your cortisol (the stress hormone) increases, your body begins to store more fat, and has to draw energy from muscle. Your metabolic rates slows down so you end up burning less calories throughout the day. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed protein breakfasts keep you full and burn more fat than high-carbohydrate foods. Read more information about breakfast here. Not every one needs to eat a big breakfast for weight loss but you do need to eat something within about 30 minutes of waking. Try one of these great recipes – Breakfast Frittata, Quinoa Cereal, or Grab & Go Bar.