It’s estimated that over twelve percent of the population in the world will experience a thyroid problem at some point—still more conditions will go mis- or undiagnosed.
The situation has been called “epidemic” by some and the incidence of thyroid cancer has doubled in the last forty years.
This is troublesome because the small bow-tie gland in the neck is a primary component of the immune system; if it’s not functioning properly, we become susceptible to an infinite number of illnesses.
The thyroid is responsible for producing hormones that regulate metabolism, heart rate, digestion, muscle control, and brain development.
Typical problems with the thyroid are hypothyroidism (under-active) or hyperthyroidism (over-active).
When the thyroid doesn’t produce adequate amounts of hormones—particularly “T3” and “T4” (triiodothyronine and thyroxine)—the metabolism slows, resulting in weight gain, fatigue, increased blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and depression.
Producing too many of these hormones has the opposite effect—uncontrollable weight loss, accelerated heart rate, insomnia, and anxiety.
Most of the current thyroid problems are of the hypo variety, hence the obesity epidemic.
Environmental and lifestyle factors contribute to a malfunctioning thyroid and, while some are seemingly out of our control, many are not.
Low Thyroid Function
Your thyroid is your “master gland” and affects every cell in your body, regulating cell metabolism. When your thyroid is low or “sluggish”, it doesn’t produce enough active thyroid hormone (T3).
Literally every part of your body is affected by a sluggish thyroid AKA Hypothyroidism. And since the thyroid regulates the burning of energy (calories) your weight will go up as your thyroid (i.e. metabolic rate) goes down.
Maybe you aren’t “lazy” after all?
Symptoms of Low Thyroid Function – Weight gain, low energy, fatigued, tendency to feel cold, high cholesterol, headaches, low blood pressure, menstrual problems, skin problems, and reduced sexual drive.
Thyroid: Toxin Overload
One important factor in the prevalence of thyroid malfunction is the existence of microscopic fungi in air and food, the over-proliferation of which tax the immune system.
These fungi normally live on our skin and in other warm, moist places; mycosis is the term used for an illness that stems from their overabundance internalized via air or through the skin.
Mycotoxicosis is another group of diseases that can occur when humans are over-exposed to these fungi; from research published in Clinical Microbiology Reviews:
“Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by microfungi that are capable of causing disease and death in humans and other animals…mycotoxicoses are examples of ‘poisoning by natural means’ and thus are analogous to the pathologies caused by exposure to pesticides or heavy metal residues…the severity of mycotoxin poisoning can be compounded by factors such as vitamin deficiency, caloric deprivation, alcohol abuse, and infectious disease status. In turn, mycotoxicoses can heighten vulnerability to microbial diseases, worsen the effects of malnutrition, and interact synergistically with other toxins.”
The fungi aren’t destructive per se, it’s that a weakened immune system allows them to run rampant, which further challenges the immune system. It has been found that mycotoxins can cause symptoms that range from annoying eye twitching to multiple sclerosis. The effects of the poisons these fungi can produce can’t be over-emphasized.
“Because of their pharmacological activity, some mycotoxins or mycotoxin derivatives have found use as antibiotics and other kinds of drugs; still others have been implicated as chemical warfare agents.
Food sources of known mycotoxins:
- Alcoholic beverages
A healthy thyroid is imperative for fighting all the toxins to which we are regularly exposed. We are in direct control of the status of our own immune systems through how we live and what we eat unless we are born with a physiological condition to the contrary.
Potential causes of thyroid dysfunction:
- Family history
- Iodine deficiency
- Radiation, including X-rays
- Too much soy in the diet
- Smoking cigarettes
- Chronic stress
- Chemicals and contaminants in tap water
- Xenoestrogens in food and personal care products
To keep the thyroid at optimal efficiency (which correlates to proper metabolism and—in the case of hypothyroidism—weight loss), consciously support it with these foods:
- Brazil nuts
- Fish (halibut, flounder, wild salmon, sardines)
- Fruits (berries and lemons)
- Sunflower seeds
- Vegetables – stay away from cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts if your thyroid is compromised
- Purified water
Avoid these Thyroid-Inhibiting Foods
- Beans and other legumes
- Fried food
- Processed foods
- Refined sugar and artificial sweeteners
Increasing activity levels supports the immune system (thyroid included) in every way. Any exercise will do, as long as it’s regular.
Prescribed diets are antithetical to restoring immune system balance; simply cutting out the stuff we know is detrimental and replacing it with fresh organic produce and healthy sources of proteins and fats will give your body what it needs.
Learn How The 3-Week Metabolism Detoxes The Liver, Boosts Your Thyroid, And Burns Fat
Believe it or not you can reset and boost your thyroid in 7 days or less. While it takes much longer to truly heal your thyroid, it starts with one meal, one day, and one week at a time.
Think of these 7 days as steps to heal your thyroid naturally. Each one of these “days” needs to be repeated for as long as it takes.
Day 1: Eliminate the causes of thyroid problems
Carefully consider things that may interfere with your thyroid function and eliminate them. As you will see, there are a good many things that can impede optimal thyroid function.
Diet is a good place to begin. Certain foods have developed a reputation for playing a role in thyroid dysfunction, but this reputation isn’t necessarily connected to the latest scientific evidence.
For instance, soy foods and the broccoli family (broccoli, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, and collard greens) have all been said to cause thyroid dysfunction, but they also have many other health benefits. Research on these foods to date has been less than conclusive. In one study, rats fed high concentrations of soy had problems with their thyroid.
On the other hand, there are food groups where substantive evidence supports a link to an autoimmune disease of the thyroid that slows down your metabolism.
Gluten is one of them. If you think you are having a thyroid problem, you need to do a blood test to identify any hidden reaction to gluten found in wheat, barley, rye, oats, kamut, and spelt. Gluten sensitivity or allergy can cause many different types of symptoms, from migraines to fatigue to weight gain.
Besides doing the blood test, you can simply eliminate gluten from your diet for three weeks. If your symptoms go away, you have a clue that your system might not like this food. If you want to take this self-test a step further, reintroduce gluten into your diet and see if your symptoms recur. If they do, that is another major clue.
There are other food allergies besides gluten that can stall thyroid function. You might want to work with a medical practitioner to pinpoint and eliminate these food allergies. A good place to begin is my book The 3-Week Ketogenic Diet
Besides certain foods and food allergies, toxins can slow down your thyroid. Testing yourself for mercury and getting it out of your system and your environment becomes crucial. You also want to avoid fluoride, which has been linked to thyroid problems, and chlorinated water.
Checking for pesticides is more difficult, but supporting your body’s detoxification system by eating organic foods, filtering your water, and eating detoxifying foods can be very helpful to heal your thyroid.
Stress also affects your thyroid function negatively. Military cadets in training who were subjected to intense stress had higher levels of cortisol, higher inflammation levels, reduced testosterone, higher TSH, and very low T3. Treating the thyroid without dealing with chronic stress can precipitate more problems.
A common form of chronic stress – adrenal gland exhaustion or burnout – particularly becomes dangerous for hypothyroidism. Adrenal gland exhaustion occurs when your adrenal glands are unable to keep up with the physiological needs created by stress.
To remedy this chronic stress, incorporate meditation, yoga, relaxation, and/or anything that calms you down, lowers stress, and makes you happier.
Day 2: Eat Foods That Provide Nutritional Support for Your Thyroid, and Avoid Those That Don’t
Every step on your road to healing and weight loss depends on proper nutrition and using food to communicate the right information to your genes. Treating your thyroid is no exception.
Choose foods that offer nutritional support for your thyroid. The production of thyroid hormones requires iodine and omega-3 fatty acids; converting the inactive T4 to the active T3 requires selenium; and both the binding of T3 to the receptor on the nucleus and switching it on require vitamins A and D, as well as zinc. You will find these nutrients in a whole-food, clean, organic diet.
Thyroid-boosting foods include seaweed and sea vegetables, which contain iodine. Fish (especially sardines and salmon) contains iodine, omega-3 fats, and vitamin D. Dandelion, mustard, and other dark leafy greens contain vitamin A. Smelt, herring, scallops, and Brazil nuts contain selenium.
You want to avoid foods that can interfere with thyroid function. These include the aforementioned gluten, soy, vegetable oils, and other inflammatory foods.
Day 3: The Right (Metabolic) Exercise
Exercise can make or break your thyroid and metabolism.
The benefits of metabolic workouts fat outweigh the benefits of cardio or even strength training, since you get the best of both worlds, here are a few benefits:
- Serious calorie burn – The calorie burn during a workout is easily around 500 calories for a 30 minute workout, but it also increases metabolic rate from anywhere between 10% to 25% for up to 48 hours, with some studies showing an increase in metabolic rate for up to even 72 hours. This equates to hundreds of extra calories, which over the course of a few workouts can become significant.
- Improved cardiovascular capacity – Metabolic workouts help improve cardiovascular strength similar to traditional cardio.
- Improved hormonal profile – Several studies have shown that hormones that promote “lipolysis” (the technical term for fat loss) increase as a results of high intensity strength training. I don’t want to bore you with all the studies, but strength training in general has been shown to help improve hormonal profile, and metabolic training is debatably the best type of strength training to elicit the most powerful hormonal response.
- Faster fat loss – Metabolic exercise boosts your main fat-burning hormone, growth hormone. This type of training also balances insulin and keeps low cortisol. Insulin and cortisol are two hormones that cause fast fat gain. When you fix those, you lose weight quickly and in a healthy way.
Day 4: Supplement Your Thyroid and Diet
Ashwagandha (500 milligrams daily)
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen herb that helps the body respond to stress, keeping hormone levels better in balance. Adaptogens helps lower cortisol and balance T4 levels. In fact, in clinical trials, supplementing with Ashwagandha for eight weeks helped hypothyroidism patients significantly increase thyroxine hormone levels, which reduced the severity of the disorder. Also, try other adaptogen herbs like rhodiola, licorice root, ginseng and holy basil, which have similar benefits.
Iodine (150–300 micrograms daily)
Studies show that even small amounts of supplementary iodine (250 micrograms) cause slight but significant changes in thyroid hormone function in predisposed individuals. A diet rich in whole foods that contain iodine — including fish, sea vegetables, eggs, raw dairy and seaweed — can help prevent deficiency.
Iodine supplements should not be taken with Hashimoto’s disease because getting too much iodine over the long term increases the risk of developing an overactive thyroid. While it’s nearly impossible to get too much from eating a variety of healthy foods alone, sometimes people taking supplements or eating very high amounts of dried algae and seaweed can exceed the recommended upper limit of 500 milligrams per day.
Selenium (200 micrograms daily)
The thyroid is the organ with the highest selenium content in the whole body. Selenium is necessary for the production of the T3 thyroid hormone and can reduce autoimmune affects. In patients with Hashimoto’s disease and in pregnant women with thyroid disturbances, selenium supplementation decreases anti-thyroid antibody levels and improves the structure of the thyroid gland.
Because it helps balance hormone levels, selenium can lower the risk for experiencing thyroid disorder during pregnancy (postpartum thyroiditis) and afterwards. Other studies have shown that when selenium deficiency is resolved through supplementation, patients experience on average 40 percent reduction in thyroid antibodies compared to a 10 percent increase when given a placebo.
L-tyrosine (500 milligrams twice daily)
An amino acid used in the synthesis of thyroid hormones, thyroxin (T4) is naturally produced from the iodination of tyrosine, a nonessential amino acid obtained both from protein-containing dietary sources and through the body making some itself.
Supplementing with L-tyrosine has been shown to improve sleep deprivation and can help combat fatigue and a poor mood by improving alertness and neurotransmitter function. One reason L-tyrosine is beneficial in healingthyroid symptoms is because it plays a role in the production of melatonin, dopamine and/or norepinephrine, which are our natural “feel good” hormones.
Fish oil (1,000 milligrams daily)
Essential fatty acids found in fish oil are critical for brain and thyroid function. DHA and EPA omega-3’s found in fish oil are associated with a lower risk for thyroid symptoms, including anxiety, depression, high cholesterol, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, diabetes, a weakened immune system and heightened autoimmune disease. Omega-3 fish oil supplements can also help balance levels of omega-6s in the diet, which is important for ongoing health.
Vitamin B-Complex (one B-complex capsule daily)
Vitamin B12 and thiamine are important for neurologic function and hormonal balance. Research shows that supplementing with thiamine can help combat symptoms of autoimmune disease, including chronic fatigue. In one clinical study, when patients with Hashimoto’s were given 600 milligrams per day of thiamine, the majority experienced complete regression of fatigue within a few hours or days.
Vitamin B12 is another important nutrient for fighting fatigue because it benefits the central nervous system in many important ways: maintaining the health of nerve cells (including neurotransmitters); protecting the covering of nerves called the cell’s myelin sheath: and turning nutrients from food into usable energy for the brain and body.
Probiotics can help heal the gut and aid in nutrient absorption while reducing inflammation. Other benefits of a high-quality probiotic include helping to maintain a stronger immune system, increasing energy from production of vitamin B12, reducing bacterial or viral growth in the gut such as candida, improving skin health and helping with appetite control and weight loss.
Day 5: Balance Your Macronutrients
Learning how to properly balance your main macronutrients (carbs, proteins, and fats) can be the difference between your meals being “fat-burning meals” or “fat-storing meals.”
I have a very simple formula for balancing your meals, I’ll share with you shortly, but first I’d like to briefly go over why improper meal balancing is destroying your metabolism.
Unfortunately, most people are eating ratios that spike insulin, raise cortisol, overload their digestivve systems, and slow down their thyroids.
Here are a few examples of fat-storing, improperly balanced meals:
Breakfast: Toast, bagels, cereal, smoothies, juices, and breakfast sandwiches
Lunches: Sandwiches, subs, salads, wraps, burgers/fries, etc…
Dinners: Pasta dishes, potatoes/sweet potates (without a protein), etc…
Snacks: Sweetened coffee drinks, fruit, bars, etc…
The scariest and most troublesome thing about this metabolism killer is that many people would argue the meals listed above are “healthy.”
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Macronutrient ratios can get pretty complicated. And complicated formulas can lead to “paralysis by analysis,” which leads to no action, which always leads to no weight loss results.
I like to simply everything in life, business, and eating, which is why my formula for the “ideal meal” is 33% of your 3 macronutrients.
33% fat, 33% carbs, 33% protein
I’ll let you deal with the other 1%. 🙂
Balancing your meals is a very important concept in healthy eating that is often ignored, since it’s hard enough eating healthy.
But if you can eat healthy AND balance your ratios at least 80% of the time, you’re going to propel your weight loss results.
You’ll be regulating your hormones, balancing your blood sugar/insulin levels, and boosting your metabolism so it’s working for you all day long.
Main Metabolism Parts This Affects: Liver, Thyroid, Muscle, Body
Learn EXACTLY how to BALANCE your meals with this simple formula in The 3-Week Metabolism Diet
Day 6: Optimize Your Fat-Burning Metabolism
When it comes to your metabolism (and fat loss) there are 2 kinds of bodies:
1.) A Fat-Burning Body
2.) A Fat-Storing Body
This sounds over-simplistic, but when you start to investigate how your metabolism functions in relation to your ability to burn fat, this is what you’re left with.
Are your habits, exercise, food, and lifestyle supporting a metabolism that helps you burn fat or store fat?
Here are the 7 Differences Between the 2 Body Types
As you can clearly see, all 7 differences can be traced back to the 5 metabolic factors discussed in this article.
Your metabolism is responsible for deciding which type of body you have and you are responsible to swaying your metabolism in either direction.
Now all that’s left is to identify the primary areas of metabolic stress…
- Are you eating too many processed foods for lunch, which is overloading your liver, which is inhibiting your thyroid?
- Are you relying on caffeine or energy drinks for mid-day energy boosts, which is tiring out your adrenal glands causing high levels of stress hormones (i.e. cortisol)
- Do you need to increase the amount of protein in your diet? Or Fat? Or Carbs?
- Do you need to cut out long bouts of cardio and add in shorter bursts of metabolic exercise?
These are just a few questions I’ll leave you with to get started on identifying your primary areas of metabolism lowering habits.
Day 7: Follow A Health Focused Program
Instead of trying to lose weight, it’s time to start getting healthy.
Sure, in most of my programs I claim they can help you lose a lot of weight in a short period of time, BUT the difference between my programs and other “lose-weight quick” programs is mine are “health-focused.”
- They are based on real food, quality over quantity, and minimum supplements
- They help you balance your hormones
- They optimize your fat-burning metabolism, so it works for you instead of against you
If you’re ready to finally start a health-focused program that delivers real and FAST results. Results that you can actually keep off, then I invite you start with my 3-Week Ketogenic Diet, then move to my 3-Week Metabolism Diet
What Do People With Healthy Thyroids Know That You Don’t?
If you’re like most of my clients you’ve tried different diets or weight loss programs to try and lose the excess weight that seems like a constant struggle.
You don’t have to struggle anymore.
You can finally get rid of unwanted weight and it starts with your thyroid.
Fix your thyroid, fix your hormones.
Fix your hormones, lose the fat.
The next logical step is to join a proven science-focused program that helps you optimize your thyroid, balance your hormones, and easily lose weight.
The program(s) I’m referring to is The 3-Week Ketogenic Diet and The 3-Week Metabolism Diet
You can join one at a time or get both at the same time. While you may thing these 2 programs will only last you 6 weeks, you can actually interchange these 2 programs and repeat them for at least 6 months.
The results will surprise you as much as the thousands who have joined these 2 programs. Here are a few: