Hypothyroidism and carb cycling
It’s a common thing to come across a woman who has spent years over-exercising and under-eating. In fact, it’s what we are taught in all of the magazines….exercise like crazy, restrict your calories, and you will lose weight. I can say that this was even me for a a year or so when I first started taking my health and fitness serious. But, what we aren’t told is that a lifestyle of under-eating and over-exercising can lead you to experience symptoms of hypothyroidism.
What symptoms of hypothyroidism look like in women.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism can fly under the radar, but should be discussed with a doctor when they occur. Here is what this could look like:
- Slow thinking
- Frequent depression
- Sensitivity to heat and cold
- Difficulty sleeping
- Retention of weight, especially around the midsection
These women have been eating clean and exercising 6-7 times week, but aren’t seeing results. They are frustrated, so they keep working harder, hoping for better results. They restrict their calories further and grind it in the gym, running for hours on the treadmill.
As a trainer, my goal is to help women step off this hamster wheel, heal their bodies, restore their energy and improve the quality of their lives.
When you don’t eat enough to fuel your workouts and your life, you cause your body to go into starvation mode. When in starvation mode, your cortisol levels are raised for prolonged periods of time. When cortisol is high over time, you will retain water, have an increased appetite, and crave foods that are high in sugar and fat. You begin to feel tired and moody. This happens because your body is working hard to hold onto every ounce of energy it can. In addition, this type of lifestyle will also decrease your T3 (thyroid hormone) levels. These hormone levels are extremely important in regulating your metabolism, weight loss, and keeping your body running "normal". When these levels are low, and your cortisol levels are high, not only does your body stores fat in order to preserve itself but your body also learns to burn sugar instead of fat - something we do not want.
Another issue I run in to a lot with women is the mindset that carbohydrates are bad. But hear me when I say, carbs are not the enemy! In fact, eating carbs at the right time is absolutely critical to regulating your cortisol levels and helping you shed fat while increasing energy. This is why I have based all of my online training programs on a carb cycling approach. Timing your carbohydrate intake is critical to lowering cortisol levels, while ensuring you have enough fuel for your workouts.
A completely carb free approach will leave you feeling lethargic and can increase the presence of hypothyroidism symptoms. Yet, eating too many carbs can affect your overall body composition.
However, cycling your carbs ensures your body gets the energy it needs from carbs, while keeping your hormone levels in check. In addition, it is critical that we give our bodies time between intense workouts to recover and repair. For this reason, I require all of my clients to take days off - yes I know, it's hard to rest sometimes. But this allows their body to return to a state of rest: decreasing cortisol levels and repairing the muscles they tore during a challenging workout.
The symptoms of hypothyroidism can be brought on by a number of causes. However, over-exercise and under-eating is a sure way to tank your metabolism, mess with your hormones and sabotage your weight loss goals. Carb cycling can help you reset things and get back on track so that you are leaner, stronger and more energetic than ever before. But please be advised, if you suspect that you may have hypothyroidism, consult a physician as soon as possible.
If you have been working out and eating clean for years, but have stopped seeing results, maybe it’s time to try something new. If you are tired of being tired, want to lose that last few pounds around your midsection and are ready to finally make a change, my 4 Weeks to Fat Loss Program (The 30 Day Carb Cycle Solution) is the perfect fit for you. My next round starts February 20, 2017 and spots will fill up fast, so be sure to grab your space asap!