How do I lose this belly fat? Episode 18.

Any advice on losing weight with hypothyroidism? I work out 3-4 times a week, struggle to eat 1200 calories a day and still can not get rid of the belly fat. PLEASE HELP!! Joan T. 

First of all, you may be working out too hard. When your body is inflamed it needs some good old fashioned TLC in the form of gentle exercise. It might be a good idea for you to cut back on intense workouts and just start walking. Walk for 45 minutes a day 5 days a week. Do that indefinitely but do only that for a couple of weeks to give your body a break. 

Walking helps to regulate your hormones- all of them. Your estrogen, progesterone, insulin, cortisol and your thyroid hormones. Walking will help regulate insulin and cortisol which help to manage blood sugar. If you are working out 3-4 times per week with some intense type cardio you may be contributing to your inability to lose weight because 1. intense exercise increases intestinal permeability which = inflammation. 2. Cortisol will be raised with intense exercise and insulin will be affected as well. Insulin is our fat storage hormone. You may be causing your body to store more fat or at least hang on to what you have. 

Cortisol is a stress hormone and exercise= stress to the body. That is the point- it allows us to get stronger. It comes from the adrenal glands which sit on top of the kidneys. It helps us burn fat, raises or keeps blood sugar up and so much more. Cortisol is raised in response to stress and will be high regularly when we experience chronic stress. If you have high cortisol you may hold on to fat around your middle, you might sweat easily, have poor digestion, you might wake up and be tired and ache. Do you crave sugar after you eat?, do you have high blood pressure? Do you have trouble falling asleep?  These types of things can contribute to weight gain or hanging on to the weight and if you have high insulin it makes it harder to get rid of the belly fat. 

You say you are struggling to eat 1200 calories a day. My dear, you are not eating enough. Is this a low fat diet? You need to be eating at least 1800-2000 calories or more and you need to be eating lots and lots of veggies and some high quality fats along with quality proteins. Shoot for around 100grams of protein each day and a plate full of veggies at every meal, including breakfast. 

If you want to get rid of the belly fat- you start with the walking, eat 4 times per day for two weeks to give your body and your blood sugar balancing a break. Eat only veggies and proteins for these two weeks. Keep the starchy veggies to a very minimum if at all unless you are not getting full enough then eat a couple bites at your last meal. This may also help you sleep if that is an issue.

Restricting calories like that will cause your body to hang on to whatever fat it has- you are starving your body. This can cause your body to react by raising your blood sugar which can contribute to fat gain. You will release insulin in response to food or even to stress. If you are having symptoms of insulin resistance, you may experience feeling sleepy after eating, crave sweet things or starchy things after a meal, you may have belly fat or muffin top, and even brain fog. 

This is a good place to start in trying to fix your belly fat issue. Good luck to you. 

That is it for me to day. This is a short one. 

Send me your questions at or fill out the contact form on my website

It would be so nice if you could leave me a review on iTunes so more people can find the podcast. I would really appreciate it. Thanks to those that have already left a review!! 

Join the Help For Hashimoto’s Facebook group. It is a closed or private facebook group so you can privately ask questions and get help on your health journey. We are small but growing so join us! 

You can find me on facebook at out of the woods nutrition and on instagram as @stephanieewalsntp where I post what I cook and eat. 

Thanks for listening. Until next week.