You try to be healthy so you go on a diet, start exercising, and take vitamins. Despite your best efforts, you find yourself gaining weight. If this sounds like you, don’t tear your hair out, keep reading.
Over the years, I have made a good career out of empowering people just like you to heal your metabolism by learning what to do and what not to do. Your metabolism is defined as the sum total of the building up and breaking down processes in your body.
One of the main drivers of your metabolism is your thyroid, which secretes two primary hormones:
- Triiodothyronine (T3)
- Levothyroxine (T4)
Your body needs to be able to convert T4 to T3, so any substance – whether it comes from the health food store or your medical doctor – that interferes with this conversion may lower your thyroid and metabolic rate.
If you suspect you are lowering your thyroid function and metabolism, I recommend you purchase a temporal artery thermometer, such as this one.
Years ago, Dr. Broda Barnes developed an underarm temperature test to detect low thyroid function. But nowadays you don’t have to lie in bed for 10 minutes – you can check your temperature in a matter of seconds by using the temporal artery thermometer.
Dr. Carl Wunderlich, a 19th-century German physician who collected and analyzed over a million armpit temperatures for 25,000 patients, decided in the 1860s that a normal healthy body temperature is 98.6 degrees.
If your body temperature is consistently below 98.6, that’s one good sign you may be inadvertently lowering your thyroid function and metabolism.
Here are eight ways you may accidentally lower your thyroid and metabolism. You may find it difficult or impossible to lose weight and achieve your ideal size until you correct these mistakes:
- You take drugs or supplements known to suppress your thyroid. These include:
Birth control pills
Nicotinic acid (Niacin)
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (common pain killers)
St. John’s Wort
You can read a scientific medical study on this subject at this link. Ask your doctor if any of your medications are known to interfere with your thyroid function or metabolism.
Because any natural supplement may potentially lower your thyroid and metabolism, don’t just go to the health food store and self diagnose.
Work with a highly trained kinesiologist and nutritionist such as myself to double-check you are not making yourself worse.
You are biochemically unique. Just because you read online that some supplement is natural does not mean it will make you better.
2. You eat less than 150 grams of carbohydrates per day.
Dr. Diana Schwarzbein, author, endocrinologist and metabolism expert, insists that the average adult needs at least 150 grams of carbohydrates every day if you have a healthy metabolism.
You need more if you are exercising or depressed.
If you have a damaged metabolism – which is defined as insulin resistance or adrenal burnout – you may need to limit your carbohydrates to 125 grams per day.
Once again, don’t self diagnose. If you are unsure, get at least 150 grams of carbohydrates a day from fruits and vegetables loaded with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.
3. You eat gluten.
Gluten lowers your thyroid function because it causes inflammation. Gluten may be responsible for an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. About 30 percent of people with this condition have an autoimmune reaction to gluten.
4. You eat soy.
You may tell me you don’t eat Edamame, but you may eating tons of soy if you eat junk food or processed food because soy oil is in pretty much all processed junk foods.
Many women even use soy-based supplements thinking they are treating their hot flashes but inadvertently lowering their metabolic rate.
You can find soy in cheap protein bars and soy protein shakes.
5. You live in constant, uncontrolled stress and when you do exercise, you over exercise.
The stress hormone cortisol lowers TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and inhibits the conversion of T4 to T3.
Your body secretes cortisol any time your heart rate goes over 100 beats per minute on a continuous basis, such as when you run, jog, go to a spinning class or boot camp.
This is why I am constantly urging my clients with lower metabolic rates to:
- Practice yoga, tai chi and qi gong, which lower your stress hormones
- Walk in nature
- Clear their emotional issues with kinesiology balances
6. You take too many vitamins.
Yes, this is possible.
7. You don’t take enough of certain crucial nutrients.
Here’s where things get tricky. You need enough but not too much – that’s why you will want to work with a nutritionist such as myself who can make sure you are getting the right balance.
Your thyroid condition may be improved by:
- Iodine (did you notice in the list above that too much can be a problem?)
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin D
- DHEA and Pregnenolone
8. You starve, fast, skip meals or don’t take in enough calories.
If you use the temporal artery thermometer, you may be surprised to see just how quickly your body responds – both to doing the right things and also to doing the wrong things.
Your basal metabolic rate – the amount of energy you spend at rest – naturally slows down when you starve.
This basal metabolic rate (BMR) accounts for 60 to 75 percent of the calories you burn every day so it can make or break your weight loss efforts.
In the big picture, you can tell whether the sum total of your nutrition, exercise, supplements and medications is working by whether or not your body temperature improves.