Your Guide to Managing Thyroid Weight Gain

by Sara Banta | May 28, 2024 | AHP News, Thyroid Health, Weight Loss

Unexplained weight gain has been affecting millions of people in recent years, due to many reasons that I lay out in my article Reasons for Unexplained Weight Gain. The causes go beyond the obvious processed foods and too much sugar; hidden reasons can include, stress, toxins, radiation, heavy metals, spike protein, and certain “healthy” foods that could be packing on the pounds. Although these reasons seem separate from thyroid-related weight gain, they all affect thyroid function indirectly.

Why Poor Thyroid Health Can Cause Weight Gain

Weight gain is a common symptom of thyroid disorders, particularly hypothyroidism, which is characterized by an underactive thyroid gland. Here’s how thyroid dysfunction can contribute to weight gain:

    • Slowed Metabolism: Thyroid hormones play a crucial role in regulating metabolism—the process by which your body converts food into energy. When thyroid hormone levels are low, as in hypothyroidism, metabolic rate decreases. This means your body burns fewer calories at rest, making it easier to gain weight, even with normal food intake.
    • Fluid Retention: Hypothyroidism can cause fluid retention, leading to bloating and weight gain. This occurs because thyroid hormones help regulate fluid balance in the body, and when levels are low, fluid can accumulate in tissues, contributing to temporary weight gain.
    • Increased Fat Storage: Thyroid hormones also influence the breakdown of fats in the body. When thyroid function is impaired, the body may store more fat, particularly in the abdomen and other areas, leading to weight gain.
    • Changes in Appetite: Some people with thyroid disorders may experience changes in appetite, including increased hunger or cravings for high-calorie foods. This is in response to a lack of energy due to the body not converting food into energy efficiently; therefore, appetite increases, hoping to increase energy. These changes can contribute to overeating and weight gain.
    • Reduced Physical Activity: Fatigue and muscle weakness, common symptoms of hypothyroidism, can reduce overall physical activity levels. When you’re less active, you burn fewer calories, which can lead to weight gain over time.
    • Constipation: Not only does a sluggish thyroid cause increased perceived weight from the stools, but it also allows for the toxins and excess estrogen in the stool to be reabsorbed by the body, increasing the body’s propensity to store extra body fat.

Factors Affecting Thyroid Weight Gain

There are multiple factors that affect thyroid based weight gain. Factors include:

    • Iodine deficiency: Iodine plays a critical role in the synthesis of thyroid hormones, namely T3 and T4, where the numbers “3” and “4” denote the quantity of iodine molecules involved. Insufficient iodine intake is the primary cause of hypothyroidism.
    • Iodine Disruptors: Environmental toxins, known as iodine disruptors, can hinder the absorption and utilization of iodine by the thyroid gland. Among the most prominent are fluoride, bromide, and chlorine. Another example is perchlorate, a compound found in certain fertilizers and drinking water, which competitively inhibits iodine uptake by the thyroid. Given that a significant portion of the population is deficient in iodine, this issue is compounded. When cells lack iodine, other halogens such as fluoride, bromide, and chlorine, which share similar chemical structures, occupy their receptor sites throughout the body, including the thyroid. This not only disrupts thyroid function and slows metabolism, but also impairs cellular function throughout the body, leading to chronic disease.
    • Endocrine Disruptors: Endocrine disruptors are substances that can disrupt the normal functioning of the endocrine system, which includes the thyroid gland. Examples of endocrine disruptors include certain pesticides, plasticizers like bisphenol A (BPA), and a number of industrial chemicals.
    • Heavy Metals: Exposure to specific heavy metals, like lead and mercury, has been linked to thyroid dysfunction. These metals have the potential to disrupt the synthesis and release of thyroid hormones.
    • Perfluorinated Compounds: Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), present in certain non-stick cookware and waterproofing agents, have been associated with thyroid disruption. These chemicals have the potential to affect thyroid hormone levels.
    • Radiation: Exposure to radiation, whether from smartphones, smart meters, medical procedures, environmental factors, or occupational hazards, can influence thyroid function. Radiation exposure may result in thyroid dysfunction, including hypothyroidism, or an elevated risk of thyroid cancer, increased insulin resistance, and increased fat gain.

How Stress Influences Thyroid Related Weight Gain

how stress influences thyroid related weight gain

Stress affects thyroid function and weight gain through multiple pathways:

Stress Response: The adrenal glands release cortisol in response to stress. During acute or short-term stress, cortisol can mobilize stored energy (glucose and fatty acids) to fuel the body’s immediate fight-or-flight response. Long term however, that cortisol tells the body to shut down its metabolism for survival and convert the inactive T4 thyroid hormone into reverse T3. Reverse T3 tells the body to slow metabolism and increase fat storage for later use.

Appetite and Cravings: Stress can trigger increased appetite and cravings for high-calorie, sugary, or fatty foods in some individuals, potentially leading to weight gain over time. These foods tend to lower ATP, cellular energy, and the body loses its ability to turn food into energy. As a result, the food gets shuttled into fat storage.

Fat Storage: Chronic stress and sustained elevation of cortisol levels may contribute to fat storage, particularly in the abdominal area. Cortisol can stimulate the deposition of energy as visceral fat, the dangerous type of fat.

Metabolism: Prolonged stress and persistently high cortisol levels can potentially slow down metabolism, making weight gain easier and weight loss more challenging. This is a “survival” mechanism; the body doesn’t know what is causing the stress– daily work or a famine – therefore a slower metabolism will allow for surviving a famine.

Insulin Resistance: Chronic stress can also induce insulin resistance, disrupting blood sugar regulation and promoting fat accumulation. This can further contribute to weight gain and metabolic disturbances.

How Eating Processed Food Influences Thyroid Related Weight Gain

Eating processed foods can contribute to thyroid weight gain through various mechanisms:

High Calorie Density: With low energy, those with hypothyroidism end up consuming more food in an attempt to gain energy, and processed foods tend to be calorie-dense, containing excessive calories in small portions due to added sugars, unhealthy fats, and refined carbohydrates. These ingredients can lead to overconsumption of calories and overload the cells, lowering cellular metabolism.

High Unhealthy Fats: Trans fats and seed oils commonly found in processed foods can induce inflammation and insulin resistance, more so than other fats, promoting weight gain at the cellular level.

Processed Ingredients: Additives and preservatives in processed foods may disrupt metabolism, cellular function, and gut function, potentially leading to weight gain as the body struggles to recognize and process these artificial substances.

Altered Gut Microbiome: Some additives and preservatives in processed foods can negatively affect the gut microbiome, leading to gut dysbiosis, inflammation, and malnutrition, all of which can influence weight regulation negatively.

Spike Protein: Spike protein disrupts the function of the ACE2 enzyme receptor in the liver, causing an accumulation of angiotensin 2. This disruption can result in several effects:

Depressed Thyroid Function: The inactive thyroid hormone, T4, converts into the active thyroid T3, in the liver, and this mechanism is compromised by spike protein.

Water Retention: The dysregulation of ACE2 may lead to an imbalance in fluid regulation, causing water retention in the body. Most people with hypothyroid suffer from water retention, so this effect worsens the issue.

Insulin Dysregulation and Unexplained Weight Gain: The buildup of angiotensin 2 can interfere with insulin regulation, potentially leading to insulin resistance and unexplained weight gain.

Increase in Antidiuretic Hormone: The dysregulation caused by spike protein may result in an increase in antidiuretic hormone levels, affecting fluid balance and potentially contributing to water retention.

Oxidative Stress: The dysregulation of ACE2 and subsequent buildup of angiotensin 2 can induce oxidative stress, which may have various adverse effects on cellular health and function.

Inflammation: Spike protein’s impact on ACE2 function may trigger inflammatory responses in the liver and other tissues, contributing to systemic inflammation.

Hormonal Imbalance: Disruption of ACE2 function by spike protein may lead to hormonal imbalances, potentially affecting metabolic processes and contributing to weight gain.

Oxalates: Oxalates are found in foods including spinach, almonds, kale, most nuts, soy, beans, grains, and others that steal minerals from the body to form crystals that get deposited in areas of the body including the thyroid. As a result, they can cause hypothyroidism in addition to nerve dysfunction, pain and connective tissue problems, digestive issues, and urogenital issues. The thyroid is the second most common place oxalates accumulate, behind the bones.

My Top Three Supplements to Combat Thyroid Weight Gain

Acceleradine® Iodine

With such a significant number of the US population deficient in iodine, proper iodine supplementation is essential for optimal thyroid function. 

Acceleradine® Iodine provides a pure, single atom of iodine that is 100% absorbed by all cells in the body, supporting metabolism and fat burning. Most iodine supplements have two or more molecules that have to be broken down by the body, leading to only 10 to 50 percent absorption.

Iodine aids in detoxifying cells from the heavy metals, toxins, and radiation that slow the metabolism and thyroid function. It displaces harmful substances like fluoride, chlorine, and bromide from cells, addressing underlying causes of hypothyroidism and other chronic conditions.

Iodine may also help mitigate the detrimental effects of spike protein, which has been associated with exacerbating hypothyroid symptoms.

It also supports blood cleansing, facilitating the liver’s detoxification process to eliminate toxins linked to hypothyroidism.

Accelerated Thyroid®

Accelerated Thyroid® is a comprehensive natural thyroid supplement for natural thyroid support.

This advanced formula combines key ingredients to provide optimal nourishment and support for the thyroid gland:

  • Grass-Fed Thyroid Glandular: Sourced from grass-fed animals, this glandular extract provides essential peptides, amino acids, and nutrients necessary for thyroid health.
  • Ancient Herbal Ayurvedic Formula Kanchanara: This Ayurvedic herbal blend is known for its detoxifying properties and its ability to support thyroid function.
  • Additional Amino Acids: Accelerated Thyroid® is fortified with additional amino acids essential for thyroid optimization.

Accelerated Thyroid® is enhanced with scalar frequencies to help:

  • Clear emotional and physical shock from the body
  • Improve overall thyroid health
  • Detoxify halogens, heavy metals, and radiation
  • Balance the thyroid and parathyroid glands

The ingredients in Accelerated Thyroid® may help promote various aspects of health, including:

  • Preventing fatty liver
  • Accelerating wound healing
  • Strengthening connective tissue and bones
  • Elevating mood
  • Improving digestion
  • Supporting the production of B12
  • Fuel and calorie restriction can lead to the conversion of T4 into reverse T3, which slows down metabolism and increases fat storage.

Additional Supplements to Maximize Thyroid Weight Gain

Dr Amie Hornaman’s Thyroid Fixxr™

Thyroid Fixxr™ is a cutting-edge supplement that blends T2 with complementary fat-burning ingredients to optimize mitochondrial health. By synergistically enhancing the effects of Acceleradine® Iodine and Accelerated Thyroid®, Thyroid Fixxr™ offers comprehensive support for thyroid function and overall well-being. Users typically experience improvements in mood, skin health, hair condition, and fat loss, making it an essential addition to any thyroid health regimen.

Accelerated Scalar Copper®

Copper is a trace mineral pivotal in the synthesis and metabolism of thyroid hormones. Here’s a breakdown of the intricate relationship between copper and hypothyroidism:

  • Enzymatic Support: Copper acts as a crucial cofactor for various enzymes essential in the synthesis and metabolism of thyroid hormones. These enzymes facilitate the conversion of thyroxine (T4) into triiodothyronine (T3), the active form of thyroid hormone.
  • Thyroid Hormone Interaction: Copper exhibits an affinity for binding to thyroid hormones, notably thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG), a carrier protein responsible for transporting thyroid hormones throughout the bloodstream. Deficiency in copper levels may negatively impact the binding and transportation of thyroid hormones, influencing thyroid function.
  • Antioxidant Defense: Copper plays a pivotal role in antioxidant defense mechanisms, aiding in the neutralization of harmful free radicals and safeguarding against oxidative stress. Given that oxidative stress has been linked to thyroid dysfunction, copper’s involvement in antioxidant processes may indirectly support thyroid health by mitigating oxidative damage.

Accelerated Scalar Copper® is the only copper supplement with 99% bioavailability, compared to most copper supplements with only 5 to 10%. It is treated with water implosion technology, and is enhanced with scalar frequencies, to increase its efficacy, as well as:

  • Clear emotional and physical shock from the body
  • Enhance structural integrity in the body
  • Balance zinc with copper
  • Devitalize fungus

Accelerated Cellular Detox® Powder

Accelerated Cellular Detox® Powder is a cutting edge organic blend designed to facilitate thorough detoxification and promote overall wellness. Ingredient benefits include:

  • Comprehensive Detoxification: The formula combines six organic ingredients known for their ability to absorb and eliminate toxins from the body. By targeting the toxins and radiation that inhibit thyroid function, it supports the detox process and improves metabolic rate.
  • Weight Management Support: With added chitosan, Accelerated Cellular Detox® Powder helps in thyroid related weight management by binding to excess dietary fat and facilitating its removal from the body. This can aid in weight loss efforts and promote a healthier body composition.
  • Scalar Frequency Enhancement: Enhanced with scalar frequencies, our detox powder addresses emotional and physical shock within the body while aiding in detoxification from pesticides, insecticides, heavy metals, and radiation. This holistic approach promotes balance and harmony for overall well-being.

Sara Banta’s Liver Flush Detox Cleanse

Sara Banta’s Liver Flush Detox Cleanse is a vital step in optimizing thyroid function and metabolism. Here’s how a liver detox cleanse could benefit you:

  • Enhance Insulin Sensitivity and Uric Acid Levels: By supporting liver function, this flush aids in improving insulin resistance and regulating uric acid levels, crucial for metabolic health and weight management.
  • Boost Protein and Fat Metabolism: The Accelerated Liver Flush Cleanse facilitates improved metabolism of proteins and fats, contributing to efficient energy production and utilization.
  • Reduce Inflammation: This flush helps combat inflammation, a common factor in thyroid dysfunction and metabolic imbalances.
  • Optimize Thyroid Hormones: The liver is where the conversion of T4 to T3 occurs, and this cleanse helps optimize that action, leading to a faster metabolism.
  • Detoxify from Radiation and Toxins: This helps rid your body of harmful substances that hinder thyroid function and metabolic processes, including radiation and environmental toxins.
  • Alleviate Fatty Liver: The cleanse supports liver health and function, reducing the accumulation of fat in the liver, a condition linked to thyroid issues and metabolic disturbances.
  • Improve ACE2 Receptor Function: It helps counteract the damaging effects of spike protein on ACE2 receptors, crucial for thyroid and metabolic regulation.

Lifestyle Changes to Manage Thyroid Weight Gain

northstar bison ground beef
Image ©️ Bison Ground from Northstar Bison
  • Embrace a Low-Carb Lifestyle Short Term: Adopting a low-carb diet initially can help regulate insulin and glucose levels, promoting fat burning and increased ATP production within cells. As insulin sensitivity improves, detoxification occurs, and the gut is healed, you can slowly add in carbs from whole foods listed in the Accelerated Food Guide.
  • Opt for Eating Wild Animal Protein: Incorporating wild animal protein into your diet not only boosts the thermic effect, which utilizes energy for digestion and heat production, but also triggers the release of glucagon, the fat-burning hormone. Additionally, the amino acids in protein stimulate the production of CCK, a hormone that signals satiety and reduces cravings for sugar and processed foods. Wild animal protein is full of the nutrients needed to support a healthy metabolism and thyroid, as fruits and vegetables no longer do so due to the depleted soils they are grown in.
  • Engage in Intermittent Fasting: Limiting your eating window to 4-12 hours through intermittent fasting can reset insulin sensitivity, facilitating fat loss and boosting metabolism. Continuous eating throughout the day leads to constant insulin release, promoting fat storage. By compressing your eating window, you enhance fat burning and support thyroid function. That being said, intermittent fasting indefinitely can backfire and start to slow down the metabolism; once the body is healed, incorporate days with longer feeding windows.
  • Avoid Processed Foods: Processed foods and excessive fructose can disrupt thyroid metabolism in multiple ways, including increasing uric acid levels, compromising cellular energy, and promoting oxidative stress. Eliminating processed foods from your diet is crucial for maintaining a healthy metabolism and overall well-being.

By implementing these lifestyle changes, you can optimize your thyroid function and support your weight management.

Sara Banta

Sara Banta is a Stanford University Graduate with a Degree in Economics and Psychology, and a certified Natural Supplement Expert & Graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Sara is the Founder of Accelerated Health Products and host of the health & wellness podcast, Accelerated Health Radio.

sara banta blog

Hi, I’m Sara Banta!
I’m a certified natural supplement expert, podcaster, Health Coach, and natural wellness expert. Each week I publish articles on the latest in cutting-edge health supplements and natural health solutions. I also interview leading experts across a wide range of health topics to transform your body, mind & spirit. I’m also the Founder of Accelerated Health Products. Join my mailing list and receive 10% off your first order.