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Old 05-15-2012, 04:08 AM   #1
Phil Imbusch
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Nutrition for slow metabolism / hypothyroidism

hey guys,

after reading alot and trying out alot by myself, I decided to ask the wealth of knowledge on this board for some input regarding my nurtrition.
First off, I know that this is always an individual issue/solution based thing, and the best answer is "to find out yourself what works", but I wanted to ask for general possibilities, that might have worked for others or which are "proven" to work.
So, to my situation; I'm 6.1 (185cm) and weight is around 195(88kg), I'd guestimate my BF% is somewhere in the 15%-18%, but I havent had it properly measured yet. I do CF 4-5 times a week, try to focus on my strength training atm but not always get everything in. Apart from that I have a sedantary office job. I've always hovered around this weight; but ofcourse after doing more sports/better eating, my body comp changed to the better. Yet it has always been very slow, and other people around, who were doing the same things shedded weight like nothing good, and I was sloooowly making progress. My lifts / benchmarks are roughly: cindy 17rds; Jackie 9:16; Fran 5:40 ; BackSquat: 230; StrictPress: 136; Snatch: 135;

5 years ago, I had a blood test which showed normal t3/t4 levels but a TSH level of nearly 5. After changing the diet and doing more sports, 2011 came to about 3.5 TSH, Jan 2012 of 3.0, with the T3/T4 levels being on a good level. Conservative medicine/docs still state a value of 4 to be boarderline ok, but I have read up and modern medicine says 1 to a max of 2 is a value for a "normal" thyroid function. So I've figured (more visits with different docs are planned) that my thyroid might have something to do with my slow change of body comp and my slow metabolism.
Current nutrition is "clean", little/no sugar, meats, veggies, little fruit, some berries, good fats with a split of 50-60% Fat, 20-30% Pro and the rest Carbs. Apart from BCAAs and a recovery shake (sometimes) after a hard WOD I don't really take anything. I've been doing some IF for the last 3 weeks, creating a "credit" or Cal deficit, and it's showing some slow progress. Yet, I dont know if this nutrition is really optimal for someone like me.

would you say that a nutrition based on many small meals or a"3 big meals 2 Snacks" would be more benefitial and keep my metabolism moving? Or should I just stick with creating a caloric deficit by IF ( 12-16 Hrs a day) and see how it goes? I don't bonck or feel bad "skipping" the breakfast part of the day, I curently want to loose fat and get to a BF% at which I feel comfortable, and then want to eat more and gain strength.

Any help/ input / ideas would be welcome.

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Old 05-15-2012, 04:56 AM   #2
Doug Blankenship
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Re: Nutrition for slow metabolism / hypothyroidism

I don’t buy the “You need 3 small meals and 2 snack a day” to keep your metablosim up, mostly based upon what had worked for me in the past. In your case I don’t see why you’re trying to lose weight when you say that you want to "then want to eat more and gain strength".



Why not follow a dedicated strength program for 3 months, eat how you’re supposed to and pack on some size? Then when that’s over lean out a bit and go from there. That would be more benefical for you.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:05 AM   #3
Paulo Santos
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Re: Nutrition for slow metabolism / hypothyroidism

Track your calories using a program like MyFitnessPal and if you want to cut some body fat, set it up to lose 1 lbs per week. I'd also up my protein to 30-40% and get some strength training in there 3 times a week.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:49 AM   #4
Donald Lee
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Re: Nutrition for slow metabolism / hypothyroidism

Thyroid levels are determined over a 10-14 day or longer span, not within a day.
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:11 AM   #5
Luke Seubert
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Re: Nutrition for slow metabolism / hypothyroidism

Looking just at your macronutrient ratios but not total calories consumed, I would say your diet is ideal for fat loss. I am not so sure that it is ideal for hard athletic training and weight lifting. You might want to consider adding more quality carbohydrates to your diet. Yams and winter squash are a good choices for dense carbs if you are following a Paleo/Primal diet.

An interesting guideline I read somewhere states the following:
If you feel tired during rest and recovery, consume more fat.
If you feel tired during workouts, consume more carbs.

Another reason to consume more carbs is that long-term low-carb diets tend to depress a variety of hormones, including thyroid T3, along with HGH, testosterone, IGF-1, and various other beneficial hormones.

"Natural Hormonal Enhancement" by Rob Faigin is an excellent book which goes into some detail on these issues. He recommend two carb upcycle days each week, to help balance out hormone levels while losing fat or building muscle.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:04 AM   #6
Phil Imbusch
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Re: Nutrition for slow metabolism / hypothyroidism

@Doug: I've read that it is more beneficial, to get to a desired leaness, and then build up; rather to bulk up and then struggling to get off the added weight. Whats your experience with this?
@Paulo: Yeah, I used Fitday to see what I normally consume, and now, with IFing I can get under that amount easily. Though I dont really trust those proposed BMRs they give you online. They seem really high...or atleast, even if I undercut majorly, I dont get an appropriate ROI
@Donald: up to now my levels have been tested in a standard bloodtest, giving various blood and hormon levels etc. As I said, more testing is to be followed; it is just an assumption I am making.
@Luke: yeah thanks; I wanted to "eat more" after my IF experiment and then add more cals with P and C (then obviously "good" carbs)
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:35 AM   #7
Rebecca Roth
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Re: Nutrition for slow metabolism / hypothyroidism

Well, the first question is do you want to have lower bf% or lower TSH? These two may very well be at odds. Unless you plan on using fasting for very short term, it is about the last thing you should do if you have thyroid issues and will almost certainly exacterbate them, but it may be a good solution to dropping BF for someone with metabolic issues. Determine which is your priority.

Second, do you know your Thyroid Peroxidase number? TSH can be on the high end of normal (3+) without being an issue, unless your Thyroid Peroxidase is also elevated (even on the high end of the normal range), which tends to indicate things are actually not working properly.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:36 AM   #8
Paulo Santos
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Re: Nutrition for slow metabolism / hypothyroidism

Phil, I've also used FitDay and other programs and by far, MyFitnessPal is the best one. I decided that I wanted to cut weight about 7 weeks ago and I set it up to lose 1# per week and I lost 8# in 7 weeks and 1" off my waist. I bulked up first and I'm now trying to cut weight, but I'd I could do it all over again, I would rather start lean and slowly get stronger and put on muscle. Once I get down to my goal of 10-12% bodyfat, I don't want to go any higher than 15%.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:40 AM   #9
Donald Lee
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Re: Nutrition for slow metabolism / hypothyroidism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Imbusch View Post
@Donald: up to now my levels have been tested in a standard bloodtest, giving various blood and hormon levels etc. As I said, more testing is to be followed; it is just an assumption I am making.
I meant that you have to have a calorie deficit for at least a week for your thyroid levels to drop, because thyroid is regulated over a long-term basis.
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:29 AM   #10
Phil Imbusch
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Re: Nutrition for slow metabolism / hypothyroidism

@ Rebecca: You mean TPO right? as to the IF vs TSH levels; I was under the impression that IF was shown to have improved those levels, aswell as improved the thyroid functioning in general? Would you care to go into further detail with that?
@ Paulo: thanks for the tip! I will try FitPal
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