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Avatar universal

I can't lose fat, no matter what I do. I'm desperate! Please help!!!

I'm 39, 5'3", 148lbs.I'm at my absolute wits end. Last year I weighed 138lbs. The year before that I was around 130. I've always struggled with my weight - even when dancing 3-4 hours a day and in rehearsals, I was always around 145. Then 6 years ago when I finally got down to a comfortable weight by basically starving and not exercising. I kept it off by really limiting food intake, but suddenly a year ago my weight started to creep up, clothes got tighter.
I started to skip eating every other day, and I was able to stay around 135-138, then I moved across country and my weight shot up 10lbs in 4 months, despite dieting/starving and exercising.

The weight gain finally stopped in January, but I haven't been able to get it to move in the other direction. I just completed the Insanity workout program and saw absolutely no results not a centimeter lost. My clothes are so tight. I want to cry every day when I try to get dressed.
I teach dance, practice vigorous yoga, walk as much as I can, count calories, eat clean, and drink plenty of water.
I've tried to raise calories, lower calories, fast every other day, lower carbs, raise protein. NOTHING WORKS.

I've seen doctors and nutritionists, and I think they either don't believe me or don't know what to do with me. I'm so desperate, I'm ready to go on a complete water fast for however long it takes to get back to my old weight.

Does anyone have any insight or experience with this? Please help me. I'm depressed and desperate.
16 Responses
649848 tn?1534637300
The first thing that comes to mind is hypothyroidism...... You should have some simple blood tests done to make sure your thyroid is working as it should.  The tests you need are TSH, Free T3 and Free T4.  Many/most doctors will try to get by with just TSH, but that's inadequate; you need the actual hormones tested, as well.

Another thing to consider is insulin resistance.  You can get some simple blood sugar tests to help determine that.

You might also want to have reproductive hormones tested, since its' possible that you are entering into the perimenopause stage, in which hormones naturally decline and weight gain is very common.
Have any of you got an answer? Im going through same thing and Im at a breaking point. I need results. I hope one of yin have an answer.
That story sounds almost exactly like me, too.  Has anyone found anything that works?  I am heartbroken and so tired of trying.
Have you had thyroid tests to make sure you don't have hypothyroidism?  That will prevent weight loss or make it very difficult.  Insulin resistance will also make weight loss very difficult.  Talk to your doctor and ask for some simple blood tests for Free T4, Free T3, and TSH for thyroid, along with fasting blood glucose and A1c for insulin resistance.
One thing that has worked well for me is intermittent fasting. You pick a specific time in the day to stop eating and then do not eat until a specific time the next day. I do 6 pm to 10 am. What happens is that your body produces ketones naturally, which helps burn fat. It's also good for your system because your insulin isn't constantly going up and down.  
Intermittent fasting can work well for people with "normal" metabolism.  Those of us with metabolic disorders such as hypothyroidism or insulin resistance need to get our medical issues under control prior to trying something like this.  I have insulin resistance, but I also have reactive hypoglycemia, so intermittent fasting doesn't work for me because my blood glucose levels can drop too quickly.  Too low blood glucose can be as dangerous as too high.

Anyone with a suspected medical issue should consult a doctor prior to trying a diet.
Avatar universal
Starving and going on a complete water diet wont help you .As commented earlier go get your blood tested and visit a weight loss surgeon who might be able to help you .
Avatar universal
Thanks for the response.
I have had my thyroid tested. The numbers have come back within range - although my T3 was at the absolute lowest end of the normal range - so all I got from the doctors was, "your labs are 'normal'".

I've also had hormones tested and they seem ok.
I'll look into Insulin Resistance.
649848 tn?1534637300
If your thyroid T3 was at the bottom of the range, that would be your culprit and while you might be able to lose weight by working very hard at it, it's going to be very difficult. Many doctors think that labs in the so-called "normal range" are adequate and that's simply not the case.

Free T3 is the hormone that controls metabolism, heart rate, body temperature and other necessary functions.  If it's not adequate, you won't feel optimal. Do you have other symptoms of hypothyroidism?

You might want to take a look at the thyroid forum, here on MH, as there's lots of good information there.  You can access that forum via this link:

As for diet, concentrate on eating lots of fresh veggies and high protein, as those will keep you feeling fuller, longer.  Surely, I'd say your exercise is adequate.
1244468 tn?1268806580
Hi. I'd just like to offer a bit of advice:
Starving yourself will make you maintain/gain weight in the form of fat eventually.
Find our what your BMR is and determine a safe caloric intake from there, then you maintain that diet. Many times you'll see weight gain before weight loss because you're lacking nutrients your body needs. That's NORMAL!
Maintaining this diet, and being serious about keeping it, you should incorporate some exercise in your lifestyle also.
Doing all of the above, it could take up to 4-6 WEEKS before you see a change. This is normal so don't lose motivation!
Hope this helps...
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alleekat: It seems to me like your Yo-Yo dieting. You starve yourself to lose and gain back more than you"ve lost. I used to do that too, but no longer do because I realised it is a self sabotage dieting. I now am losing weight but slowly and I don't skip meals. I have a caloric intake that was figured out by my dietician that I stick to every day and I've refocused on eating healthier and smarter. Give yourself some time to think of the weight you want to lose and focus on maintaining a certain weight. Keep a diet journal write down what you eat. Think positive about yourself and love yourself!!!!
Avatar universal
Thanks. I get what you're saying, but this is the first time I've actually gone up in weight in over 20 years.
I gained a lot of weight early in high school, to hit my all-time high, and I started to work on losing at age 16. I did it mostly through exercise, and choosing foods more carefully but not counting calories. I went vegan at 20 and lost more weight. Then I started dancing more and dropped to around 145. I stayed there for years, remaining active, but not counting calories.

Only a couple times throughout all of these years were calories significantly restricted, but it was unintentional and due to losing appetite because of stress. Both times I maintained the stress-induced weight loss.

So... this recent gain is all the more upsetting for me because it is the first time in over 20 years that I have gained weight.
I swear you are talking about me.  Have you figured anything out?
I've commented on your question above... this is a very old thread and the poster you're questioning is no longer active on the forum.
TA, I haven't, unfortunately. I'm still trying just about anything I can think of.
alleekat - have you not been diagnosed with hypothyroidism yet??
Barb, as I wrote quite awhile ago, doctors continually tell me my numbers are in range, even though they are at the low end of the range. One dr finally put me on a low dose of NDT thyroid, but it didn't make a difference. My T3/T4 levels shifted only slightly, but my TSH lowered slightly because of the natural meds. They didn't want to increase the dosage, although I don't know if that would have helped. I'm still struggling to get off any weight.
alleekat... What was the dose of NDT they gave you?  It was probably not high enough.  How long ago was this and are you still taking it?

It sounds like you need to find a different doctor - one that will dose according to symptoms and not worry so much about labs.  

Have you looked into seeing a naturopath or functional medicine doctor? They, typically, aren't as concerned about labs as conventional doctors. Some naturopaths and/or functional medicine doctors don't take insurance, but more and more of them are beginning to do so. Many of them are beginning to function as primary care physicians.

Do you have current labs you can post with reference ranges? I'd really like to help you.

Have you had antibody testing to see if you have Hashimoto's?
It was low at first, around 1/2 grain, which didn't do anything for my levels. I eventually got up to 3 grains, which oddly also barely shifted my levels although I felt better (still no weight loss).

I had to switch doctors fur to insurance and my recent one wanted to drop me down because he said my TSH is low. It's clear that he doesn't have much experience with NDT. I'm now on 1.5 grain as I try to spread out my remaining pills while I search for a new doc.

I went to a couple  naturopaths, but they were unable to get me my NDT and just tried to sell me their tinctured.
I had a integrative medicine doctor who I liked, but where I live all of the doctors are either off insurance or switching to concierge practices, and I don't really have the income now to affad that type of system.
I don't have Hashimotos and my reverse T3 is normal.
Even if you have negative antibody count, you can have Hashimoto's.  It can be diagnosed via ultrasound per characteristics of thyroiditis.

If you don't have Hashimoto's, what was determined to be the cause of your hypothyroidism?

It's normal for TSH to be low or even suppressed when one is on a therapeutic dose of replacement thyroid hormones... If you can tell me where you're located I might have a doctor in your area who can help you.  If you don't wish to post your location on the forum (I wouldn't so don't blame you if you don't), you can send me a private message.  
I was never given a cause for my hypothyroidism. I've had low thyroid levels since I was in my 20s (when I first had them tested). I was always told that although my levels were low, they were "in range". No one would prescribe me meds until I was in my 30s when I found a doctor who wasn't just treating labs. I was frequently told that I just had an "efficient metabolism" and that's why it was so hard for me to lose weight.
It's horrible, but accidentally starving myself has been the only thing that has ever worked for me to lose weight.
I'm not sure I'm following this thread.  My wife has had Hashimoto's for a while now.  Although she did feel she had weight gain, the allopathic medical community's studies don't show weight gain inevitably goes along with thyroid problems.  While I know sufferers don't agree, and clearly my wife had weight gain, I think many in the medical community think there might be other factors as well.  My experience is just from my wife's experience and working many years managing health foods stores, which when I did it were the pharmacies for the natural practitioners.  The fact is, anyone can go buy a supplement that contains animal thyroid.  Whether it works or not depends on the person, but it isn't the same as taking synthetic thyroid hormones.  It's also not the traditional way to treat a low thyroid that isn't from Hashimoto's, and I'm pretty sure that an endocrinologist looking for it, as in this case, knows how to find it.  In this case, the person keeps saying her thyroid tests have never showed she has thyroid levels low enough to qualify for the treatment that an illness would necessitate.  A naturopath might give you pig thyroid, but again, the more traditional method would be to give a person more iodine in the form of certain seaweeds and other foods that contain it.  They would look to the diet first.  This only helps, of course, if there is no autoimmune disease and no hyperthyroid problem, which can cause the same problems, but there it's a borderline situation.  So I'm wondering if the person posting has ever seen anyone who has tried a more dietary approach to this problem, as the other approaches haven't seemed to help in a long-term way and the endocrinologists don't appear to be finding a disease state?  We have to consider the strong possibility the docs are right and the problem probably, though not definitely, lies elsewhere.  She has has also said several years ago that eating more under a nutritionist's care did not cause weight gain.  We have to consider diet may be the problem here, some other nutritional problem, or some other medical condition.  Continually focusing on something that hasn't been found to be a problem and treatment for which hasn't so far helped in a long-term way at least suggests a different problem, though I haven't a clue what it would be.  As for integrated physicians and functional physicians, which are actually psychiatrists, naturopaths and the like, my understanding is that none of them take insurance.  They want to make more money than insurance wants to pay and they can because there aren't many of them, and they generally congregate in areas with high incomes, and they also use modalities insurance won't cover because of a lack of gold standard studies.  Anyone who wants to go the older fashioned route will almost always have to pay for it themselves somehow.  It's not fair, and it's been a stumbling block for me as well, but that's the state of health care.  Nobody treats you anymore for a chicken, and they did that for most of human history.    
I meant to add, those tinctures the naturopaths wanted to give you were probably some version of the more traditional herbs and foods used to boost the thyroid, such as bladderwrack and kombu.
While I appreciate your response, sentiments like yours are precisely why thyroid patients are untreated or undertreated. The reference ranges that doctors currently use were established very very long ago from healthy patients.  It has since been medically proven that TSH is an unreliable method of determining thyroid issues. Initially my ranges were very low, at the bottom.of the reference ranges and I had all of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, but my early doctors were only interested in what my labs said and not me. After years of being untreated, my numbers eventually fell below "normal", and that's when I finally received treatment. I suffered for years just waiting for a doctor to listen to me and for my labs to match my symptoms.
It is very dangerous to assume that every person should fall into a generic reference range. It has also since been established that some people do better when their numbers are at the high end of the range and others are ok when their numbers are in the middle. Everyone is different.

Although, you said you are not following  this post, your post has gone ahead and made several uninformed assumptions about my situation, and although you may have had some indirect experience via your wife, who I understand suffers from Hashimotos, which does not apply to me and is NOT the only thyroid issue/illness. Thousands of people suffer from hypothyroidism but  may not have Hashimotos.
With all due respect, Paxilled, I read your comments first thing this morning and my first impulse was to fire off my own response, but I refrained until I had a chance to think about what I wanted to say so I could phrase it properly.  Now I see that alleekat has beat me to it, but I can’t help adding to her comments.  

Thyroid conditions have been my area of research for the past 11 years because I've been dealing and helping many others with the same issue that alleekat has all this time.  Hypothyroidism is hypothyroidism, regardless of the cause and it needs to be treated no matter what.

I'm well aware that many conventional doctors will tell us that weight gain is not thyroid related, but in reality, in one way or another, it usually is because the thyroid controls our metabolism.  I won't deny that many of us end up with things like insulin resistance, Metabolic Syndrome, digestive imbalances, adrenal issues, etc and of course, all of those things also affect weight issues and have to be addressed, but without that perfect balance of the thyroid hormones our metabolism won't be like it's supposed to be and, ultimately, neither will our weight.

Just because thyroid hormone levels are in a so-called "normal" range, doesn't mean they are normal for a particular individual, if we can even get doctors to test actual thyroid hormones instead of just TSH, which is a pituitary hormone not a thyroid hormone nor does it mean that our bodies are using those hormones efficiently.  There's such a thing as inability to convert the T4 hormone to the usable T3 hormone, there's such a thing as too much conversion to rT3 and not enough to Free T3 causing tissue hypothyroidism, it's possible that one doesn't absorb the medication well via their gut and there are other problems with absorption or synthesis of thyroid hormones.  To assume that the thyroid is not the problem is a very erroneous assumption and puts one in the same deaf category as a doctor who refuses to listen to her/his patients.

" The fact is, anyone can go buy a supplement that contains animal thyroid.  Whether it works or not depends on the person"  That's absolutely not true; it shouldn't "depend on the person" because, by law, the supplements purchased in health stores are not supposed to have any "measurable hormones" in them -- all they "should be" is ground up tissue minus the hormones, so they will do no good whatsoever, except for the benefit one might get from vitamins/minerals or herbs that are mixed with them.  My advice is "don't waste money on those."

You’re right that many of us resort to naturopaths or functional medicine doctors because they're willing to look outside the box. Many are willing to provide trial doses of thyroid hormones when conventional doctors refuse or to prescribe higher doses than many conventional doctors are willing to prescribe because as alleekat said: “many of us need to have our levels in the upper part of the ranges.”  They're willing to test adrenal function because when the thyroid slows or stops the adrenals kick in to take up the slack and eventually, they, too start slowing down.  Functional medicine doctors will test digestive issues to make sure we don't have things like H. Pylori that often goes with, even causes hypothyroidism.  I had recent bout with H. Pylori and it took months to get anyone to pay attention to my symptoms let alone try to address them.  

It's true that many naturopaths and functional medicine doctors don't take insurance, but many of them do.  In my area, some of them act as family practitioners and accept only what insurance, including Medicare, pays. It's not necessarily true that they congregate in wealthy areas... I certainly don’t live in a wealthy area and there are a number of them in my area, most of which take insurance, including Medicare…

I and many others have gotten tired of conventional doctors considering us hypochondriacs because our symptoms have not gone away with the prescription of a single daily levothyroxine pill.  I, recently, had what is considered "the best" endocrinologist in my area tell me that imaging technologists at one of the largest facilities in the area don't know the difference between a thyroid nodule and a shadow after they diagnosed me with a solid nodule when she had refused an order for the ultrasound, but someone else gave it to me... Unfortunately, she did this on the same day she chose to decrease my dosage of thyroid hormone causing me to go hypothyroid once again, which in turn caused me to gain 5 pounds within a 2 week period because of metabolic slow down.  This doctor chooses her ego over my health and that kind of audacity and arrogance does not belong in our medical system.  That's why so many of us get frustrated with conventional medicine. Is it any wonder I'd choose someone else for my treatment?

There are many people who do just fine on their daily dose of Levothyroxine and I applaud those people; they aren't the ones who seek help on forums like this or my thyroid disorders forum.  They take their daily pill and go their merry way.  I'm very happy for them.

On the other hand, there are those of us who don't do well with a synthetic dose of Levothyroxine and we're the ones who have to struggle to get the proper treatment.  There are those of us who struggle simply to get high enough dosages due to doctors who only test/look at TSH, those of us who need more than the T4 (Levothyroxine) and doctors don't believe in prescribing a T3 medication such as Cytomel or its generic counterpart Liothyronine to go with the Levothyroxine, there are those of us that might have something else going on (insulin resistance, etc) and our doctors refuse to work with us and there are those who do much better on the desiccated (pig) thyroid hormones because of the higher content of T3 or maybe it’s because desiccated hormones also have the T1 and T2, which no one has yet really figured a need for…

I've always been one of the first to acknowlege that there comes a time when it may necessary to look beyond the thyroid for problems, but before we do that we much make sure we've exhausted every aspect of thyroid treatment/testing.  

The one thing to remember is that when one has a working thyroid they have thyroid hormones "on demand", which means that the thyroid produces the hormones when they're needed.  It produces mainly the T4 hormone and keeps it in storage, but also some T3 for immediate use.  When we get into periods of stress or busyness, etc that stored T4 is available to converted to the T3 hormone for use as needed.  When we don't have a working thyroid, we have to depend on that daily dose and no longer have hormones on demand.  If our body does not convert adequately, we don't have the T3 our cells need for energy... This takes a toll on the body over time.

If one has not experienced hypothyroidism or been around someone who did not "get well" on that tiny daily pill, it's hard to imagine the long-lasting effects it can have on the body.
Not sure I understand the severe reactions -- don't think either of you read my post.  In this case the person has been tested for T3 and T4.  I agree completely with the uselessness of testing TsH, but it's cheaper to do that.  I've been on this site for a long time, Barb, and surely you've read me tell people to get their thyroids checked over and over and to do it with a holistic nutritionist because docs usually don't test for the 4 hormones, which is better than just testing for the two.  When I said anyone can buy pig thyroid, I clearly was saying it isn't useful to do that, that the older more traditional treatments when a disease state does not exist but there's still a problem is to look at it as a dietary issue and attack it with natural iodine from food and see if it works.  This person has been fighting his fight for a very long time and is still reporting the same problem.  Why is it not useful to suggest a different approach?  Nothing I said challenges what you two are saying -- I also said that although doctors do not identify weight gain with this problem, patients, including my wife, do.  I agree with both of you, and that's what I said, but I also see this problem going on and on and again, when we keep trying the same things and they don't work, it might be time for a different approach and I mentioned one that is used by herbalists and naturopaths.  And again, function physicians are psychiatrists.  As for the insurance, I live in an are where none take insurance.  It's a very populated area with several such practitioners.  I also come from California, though I haven't lived there in many years, and you will have a hard time finding a natural practitioner who takes insurance or who insurance will even cover.  Sometimes they can lie to insurance companies by saying they're giving one thing when they are giving another -- my chiropractor recently did that for me.  It's a way to get around the stupid insurance companies.  Medicare does not cover virtually any alternative medical care, so if you're getting payment for it the doctor isn't telling them the treatment is herbal or natural.  A good doc will do that, but most can make more money by not doing that and money is mostly why physicians become physicians and lawyers become lawyers and engineers become engineers.  Some of them are just passionate about it, and when you can find one of those you've struck gold.  But for some reason, everyone I've ever known who sees endocrinologists has had a problem with them.  So it goes.  
" the endocrinologists don't appear to be finding a disease state?  We have to consider the strong possibility the docs are right and the problem probably, though not definitely, lies elsewhere. "   This is only part of what I took the most exception to... just because an endocrinologist doesn't find a disease state doesn't mean there isn't one.   I know from my own experience that doctors tend to look only at certain things and if those things are what they consider "adequate", they will go no further and the patient is left ill to fend for themselves.  Symptoms of that disease state can be present for a long time and it's easy for those doctors to ignore them, blame them on something else, including the patient, etc.  And let's not forget that doctors can actually be wrong... We have a member in the thyroid disorders forum right now with a TSH of about 5, I believe it is but Free T4 actually below range, with tons of hypo symptoms and the doctor is saying the person is "fine" and refuses further testing... This doctor is not finding a disease state, but that doesn't mean there is no disease state.  A person who is not producing adequate thyroid hormones is in a disease state whether a doctor sees it or not.

As for pig thyroid - synthetic T4 is not for everyone; there are many hypothyroid people who only do well on the desiccated thyroid hormones, which are the oldest form of thyroid treatment.  It's only the ones that are purchased OTC that are a waste of money because they are not supposed to have any active thyroid hormones in them.  

In addition, iodine is contraindicated in many cases when one has Hashimoto's because too much iodine can also cause hypothyroidism, plus iodine can make an autoimmune reaction worse; therefore, doctors who refuse to test antibodies are doing their patients a disservice by refusing to confirm the autoimmune condition.  Just because a doctor has tested TSH, Free T4, and Free T3 and not found a disease state doesn't mean the disease state is absent.

Yes, Paxiled, I've read you tell people to get their thyroid tested, but it appeared that you were tossing off the problem too easily.  For those of us that have been through the struggle to get well, it's very difficult to see someone pass off that struggle as nothing.  Doctors are not infallible and many of them make mistakes or simply don't want to take the time.  I know of many people who have had symptoms for years before labs finally went out of range enough to prove they have the disease or get their doctor's attention.  

I, personally, have fought doctors for years to get the treatment I need, for more than one condition... I'll spare you ALL the gory details but imagine yourself sitting in a doctor's office with your only complaint being severe fatigue and you're being accused of being an alcoholic because *one* blood test is out of range.  Your doctor tells you that alcoholism is the ONLY thing that can cause this and you don't know any better, but you only have an occasional drink, certainly not enough to be considered an alcoholic... He tells you to stop drinking for 3 months because that's how long it takes for red blood cells to regenerate so you do but when you have the next blood test, the results are the same... Does he do further testing or try to investigate more? No... he calls you a liar and says you didn't stop drinking!!!  A few years down the road you have a different doctor and you still have severe fatigue; now you add peripheral neuropathy and some other symptoms to it... You finally find out that you have Pernicious Anemia and guess what??? Vitamin B-12 deficiency causes that same blood test to be out of range that the other doctor said was ONLY caused by alcoholism... But to add insult to injury, even the doctor that eventually diagnosed Pernicious Anemia missed it for quite some time.  There are blood tests showing B-12 levels below range but he said everything was "fine"... Really?  I didn't know any different at the time and took his word.  Once I figured out what had happened, that was the last time I took a doctor's word for anything without question.

That's just one of the incidents I've dealt with.  My thyroid condition is another and there are others that I'm still dealing with.  I know my experience may be different from many/most but it's enough for me to know that when someone tells me they have symptoms and their doctor won't listen, they just may have valid point.

My functional medicine doctor does not bill Medicare for anything she isn't supposed to be billing for.  She also serves many as a primary care doctor so she's well aware of what she can/can't bill for.  She and I are both aware that Medicare doesn't pay for alternative treatments... heck, they don't even pay for B-12 injections that I need to stay alive.  I pay for my own supplements and other treatments that she recommends.

"But for some reason, everyone I've ever known who sees endocrinologists has had a problem with them."  This I will agree with 100% and the reason is that most endos specialize in Diabetes, not endocrinology as a whole.  Most are not well versed in thyroid or other endocrine conditions at all.  They're taught in med school that TSH is king and they adhere too closely to AACE and ATA guidelines... they look at the guidelines as "rules" not what they are - simply a "guide" to go by.  It even says in the guidelines that every case should be treated individually, they don't do that.  They try to lump us all together.

I, too, often advise members to look elsewhere when they don't seem to be getting better, but that's only if their thyroid function is "optimal".  If there's a chance it's not, my advice is always to keep trying to find someone who will help them get it there. That said, we do have to work on other things at the same time because even optimal thyroid function is not the cure-all if we have other conditions at the same time.  

I've seen too many people in alleekat's situation, so if I misunderstood your intent, please accept my apology...
Thanks, Barb. Your post said virtually everything I was thinking of.

Paxiled, I took offense to your post because you made some assumptions about my situation, when it was clear that you had not fully read or understood what I shared. Granted it was probably somewhat difficult to follow, given that I shared additional bits of information in later responses, still that's even more of a reason to try to fully understand a situation before making uninformed comments.  This is essentially what I have gone through with doctors for years. It doesn't matter that you suggest other members get their thyroid checked, I am only responding to the comments you made to me, which suggest that I have not done enough or that I am spinning my wheels trying to find a problem where there is none. It was primarily this sentiment to which I took offence. You suggest that doctors are correct and do not consider that perhaps they are not, and that I am somehow deluding myself. I I can only presume this was not your intention.  You additionally assume that I have not pursued a different approach, when (I think) I shared enough information to indicate that this was not the case.

I reread your initial post, so allow me to further clarify.

I DO suffer from hypothyroidism. I simply was forced to wait, and suffer, until my levels dropped below "normal".  Despite my symptoms, doctors were only interested in treating my labs, even when they promoted themselves otherwise. For several years, my numbers were right on the border of the "normal" range. For example, my T3 was something like 80, in a range of 80-180 (decent range for "normal", so who's to say that MY normal is 80 or even 120???). Even after my diagnosis, Iwas still undertreated, given only the lowest does to bump me back up into the range, where I had already been feeling bad. After going to countless different doctors to find one who would listen to me and treat me, I eventually graduated up to  3 grains of NDT, and my numbers still hovered at the low end of range. I still suffered from symptoms, and I was not feeling optimal. As Barb said,
Doctors are fallible. They are not always well or even adequately informed, and some cause more harm than good. I once had a doctor prescribe Zoloft because I answered 'yes' to the question, "Do you cry sometimes?". That's it. No other questions followed. No other attempt to gain information or assess other potential symptoms.
I do not blindly trust doctors, and take the time to be an informed patient. Many doctors dislike this, but I will continue to advocate for my own health, and while I will certainly consider information presented to me, I will not blindly accept what one physician tells me. I have countless stories of inadequate or even potentially harmful treatments offered to me, all of which I have listened to with an open mind, but I also followed up with my own research to find surprising information.

You commented on how "eating more under a nutritionist's care did not cause weight gain", but it seems that you pulled that out of context, or you did not understand.
I went to a nutritionist to gain another perspective on why I might not have been losing weight. So, I *was*, in fact, trying a different approach. The nutritionist suggested that I needed to increase my calories because I had been really undereating, in an effort to lose/control my weight, and that this was stalling my weight loss... so much for "calories in calories out". My diet was not changed because it was already pretty clean and balanced. One would think that it there were a diet issue, as you suggested, that the nutritionist would have addressed that. She only asked me to gradually increase my calories to 1500. I eventually managed between 1300-1500. I am 5'4". Even at that height 1300 calories is not that much and should theoretically allow for weight loss even without much exercise... if you follow general caloric recommendations. At the time, I was doing a very intense exercise program 6 days a week, in addition to teaching dance 2hrs/day 3x/week and following a vigorous yoga practice 4-5x/week. I lost no weight, or a better gauge would be clothes fitting better. There was no change to either.
So, yes I was eating more per a nutritionist's recommendation and not gaining weight, BUT I was also doing a significant amount of intense exercise, and the increase in food was meant to allow for weight loss. I tried the nutritionist's approach. It did not work for me. This suggests that something is still blocking my efforts, and I am still struggling to find out what that might be.

It does not help that most functional medicine/holistic/integrative practitioners (those who tend to be more informed, less focused on treating labs, and more familiar with alternative modalities) do not accept insurance. Their fees are high, making many of them inaccessible to someone on a moderate income. In addition, where I live there are a lot of doctors trying to get in on the natural/alternative/integrative approach because the population here demands alternative approaches, and it is very lucrative - especially when one is not in-network. Unfortunately, this means that you get a lot of doctors who are not actually fully familiar with issues they claim to treat/be experts on; many of them also partner with supplement companies because they get a kickback for selling the products, so now they're pushing supplements on the patients, which is no different from conventional medicine prescription peddlers.  This is endemic of health care in this country, and the concern for money over patient health has even spread into the alternative medicine community.

I have never claimed that my hypothyroidism is the reason for my inability to lose weight. I just know I have been stuck, and I have not received help from a variety of different sources (doctors, nutritionists, personal trainers, homeopaths, holistic practitioners...) . I came here to ask for input, in the event that others may have experienced something similar that could shed light on an aspect I might have missed, since I have tried different approaches with no success.
The fact you two are so incensed at me means to me I must have said something I shouldn't have, though that was not my intention.  So if I did, accept my apology.  It isn't what I meant.  I can only go by what people say on a thread -- we don't really know one another on the web, and we have a lot of life experience that goes unsaid.  The internet is what it is.  What I do know pretty well is alternative medicine, because that's what I did for a living.  While managing health food stores isn't the kind of expertise that would have me telling anyone what to do, in the days I did that the stores were small and the community very tight.  We were the pharmacies for the natural practitioners.  Here's what I do know and keep saying over and over on the other forums more dedicated to natural medicine.  The supplements sold by practitioners are very often not very good.  They are made by generic companies that make supplements for anyone who wants them, very often.  Some are better than others, and usually the biggest problem is the form of the minerals in the supplement -- usually not the best absorbed.  It's always better to take your prescription to the best health food store you can find and, in those days, you would have someone like me who was way over-educated and motivated earning very little who grew up in the Sixties and wanted to make the world a better place.  We did a ton of homework, and were very tough on those who wanted to get their products on our shelves -- they had to prove they were legit and clean.  Those places mostly don't exist anymore, as Whole Foods is the model now and the small stores like that have mostly gone out of business.  There's not a single one left where I live.  As for Hashimoto's, I was assuming the poster does not have this.  I don't believe she does have this.  I believe I said this when I suggested the iodine approach, but I only advocate a food based approach because that's what was used by the practitioners and customers who taught me.  This is very old Japanese and Chinese medicine, mainly.  It is something to try.  It might not work.  As for nutritionists, only holistic nutritionists should be consulted.  Regular nutritionists don't know much about anything, especially food.  Calories are not a major factor in weight -- how well you metabolize the food you eat is the major factor.  Fatty fish, the example I often bring up, is high in calories but nobody got fat eating it.  I won't go into this, because I'm not going to go in to anything on this thread anymore.  My participation is clearly unwanted and said in a way that isn't getting through, so I'm useless here.  And nobody knows the limitations of doctors more than I do -- my life was ended by doctors.  I'm a walking dead person, destroyed by doctors.  I also won't go into that, because it's not from a thyroid issue.  Good luck to you and I hope you find a solution to your problem.  I'm out.
Paxiled... I don't know if you're going to read this or not.  I don't think anyone is "incensed" with you...I'm certainly not.   We both took exception because you appeared to make light of the fact that we have hypothyroidism and an accompanying weight issue as well as a chronic distrust of doctors, particularly endocrinologists.  Many doctors, including holistic/functional medicine doctors, will deny a substantial relationship between weight gain and hypothyroidism when the thyroid is the main driver of our metabolism.  

I've already apologized if I misunderstood your intent, but that seemed to go completely over your head.

As I'm sure you've been able to determine hypothyroidism and weight gain is a very sensitive subject for those of us that struggle with it.  We've all had to deal with those people who would rather blame it on US or insist that there's something else wrong than acknowledging that our hypothyroidism may not be treated optimally.   alleekat has mentioned more than once throughout this thread that she was, eventually, diagnosed with hypothyroidism and is taking desiccated thyroid hormones.

"Calories are not a major factor in weight -- how well you metabolize the food you eat is the major factor."   For those of us with a malfunctioning thyroid, this is a thyroid related problem because the thyroid is the major driver of metabolism.  Labs in normal ranges don't take this into account, nor do they account for malabsorption issues, tissue hypothyroidism, etc.

I find your reference to "fatty fish" and the lack of weight gain eating it somewhat ironic since fish contains that "healthy" fat for which I've been ridiculed in the past.  The only way I've been able to lose any weight since becoming hypo has been by adding coconut and olive oils, avocados, butter, and other types of foods that contain adequate fat, including saturated fat, to my diet.  Even full-fat dairy helped as opposed to low/no fat dairy, however, I'm now, dairy-free, for the most part.

Your participation is not unwanted in this or any other thread and you're not useless by any means.  I, personally, have respected your knowledge for a long time on this site.  I was simply disappointed that someone's problem was turned into their own fault for supposedly doing nothing when they, like many of us, have tried numerous things on their own to help themselves when doctors failed them.

Again, my apology if I misunderstood your intent and I hope we can move on from this.
Avatar universal
I've already gained weight pretty much undereating. Do you think I will gain more??

In January, I bumped up my calories to around 1300 at the suggestion of a nutritionist - she actually wanted me to go higher, but I was coming from such a low intake that it was difficult, so I was going gradually. Then I graduated up to between 1400-1500, while I was doing Insanity. I didn't gain any more, but I didn't lose either. I did notice that I was not getting as cold and I was sweating again during exercise. Do you think I need to go higher than 1500??

I really don't think I could handle gaining any more.

Avatar universal
I was feeling cold often and often experienced cold extremities. I live in SoCal now, so it's harder to gauge. I did notice that I felt warmer, when I started to eat more.

I sometimes feel like my digestion is sluggish, so I am careful about what I eat. I do also feel as though that has improved, since trying to eat more.

Other than that, I don't seem to have hair loss, dry skin, or sluggishness. I get out of bed easily almost as soon as I wake up, I never feel the need to nap, and I have plenty of energy to workout, etc...

Are there other symptoms I should be looking for?
Avatar universal
Girl, I am EXACTLY where you are!  I've had my hormones checked...I eat very healthy...I do bootcamp 5 to 6 times a day.  I do low carb...have a protein shake for breakfast....etc, etc etc.  I'm 38 and my weight did the exact same thing 2 years ago.  I was always around 150/155...now I'm at 165 and nothing I do helps.  I also developed fat around my mid section and it will not budge for anything.  I am at my wits end too.  I just don't know what to do.  
Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that you're not alone.  I hope we can find the answer for ourselves soon.  Good luck to you!  
I am 42,5'8. I was always around 160lbs. 2 years ago I started to out on weight just like that, I tried everything to stop the gain but it slowly kept creeping up to the point I am 180lbs. I have tried everything and I mean everything I am a personal trainer myself. Low calorie low carbs high protein all green fasting you name it I had all my blood work hormones tested but doesn't matter what I do weight won't come off instead it keeps creeping up. I am at my wits end. I am losing my mind. Help anyone?
Avatar universal
I'm on the same boat.  I cannot lose an ounce no matter what I do.  Eat green veggies, fruits, nothing I do helps.  I'm at the end of my rope.  I'm so sick of stepping on the scale after depriving myself of every food I enjoy.  I'm in the gym 2 hours a day, 6 days a week.  Running, crossfit, weight training.  Everyone around me loses and my body hangs on and even gains weight!   ERG!! HELP!!!!!
16493433 tn?1448472771
I am a vegetarian (5 years).  I've never been overweight per se but I was once at a point that i needed to lose a few lbs (10-15 or so).  I'm in 40's so those extra lbs gravitate quite gleefully to my stomach area.  Anyway, was determined not to only evict the loiterers but replace them with a 6-pack and get my body in model shape.  It is a struggle but am making progress.  
Yes, we're in different places but I think something that helped me may help you:  carb cycling and high intensity interval training

Weight Days
I assume you are separating your weights and cardio days (if not, try it and see if you get better results).  On your weight days, make the first meal post workout your largest and feel free to gorge on a all the starchy carbs you want (protein and veggies are must every day though).   Try to limit fats on these days.  I always follow my weight lifting with an immediate nice/easy 20 min jog on the treadmill to burn all the fatty acids in my blood.

Cardio/Rest Days
On your cardio and/or rest days limit the starchy carbs (like none as much as possible).  Focus on proteins/fats.  It is easy for me as I eat simple foods (I hardly use the stove) but I understand it could be challenging for some, especially those with families.  Also, on your cardio days must be some flavor of HIIT (be it on treadmill or bike).  Those nice easy steady state runs have got to go on these days

I assume you’re not eating crap on a regular bases so will save the commenting here…..

Anyway, that’s all I can think of off the top of my head.

Give it a shot and good luck.  Keep us posted.


Avatar universal
I'm 33, I was in your shoes some months ago until my fitness coach asked me to go on a two weeks detoxification exercise. After that, the weight started to crash. I hope this helps.
Debra Cookie, What is detoxification exercise?
The poster you are responding to is no longer active on the forum and it's unlikely you will get a response to your question.
Avatar universal
I'm late in replying but I'm in the same boat. I've been unable to make the scale budge for a couple of years, since taking (and finally stopping) an antidepressant. I've been on low carb diets, I've counted calories, I've worked out 7 days/week (sometimes 2x/day), I've tried a hormone reset diet, I've tracked my food intake, I've done meal replacements, nothing works. It doesn't seem to matter what I eat or how much I exercise, every day I weigh the exact same thing. This has gone on for over a year. At least I've stopped gaining since stopping the antidepressant.

I've had all kinds of blood work and tests, which show nothing. My doctor just put me on a 17 day metabolic detox and even that didn't cause any weight loss, although it did cause a huge toxin release. So I'm hopeful something will shift soon.

I would say it may be related to one of two things if all other tests show nothing: too many toxins in your system, or adrenal fatigue. I'm working on both of those things right now. Try going on a detox program and see if that works for you.
Avatar universal
I completely understand you, I know it's very frustrating, don't give up something good is gonna come out of this.
Avatar universal
Have any of you got an answer? Im going through same thing and Im at a breaking point. I need results. I hope one of yin have an answer.
This is a very old thread and none of the previous posters (other than myself) are active on the forum any longer, so it's unlikely they will respond.  We don't know if they got an answer or not, as they didn't come back to let us know.  

One of the most prevalent causes of sudden weight gain or inability to lose is hypothyroidism.  Another is insulin resistance.  If you haven't been tested, you should get tested. Insist on Free T4, Free T3 and TSH.  Don't settle for just the TSH test that many doctors want to do.  

If you already have hypothyroidism and are on replacement medication, make sure your levels are optimal for you, not just "in range" as most doctors want them to be.

Please let us know what you find out.
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