People everywhere are using an intermittent fasting diet to massively boost their body’s ability to function and heal.
Given that an intermittent fasting diet has been shown to help alleviate a number of conditions, I have people constantly asking me if an intermittent fasting diet is right for them. One that I get a lot is people with hypothyroidism. While opinion varies in the field, I think an intermittent fasting diet for hypothyroid conditions can be super beneficial if you do it right.
Of course, with anything pertaining to a health condition, you have to take into account unique factors per individual and per condition when designing a health plan. The following is the intermittent fasting plan I would recommend for someone dealing with hypothyroidism and factors you should consider when following one.
Hypothyroidism is generally characterized by inadequate thyroid activity in the body. From a traditional medical standpoint, it is often referred to as the thyroid not producing enough hormones. This is a limited view however as thyroid hormones can be imbalanced due to a number of reasons that have little to do with the thyroid gland itself.
People who are struggling with a hypothyroid typically experience low energy, weight gain, mood imbalances, foggy thinking, and overall lowered vitality. Those that have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism will usually be put on thyroid hormone replacement without addressing any root cause.
The whole thyroid hormone regulation process is actually a delicate dance between the brain (hypothalamus and pituitary), thyroid, liver, and even the gut in some ways. Together, there are a number of signaling and conversion processes that take place. These can be thrown off in a number of different ways that have almost nothing to do with the actual thyroid gland.
The hypothalamus and pituitary in the brain constantly monitor the body and regulate what signals get sent to the thyroid. Various factors can influence this process as we will discuss later in this article.
When you are looking to design a healthy lifestyle for someone who has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, the entire process of thyroid hormone production needs to be considered, not just the gland itself.
Intermittent Fasting Diet
Intermittent fasting (IF) describes a pattern of eating that cycles between periods of fasting and normal eating.
The most common methods include fasting on alternate days, daily 16-hour fasts or fasting for 24 hours, two days a week. For the purpose of this article, the term intermittent fasting will be used to describe all regimens.
Unlike most diets, intermittent fasting does not involve tracking calories or macronutrients. In fact, there are no requirements about what foods to eat or avoid, making it more of a lifestyle than a diet.
Many people use intermittent fasting to lose weight as it is a simple, convenient and effective way to eat less and reduce body fat.
It may also help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, preserve muscle mass and improve psychological well-being .
What’s more, this dietary pattern can help save time in the kitchen as you have fewer meals to plan, prepare and cook.
Intermittent Fasting and Inflammation
For one, reducing inflammation boosts just about every process in the body. Chronic inflammation is damaging to the cells and especially to the mitochondria. Mitochondria produce all of the energy for the body and dictate how well your body is able to function.
Chronic inflammation also distracts the immune system which can contribute to autoimmunity, a common cause of hypothyroid.
Additionally, this style of eating encourages a healthy metabolism by burning off excess fat and stabilizing blood sugar levels. Without going into too much detail, an intermittent fasting diet simply enables the body to function at a much more efficient level and this may allow for a more balance production of thyroid hormones.