Mary Shomon and Evelyn DeDominicis chat about how to set yourself up for successful weight loss while managing a thyroid condition.
Katie: [00:00:00] Hi everyone. Welcome. My name is Katie. I am part of the team at Paloma Health. Paloma, for those of you that are new to us, is the first online medical practice focused exclusively on hypothyroidism and we do a monthly event, on a specific topic related to hypothyroidism, something that you guys have been asking about or want to do a deeper dive on.
And tonight is our second installment on weight loss. And we have two awesome speakers with us. Mary Shomon and Evelyn de Dominicis are joining us to share what they know about setting yourself up for successful weight loss with hypothyroidism. Mary is a patient advocate and an advisor to Paloma Health.
And she's the author of the bestselling book, The Thyroid Die. And Evelyn is a certified nutrition specialist. She has a masters in functional nutrition and both of these women have personal histories with Hashimoto's. So they're going to share a bit about their own stories, what they've learned along the way, and what they want you to know.
We're doing a little bit of a different format tonight. We are going to kick it off with intros from both of our speakers, and then we're going to do a panel discussion where they'll each answer the same question. So we'll get two takes, and then we're going to open it up to live Q and A. So you'll see a chat feature at the bottom of your screen.
Please start entering your questions now, the questions that come up as you're listening. We are going to do our best to get to as many questions as possible at the end. And we know that's really exciting, to be able to ask questions live. Without further ado, that's a quick intro. I'm going to pass it off to Mary to share a bit about who you are and what you want us to know.
Mary Shomon: [00:01:40] Great. Thanks Katie. I'm so excited to be here with Paloma Health and with Evelyn, whose work is outstanding in the field. And if you don't know her, you need to know her. So go look her up and I'm sure that we'll be sending in the follow-ups links for people so that they can find everyone and, and get further information.
But, today, we're both gonna really be coming at what we need to be doing to deal with weight loss, we've got to get our hormones, and we've got to get our head and our heart and our mind. And so we're going to be coming at it in terms of those sort of perspectives. And so I'm going to kick it off.
I went ahead because if I don't control myself, I was just telling Katie, if I don't control myself, I could talk for five hours. So I went ahead and recorded just a couple of slides with some basic information. And what I'm going to share with you is just a really broad overview of a couple of key points that I feel are really important for people who want to lose weight with hypothyroidism.
So let me make, let me go ahead and give this a shot and see if I can figure out how I'm doing this. Okay. We should have my screen up. There we go. All right. And now I'm going to give it a start and I'll be watching along with you, but I'll come back around at the end and then we'll move on to Evelyn.
So here we go. One of the most important things to keep in mind when we're trying to lose weight with hypothyroidism is that we need to optimize our hormones. And that means not just the thyroid, but all of the hormones, insulin and blood sugar, leptin and hunger hormones, thyroid of course adrenals.
Those are our stress hormones and our sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, DHEA. It's not enough for your doctor to say your levels are normal or your tests are normal. You need to know the numbers and know where it is optimal for metabolism, energy, symptom, relief, and weight loss. This is a lot more detail than we can really dive into in today's presentation.
But generally these are the reference ranges or the normal ranges for the three key thyroid tests and where the optimal ranges, according to many. Open-minded practitioners and many thyroid patients in the trenches. So you can see the optimal range is much narrower than the broader reference range.
What eat is going to be an important factor. And for thyroid patients, what I have found is generally we tend to do best and feel best with a diet that reduces the simple, starchy carbohydrates that reduces sugar, including fructose and some fruits that eliminates allergens and foods we're sensitive to like gluten or dairy or other foods based on allergy testing and focuses on lean proteins, healthy vegetables that are low starch and good fats.
Here are some of the tips that helped me lose 50 pounds after years of Hashimoto's and hypothyroidism and struggling with yo-yo up and down diets. First of all, it was learning to test my blood sugar on a regular basis to evaluate which foods affected me most and then to control and manage that blood sugar carefully.
I am also a huge fan of water power. There was a study that found that simply drinking two cups of water before three meals a day. So breakfast, lunch, and dinner can help you lose weight. In this Virginia tech study, the group drinking water, lost five pounds more over a 12 week period compared to a group that wasn't drinking that two cups of water before meals.
One of my secret weapons is fiber. We all have heard that we should aim for 30 milligrams a day of fiber. And I don't know too many people who get there, but one of the ways that I have found very helpful is to use psyllium capsules. They're inexpensive. They're very safe. I carry them around with me and I have them in my kitchen.
And the great part about psyllium capsules is even if you're eating a low-carb start sheet or sugary food, if you take a handful of psyllium capsules, along with it, you're transforming a low fiber food into a high fiber lower glycaemic food.
One reminder though. So if you go to a high fiber diet or add supplements and get to that 30 milligrams a day level, get your thyroid rechecked about six to eight weeks later, to make sure that you're absorbing your thyroid medication effectively.
I mean of when you eat is critical. So you don't want to allow 10 to 12 hours between your last meal at night and your first meal in the morning. So that overnight period allows for the maximum fat burning. You also want to look at eating within an eight hour window during the day. If you're eating between 12 and 16 hours, it allows for a lot less fat.
Burning and a lot more fat storage. There's also studies that show that calories eaten after sundown or after 8:00 PM are more likely to be stored as fat and less likely to be burned off. So limit or minimize the amount you eat after the sun goes down, finally limiting or avoiding snacking can help regulate hunger hormones and encourage fat burning.
A big problem for thyroid patients is short sleeping. If you are sleeping less than seven hours a night, you are looking at reducing your T4 to T3 conversion, you are increasing blood sugar levels, reducing growth hormone, increasing cortisol. That's the stress hormone that directs fat right to your belly.
And you're lowering your immune system and increasing your hunger hormones and increasing your fatigue, making it more likely for you to eat. So honestly, there are doctors. I know who say, if you have a choice in the morning between exercise and extra sleep, take the sleep.
And of course we know we have to move on a regular basis. I am not a big fan of exercise. So my movement of choice is walking. I also do stretchy bands. I do some rebounding on a little tiny mini trampoline. Other people have found water aerobics helpful. But what we want to do is try to emphasize lymphatic exercise that helps detox the body and move it the toxins out of our body, which can help speed weight loss.
Another one of my secret weapons is metabolic belly breaths. I take three deep, slow into the belly breaths, inhaling and exhaling several times every day before. Every meal and snack. This shifts you from fight or flight into rest and digest mode allows you to better process the food you're eating and allows you to store and burn fat more effectively.
It also helps increase your metabolism. Finally the stress control is very important. Managing your stress with a daily 10 minute physiologically stress reducing activity is a vaccine against stress. It also helps to change your DNA. It reduces that belly fat promoting cortisol. It helps anxiety and depression.
It helps promote hormonal balance reduces inflammation. Strengthens your immune system and can be a really helpful and proven part of your weight loss approach. Okay. that was in lieu of you having to suffer through me going on for 40 minutes. So I tried to distill it all down to just the key tips and these are all things that I did myself and still do.
To lose the weight that I lost and to maintain the weight loss and not go into weight gain, especially in pandemic pound time, these days, I know it's been harder for me and I'm sure it's harder for everyone else as well. So in any case, I'm really wanting to emphasize that if you don't get your hormones, as a foundation, in balance and that's your thyroid and those other hormones we mentioned, then everything else we're going to do can be really not as effective.
And in some cases not effective at all. And I didn't get too much into the food issue because that's Evelyn's area of expertise. And so with that, I'm going to turn you over to Evelyn who is going to tell us a lot more about how to get into the right place to lose weight.
Evelyn deDominicis: [00:11:21] Thanks, Mary, I couldn't have hit on the most important things better than you just did, but I can enhance a little bit and maybe just elaborate a little bit on the diet piece, the lifestyle piece, and also just making sure that we're understanding that hormones are the body's messengers, right?
So it's usually from inputs from our external world, how we take things in that the hormone system, the endocrine system responds and they trigger different responses based upon those inputs that we take in from the world. So I have this inside-out approach that I'll get into I'm sure as we unfold, but going back to food.
I couldn't agree more. It's about a real food framework, right? So you want to have foods that are nutrient dense, meaning that per bite, there are as many nutrients as possible that actually work to support your metabolism and support your thyroid function. So those are real whole foods and you, basically, if you're familiar with macronutrients, we have protein, we have carbohydrates, and we have fats.
And so with that real food framework, You have a foundation of protein and then your non-starchy veggies, which are forms of carbohydrates. And then the balance really comes from having your fats and your starches and fruits in the right balance for your specific personal body cause everybody's unique.
So some people have a higher tolerance for carbohydrates. Some people don't digest fats well, so really you have to, rather than looking at all of the, specific macros and how many grams should I have here, and they're really paying attention to your own body and how it feels and how it responds to the balance of fats and fruit and starch.
So I usually describe it as a Seesaw. So when you're looking at meals, you want to have a base of protein and non-starchy veggies. If it's more of a savory meal, and then you want to have a Seesaw of fats and starch and fruit. So if you, for instance, I practice more of a ketogenic, low carb approach. It works for my body.
It's not for everybody. Now with keto, a lot of times, if you're familiar with it, a lot of people will go crazy with the fat and it'll be inflammatory fats, like a lot of saturated fats and cheeses and dairies. And not that there's anything wrong with a little bit of that, but for some of us, we're a lot more sensitive and those inflammatory fats can wreak havoc on our bodies, on our inflammatory systems, as well as our metabolism. So you have to find the right balance of fats and the right dose of that in relation from a Seesaw perspective with your fruits and starch. So if, for instance, you're doing more of a low carb keto approach, and you have a meal with say two or three servings of fat, your servings of fruit and starch are going to be close to zero.
Now on the flip side. Say you're doing more of a moderate approach, like a Mediterranean approach, which is very well studied and works super well for people with thyroid disease, for the most part. You've got more fruit in starch. So you want to have fats at every meal, but you're probably going to have about one serving of that versus multiple servings of that.
So it's all about having that see-saw approach when you're looking at your macros and how you're balancing things. so that's something important. I don't know, Mary, if you agree with that, or if you approached it with a slightly different macro approach.
Mary Shomon: [00:15:01] Absolutely. I think it's dead on accurate, a hundred percent.
Evelyn deDominicis: [00:15:06] Yeah. And I find that with a lot of people, I I work with a lot of middle-aged women that are going through the either peri-menopause or the menopause transition. And, and they're like, I tried keto cause it's trending, It's been trending for quite a few years now and they're doing the butter and the bacon and the cheese and all those things and it's.
Way too much, first of all, saturated fat without the balance of the mono and saturated than your Omega three fatty acids from like fish and so on. And it's just too much. So when we have a under-functioning thyroid, Our metabolism is slow. It's just slower. We take medication. Hopefully we can optimize it as much as possible, but we have that little bit of a challenge where we might not be able to eat what everybody else can eat on the planet that doesn't have a thyroid issue, and that's not also going through, menopause.
So you have to find that right dose and the right like constitution of fatty acids and same with your fruits and starches. If you're not doing a keto approach and you're doing more of a Mediterranean, or I call it a moderate carb approach, you start with your fruits, your real whole fruits, and then you can do maybe your root vegetables, maybe some grains, those are just naturally higher in carbohydrate. So for some, and some people are more sensitive to grains that can be a little bit tougher on the gut but you should also recognize that certain root vegetables and grains are much higher in carbohydrates.
Then other carbohydrates, like other fruits and, and other root vegetables, like for instance, carrots are a lot lower in carbohydrates from a, like a net carb perspective than a white potato and a cup of rice. So you might have to dose down those to be able to manage your blood sugar response.
So it's a little bit of just--it's not obsessive. Like you don't have to really get too much into measuring and counting. It's just having an awareness of the constitution of those foods and making sure that they're in balance.
So that's on the nutrition side and then we didn't really go into this, but, there are nutrient co-factors that can really support the thyroid and those are your B vitamins, your fat soluble vitamins, like vitamin A and E they help in thyroid conversion. Tyrosine, which is in your animal proteins. Iodine, which is in your sea vegetables or your fish. And vitamin D is critical. So if you can get out in the sun, Yes, that's wonderful, but you can also eat things like sardines or even some dairy products if you tolerate dairy to make sure that your vitamin D levels are optimal. And that's another thing that I usually recommend that people check. And check throughout the year because as sun exposure and just sometimes our genetic, ability to convert to vitamin D can vary a lot. Like I'm not a good converter personally.
So I always have to watch my levels. and I also have to make sure I'm not over supplementing because then I can get into that kind of more too high of a level. Yeah, I'll pause there. I want to make sure I'm not like taking up time.
Katie: [00:18:10] Awesome. Thanks, Evelyn and Mary, I think I'm already seeing a lot of questions come in about nutrition and building off what you guys have shared.
So let's go through, some of these questions we've already planned to talk about, and then we'll move over to Q and A. So both of you coach primarily women, but I want to ask just for all people, when someone looks in the mirror and they think, Oh, it looks so fat in those jeans, or my thighs are so big when they're dealing with self-esteem issues.
This is a questions for both of you. How do you coach those people? And what do you say to them?
Mary Shomon: [00:18:41] I'll jump in and say that the first thing that I say to people is. You have to be kind to yourself. And I've heard from so many women and I have been there myself looking in the mirror saying, Oh my God, you look so fat in that.
Or your butt looks so bad in those pants or how dare you wear that shirt? Or, just all sorts of really negative statements. And I will ask people, would you ever in a million years say that to your best friend, to your mother, to your sister? Or to your daughter, would you ever speak to someone you care about and love the way that you're talking to yourself and sometimes putting it that way gets people to shift their thinking?
Because that was part of it for me. I had to realize that I loved my body and I wasn't in battle with it. I was up in partnership with it and I needed to get on the same side with it. And let's face it, if you're verbally abusing anyone, they're not going to do what you want them to do. And it's the same thing with your body. Evelyn, what are your experiences with this?
Evelyn deDominicis: [00:19:49] This is a huge topic and I couldn't agree more. I know it can feel like a stretch. And I had this experience myself when I was struggling with weight and just not feeling good, being exhausted and just feeling fumpy so I get it where it's like, self love and it's just no, I can't, I totally understand why that's a stretch for a lot of people, but here's what kind of shifted for me.
And this is something that I teach a lot. It's you got to start somewhere and if it feels like rock bottom, then let it be your rock bottom, so to speak. And the most important thing to understand is the way that you think, your thoughts create your feelings and your feelings create your actions and your actions create your results.
So I like to start the thought. So if this thought is I hate my body, it's just, I'm so fat, whatever. Just adding a little prefects to that sentence. Even though I'm not liking my body right now, I believe that I can take care of it and I can have the body that I can learn to love, So just you're shifting the thought. So it's not all negative. So you're finding a way to soften it because your cells are listening. So when you're approaching yourself with hate, your cells are like , it's just not a safe place for you, at the cellular level. So getting to a place where you can shift. It has to be believable, but something where you are softening it a little bit so that you can get to a place of acceptance, at least neutrality so that you can then
generate the feelings that will allow you to be consistent and to not sabotage yourself with, the cycle of giving up and restricting and binging and all the other things that we've done. I've done it myself. So I've been there. I have a lot of empathy for it, so that you can get to a place of that, just confidence and peace and ease and, and get to that place where you're you work towards the results that you actually want.
Mary Shomon: [00:22:00] I got to jump in here and say, Evelyn, you and I are so much on the same page because one of the things that I coach is also the power of using the word "yet." So we have people that say, I can't lose weight or I don't have any idea what kind of doctor to see, or my thyroid is terrible or my thyroid will never be better.
And I always say to people, look just, if the only thing you can do is just add the word yet. On the end. Like I can't lose weight yet. I haven't figured out what's going to help me lose weight yet. That even just that tiny word softens it and makes it leaves open room for possibility and improvement.
So you and I are singing the same song here.
Evelyn deDominicis: [00:22:42] Totally. In fact, I used to say the thing, like I can never do a pull-up and I still can't, but I would always say I can't do pull-ups yet. That's beautiful. It's exactly what I'm talking about. It's just softening it.
Katie: [00:22:57] I love both of those examples of reframing your thoughts. And in a similar vein, Evelyn, you just touched on this, stres, contributes to struggles with weight and weight management.
I'm wondering if both of you can share, stress management approaches or strategies that you use personally, or that you suggest to your clients, in addition to some of this sort of language reframe.
Mary Shomon: [00:23:17] I think, for me personally, the things that I do are breath work. I'm a big fan of breath work, because not only is it stress reducing, but it also helps increase your metabolism by oxygenating and, and there's actually a variety of different kinds of breath work, pranayama, yoga breath work that actually has been tested to show and shown to increase your metabolism.
So that's one of my favorite go-to. I also really like guided meditation. I do actually one that was created for thyroid patients. So I do that one regularly and also one called wait-lists, which is about loving your body. It's what Evelyn and I are talking about and getting into peace with it and being able to communicate with it.
And when I'm super stressed, I crochet because tha t repetitive hand movements, arts, crafts playing on musical instrument, painting, drawing, adult coloring books. Sewing, knitting, all of those are proven stress reducers. So if you can't meditate, and it just drives you crazy.
You don't have to do that, but if you can get into that place of flow and peace, doing something like crocheting, which is very portable, you don't have to be sitting on the floor in a Lotus position. You can just be sitting on a bus or anywhere. And it puts me into that kind of relaxed place.
Evelyn deDominicis: [00:24:42] I love that. I do all that except for crocheting, but I gotta try that. The only thing I would add is a couple of things. One, journaling. So I've mentioned about thoughts, the thought model, which is thoughts create feelings, create actions, create your results. So what I teach a lot of my clients and in my programs is the practice of observing your thoughts.
We have 60 to 70 thousand thoughts a day. Most of them are negative and most of them are repetitive. Unless we want to spiral down on that negative, repetitive path. We have the power to observe thoughts, to not get sucked into them and believe everything that our mind comes up with.
Because half of the time, it's just subconscious programming. So getting into a place where we start to observe and just ask. Byron Katie was one of the, teachers that I followed back in the day. But just, is it true? And can I shift it like we were talking about with the way that we might talk about our bodies is when we're looking at our thoughts as the same thing, can you soften those thoughts?
Can you shift to thoughts of neutrality, acceptance, something more positive? It doesn't have to be Pollyanna. This is great. Oh, quarantine is wonderful, but it can be like, everything's going to be okay. Every in this moment, I'm good. I'm lucky finding that gratitude. So journaling, or even running thought models through your head, Oh, that's a negative thought and like, how can I shift it?
But journaling is one way, especially if you're just starting to get familiar with wow. Yeah. I do have a lot of kind of scary thoughts sometimes. Getting into that place where you just start to connect and just, yeah, bit by bit, you're probably not gonna catch all 60,000 to 70,000 thoughts, but if you can start to affect the thoughts that are perhaps influencing that kind of fight or flight sympathetic, autonomic nervous system response, that's where you can really start to shift, Another thing is just body awareness.
And this comes from sitting, sitting, being out in nature, breath work of course, where it's okay, like even just before we started, I noticed my heart, It was like a little bit of a flutter, Oh, this is exciting. I'm with Mary Shomon. I have her original book. Like I got this when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's.
So it's just a little bit of connecting with your body and then just like breathing into it and noticing, and we can do this when it comes to our hunger, when it comes to our energy, when it comes to, I've got a lot to do, but I'm really tired. Maybe instead of pushing through, I'm going to take a little rest, right?
I'm just going to sit outside a little bit, give myself that little bit of rest because your body is communicating to you all the time. It's just, we're so disconnected sometimes from it. So those are kinds of things. Like the breath work is huge with that because we breathe very shallowly from the chest up, going into those deep belly breaths, really expanding through the rib cage and the diaphragm.
And then even if you can bring that breath up to the thyroid, right? And then exhaling really slowly, really squeezing that air out of the base of the belly. You really start to get into that parasympathetic, the rest and digest that Mary was talking about and we're in fight or flight way too much in this culture. And so getting into that parasympathetic, that rest and digest is one way to optimize your gut health and your thyroid health.
Katie: [00:28:20] I love that. And I want you to lead me through a meditation now. I imagine that, some of what you've just shared applies to the question I have specifically for you, Evelyn.
You talk a lot in your teaching about finding your food flow. I'm wondering if you can share a bit more about what that means and how someone can start to find their food flow?
Evelyn deDominicis: [00:28:38] Yeah. On my journey, I was diagnosed with Hashi's after my third daughter. W, They didn't tell me it was Hashi's. They checked my TSH, they put me on Synthroid and they said, come in every three months, we'll keep adjusting your dosage.
How many people have had that experience? Yes, that's why people like Mary changed my life because I started to learn. One that what you eat, what you take in, all the external things, your diet and lifestyle play a huge role. But what I got into a little bit of a trap with myself and this is just my personality, but I started to focus really on that external, like the rules and the grams and the calories and this and that rigidity.
Really got me into more of an obsessive place. And it actually proved, even though I could be perfect, just following the macros and the guidelines perfectly because I wasn't actually connecting with my body and what it really needed. I was letting the external drive. My whole being versus tapping into the internal.
So I like to take an inside out approach. The outside is important. It's a huge role. Like you can't be eating McDonald's and Dunkin Donuts and stuff like that every day and expect to be a healthy person, it's just not going to happen. However, if we focus all on just perfect eating and like doing everything right without going inside, we can still be off of balance because we're still, we're making sure everything's okay.
And everything's just but we're not actually paying attention to our body. So I call it, finding your food flow is where you have a framework. Like what Mary teaches, what I teach as well. You, so you have that framework. And within that framework, you figure out what works for you and, within that framework, you listen to your body.
Now that doesn't mean every time you're hungry, you eat until you're stuffed, right? You have to understand and learn to understand and sit with the signals that your body gives you and try to understand them and slow down. And as you're going through, okay.
Say okay. My body is saying it's hungry. So I practice intermittent fasting. I even do one meal a day, many days a week. But what I do is I listen to my body. If my body wants to eat breakfast, or if it wants to eat breakfast with my family earlier than when I usually break my fast, I, I don't have that rigidity.
I have a flow. And so I like to teach that because I think the rigidity, at least for some personalities like mine, which is if you've heard the term orthorexia where it's you've got an obsession with healthy food. I've definitely had that, where we can get obsessed and rigid. And so if we can get into more of a flow, it's more sustainable and you'll find that you just get into this nice balance without, where you can have a little bit of wiggle room, without really going off the rails if that makes sense.
Katie: [00:31:40] Totally makes sense. Thank you for sharing. And Mary, my next questions for you and comes out of what Evelyn's just shared in terms of looking at the whole body and being intuitive. I know that you believe that sleep is a really crucial component of weight loss. I'm wondering if you can share a little bit more about why sleep is so important.
Mary Shomon: [00:31:59] Absolutely. I oftentimes, when I'm teaching classes, in person, I will say how many people out there are tired and it, if it's a group of thyroid patients, everyone's hands go up and I say, okay, keep your hand up if you are sleeping at least seven hours a night and all the hands go down. People are just not getting that much sleep and then they're complaining that they're exhausted. And so step number one, you, it's very hard to lose weight if you're tired because your body is tired. Your cells are tired. When you're hungry, there's a tendency to want to eat more carbohydrates and sugars for energy, for fast energy.
So sleep is critical, but it's also one of the things that people don't always understand is that time at night, that seven hour period when we are asleep is when the hormonal factory goes to work. So this is when our adrenal hormone is being properly produced. It's when our thyroid hormone is being manufactured and converting properly into the active hormone.
It's when growth hormone is produced, it is essential. And if you have a factory. And you shut it down instead of keeping it open. When it's supposed to be open all night, you don't have as much of the out the product output. It's the same thing with our hormones. And so if we are short sleeping, we are a hungrier, we are less satisfied with what we're eating. We're more, effective at storing that fat and less effective at burning it off. Our adrenals are exhausted. Our thyroid's not working well. We're not satisfied. We're craving things. So again, like I said, in the presentation, if you have a choice between sleeping in an extra 30 minutes or 40 minutes versus going down and, getting on your treadmill or whatever.
Take the sleep because it's probably going to do you better as far as your weight loss goals than a few extra minutes of exercise.
Katie: [00:33:58] I would definitely take the extra 15 minutes of sleep over the treadmill.
So some doctors, not all, but some doctors don't believe that hypothyroidism contributes to weight gain or contributes to the inability to lose weight. This question's for both of you, Mary and Evelyn, what's your take on that? Does hypothyroidism contribute to weight gain?
Mary Shomon: [00:34:20] Absolutely. When you're talking about the thyroid, you're talking about the body's metabolic engine, it's the master gland of metabolism. So everything slows down, digestion, your hair growth, your thinking, your heart, your respiration.
And the body's ability to burn fat is also slowed. It's interesting. I talked with an endocrinologist once and there's a term that they use for people with thyroid issues who are having difficulty losing weight and gaining more weight on their thyroid medicine. They call it a deranged metabolism. And I love that term because
I know so many thyroid patients who feel deranged. It's like I can eat almost nothing and I'm gaining weight and it is absolutely true. They have done studies, they have done research and Evelyn probably has a lot more, hands-on experience with this, but they've actually measured thyroid patients have lower metabolisms in many cases, burn fewer calories.
And I can't eat what my girlfriend eats, who weighs the same amount as me. She's going to either maintain or lose weight on 1200 calories, but I'm going to gain weight on it. And that's just the reality of life with thyroid issues for a lot of us. Not everyone, but a lot of us. So Evelyn, you probably have some thoughts on that as well.
Evelyn deDominicis: [00:35:42] Yeah, and I think, again, the perspective is everything that you said, it's your master hormone, like everything. And it's all connected to all of your other hormones as well. and organs. The thing to think about is, and this is where, I love technology, but sometimes those, the fitness trackers, like the apps, my fitness pal, and those kinds of things, they can really do us a disservice for not only the, those with an underactive thyroid, but also the perimenopause menopausal woman, because
we get so caught up in the numbers. Now, if your metabolism is lower, that means that you don't need to eat as much. Like it's not a terrible thing. I know we want to cause things tastes good, but it just means that for whatever physiological reason the body has slowed down its metabolic requirements.
So it doesn't need as much energy, but the way that the like fitness, health and fitness culture is broad stroke. everybody should have no less than X number of calories. first of all, I don't believe in necessarily counting calories, I get a lot of people who are like, I just, I'm not hungry.
Like I teach them how to connect with their body and then they're like, but I plugged it into my fitness pal. And it said that I only ate 1100 calories. Is that okay? Am I going into starvation mode? And I have to assure them that as long as. So as long as they feel good, right? Our body gives us biofeedback.
It's just basically our symptoms. So as long as you feel good and you're functioning well Because you have hypothyroid, you should always just check in just in case you're missing something that you're not quite sensing. So as long as you've got good energy, hunger seems regulated. You're not overeating your, your eating to a satiety.
And you've got good energy. That means that's a good sign that you are fueling your body properly. So my advice usually is to not pay attention to the apps, per se. If you're curious about the numbers, that's fine, but don't let it drive you. Pay attention to your body's own signals, its own, mostly I'm looking for how's my energy, how's my brain function, for me, and if it is good and it happens to be I'm not eating as much as the person next to me, so be it, no big deal. Hopefully my grocery bill will be lower.
So yeah. So it's a little bit of a paradigm shift because I think we're all oh my thyroid's slow. and I can't eat as much, but you actually probably don't need to eat as much.
Both of you coach people with hormonal imbalances on how to lose weight. I'm wondering if you each want to share a story, an interesting or dramatic story, success story? I think that's encouraging for people to hear.
Mary Shomon: [00:38:32] Sure. I was working with a woman who had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. She was a personal trainer and she worked out with at least six, sometimes eight people a day, five days a week.
And she had always kept her weight really controlled. She was very fit, very active. And she, was eating what she thought was a pretty good diet. And she was gaining weight. She was hypothyroid and they had her on a generic levothyroxine drug. And no matter what she did, and she was switching her diet up and down and she kept gaining.
She was gaining about two, one and a half to two pounds a week. But over time that's adding up. And as a trainer, she was miserable with it. She said, I'm doing everything I can. How is this happening? So we talked about what she was taking and it turned out that she was lactose intolerant and she wasn't eating anything with dairy, but the brand of the levothyroxine that she was taking had lactose in it, and she also had a sensitivity.
She wasn't gluten, intolerant. She didn't have celiac disease, but she was gluten sensitive and she was eating a lot of gluten-free products like breads and gluten-free chips and gluten-free crackers and things like that. So we cut out all of the gluten free foods and I had her talk to her doctor and she switched from the generic tablet to Tirosint liquid, which has no excipients in it.
It's very clean. And she also started doing some guided meditation at night just to relax and sleep and get into a better place. And three months later, she had lost the 28 pounds and without a big dramatic shift in her diet, she just was cutting out a few things, Getting her thyroid optimized and calming our nervous system down.
And she said she had more energy than ever, and she was happy because she's a trainer and she wanted to get back in fighting form. So Evelyn, you probably have a hundred of these stories.
Evelyn deDominicis: [00:40:40] I have so many favorites, but one, I think just ties in the emotional piece. So I'll share this one.
So this woman was in her, close to her mid forties. She had gained weight as she was working through her or living through her divorce. And through her divorce, which was of course, very emotional as it is. and she also went through a job loss and then couldn't pay that the house and her house was going under foreclosure and she put on weight.
And her thyroid actually tested okay. Although she only could go to her conventional doctor because she didn't have a functional medicine doctor or a naturopathic doctor that was open to testing a full panel, like you all do, so we had to work with what she had. Of course she was compensating for all the stress in her life with, going out with friends, through other single friends, and drinking beer and nachos and all that kind of stuff.
So she knew her diet wasn't right. And she'd gone from a history of like weight Watchers and those kinds of things. So she knew Oh, I got to get back on track. So she just decided to work with me. And we shifted, I use this, that real food framework that I described. She went towards more of a keto approach just because she was like, I know people have lost so much weight on keto.
Now that didn't really, that wasn't the case for her right off the bat, because with her, she, it was almost like she was literally carrying the weight of it, her life on her body. And we had to actually go deep into the mindset piece, like the way she was thinking, the letting go of everything that she put on her shoulders that she literally was carrying on her body.
And as she started to let go of the resentments and get into kind of more living in a hope full, like thinking of the future and an empowered place versus a victim place. She starts, the weight just started to come off. Now we did get her off of gluten because that was clear. She also had a lot of skin stuff.
So auto immune processes, for sure. Even though she couldn't get tested, I'm like, that sounds like definitely some sort of psoriasis or eczema or something. So we worked on healing her gut got the gluten out of her diet, balanced those carbs. In fact, well with her keto approach, we took most of the carbs out, she's cycling them in right now and doing well with it.
We just shifted her. I didn't want her to not have fun with her friends. So we just shifted like more moderation with the alcohol, prioritizing your sleep, like Mary was saying. But a lot of that stress management and working on her thoughts and just shifting them into more of that empowered place and the weight came off, she keeps it up.
She actually, she's in one of my groups and she'll just be like, I lost another three pounds. I'm not even trying, which I'm like, how are you doing that? It's just, it's amazing because she's just in a flow. Like I say, just flow with it, like she listens to her body. She manages her mind and she's found that balance.
Her gut is balanced, her hormones are balanced. And now as she is going through the perimenopause menopause transition, she's in a much better place because a lot of times those symptoms of menopause, like the hot flashes and the moodiness and you know, everything that goes along with that has a lot to do with not living in your truth.
And she got to this place through this, traumatic experience through her life earlier in her forties. We're now, I'm confident that as she goes through the rest of her transition, it'll be smooth sailing. And if not, if her body does communicate to her with symptoms, she'll know, where am I out of balance, Where do I need, where am I not paying attention to either what I'm thinking or what I'm doing or what I'm feeling. So that's one of my favorite stories.
Katie: [00:44:39] That's awesome. I feel like we're hearing a lot about how as stress underpins a lot of health issues: your thyroid, your skin, so many things.
We're going to shift quickly. I want to get to as many questions as possible. We're hearing a lot about sleep, obviously, and one of these questions is for you, Mary. The question is, so I need to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Is that all in one stretch or can I split it up over 24 hours?
Mary Shomon: [00:45:02] The best way is to get it all in one stretch, because that is going to allow you to go in and out of the natural sleep cycles in a normal way. And it's going to give you that break in the body's processes to allow for all that hormonal rebuilding. If you take a two hour nap in the afternoon, you're not going to be converting T4 to T3 and growth hormone and adrenaline and cortisol and all of that, it does.
It's not, it doesn't work like that. It's an overnight process. It's a circadian process. That said, if you are really short sleeping, at least work in some naps, but keep in mind, sometimes napping can actually make it harder to fall asleep later. You've got to, you've got to work around it, but aim for those seven hours a night, if you can, in a straight shot.
And, if you need a little extra, get a little extra, but try not to undercut yourself by going less than seven.
Evelyn deDominicis: [00:46:06] I was just going to add, too, the research shows that the peak hours for human growth hormone production, which is basically like your metabolism, your fat burning potential, which unfortunately we produce less after the age of 35.
So it's really important to kind of honor this window is 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM. So those are like your sweet spot for HGH hormone production to help, as well as detox, repair all that restorative activity that happens, even your mental kind of restoration, like releasing emotions and that kind of thing happens during those hours as well. Yeah, I agree, Mary,
Katie: [00:46:48] Thanks to you, both. Evelyn, the next question also has to do with timing and how to support your health with when you are doing or not doing things. The questions about water and how, drinking water before you eat, how does that support your digestion? Is it helpful or harmful?
Evelyn deDominicis: [00:47:03] Yeah, you shouldn't. So the thing with water is you want to drink enough so that you're hydrated throughout the day. But while you're eating, it's okay to have water before you eat. You can have a nice tall glass of water. In fact, it's, it might even help with your appetite maybe 15, 20 minutes before you sit down for a meal.
But while you're eating, you want to just maybe just take some sips because as you might know, you've got digestive juices that are being produced, so your stomach acid, your digestive enzymes, all the bile that's being produced to emulsify fats, that's all happening. And if we're chugging water, while we're eating, we'll start to dilute some of those really valuable digestive juices that will affect how you digest, how you absorb, and how you assimilate those nutrients.
You want to drink before, then eat just maybe some sips if you're thirsty and then don't chug so much after, maybe give it about a half hour or so, 15 minutes, if, see how you feel. If you're really thirsty, it's probably fine, but definitely want to watch out for drinking too much during that, eating window.
Katie: [00:48:11] Thanks. I, A common theme I'm hearing from you is listen to your body. Be intuitive. Take and do what you need. Mary, the next question is for you about, measuring your blood sugar. Someone's curious about how do you do that? What do you use? Can you tell us a bit more about measuring your blood?
Mary Shomon: [00:48:26] Okay. A lot of the folks that I work with have some borderline blood sugar issues and that can be contributing to the weight, the difficulty losing weight. So what I always recommend to people is go ahead and pick up an inexpensive glucose monitor. You can get them for about $20 at a Walmart or Costco online.
Amazon has them and with some test strips and it has a little lancet to prick your finger much like our home test kits for the, Paloma thyroid panels. and start to check and see what is your body doing with different types of foods, with different kinds of meals, different composition? It was a major eye-opener for me to discover that if I ate a banana, or if I ate a Milky Wa, bar, my blood sugar went up the same amount and stayed up for the same amount of time. So in my body, there was no difference between the way it dealt with a banana and a Milky way bar. Now, the banana as much more nutritional value, of course, but in my case, It wasn't really a good alternative snack for me.
So I think I'm eating a banana, I'm doing something great for myself. It really wasn't. But if I went and got a cube of cheese and a handful of a couple nuts and maybe just three or four strawberries, my blood sugar, barely budged. And so I work with a lot of people saying, look, you're not going to do this for life.
It's not like you're diabetic, but let's do a week or two of checking, seeing what your body's doing, try different meals. You're going to see. There's a very big difference between mashed potatoes and meatloaf and what it does to your blood sugar compared to a broiled piece of chicken and a big salad and some green beans.
So I think it's a great opportunity to really do some experimenting and studying of what your body is doing and how it's responding.
Katie: [00:50:29] Following suit to this question, someone's curious about, a couple people are curious about allergy testing or food sensitivity testing. Do you have opinions on this or are there brands that you recommend and what do you think about food sensitivity testing?
Evelyn deDominicis: [00:50:44] Yeah. I have a little bit of a mixed opinion about them. So I work with a lot of clients that come to me from, I partner with a naturopathic clinic integrated clinic, and they'll come with their, they'll send me their, results, and it's like a Christmas tree, they're sensitive to everything.
And at that point, what that tells me is they're not necessarily, cause it's more of an IgG, if I'm getting that correct. Their body is sensitive, but they're not allergic. So it's not like any kind of anaphylactic type of response. So all that tells me, and of course I'm consulting with the doctors as well, is that there's some sort of gut compromise in something called leaky gut, which folks might've heard of where, through whatever reason, whether it be foods or stress or toxins, whatever the gut barrier becomes compromised. And so when that happens, if we decide to go take a food sensitivity test, we're going to show that we're sensitive to all these foods and what can happen is then we can start almost becoming fearful of food.
If it's just somebody who's coming to me who has never done food sensitivity testing, I don't start there. What I do is I start to get them to connect with how foods make them feel. Now if they have a severe reaction, or they are running to the bathroom, or severe bloating, cramping, any kind of pain breakouts.
I want them to pay attention to that. And those are probably foods that right now in this state that their body is in, which is temporary because the body is self healing. They probably need to take those foods out for a period of time as their body heals. And so through more of that classic elimination diet, that's usually my first step.
And then if it's really bad, then obviously yes. Go work with a, a doctor and get some sensitivity. I've used, with my doctor, I've used Genova, I've used, there's all kinds of new ones now. I can't think of the one that I just went to a training on it and it was amazing.
It was, Oh, gosh, I can't think of it, but it was just really thorough in terms of it went IgE, IgG. So it's, it really hit all the bases, but really, to me, that's for more severe cases, there's a lot you can do just on your own by paying attention. Tracking, it's not usually like sometimes it's an immediate thing where you take taking a food and it's oh yeah, I got a huge cramp or, oh yeah,
I had to run to the bathroom, but sometimes it doesn't appear like the symptoms might appear the next day or even two or three days later. So sometimes it can be a little bit hard to track, but we look at the main culprits, gluten dairy, soy, corn, Of course anything inflammatory like sugar, alcohol, coffee for some people, unfortunately.
And there's a few other things. Sometimes shellfish would, could be actually more of an allergy, that kind of thing. But, really the thing is like I worked with a client who just came from the practice for just one visit a young student in college and she literally could eat maybe 12 foods because of her report.
So it was really fun to come up with a food plan for her. But until she actually heals, I agree like knowing that these foods are all like lighting up red, it doesn't make sense to keep those in your diet, but she, she had very severe reactions. So it depends on the individual.
Katie: [00:54:09] Each of us is so unique and has such individual sensitivities that we need to figure out what's right for us specifically. Where does someone start? If they're struggling with their weight, what's the very first thing they can do. And then where, can all of these great people find you so that they can learn more from you?
Mary Shomon: [00:54:25] If you're really struggling, I think the first step is to get your information together. So I want you to get your thyroid levels. If you don't have them, I want you to get them. I want you to have them in front of you. I want you to start keeping a sort of, track of what you're eating. And as Evelyn mentioned, I want you to start keeping track of what the food is doing to you. How are you feeling when you're eating different things?
What are your symptoms so that you can start to be paying attention? That's really the first, most important step paying attention to the lab, tests, the food you're eating the sensations in your body awareness is step one. And folks can find me, I've got, articles over at the Paloma blog, so you'll find those up there.
And I'm at mary-shomon.com and I am also on all sorts of social media. I'm thyroidmary on Twitter, and I've got a thyroid support and thyroid diet support groups on Facebook. So if you've typed my name in you'll find me someplace.
Evelyn deDominicis: [00:55:29] I would suggest really the same thing, rewatch this, when you get the replay and everything that Mary suggested, everything that I was talking about as well, starting with real food.
Think about: is it in balance? You could do the blood testing. It's fun. Prioritizing your sleep, making sure you're hydrated. Move your body right. Manage that stress and your mindset. I have a free resource actually right now that it's a seven day shift, where you work on connecting with your vision of your desired result, whatever that is, whether that be just having more energy and vitality, maybe being in a certain size, looking a certain way, feeling confident in your body and clearing out some of the subconscious blocks and programmings, programming that we have all developed over the years that keep you stuck, that keep you sabotaging, with either emotional eating, compensatory, eating, mindless, eating, or drinking, whatever it is. So grab that it's at my website, evelynd.com, right on the homepage. You can click and join and there's a free Facebook group for that as well. But yeah, just, I would replay this video and, download both of our free resources and, and just start to pay attention and just, this is a journey it's not something that like, you don't need to be fixed.
We are coming into balance and with everything that's going on in the world, more than ever, the world needs balanced people, not people that are hating on their bodies and that are obsessing about food and restricting and doing all those things. So I'm just getting. Into that place. And then you'll just find, it's like, it's a journey.
It's okay, I'm doing this. And like Mary said, yeah, maybe I'm struggling with my body right now. I'm not there yet. So that's such a beautiful way to soften and be soft with yourself and show yourself grace as you continue on your journey.
Katie: [00:57:31] And Evelyn, you teed me up. We will send out a replay to everyone in the next few days, and we'll make sure that Mary and Evelyn's sites and social medias are linked there so that you know where to find them.
Thank you again to everyone who's joined us and we will do this again next month. We'll send out lots of information so you know what's coming up next. Have a good night, everyone.
Mary Shomon: [00:57:50] Thanks everybody. Bye.