We like simple answers to our most pressing problems. Whether we are looking for solutions to solve relational problems, a search for the meaning of life, or how to prevent cancer, we’d like to the answer to be straight forward and simple.  


Losing weight is no different. If we have weight to lose, we’d like the solution to be simple. For many, the solution is simple: Eat less, exercise more and weight drops quickly. But for others, these simple steps don’t result in lasting weight loss but rather lasting frustration. It’s that time of year again when many people are on diets. Hopes are high, but they don’t always lead to weight loss.


Why is that? Once again, we’d like a simple answer to this question. The body’s ability to lose weight, and why some people lose weight easily and other’s don’t, is a complex and sometimes perplexing issue.


One issue that has been in the limelight in recent years is the role our thyroid plays in helping us lose weight. When this important gland is sluggish, it leads to a variety of issues, one of which is weight gain. Oprah Winfrey shared how thyroid issues helped cause her to gain weight. She’s certainly not a alone. In this article, the author thinks that up to 20 percent of our population has an underactive thyroid function. 


Not all people who gain weight have thyroid issues, but if you have trouble losing weight or have unexplained weight gain, you may want to check out this list of symptoms of underactive thyroid function by the Mayo Clinic. (And, if you have a lot of symptoms, see your doctor).  


I think that it's easy for thin people to look down on people who have weight issues. It’s important for them to realize that weight gain isn’t always a simple issue of self-control. I think that it’s also common for someone dealing with unexplained weight issues to have bad self-esteem and to have negative thoughts towards themselves. Those who struggle with weight need to understand that self-control and working out may not be the only answer, but good professional help for their thyroid may be key.


So, if you started this year out with the goal of losing weight, but your best diet plan and workout plan isn’t helping those pounds fall off, consider talking to your doctor about your thyroid. It may need some tender loving care.


I’d encourage you to read more about this issue in the following links:

Having a hard time losing weight? Your thyroid could be the problem
While many find success losing weight with dietary change and exercise, others may need to improve their thyroid function for weight loss.