Meet your thyroid


Maybe you’ve never given much thought to your thyroid—and hey, it’s okay to admit you’re not quite sure where it is—but this little butterfly-shaped gland in your throat just happens to be the furnace that sets your metabolism on fire.

T3, T4 and RT3

Your thyroid cranks out heat, in the form of fat-burning hormones (T3 and T4). These hormones roam around your bloodstream, gathering up calories and oxygen like so much dry kindling—and then touching a match to it.

At least, that’s how it works when you’ve got a healthy metabolism. Three things can wreck your thyroid function:

  • Dieting. Low-calorie, restrictive diets make your body think you’re starving to death. Instead of fat-burning hormones, your thyroid actually starts producing an anti-fat-burning hormone (reverse T3, or RT3). RT3 basically sets up a roadblock in front of your fat-burning hormones. It’s a desperate attempt to keep you alive by hoarding fat.


  • Stress. Constant stress makes your body think there’s some sort of horrendous disaster going on—an earthquake, maybe, or a famine. Your thyroid cranks out more of that fat-hoarding RT3. Again, it’s just trying to save your life.


  • Disease. Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can cause weight gain, fatigue, headaches, constipation, brittle nails, and hair loss—and it often goes undiagnosed. Simple, inexpensive blood tests can show whether you’ve got any underlying thyroid problems.

You can help your thyroid produce those helpful hormones—T3 and T4—by eating whole fruits, organic vegetables and lean proteins, and by avoiding sugar. And foods rich in B vitamins, iodine, taurine, and healthy fat like steak, lobster, shrimp, arugula, and coconut are just a few superstar foods. They’ll do all the work, coaxing your thyroid into perfect balance. All you have to do is enjoy how delicious they are!

Links included in this article will sometimes direct you to the website, where you can learn more about and purchase many of the products mentioned. Please know that Haylie Pomroy has a financial interest in anything that is sold from

34 thoughts on “Meet your thyroid

  1. I am taking synthroid 100 mcg/daily. Will I be be able to succeed with the Fast Metabolism diet. I am concerned about eating all the veggies that are not good for my thyroid…
    Please advise
    I need this to work for me.
    Thank you, in advance.

  2. I’m doing everything, love the program losing wt. but still have constipation even after using softners and probiotics, any ideas.

    • I make a soup out of cabbage, onions, bell peppers, chicken or vegetable broth, and sweet italian chicken sausage (with no nitrites or additives). It’s delicious and I’ve noticed it seems to keep constipation away :)

  3. I am 53 years of age and suffer from hypothyroid disease, am going through menopause and take Prozac for depression since I started going through menopause. Will this diet work for someone like me? I’ve only been able to loose 20 lbs since Sept. 2012 and can’t get below 185. I should only weigh somewhere around 135 lbs. HELP!!!

  4. I love this new way of eating . I have been a yo-yo dieter for years. I put on 10lbs this past year and could not get the scale to move down again. I followed this diet for 6 weeks and 10lbs gone! Can you eat sauerkraut on this diet?

    • I have hypothyroidism and when I added “natural, organic sauerkraut to phase II it caused me to immediately put on two pounds which took a week to lose again. I only lost 2 lbs a week on this diet probably due to my thyroid disease.

  5. I’m entering my 4th week and I’ve been happy with my progress. I got a lot of pointers from having a consult which really helped. My question is: I’m losing my hair. Is this happening to anyone else & what are you doing about it. Help! I’m excited about being thinner but I don’t want to be bald

  6. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis over 30 years ago and have been taking Synthroid (varying doses depending on my TSH test every 6 months). I have been told by two endocrinologists that after many years on Synthroid, one’s thyroid gland shuts down production of any T3 or T4. Will Haylie’s food rx’s for thyroid function be able to change that? Regardless, I am eager to begin the program on January 20 following this next week of caffeine withdrawal…UGH.

    • Hi Sissy. Haylie’s supplements are intended for metabolic support, not to treat or cure any disease of condition, or reverse your thyroid’s production of T3 and T4. But supplements are not necessary on the diet.

  7. I am 53 years old and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s after swinging back and forth from Hyper to hypo. I have been on the Fast Metabolism diet for over a week and I am now experiencing symptoms similar to when I had hyperthyroidism: inability to sleep, a racing heart, etc. Is it possible that this diet will enable me to reduce my thyroid medication because my thy
    roid function has improved? I don’t want to have too much! Thanks!

    • Hi Mary — Haylie recommends that anyone with thyroid issues stay in close touch with their doctor while doing the diet. In her own clinics, she finds that her hypo/Hashis clients frequently need medication adjustments as their healthy and metabolism improves.

  8. I have hyperthyroidism and wonder if it would be okay to start the fast metabolism diet or will it increase my thyroid hormone.

    • Many of Haylie’s clients with thyroid issues do very well on the diet. Keep in touch with your doctor. Haylie often says that her clients’ medication dosages need to be adjusted as they become healthier and lose weight.

  9. Any video or blogs about lab results ? How to get in Haley’s suggested ranges? For example, my RT3 is 19.9 ng/dl and she suggests <120? My TSH is 2.23 and she says it should be <1.0, my T4 is .83 her range is 1.50 -2.00. Specific, phase or foods that would help?

    • Hi Melissa. Your lab results are meant to open a conversation with your physician. In her clinics, Haylie spends at least an hour with clients, going over their results, talking to a client’s doctor and ordering additional tests. Please discuss your results with your physician, who is in the best position to understand your entire health profile.

      • He stated everything was fine. So is there any articles to help get to the FMD target ranges. My doctors ranges are quire different.

        • Hi Melissa. No, we don’t have guidelines for this. But I’m glad you asked — I’ll ask to do an article on interpreting your lab results, and what questions to ask your doctor next.

  10. Hi. My doctor said it’s best to wait one hour after taking my thyroid meds before eating breakfast. Will this blow the “eat within 30 min of waking” part of the plan? Also I know iron can bind to thyroid meds if taken too soon after. So does this mean that for the dieters taking daily synthroid, they should avoid things like spinach for breakfast?

    • You should always follow your doctor’s instructions, so waiting an hour is fine. Talk to your doctor about foods. Haylie tells us that she works with a client’s physician to determine whether some foods should be avoided.

  11. I was just diagnosed with hypothyroid disease. I’m a big fan of the green smoothies (especially in phase 2). I’ve been reading a lot lately how for thyroid issues kale and spinach need to be cooked first. Would blanching these items be enough so I can still put them in smoothies?

    • Hi Amy. You’ll want to check with your physician to be sure, but it’s find to blanch veggies before blending them.

  12. What information is there for people with hashimotos thyriotitis? How can they improve their weight loss? $40 for a supplement is not in our budget. Which sublements can I get hat my local store? Diet improved blood work a lot but now there is no weight loss in the last two month after a loss of 50 pounds. At least another 50 pounds need to go in order to have a healthy weight?

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