Lose weight with hypothyroidism: diet and tips

Lose weight with hypothyroidism: diet and tips

Hypothyroidism is a common endocrine disorder in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. It can cause various symptoms, including tiredness, poor ability to tolerate cold, reproductive problems, and weight gain. To lose weight by controlling hypothyroidism, several factors must be taken into account.

Difficulty losing weight with hypothyroidism

Losing weight can be a frustrating process for many people with an underactive thyroid. Whether we have hypothyroidism, no thyroid after surgery, or have used radioactive iodine treatment, thyroid function affects metabolism and can make losing weight an uphill battle.

hypothyroidism can slow metabolism and cause fatigue, so you don’t burn calories efficiently and have less ability or motivation to exercise. This can make it more difficult to get rid of unwanted fat. Water retention and chronic constipation can also contribute to weight gain.

If the thyroid is underactive, improper treatment can make weight loss nearly impossible, despite diet and exercise. And the longer it takes to get diagnosed, the more weight could be put on. When you have mild hypothyroidism, your metabolism can slow down significantly, causing you to burn fewer calories each day.

special diet

There is no best diet for your thyroid, but it is usually necessary to make a significant change in the way you eat to lose weight successfully when you have hypothyroidism. However, the type of diet to follow depends on our physiology, food sensitivities, ability to absorb nutrients, and the body’s efficiency at metabolizing, storing, and burning carbohydrates.

Some points to keep in mind are:

  • cut calories in general: we will use a calorie calculator application to find out how much we eat and everything we eat and drink.
  • Increase fiber intake: we will obtain a good amount of fiber, which is one of the basic tactics if we want to lose weight with hypothyroidism. It can come from high-fiber foods, supplements, or both.
  • limit carbohydrates simple and sugar: we will try to follow a low glycemic index diet.
  • anti-inflammatory diet: An autoimmune and anti-inflammatory type of diet may be a good option to consider.
  • paleo diet: a diet of whole foods, low in sugar and without processing. The paleo diet can reduce inflammation. We just have to make sure we get enough iodine.
  • change the schedule of meals: we can try the intermittent fasting diet. Another approach that can be effective is the “mini-meal”/grazing all day feeding approach. Limiting eating to two or three meals a day with no snacks or food after 8 p.m. can help stimulate fat burning and help regulate hunger hormones.
  • allergen test Food: Common allergens include dairy, wheat, soy, and certain fruits and nuts. If we discover allergies to any of these, we will eliminate them from the diet.
  • gluten free diet: There is a link between gluten sensitivity and celiac disease and the development of autoimmune diseases. Some patients reported significant weight loss when they switched to a gluten-free diet.

Forbidden food

There are certain foods that are best avoided in people with hypothyroidism who want to lose weight:

  • Sugary foods, caffeine and refined carbohydrates. These foods can trigger low levels of inflammation in the body, resulting in stress. Reducing or even eliminating these items can minimize the pressure on an underactive thyroid.
  • Energy bars and foods with genetically modified organisms. Preservatives, additives, and chemicals in energy bars can upset the delicate neurohormonal balance that controls homeostasis (the body’s internal environment).
  • Gluten. For those with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (in which the body produces antibodies to attack the thyroid) along with celiac disease (gluten intolerance), reducing foods that contain gluten, such as wheat, rye, and oats, can help reduce antibody levels.
  • Soy. Soy in the form of milk or tofu is known to hinder the production of thyroid hormones.
  • cruciferous vegetables. Although very nutritious (cabbage, broccoli, kale), these items can interfere with the thyroid hormone production process to some degree, especially if eaten raw. You can continue to eat these foods cooked but in moderation and avoid raw.
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recommended foods

There are certain foods that should form the basis of the special diet for hypothyroidism. Although it is advisable to go to a dietitian-nutritionist, these are some of the most recommended:

  • Carbohydrates based on whole grains and non-starchy vegetables. They provide energy and a feeling of satiety. They do not trigger inflammatory or autoimmune responses.
  • Protein-rich foods. Fish, legumes, eggs (especially egg whites), quinoa, nuts, and fruit butter. These help build muscle mass and combat muscle weakness caused by hypothyroidism.
  • Healthy fatty foods. Oily fish, flaxseeds, extra virgin olive oil and avocados will help balance lipid levels, which can go off course in prolonged hypothyroidism.
  • Consume enough nutrients. Being deficient in nutrients can worsen thyroid symptoms because the immune system can be compromised. Selenium, zinc, and iodine support thyroid function, so make sure your diet includes enough of these micronutrients.
  • Reintroduce healthy bacteria. Probiotics can help rebalance the gut microbiome. An unbalanced gut microbiome (dysbiosis) is touted as a reason for metabolic imbalances, including thyroid and polycystic ovary disease.

diet for hypothyroidism

Other methods to activate metabolism

Not only does the diet depend on weight loss. You have to take into account other healthy habits necessary to activate the metabolism with hypothyroidism.


For many thyroid patients, calorie restriction or even a dietary overhaul is not enough to enable weight loss. Hypothyroidism can slow your metabolism, which means fewer calories are needed, making it more difficult to cut enough calories to result in significant weight loss.

One of the most important things we can do to increase metabolism is exercise. Exercising helps make your metabolism more efficient by burning calories and fat, lowering blood sugar levels, and balancing hormones that promote weight loss, like leptin.

We may need to do more than an hour of exercise a day. Some thyroid patients strongly recommend a training program for muscle activation and muscle development. Other patients have found walking, Pilates, lifting weights, and other forms of exercise to be effective.

If we have to prioritize what type of exercise to do, we’ll opt for strength training and muscle-building exercise for maximum benefits.

Sleeping more

One of the most important things we can do to help lose weight is to get enough sleep. Numerous studies link sleep deprivation to slow metabolism and obesity. Not getting enough sleep can also make us more vulnerable to developing heart disease or diabetes.

So if weight loss is a challenge, try to get seven hours or more of sleep every night.

Taking medications for hypothyroidism

Thyroid hormone should be taken on an empty stomach first thing in the morning with plenty of water. We will not take it with any other medication and we will wait at least 30 to 60 minutes before eating breakfast.

If your thyroid level is still not where it should be when you take the medicine correctly, it could be affecting your ability to lose weight.