How to Lose Weight When You Have Hypothyroidism

Be sure to avoid foods that interfere with your body’s absorption of iodine, while adding the ones that are rich in fiber. Fiber reduces your appetite and improves overall metabolic function.
How to Lose Weight When You Have Hypothyroidism
Elisa Morales Lupayante

Reviewed and approved by the pedagogue in physical education and nutritionist Elisa Morales Lupayante.

Last update: 11 June, 2022

If you suffer from hypothyroidism, you have one of the disorders that affect the thyroid gland, which is responsible for regulating your body’s metabolism and secreting important hormones for healthy organ function.

This disorder occurs when not enough thyroid hormone is secreted, resulting in a decrease in your overall metabolic rate and making it more difficult to maintain a stable and healthy weight.

In most cases, hypothyroidism affects women, particularly after the age of 50. But it can also occur at younger ages and some men may also develop it.

The most common cause of this disorder is inflammation, which can damage the cells of the thyroid gland. It can also be triggered by an immune system response, a viral infection, or pregnancy.

A lot of people who are diagnosed feel resigned to gaining weight and suffering from other negative health effects, but research has shown that when you adopt certain healthy lifestyle habits you can counteract these effects and prevent the loss of your quality of life.

Next, we’ll share some tips and information about hypothyroidism and nutrition.

Tips for improving your diet

After you’ve been diagnosed with hypothyroidism it’s important to change the way you eat. This is the most important way to avoid gaining weight.

The best thing is to gradually lose weight on a balanced diet that is nutritionally complete. This is because it’ll allow you to get to a healthy and stable weight.

However, according to the experts at the Spanish Heart Foundation, there isn’t one “correct” diet for people with hypothyroidism. In general, however, the best diet is one that’s low in fat, varied, balanced, and complete.

They also emphasize the importance of talking to a nutritionist, who can make personalized recommendations that are tailored to your needs and goals (short term and long term).

In general, your diet should be low in fat and include foods that are high in iodine.

1. Choose healthy fats

Some foods to eat if you suffer from hypothyroidism.

You don’t have to completely cut fat out of your diet, but you should choose the ones that are healthy and easy for your body to metabolize. Some of these are below:

  • Lean meats
  • Whitefish
  • Olive oil
  • Seeds

We recommend reading: Seven iodine packed beverages for the health of the thyroid gland

2. Consume whole wheat flour

All foods that contain refined or processed flours should be replaced by those made with whole wheat or whole grain flour.

  • Whole grains are always healthier and they prevent the accumulation of fat and increases in blood sugar.

3. Increase your fluid intake

A woman drinking water.
Good hydration is essential to stay healthy.

Drinking plenty of water every day is critical to avoid dehydration and promote the elimination of waste. In addition, you should never replace water with commercially produced beverages.

4. Eat lighter meals

Eating right before bedtime is never a good idea, particularly if you’re choosing foods that are difficult to digest. Therefore, if you suffer from hypothyroidism it’s better to prepare something light that’s low in fat and protein. In addition, eat dinner at least two to three hours before going to bed.

5. Avoid certain foods if you suffer from hypothyroidism

There are some foods that you’ll need to start avoiding because they contain goitrogens, which inhibit the absorption of iodine and contribute to further malfunction of the thyroid gland

Some foods that contain goitrogens are corn, soy, wheat, melon, avocado, oranges, radishes, peanuts, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli.

6. Eat more fiber if you have hypothyroidism

Foods that are rich in fiber are essential for all people who suffer from hypothyroidism.

  • Fiber supports healthy digestive function and promotes regular bowel movements, preventing constipation and inflammation.
  • It’s also been shown that fiber reduces the appetite and plays an important role in metabolic function.

7. Get regular exercise

A woman doing exercise on a yoga ball.

To complement your new diet and achieve more weight loss, you’ll need to adopt a daily exercise routine that’s at least 40 minutes in duration.

In some cases, people who suffer from hypothyroidism actually need to reduce their level of physical activity, but that doesn’t mean they can’t exercise.

However, a low-impact exercise plan tends to have good results with these patients. Some good exercise options include:

  • Swimming
  • Running and jogging
  • Weight lifting
  • Cycling
  • Brisk walking

8. Avoid skipping meals if you suffer from hypothyroidism

Too many people think that skipping meals is an easy way to reduce their daily caloric intake. This is a total mistake, however, because every morning your body needs to recharge its energy in order to function properly for the rest of the day.

Skipping the first meal of the day winds up slowing down your metabolism and makes you more hungry later in the day.

In conclusion

Motivation plays a key role in keeping your thyroid problems from causing you to gain weight. Furthermore, this, along with discipline, will help you maintain good habits and stay ahead of the game.

With good motivation, you’ll be able to maintain in time good life habits, a healthy weight, and a good physical condition in general.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.