What To Eat To Lose Weight With Hypothyroidism

by Daisy

Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is underactive, producing insufficient thyroid hormones. These hormones regulate metabolism, and their deficiency can lead to weight gain, fatigue, and other health issues. Losing weight with hypothyroidism can be challenging, but a well-balanced diet tailored to support thyroid function and promote weight loss can be beneficial. In this article, we will explore specific dietary suggestions for those with hypothyroidism aiming to lose weight.

Understanding Hypothyroidism and Weight Gain

Hypothyroidism slows down the metabolism, leading to weight gain and difficulty losing weight. This condition can cause the body to hold on to calories and store them as fat, rather than burning them for energy. Understanding the relationship between hypothyroidism and weight gain is crucial for creating an effective weight loss plan.


The Role of Diet in Managing Hypothyroidism

Diet plays a significant role in managing hypothyroidism and supporting weight loss. Certain nutrients are essential for thyroid function, while others can hinder it. A balanced diet that includes the right nutrients can help improve thyroid function, boost metabolism, and aid in weight loss.


Essential Nutrients for Thyroid Health


Iodine is a crucial nutrient for thyroid health, as it is a key component of thyroid hormones. A deficiency in iodine can lead to hypothyroidism. Including iodine-rich foods in your diet can support thyroid function.


Seaweed: Nori, kelp, and wakame are excellent sources of iodine.

Fish: Cod, tuna, and shrimp are good sources of iodine.

Dairy: Milk, yogurt, and cheese contain iodine.

Iodized Salt: Using iodized salt in moderation can help meet your iodine needs.


Selenium is an important mineral that helps activate thyroid hormones. It also has antioxidant properties that protect the thyroid gland from damage.

Brazil Nuts: Just a few nuts can provide your daily selenium needs.

Fish: Tuna, sardines, and salmon are rich in selenium.

Eggs: Eggs are a good source of selenium.

Legumes: Lentils and beans contain selenium.


Zinc is essential for thyroid hormone production and conversion. It also supports the immune system and overall health.

Shellfish: Oysters, crab, and lobster are high in zinc.

Meat: Beef, pork, and chicken are good sources of zinc.

Seeds: Pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds contain zinc.

Nuts: Cashews and almonds are rich in zinc.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is common in individuals with hypothyroidism. Adequate vitamin D levels are important for thyroid function and overall health.

Sun Exposure: Spending time in the sun helps the body produce vitamin D.

Fatty Fish: Salmon, mackerel, and sardines are high in vitamin D.

Fortified Foods: Milk, orange juice, and cereals are often fortified with vitamin D.

Supplements: Vitamin D supplements can help meet your needs if dietary intake is insufficient.

Foods to Include in Your Diet

Lean Protein

Protein is essential for maintaining muscle mass and supporting metabolism. Including lean protein sources in your diet can help with weight loss and support thyroid health.

Chicken Breast: Skinless chicken breast is low in fat and high in protein.

Turkey: Lean turkey is a good source of protein.

Fish: Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel provide protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

Plant-Based Proteins: Beans, lentils, and tofu are good plant-based protein sources.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are rich in fiber, which aids in digestion and helps regulate blood sugar levels. They also provide essential vitamins and minerals.

Oats: Oats are high in fiber and can help keep you full.

Quinoa: Quinoa is a complete protein and a good source of fiber.

Brown Rice: Brown rice is a whole grain that provides fiber and nutrients.

Barley: Barley is high in fiber and supports digestive health.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They should be a staple in your diet for weight loss and overall health.

Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are nutrient-dense and low in calories.

Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are high in antioxidants and fiber.

Cruciferous Vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts support detoxification.

Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber and vitamins.

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are essential for hormone production and overall health. Including healthy fats in your diet can support thyroid function and aid in weight loss.

Avocado: Avocado is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats.

Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds provide healthy fats.

Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fats.

Fatty Fish: Salmon and mackerel provide omega-3 fatty acids.

Foods to Avoid

Soy Products

Soy can interfere with thyroid hormone production and absorption. Limiting soy products in your diet can help improve thyroid function.

Tofu: Limit intake of tofu and other soy products.

Soy Milk: Choose alternative milk options like almond or oat milk.

Edamame: Avoid consuming large amounts of edamame.

Processed Foods

Processed foods are often high in unhealthy fats, sugar, and salt, which can hinder weight loss and negatively impact thyroid health.

Fast Food: Avoid fast food and fried foods.

Sugary Snacks: Limit intake of cookies, cakes, and candies.

Processed Meats: Avoid processed meats like sausages and deli meats.

Packaged Snacks: Limit consumption of chips, crackers, and other packaged snacks.


Some individuals with hypothyroidism may benefit from a gluten-free diet. Gluten can trigger inflammation and may affect thyroid function.

Wheat: Avoid wheat-based products like bread and pasta.

Barley and Rye: Limit intake of barley and rye products.

Gluten-Free Alternatives: Choose gluten-free grains like quinoa, rice, and oats.

Cruciferous Vegetables in Excess

While cruciferous vegetables are healthy, consuming them in excess can interfere with thyroid function. Moderation is key.

Broccoli: Enjoy broccoli in moderation.

Cauliflower: Limit intake of cauliflower.

Cabbage: Eat cabbage in moderation.

Brussels Sprouts: Avoid excessive consumption of Brussels sprouts.

See Also: What To Eat With Brown Bread For Weight Loss

Lifestyle Tips for Weight Loss with Hypothyroidism

Regular Exercise

Exercise is essential for weight loss and overall health. Regular physical activity can help boost metabolism and support thyroid function.

Cardio: Engage in aerobic exercises like walking, running, or cycling.

Strength Training: Include strength training exercises to build muscle mass.

Yoga: Practice yoga to improve flexibility and reduce stress.

Consistency: Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.

Adequate Sleep

Getting enough sleep is crucial for weight loss and thyroid health. Lack of sleep can affect metabolism and hormone levels.

Sleep Schedule: Maintain a regular sleep schedule.

Sleep Environment: Create a comfortable sleep environment.

Relaxation: Practice relaxation techniques before bed.

Avoid Stimulants: Limit caffeine and electronic device use before bedtime.

Stress Management

Stress can negatively impact thyroid function and weight loss efforts. Managing stress is important for overall health.

Mindfulness: Practice mindfulness techniques like meditation and deep breathing.

Hobbies: Engage in activities that you enjoy and that help you relax.

Social Support: Spend time with friends and family.

Professional Help: Seek professional help if stress becomes overwhelming.

Regular Medical Check-ups

Regular medical check-ups are important for monitoring thyroid function and overall health. Work with your healthcare provider to manage hypothyroidism and support weight loss.

Blood Tests: Regular blood tests to monitor thyroid hormone levels.

Medication: Take thyroid medication as prescribed.

Dietitian: Consult a dietitian for personalized dietary advice.

Thyroid Specialist: Work with a thyroid specialist for comprehensive care.

Sample Meal Plan for Weight Loss with Hypothyroidism


Oatmeal with Berries: Cooked oats topped with fresh berries and a drizzle of honey.

Green Smoothie: Blend spinach, banana, almond milk, and a scoop of protein powder.

Mid-Morning Snack

Greek Yogurt: A serving of Greek yogurt with a handful of nuts.

Fruit Salad: A mix of fresh fruits like apple, orange, and kiwi.


Grilled Chicken Salad: Grilled chicken breast on a bed of mixed greens with olive oil and lemon dressing.

Quinoa and Veggie Bowl: Cooked quinoa with roasted vegetables and a sprinkle of feta cheese.

Afternoon Snack

Hummus and Veggies: Carrot sticks, cucumber slices, and bell pepper strips with hummus.

Apple Slices with Almond Butter: Apple slices dipped in almond butter.


Baked Salmon: Baked salmon fillet with a side of steamed broccoli and sweet potato.

Turkey and Avocado Wrap: Lean turkey slices, avocado, lettuce, and tomato wrapped in a whole grain tortilla.

Evening Snack

Chia Pudding: Chia seeds soaked in almond milk, sweetened with a touch of maple syrup.

Dark Chocolate: A small piece of dark chocolate for a treat.


Losing weight with hypothyroidism can be challenging, but a balanced diet that supports thyroid function and promotes overall health can make a significant difference. By incorporating nutrient-rich foods, avoiding certain triggers, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, individuals with hypothyroidism can achieve their weight loss goals and improve their quality of life. Regular medical check-ups and working closely with healthcare providers are essential for managing hypothyroidism effectively. Remember, each person’s body is unique, so it’s important to find a personalized approach that works best for you.


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