6 Weight Loss Tips for Hypothyroidism

An underactive thyroid gland or hypothyroidism can slow down the metabolism and make weight loss challenging. Undoubtedly, healthy food, regular exercise and certain lifestyle changes are key factors in weight loss, but if you have hypothyroidism, it can be harder to lose weight. Making a few dietary changes and taking proper treatment for hypothyroidism is extremely important if you want to lose weight successfully.

Hypothyroidism can cause symptoms like weakness, fatigue and weight gain due to water and salt retention. This can severely impact your ability to exercise. Here are some easy tips which would make your weight loss journey with hypothyroidism manageable.

1. Increase Fibre and Protein Intake

Hypothyroidism can make you tired and you are more likely to crave foods with high sugar content. Eating more fibre-rich foods can have many health benefits for people with an underactive thyroid. Fibre takes longer to digest and makes you feel full. This limits your intake of unwanted foods and lowers your cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Hypothyroidism can also slow down digestion and cause chronic constipation. Fibre-rich foods can help in regulating your bowel movements and aid in proper digestion. Increasing your fibre intake can definitely help you in weight loss as well as provide many health benefits in a long term.

Diets low in protein may contribute to an underactive thyroid and inhibit its functioning. Moreover, protein may help increase metabolism and reduce hunger so that you can burn more calories and minimise the desire to overeat.

2. Eat More Anti-inflammatory Foods

Joint aches, pains and depression may occur in people who have hypothyroidism and increasing the intake of anti-inflammatory foods may soothe the immune system. According to health experts, an anti-inflammatory diet can support the adequate intake of essential nutrients and control excessive inflammation which is required for the healthy functioning of the thyroid gland.

You can include more leafy green vegetables, fruits, tomatoes and nuts as they are recommended foods to fight inflammation. An anti-inflammatory diet can also decrease the burden on the liver to metabolise highly processed foods and aid in faster metabolism. A healthy liver can contribute to the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and combat hypothyroidism.

3. Keep a Food Journal or a Food Diary

A food journal can help you in mindful eating as it helps you to understand the foods you have consumed. You can be more mindful of what you consume each day and manage your diet accordingly to avoid certain foods and drinks that may increase your hypothyroidism. A food journal or a food diary can help you to −

  • Determine if you are eating too little or too much in a day

  • Remember what you have eaten

  • Check when you felt hungry and adjust your eating habits

  • Keep a check if you are eating unhealthy foods and that too out of boredom instead of hunger

  • Achieve your weight loss goal

A nutritionist may help you with a chart of foods that can help to minimise hypothyroidism and design a proper diet plan. You can do the entries in your food diary and check if you are able to follow the diet plan or not. Additionally, you can record the difficulties you encounter while following the diet plan and discuss the same with your nutritionist. This strategy may help in weight loss and managing your hypothyroidism efficiently.

4. Stay Physically Active

Regular exercise and a healthy diet are essential for weight loss. An increase in physical activity can work in conjunction with a balanced diet and help you to lose weight. You can devote 30 minutes every day and do regular exercise for at least five days a week to aid your weight loss journey in hypothyroidism. Swimming, walking, running, jogging, cycling and brisk walking are some of the exercises which you can include in your workout plan.

Start your workout regime with these easy-to-do exercises and move on to include some other cardio exercises as your body gets physically active. You can include some resistance training exercises like lifting weights, pushups, squats and using resistance bands. Consult your doctor before starting any new physical activity or a workout regime and decide on suitable levels of exercise. You can then share the same with your trainer and design a workout plan accordingly.

5. Reduce Your Stress

Stress can contribute to weight gain and result in obesity in many individuals. Researchers have not yet found a direct link between stress and hypothyroidism, but stress management may help in weight loss and maintaining weight. Some of the effective methods to reduce stress are yoga, breathing techniques, talk therapy or psychotherapy, meditation and regular exercise.

Sleep is another important factor which can help you manage your stress and boost weight loss. Sleep deprivation can slow down metabolism, develop obesity and make you more vulnerable to chronic health ailments like heart disease or diabetes. Ensure that you get at least seven hours of sleep each night if you are aiming for weight loss.

6. Take Thyroid Medicines as Directed by Your Doctor

Thyroid medication should be taken on an empty stomach in the morning. You should not have your breakfast for at least 30 to 60 minutes after taking the medicine. Weight loss in hypothyroidism could be a challenge if you are not taking the medicine properly. If there is no effect on the thyroid levels even after taking your medicine regularly, you need to consult your doctor and adjust the treatment.

Some medicines which are prescribed for thyroid-related symptoms or other health conditions may cause weight gain. Some anti-inflammatory steroids, antidepressants, mood stabilizers or beta-blockers may cause weight gain and hinder your weight loss process. Consult your doctor immediately if you are taking any other medicines for other ailments and try to understand if those medicines are obstructing your weight loss. Your healthcare provider can prescribe some other medicine that may not cause weight gain and ease your weight loss journey.


Safe weight loss in hypothyroidism is a combination of lifestyle changes like eating healthy meals on time, indulging in regular exercises and incorporating a balanced diet. Additionally, one must keep a check on thyroid hormone levels regularly. Untreated hypothyroidism is going to make your weight loss journey difficult and hence, you must consult a doctor and treat your hypothyroidism if weight loss is your aim.