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December 24, 2022 7 min read

The thyroid hormone regulates metabolism. That's why having a thyroid disease like an underactive thyroid can make your journey to weight loss become a difficult challenge. But don't lose hope - losing weight is still possible if you use the right approach. 

Here's everything you need to know about hypothyroidism and how to lose weight with hypothyroidism easily!

The Basics of Hypothyroidism

The thyroid gland is a small-sized, butterfly-shaped organ that's located in the front of your neck, just under the voice box or larynx. The main job of the thyroid gland is to control your metabolism. Metabolism itself is a process when your body transforms food into energy, which is important for normal bodily function and maintaining a healthy weight.

The main hormones that the thyroid gland produces are the T4 and T3 hormones. These hormones work throughout your body, telling your cells how much energy you need to use. They also control your heart rate and temperature.

A healthy thyroid function will constantly produce and release hormones, replacing the hormones that've been used. But problems can arise when you have underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism, a medical condition where your thyroid glands can't create and release enough T4 and T3 hormones into your body. This means that you'll have a lower amount of thyroid hormone in your body, affecting its entire function.

Without enough thyroid hormones, your metabolism slows. Thus, you'll quickly experience weight gain. Additionally, this type of thyroid disease will make it hard for your body to tolerate cold temperatures, so you'll quickly shiver and even fall ill. It causes problems with your sinuses, joint pains, and low energy as well, which can get you demotivated to work out. Eventually, a sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise will lead to weight gain.

How does Hypothyroidism Affect Weight?

There is a complex relationship between hypothyroidism, body weight, and metabolism. Metabolism can be easily determined by measuring the amount of oxygen used by your body over a specific amount of time at rest or also known as Basal Metabolic Rest (BMR). If you suffer from low thyroid hormone levels, your BMR test results will come in low numbers. 

Low BMR means that your body needs fewer calories in order to sustain live-giving functions like breathing. It also means that if you suffer from hypothyroidism, you need to take in fewer calories to prevent weight gain. That's why many thyroid patients find it difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

Is Losing Weight Harder with Hypothyroidism?

If you suffer from hypothyroidism, losing weight will not be easy. You may need to eat less because your metabolism is unable to process all the food you consume and transform it into energy, causing you to gain weight. But even though weight gain is common with hypothyroidism, your thyroid is probably not the only culprit. Still, it's a good idea to have your thyroid condition checked.

What is the Best Way to Lose Weight with Hypothyroidism?

Although it's not easy, there are several ways to lose weight if you suffer from hypothyroidism. Here are some ways you can consider:

  • Take thyroid medication as directed to ensure your hormone levels are within normal range. You can take natural desiccated thyroid (NDT) like Armour Thyroid and VitaliThy, or levothyroxine like Synthroid.

  • Cut out simple carbs and sugars.

  • Avoid stressing your body and mind.

  • Eat more fiber-rich food.

  • Exercise regularly.

How Long Does it Take to Lose Weight with Thyroid Medication?

You might be wondering why you're not seeing immediate weight loss after starting your thyroid medication. Well, it's important to remember that hypothyroidism is different for everyone. Plus, it takes time and several adjustments to find the right dosage for you. That being said, once you've found your optimal dose, you may start to stop gaining weight and experience healthy weight loss after about a few weeks of consistent use. Just keep in mind that it's a process, so it's important to be patient.

What is the Best Diet for Hypothyroid Patients?

There is no single "best" diet for hypothyroidism, but here are some things you may want to keep in mind:

Foods to Add to Your Diet

You need to consume foods that contain iodine, zinc, and selenium. These are the minerals that help your thyroid produce its hormones. They can help you maintain healthy thyroid function as well.

Food rich in iodine includes:

  • Whole eggs as your main protein intake

  • Seaweed that's high in fiber

  • Cheese

  • Milk

  • Saltwater fish

  • Iodized table salt

Food rich in selenium include:

  • Tuna

  • Scallops

  • Shrimp

  • Chicken

  • Beef

  • Brown rice

  • Brazil nuts

Food rich in zinc includes:

  • Mushrooms

  • Crab

  • Yogurt

  • Oysters

  • Pumpkin

Foods to Avoid from Your Diet

There are several foods to avoid from your diet since certain nutrients can interfere with your thyroid health. Food that contains high goitrogens, soy, and high in gluten may make your condition worse. Here are the foods you need to avoid:

  • Canned foods

  • Broccoli

  • Cabbage

  • Any food that contains soy

  • Processed foods

  • Fast foods

  • Soda.

Consider Eating Small Portions but Frequently

Thyroid problems like hypothyroidism cause your metabolism to slow down. Therefore, your body is unable to process a higher amount of meals and change them into energy. You can consider eating small portions, but frequently to overcome this problem. Smaller, more frequent meals in your daily eating patterns can aid in a more efficient metabolism process.

Can Regular Exercise Help Hypothyroid Patients Lose Weight?

Having low thyroid hormone levels can have a big impact on your body. If you're looking to get in shape, it's essential that you pay attention to your lifestyle. In addition to thyroid hormone treatment and a healthy diet, regular exercise also plays an important role in helping you lose that extra weight. Participating in a low-impact exercise may help improve your hormone production and relieve other symptoms, including depression and fatigue. 

The Best Exercises for Hypothyroid Patients

Unless your doctor advises you against certain exercises, there are no exercises that are off-limits for you. Here are the best exercises to help you lose weight, support thyroid function, and improve your metabolism:

  • Start slowly by doing low-impact exercises such as walking, yoga, or swimming.

  • Try to incorporate strength training exercises, such as squats and push-ups.

  • Improve your cardiovascular health by cycling and running regularly.

Does Stress Affect Weight Gain in Hypothyroid Patients?

Stress may cause an underlying thyroid condition. Under heavy stress, your body will release cortisol hormone. Too much cortisol hormone can interfere with thyroid hormone production. That's why managing stress is important. Here are some ways you can relieve stress:

Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep gives your body a chance to recover and rejuvenate. Try to get between seven to nine hours of sleep a night to stabilize your hormone levels and reduce existing feelings of stress.


Meditation will affect your body in exactly the opposite way that stress does. By doing meditation, your body will trigger a relaxation response. This will help to restore the body to a calm state, which will stabilize your hormones and prevent damage from the physical effects of stress.

Stay Away from Technology Before Bed

We all love our gadgets and the unlimited access to information and entertainment they give us. But when you hit the sack, winding down with a game of Candy Crush, checking out Twitter updates, or scrolling through TikTok isn't the best way to get ready for a good night's rest. In fact, it will give your body unnecessary stress at night. Checking your gadget will stimulate your brain and delay sleep. Therefore, try to stop using electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

Go Outside

When was the last time you went outside and connected with nature? We get it, life can be hectic, and technology can help us stay connected with friends and family near and far. But it's a good idea to regularly step away from the gadgets and plug into something else entirely – nature! Being outside can help you to alleviate feelings of pressure and mental stress. It may even support your thyroid's hormone production. 

Can Supplements Help You Lose Weight if You Have Hypothyroidism?

There are lots of supplements that are considered healthy if you suffer from hypothyroidism. According to a study, by consuming the right supplements, you might be able to improve thyroid hormone levels, leading you to lose weight. Try to look at some of the supplements that contain the following:


Selenium is a mineral that's important to improve thyroid hormone levels in your body. Consuming a supplement that contains selenium may reduce an enzyme in the thyroid, thus helping you to lose weight.


Try to consume a supplement that contains iodine. This element helps your thyroid to produce T3 and T4 hormones.

Guggul Extract

Daily use of guggul extract will boost your thyroid function and reduce the symptoms of hypothyroidism by increasing T3 and T4 hormone levels in your body.

How to Take Supplement with Thyroid Medication

Supplements that contain iron and calcium will interfere with how your body absorbs thyroid medication. Try to consume supplements at least more than 3 hours apart from your thyroid medication.

What is the Best Way to Take Thyroid Medication for Weight Loss?

Treating hypothyroidism may help you to lose weight quickly. The best way to take thyroid medication, for weight loss or not, is to take it as directed. Keep in mind that you should only use thyroid medication if you have hypothyroidism. Consuming too much thyroid medication may cause hyperthyroidism, a condition where you have excess thyroid hormone, and your metabolism becomes too fast, causing you to lose weight uncontrollably. It causes other dangerous symptoms as well.

It's only recommended to use thyroid medication exactly how your doctor prescribed it, not as a weight loss tool.


How I lost Weight with Hypothyroidism

Is Natural Desiccated Thyroid Better for Weight Loss than Levothyroxine?

There are generally two main options when it comes to thyroid medication: levothyroxine and natural desiccated thyroid (NDT). Levothyroxine, such as Synthroid, is the synthetic form of the thyroid hormone T4. It's the standard treatment of hypothyroidism, so your doctor likely prescribed this medication for you.

NDT, also referred to as desiccated thyroid extract, is a medication that has been used continuously since the early 1900s. It was the first (and at some point the only) available treatment for underactive thyroid. Made from porcine (pig) thyroid glands, this thyroid medication contains both T4 and T3, as well as other thyroid hormones like T2, T1, and calcitonin.

While both medications work effectively and have helped a lot of people with hypothyroidism, a study proved that NDT leads to more weight loss than levothyroxine. Moreover, levothyroxine can sometimes cause paradoxical side effects: you might gain even more weight while using it.

There are many brands of NDT out there, such as VitaliThy, a natural desiccated thyroid you can buy online. VitaliThy has a complex and unique composition, making it effective in managing thyroid imbalance and easing your hypothyroidism symptoms - including weight gain. It helps to boost your metabolism so that you can burn calories faster. So if you're ready to tackle those extra pounds, then VitaliThy should be at the top of your list.

Wojciech Majda
Wojciech Majda

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