Diet and Weight Loss Tips for Thyroid Patients

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Here are some surprising tips that can help you finally tackle your weight loss frustrations and get on track, as well as several diet and weight loss secrets to help you win the battle against excess pounds.

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Losing weight can be a frustrating process for many people with an underactive thyroid. Whether you have hypothyroidism or no thyroid after surgery or radioactive iodine (RAI) treatment, there’s no question that for many of us, the thyroid affects metabolism and can make weight loss an uphill battle.

There is no one best thyroid diet , but making a significant change to your diet is usually necessary in order to successfully lose weight when you have a thyroid condition. What type of diet to follow, however, depends on your unique physiology, food sensitivities, ability to absorb nutrients, and how effective your body is at metabolizing, storing, and burning carbohydrates, among other factors. The key is to try different ways to lose weight, and when you find something that’s working, stick with it.

If your thyroid is underactive , a lack of treatment, or insufficient treatment, may make weight loss almost impossible, despite diet and exercise. Keep these factors in mind in order to stay on top of your treatment:

Just because your numbers are in the normal reference range doesn’t mean that they’re optimized for you personally. Everyone is unique and you may need a different level than someone else. If you’re still experiencing symptoms, it’s time to have a conversation with your practitioner about optimal hypothyroidism treatment . And if your doctor is only interested in getting you to the “normal” range, then it’s time for a new doctor .

In terms of weight loss, relief of symptoms, and overall good health, for many thyroid patients, it’s not enough for your doctor to diagnose hypothyroidism and hand you a prescription. More than standard treatment, you may need optimal treatment to ensure that your cells are getting the oxygen and energy they need to allow your metabolism to do its job.

Try Metabolism-Boosting Exercise

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For many thyroid patients, calorie restriction or even a diet overhaul isn’t enough to allow for weight loss. Hypothyroidism can lower your metabolism, which means you need fewer calories, making it more difficult to cut enough calories to generate significant weight loss. One of the most important things you can do to

raise your metabolism

is exercise. Working out helps make your metabolism more efficient by burning calories and fat, reducing blood sugar levels, and balancing weight-loss promoting hormones such as leptin.

If you want to lose weight, you’re going to need to do more exercise than you might expect. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), healthy people of normal weight need at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity (or some combination of the two) every week

to maintain weight

and avoid excess gain. If you’re hypothyroid and want to lose weight, you may need to do more than an hour a day of exercise.

Some thyroid patients highly recommend a muscle activation and muscle-building DVD workout program called T-Tapp. Other patients have found walking, Pilates, lifting weights, and other forms of exercise effective. If you have to prioritize which type of exercise to do, consider strength training and exercise that builds muscle for the maximum metabolic benefits.​

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