The Best Diet for Weight Loss with an Underactive Thyroid

Are you struggling to manage your weight with an underactive thyroid? Discover the best diet for you to lose weight healthily and effectively. You’ll be surprised to see the results!

Quick facts: Best Diet For Weight Loss With Underactive Thyroid

  • ✅ Eating smaller meals more often can help people with hypothyroidism lose weight. (Mayo Clinic)
  • ✅ Consuming foods high in fiber, such as fruits and vegetables, can help with weight loss. (Mayo Clinic)
  • ✅ Consuming protein-rich foods, such as beans, nuts and lean meats, can help reduce cravings. (Healthline)
  • ✅ Limiting intake of processed foods, added sugars and trans fats can help promote weight loss. (Healthline)
  • ✅ Consuming foods high in iodine, selenium and zinc can help support thyroid function. (Harvard Health Publishing)

Understanding Your Thyroid

Having an underactive thyroid can impact how your body metabolizes food leading to slower weight loss. It’s important to understand the basics of how your thyroid functions and what it needs to stay healthy in order to make sure you are following the best diet for weight loss with an underactive thyroid. Let’s take a closer look.

What is an Underactive Thyroid?

An underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism, is a medical condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. It is most commonly caused by problems with the pituitary gland, an organ in the brain that releases hormones to control other organs. It can also be caused by an autoimmune disorder or iodine deficiency.

The most common symptom of an underactive thyroid is fatigue and weight gain due to slowed metabolism. Other symptoms include dry skin, constipation, hair loss, brittle nails and decreased sex drive. People with an underactive thyroid may also experience depression and difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly.

In order to properly treat this condition, it is important to follow a healthy diet tailored to the individual’s needs. Eating smaller meals more often throughout the day can help avoid blood sugar spikes that lead to fatigue and weakness. Eating foods rich in iodine (such as shellfish) and selenium (such as Brazil nuts) can help regulate the body’s production of thyroid hormone. Additionally, eating plenty of leafy green vegetables high in fiber can help maintain regular bowel movements and minimize constipation common among people with hypothyroidism.

Symptoms of an Underactive Thyroid

An underactive thyroid, also known as hypothyroidism, is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones to keep up with the body’s needs. Symptoms of an underactive thyroid can vary from person to person, but some common signs can include fatigue, weight gain or difficulty losing weight, intolerance to cold temperatures and dry skin or hair. Other signs may be depression or anxiety, constipation, and changes in menstrual cycles.

If you suspect you may have an underactive thyroid it is recommended that you consult your doctor who will likely run tests to confirm the diagnosis and prescribe any necessary medication. Once diagnosed with an underactive thyroid it is important to modify your diet in order to help boost metabolism and help with weight loss.

Foods that are high in iodine like seafood and dairy are recommended as well as eating a balanced meal every three hours which will help keep energy levels steady throughout the day:

  • High iodine foods such as seafood and dairy.
  • Eating a balanced meal every three hours.

Nutrition for Weight Loss

Nutrition plays an essential role in weight loss for individuals with an underactive thyroid. Eating a balanced diet that meets your individual nutritional needs is key to managing your thyroid condition and achieving your weight-loss goals. Certain nutrients, such as iodine, selenium and zinc, play an important role in helping regulate your metabolism and thyroid hormone production. Therefore, it’s important to incorporate foods rich in these nutrients into your diet.

Let’s look at some of the best foods to eat when trying to lose weight with an underactive thyroid:

Increase your intake of iodine-rich foods

People with an underactive thyroid often need to increase their intake of iodine-rich foods to ensure their daily intake is sufficient. Iodine helps build thyroid hormones, which are important for a healthy metabolism, maintaining a healthy weight and body composition.

Foods rich in iodine include:

  • Seafood (shrimp, cod, haddock)
  • Seaweed
  • Green beans
  • Dairy products such as yogurt or milk

Eating these foods can be beneficial in supporting weight loss when combined with regular exercise and other lifestyle changes. It’s important to talk to your doctor before making any major changes to your diet, especially if you have an existing health condition or taking medication.

Increase your intake of selenium-rich foods

Selenium is an essential mineral for proper thyroid function. It helps to convert the inactive form of thyroid hormone, known as T4, into the active form, or T3. When someone has an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism, their selenium stores can be low and supplementation may be necessary.

Foods rich in selenium include Brazil nuts, sardines, oysters, shrimp and lean cuts of beef and pork. Additionally, high-selenium grains like wheat germ and oats can help improve selenium levels in those with a decreased ability to absorb mineral nutrients from food sources. Selenium is also found in plant-based foods like asparagus and cabbage.

For individuals with an underactive thyroid who are trying to lose weight through better nutrition, increasing their intake of selenium-rich foods can help ensure that their bodies are able to adequately convert T4 into T3 which will support efficient metabolism and weight loss goals.

Increase your intake of zinc-rich foods

Zinc is an important micronutrient for people with an underactive thyroid, as it can help to regulate hormones. Increasing your intake of zinc-rich foods may help to improve thyroid health and support weight loss.

Some of the best sources of zinc include:

  • Shellfish such as oysters, crab, and lobster;
  • Fortified cereals and breads;
  • Legumes like lentils and chickpeas;
  • Nuts such as almonds and cashews;
  • Eggs;
  • Red meats; and
  • Dark leafy greens like spinach.

If you have an underactive thyroid, talk with your doctor about whether supplements are right for you. Consuming too much zinc can lead to side effects such as nausea so it’s best to speak with a healthcare provider before taking any supplementation.

Diet Plan

If you have an underactive thyroid, then it can be difficult to lose weight. It is important to follow a healthy diet plan to enable weight loss. The diet plan should include an adequate amount of lean proteins, healthy fats and carbs.

Additionally, foods that are high in iodine are especially beneficial for those with an underactive thyroid. Let’s look at the best diet for weight loss with an underactive thyroid.

Choose a low-carbohydrate diet

Choosing a low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss with an underactive thyroid is an effective way to manage the condition and achieve desired results. A low-carbohydrate diet shifts the body’s energy source from carbohydrates to fat and ketones, which can help manage weight and reduce inflammation. This type of diet also helps to regulate blood sugar levels, boosts metabolism, and increases energy levels.

When choosing a low-carbohydrate diet for an underactive thyroid, it is important to be mindful of nutrient needs. Whole foods such as lean proteins, healthy fats, non-starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits should form the foundation of the diet. It is important to ensure adequate intake of iodine by including seafood in your meal plan. Additionally, eating plenty of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower helps increase the production of thyroid hormone while also helping provide essential dietary fiber. Lastly, other key nutrients such as iron and selenium are found in foods like meat, shellfish and eggs that support healthy thyroid function.

Increase your protein intake

In order to increase weight loss for those with an underactive thyroid, it is important to focus on increase your consumption of lean protein. Consuming lean proteins at every meal provides the body with necessary amino acids that help maintain muscle mass and promote metabolism. Examples of good protein sources include fish, poultry, legumes, eggs and dairy products.

Consuming a balanced amount of protein with carbohydrates can also help to maintain a steady blood sugar level throughout the day that prevents hunger and cravings. Increasing the amount of lean protein in your diet can therefore help you achieve better results when trying to lose weight with an underactive thyroid.

Increase your intake of healthy fats

Including healthy fats in your diet is essential for proper thyroid function and overall health. Healthy fats in your diet should come from natural sources like avocados, olives, nuts and seeds, and cold-pressed oils like coconut or olive oil.

Omega-3 fatty acids are especially beneficial for people with an underactive thyroid. These fatty acids are found mainly in fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, sardines, and anchovies as well as walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkins seeds and hemp hearts. Eating foods or taking supplements rich in omega-3s may also help to reduce inflammation which can also contribute to hypothyroidism.

It’s important to balance your intake of omega-3s with omega-6s such as those found in vegetable oils like soybean oil or canola oil to avoid an unbalanced ratio of these two essential fatty acids.


When it comes to weight loss with an underactive thyroid, supplements can play an important role in helping to attain your health and fitness goals. Supplements can help to ensure that you are getting the proper vitamins and minerals necessary to aid in weight loss.

We’ll discuss some of the best supplements for weight loss with an underactive thyroid:

Take a multivitamin

Taking a daily multivitamin is an important part of maintaining overall health when dealing with an underactive thyroid. As the thyroid gland is responsible for regulating the body’s hormone levels, when it becomes underactive it can cause a number of issues, such as fatigue and weight gain.

A multivitamin provides essential minerals that help to regulate hormones, as well as improving overall health and wellbeing. It’s best to choose a formulation that includes iodine, selenium, zinc and tyrosine – these are all nutrients which are known to support the function of the thyroid. Taking a multivitamin daily may help reduce symptoms associated with hypothyroidism, such as low energy levels and weight gain.

Take a thyroid support supplement

Having an underactive thyroid can cause weight gain, and losing weight with this condition can be difficult. To help you achieve your weight loss goals, consider taking a thyroid support supplement.

These supplements usually contain ingredients such as iodine, selenium, and zinc, which have been found to benefit people with hypothyroidism. They also often feature B-complex vitamins because those vitamins are necessary for proper thyroid hormone metabolism. Other ingredients might include green tea extract, ginseng root extract, ashwagandha root powder and other herbal extracts thought to help improve energy levels and support healthy thyroid function.

Taking a thyroid support supplement can make managing hypothyroidism easier by providing essential nutrients your body needs to boost energy levels and aid in metabolism.

Take an omega-3 supplement

Taking an omega-3 supplement can be beneficial to those with an underactive thyroid who are trying to lose weight. Omega-3 fatty acids help keep the body lean and healthy, increase metabolic rate and reduce inflammation. They are found in foods like salmon, flaxseeds, walnuts, and chia seeds.

An omega-3 supplement can also help increase the body’s sensitivity to thyroid hormone, helping it to work more effectively. Additionally, research has indicated that omega-3’s may help protect against autoimmunity associated with the development of the condition.

For best results, it is important that an omega-3 supplement is taken in combination with a healthy diet rich in fruits & vegetables and adequate exercise. As always, it is best to consult a doctor about taking any type of supplement when dealing with any health condition.


Exercise can be a valuable tool in achieving your weight loss goals. It can help boost your metabolism, burn off excess calories and fat, and improve your overall health. However, when you have an underactive thyroid, it is important to understand how to properly exercise to get the best results.

Here, we will discuss the different types of exercise that are beneficial for those with an underactive thyroid:

Incorporate aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise like running, cycling, swimming or even walking can help reduce weight and elevate mood. When it comes to people with an underactive thyroid, it is very important to combine aerobic exercises with strength training. This type of exercise is beneficial for stimulating metabolism and burns calories, leading to improved energy levels and weight loss.

The intensity and duration of the exercise routine should be gradually increased depending upon the individual’s fitness level. It should not be rushed as this may lead to exhaustion or injuries. Additionally, aerobic exercise helps with keeping weight off since it builds lean muscle mass that helps burn more fat while sleeping. Therefore, incorporating aerobic exercise into an underactive thyroid diet plan can help lose the extra pounds while keeping your body healthy and energized.

Incorporate strength training

Strength training is an important component of any weight loss plan and is especially important if you have an underactive thyroid. Strength training not only helps to build muscle, which in turn helps to burn fat, but it can also increase metabolism and enhance the body’s ability to convert food into energy. It’s important to note that moderate strength training is best for those with hypothyroidism as intense workouts can make symptoms worse.

A good place to start is with basic exercises like push-ups and squats using your own bodyweight. As your strength increases, try incorporating other exercises such as lifting weights or using resistance bands for added challenge. Aim for at least two days a week doing strength training that covers all muscle groups. With consistency, you will begin to see improvements in both your overall health and weight loss goals.

Incorporate stretching and relaxation exercises

Incorporating stretching and relaxation exercises into your daily routine can be beneficial for weight loss when dealing with an underactive thyroid. Stretching can improve blood circulation as well as reduce muscle tension and soreness. It can also help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, which can further help with weight loss.

Relaxation exercises such as yoga, tai chi, meditation, deep breathing techniques, and guided imagery can help the body to relax more deeply than traditional stretching exercises. These activities are important for helping to lower cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that is released when the body is under stress and it has been shown to increase appetite, making it more difficult to keep up with a healthy diet plan for weight loss.

FAQs about: Best Diet For Weight Loss With Underactive Thyroid

Q1: What is an underactive thyroid?

A1: An underactive thyroid, also known as hypothyroidism, is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough of the hormones needed to regulate metabolism.

Q2: What is the best diet for weight loss with an underactive thyroid?

A2: Eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly are important for weight loss with an underactive thyroid. Eating foods high in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and avoiding processed and high-sugar foods can help. Additionally, increasing your intake of foods rich in iodine, selenium, and zinc can help support optimal thyroid hormone production.

Q3: What supplements can help with an underactive thyroid?

A3: Certain supplements, such as iodine, selenium, zinc, and probiotics, may help support the production of thyroid hormones and improve thyroid function. However, it is important to speak to a doctor before taking any supplements.

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