How to Lose Weight if I Have Hypothyroidism?


Hypothyroidism, underactive thyroid or slow thyroid is a hormonal problem in which the thyroid gland, the one that produces the thyroid hormones, reduces its activity so it produces less of these. These hormones are mainly responsible for growth and regulate the body’s metabolism. Therefore, one of the main symptoms and problems of this disease is weight gain and the difficulty of controlling it.

As we know how complicated it can be, in we give you a series of tips that will help you if you are wondering how to lose weight if I have hypothyroidism. Take note of them and talk to your doctor before putting them into practice.

What is the relationship between hypothyroidism and weight gain

According to Mayo Clinic, the main symptoms of hypothyroidism are the following:

  • Increased weight
  • Dry Skin
  • Swollen face
  • Fatigue
  • Greater sensitivity to cold
  • Muscular weakness
  • Constipation
  • Reduction of heart rate
  • Hoarseness
  • High level of LDL cholesterol
  • Muscle pain and stiffness
  • Joint pain, stiffness, and swelling
  • Irregular or more abundant menstruation
  • Weakening of hair
  • Depression

In addition, according to this same clinic, hypothyroidism also produces many more problems, such as enlarged heart, goiter problems and it has also been shown that hypothyroidism affects fertility, among many other aspects. However, in this article, we focus on the weight gain that is really difficult to control, since it is one of the main problems that affect those who suffer from this thyroid problem, both physically and psychologically.

Focusing now on the relationship between hypothyroidism and weight gain, according to the American Thyroid Association, this is that the basal metabolism is diminished by the lack of thyroid hormone and the body works much slower when metabolizing or processing nutrients and other substances. This produces a clear tendency to increase weight, which can range from mild to severe depending on the type of hypothyroidism since the body begins to store fats, salts, and liquids with great ease.

That is why many people who suffer from this condition wonder how to lose weight hypothyroidism and go to their doctors to find the solution and seek additional advice to achieve it. For this reason, in the next few lines, we will try to resolve this doubt as clearly as possible.

How much weight can I lose by treating hypothyroidism?

If you wonder how much weight you can lose if you have hypothyroidism, you will be interested to know that the American Thyroid Association that really the weight gain associated with an underactive thyroid is between 2.5 kg and 5 kg and that this condition really affects more than the retention of salt and water than fat. Therefore, when it is possible to regulate the levels of thyroid hormone and, especially if the diet is taken care of, it is possible to recover the weight prior to the appearance of hypothyroidism, losing a maximum of about 5 kg, generally. Keep in mind that it will cost you less to lose weight if you have subclinical hypothyroidism, the milder, than if you have one of its most severe forms.

If there is still a significant overweight or even obesity after this treatment, it is clear that the problem of increased volume and weight is not only due to this thyroid condition. So the doctor will have to continue investigating in each case the possible causes, such as a sedentary lifestyle, an unbalanced diet or other diseases related to basal metabolism.

Treatment with thyroid hormone to lose weight with hypothyroidism

Is thyroid hormone treatment really effective in losing weight if I have hypothyroidism? This is what many people with this slow or underactive thyroid problem are wondering to have ever heard that by dealing directly with the thyroid hormone they lack, the body can be rebalanced and lose weight.

According to the American Thyroid Association, long ago doctors recommended this type of treatment to be effective. It was to give a high dose of this hormone in order to get the body to use it and as a result, the levels were equalized and weight was lost. However, it is not a treatment that can be done for life, since it affects more aspects such as the loss of muscle mass, and it was demonstrated that once this hormone was finished and stopped using the hormone, the patient recovered the lost weight, which It is known as a rebound effect. Thus, today it is not considered a good option to lose weight with hypothyroidism.

How to lose weight if I have hypothyroidism

Now answering your main question “How to lose weight if I have hypothyroidism?”, We inform you that it is only possible to lose weight with treated hypothyroidism, that is, if the condition is not controlled by more efforts you try to do, you will not lose weight, or at least not in a remarkable way in your health.

For example, there are those who when treated with medication such as levothyroxine or eutirox for hypothyroidism manage to lose weight, because the mere fact of regulating the levels of the hormone that is provided already helps them lose weight up to their normal weight. On the other hand, there are other people who, even with the treatment, hardly notice a change in terms of this aspect of health, and they need something more to get out of being overweight or obese.

Once the treatment is effective, or from the beginning of this, if the doctor thinks it necessary, you will have to start putting your efforts in improving the diet and combat sedentary lifestyle with some daily exercise. The endocrine can tell you a diet, probably low in normal salt and high in foods with iodine. We recommend that you try to go to the gym to do cardio and weight exercises adapted to your current condition, do not over exert, as well as incorporate little things into your daily routine such as using more stairs, walking between 30 minutes and 1 hour at a brisk pace, etc.

Additionally, you can reinforce the treatment with lymphatic drainage, a type of massage that will help you eliminate the retention of fluids and fats.

How to eat to lose weight if I have hypothyroidism

When you want to know what to eat and what is not to treat hypothyroidism and regulate your weight, the best thing you can do is talk with your endocrine doctor to make a list of diet to lose weight with hypothyroidism, then you will have some guidelines as they will be more effective if you follow diets or generic plans. Anyway, for you to have an idea, here we show you the good and bad foods for hypothyroidism :

Good foods for hypothyroidism

If you want to know how to lose weight with a slow thyroid through better nutrition, these are foods that you should include in your day to day life. It is mainly foods rich in iodine.

  • Legumes and other vegetables: beans, lentils, fennel, spinach, garlic, and tomato.
  • Cereals and seeds: corn, oats, and seeds or sunflower seeds.
  • Fruits: strawberry, mango, coconut, dates, and apple.
  • Nuts: pistachios and hazelnuts.
  • Spices and herbs: ginseng, hyssop, cinnamon, and ground ivy.
  • Algae: fucus, kelp, and other marine algae.

Foods you should not eat if you have hypothyroidismBoth because they can affect the treatment and worsen the slowness of the thyroid gland, as well as to prevent a return to normal weight, these are foods to avoid:

  • Cereals: millet and wheat.
  • Nuts: nuts, chestnuts, and peanuts.
  • Fruits: grape, orange, figs, lemon, melon, peach, plum, pomegranate and avocado.
  • Legumes: chickpeas and soybeans.
  • Other vegetables: carrots, onions, endives, asparagus, aubergines, potatoes, parsley, peppers, celery, cucumber, cabbage, lettuce, radishes, pumpkins.

The important thing is a diet rich in iodine and low in sugars, salt, simple carbohydrates, and gauze.

How to lose weight with hypothyroidism and menopause

A situation with added complications, but quite common, is how to lose weight with hypothyroidism and menopause. In case you suffer from these two conditions, the weight issue is undoubtedly complicated, since you will probably suffer much more retention of liquids and salts. The keys to weight loss with hypothyroidism and menopause in this case are:

  • Eat properly, taking into account these health conditions. For example, reduce salt consumption.
  • Exercise regularly to combat a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Follow the advice of the doctor and the treatment indicated.
  • Make treatments such as lymphatic drainage to remove fluids if the doctor does not indicate otherwise.


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