Health & Nutrition
July 16, 2021
• Updated on
9 Aug

Thyroid Diet Strategies For Weight Loss That Actually Work

The thyroid gland, located at the base of your neck, regulates metabolic function. And when your thyroid is out of sync, it results in weight gain. Some common signs that all is not well with your thyroid include:

  • Feeling very tired
  • High heart rate
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling cold or overheated 
  • Difficulty focusing or concentrating 
  • Hair loss
  • Anxiety
  • Weight loss
  • Weight gain

Weight gain is one of the most telling signs that you may have a thyroid problem.

One of the best things you can do for your overall health and weight loss is to get treated for hypothyroidism and find a thyroid diet for weight loss that works for you.

Here’s a closer look at how you can manage this sudden weight gain with a thyroid diet for weight loss. 

What Is Thyroiditis?

Before we outline the right thyroid diet for weight loss, we need to understand the condition.

Thyroiditis is a condition that affects 1–2% of people worldwide and is ten times more likely to affect women than men. Many cases of hypothyroidism are caused by the immune system attacking and damaging the thyroid gland.

There are two types: hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is a condition that occurs when the body doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone — versus hyperthyroidism, where your body makes too much of the thyroxine hormone. 

Depending on the severity of your symptoms and with regular monitoring, you are put on medication and advised to get on a diet that works towards helping your medication become more effective. In milder cases, diet and lifestyle modification is enough to manage the disorder, and in some cases, reverse the symptoms effectively.

Getting diagnosed is of the utmost importance - if your thyroid is under-active, not receiving the right treatment at the right time can make weight loss almost impossible, even with diet and exercise. The longer you put off your diagnosis after seeing the symptoms, the more weight you are likely to gain. So, looking for the signs and getting them diagnosed is the first step, followed by setting the right thyroid diet for weight loss. 

The key to a thyroid diet for weight loss is in eating foods that will boost your metabolism, which has become sluggish due to an under-active thyroid.

Below, we chart out a thyroid diet plan for weight loss that highlights what foods to eat and avoid.

Carbohydrate Intake

Most people with thyroid issues should aim for a no to low carbohydrate diet as part of their thyroid diet for weight loss.

Excessive carbs and foods that are high on the glycemic index, like maida, can increase inflammation in the body.

Aim for complex carbs and starchy vegetables and legumes as part of your thyroid diet for weight loss.

Protein Intake

Higher protein is prescribed as part of a thyroid diet for weight loss by many medical practitioners.

Studies suggest a higher-protein diet of 1.2 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of ideal body weight for women with hypothyroidism.

The best way to up your protein intake is to build your meals around protein, and include lots of fresh vegetables and whole grains. Use healthy cooking fats like olive and avocado oil if you can.

Mineral Intake

Taking the right minerals in the right quantity - especially iodine - can help manage thyroid issues.

There is a strong between iodine and thyroid function. Excess iodine can put you at risk for hypothyroidism - but so can an iodine deficiency. You must test your iodine levels, especially if you feel you are getting too much or too little of it.

This is a factor in setting the right weight loss diet for thyroid patients. 

Other minerals which should be part of your thyroid diet for weight loss include selenium (which you can consume from eggs, tuna and legumes) and zinc (found in oysters, chicken and amaranth.)

These minerals support the conversion of the T4 hormone to the active T3 hormone.


Gluten Intake

Gluten has received quite a bad rap in the past decade, some of which is right and some just alarmist. But studies do show a link between a person’s sensitivity to gluten and celiac disease and the onset of certain autoimmune conditions, like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Some patients have reported significant weight loss when they shifted to a gluten-free diet. You can opt for brown rice, quinoa, and use locally available gluten-free flours like besan and incorporate them into your meals.

Soy Intake

Soy should be avoided, or consumed in very limited quantities as part of your thyroid diet for weight loss. This is due to the fact that soy contains plant oestrogens or phytoestrogens, which may inhibit the activity of enzymes that help in the production of thyroid hormones.

So this means avoiding all kinds and forms of soy - from soy sauce to soy nuggets, tofu, soy milk and other packaged products which may contain soy.

Meal Timing

Changing the timing of your meals - to either intermittent fasting or small, frequent meals - may help as well. Intermittent fasting diet generally means limiting the time during which you eat.

This could range from alternate-day fasting to periodic fasting or daily time-restricted feeding. Another approach that may be effective is the small meal or grazing-all-day approach.

You can also limit your eating to two or three meals per day with no snacks in between and no food after 8 pm as this approach may help stimulate fat burning and help regulate hunger hormones.


Exercise is one of the most important aspects of weight loss. Cardio is important for people with thyroid to maintain their weight loss since the condition affects the functioning of muscles.

People with hypothyroidism can lose weight, but they have to invest in more resistance and cardio than the average person.

Women with hypothyroidism will experience abnormal muscle function, which means they'll have a harder time building and maintaining muscle, even after they start treatment. 2-3 strength training workouts per week are essential.

The Right Diet With NBL (Nutrition By Lovneet)

Hormonal imbalances like hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are rampant today - largely due to our stressful lifestyles, grab-and-go eating habits, poor quality food and lack of exercise. These imbalances are not your fault - it’s a reflection and result of the environment we live in.

But diet can help alleviate and reverse some of the problems.

At Nutrition By Lovneet, we teach you how to lose weight with thyroid with the right combination of foods. We analyse the triggers of your imbalances and through nutrition, establish a system to make sure your enzymes work better - so that everything falls into place and your thyroid issues disappear. We will put you on a thyroid diet plan for weight loss that tackles the issue with metabolism-boosting foods. 

After you book a consultation with us, we will assess your physical health based on your blood reports and medical prescriptions. Based on your underlying medical conditions (if any) and thyroid, we will design a program to heal and manage everything, with meal plans that will nourish your body and make you feel more energetic.

We create a thyroid diet for weight loss after assessing your daily routine, food preferences, lifestyle and budget, and we make sure to include foods you enjoy so you don’t feel deprived. 

If you would like to learn more about our thyroid care and hormone balancing programs, visit or write to us at 


What foods slow down your thyroid?

Foods with a high glycemic load like refined carbs, processed foods and refined sugar can make your more sluggish. These foods should not be part of your thyroid diet for weight loss.

What is the best drink for thyroid?

Drinks which kickstart your metabolism are great for thyroid. Lemon water in the morning and green tea through the day can help. You should make these low-caffeine natural drinks part of your thyroid diet for weight loss.

Can thyroid cause belly fat?

Even mild cases of hypothyroidism may increase your risk of weight gain and obesity, and often, people with the condition report having a puffy face and excess weight around the stomach or other areas of the body. Fried foods, processed foods and sugary foods should be kept out of any  kind of thyroid diet for weight loss, whether you are looking to target the belly or any other part of your body. 

How can I lose weight fast with hypothyroidism?

In order to achieve your weight loss goals, you must follow a tailored weight loss diet plan for hypothyroidism. Include leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, seed, and zinc-rich legumes like peas, lentils, chickpeas, and beans.

You should also include mineral-rich seafoods like tuna. If you don’t eat seafood, you can have spinach and sweet potatoes. Combining a diet rich in these foods along with proper exercise is one of the best things you can have for hypothyroidism weight loss.

Can walking reduce thyroid?

Relying solely on walking or brisk walking is not going to help. Thyroid requires much more than that. You need to make diet and lifestyle changes, perhaps go on medication and other forms of treatment, and stick with a diet that helps make that medication more effective. Exercise is important as well, and walking can be one form of exercise for your thyroid problem. Walking should be a part of your regimen along with your thyroid diet for weight loss.

Which exercise is best for thyroid?

Gentle exercises like walking, tai chi, water aerobics and yoga are great for thyroid. You should also do some form of strength training. Yoga is one of the best exercises for thyroid. Plow pose, cat-cow pose, boat pose, camel pose, and cobra pose are good for thyroid. These yoga poses should be combined with your thyroid diet for weight loss for best results. 

Lovneet Batra
Lovneet Batra is a clinical nutritionist with over a decade of experience treating patients and educating people on the benefits of a healthy diet. One of Delhi’s most sought-after nutritionists...
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