Hypothyroidism can cause struggles with weight. Hormones change our metabolism, and a hallmark of hypothyroidism is the inability to lose weight.
Fat-loss pills, skinny tea and shakes promising weight loss flood our social media platforms as weight loss tools, but are these really safe for you and your hypothyroidism?
4 Tips for Managing Weight with Hypothyroidism
With hypothyroidism, the key to healthy weight loss isn’t found in the keto diet, skinny tea or apple cider vinegar shots. Check out these tips below if you’re struggling to reach your weight goals:
Some research supports trying a very-low-calorie diet to move past plateau in weight loss. This is a temporary process lasting for a maximum of 5 days and usually involves reducing your total calories to 1200 -1500 per day. While calories are low, nutrients are high as this diet typically focuses on vegetables and lean meats. This approach is best taken under direct physician and dietitian supervision, if you restrict calories too much you may actually decrease your thyroid function further!
Lift Heavy To Slim Down
Hypothyroidism changes our muscle. Researchers hypothesize that it is actually the hormonal changes that affect skeletal muscle, but seem to agree that maintaining and adding muscle mass may be more difficult for those with hypothyroidism. More muscle mass = faster metabolism, so don’t shy away from weight training. Cardio is helpful for weight loss, but training and building muscles will help you sustain weight loss long term.
PRO TIP: New to weights? Start low and slow with 3-5 pound weights for 10-15 repetitions. If your workout isn’t a challenge, time to pick up heavier weights!
Get Enough Protein
Protein is your golden macronutrient when trying to lose weight. Getting enough protein helps with satiety, meaning you won’t be hungry every hour. Also, eating enough protein can help support and build strong muscles.
Aim for 1.5-2 grams per kilogram of your ideal body weight per day! Shoot for 4-6 ounces of protein (the size of the palm of your hand or slightly bigger) per meal to hit your macro goals!
My favorite proteins are chicken, tuna, turkey, lean cuts of steak, pork, chickpeas, and lentils.
- 4 Essential Supplements to Support Thyroid Health
- Lifestyle Tips for Managing Thyroid Disorders
- Thryoid: Controlling Hormones Essential to Your Metabolism
- Understanding the Science Behind Metabolism
Caroline is a Clinical Registered Dietitian for MedStar Health and Hospital Systems in Baltimore, Maryland. She completed her Masters Degree in Dietetics from San Jose State University and moved back to Charm City to be with her fiancee. When she’s not providing medical nutrition therapy to her patients, Caroline enjoys cooking, waterfront walks and crab-anything (crab pizza is the best!).