Hypothyroidism: Weight Gain and What Foods Will Help

Hypothyroidism: Weight Gain and What Foods Will Help

It is ultimately caused by hypothyroidism as much weight gain as we think? Also, are there foods that can regulate our gland function better than others?

The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, just in front of the trachea.

One of its main functions is to produce hormones that help regulate the body’s metabolism (the process that converts food into energy). These hormones are called triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).

By hypofunction of the thyroid gland, we define the reduced or non-existent production of these hormones, which can slow down many physiological functions of the body.

Some typical symptoms of hypothyroidism are fatigue, decreased average metabolic rate (BMR), weight gain, depression, sensitivity to cold, dry skin, increased hair loss, and muscle aches.

Is hypothyroidism fattening?

Since a hypothyroid person’s BMR is reduced, an underactive thyroid is generally associated with some weight gain, which is often greater in people with more severe hypothyroidism.

However, the decrease in BMR due to hypothyroidism is usually much less dramatic than the observed weight gain. In other words, the decrease in metabolic rate due to hypothyroidism does not lead to as large changes in weight as one might think.

The cause of weight gain in a hypothyroid person is more complex and not always related to excessive fat accumulation. Most of the extra weight gained in hypothyroid people is due to sodium and water retention.

In general, the weight gain that an untreated hypothyroid patient can expect ranges from 5 to 10 pounds, depending on the severity of the hypothyroidism. It should also be noted that if weight gain is the only symptom observed, then it is less likely that the weight gain is solely due to gland dysfunction.

How much weight can I expect to lose once my hypothyroidism is treated?

Treating the abnormal condition of hypothyroidism with thyroid hormones results in a return of body weight to what it was before the condition developed. Since hypothyroidism usually develops over a long period of time, it is quite common not to see significant weight loss after successful treatment of hypothyroidism.

As mentioned above, much of the weight gain in hypothyroidism is due to sodium and water retention. Consequently, what one can expect when hypothyroidism is treated is a small (usually less than 10% of body weight) weight loss.

But even if the observed weight loss is not significant after normal thyroid hormone levels are restored, the ability to gain or lose weight is the same as that of people without thyroid problems. Thus, by following a balanced nutritional plan and increasing our physical activity, we can lead to the desired results.

Can hypothyroidism be prevented?

There is no way to prevent an underactive thyroid. Most cases are caused either by the immune system attacking the thyroid gland and destroying it (the famous Hashimoto’s syndrome that Gigi Hadid suffers from), or by damage to the thyroid that occurs during certain treatments for overactive thyroid or thyroid cancer .

The only treatment for hypothyroidism is daily drug therapy that replaces the hormones that the thyroid cannot produce.

Are there “good” and “bad” foods for those with hypothyroidism?

Although claims for hypothyroid diets abound, there is no evidence that eating or avoiding certain foods will improve thyroid function in people with hypothyroidism. In other words, there is no specific diet for hypothyroidism.

However, adequate dietary intake of iodine, as well as some other components, is considered necessary for the normal functioning of the gland.

Below you will find some good sources of nutrients that your thyroid loves and… that feeling flows both ways!

Yogurt & Milk

Dairy products are excellent sources of iodine, containing an average of 85 mcg of iodine per cup (NIH). However, the amount of iodine in dairy products varies. Also note that plant-based beverages used as milk substitutes, such as soy and almond beverages, contain relatively small amounts of iodine.

Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts contain another nutrient that helps regulate thyroid hormones: selenium. Selenium may help prevent long-term thyroid damage in people with thyroid-related problems, research data supports.

Chicken and Beef

White and red meat are good sources of zinc. Zinc is another essential thyroid nutrient, as our body needs it to make thyroid hormones. Zinc deficiency may occur in hypothyroidism, as the thyroid hormones that normally help absorb the metal are absent or produced in insufficient amounts.

Fish and Seafood

Since iodine is found in seawater, fish is another good source of this nutrient, according to the American Thyroid Association. Of interest are scientific data that support that people who live in remote, mountainous areas without access to the sea are particularly at risk of developing hypothyroidism.

As for seafood, shellfish such as lobster and shrimp are excellent sources of iodine as well as zinc.


Deserving of the title of superfood, a large egg contains about 16% of the daily iodine and 20% of the daily selenium we need. He noted that much of this iodine and selenium is found in the yolk.

What to avoid

Foods with a high salt content such as fast food, various standard commercial foods as well as foods that have undergone a lot of processing. The reason is that these products promote water retention which in itself is a big capital in hypothyroidism.

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