Navigating Hypothyroid Weight Loss While In Lockdown

Navigating Hypothyroid Weight Loss While In Lockdown

I’ll never forget the day that I posted this nutritionist’s first guest article for Hypothyroid Mom. My social media channels literally lit up like a Christmas tree. Her article How To Lose Weight When You Are Hypothyroid consistently ranks in the top ten most viewed pages on my site and I know why. She is hypothyroid, just like us, and she gets real about one of the most infuriating symptoms of this disease – that darn hypothyroid fat – even through a pandemic that feels like a horror movie written by Stephen King and directed by Quentin Tarantino.

Written by Sophie Anson

Many of us are finding it hard to remember a carefree life before March 2020. I do recall having a Valentine’s lunch with two girlfriends in February. At that time Covid was still as remote a concept as: “Have you heard?” Had you told us we’d be wearing masks for everyday activities months from then, that gyms would be closed, free weights sold out online, we wouldn’t have believed it. At that time we were still dressing up, wearing nice suits, heels, blowing out our hair or putting on a tie or pair of jeans. Being in shape – appearances for others – still mattered. 

My husband and I have been complaining to each other that our bodies are starting to look like balloons three days after the party: deflated, neglected, less-than-taut. As far as weight management goes, we’re trying, but apparently not hard enough. We’re running and throwing our body weight around, heaving ourselves up and down sandy dunes and encouraging each other to do another set of push-ups, another plank. It’s not working.

We are also far more sedentary: housebound; inactive; waiting. Our dog, a 4 lb. chihuahua, needs to be walked, but not far. Our workouts can’t make up for the fact that largely, we sit around all day on zoom calls… or just sit around, waiting for news. He doesn’t struggle with thyroid issues, but I do, and have the added anxiety related to worrying about whether I’ll be able to fill my prescription. I keep Googling: “Does worrying about hypothyroid related weight gain contribute to hypothyroid related weight gain?”

I was reading the other day that a surfer off the coast of Australia got attacked by a great white shark who bit off his arm. The surfer punched the shark in the nose (presumably with the other arm), told the animal to “F— off”… and the great white did just that. When I read this, I thought: “That’s the right attitude! This is someone who is fighting for himself, not for appearances, but because he wanted to get back on his surfboard. He had waves to catch. He wasn’t about to be distracted. I would have surrendered. This guy thought: “I have the other arm left, and I’m going to use it.”

If Covid has done anything to the world of weight loss, it has disrupted our sense of direction, our motivation, our willpower, and our WHY.  What I keep hearing again and again from my clients is: “I’m just not sure I have a reason to lose any more”… “ I’m not even seeing people”… “no one is seeing me”… “I’m in sweatpants all day” and what it really it boils down to is….“at this point, who cares?”

So, how do we tackle this general sense of apathy? How do we overcome the feeling of impending doom and prevent ourselves from slipping into an all-you-can-eat-buffet mentality?

Problem: At this point who cares?

Answer: You do. This has, and always will be true: you are doing this for you. This has never been and never will be for anyone else but yourself. If you were getting in shape for someone else, you were bound to lose steam eventually.  If that was the case, redefine your WHY. Reestablish your reasons for wanting to do this. Weight management can never be about other people. Good health is a GREAT reason but tends to be hard to grasp. Superficial reasons are 100% ok. No one needs to know what they are but you. You can always have a back-up, public reason such as “clear skin” or “heart health” when what you actually privately mean is “I want to look really, really good in a tight pair of jeans”. Your best resource? YOU, your best friend, that one person who is super honest with you and has your back without judgement.

Problem: No access to the gym

Answer: If you can find a yoga mat and two sets of weights you’re good to go. Four gallon water-jugs with handles filled with sand at varying levels will do in a pinch. Can’t find those either? Resistance bands or simply your own body weight. There are unlimited FREE online workouts available. For those of you who foolishly think – as I did – that you won’t be challenged, OH MY G-D. Think again.Though I consider myself in relatively decent shape, I felt my eyeballs rolling back into my head 11 minutes into the first half hour. I have never been so challenged in my life, not with triathlons, not with weights. And I’m LOVING it. Not least, the part which means it’s over with so quickly in the privacy of my own home.

Problem: No idea what to eat

Answer: Start somewhere and stop trying to tackle the whole problem at once. You don’t need a degree in nutrition, you just need to nail three good breakfasts on rotation, four or five easy lunches, and four or five simple dinners. You don’t need to learn how to cook – not really. And you don’t even really need to understand why you’re putting those meals together just yet (although it’ll DEFINITELY help you stick to the plan long term if you do, so more on that later). For now, just research the basics, and write them down. Again, you’ll be able to find all this online for free. Keep Googling “weight management diet plans” and keep mixing and matching until you create several days that feel realistic. Include snacks. If you’d rather outsource, hire someone to do the heavy lifting for you. So many online resources are free, online meal plans are free. Google nutritionists near me or online. Are you willing to work with a student? You could get a significant discount if they are training with you or just starting out. 

Problem: I’m exhausted, possibly depressed, and so tired. I could be deficient in something, but can’t get to a doctor to get tested.

Answer: You might be deficient in something, but until you are tested err on the side of caution and don’t start supplementing unnecessarily. Here are some of the basics you may want to consider: If you’ve been dieting, consider a multivitamin to cover your bases. If you work indoors, consider 2,000 IU vitamin D. If you have ever taken antibiotics, or suffer from gas, constipation, bloat or irregular bowel movements, take a pre/probiotic with a minimum of 15 billion CFUs and a broad spectrum of probiotic strains. If you want to lose body fat, look for a probiotic containing lactobacillus rhamnosus like the probiotic Losers’ Chews that I created to help my clients shed unwanted weight. If you want an added boost to weight loss and better digestion, try apple cider vinegar chewables before meals. l If you are struggling with insomnia, consider 1 mg melatonin 1.5 hours before bedtime (careful with melatonin: less is more). What to avoid? Avoid “Fat Burner” pills as these often contain (unproven) ingredients that will make your heart race and will make you feel much worse.

Problem: Family falling apart/friends are unsupportive/say it’s all in my head

Answer: Ignore them, without telling them you’re doing so. If they pushback against your efforts, ask, “How can I make this easier you?” If they say you’re boring, no fun, or annoying you can say, “This won’t be forever. This is just something I need to try for now.” Often, family and/or friends feel alienated or abandoned when we go off on a quest for better health fearing they’ll be left behind. There’s a genuine concern that things will change “forever”. It helps to remind them that this is just “for now” even if you intend it to be forever. There’s no sense in rubbing it in, and odds are you’ll inspire them to join you along the way, so it won’t matter. Be kind, because pushback is ALWAYS rooted in insecurity, and we have all been on the other side of that feeling ourselves. Remind your family and friends: “This doesn’t change who I am. I still love you, and I hope you still love me and will support me.” If they don’t or won’t – time to quietly move on and find a group of friends who will.

Problem: I’ve gained so much weight already, and am feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of starting over, again

Answer: One. Day. At. A. Time. There are so many people like me, like you: uncertain, unsure, but hoping. My advice is this: the more you explore, follow and immerse yourself in following others and reading about their success stories, the more you will believe. So much of this journey is about suspended disbelief, hope and believing in possibility. One has to have faith that what we hope for CAN come true – otherwise, there is nothing to work towards. Really visualize what you want and spend lots of time imagining yourself getting there. Spend time looking up people like you online, on Instagram, on Facebook, who have successfully completed the journey – other 55-year-old men with hypothyroidism who lost 150 pounds, other 46-year-old women with 4 children who lost 60 pounds, other 35-year-old women who have battled depression, hypothyroidism and lost 80 pounds. Find them, and know you can, too.

My Ten Weight Loss Gems


No matter what else you do, you can’t go wrong implementing the following:

  1. Drink 120 oz water a day. (If you weigh over 220 lbs make that 140 oz.)
  2. Get. Enough. Sleep. Find a way and make it a priority. You will not lose weight if you are not sleeping enough, so figure out a way to get 7-8 hours a night.
  3. Eat a primarily plant based diet, focused next on lean, clean hormone-free/pasture-raised/grass-fed/wild protein.
  4. Move every day. Don’t worry so much about “cardio” as MOVEMENT. Walk everywhere. Take the stairs. Carry groceries. Run errands. 
  5. Lift heavy things often.
  6. Aim to eat within a 10 hour window for example 10am to 8pm or 8am to 6pm (or for those of you up late: 12pm to 10pm).
  7. Avoid added sugar – completely.
  8. Avoid gluten – completely.
  9. Keep a food journal for a month. You’ll be amazed at what you eat… yes I know, you think you already know! Write it down and prepare to be amazed at what you discover.
  10.  Be prepared to start over at lunch, in the middle of the afternoon, or half way through dinner. Never wait until “tomorrow” or “Monday”.

About Sophie Anson

Sophie Anson is Co-Founder of NutriSuits as well as Founder of Eatstrong, a multifaceted wellness company in New York City that has helped hundreds of people achieve their personal goals in terms of weight, fitness, health and overall wellbeing. Originally from Switzerland, Sophie came to the US in 1992. Struggling with her own hypothyroid weight, she later obtained her American Council of Exercise certification as a nutritionist.


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I appreciate every share! Thank you.

About Dana Trentini

Dana Trentini founded Hypothyroid Mom October 2012 in memory of the unborn baby she lost to hypothyroidism. This is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for consulting your physician regarding medical advice pertaining to your health. Hypothyroid Mom includes affiliate links including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.


  1. I am 4′. 11-1/2″ and have hypothyroidism, try to lose but it doesn’t work

  2. Paula Schubert says

    Hello Daiquiri
    I am reading your comment and have the exact same problem. My doctor constantly changes my thyroid meds and just doesn’t ever listen. I have been going through this journey for 2 years with no help from any of the doctors I’ve seen.
    I also have hormone issues which my doctor is refusing to treat me for.
    If anyone has any suggestions I would be so grateful.
    I can so relate to you. Paula

    • Wendy Perez says

      Hi Paula,
      My story is the same as your’s. I got in touch with an APRN who ran every lab you could think of for me and found out I was anemic and low vitamin D, B and C. I was always tired and now that I know I’m anemic, that’s why! She also gave me a “booster” to go with my thyroid med. we did all this through telehealth. I finally have answers and am on my way to getting more energy. This APRN specializes in thyroid issues and menopausal issues.

  3. Iam 58 years old I have been diagnosed with hypothyroid for at least 15 years I take dessicated thyroid as it is a natural . It has been working for me but now with my move I have started to gain weight I know I need some vitamins I had high iron so I usually went to blood donor clinic. COVID scared me to stop donating until I feel safe again. Can you suggest any vitamin supplements I should take? I have energy I do 10,000 steps a day and work in a shop. I don’t sit much at all. I would like to get a grip on my weight problem

  4. I had to have my thyroid partially removed due to rapidly increasing size of nodules. Im taking levothyroxine I’m 5.1 my weight 200 pounds , I don’t have sugar, no rice, no pasta no fried food walk 2 miles 4 times a week drink a gallon of water a day and I loose 5 pounds then I gained again

  5. If your having intestine problems get a F.I.T. test done. I had polyps in my 30s which meant in my 40s was a tumor and when it was discovered was stage 4 cancer. Pre and probotics might help but if you have an underlying problem with polyps they are easily removed and you don’t have to have your guts cut apart. I almost died because doctors thought i was too young for colon cancer.

  6. Hi Dana, This is a GREAT article I only wish I read it sooner about the antibiotic “Cipro” greatly suppressing thyroid hormone as I am thyroid-less. I was on Naturethroid when it was recalled and my family doctor gave me Cipro which left me vulnerable for the opportunistic “side effect” of bi-lateral Achilles tendonitis. The Cipro can weaken the tendons throughout the body luckily its mostly effected my Achilles tendonitis, but I have great limitations in walking . My physiatrist said I will recover but it will take a long time . . . . It’s not permanent but most people who get this are miserable for some time :(((
    Thank you for you brilliant resources that can spare many people from unnecessary suffering! Stay well!

    • Hi Diane, I’m sorry to hear all you are going through with Achilles tendonitis. I can only imagine the pain that comes with that condition. I have reacted poorly to antibiotics many times in my life so I have no doubt they are a serious problem for many. Be sure to support your gut microbiome as those antibiotics can also kill off the “good” beneficial bacteria in our guts leaving us more vulnerable to infections. Also what’s not talked about a great deal is that thyroid patients need those good bacteria in part to help convert inactive T4 thyroid hormone to the active T3 hormone. Here is an article about the gut microbiome and what you can do:
      Good to have you at Hypothyroid Mom.

  7. Daiquiri Carter says

    I don’t know what type of doctor to see. I have Hoshimotos and my GP really doesn’t understand. I had a phone consult with an Endocrinologist and I felt like I was being scolded for speaking with her. My GP refuses to check the antibodies that are attacking my thyroid. Isn’t that important? I’m taking different vitamins but don’t know if they are helping. I don’t sleep well at all. I have sleep apnea and insomnia plus narcolepsy. I take a prescription sleeping pill then I take Adderall during the day to stay awake. I just think my whole body is off. Someone suggested a Rheumatologist. Any thoughts?

  8. Hello Ms. Trentini,

    I have been advised to start on NDT because of my low free T3 at 2.8 and weight loss resistance. I am hesitant because of all the negative things I have read about new formulations that do not work, recalls, and other horror stories. I have also heard that these meds can cause severe hair loss. Would you kindly share with us which NDT has worked for you? Was it necessary to add the compounded T3 for weight loss and did you go through a period of hair loss? Your thoughts would be sincerely appreciated. Thank you again.



  9. I started taking Losers’ Chews nearly a month ago at the recommendation of your article. I can’t tell any difference. What should I be looking for?

  10. Linda Shadel says

    I never took my underactive thyroid seriously. It’s been nearly 52 years since I was diagnosed. Thank you for the insight! Now maybe I can get down to the business of losing weight!!

  11. It really is nice to see something for those of us who have extra problems with our weight. I load trailers 10 hours a day at work. Everyone else fit and well toned within g 4 months. Me, 4 years later, still fighting my weight problems. 5’6 155lbs. Can only imagine me without this job. The struggle is unbelievable!!!

    • Linda Upton says

      I can’t imagine that you are fat, my dear. If you are loading heavy things all day you probably have more muscle than fat. Muscle weighs more than fat. At 5’ 6” you probably look great!
      I am 5’3” and at 155 lbs I look good.

    • Hi Tracy, We can exercise all day (wow, you load trailers!) and diet all day and still gain weight if our low thyroid is not well treated. Good to have you at Hypothyroid Mom. Best, Dana Trentini

    • I’m hypothyroid, 5”6.5, I’d be happy to to be 140-150 lbs, so I still have away to go. Not sure what goal weight you’re trying to achieve, but I know 140-150 lbs is a healthy weight for a 5’6” female.

  12. I agree with everything on your list but seriously, that much water is too too much for many people. Listen to your body and don’t drink so much you are bloated. I do well at around 60-70 oz. More then that and I feel awful and yes, I have been a water drinker for 30 years.

  13. I had to have my thyroid removed due to rapidly increasing size of nodules
    I was so concerned about weight gain, my thyroid has been fully functional and then….it was gone
    I Thought what can I do to help myself?
    A week before surgery I quit eating sweets and no cokes at all.
    I asked my husband to get anything sweet out if the house
    I lost almost 9 pounds, added more healthy eating
    It’s been. 2 months and my weight hasn’t changed but I know anything is possible
    I do have a great Endocrinologist
    I’m trying to learn all I can, it’s all new to me! And it’s scary

  14. Stephanie j Beard says

    Thank you for all the insight,

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