Weight Loss Tips for Hypothyroid Moms

Weight Loss Tips for Hypothyroid Moms

“Help! How do I lose weight?”

“Am I the only one who can go to the gym 5 days a week and actually gain weight?”

“Everyone tells me to exercise more and eat less. It’s BS. I never had a weight issue before hypothyroidism.”

I receive these types of statements at Hypothyroid Mom all the time. I too struggled with weight gain that didn’t make sense. There I was a healthy eater who exercised regularly yet the pounds were packing on.

The thyroid helps regulate metabolism so you bet that weight gain is a common symptom of hypothyroidism. Optimal thyroid treatment is essential for maintaining a healthy weight for people with hypothyroidism, but there is more to it.

I reached out to holistic health expert and thyroid specialist Jen Wittman for weight loss tips.

Written by Jen Wittman, CHHC, AADP

For those of us living with a thyroid disorder, keeping the weight off can be a frustrating endeavor. If you have Hashimoto’s, it’s even more of a roller coaster ride with your weight fluctuating up and down ceaselessly.

So what’s a girl to do?

Well, first, it’s important to understand what stands between you and long-term weight loss. Let’s take a brief look at the 5-major players and culprits that could be keeping you from a mirror-friendly figure.


Sugar is pervasive in our American diet and shockingly, it is 4X as addictive as cocaine. When it comes to your body, sugar is pretty much just as bad if not even worse for you considering the inflammation it creates in addition to helping you pack on the pounds. All kinds of foods that you would not associate with sugar have been processed with this other “white powder.” Did you know that everything from taco seasoning to tomato sauce contains added sugars?

Even if you only eat “natural” sugars from fruit, honey, agave nectar, you could be ingesting an enormous amount per day. I am not saying to cut sugar out of your diet forever. Fruits definitely have some health benefits as does raw honey but by eliminating sugar from your diet for a short period of time, you let your body learn to regulate your blood sugar levels, get a better sense of when you’re actually hungry, increase your immune system’s ability to fight off illness and ward off Candida infections.


Who doesn’t love a buttery croissant, a piping hot piece of pizza or a comforting piece of chocolate cake? I know I do. In fact, my last meal on this planet will be a steaming plate of biscuits and gravy, this I know for sure. However, your waistline does not like grains and in fact, your body converts grains to sugar as well. SUGAR! Argh.

Stress & Cortisol

We all know that stress releases cortisol but how does that affect your ability to lose weight? Well, cortisol sets off a cycle of releasing glucose from your tissues. This, in turn, signals your body to store fat – not cool! When you’re chronically stressed, you’re releasing a steady stream of cortisol into the system. This makes your body think it needs to protect itself so it directs the body to store fat in your abdomen (good lord!) and around your organs. Also, when cortisol signals the body to release glucose, your insulin levels will begin to rise. After repeating this cycle over-and-over again, you could develop insulin resistance which brings me to my next point….

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance just really stinks all around. It is a signal that your body is not processing sugar well and that some of your cells do not have the ability to respond to insulin – a key factor in how glucose gets stored as fat.

Basically, insulin allows the cells to open and take in glucose to store as fat. This fat is then converted into the energy the body needs to function properly. When cells don’t open the door to allow glucose in, your body is signaled to create more insulin to help prop that door open. The big issue here is that now, your body has too much insulin in the blood and it has nowhere to go. So glucose has no option but to sit on your front stoop (your abdomen and organs) as fat until your cells decide to open the door….which won’t happen if the blood sugar imbalance cycle continues. This makes it hard for your body to burn fat as fuel for energy. It’s busy burning the sugar in your body but not the pesky fat sitting around your waist.

Leptin Resistance

Leptin seems to be all over the media these days but what is it? Leptin is a powerful hormone which tells your brain what to do – it signals whether you should be hungry or not, need to eat to produce more fat or if it’s time to maintain and repair the body. Leptin starts the conversation between your fat stores and your brain to discuss energy levels and where the energy should go. It helps regulate hunger signals, tells the body whether to store fat or if it’s time to burn some.

Like insulin resistance, leptin resistance occurs when there is too much continuous exposure to leptin itself. This happens when you eat a diet high in sugar, grains and processed foods. When all that sugar gets metabolized in your fat cells, the fat will release a surge in leptin…and the cycle continues. Sugar – again! This is why following an anti-inflammatory, low-sugar, low-grain/carb diet is important for overall health and weight loss.

Steps to use to stop the cycle?

Honestly and lovingly look at your diet

After taking a thorough health history and reviewing blood work, one of the first things I do with my Thyroid Loving Care clients, is perform a diet assessment and have them complete a food journal. Looking at all of these factors paints a pretty clear picture of what might be stalling weight loss and exacerbating symptoms. Without knowing your unique set of symptoms, there are some basic things that all thyroid sufferers can do to help keep the pounds at bay.

Say sayonara to your sweet tooth

You will not believe how fast the weight can come off when you limit your sugar intake. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever eat anything sweet again. It just means you can help your body recalibrate your taste buds to enjoy more of the foods that nourish you and less of the sugary foods that leave you heavy and inflamed. Although, I tailor sugar detox plans for some of my clients, I heartily recommend Diane Sanfilipo’s 21-Day Sugar Detox or Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar. They work!

Take the Paleo Plunge

By far, I’ve found a Paleo or Paleo-like diet to be the most successful in helping my clients lose weight. While there are other diets I use to repair the body and balance hormones, the Paleo diet is effective at helping a person balance blood sugar and reverse insulin and leptin resistance. It’s also quite delicious and easy to do.

As with anything, a Paleo diet can be taken to the extreme. What I have found that works best for general weight loss and overall health are meals consisting of 75% – 80% vegetables (a mixture of cooked, raw and fermented), 10-15% protein, 10% high quality fats (from olives, avocados, coconut oil or olive oil) and a small portion of nuts/seeds or even rice. This is a Paleo-like diet and it’s also quite Mediterranean. There is a lot of conflicting information about what is and isn’t considered Paleo so I just use my common sense and eat meals that are balanced for me and works for my clients. My body knows if it needs some grains and I honor my body’s natural intuition. You can too!

Here are just some great resources for adopting a Paleo or Paleo-like lifestyle. There are loads and loads of fabulous websites and cookbooks out there on Paleo/Grain-free/GAPS living. Type in any of those search terms and you’re sure to find many more.

Against All Grain

website againstallgrain.com

cookbook Against All Grain

Paleo Mom

website thepaleomom.com

cookbook The Paleo Approach – Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body

Mark’s Daily Apple

website marksdailyapple.com

cookbook The Primal Blueprint

Nom Nom Paleo

website nomnompaleo.com

cookbook Nom Nom Paleo

Deliciously Organic

website deliciouslyorganic.net

cookbook The Grain-Free Family Table

Autoimmune Paleo

website autoimmune-paleo.com

cookbook The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook: An Allergen-Free Approach to Managing Chronic Illness

Elana’s Pantry

website elanaspantry.com

cookbook Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry

Organic Spark

website organicspark.com

cookbook Back to Butterblank

Paleo Plan

website paleoplan.com

cookbook The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Paleo

Paleo Non Paleo

website paleononpaleo.com

cookbook The Modern No-Nonsense Guide to Paleoblank

De-stress on a daily basis

This is one of the most overlooked methods for weight loss. When you’re stressed, you are sending a continuous stream of cortisol into the body which as we learned above, is a major no-no for weight loss. It’s imperative that you build in time for you to just breathe and relax each and every day. Your body deserves it and you do too!

Sample Menu Plan

I wanted to show the breadth and variety of a Paleo or Paleo-like menu plan so the daily menu samples below are quite diverse. When I create a custom-menu plan for a client, it involves the efficient use of all ingredients throughout the week for time-friendly, budget-friendly recipes and grocery lists.

Day 1

Breakfast: Smoked Salmon, Avocado, 2 brazil nuts, handful of seeds, fresh fruit

Snack: Veggie Medley, Baba ganoush, Green juice

Lunch: Tuna and Egg Salad over Greens

Dinner: Crockpot BBQ Brisket, Veggies and a Salad

Day 2

Breakfast: Almond-Banana Pancakes, bacon, 2 brazil nuts

Snack: Olive tapenade with seed crackers, Green juice

Lunch: Savory carnitas with kimchi over salad and a side of sautéed vegetables

Dinner: Warm chicken and root vegetable soup with avocado

Day 3

Breakfast: Egg, veggie and sausage frittata muffins, 2 brazil nuts, choco-banana smoothie

Snack: Power-packed Morning Glory Muffins, Green juice

Lunch: Grilled Salmon, Roasted Butternut Squash, Salad

Dinner: Italian meatballs in tomato sauce over yellow & green zucchini ribbons and a salad

About Jen Wittman, CHHC, AADP

Jen Wittman is a Certified Holistic Health Expert, Chef, Author & Vitality Coach, who teaches people how to heal thyroid and autoimmune conditions naturally at Thyroid Loving Care.

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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. Dorothy Rogers says

    Hi my name is Dorothy I read some of those story’s I have a bad thyroid I had the surgery gastric sleeve done like 4\ 5 year’s ago I was close to 300 lbs I got down to 173lbs but now today im starting to gain it all back im at 208lbs all I can do is cry I have loss of energy and tiredness I fight with depression and anxiety and obesity this is a terrible for the people who have a thyroid people don’t look as a thyroid conditions all people look at it being your just FAT !!! and you eat a lot all I been doing is crying and how bad I look again this moring I call my doctor who did my gastric sleeve surgery at UC Heath all I do is cry please help me I just know im going gain all my weight back I pray someone out there can help me I go to a thyroid doctor on the 15th of February I pray they will help me I hate having to live my life this way it is so difficult and terrible for people who have a thyroid people need to here more about thyroid and not just your FAT !!! and we eat to much this is so terrible condition if anyone out there who fight this can help me !!! 😭😭😭

  2. Ann Strickland says

    Do you make a profit from any of the supplements or vitamins you listed?

  3. Amy Hathaway says

    All of these ideas are great. What do you do though when you can’t get off the couch to make all this stuff. When your joints ache and your levels are fine. When you are so exhausted from not eating much all day ( it’s just to much work) , and working 50 hours a week. How do I do all this. I had a cancer diagnoses over 2 years ago, I still feel awful, and I keep reading all these great ideas. Then I think about doing them and it exhausts me thinking about it. I really need some help .

  4. What about alcohol?

  5. Alina Smith says

    Nice article its very helpfull thanks for sharing

  6. Is there any websites out there that have something for daily weekly meals because my wife and I have no idea what to put together for her that she might like. We really need some help we don’t know what to do she is getting so depressed by gaining so much weight and it’s happening quickly. We’ve been married for 26 years she has had three children and we are struggling with having kids in the house and trying to figure out a good menu plan . Please help I don’t want to lose my wife I’m a man that desperately needs the love of his life .

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