The thyroid gland plays a crucial role in regulating our metabolism, energy levels, and overall well-being. When it isn’t functioning optimally, it can lead to various health issues, including weight gain or difficulty losing weight. Today, we will discuss the relationship between thyroid health and weight, discuss foods to include and avoid in your diet, provide a sample meal plan, and offer some thyroid-friendly exercises to help you on your weight loss journey.
Understanding The Thyroid Gland
Before delving into the specifics of thyroid-related weight management, it’s essential to understand the thyroid gland’s role in our body. The thyroid gland produces hormones, primarily thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which regulate metabolism and energy production. When thyroid hormones are imbalanced, it can lead to either hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) or hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid).
Hypothyroidism and Weight Gain
Hypothyroidism is related to weight gain. When the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, it can slow down your metabolism, making it easier to gain weight and harder to lose it. Other symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, cold intolerance, and dry skin.
On the other hand, hyperthyroidism can cause unintended weight loss due to an overactive metabolism, increased appetite, and muscle weakness.
5 Foods to Include for Thyroid
Maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for managing thyroid health and weight. Here are some thyroid friendly to include in your diet:
Iodine rich foods
Iodine is a vital mineral that plays a very important role in thyroid function. It regulates various bodily functions, including metabolism. However, it’s important to note that while iodine is essential, excessive iodine intake can also be harmful.
Here are some iodine rich foods that can help support thyroid health
- Seafood: Fish especially cod, tuna and shrimp are good sources of iodine.
- Seaweeds: Kelp,nori, wakame and other seafoods are exceptionally high in iodine
- Dairy Products: Milk, cheese and yogurt often contain iodine and it’s commonly added to these products during processing.
- Iodised salt: Many table salts are fortified with iodine, making it a simple way to increase your iodine intake.
- Eggs: Eggs contain moderate amounts of iodine.
- Baked Potatoes: Potatoes can be a decent source of iodine, especially when eaten with skin.
- Prunes: Dried prunes are a good source of iodine.
- Cranberries: Fresh or dried cranberries contain iodine.
Selenium rich foods
Selenium is another essential mineral that plays a significant role in thyroid health, particularly in the conversion of thyroid hormones. Selenium helps the body convert the less active thyroid hormone T4 into the more active form, T3.
Here are some selenium rich food that you can incorporate into your diet:
- Brazil Nuts: Brazil nuts are the richest source of selenium. Just 1 brazil nut per day can provide you with your daily selenium requirement.
- Lean Meat: Meats such as chicken, turkey and lean beef are good sources of selenium.
- Eggs: Eggs contain selenium and they are versatile and easy to include food in your diet.
- Sunflower seeds: Sunflower seeds are a good plant based source of selenium.
- Whole grains: Whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat and oats contain selenium.
- Dairy products: Some dairy products, such as milk and yogurt, contain selenium.
- Spinach: Green leafy spinach contains selenium and can be a part of thyroid diet.
- Legumes: Beans, lentils and peas are plant based sources of selenium
Lean Proteins: Protein supports muscle health, which is vital for a healthy metabolism. Opt for lean meats, poultry, fish, and plant-based protein sources like tofu and legumes.
Fruits and Vegetables: A diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Focus on colorful, nutrient-dense options.
Complex Carbohydrates: Choose whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and oats to maintain steady energy levels.
3 Foods to Avoid in Thyroid
Certain foods may interfere with thyroid function and should be limited or avoided:
- Soy: Soy contains compounds that can interfere with thyroid hormone production. Limit your soy intake, especially if you have hypothyroidism.
- Cruciferous Vegetables: While they’re generally healthy, raw cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower can interfere with thyroid function when consumed in large quantities. Cooking them can reduce this effect.
- Processed Foods: Highly processed foods often contain unhealthy fats and excessive salt, which can exacerbate thyroid issues and contribute to weight gain.
Thyroid Weight Loss Diet Plan
Here’s a sample meal plan designed to support thyroid health and promote weight loss:
- Day 1 Coriander Tea – Soak 1 tsp of coriander seeds in water overnight. Next day, warm the water and consume on an empty stomach and handful of nuts
- Day 2 – Same as Day 1
- Day 1 A Toast with Avocado and Eggs
- day 2 Daliya cooked with veggies, spices and herbs
- Day 1 Quinoa chicken salad
- Day 2 Oats Khichdi
- Day 1 Carrot sticks with hummus + 1 Brazil nut
- Day 2 Roasted Makhana
- Day 1 A bowl of Pumpkin soup with Egg whites
- Day 2 Grilled Chicken with Stir fry veggies
Hear from Our Client
Sumati Gandhi, from Canada, enrolled for our Disease Management Program and here is what she has to say after losing 30 pounds at Fitness with Nidhi
Maintaining a healthy thyroid and achieving weight loss is possible with the disease management program. You can support your thyroid health and work toward your weight loss goals by including thyroid-friendly foods in your diet, avoiding potential triggers, following a balanced meal plan, and engaging in regular exercise.