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How to Lose Weight with an Extremely Slow Thyroid

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 07/02/2024

Struggling with slow thyroid weight loss can be incredibly frustrating. Many people with hypothyroidism or who've had their thyroid removed feel like they're doing everything right but still not seeing results.

It's a common problem, but don't lose hope—there are effective strategies to overcome this.

Let's explore what works when your metabolism seems to be working against you. We'll discuss insightful, actionable approaches backed by years of clinical experience and research.

These aren't quick fixes, but sustainable methods to help you lose weight, even with a sluggish thyroid.

Understanding Slow Thyroid Weight Loss

Thyroid hormones are crucial in regulating your metabolism. When your thyroid is underactive, it slows down your body's ability to burn calories and fat. This makes weight loss more challenging than for someone with a normally functioning thyroid.

The thyroid gland influences almost every cell in your body, controlling your metabolism, heart rate, and digestion. When thyroid function is low, these processes slow down, making weight gain easier and weight loss harder.

This is where natural supplements can play a role in supporting healthy thyroid function.

Common Symptoms of Slow Thyroid Weight Loss

If you're dealing with slow thyroid weight loss, you might experience:

  • Unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight

  • Fatigue and low energy levels

  • Feeling cold, even in warm environments

  • Dry skin and brittle nails

  • Constipation

  • Depression or mood changes

  • Muscle weakness

These symptoms can make weight loss feel impossible. But understanding the root cause is the first step toward finding solutions. Consider incorporating eat healthy fats into your diet to support thyroid hormone production.

The Most Effective Strategy for Slow Thyroid Weight Loss

Many approaches tackle slow thyroid weight loss, but changing your body's primary fuel source is particularly effective. This involves transitioning from

glucose (sugar) to ketones (fat) as your main energy source.

Why is this important? When your thyroid is underactive, your body struggles to burn glucose for energy. Ketones provide a more efficient fuel source, bypassing some metabolic roadblocks caused by thyroid issues.

This is where a healthy diet rich in healthy fats and low in simple carbohydrates comes in.

Hungry woman waiting to eat

Implementing Ketosis and Intermittent Fasting

To make this transition, you'll focus on two techniques:

  1. Ketosis: This metabolic state occurs when your body primarily burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. It involves reducing your intake of simple carbohydrates like white bread and sweet potato.

  2. Intermittent Fasting: This eating pattern involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting.

Together, these approaches can jumpstart your metabolism and overcome slow thyroid weight loss. A healthcare provider can help determine the right approach for your specific needs.

Step-by-Step Guide to Overcoming Slow Thyroid Weight Loss

Transitioning to a ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting requires a gradual approach. Here's a step-by-step guide:

Week 1-3: Establish a Solid Foundation

Start by eating three meals a day with no snacking. This might seem simple, but it's crucial. Every time you eat, you stimulate insulin production, which can interfere with fat burning. Limiting your eating to three meals gives your body more time to tap into fat stores.

During this phase, focus on:

  • Eating nutrient-dense, whole foods

  • Incorporating healthy fats into each meal

  • Gradually reducing your carbohydrate intake

  • Staying hydrated with water and electrolytes

Week 4-6: Transition to Two Meals a Day

After the first three weeks, reduce your eating frequency to two meals daily. This could mean having a late lunch and early dinner. This approach allows your insulin levels to drop significantly between meals, which is key to overcoming slow thyroid weight loss.

Tips for this phase:

  • Make your meals larger and more satisfying

  • Continue to focus on low-carb, high-fat foods

  • Consider adding sea kelp to your diet for iodine support

  • Incorporate selenium-rich foods like Brazil nuts

Week 7 and Beyond: One Meal a Day (OMAD)

This is a powerful step for combating slow thyroid weight loss. Eating one large, nutrient-dense meal daily can be incredibly effective. It allows extended periods of low insulin, promoting fat burning, and metabolic healing.

Key points for OMAD:

  • Make your meal as nutrient-dense as possible

  • Get adequate protein, healthy fats, and low-carb vegetables

  • Consider thyroid-supporting supplements under a healthcare provider's guidance

  • Listen to your body and adjust as needed

This approach isn't about starving yourself. Your one meal should be substantial enough to provide the nutrients your body needs. Eating healthy, getting enough fiber intake, and managing stress hormone cortisol are important for overall health.

Supporting Your Slow Thyroid Weight Loss Journey

While diet is crucial, consider these factors when dealing with slow thyroid weight loss:

Exercise Considerations

For those with thyroid issues, high-intensity, short-duration exercises are often most beneficial. This boosts metabolism without overtaxing your system. Consider incorporating exercises like:

  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

  • Weightlifting with shorter, more intense sessions

Remember, the goal is to support your body, not stress it further. Engaging in regular physical activity can also help improve thyroid hormone levels.

Stress Management

Chronic stress can worsen thyroid issues, making weight loss harder. Prioritize stress-reduction techniques such as:

  • Deep breathing exercises

  • Regular sleep hygiene

  • Engaging in hobbies or activities you enjoy

Managing stress can also help regulate hormone levels, including the stress hormone, cortisol. High levels of cortisol can contribute to weight gain, especially thyroid weight.

Importance of Proper Thyroid Medication

If you're on thyroid medication, ensure you're taking it correctly and that your dosage is appropriate. Regular check-ups with your healthcare provider are crucial. Sometimes, adjusting your medication significantly impacts your weight loss efforts.

It's also important to discuss any other medications you're taking with your doctor, such as birth control, as they can sometimes interfere with thyroid function. By addressing potential medication interactions, you can optimize your thyroid health and weight management.

perfectly cooked salmon with garnish

Thyroid Boost

Expert tips such as optimizing iodine intake, managing stress, and incorporating regular exercise are key to revving up your metabolism. Nutrition plays a crucial role, and a salmon bowl can be a perfect addition to your diet.

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and selenium, salmon supports thyroid function and overall metabolic health. Pairing it with a variety of vegetables and healthy fats creates a balanced, nutrient-dense meal that can aid in weight loss efforts.

By integrating these expert tips and enjoying meals like a salmon bowl, you can effectively boost your thyroid health and achieve your weight loss goals.


Overcoming slow thyroid weight loss is possible with a strategic approach. Transitioning to a ketogenic diet, implementing intermittent fasting, and gradually working towards one meal a day effectively jumpstarts your metabolism and promotes fat burning.

This journey is about optimizing your health and well-being.

Don't be discouraged if progress is slow at first; your body needs time to adapt. Stay consistent, listen to your body, and seek support from healthcare professionals.

With patience, persistence, and by making gradual changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can achieve your weight loss goals, even with a slow thyroid.

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