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5 Mindset Tips When Struggling With Hypothyroid Weight Loss

A hypothyroid patient shares the approaches that support her hypothyroid weight loss journey.
5 Mindset Tips When Struggling With Hypothyroid Weight Loss
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Weight loss can be a complex and frustrating journey for anyone. But for those battling hypothyroidism – with symptoms like a sluggish metabolism, fatigue, and hormonal imbalances – it can feel almost impossible! 

In 2011, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and eventually diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in 2016. Like so many others with an underactive thyroid, weight gain, and weight loss were among my biggest symptoms and struggles. It’s amazing what the numbers on the scale can do to your mental health, especially when you feel like you are doing everything “right,” yet the numbers seem so “wrong.” 

I know this story is the same for many of you, too. Maybe you weigh yourself every morning and night, constantly worry about what you eat, and think about how many minutes you need to burn on the treadmill to work off that food you “shouldn’t have eaten.” Quite frankly, it’s exhausting. For me, the obsession felt like a never-ending spiral of disappointment. It also led to a never-ending cycle of depression, binge eating, extreme dieting, exercise, and finally, burnout.

Over the course of my 10+ year journey, here are five mindset tips I have learned that can help you navigate your weight loss journey and support your thyroid.  

Understand the challenge 

Before diving into the tips, it’s essential to understand why weight loss feels so daunting for those with thyroid issues. In short, hypothyroidism slows down the body’s metabolism, meaning fewer calories burned and a propensity to gain weight. 

It doesn’t help that hypothyroidism can also lead to fatigue, insulin resistance, and leptin resistance, making it feel impossible. 

1. Find an activity and movement that works for you

Success comes from finding true joy in activity and movement. It’s not about punishing yourself with exercises you dread. It’s about finding physical activity that doesn’t feel like a workout. Whether it’s dancing, hiking, yoga, or playing with your children, choosing activities you look forward to doing and enjoying in the moment transforms exercise from a chore into a rewarding part of your day, helping you stay consistent and motivated.

2. Enjoy your food

Obsessing over every calorie and forbidding certain foods often leads to a cycle of restriction and binge eating. While some food restrictions may be necessary for a short period during elimination diets like AIP, a healthy, life-long diet is not about restriction! 

Instead, enjoy your meals, savor each bite, and listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Focus on nourishing your body with delicious, nutrient-rich foods that you like to eat and support your thyroid health, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.

Quick reminder: it’s also okay to indulge in your favorite treats. As long as you feel okay, or those foods don’t actively cause flare-ups, enjoying your food without guilt or fear fosters a healthier relationship with eating and can prevent overeating and the need to binge. 

3. Practice balance

Balance is a key concept in managing weight with hypothyroidism—not just in terms of diet but in all aspects of life. The all-or-nothing mindset can lead to extreme dieting or exercise cycles, burnout, and discouragement. (And sometimes, it can trigger rebound weight gain!) Instead, aim for consistency and moderation in your eating habits, exercise, and self-care routine.

Finding balance creates more room for enjoyment and spontaneity, such as dinner with friends on a random night, taking impromptu breaks, and embracing life’s unplanned moments. This balanced approach can help reduce stress, negatively impacting your thyroid and overall health. 

Remember, the overall pattern of your lifestyle matters, not isolated choices.

One way to put this into practice is to start by following the 80/20 rule. This rule emphasizes consuming nutritionally rich, healthy foods 80% of the time while allowing for indulgence in less-healthy options for the remaining 20%. This approach can support weight loss by promoting a calorie deficit and reducing the risk of disease while following a well-rounded and nutrient-dense diet most of the time. (If you feel especially inspired, you can even work up to 85/15 or 90/10!) 

4. Know your worth

It can be challenging to comprehend when society tells us otherwise, but numbers on the scale are only one small aspect of your overall health. Your weight also does not define your value as a person! 

Try shifting your focus toward celebrating your progress, what your body can do, and how it feels. Recognize achievements such as improving your strength, flexibility, or endurance. 

Celebrate the non-scale victories that affect your quality of life, like walking further, sleeping better, fitting into those jeans better, or enjoying your favorite activities more fully. Recognizing these achievements can boost your morale and motivation, reminding you of your worth – beyond the weight.

5. Relax and realize it’s a marathon, not a sprint

Weight loss and overall health, especially with hypothyroidism, will never be a sprint. Think of your health as a marathon. It’s worth your patience, consistency, and dedication and is more successful than speeding through the healing process.

And just like training for a marathon, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight takes time and effort. There are no quick fixes or shortcuts for sustainable weight loss. It’s about gradually making small, manageable changes to your lifestyle that you can realistically maintain in the long run. 

Remember to celebrate even the smallest victories and progress you make. Stressing over every setback or weight fluctuation adds unnecessary pressure and self-blame. It’s better to focus on your progress in developing consistent, healthy habits while giving your body the time it needs to adjust and respond. And don’t forget to show yourself grace and compassion, appreciating your body and recognizing that you are in a better place now than when you started this journey! 

A note from Paloma

Navigating weight loss with hypothyroidism requires a compassionate, balanced, and personalized approach that can help you create a sustainable path toward health. This journey is about much more than just losing weight; it’s about building a realistic and sustainable lifestyle that genuinely supports your overall health and well-being.

Embarking on this journey with the right support can make all the difference. At Paloma, our providers and care team understand the complexities of thyroid dysfunction and weight and are here to support you every step of the way. 

Working with a Paloma provider can help you manage your thyroid condition effectively and address symptoms that hinder your weight loss efforts. Paloma’s nutritionists and health coaches can also help you identify food triggers and craft a diet that aligns with your body’s unique needs. Contact our team to start your journey towards health and balance to achieve lasting and meaningful change.

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‌Yang W, Jin C, Wang H, Lai Y, Li J, Shan Z. Subclinical hypothyroidism increases insulin resistance in normoglycemic people. 2023;14. Doi:

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Alex Ruiz, NTP

Director of Content + Community at Paloma Health, Hashimoto's Advocate, & Nutritional Therapy Practitioner

Alex faced health challenges from a young age, leading to a significant diagnoses that shaped her future. In 2011, she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and in 2016, was officially diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, sparking her interest in the link between functional nutrition and thyroid health. Her journey took another significant step in 2021 when she become a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, enabling her to not only manage her own health but also to help others within the autoimmune space.

Now, as the Director of Content and Community at Paloma Health, Alexandria uses her personal experiences and professional expertise to support individuals with thyroid conditions. She produces valuable content aiming to educate and empower the thyroid community. As a true advocate for health and wellness, she continues to inspire many with her resilience and dedication to improving the lives of others.

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