Is it even possible to lose weight with hypothyroidism?

Hi there lovely,

Are you struggling to lose weight and keep it off?

This is by far the biggest complaint that I have heard from women all over the world that have hypothyroidism.

I’m Sally Baker a mind body weight and thyroid coach. I speak to women daily who are struggling with losing weight and even maintaining their weight.

I know for myself I found my excess weight really hard to deal with. During my third pregnancy my thyroid symptoms went out of control and of course my weight ballooned. For me I felt that my weight was an outward sign to the world. I felt really uncomfortable, and this affected so many of my daily decisions and actions. I felt like I just wanted to hide away, I knew deep down that I needed to heal my health first and that the weight would follow but because I was in such a dark place I found taking the daily actions really challenging.

Over the years I have tried every diet known to man (or so it felt) and I did lose a little weight here and there, but I always regained the weight and fell back into old habits. The worst part was that after each attempt to lose weight I would feel worse than before. I was left feeling extremely fatigued, bloated, constipated, stressed, anxious, deflated and was losing hair by the truck load.

Why do normal diets leave you feeling so crap if you have hypothyroidism?

Most normal diets look at calorie restriction and not the quality of the calories and the effects that they have on our health and body. If you have hypothyroidism you will have a lowered metabolism. Your metabolism is responsible for regulating the speed of all your bodily actions. For example, the speed at which you digest your food, regulate your temperature, create new cells and activate the immune system.

But what does a slow metabolism actually mean for weight loss?

Our metabolism regulates how many calories our body burns each day to simply stay alive. This includes breathing, pumping blood through your body, moving, etc. A lower metabolism means that your body doesn’t burn as many calories, and you are working on a much lower energy state. As a result of using less calories for these everyday events less energy is burned up from the foods we each and more fat is getting stored.

A normal calorie restricted diet that only focuses on calories seems like the answer right! However here is where things get interesting. If you reduce your calorie intake significantly as suggested on most low cal diets your body doesn’t keep working on the same metabolic rate, this drops even further. This was a trait believed to be necessary for the cave man who needed to conserve energy if they where not likely to eat again for a few days.

If you have hypothyroidism if your metabolism reduces further your thyroid symptoms will increase. SO you’ll start to feel really tired, moody, constipated, bloated and probably suffering really intense cravings. This is because your body deems actions like breathing and pumping your heart more important that weight loss (crazy I know!).

So if it has seemed to you in the past like your body has been working against you on a diet you are right on. With your lower metabolism weight loss is possible but it will be a much slower process than someone with a “normal” metabolism. And just to put a nail in the coffin if you have managed to lose weight and your metabolism is significantly lower it will feel like eating air will cause your weight to bounce back.

So what on earth can you do to lose weight with hypothyroidism? Is it even possible?


It is so possible if you take the right steps.

It’s not just about dieting or extreme exercise.

What 5 steps can help you lose weight with hypothyroidism?

1- Mindset

Your mindset is so under recognised in weight loss. Weight loss does require you to change your daily actions and habits, this is really hard to do on willpower alone. Creating positive self talk, visions and goals makes it easier to take these daily actions that will lead to results and get through the good and challenging times.

After my recent weight struggle I new that something was missing. I had all the right information at my finger tips but it wasn’t until I put in the effort to create the right mindset that became happy, healthy and slim. I feel that this is the most important piece of the weight loss puzzle for hypothyroid sufferers.

2- Balance your health

An underactive thyroid makes it really challenging to lose weight. To reach a healthy weight and maintain it, it is important to look at the underlying health issues of your body. You know that your body is not making enough thyroid hormones, but why. It may be an autoimmune disease, adrenal fatigue, oestrogen dominance, nutritional deficiencies, poor T4 to T3 conversion, gut and liver toxicity, heavy metal toxicity or (for most people) a combination of a few of these issues.

Most doctor’s do not look into these underlying issues. This is why so many people still can’t lose weight or feel healthy when they have “normal” TSH blood results.

3- Eat healthy, nutritious meals

Use food as medicine. I love food but I have learned what foods make me feel good and what foods don’t. I still get to enjoy my favourite food like chocolate and coffee, but I now know how to incorporate this with truly nutritious, filling and balancing meals.

Eating meals that are nutritious support your health and nutritional needs. It is not about any fad or extreme dieting, it’s about a healthy lifestyle change.


4- A little exercise

My number one rule for weight loss is don’t use exercise alone to lose weight!

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t move your body. Exercise is great for your metabolism (essential for healthy weight loss and hypothyroidism). However you don’t need to join a gym (unless you enjoy it) or spend countless hours slaving away.

For most people the amount of exercise they need to do to lose weight will cause then to become run down and struggle with excess fatigue, muscle aches and pain as well as overeating because of the hunger it will cause.

So what can you do? Moderate, regular exercise, I know how boring it sounds but it is truly the best long term strategy. I often encourage my clients to walk at least 10,000 steps per day and then incorporate a little high intensity interval and weight sessions. Then include something else that makes you move your body that you enjoy.

5- Have fun

Ok so I bet you’re never thought of weight loss as fun before!

Having fun is such an important component of your journey to being happy, healthy and slim. This should not be about locking yourself away and depriving yourself from food, and the world. To truly create a healthy lifestyle you need to be able to live in the world and have fun doing it.

When I was struggling with my weight I wasn’t very kind to myself. I stopped valuing myself enough to get nice clothes, have my hair done, go out with friends or try new things. To be honest when my third baby was born I was in such a state it was a struggle to leave the house or feel grateful.

I knew deep down that this was causing me to struggle with eating as I was so unhappy. I looked back to a time when I was my ideal weight. I realised that I was very social, loved dancing, trying new activities and because I was happy and occupied I didn’t have any real focus on food.

I also realised that at the time I was healthy I had a much greater self worth. I actually took the time to wear nice clothes do my hair and put on a little makeup. Becoming a mum of 3 under 5 obviously had a big impact on my time to do this but I knew that to be happy and healthy I needed to have fun and value myself more.

As a result of spending just a few extra minutes each morning I feel so much better facing the world and feel happier within myself. I’m also way more fun as a mum, wife and friend.

It’s really a bit about fake it till you make it, but you are worth it now. You deserve to feel great.

Everyone will have their own idea of what is fun and will increase their joy and self worth. Take some time now to write down 10 things that make you happy and smile. Do one of the things on your list today! And book in something each week. See how you feel after taking actions and how your health feels.


This has been an amazing journey for me and my clients and I will be bringing this all together shortly to help you from struggling any longer with your weight and hypothyroid symptoms.

I will be sending through more information over the coming weeks, so keep your eyes out.