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The Thyroid Diet

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The Thyroid Diet

The Thyroid Diet

If you are eating the same as usual and getting the same level of physical activity but wondering why you have managed to put on a pound or maybe two per week, you could have a thyroid problem, a dysfunction in the small, butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that is crucial to your metabolism.

It’s common to go directly to your doctor, because clearly something is wrong with you, only to be told to stop eating so much and get off the couch, or offer you a diet drug, because writing prescriptions gives your doctor something useful to do.

For millions of overweight people, thyroid disease is a real reason for weight problems. Learning about this disease and its symptoms is important because it can address the underlying cause of your weight gain, help restore your hope and health, and allow healthy diet and exercise to work the way they should. More than 20 million people have a thyroid problem and in most cases, it is undiagnosed and untreated, and it is believed that number is rapidly on the rise.

The most common symptoms are unexpected weight gain despite diet and exercise, fatigue and exhaustion, more hair loss than usual, moodiness, muscle and joint pain, and loss of sex drive for starters.

It’s important to clarify that this diet does not include any miraculous secrets or magic pills to make pounds melt away, in fact getting treatment for your previously undiagnosed thyroid problem will be all that you need to return to a healthy weight, without a rigorous change in your diet and exercise.


Besides optimal thyroid treatment, make sure your metabolism is working at its best. You can do this by resolving underlying nutritional deficiencies, treating depression and correcting brain chemistry imbalances. Try reducing stress, combating insulin resistance, treating food allergies and sensitivities, and exercising; all these can be helped with herbs and natural supplements. It’s time for you to master your metabolism.

The secret is to eat to live rather than live to eat. Find the nutritional plan that works best for you, there is no one that has the same body as you, so you and your personal reactions define the diet that suits you best. Next are some guidelines to help you determine which diet plan is best for you:


  • If you have tried a low-carb diet like Atkins or South Beach and gained weight while following it. 
  • You enjoy eating vegetables and fruits
  • You feel your best after a meal that contains protein, starch, and vegetables or fruits
  • You need variety in your diet 

If you find familiarity with two or more of the above statements, start with a free-form plan, which is straightforward and gives you a bit of leeway. It’s basically a balanced, healthy starting point:
– Eat 3 meals per day, each with 1-2 servings lean protein.
–  Eat all the low-glycemic vegetables you want, 1-2 servings low-glycemic fruits and low-glycemic starches, no more than 2-3 servings a day.
– Enjoy healthy fats with a small serving at each meal and include at least 25 grams fiber.
– Eat snacks 1-2 times a day if needed and indulge in treats sparingly in small servings-no more than once a week.
– Water -drink 64 ounces minimum each day.

If you:

  • Frequently crave things like pasta, bread, rice, potatoes, and sweet desserts
  • Once you get started eating these things you find it hard to stop
  • After you eat them you feel hungry again fairly quickly
  • You find that after eating a piece of cake or a bowl of pasta, you temporarily end up a pound or two heavier on the scale the next day


If you identify with two or more of the above statements it’s likely that carbohydrates are a problem for you, you should try the Carb-Sensitive Plan. 

  • Eat 3 meals per day, each with 1-2 servings lean protein
  • Eat all the low-glycemic vegetables you want, including 1 serving of low-glycemic fruits, and 1-2 servings of low-glycemic starches
  • Enjoy healthy fats with each meal and include at least 30 grams fiber
  • Snacks 1-2 times a day if needed, avoid treats if possible, aim for once a week
  • Water – 64 ounces minimum
  • Stop eating 2 hours before bedtime

And finally if you:

  • Have tried a diet like Weight Watchers and gained weight following it
  • Have tried a low-carb diet like Atkins and gained weight following it 
  • Suspect that you probably eat too much, but you don’t keep track 
  • Find that you can gain weight on what others would consider cutting back or a diet

If you identify with two or more of the above statements you should start with the Calorie-Sensitive Plan. 

  • Eat 3 meals each day with 1-2 servings lean protein
  • Eat all the low-glycemic vegetables you want, 1-2 servings per day of low-glycemic fruit and 2-3 servings of low-glycemic starches per day
  • Include healthy fats 1-2 times a day and at least 25 grams fiber
  • Avoid snacks if possible, veggies are your best option
  • Avoid treats if possible, once each week maximum
  • Water -drink 64 ounces minimum

If you found yourself agreeing with many statements in all of the categories, then start out with the Free-Form Plan.


The Thyroid Diet

[Last Updated on June 8th 2014]

Sources: Home Remedies from a country Doctor from Jay Heinrichs, Dorothy Behlen Heinrichs, and the editors of Yankee Magazine, 2013.
Natural Remedies for Healthy Living , The Readers Digest Association,2011
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies, C. Norman Shealy 2002

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