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How to Diet With Synthroid

author image Sharin Griffin
Sharin Griffin has been a freelance writer since 2009, specializing in health-related articles. She has worked in the health-care industry as a certified nursing assistant and medical technician. Griffin's medical expertise encompasses bariatrics and geriatric care, with an emphasis on general medicine. She is completing an associate degree in health-care administration from Axia University.
How to Diet With Synthroid
Asparagus salad Photo Credit: Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images

Synthroid, also known as Levothyroxine, is a synthetic hormone used to treat hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism occurs when your thyroid fails to produce enough thyroid-stimulating hormone, or TSH. This can cause weight gain and susceptibility to illness as your immune system becomes suppressed. Some people may believe that the pounds will melt off when starting Synthroid, but that is not accurate. Diet and exercise are required to lose weight, not a hormone replacement medication. There are factors of Synthroid use that you must consider when dieting for weight loss.

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Step 1

Create a calorie deficit by first determining your basal metabolic rate, or BMI, to determine the amount of calories needed daily to maintain your current weight. Reduce that daily number by 500 to determine calories required to lose one pound of fat per week, according to The goal to successful weight loss when taking Synthroid is to burn more calories than you consume throughout your day. Synthroid is used to help your thyroid create the hormones your metabolism needs to burn these calories during physical activity.

Step 2

Eat a well-balanced diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and lean proteins. Sugary snacks and processed foods should be removed from your home. Only stock your cabinets with healthy foods to eliminate temptation. Eat fiber-packed foods sparingly, according to Synthroid's official website. High-fiber foods can inhibit your body's absorption of Synthroid, causing the effects to be minimal. Steer clear of soy products and too much calcium as they have the same effect.

Step 3

Read the labels before you purchase vitamins. According to, multivitamins and other supplements that contain iron, calcium, aluminum and magnesium have been shown to interact with Synthroid, blocking the medication's effectiveness.

Step 4

Purchase foods that are low in saturated fats and trans fats. Hypothyroid patients can experience higher than normal cholesterol levels, leading to increased risk of heart attack and stroke. By reducing saturated and trans fats during your hormone treatment, you can effectively lower these risks and reduce cholesterol levels.

Step 5

Take your Synthroid on an empty stomach. Taking your medication directly after eating will reduce its effectiveness and can cause nausea or upset stomach. Develop a routine to balance your medication and eating habits to ensure that your hypothyroidism is properly controlled.

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