1500 Calorie Meal Plan for People With Thyroid Disease

A step-by-step guide for 5 days of meals

thyroid diet meal plan

Recommended diets vary across health conditions. Those in control of their diabetes, for example, often pay attention to their carbohydrate intake, while those with celiac disease omit gluten from their diet.

Eating well for thyroid disease is on the simpler side. There aren't many set guidelines to follow. In fact, there is no specific "thyroid diet." The most important "rule" is one that all diets—even non-condition specific ones—have in common: focus on balanced, calorie-controlled meals full of whole foods, including fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, and lean proteins.

That's exactly what this meal plan strives for. Since your thyroid can affect your weight, it helps to eat a calorie-controlled diet and exercise to stay on top of your health. A meal plan like this—complete with shopping list and day-to-day instructions, can help you prepare for the week and take charge of your eating habits. Once you get the hang of it, you can go ahead and make your own plan.

Goitrogens and Soy in This Meal Plan

If you've heard that you should avoid goitrogens—the compounds released when raw cruciferous veggies like kale and broccoli are digested—know that the recommendation comes with a caveat.

First, these compounds mainly cause issues if you have an iodine deficiency, which is unlikely. In the case that you do, your doctor would work with you to correct it. Second, cooking deactivates goitrogens. In most cases, you shouldn't have to worry about them.

Isoflavones in soy may conflict with medications you're taking.

Talk to your doctor about possible interactions and confirm whether you should follow a soy-free diet. You should also confirm how to pair your medications with your meals.

That being said, this meal plan is completely soy free and all recipes, although they may contain cruciferous veggies, are cooked, reducing the potential for goitrogens being released when the food is digested.

This way you can just follow the meal plan without extra worry.

Your Calorie Goals

This meal plan provides an average of 1500 calories per day. Note that your specific calorie goal may vary. Height, weight, activity level, and gender all play a role.

Get an idea for how many calories you need per day by plugging your information into the calculator below. Then adjust your meal plan as needed. You may need to omit a snack or add a second one. It's best to work with a registered dietitian for customized goals.

Hydration

Pair your meals with refreshing beverages and keep sipping throughout the day. Water is always a smart choice. If you want to switch up the flavors, try peach mint iced green teafreshly steeped mint and lemon tea, or a light strawberry basil sparkler. There are smoothies and lattes to choose from, too.

Meal Plan Overview

Here's a glimpse of what you'll be enjoying throughout the week. The nutrition info displayed is for one serving. The meal plan is designed for two people. Detailed prep instructions are below.

 BreakfastLunchDinnerSnack/DessertTotal Calories
MondayCherry berry smoothie bowl (337 calories)Portable tuna pockets (411 calories)Ultimate chopped salad (533 calories)Dark chocolate cake (206 calories)1487
TuesdaySavory spinach and feta oatmeal bowl (309 calories)Leftover ultimate chopped salad (533 calories)Veggie enchiladas (543 calories)Garlic parmesan popcorn (126 calories)1511
WednesdayBrown sugar citrus yogurt bowl (395 calories)Leftover veggie enchiladas (543 calories)Pesto salmon with potato soup (363 calories)Whole grain mini berry crisps (187 calories)1488
ThursdayPeanut butter cup chia pudding (415 calories)Leftover pesto salmon with potato soup (363 calories)Chopped tabouli salad (452 calories)Peanut butter banana yogurt parfait (250 calories)1480
FridayMexican garden scramble with matcha latte (361 calories)Leftover chopped tabouli (452 calories)Vegetarian black bean tostadas (460 calories)Dark chocolate avocado mousse (223 calories)1496

Grocery List

Review the list and cross out items you already have handy. Doing this will save you time and money at the supermarket.

Do your best to buy everything you need in one go. Substitutions are noted where you can omit or swap an ingredient in order to avoid unused food and food waste. At home, prep what you can to save time on weekdays. See detailed instructions below. 

Bread and Bakery

- 1 pack whole wheat pita bread
- 1 pack corn tortillas

Canned Goods

- At least 28 ounces low-sodium chicken or veggie broth
- 2 5-ounce cans water-packed chunk light tuna1 15-ounce can white beans
- 15-ounce can garbanzo beans
- small jar kalamata olives
- 2 15-ounce cans black beans
- 2 8-ounce cans enchilada sauce

Pantry Items (you likely have many of these on hand)

- Rolled oats
- Olive oil spray
- Salt and pepper
- Brown sugar
- Honey
- Granola
- Sliced almonds (or whole almonds or other nut)
- Almond, peanut, or your favorite nut butter
- Chia seeds
- Unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)
- Cocoa powder
- Salsa/hot sauce
Matcha powder
- Vanilla extract
- Cumin powder
- Turmeric powder
- Olive oil
- Dried oregano
- Unsalted pistachios (⅓ cup)
- Quinoa
- Dark chocolate bar
- Popcorn kernels
- Garlic powder
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground nutmeg

Dairy and Eggs

- Dozen large eggs
- Crumbled feta cheese
- Plain low-fat Greek yogurt (at least 24 ounces)
- Half gallon milk of choice
- Grated cheddar cheese (8 ounces)
- Grated parm ( ¼ cup)
- Butter

Fresh Produce

- 3 heads fresh garlic
- Large bag baby spinach (at least 4 cups)
- 1 large grapefruit
- 1 medium orange
- 4 small carrots
- 4 lemons
- 1 kiwi
- 2 medium onions
- 5 medium bell peppers, any color
- 1 very small jalapeno
- 1 small bunch cilantro or parsley
- 4 small tomatoes
- 2 avocados
- 2 cucumbers
-​ 1 pint cherry tomatoes or 2 extra medium tomatoes
- Fresh basil leaves
- 1 leek
- 2 large potatoes
- 1 medium banana

Meat and Seafood

- 12 ounces fresh salmon
- Chicken breast (at least 8 ounces)

Frozen Goods

- 1 bag frozen mixed berries
- 1 bag cherries
- 1 bag corn kernels

Preparation Plan

This plan is designed for two people. In some cases, where noted, a recipe needs to be doubled or halved.

Use sturdy tupperware and mason jars to keep pre-chopped veggies and leftovers fresh. Store ingredients that weren't used where they belong, like your pantry or the fridge.

Shopping Day (You can split these tasks into 2 days if needed)

Monday Breakfast Prep:

  • Measure out the mixed berries, cherries, carrots, and almonds (you can use sliced, whole, or another nut—whatever you have available) for your cherry berry smoothie bowl. Store in a zip-top bag in the freezer until next morning, so you don't have to measure as much.

Monday Lunch Prep:

  • Prepare the tuna salad according to recipe instructions. Note that you can leave the celery out (it isn't listed on the shopping list because this is the only recipe that uses it). You can use cilantro or parsley, depending on what you bought, and if you don't have mayo on hand swap in some of the Greek yogurt you bought. Keep the rest of the white beans stored in tupperware in the fridge for the potato soup you'll make later on in the week.
  • Pack the salad for lunch, along with one pita each.
  • Note: Double the recipe, for two people.

Monday Dinner Prep:

  • Chop cucumber, tomatoes, bell pepper, and olives to prepare for your ultimate chopped salad. Store in the fridge until Monday's dinner.

Monday

Breakfast:

  • Combine the ingredients frozen on shopping day with the rest of the ingredients listed in the recipe.

Lunch:

  • Stuff pitas with the pre-prepped tuna salad and enjoy.

Dinner:

  • Finish putting together the ultimate chopped salad according to directions. Note that you can use dry oregano instead of fresh (we omitted it from the shopping list because this is the only recipe that uses it).
  • Enjoy the salad with a whole pita bread.
  • Store leftovers for lunch the next day.

Snack/Dessert:

  • Prepare dark chocolate cake for two according to directions.
  • Note that oat flour is not listed on the shopping list. You can blend or grind some rolled oats to make oat flour instead of buying a bag that you may not use again. This will save you a few dollars.

Tuesday

Breakfast:

  • Prepare a savory spinach and feta oatmeal bowl according to directions.
  • Note: Double this recipe, for two people.

Lunch:

Dinner:

  • Prepare vegetable enchiladas according to directions.
  • You can use some cilantro or parsley, whichever one you bought, and Greek yogurt and olives as garnishes.
  • Pack leftovers for lunch the next day.

Snack/Dessert:

  • Prepare garlic parmesan popcorn according to directions.

Wednesday

Breakfast:

  • Prepare brown sugar baked citrus with honeyed yogurt bowl according to directions.

Lunch:

Dinner:

  • Prepare pesto crusted salmon according to directions. If basil leaves have the stem intact, place the rest into a small vase and it'll keep for up to a week. Alternatively, you can chop it up and freeze or dry it for later use.
  • Prepare potato soup according to instructions. You can omit the bacon if you prefer.
  • Note: Half the potato soup recipe, to make only 4 cups.
  • Enjoy 1 cup soup with 3 ounces salmon for dinner. Pack leftovers for Thursday's lunch.

Snack/Dessert:

  • Prepare whole grain mini berry crisps according to directions.
  • Note: If you don't have any whole wheat flour, swap in some oat flour by grinding or blending two tablespoons of rolled oats. Use any nut you have on hand. The cinnamon and nutmeg add a nice flavor profile. You can buy a package of them if you think you'll use them down the line, but omit them if you'll only be using them for this recipe.
  • Note: Half the recipe, to make only two servings.

Thursday Breakfast Prep:

  • Prepare peanut butter cup chia pudding according to directions for a grab-and-go breakfast.
  • Note: Double the recipe, for two.

Thursday Dinner Prep:

  • Place chicken for the tabouli salad in the oven at the same time as the salmon, to have ready for use for Thursday's dinner. Simply prepare it and sprinkle with salt and pepper. When ready, store in tupperware.

Thursday

Breakfast:

  • Enjoy the peanut butter cup chia pudding prepared the night before.

Lunch:

Dinner:

  • Prepare tabouli salad according to instructions, using the chicken from the day before. Tip: chop up the vegetables while the quinoa is cooking. Use parsley or cilantro, whichever you bought.
  • Pack leftovers for tomorrow's lunch.

Snack/Dessert:

  • Prepare peanut butter banana yogurt parfait according to instructions. Break up the dark chocolate bar and use instead of the called for cacao nibs.

Friday Breakfast Prep:

  • Chop up the onion, bell pepper, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro (or parsley, if that's what you bought), and tomato to have on hand for quick cooking your Mexican scramble in the morning.

Friday

Breakfast:

  • Prepare Mexican scramble according to directions, using pre-chopped veggies from the night before. Enjoy with a cup of creamy cocoa matcha latte, prepared according to instructions.
  • Note: double the latte recipe, for two people.

Lunch:

Dinner:

  • Prepare black bean tostadas according to directions. Use the rest of your spinach instead of arugula. Omit the red onion.
  • Enjoy two tostadas per person.

Snack/Dessert:

  • Prepare dark chocolate avocado mousse according to directions.
  • Note: Half the recipe, to make only two servings.

A Word From Verywell

A balanced and varied diet will help you hit most of your nutrient goals, making a dietary supplement unnecessary in most cases (although you should confirm this with your doctor). The goal is to be prepared with a good meal plan, and prep ahead to lighten your workload throughout the week.

It's OK if the plan doesn't go exactly as outlined. You should feel free to modify steps to fit your personal needs and cooking style. Scheduling cooking time is helpful for some people, and you may find that it helps you get things done, too.

Sources:

Harris, Cheryl. Thyroid Disease and Diet — Nutrition Plays a Part in Maintaining Thyroid Health. Today's Dietitian. 2012;14(7):40.

Messina M, Redmond G. Effects of soy protein and soybean isoflavones on thyroid function in healthy adults and hypothyroid patients: a review of the relevant literature. Thyroid. 2006;16(3):249-58.

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