Weight LossThings to Change to Lose Weight while Dealing with PCOS

Things to Change to Lose Weight while Dealing with PCOS

Weight loss isn’t easy. Throw in PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), and the journey becomes harder. Believe it or not, between 5 and 20 percent of reproductive-aged women have PCOS (1).From Keto to Atkins, and veganism, the internet is flooded with advice on how to lose weight with PCOS.Being diagnosed with PCOS isn’t the issue. The main problem lies in managing the condition and achieving weight loss naturally. The high level of androgens or male hormones leads to weight gain in women. While weight loss is a constant struggle, certain women also experience several mental health disorders in the bargain. Think depression, anxiety and OCD.

Besides this, if weight gain is not kept at bay, it can lead to severe health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, infertility, sleep apnoea, heart diseases and endometriosis.

Well, don’t let the ill-effects of PCOS take over your life. There are certain lifestyle and diet tweaks you can make to help you shed those extra pounds and reduce the condition’s severity.

Wonder what they are? Keep reading to find out…

PCOS & Weight Gain – What is the Connection?

PCOS messes with your hormonal balance. In a human body, usually insulin is used to convert sugar and starch from food into energy. In women with PCOS, it becomes difficult for the body to use hormone insulin. Owing to this, insulin resistance occurs. Instead of fat burn, fat storage occurs since insulin and glucose tend to build up in the bloodstream.

Since PCOS weight gain is triggered by male hormones, most of the fat is found in the abdomen. Women dealing with PCOS might also experience ‘metabolic obesity’. This is also the reason why they have an apple-shaped body instead of a pear-shaped body. Experts believe that abdominal fat is the most dangerous kind of fat. It can trigger heart diseases and other health conditions(2).

Lifestyle Changes you Should Make to Keep PCOS Weight under Control

If you’re dealing with PCOS, shedding weight can just make you feel better. Slow and steady weight loss can even bring your periods back to normal and reduce insulin sensitivity. With weight loss, you reduce your risk of other PCOS health complications too. Make these changes to your lifestyle and you’ll be well on your way to lose weight with PCOS:

  • Balance your Diet

A PCOS diet isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. What may work for one may not necessarily work for you! Irrespective of the kind of diet you follow, focus on eating more veggies, protein and healthy fats. Here are some healthy eating tips you should follow:

  • Consume Fibrous foods: Include fibre-rich foods in your diet. Whole grains, legumes, lentils, and fruits and vegetables help control blood sugar levels and promote intestinal health. Since fibre tends to make one feel fuller faster, it’s the perfect diet to help women lose weightwith PCOS.
  • Avoid Refined Carbohydrates: If you’re dealing with PCOS, refined and processed foods are a big no-no. They’re high in sugar and carbs which lead to them being stored instead of being burned for energy. Avoid packaged noodles, aerated drinks, soda and ice cream as far as possible. A low-carb diet will lower insulin levels in PCOS women and promote better well-being.
  • Reduce Dairy Consumption: Dairy consumption can alleviate hormonal PCOS symptoms. Avoid consumption of milk. However, probiotics like curd are beneficial as it adds healthy bacteria to your system. It reduces inflammation and has a cooling effect on your gut.
  • Practice Mindful Eating & Chew your Food: Women with PCOS usually tend to binge eat to satisfy their cravings. This results in them consuming large quantities of food. To lose weight with PCOS, it is important to be fully aware of your body’s cues. Eat four to six small meals during the day instead of three large meals. Remember to avoid meal-time distractions and mostly importantly, chew your food. This will help your body digest solid food better. This also helps in better absorption of nutrients.

While these are a few diet changes you should incorporate, they’re not enough. A good PCOS diet plan accompanied with a healthy lifestyle is what you need to lose weight with PCOS.

  1. Increase your Daily Endorphins

Irrespective of whether you deal with PCOS or not, exercise should be an integral part of your lifestyle.Exercise raises your endorphin levels and happy hormones. This is extremely important if you’re dealing with PCOS as it helps you manage stress and anxiety. However, exercise doesn’t have to be vigorous. Start with small but effective exercises. A brisk walk or jog for 30 minutes is also good when you’re trying to lose weight. Weight training and yoga is a bonus. But, don’t engage in intense exercise sessions as this can cause more harm than good (3).

  • Be Patient

Lastly, be patient with your progress. Losing weight with PCOS is challenging but not impossible. Don’t expect visible changes overnight. Even if you don’t lose a significant amount of weight, a healthy lifestyle will reduce your chances of developing other life-threatening diseases.

Remember, everyone’s PCOS story is different. Before you make any inclusions to your diet or plan a regime to lose weight with PCOS, always consult your doctor or healthcare provider. In the initial phase, there might be a little trial and error but once you begin to see visible changes, it will all seem worth it.

If there are certain things that have worked for you in your PCOS journey, we would love to know.

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