In this quick read, we’ll be throwing light on the best ways to lose weight while suffering from the symptoms of PCOS
Truth be told, losing weight is not easy. And for women with PCOS, it’s definitely a lot more challenging. PCOS is a condition that affects only women and the root cause lies in hormonal imbalances. So it is only natural to wonder how to lose weight with PCOS?
Before we get to that, let’s first deep dive into the causes of PCOS and why it causes such a drastic impact on weight gain:
- PCOS is a metabolic condition that is caused due to the imbalance of reproductive hormones – mainly androgens (the male sex hormones)
- Cysts or small fluid-filled sacs occur on the surface of the ovaries causing complications in menstrual health and infertility
- Some of the most common symptoms of PCOS include – weight gain, irregular or missed periods, increase in body hair growth, acne-prone facial skin, pigmentation of the skin around the neck, cheek, and inner thighs
- This hormonal imbalance adversely affects the metabolism capabilities of the body which in turn does not help in weight regulation
While PCOS is becoming more and more common amongst young female adults, it’s sad yet true that we have nothing but our lifestyles to blame. Sure, PCOS can be genetic, but the ever-increasing female population suffering from PCOS is due to the unhealthy lifestyles that we live. That being said, it’s also just simple lifestyle alterations like exercising regularly, eating the right food to maintain gut health, sleeping well, staying hydrated, sleeping for 8-10 hours a day, and keeping stressful situations at bay that will help to manage the symptoms of PCOS.
Tips on How to Lose Weight When Suffering from PCOS
Now that we do know that weight gain is one of the biggest signs of PCOS, let us also tell you that it is one of the only effective cures to the condition. Making small yet effective changes to the daily lifestyle aspects is known to be one of the only sustainable ways to manage the symptoms and repercussions of PCOS. These changes include: managing excess weight through:
- Exercise: daily 30 minutes of physical activity and staying active throughout the day can help manage insulin resistance and improve your PCOS symptoms
- Nutrition: your diet is an important part of your PCOS treatment so focusing on eating a well-balanced, healthy diet that is rich in whole foods is important for managing the symptoms as well as for your overall health
- Sleep patterns: the importance of getting quality sleep each night is enough said. Sleeping for 7 to 8 hours helps your body recover, improves mood and your overall health
- Stress management: stress hormones can negatively impact your PCOS journey. Managing stress by practicing mindfulness techniques or taking up a hobby can help you unwind
Losing weight not only improves the mental perception of oneself but also helps regulate insulin – the hormone that balances blood sugar levels. Imbalanced levels of blood sugar cause diabetes, another common sight amongst women suffering from PCOS. In order to avoid reaching a point of diabetes, managing weight at the onset is extremely important.
Let’s Talk About Eating Habits:
Eat fewer simple carbs and opt for complex carbs instead:
Carbs are a primary source of energy, so cutting them out of your diet completely is a strict no-no. However, it’s ideal to consume the right kind of carbs that give your body the required nutrition without spiking your blood sugar levels. Simple carbs like those found in sugar-laden foods elevate blood sugar levels drastically. On the other hand, complex carbs like whole grains, oats, and buckwheat release sugar into the bloodstream slowly. Further on, complex carbs are also less refined than simple carbs, making them more nutrient dense.
Eat healthy fats:
Just like we can’t skip out on our carbs entirely, we can’t say goodbye to fats either. We know you want to get rid of the fat in your body, but you need the right kind of fats to do that! Eating healthy fat promotes weight loss by making you feel satiated for long periods of time. While the calories may be slightly on the higher side, it will stop you from mindless snacking and munching through the course of the day. Moreover, it will also help you manage the nagging symptoms of PCOS. Try adding healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds, and nut butter to your diet.
Fiber is your best friend:
There’s nothing like fiber and lots of it to keep you fuller for longer. Opt to pack in an element of fiber in every meal of your PCOS diet plan. It will resist insulin levels from spiking, maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and in turn reduce weight. So that belly fat that’s been bothering you, can go take a walk! It’s not going to stay there too long! Your go-to fiber options are – cereals, green veggies, salad leaves, and fruits (with the skin on).
A healthy and happy gut is a healthy and happy body:
Consume loads of pre and post-biotics to maintain a balanced ecosystem in your gut. We all need the right kind of good bacteria to ensure smooth digestion and excretion. It’s important that the body flushes out all the toxins build up regularly in order to avoid unnecessary weight gain. One way to do so is to add fermented food items to your PCOS food plan. Some options include – curd, kombucha, batter based food where the batter is fermented (idli, dosa).
Last but not the least, exercise!
Unfortunately, there’s just one way to lose weight and that’s – being on a calorie deficit. This means you should be burning more calories than you consume. Your only way to amp up your caloric burn is to exercise. You can start with short walks or jogs, practice yoga and pilates and slowly move on to functional training and strength training routines that help you burn tons of calories with every session. Keep your metabolism up and running by being active throughout the day; so, the next time you want to go up to the 8th floor, take the stairs and ditch the elevator. Those extra steps count when they add up!
So, now you know it. If you want to lose weight, you have to eat right and work out regularly. Support your body and give it what it needs. Instead of eliminating food groups from your PCOS diet completely, substitute them with better and healthier alternatives. Maintain a healthy weight and body composition and watch all your PCOS signs and symptoms, slowly yet surely pass.