Many women have found themselves being dissatisfied with their weight wanting to lose a few pounds at least once in their life.
Women who have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) tend to struggle with extra weight and that’s why they need to adjust their diet.
So, how to lose weight with PCOS?
First things first.
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrinological disorder common among women of reproductive age.
PCOS causes irregular menstrual periods, infertility, and visible changes such as face and body hairiness, acne, seborrhea, and increased hair loss.
In addition, 6 out of 10 women with PCOS suffer from obesity.
PCOS causes many health problems.
One of them is insulin resistance, a condition where cells don’t react to the insulin hormone, a hormone which regulates the blood glucose level.
The consequence of insulin resistance is piled up glucose in the blood which results in a further rise in blood glucose level.
High blood glucose level increases the production of the male hormone androgen.
It is believed that a high level of androgen causes acne, hairiness, irregular periods, and extra pounds, especially around women’s belly.
That’s why women with PCOS mostly have an apple-shaped body instead of a pear-shaped body-more feminine shape.
Moreover, insulin resistance and the weight gain that comes afterward as part of the PCOS bring a lot of health problems, including diabetes type 2, higher cholesterol and blood pressure, and sometimes even apnea during sleeping which leads to heart and blood vessels diseases.
And that is the reason why women with PCOS have 7 times higher risk of heart attack than women who don’t have it.
One of the best ways to cure PCOS is to lose weight
Women with PCOS are advised to lose weight as one of the first things on the list. (1)
It’s enough to lose 5 to 10 percent of their body mass to significantly decrease symptoms of this condition and normalize their period.
However, insulin resistance can make it very hard for women to lose weight and make them feel frustrated.
Nevertheless, weight loss is crucial because it can help normalize insulin level, reduce symptoms, and the risk of more serious diseases.
Hence, adopting certain diet habits and regular physical activity is vital when it comes to treating PCOS.
How to lose weight with PCOS naturally: Best tips
Change your diet
The best thing to do is to limit the intake of red meat to once a week and increase the intake of fish so that you get enough omega-3 fatty acids.
Carbohydrates are connected with higher insulin level.
So, women with PCOS should have a low glycemic index diet based on low-fat meat, wholegrain cereals, dairy products, and a lot of fruit and vegetables.
Many women think that they should completely eliminate carbs from their diet, but that’s not recommended because that kind of diet is imbalanced and it brings other health risks.
Women with PCOS should get 40% of their energy from carbs, especially from ingredients high in fiber which make you feel full and have a low glycemic index.
If you have PCOS, then you should do aerobic exercises at least 3 times a week.
Also, it is good to include weight-lifting (small set of weights).
This will help you build muscles and speed up your metabolism.
Why is exercising so important?
Exercising can help you turn glucose into energy and reduce the blood glucose level.
It can also help your body use insulin more efficiently and gradually reduce the insulin level, even if you do light exercises.
When you exercise, you improve your circulation, build muscles and lose weight.
You can choose a few different activities that you can change when you get bored.
There are many things you can do, such as walking, swimming, aerobics, cycling, skiing, dancing, weight-lifting etc.
Start slowly and don’t exaggerate.
Include warming up and cooling down as part of every exercise.
Stick to your working-out plan, but stay flexible- if you skip a day, don’t worry. The most important thing is not to give up.
Try exercising with some entertainment, like music, or TV.
So, what’s the conclusion?
If you have PCOS and you want to get rid of extra pounds remember to:
- Eat food high in fibers such as fruit and vegetables and wholegrain cereals.
- Avoid processed food and junk food because it has a bad effect on your blood sugar and insulin level.
- Limit the intake of red meat to once a week
- Increase the intake of fish to provide enough omega-3 fatty acids which help control your blood sugar level.
- Eat 4-6 smaller meals a day and avoid alcohol.
- Increase physical activity.
And of course, consult your doctor first about any concern regarding PCOS.