Do you have PCOS and have trouble losing weight? It’s actually very common for women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome to experience this.
Why does this happen?
If you have PCOS, you are likely “insulin-resistant.” Whenever you eat, the excess energy is moved from the blood stream and into the cells by the hormone, insulin. But in insulin resistance, this movement of energy is compromised, leading to an increased production of insulin and a reduction in the optimal function of this hormone. In PCOS, insulin resistance can create excess male hormones. This can lead you to gain weight, and both can adversely effect your fertility.
But don’t worry! A few lifestyle changes and a focus on what you are eating can turn this around and boost weight loss.
There is a debate about whether diet or exercise has more of an effect on weight loss, but it is safe to say that it can help to break a sweat if you are having trouble losing weight.
So what type of workouts should you add to your routine?
You can focus on strength-training, which actually keeps the burning of calories going after you leave the gym and head home. And improves insulin resistance. You can also try cardio: the general recommendation is five 30 – 60 minute workouts per week, but the research shows interval training can increase results and decrease workout time needed.
Are you anxious about eating fat? The answer might be yes and that’s totally not your fault. Since the 1980s, low-fat diets have been promoted. The truth is that if you want to lose fat you should definitely add some good fats to your diet.
A 2012 study done at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem found that losing weight is possible with a higher-fat intake. That’s because instead of eating fat and gaining some pounds, your body will use that fat as fuel, which is what you want.
There’s also the fact that you will actually be full and satisfied when you eat a meal higher in fat. That will prevent you from overeating or eating snacks all day long.
What healthy fats should you be eating? The best sources are avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, eggs (with the yolks), salmon, and other fatty fish.
Should you go Paleo if you have PCOS? It’s possible. Some women have found success with this lifestyle since it encourages healthy fats, protein, and no grains.
Don’t Eat Refined Carbs
White rice, white bread, white pasta – these are all delicious foods, but they contain refined carbohydrates and they can lead to a rise in the insulin levels in your body. That’s not what you want if you have POCS and want to lose weight.
Stop eating refined carbs and focus on healthier carbohydrate sources like sweet potatoes.
Watch Your Macros
When you build meals or snacks, it’s a good idea to think about a balance of macronutrients. Eat some protein, carbs and fat at the same time. An example of a snack: an apple (carb) with almond butter (protein and fat).
You don’t want to be dieting or not eating enough, but some experts say that smaller meals and snacks are a good way to lose weight when dealing with POCS.
Why? It helps to balance blood sugars over time, reducing the insulin levels that can lead to weight gain.
Weight gain and stress sometimes go hand in hand. That’s because the stress hormone, cortisol, can cause “visceral fat” (fat in your stomach area).
If you can relax on a more regular basis, whether that’s taking time to read, spend time with friends and family, go for a walk or go to a yoga class, that will help.
It’s not easy to lose weight when you have PCOS, but you can find success if you follow these 7 tips.
Written by guest writer, Aya Tsintziras.