How to Lose Weight with PCOS– PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) is a condition that affects mostly women of the reproductive age. It is a common hormonal disorder that affects up to 20% of pre-menopausal women. The menstrual cycles are either not frequent or extended for a long period of time. This is due to the imbalance in the hormones. Women with PCOS have an excess of the male hormone called androgen (1).
They always have to deal with excess weight gain due to an imbalance in the hormone. This becomes really hard to control. This occurs irrespective of what you eat at all even if you avoid eating junk or fatty foods, PCOS may still occur.
PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) Symptoms
Common symptoms found in women with PCOS include;
One of the most common symptoms is weight gain. It has proved that 39% of women with PCOS are overweight or obese. However, PCOS can’t stop women from getting the desired body form if the necessary steps on how to lose weight with PCOS are put into practice.
The main reason why it is more challenging for you to lose weight with PCOS naturally is Insulin resistance. This is because the insulin resistance increases your hunger and cravings for too much food (2).
Fortunately, a few lifestyle changes can help you to balance hormones and lose weight. One of the best ways on how to lose weight with PCOS is to get rid of or lower your insulin resistance. Then you can lose weight naturally just like everyone else.
How to Lose Weight with PCOS and Insulin Resistance Naturally
This article looks at 7 best tips on how to lose weight with PCOS and insulin resistance naturally. And the 7 best tips are:
How do you lose weight with PCOS?
This is a common question for women with PCOS. According to the recent research, 60% of American women are either overweight or obese (3). In addition, women that suffer from PCOS are at greater risk of having health problems, like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Losing weight with PCOS requires a multi-pronged approach. Although, losing weight may be difficult. It is very important to healthy living and improvement of fertility issues. So women should engage more in exercises and also eat low calories. There is also the need to control insulin and blood sugar levels while maintaining healthy hormone levels. Then you can achieve the goals on
how to lose weight with PCOS with the following 7 steps.
1. Choose a Diet that Reduces Insulin
Weight gain and PCOS lead to insulin resistance and increases the production of androgens (4). This leads to additional weight gain. Therefore, you should take a diet that helps in reducing body weight and insulin levels. Diets that are low in fat and vegetarian will work when you stick to it for a long-term. There are certain diets that you should take. These diets help you to lose weight with PCOS:
- PCOS Diet for Weight Loss
Low Carb Diets: A low carb diet is an eating pattern that consists of about 30% of energy from carbs. Low carb diets help to decrease insulin resistance. It tends to be high in protein. High protein diets help to control appetite. This leads to a lower intake of calorie throughout the day and more weight loss
Ketogenic Diets: Ketogenic diets are very low in carbs (about 5% of total energy). They are moderate in protein and very high in fat. They also help to lower insulin levels and burn body fat. Get your keto diet for weight loss here
2. Drink a lot of Water
Drinking a lot of water helps with weight loss. Not only does it help in losing weight. Water has healthy effects on the body as a whole. It will also help to keep you full. It will kill all your hunger pangs for a longer period of time. Some people who do not drink a lot of water experience dehydration. This results in dizziness, fatigue, and weakness. Even mild dehydration brings on symptoms such as hunger, fatigue, and dizziness.
3. Do not Drink Soft Drinks/ Soda and other Liquid Calories
Soft drinks and other sweet drinks are full of sugar, and this can worsen insulin resistance. Because it makes it harder to lose weight over the long term. Many people enjoy an occasional soft drink. These and other sugary drinks are not filling but pack a lot of calories which have a huge impact on your weight.
Therefore, soft drinks and liquid calories are not remedies when it comes to losing weight. Although, the taste is great and it also helps in digestion of a heavy meal, but the sugar in it is the major source of weight gain.
These condensed sweeteners can worsen your blood sugar and insulin level. This then makes it really difficult to lose weight. It is advisable to always choose water over these soft drinks and other liquid calories. This will help to maintain a healthy weight when having PCOS.
4. Eat Small Meals at Intervals a Day
Instead of having three meals per day, eat 4-6 smaller meals per day. This will ensure that your blood sugar is more stable. And that you are never hungry enough to indulge in eating. Eating three large meals a day is not good for women with PCOS.
This eating pattern of large meals spaced far apart encourages spikes and dips in both insulin and blood sugar levels. Instead of eating large meals in a day, break it up into smaller portions. With this, you feel satiated throughout the day.
Meanwhile, a lot of dieters assume that it is a good idea to skip meals so as to ‘save calories’ for special meals. This is a not a good idea for women with PCOS. Instead, eat the same number of meals but with lower calories than usual.
Eating large meals is only going to disrupt the insulin levels more. This is by keeping your stomach full and your blood sugar levels steady will decrease cravings while making you more comfortable. So Having 4-6 small meals a day is a good way of tackling the hunger pangs as well as in maintaining the insulin levels.
5. Quit Smoking
If you are a smoker, then try to stay away from tobacco and nicotine. This is not a good idea, especially if you are dealing with PCOS. A lot of people assume that to quit smoking will allow gaining weight. Maybe! But you should consult your doctor.
He can help you come up with a plan to quit in a healthy manner without gaining weight. However, breaking your nicotine addiction is important for losing weight while you’re living with PCOS.
A 2009 study in Germany found that smoking actually raises both insulin and testosterone levels in women with PCOS (5). Both of which can make it difficult to lose weight. It is advisable to see the doctor who can help you get a down a plan that will help you to quit smoking and not gain weight.
6. Exercise Daily
No matter how much you weigh, it is essential to do some exercises in order to lose weight and maintain it. A low or moderate level of exercise is good for freshers or beginners. A little exercise every day will help to lower insulin resistance.
As time goes on and you get in better shape, you can gradually add more time or switch to more strenuous activity. Although it is not necessary that it should be boring and just constricted to the gym. A lot of people believe that they need to get registered in a gym or workout a lot in order to lose weight.
However, moderate or low impact exercise is actually best for those who are just beginning a weight loss journey. Exercise like taking a walk, swimming etc. Simply walk or swim for at least thirty minutes every day, six or seven days per week. This helps to lower insulin resistance and ultimately lead to weight loss.
7. Get Enough Rest
If you struggle to get enough sleep or spend less time sleeping, it has many negative effects. Not only will it make you more prone to eating less and less likely to get the exercise that you need, it also worsens insulin resistance.
Then you have to consider making a bedtime routine that you perform occasionally every night. Hence, you tend to become sleepy and fall asleep quickly at such reasonable hour. To ensure a better sleep, you have to maintain and stick to the time. Not getting enough of sleep is a destructive idea if you are suffering from PCOS.
Metformin for PCOS and Weight Loss
However, metformin as some side effects that every woman with PCOS needs to be aware of. The maybe occur at the early stage of taking metformin, but with time it will subside. The best thing is the ask your doctor before taking using metformin to lose weight when you are suffering from PCOS.
Metformin Side Effects
- Stomach pain
- Decreased appetite
- Muscle/nerve pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Weight loss
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Losing weight with PCOS is a major responsibility. It is not easy for women with this syndrome to maintain a weight that makes them feel healthy. However, weight loss is possible if you carefully manage your PCOS and focus on healthy and long-term changes.
Many of these tips will not only help you on how to lose weight with PCOS but help you to live a healthier life.