Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder commonly found among women of child-bearing age. While PCOS is generally regarded as a fertility problem, there are several layers to it and there are many more problems that come with it which women suffering from PCOS endure on a daily basis. One such problem faced by women is that of weight gain. Many women who suffer from PCOS also have insulin resistance which results in the body facing difficulty to convert glucose from the blood to energy. As a result, the body needs to produce more insulin to balance sugar levels. Insulin resistance is a common cause of obesity and more than half the women who suffer from PCOS also suffer from obesity. So, the question of how to lose weight with PCOS becomes all the more relevant.
PCOS management is tough and the more obese you are, the more problems you will develop since obesity is known to further hamper your hormones and impact your fertility. It is important to keep your weight in check so that you do not suffer from any of these problems.
Dr. Suhasini Inamdar, Consultant – Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Indiranagar, Bengaluru, suggests the following lifestyle habits for anyone battling PCOS.
Refrain from the ‘one size fits all’ approach as a diet plan needs to be tailored according to your body type. Doctors recommend balancing your diet with protein, vegetables and healthy fats. Avoid foods that are rich in carbs and sugar. Try to add more fiber rich foods to your diet as it helps you feel full after a meal and is good for digestion. Add fermented food to your diet which helps in increasing metabolism and losing weight.
Processed foods have added sugar which increases blood sugar levels and increase insulin resistance in your body. Research shows that women with PCOS have demonstrated greater spikes in blood sugar levels after consuming the same quantity of sugar as compared to woman who does not have PCOS. Processed foods can be convenient but are detrimental to your health.
Women who exercise for at least 30 minutes are at a lower risk of obesity, which also increases chances of weight loss. While Women suffering from PCOS take longer to lose weight as compared to women who do not, exercise helps them to lose weight gradually.
Cutting out too many calories from your diet can not be good for your health as it may result in nutritional deficiencies which are linked to several health problems. Over-indulging in exercising too is known to hamper estrogen production in your body which disturbs ovulation further.
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While following a diet to lose weight, it is natural to crave for something you like, which could be unhealthy for your body. However, it is important to keep your cravings in check as this could reverse the entire weight loss process and in turn result in you gaining more weight.
It takes time for women suffering from PCOS to lose weight. Be patient about your progress as it will happen gradually. Avoid making comparisons with somebody else’s weight loss journey as everybody’s body type is different.
It is advisable to not self-medicate when suffering from PCOS or starting a diet or exercise without understanding the consequences that it may have on your body. It is best to speak to your gynecologist who can guide you for a PCOS diet and weight loss plan regarding the same. He/she can also refer you to a nutritionist who can chart out the best possible diet plan for you in order to amp up the entire weight loss process by ensuring that your body gets all the nutrients that it requires.