Losing weight when you have PCOS is tough, but not impossible. Here’s how
Updated on:3 September 2020, 15:22pm IST
Wondering how to lose weight with PCOS? Well, it may take you a little longer than the rest, but isn’t impossible. Here are some tips to help you out.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) refers to the formation of many ‘poly’ cysts in the ovaries along with imbalances in sex hormone levels, irregularities in the menstrual cycle, problems in ovulation and conceiving. Nutritionist and lifestyle educator Karishma Chawla explains that the hormone imbalance in PCOS further increases the risk of various health conditions as secondary complications.
A woman is said to have PCOS if she shows the following symptoms:
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Multiple cysts developed in one or both the ovaries along with enlarged ovaries
Irregular menstrual cycles longer than 35 days or prolonged periods that may be scant or heavy
Irregular ovulation (or no ovulation) due to which ovaries are unable to release eggs every monthly cycle
High level of androgens such as testosterone
As a result of PCOS, different people experience different kinds of changes in their bodies like excessive growth of facial hair, acne, and unexplained weight gain. Losing weight is very important to keep the condition under control. PCOS is a unique health condition which requires a unique approach to achieve effective and sustainable weight loss.
Chawla addresses the fact that women with PCOS may take a little longer in reaching their ideal body fat percentage as compared to a woman without PCOS. “However, it would make sense to focus on the two key factors of weight loss that are commitment and consistency,” she adds.
So, here are a few things you can take care of to manage your PCOS and lose weight at the same time:
Say goodbye to carbs You need to reevaluate your carbohydrate intake because carbs have a direct impact on your insulin levels. Chawla suggests that your carbs must be strictly low. They must be limited to small quantities and more importantly, tapered down towards the night.
Add more fibre to your plate Fibre makes you feel fuller for longer. This stops you from overeating. High fibre intake also links to lower insulin resistance which means lower body fat.
Let your protein intake shoot up “Proteins must be preferably sourced from chicken, fish, and egg combined with supplements such as whey,” says Chawla. Protein contributes to stabilizing the blood sugar and helps you lose weight by burning more calories. In case you are a vegetarian, you can resort to plant-based protein sources like legumes, pulses, raw nuts and seeds.
Forget about processed foods If you have PCOS, your body processes sugar differently. It is important that you cut down on processed food intake since both processed foods and added sugar raise blood sugar levels. This, in turn, leads to insulin resistance and is associated with obesity.
Add fermented food to your diet Fermented foods and foods high in probiotics induce an increase in the healthy bacteria in your gut, something that is present in a lesser amount in women with PCOS. So, they boost your metabolism and help with weight management. Chawla suggests that you add fermented veggies such as carrots, cauliflower, cabbage and fermented fluids like kefir to your diet.
A good workout is a must “Regular intense resistance training for a powerful afterburn effect to increase metabolism is a must. You must also add cardiovascular training to contribute to fat burning,” says Chawla. While a healthy diet can do wonders for you, coupling it up with good cardio and effective weight training sessions will bring you some great outcomes.
Do not starve yourself Starving yourself is not going to help you lose weight. In fact, it will slow down your metabolism leading to further weight gain. Even the hormones that control your appetite can be adversely affected if you don’t eat enough.
Sleep well Lack of sleep tends to increase the activity of the hormones that drive hunger. This may make you eat more throughout the day. Sleep, on the other hand, enables your body to rejuvenate and replenish. Chawla says, “Ensure seven to eight hours of sleep. Moreover, keep in mind that exposure to sunlight within 30 minutes of waking up can help boost serotonin levels that can increase melatonin levels at night and ensure better sleep.”
It might seem tough but these easy lifestyle changes will surely show results in some time!