What is PCOS and how it can help you lose some weight?
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common health condition. Its characteristics are an excess of male and a lack of female hormones, insulin resistance, and inflammation. Common symptoms of PCOS include acne, excessive hairiness and painful periods.
Due to insulin resistance produced by hormone imbalance, over 50% of patients with PCOS are overweight (7). Because of their weight, women with this condition often have a higher risk of developing diabetes, suffering from sleep apnea, depression, joint pain, and infertility.
Yet it is proven (5) that losing weight with PCOS helps reduce symptoms and lower the risks of developing accompanying diseases. A healthy diet adjusted to specific features of PCOS is the best way to improve your well-being. Here are some recommendations on how to lose weight with PCOS in a natural and fast way.
Dietary tweaks to alleviate PCOS symptoms
1. Reduce your carbs.
According to researchers from Stanford University (8), lowering carb intake reduces insulin levels, which in turn will help you lose weight with PCOS. Thus it’s better to avoid products like white bread, rice, muffins, pasta, sweetened yogurts, juice and alcohol. Instead opt for green vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower, fish and nuts.
2. Eat more high-fiber foods.
High-fiber products slow down digestion and sugar impact on the blood, thereby weakening insulin resistance. For example, the best high-fiber foods you may add to your diet are seeds, such as chia, flax and sunflower seeds, and legumes like black beans, lentils and chickpeas. Various berries, and whole grains (bulgur, quinoa, brown rice and whole oats) are also excellent options.
3. Opt for the DASH diet.
This is one of the top-rated diets for people who are looking to prevent or treat hypertension, minimize the risks of contracting heart disease and relieve PCOS symptoms. The DASH diet is a balanced eating plan that encourages you to incorporate such foods as fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products, while urging you to give up entirely or at least cut back on foods rich in saturated fats and high in sugar (4).
4. Choose healthy fats.
Research has uncovered (2) that consumption of healthy fats promotes weight loss, keeps your appetite in check and staves off nagging hunger pangs. Incorporate olive and coconut oil, avocados and nut butter into your daily menu for expedited weight loss results. You will avoid falling short on vitally important nutrients or resorting to extreme low-calorie diets.
5. Practice stress management and mindful eating.
Stress and weight gain are interconnected (3). Stress shoots cortisol levels sky-high. This is the issue that lies at the root of insulin resistance and weight gain. Meditation and yoga are tried-and-true methods that effectively bring your cortisol levels down, ease you into a meditative state and stimulate weight loss (6). Moreover, mindfulness is a popular practice that teaches how to kick unhealthy habits like emotional eating and rely on the once faced with a complication (1).
While it is not possible to cure PCOS completely, a healthy diet and mindfulness-based lifestyle can contribute significantly to the improvement of your daily life.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Consult a licensed physician for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- А structured literature review on the role of mindfulness, mindful eating and intuitive eating in changing eating behaviours: effectiveness and associated potential mechanisms. (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Additive effects of gastric volumes and macronutrient composition on the sensation of postprandial fullness in humans. (2014, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Cortisol-Induced Insulin Resistance in Man: Impaired Suppression of Glucose Production and Stimulation of Glucose Utilization due to a Postreceptor Defect of Insulin Action (1982, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- DASH Diet, Insulin Resistance, and Serum hs-CRP in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial (2015, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Focus on metabolic and nutritional correlates of polycystic ovary syndrome and update on nutritional management of these critical phenomena. (2014, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Mindfulness mediates the physiological markers of stress: Systematic review and meta-analysis (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Obesity and the polycystic ovary syndrome (2002, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Substituting poly- and mono-unsaturated fat for dietary carbohydrate reduces hyperinsulinemia in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)