How to lose weight in PCOS?
Losing weight in PCOS may be challenging but not impossible. If you are in search of how to lose weight in PCOS, it’s the right place.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common health condition that affects women during childbearing (15-44) years. Women with PCOS may have high levels of male hormone (androgens), irregular menstrual periods, or/and polycystic ovaries.
Women with PCOS tend to gain belly fat because of insulin resistance, hormonal imbalances, depression, inflammation, and emotional eating.
Following are some proven ways to lose weight.
1. Lower the intake of carbs
Reduced intake of grains, dairy products, starchy vegetables, and fruits can lower blood sugar and insulin levels resulting in weight loss. You don’t need to go on a gluten-free, dairy-free, or keto diet to lose weight in PCOS because these are short-term diets, and you’ll end up gaining more weight. Eating low glycemic index carbohydrates in less quantity have a more positive effect on weight loss in PCOS.
2. Stack up on high fiber foods
Eating fiber-rich foods make you feel full for a longer time and thus decreases the demand for further eating resulting in weight loss. High Fiber foods also improve insulin sensitivity in women with PCOS resulting in belly fat reduction.
Great options of fiber-loaded foods to add up to the PCOS diet are bell peppers, green peas, tomatoes, carrots, green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, cherries, raspberries, red grapes, pulses, nuts, and seeds, and whole grains.
3. Eat enough lean protein
Eating enough protein at each meal improves your metabolism and controls your appetite by suppressing hunger hormone (Ghrelin) and thus boosting the weight loss process.
Some best protein options to include in PCOS are eggs, skinless chicken, Turkey, fatty fish like Salmon, low-fat cottage cheese, tofu, and beans.
4. Choose the right fats to lose weight
Olive oil, canola oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds are healthy fats with a positive effect on PCOS and weight loss by giving you a feeling of fullness and improving insulin resistance.
But it doesn’t mean to eat healthy fats in bulk. Just have it in moderation because they are high in calories too.
On the other hand, intake of trans fats and saturated fats worsen PCOS symptoms and thus leads to weight gain.
5. Eat more mindfully
Women with PCOS often face episodes of emotional eating. So mindful eating helps to control food cravings and distinguish between emotional and physical hunger.
Follow 3S to practice mindful eating;
- Sit down– ideally on the floor or at any place.
- Slow- chew your food properly, don’t rush.
- Silence-no screen time during eating. Focus all your senses on food.
6. Limit added sugars
Eating sugar-sweetened foods like juices, sodas, energy drinks, flavored milk, sauces, and desserts spike up blood sugar levels, and you feel more hungry, which results in more food intake and thus tends to gain weight.
If you are in search of how to lose weight in PCOS, limiting sugar intake is another tip.
7. Manage your stress
PCOS women often have high levels of stress that increase the production of cortisol (stress hormone) which in turn cause an increase in blood sugar, inflammation, and belly fat.
So, it’s mandatory to cope with stress to improve overall health by doing self-care or having a positive support system.
8. Practice exercising
Doing moderate intensity exercises like a brisk walk, water aerobics, etc. 30 minutes helps improving insulin sensitivity, fights depression and anxiety, and thus drops body fat in women with PCOS.
However, exercise alone would not help to control weight. Follow a caloric deficit diet along with exercise.
9. Spice up your meals
Ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, rosemary, mint, clove, oregano, and black pepper are anti-inflammatory spices and herbs. Adding these to the diet reduces inflammation and blood sugar level, and hence resulting in weight control. Besides this, they add more flavor to your meals.
10. Limit caffeine intake
Drinking coffee or other caffeinated drinks disrupts the level of hormones (Estrogen and cortisol). This hormonal imbalance triggers the symptoms of PCOS and thus increases body weight.
It is better to go without caffeine. But for an energy boost, try to limit it to one cup per day.
Try green tea instead to satisfy your caffeine-related cravings. Green tea contains a compound called theanine that decreases the level of stress hormone. It also helps in weight loss by improving insulin resistance, metabolism and, inflammation in the body due to its anti-inflammatory properties.