PCOS, you might have heard this term quite a lot around. An abbreviation for Polycystic ovarian syndrome, PCOS is a very less talked about a condition that women suffer from. Weight gain is possibly one of the biggest side effects of PCOS and if you are wondering how to lose weight with PCOS, you are in the right place.
Losing weight with PCOS is very hard. If you are in a quagmire, we hope this would be helpful for you.
By the end of this article, you would know about some of the effective ways to lose weight with PCOS without medication.
What Is PCOS?
Just what the name of the condition suggests, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a condition witnessed in women who have the presence of multiple cysts in their ovary or ovaries.
The condition is often very neglected and not prioritized because of the lack of awareness around it. It has been witnessed that the women suffering from PCOS experience irregular periods, hormonal imbalances and untreated conditions can even lead to infertility.
Why Is It So Hard To Lose Weight With PCOS?
Before we start into discussing about the PCOS weight loss diet, it is best if we understand for a fact why it is hard to lose weight for the patients suffering from PCOS in the first place.
If you think that you are the only patient unable to lose weight with this condition, you are sorely mistaken. Statistics suggest that over half the patients suffering from PCOS are overweight or find it hard to lose their weight.
Your Body is Storing Fat
One of the most common reasons why it is hard losing weight with PCOS is because of the fact that your body is constantly storing fat even when you are doing everything to regulate the condition.
Women suffering from PCOS tend to have an irregular secretion and utilization of the hormone insulin. When the cells in the body become resistant to this hormone, it does further trigger the pancreas to secrete more insulin. What this does is end up creating a surge in the levels of insulin in the bloodstream.
The excess presence of insulin in the body often tends to promote fat storage, especially around the abdominal region as visceral fat which is often very hard to get rid of.
Hunger is consuming you
Yet another one of the common reasons is because of the fact that women suffering from PCOS do suffer from serious hunger pangs.
Given the raised levels of insulin in the body, the hormone itself acts as a trigger for you to feel hunger and thus contributes to overeating as well.
Higher levels of insulin have also been reported to induce insulin resistance in the body which is further associated with unprecedented feeling of hunger in the body. Cravings are often a very common side effect when it comes to the condition of PCOS.
Lack of proper appetite regulating hormones
If you weren’t aware of this, our body does have a system that controls our appetite and satiety.
The hormones responsible for them to ensure that we eat as much as we need.
Women with PCOS often have several hormonal disbalances in their body and the appetite-regulating hormones like leptin, ghrelin and even cholecystokinin have been found to not be secreted incorrect levels.
The dsyfunctionality of these hormones end up causing the person to eat more which further prevents weight loss.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the culprit
Yet another and possibly one of the least thought of reasons behind the lack of weight loss is because of the fact that you are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea.
This condition is characterized by the blockage in the upper portion of the air passage which restricts the smooth flow of oxygen, making it harder for you to breathe. This causes disruption in one’s sleeping cycle, thus causing unwanted snacking and even weight gain.
The overall high levels of male hormones, androgens, are what are believed to have impacts on the sleep receptors in the body. This is why people often tend to complain about the lack of sleep when they suffer from PCOS.
How To Lose Weight With PCOS?
Now that we are more or less accustomed with the common reasons that are working out in inhibiting the weight loss, it is important we discuss about the effective steps involved in losing weight with PCOS.
1. Consume a Low Carb Diet
As mentioned before, the lack of regulation of insulin secretion and usage in the body is often considered to be one of the primary reasons behind the lack of weight loss in PCOS patients.
When it comes to discussing about the best diet to lose weight with PCOS, it is advised to stick to a low carb diet.
Consuming a low carb diet ensures that your body doesn’t cause or experience any kind of insulin spikes that could be a contributing factor to the possible induction of insulin resistance in the body.
Statistics (R) suggest that 70% of PCOS patients suffer from insulin resistance.
In a conducted study (R), a group of women suffering from PCOS and insulin resistance were first asked to consume a diet of 40% carbs and 45% fat for 3 weeks followed by consuming 60% carbs and 25% fat the next 3 weeks. The rest of the 15% of the diet was protein in both cases.
The researchers found that the time lapse that the women consumed a low carb and high fat diet was the phase in which they experienced a 30% down in the insulin levels in the body.
2. Restricting Calories Isn’t the Answer
Many women suffering from PCOS and even some experts have this sole notion that restricting the calories is the only way to combat the unprecedented problems associated with weight gain.
In a review of 31 studies (R) conducted by the UCLA researchers, they found that that was only about a small minority of the subjects who opted for this method that they lost weight successfully with the process of maintaining their calorie intake while the rest tend to have completely opposite impacts on the body.
The main reason why this tends to not work is because of the fact that out body has worked up an appetite over the years. When you are not eating enough, it is these appetite hormones that tend to kick in and make you eat more.
Instead of making drastic cutting down of calories, make healthier choices that will stick on and will impact your health in a better way.
3. Limit the Consumption of Junk Food
When you are trying to lose weight with PCOS without medication, it is often hard for the body to resist the temptation of consuming junk food.
This is where you need to make better choices.
Junk food is not just loaded with Trans fats, it is also loaded with unnecessary levels of refined sugar in it which could further contribute to the problem associated with insulin resistance (R).
Even a conducted review (R) found that 60% of the women suffering from PCOS have the tendency to binge eat, especially unhealthy foods. While the researchers are still on the lookout for why the same could be a possible reason and while the picture is still not completely clear, it is believed that the same could be because of the hormone Ghrelin which controls our hunger and satiety.
[Read: How to Stop Eating Junk Food]
4. Practice Mindful Eating
One of the main reasons why we tend to suffer through losing weight with PCOS is mainly because of the fact that we don’t eat consciously.
It is actually very important to practice mindful eating to be able to not overeat or undereat.
In a conducted review (R) with around 24 studies, it was assessed that the subjects who ate while being distracted were actually at higher risks of overeating.
When it comes to how to lose weight with PCOS, the best way to do so is by practicing mindful eating. The best way to lose weight with PCOS is to ensure that you indulge in some mindful eating.
Instead of always being in a hurry while eating, do something else to mitigate the situation. Try and ensure that you are eating on a dining table and not in a hurry. This will help you keep account of how much you are eating and would help you keep everything in check as well.
5. Consume More Fiber
PCOS or not, every kind of weight loss program does demand a good amount of fiber in it. If you are here wondering why the same is good enough, it is mainly because of the fact that it keeps you satiated and your hunger managed for a longer period of time.
Consuming a high fiber meal has been associated with improving the weight loss goals mainly because of the fact that it ensures that you are full for an extended period of time, thus ensuring that you don’t binge eat.
Even a conducted study (R) indicates that the consumption of a high fiber diet has been linked and associated with lower insulin resistance in the body as well as belly fat in the women suffering from PCOS.
6. Understand and Take the Reasons Seriously
The best PCOS weight loss treatment is by understanding the problems and taking them seriously. As I mentioned before, one of the primary reasons why women tend to have issues with this is mainly because of the fact that they don’t take everything seriously.
If you have been experiencing the presence of high androgen levels and constant inflammation, it is important that you take the condition seriously.
In order to lose weight successfully, it is very important to be well aware of the triggers that’s inhibiting the weight loss in the first place. Inflammation in the body (R) has been associated with the increased release of androgens which ends up inhibiting the process of weight loss.
7. Exercise More
One of the most effective ways of losing weight with PCOS is by indulging in exercises. A sedentary lifestyle has the potency to end up affecting the overall metabolism of the body which hampers the process of weight loss in an individual.
Even someone who is maintaining a proper diet has the potency of gaining weight if they don’t necessarily indulge in including a good exercise regime with the same.
Studies have found that the combination of resistance training (R) has been found to be quite fruitful in the reduction of the abdominal fat and also for improving the condition associated with insulin resistance.
In one of the specific studies (R) conducted recently, it was found that the women who did perform resistance training exercises around 3 times per week for 4 months straight have been found to showcase improvements in the overall waist circumference and lean muscle mass too.
8. Do Squats
Yet another amazing way of losing weight with PCOS is by indulging in doing squats because of the kind of exercise programs you have. The main reason why it is effective is because of the fact that it impacts the overall quads, glutes, back as well as the core of the body.
A squat is often a very dreaded part of one’s overall workout regime but if you stick well with it, you would understand that it is actually one of the very best forms of workout there is. If required, you can engage in doing squats with or even without weights if they aren’t accessible for you.
If you are here wondering how to do so, we do have an easy routine for you to follow along.
9. Eat Enough Protein
You won’t necessarily realize this but including a good portion of protein in your daily diet is actually a very good way to get in that daily kick of weight loss target achievements.
Protein does have a good impact in making you feel full and help in stabilizing the blood sugar levels which is very crucial in handling the condition associated with the insulin resistance which contributes to better and effective weight loss in an individual.
In a conducted study (R) with 57 women suffering from PCOS, every one of them were given a high protein diet for consumption in which, more than 40% of the calories came from protein and then 30% from the fats and for some others, a standard diet containing 15% protein and 30% fats.
Following 6 months of the trial, the researchers concluded for a fact that the group which consumed more protein and less fat were found to be effective enough in losing 9.7 pounds in comparison to the control group.
10. Maintain Portions
One of the most common factors that does adds to the PCOS weight loss diet is the fact that one should maintain good portions.
Sticking to portioned eating is actually quite effective in helping you lose weight successfully. The main reason behind the same is because of the fact that you are watching the amount of calories you are consuming.
Even studies have claimed that portion distortions can actually contribute a lot when it comes to weight loss.
Not only does it help in watching how much yocu are eating, it also brings down your unnecessary desire of eating without any requirement. If you don’t have any proper guide for the portion sizes, just use your hands and measure accordingly and that should get the work done well.
It is very easy to overeat, so maintaining a good portion sizing is very effective in preventing that problem from prevailing.
11. Add in more spice
Even if you don’t necessarily believe this, spice actually does help a lot in making you eat less.
The main reason why spices should be part of the PCOS diet is mainly because of the fact that spices help you be satisfied with the food very easily.
Even a few conducted studies have found that people tend to have a stronger sensory experience when they are eating a meal they are satisfied with. This helps ensure that they eat less and not gorge down unnecessary amounts of food.
If you need to know about some spices that can aid in weight loss, cinnamon is actually a very good enough option to look into. Given the fact that hardships in weight loss with PCOS are associated with insulin resistance, it is not surprising that cinnamon is often used as a mode of mitigation. Studies (R) have shown that cinnamon is effective enough in lowering the blood sugar levels which has been found to further propagate the weight loss effectively.
12. Consume More Healthy Fats
Fats are often one of the most misunderstood macronutrients.
While there are bad fats that do no good to your body, the good fats that we consume are actually beneficial for your overall health and can even contribute to promoting better weight loss without any issues whatsoever.
The primary reason why this is beneficial is mainly because of the fact that healthy fats ensure to help you reach your satiety faster and without any further issues. It also helps keep you full for a longer period of time.
Even in a conducted study (R) with 30 women suffering from PCOS, one group was fed with a high-fat diet and the other group was fed with a low-fat diet.
Following the completion of 8 weeks of the study period, it was found that the group who were fed with a high fat diet was more successful in losing weight in comparison to the low-fat diet.
It is believed that the addition of healthy fats (R) in the diet can actually be beneficial in expanding the stomach which is beneficial in reducing the hunger as well.
13. Manage your stress
You might not necessarily get this but stress does have a very predominant impact on your rate of weight loss.
It is believed that the high levels of cortisol have the potential to disrupt the presence of other hormones in the body as well. This specific steroid hormone does have the potency of impacting the body without us even knowing it.
If you are wondering how it can even make someone with PCOS gain weight, there are predominant ways in which one can witness the same.
The main reason how cortisol impacts is because of the fact that it promotes fat storage thinking that the stress in the body could be signal for fight or flight situation. Alternatively, the higher cortisol levels have also been associated with the increased blood glucose levels in the body which could be responsible for inducing insulin sensitivity as well.
How many of you tend to eat more when you are stressed? Quite common, right? Well, maintaining proper cortisol levels have been indicative of maintaining those problems as well.
14. Drink more water
Consumption of more water has time and time been proven to be a potent remedy (R) for someone suffering from problems associated with weight loss.
Given the fact that you most possible will try to stick to a diet for the best PCOS weight loss treatment, any form of dehydration can end up affecting the body for the worse. Always ensure that you are keeping yourself hydrated without a speck of doubt.
Switching the unwanted refined sugar beverages for simply just water can actually be quite amazing in handling the weight loss program even when you are suffering from PCOS.
[Read: 10 Ways to Increase Water Intake for Healthier]
15. Get Proper Sleep
If you have been wondering how to lose weight with PCOS even when you have doing everything in your power, chances are that the same could be because of the improper sleep throughout the day.
For the best results in losing weight with PCOS, it is always best suggested to ensure that you get proper sleep that lasts straight for 6-9 hours.
Some studies have even shown that sleeping less at night have been associated with the heightened risks of genetic obesity, controlling which can sometimes even get out of one’s hand.
The best way to avoid that is to ensure that you are having the optimum amount of sleep every single night without any kind of interruptions.
When it comes to explaining how to lose weight with PCOS, the process is actually not that easy because of the kind of counteractive process that prevents the process from happening smoothly. It is always thus best suggested to opt for ways that actually do work without a speck of doubt. These ones mentioned here are science backed and effective enough.