Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that is associated with hormonal imbalance, irregular periods, or the development of cysts in the ovary. Women with PCOS are more likely to gain weight or can even become obese. This also increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea. Because of hormonal imbalance, insulin resistance, and inflammation, it becomes difficult to lose weight. Yet, a small weight loss can improve the condition and overall quality of life of women.
A few lifestyle changes can help lose weight in the case of PCOS. PCOS is a lifestyle metabolic disorder, so you need to work towards improving your metabolism. Weight loss can also help in reversing PCOS.
Here are some of the most effective tips for losing weight with PCOS:
- Reduce carbohydrate intake: Lowering the intake of carbohydrates can help in managing PCOS as carbohydrates affect insulin levels. Most of the women with PCOS have insulin resistance means the cells of the body stop recognizing the effects of insulin hormone. Insulin manages blood sugar levels and energy storage in the body. According to researchers, insulin levels go down up to 30% when you eat a low-carb diet.
- Eat plenty of fibers: Fiber-rich diet keeps you full for a longer time, thus helps in losing weight. Higher fiber consumption is also associated with lower insulin resistance, belly fat, and total fat.
- Include enough protein in your diet: Protein not only stabilize blood sugar levels but also increase the feeling of fullness after you eat. Protein reduces cravings, manages hunger hormones, increases metabolism, and helps in burning more calories. Women with PCOS who eat a high protein diet lose weight at a faster pace than those who eat a low protein diet. To increase protein intake, you can include nuts, dairy products, pulses, eggs, meat, and seafood in your diet.
- Include fermented food: Healthy gut bacteria not only keep you healthy but also increases metabolism and helps in weight management. According to studies, women with PCOS have fewer healthy gut bacteria than women without PCOS. Yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, and other fermented foods are high in probiotics and can help you in increasing the number of healthy bacteria in your gut. To increase healthy bacteria in your gut, you can also try probiotic supplements.
- Say no to processed foods: Regular consumption of processed food and added sugar may raise blood sugar levels and can increase the risk of insulin resistance. According to studies, when women with PCOS consume the same amount of sugar as women without PCOS, their blood sugar level rises more. Experts believe that women with PCOS should limit their consumption of refined carbohydrates, added sugar, and processed food to manage symptoms of PCOS and maintain a healthy body weight. Include minimally processed and real foods in your diet as they are more satisfying and raise blood sugarless.
- Practice mindful eating: Women with PCOD usually have eating disorders. Mindful eating can be a potential solution for eating disorders as it increases awareness about hunger and fullness. Mindful eating may address problematic eating behaviors, such as emotional eating. According to studies, mindful eating is also associated with weight loss.
- Do not under-eat: In short run calorie restriction assists in weight loss, but in the long run, it slows down your metabolism. When you restrict calories for a long period, your body adapts to this restriction by reducing the number of calories it burns, which leads to weight can regain. Eating too few calories can also negatively affect hormone levels and control appetite. Instead of restricting calorie consumption, it is advised to focus on the consumption of whole foods and cutting down unhealthy foods. By eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole foods and cutting down the consumption of refined carbohydrates, added sugar, and processed food, you may promote weight loss without restricting calories.
- Exercise is the key to success: Regular exercise is a well-known solution for improving weight loss. Women with PCOD who exercise regularly lose more weight than women who don’t exercise. Regular exercise assists in weight loss and improves insulin sensitivity.
- Sleep does matter: If you have PCOD or PCOS, you may also experience sleep disturbance, including sleep apnea, insomnia, and excessive daytime sleeping. When you sleep less, it increases the level of hunger hormones such as cortisol and ghrelin, and you feel hungry more often. Increased levels of hunger hormones may lead you to eat more throughout the day. Insufficient sleep is also associated with a higher risk of obesity. According to studies, people who sleep less than 5 hours per night are more likely to be obese. Every night of additional sleep is associated with a decrease in body mass index (BMI).