What Are Some Effective PCOS Weight Loss Diet Plans?

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The #1  thing PCOS patients are told to do to reverse PCOS is “lose weight” and “eat healthy food.” It sounds simple – find a weight loss diet on the internet and follow it. But is it as simple as that? ⁠⁠

⁠The truth about PCOS diet

It is true that dietary habits are the most important therapeutic strategies in the prevention, treatment and lifestyle modification for PCOS. Whether it is lean PCOS or PCOS with weight gain, 80% of PCOS treatment is about a diet that can balance hormones, correct insulin insensitivity and reduce androgen levels. Eating the right diet can regularise periods, lower hirsutism, help with weight loss and other PCOS symptoms naturally.⁠⁠

⁠⁠However, most women with PCOS believe that a general weight-loss diet is enough to reverse PCOS. PCOS patients who often cut calories, starve themselves or try restrictive diets that cut out food groups. Many such diets can make food cravings worse, lower energy levels, and only cause temporary weight loss. ⁠⁠

⁠⁠A correct PCOS diet is much more specialised than an ordinary weight loss diet. PCOS diets incorporate foods that can lower insulin, increase energy levels, and balance hormones. On top of that, every woman’s body reacts differently so it’s important to customise diets for PCOS and body type. Trying to do this by oneself is very difficult.

Planning your diet with PCOS

There is no one-size-fits- all diet when it comes to PCOS weight loss plan, so a diet you found on Google may not really work for you. It is recommended to reduce overall food intake, so long as healthy food choices are made and the food is nutritionally balanced.

  1. Breakfast should be heavy in terms of quality and not quantity. Should include best quality protein with good fibre, healthy fats and small quantity of good quality carbohydrates i.e. low glycemic index foods. 
  2. Lunch should be the heaviest meal in the day in terms of quantity and quality also. Should include complex carbohydrates, quality protein, double portions of vegetables and good probiotic 
  3. Evening is a time to include a filler – as simple as an antioxidant drink and a seasonal fruit with nuts.
  4. Dinner should be the lightest meal of the day with good vegetable portions, some fibre and small portions of easy to digest protein.

Recommendation for PCOS diet

Your plan should feature a balanced diet, while limiting intake of simple carbohydrates such as processed grains or packaged foods. Foods with a low glycemic index help in maintaining your blood glucose levels and improving insulin resistance. It is important to have ample sources of protein daily, which will not only help you stay full, maintain your blood sugar levels but also help in building lean muscle mass. Also, adding dietary fibre in moderate quantities to your diet has been linked to lower risks of heart and colon diseases, low cholesterol levels and is essential for healthy and sustainable weight loss. Fibre can help keep you fuller for a longer time and if you have the right combination of food with fibre, it can boost your gut health. Fibre can be consumed in the form of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

While we focus on including healthy greens and nutritious veggies to our diet plan, it is important to avoid some food items as well. Here’s what to cut off:⁣

  1. ⁣Fried and fast food:⁣

The undercover culprits – Sausages, granola bars, salad dressings, fries, burgers. Eliminating such food items from your diet can ease symptoms and protect you from androgen inflammation.⁣

  1. ⁣Sugary snacks and beverages:⁣

Sugary beverages and foods like soda, cold drinks, sweets, cookies, pastries, etc. can cause a spike in glucose levels, leading to insulin resistance. This further makes it difficult to lose weight and control PCOS.⁣

  1. ⁣Refined carbohydrates:⁣

PCOS can cause problems in processing carbohydrates due to the presence of insulin resistance. This intake quickly turns into sugar and elevates insulin levels.⁣

Following a PCOS diet does not require a fancy list of ingredients. In fact, you would’ve already used most of them in your regular cooking/meals. When you switch to fresh, whole foods instead of processed or packaged foods, you automatically make healthier diet choices that go a long way in managing your PCOS.⁣

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