Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, affects 7% of women of childbearing age. This condition causes hormonal imbalances, irregular periods, and the development of many small cysts in at least one ovary. Because women with PCOS have higher levels of male hormones, they are less sensitive to insulin, causing them to become overweight or obese. Carrying excess weight has well-known health risks, including a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and sleep apnea. All of these make it more difficult to lose weight.
If you have PCOS, you can effectively lose weight by making certain lifestyle changes. Even 5% weight loss in women with PCOS can promote:
- Improvement in insulin resistance
- More balanced hormone levels
- Better regularity in menstrual cycles fertility
- Better overall quality of life
These 7 tips will help you lose weight:
- Be a mindful eater: Eating a healthy diet and making time to prepare healthy meals is a challenge for any adult. This is particularly true for those balancing a career, social life, family, and more. However, mindful eating can help with your internal hunger cues, which can promote weight loss. Mindful eating can help address problematic eating behaviors, like emotional eating and disorders such as binge eating. Research has shown mindful eating practices may have a correlation to weight loss. But what is mindful eating? The following tips will help you learn more about how you should structure your diet.
- Reduce your carb intake: Carbs get a bad rap, especially refined carbohydrates, or those that are not whole grains. Some prefer the taste of refined carbs, such as white bread and pasta, over their wholegrain counterparts. Usually, these individuals prefer the softer texture of refined carbs. But a low-carb diet, especially on low in refined-carbs and higher in whole grains, is important for women with PCOS. It can improve insulin sensitivity, which in turn can improve blood sugar management and the body’s energy storage. In a study of women with PCOS who had insulin-resistance, those who followed a 3-week diet of 40% carbs/45% fat/15% protein, and then another 3-week diet of 60% carbs/25% fat/15% protein, insulin levels went down 30% during the lower-carb/higher-fat phase of their diet.
- Eat a diet high in fiber: Fiber can also improve insulin sensitivity, and it has other proven benefits. It can help you feel satisfied longer after a meal. This can help you lose weight more easily, as it causes a slight reduction in appetite.
- Eat enough protein: Higher protein intake can boost weight loss, especially with healthy, low-fat options like eggs, nuts, and seafood. Also, like fiber, protein can increase feelings of fullness after eating by managing the hunger-producing hormone, ghrelin. It can also reduce craving and help you burn more calories.
- Eat healthy fats: Contrary to what many think, not all dietary fat is bad for you, especially in moderation. Healthy fats such as those found in avocados, omega-3-rich baked salmon, nut butters, seeds, and olive oil can expand stomach volume and reduce hunger. However, dietary fat is more calorie-dense than the calories found in carbs and proteins, which means, yes, you have to watch your calories when consuming any fats.
- Eat fermented foods: Healthy gut bacteria is getting more attention in the media than ever. Women with PCOS have lower levels of beneficial gut bacteria, which hinders weight loss. Foods high in probiotics, or healthy bacteria, can increase your beneficial gut bacteria, and even improve digestion, immunity, and weight loss. These foods include yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, miso, kombucha, and others.
- Reduce sugar intake: Processed foods with added sugar are particularly problematic for women with PCOS, as their bodies digest sugar differently. Women with PCOS often have larger spikes in insulin levels after consuming the same amount of sugar as women without PCOS. Foods with added sugars don’t just include candy and ice cream. They also include refined carbs, as mentioned above, such as white bread and pasta, as well as fast food.
If you have polycystic ovarian syndrome, it’s important to regulate your weight for optimal health. Soza Weight Loss can help. Call us today at (504) 475-9817 to learn more about how we can help you, or contact us online for a quick reply.