Currently, there isn’t any cure for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS. But there are multiple ways to efficiently manage its effects such that they don’t overwhelm your life. One key way to achieve a better hormone balance in PCOS is through weight loss. Maintaining a healthy weight can be a huge help in regulating various symptoms of this hormonal disorder. From reducing the body’s insulin resistance to promoting normal ovary functioning, losing the excessive weight is a crucial step in dealing with this lifelong condition.
Whether it’s the inflammation, increased androgens, or insulin resistance, there are a number of factors that come in the way of weight loss when you have PCOS. Don’t be discouraged, though, adopt the lifestyle and dietary changes shared below to fuel up your weight loss efforts.
1. Increase Your Intake of Protein and Fiber
Eating foods that help you feel satiated is important, which is why including more of protein and fiber in your diet makes perfect sense.
When there’s enough protein in your diet, you’re much less likely to crave for the little snacks and treats after the meals. Try protein-rich foods like nuts, beans, chicken, eggs, fish like shrimp and salmon, tofu, etc.
The high-fiber foods don’t add on too many calories, but they still do a wonderful job in keeping you full for quite a while. Additionally, these foods are great against the problem of insulin resistance. To boost up the fiber in your meals, include items like vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli, flax seeds, chia seeds, lentils, whole grains, sweet potatoes, and more.
Plan your food intake such that you’re having frequent small meals in the day, as opposed to having 3 big meals.
2. Be as Stress-Free as You Possibly Can
Chronic stress not only takes a toll on your quality of life but can also cause problems with weight. It leads to elevated cortisol hormone, which in turn is associated with issues like insulin resistance and increase in weight. Also, if stress is one of the reasons that leads you into the pattern of binge-eating, then minimizing stress levels can allow you to break out of this pattern and eat more mindfully.
Stress management is an important factor when it comes to weight management with PCOS. Try stress-reduction practices like pranayama, yoga, body massages, meditation, etc. to help yourself relax and attain better well-being.
3. Cutting Down Calories Drastically Is Not the Solution
Eating less than what your body needs is far from ideal strategy for losing weight. You can’t deprive yourself of the calories that are essential in sustaining healthy functioning of the body. A diet that’s too low in calories would have a negative effect on your metabolism. It will lower your metabolic rate as well as the calorie expenditure of your body, all eventually causing you to put on weight. Moreover, excessive calorie restriction is also bad for the hormones responsible for regulating appetite.
So, undereating is not the right way to go about weight loss. What you should be doing is designing a wholesome diet that’s high on quality foods and low on junk foods.
4. Treat Workouts as a Regular Ritual
Start taking exercising more seriously, treating it as a ritual that you follow with regularity and persistence. Consistent workouts can not only help with the fat loss, but also with increasing insulin sensitivity and metabolism. High-intensity interval training, resistance training, cardio exercises like swimming, running, and cycling, are all great types of workouts that you can get started with. With a well-rounded exercise regime, you can improve your cardiovascular fitness as well as muscle mass.
If you’re just jumping into exercising for the first time, then have patience as you get used to it. It can help if you initiate your new workout ritual with an activity that you genuinely enjoy. Once you get into the groove of exercising regularly, you can then branch out and experiment with workouts of different kinds.
5. Reduce Inflammation with the Right Foods
Chronic inflammation and PCOS are closely linked to one another. Chronic inflammation also has a close relationship with obesity. Therefore, controlling inflammation is vital for keeping your weight in check.
Stay away from or at least minimize the foods that are likely to cause or worsen inflammation in your body. This means you should strictly control your intake of refined carbohydrates and different processed foods.
Instead, you should aim to incorporate the right anti-inflammatory foods in your diet. These include spinach, tomatoes, foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, nuts like walnuts and almonds, kale, etc. Go for foods that are loaded with antioxidants to lower the inflammation. To name a few in vegetables, you have options like carrots, beets, and asparagus. Whereas, in fruits, you could try apples, strawberries, cranberries, blueberries, etc. Spices that offer anti-inflammatory benefits like turmeric can also be incorporated in the diet.