PCOS stands for a highly common hormonal imbalance, which affects about5 million women in US alone: the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. This condition affects women of all ages, starting as early as 11 years old. When you have PCOS, cysts develop on the ovaries, which hardens them and alters the hormone production, so the body produces more male hormones. Apart from the reduced chances of getting pregnant, PCOS leads to a lot of other symptoms.
The struggle with PCOS
Women who reached the child-bearing age are most prone to suffer from PCOS, which increases infertility. Other symptoms of this condition are menstrual issues, acne, excessive hair growth and weight gain. Depending on the severity of the ailment, you may have one or multiple symptoms.
In many cases, PCOS is associated with other health issues, which makes it hard for doctors to diagnose it properly. As a result, there are many women out there who don’t know they suffer from PCOS until they want to get pregnant or they deal with other problems caused by one of the PCOS symptoms.
As PCOS is essentially a hormone imbalance, women who suffer from this condition easily gain weight, but they have difficulties losing it. On the long run, it’s important to keep your weight under control when you suffer from PCOS, because obesity and depression go hand in hand with this condition.
The more you postpone your weight loss journey, the more your are harming your already ill body. Right now is the perfect moment to start controlling your weight, so here is the essential information you need to know for a smooth and effective diet with PCOS.
1. Only eat natural, unprocessed food
Women who suffer from PCOS are highly sensitive to what they eat. Refined food and overly processed meals harm your body and lead to more weight gain problems, as they mix with your hormone imbalance. Gluten is one of the major enemies of your body, so avoid it as much as possible. No more regular flour, but coconut flour.
Your rule of thumb when it comes to eating must be “only natural products”. This also means more home-cooked meals. Each time you go to the store, pick the least processed foods, like fresh vegetables and fruits.
2. Fibers are essential
When you are trying to lose weight and you suffer from PCOS you need to rely on fibers for nutrients. Women need at least 25 grams daily, but most people only eat 15 grams daily. Fibers help you maintain a healthy bowel movement, relieve the hunger feeling and keep the blood sugar under control. All in one, fibers are great for your health, so make sure you do get your daily intake of 25 grams.
Eat them as cereals in the morning, make pancakes or bake your fibers – you can choose any method you want, as long as you meet your daily intake.
3. Low on the carbohydrates
Women who suffer from PCOS should lower your carbs intake, a recent studies found a link between PCOS and insulin resistance. However, don’t give up on carbs completely, as they are important sources of energy for your body. Switch regular cereals with whole grain cereals and go for non-refined carbs, which have a nutritional value, opposed to refined carbs, which only increase the blood sugar levels.
4. Eat more healthy fats
Healthy fats, such as Omega 3, can lower the level of male hormones in your body, so they are beneficial for you. Healthy fats also help regulate the menstrual cycle and decrease the severity of PMS. Another proven benefitof raising the amount of healthy fats is that Omega fats lower the insulin level. The best way to eat healthy fats is getting them from fresh salmon, mackerel or trout, but there are also supplements available. Apart from fish, you can find healthy fats in nuts and avocado.
5. Exercising as part of your anti-PCOS regime
Exercising is a must when you suffer from PCOS, as it helps you lose weight and burn calories. Exercising also improves insulin sensitivity. The form of exercises you do is up to you: from yoga to running or dancing, there are many activities out there which can help you achieve your goal. Don’t get stuck with something you don’t like.
Apart from these tips, getting enough sleep and checking with your gynecologist on a regular basis is going to help you control your weight. A healthy lifestyle is going to reduce the number of PCOS symptoms, while regular checkups will allow your doctor to act fast if any new condition arises.