If you have been following the articles on this site for a while, chances are you about what a PCOS diet plan can do for your life. You might be ready to take action, but the fear of the unknown is keeping you frozen in place. What do you need to know before starting a PCOS diet plan? The following ten points will cover everything to need to get off the couch and start executing on your 2015 resolution to get healthy and PCOS symptom free, so check them out below … and then get out there and do something, as action is the most important step of all!
1) Your default level of activity
While you should keep your net carbs below 20 grams per day on a PCOS diet plan, also cast a vigilant eye to the amount of calories that you need per day. Many misinformed dieters forget that you need food energy to live, and in their quest to banish carbs from their lives, they consume fewer calories than their daily requirements. Sedentary females, depending on age, require about 1,600 to 2,000 calories per day, while those that are physically active should consume between 2,000 to 2,400 calories. During pregnancy, adding 300 calories for the dining partner inside you is recommended (1). When aiming to shed weight, caloric restriction for brief periods can have a net positive effect in achieving this goal, but when a healthy weight is achieved, the above calorie targets should be met to avoid a reduction in your metabolism that cab lead to a rebound in fat stores (2).
2) The current status of your health
When you change the way you eat, doing so could put your health at risk in ways you can’t anticipate on your own. As such, it is prudent to book an appointment with your doctor to discuss your plans to shift to a new dietary regimen. Using their knowledge or the referred expertise of a specialist (e.g. a nutritionist), they can advise you on what to watch out for as you forge ahead with your PCOS diet plan (3).
3) Types of food to buy and what to avoid when you hit the supermarket
In today’s world, much of the foodstuffs we consume are highly processed, exposing us to byproducts that can aggravate our PCOS and elevated levels of substances like high fructose corn syrup (hello surprise carbs!) that can put us outside of our net carbohydrate limits if we’re not careful. By sticking to the outside edges of the grocery store, most of the food you will encounter will be fresh and low in carbs (milk, most fruits, and starchy vegs like potatoes excepted). By printing off a list of low carb foods before going to the supermarket for the first time when starting a PCOS diet plan, and reading the labels religiously when in the center aisles, you can avoid trouble with high carb foods right out of the gate.
4) Figure out which of your favorite foods don’t contain high levels of carbs
During this process of massive change in the way you eat, it is highly likely that you be bidding farewell to many foods that you currently count as your favorites. This fact alone is a big reason why many diets fail, so it is vital that you figure which of your favorite meals and foods jive with the PCOS diet of your choice so you can make them a prominent part of your meal planning going forward. Furthermore, there are many alternative recipes that re-work many of your former high carb favorites using ingredients that keep your net carbs well below the limits that your diet will set for you (4). With a little effort, you can eat just as well as you had before taking on a PCOS diet plan.
5) Snacks you’ll use to replace the carb bombs you currently eat
While you will consuming most of the food that you’ll be eating on a PCOS diet plan at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you shouldn’t just eat at these times solely. Indeed, by instituting snacks in the morning and afternoon between main meal times, you can keep your metabolism machine primed and running at full capacity. Many of the standby snacks you might have, whether they are chips, cookies, or even healthy-but-high-in-carb fruits like apples, oranges and bananas will wreck the ketogenic state that many PCOS diets rely upon. Instead, try some unprocessed meat jerky, cheese wedges, or a handful of nuts (but not peanuts, as these are actually high carb legumes, and NOT nuts), as they will keep you well under 20 grams a day while helping to chase your case of the munchies away (5).
6) What meals you will have before a given month has begun
Another reason why so many people fail in their New Year diet plans is that they hit the ground running without a plan. Without a map to guide them where to go, they quickly lose the way, ending up where they were before they know it. By downloading a meal plan from a trusted source online, you know exactly what to buy, what to cook, and how much to eat. The calories, carbs and other nutrients will be outlined without having to tabulate them yourself, making your PCOS diet fill well into your already hectic lifestyle (6).
7) Soy is not your friend
When you are considering alternatives to beverages like milk, you may be tempted to default to drinks like soy milk. We highly recommend that you do NOT do this, despite its societal perception as a healthy food, as it contains a keto diet-busting 13.5 net carbs per glass. Additionally, evidence has been uncovered that it contains phytoestrogens, which can wreak havoc with your endocrine functions (7).
8) Coffee and other caffeinated beverages will hurt you in your battle against PCOS
Need that cup of joe to wake you up every morning? If so, start weaning yourself off coffee, as the caffeine it contains has been shown to increase estrogen levels, which fans the flames of PCOS symptoms (8). There are many ways to start your day without this stimulant, ranging from drinking more water, getting adequate sleep each night, exercising in the morning, and so forth.
9) Keeping a diary of your progress will help you keep on the straight and narrow
Jotting down what you’ve eaten everyday may seem like an onerous task, but it is an incredible motivational tool that can make the difference between quitting a diet and experiencing success. By noting your failures and successes, you can learn from your mistakes and see how far you’ve come from your humble beginnings. By logging your calories and carb/protein/fat stats, you can figure out where you are falling short and make the necessary changes to keep up the pace of positive change that your PCOS diet plan is helping you achieve.
10) You are embarking on the road to a cleaner, more vibrant life
Everything you have done to this point in your life has gotten you to exactly where you are. There is documented evidence that many of various diet plans have a track record of helping women lose weight with PCOS, calm their PCOS symptoms and reestablish their fertility. What’s the worst that could happen? Doing nothing and remaining exactly as you are now. Ergo, embarking on a PCOS diet plan is the change you need going forward in 2015 … so, let’s get on with it!
- Annual Reviews
- Family Doctor
- Fertility Chef
- Oxford Journals