11 PCOS Weight Loss Tips Every Cyster Should Know

Reaching and maintaining your healthiest weight is very important for everyone, but particularly for women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

But PCOS can lead to years of struggle with weight issues. Often short-term success is followed by weight gain, and a cycle of yo-yo dieting that can adversely affect your thyroid and your metabolism, making it even more difficult to lose weight again.

What do I want for you? Long term, holistic strategies to help you reach your ideal weight – and stay there!

The advice in this special PCOS weight loss report WORKS. It is based on cutting edge research. And below, I wanted to share with you my personal transformation so you truly know this is possible for you!

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What foods have been proven to help with PCOS weight loss?

Food can be just like a double-edged sword (and sometimes we will all fall on our blade!) On one hand, poor food habits can cause or exacerbate your PCOS. On the other hand, correct food choices can heal your body, mind, soul… and your PCOS. Food is absolutely among the best medicine.

Modifying your eating habits helps to empower your thyroid, normalize your gut, detoxify your liver, and balance your mood and energy levels. Each of these is critical for you to lose weight, and keep it off! The right food choices set the foundations for success in optimal health, not just in PCOS weight loss.

Strengthening your body is THE best way to help yourself. Far more powerful than the toxic hormonal treatments traditionally given to women with PCOS, which not only treat one symptom and may leave behind a legion of side effects, but also increase insulin resistance and inflammation – the drivers of PCOS.

The ‘RIGHT’ food for your PCOS

Low Glycaemic Load (GL)

You need to look to food to overcome the metabolic mess that is PCOS. Diets may make tall claims about their miraculous successes, however, few will optimize your health or fix your PCOS. Do not consider yourself to be on ‘a diet’. All the word diet really means is ‘the usual food and drink a person consumes’. Think of your new food habits as your life giving, optimal, healing, food-plan.

What food plan will help you lose weight?

Look to nature!

Nature provides the right mix of nutrients. It also provides low Glycaemic Load (GL). The food plan proven to deal with PCOS and obesity is the ‘Low Glycaemic Load (Low GL) food plan’.

Why Low GL?

Low Glycaemic load is the best way to combat insulin resistance and obesity; two formidable opponents in PCOS. Low glycaemic index (GI) foods are now quite well known. However, as helpful as this tool is, it does not take into account the amount of carbohydrates eaten. Fantastic foods such as watermelon are high GI, but low GL and perfectly healthy. If we just look to GI, we would avoid this great food. GL gives you a better measure of the affect a food or drink will have on your insulin levels.

Tip: Do not be misled into believing low carb food plans in the guise of meat, egg and cheese diets are healthy for PCOS weight loss. You need nutrients to successfully and healthily lose weight, and keep it off.

A food plan that includes foods consisting of complex carbohydrates is important. Complex carbohydrates are those that break down slowly during digestion and release a steady supply of sugar in our body rather than causing sudden spikes. Due to the insulin resistance of PCOS, it is important for you to control your blood sugar levels. Including foods like fresh fruit and vegetables, gluten free grains nuts, seeds, beans and legumes, are very helpful.

Tip: Do not starve yourself to lose weight. This is not sustainable, and not healthy. Very low carbohydrate food plans are successful in PCOS weight loss, but very low calorie means stress on your arteries.

A word of caution:

Choose your low GL foods very carefully. As close to nature is best. Many of the low carb foods on the supermarket shelf are loaded with harmful fats, artificial sweeteners and additives. Trying to avoid one harmful item may just land you with another. Make sure your low GL foods are high in healthy proteins or fibre, while free from additives and man altered
fats.”

Tip: Although we do not yet know why, milk has been shown to spike your insulin levels as much as wholemeal bread. This really is best avoided.

Protein Power

Good lean proteins are a must when you are trying to lose weight. Proteins have a low GL. They maintain the balance of your blood sugar levels, and lend a helping hand with lowering insulin fluctuations at mealtime. Research studies have proven that including good lean proteins along with low GL foods boosts your body’s metabolism, helping in PCOS weight loss and insulin resistance in women with PCOS. Proteins provide your body with a steady supply of amino acids that help in building and repairing all our body tissues. Also, they are one of the important ingredients in the manufacturing our hormones and enzymes. Protein helps maintain your muscle mass, which is
important for your metabolism. Plus, they keep you full longer.

How to meet your daily protein goal?

There are many different ways of including healthy proteins in your daily food intake. Starting with breakfast, try an omelette with organic free-range eggs, mix in some broccoli and cauliflower. Snack on delicious (unsalted) nuts and seeds as you zigzag through your daily routine. Check out some healthy dips like hummus – a savoury middle-eastern dip. Steamed fish seasoned with fresh herbs, lemon with a dash of extra virgin olive oil is packed with lean protein for dinner. Toss in some cooked black beans, sprouts, grilled organic chicken or turkey breast or chopped hard-boiled eggs in your salad, and voila, you have met your daily protein goal.

Friendly Fats

I cannot overstate how important it is for you to include good fats in your food plan – daily. This is pivotal in PCOS weight loss. The right type and right amounts of fats like the Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are a must. Good fats help improve insulin sensitivity. You cannot healthily lose weight without eating enough good fats.

Where can you get the ‘good’ fats

Oily fish like salmon, mahi mahi, tuna, mackerel and sardines are rich in healthy fats. Organic free-range eggs are very beneficial. You can also choose a variety of vegan sources for your healthy fats like olives, avocados, nuts like almonds, pistachios, chestnut, cashews, pecans, and seeds like sesame seeds, flaw seeds, sunflowers etc. However, stay away from unhealthy fats like those that have been heated, exposed to oxygen or damaged in processing.

Going nuts

Nuts like almonds and walnuts are great sources of protein, omega 3 fatty acids, B vitamins, Vitamin E and minerals like copper, manganese, magnesium and potassium. The abundance of antioxidants in the nuts puts them in the category of ‘super-foods’.

Veggie Indulgence

Indulge in plenty of yellow, red, orange, green, blue and purple fruits and vegetables. Bringing variety to your food-plan by including various organic fruits and veggies from different colour spectrums also increases many other nutrients.

Organic is the word

Conventional farming may tarnish your food with insecticides, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and more. Persistent Organic
Pesticides (POPs) were shown to increase the risk of Diabetes – an insulin resistant dis-ease, like PCOS. Insulin resistance increases weight gain, especially around the dangerous tummy area. Choose nutritious and safe organic fruits, vegetables, eggs, and poultry and meat products wherever possible.

What not to eat

Refined flour, white rice, sugar, processed foods, and fruit juices containing simple carbohydrates are best avoided. As simple sugars get stored as fat and cause a spike in insulin levels, these simple carbohydrates are a poor health choice, particularly for women with PCOS looking to lose weight.

What supplements can help you lose weight?

4 Tips To Lose Weight With PCOS – Without Dieting

If you’re anything like I was, going to the doctors for help with weight loss while suffering from PCOS was a pointless exercise. ‘Just eat less and move more’ was the normal response. I had tried this, and it didn’t really work. In fact, I was so desperate at one stage that I tried a PCOS weight loss prescription medication. The only thing I almost lost was my husband! The mood swings and sadness it caused was unbearable. I stopped taking it within 3 weeks. I was still fat, but at least I didn’t feel unbalanced any more.

So, other than altering your food plan – which is an important aspect to PCOS weight loss – what else do you need to do? What other secrets lurk out there? And what other benefits do these tips have?

Increase Your Physical Activity

I know that dirty word exercise can be scary, but it is very important. Physical activity burns calories, but it does much more than that. Cardio helps your heart and your fitness, but also helps you lose weight. Resistance training – i.e. weight training – builds your muscle, which improves your metabolic rate, and so improves your ability to burn off calories. Interval training helps to improve insulin sensitivity, and burn off fat. A walk has been shown to decrease your cravings. You feel better about yourself and within yourself with those endorphins running around your body. This is great for motivation, self-confidence and decreasing stress levels.

Learn To Relax

Stress and the hormonal commotion that comes with it, have strong ties with PCOS. In simple words, we can say that these two have a ‘hormonal bonding’. The hormonal changes that our body undergoes while adapting to prolonged stress and the ones that are found in women suffering from PCOS are strikingly similar.

Stress can affect your ability to effectively lose weight. It may interfere with adopting the right food choices and exercise routines vital for losing weight. It also causes Insulin Resistance, decreased energy levels, and can interfere with your sleep. Choosing the right ways for you to manage stress is an important step toward in losing weight when suffering from PCOS. Unless you deal with your stress, your attempts at reaching your optimal weight may be unsuccessful.

Have Your Thyroid Correctly Checked

If your thyroid is sluggish, so are you. Your metabolism will slow down, and this can lead to weight gain and an inability to lose weight. You may also have other signs and symptoms such as depression, losing scalp hair and the hair from the outside portion of you eyebrows, slowed reflexes, cold hands and feet, a foggy brain, the feeling of a ‘lump’ in your throat, constipation, a puffy face and/or fatigue. If you have had your thyroid tested, and have been told that you are ‘normal’, do not take this as gospel. Most often you will have only been tested for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). The true healthy range for TSH is between 1 – 2/2.5iU/ml. It is also invaluable to have your T4, T3, reverse T3, and thyroid autoantibody levels checked.

Women with PCOS are more likely to suffer from hypothyroidism and thyroid autoimmune dis-ease.

Get Enough Sleep

That’s right! People who sleep less are more likely to weigh more. Getting eight hours per night sleep may help you lose
weight.

Do You Have A Thyroid Problem Aggravating Your PCOS?

I’m often asked questions about thyroid function. It’s not surprising really, given that hypothyroidism and thyroid autoimmune dis-ease are more commonly found in women with PCOS.

And according to Evanthia Diamanti-Kandarakis − co-author of Insulin Resistance and PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome: Pathogenesis, Evaluation, and Treatment, p325, “decreased SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globule) and increased free testosterone levels and altered estradiol (an estrogen) metabolism have been described in hypothyroid patients, whereas PCO (Polycystic Ovaries) has been detected in 36.5% of hypothyroid patients”.

The authors of this study believe that when you have poor thyroid function, this changes how your genes are expressed. That the genes that get expressed bring about the changes seen in a woman with PCOS.

How Do You Know If You Have A Thyroid Problem?

Some Signs & Symptoms of Hypothyroidism (an under-active thyroid) include:

  • Fatigue, lethargy
  • Muscle weakness, pain & cramps
  • Cold intolerance, cold hands/feet
  • Goiter (swelling over the thyroid)
  • Weight gain
  • Frequent infections
  • Depression
  • Puffiness around the eyes
  • Menstrual irregularities and infertility
  • High cholesterol
  • ‘Brain fog’ and indecisiveness
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Hair loss from scalp and eyebrows
  • Slowed heartbeat / pulse
  • Hoarse voice
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Poor memory, poor concentration
  • Chronic constipation
  • Irritability
  • Throat pain, or a tender feeling
  • Slow reflexes
  • Fluid retention

What Can You Do To Help Your Thyroid Function Better?

The leading cause of hypothyroidism worldwide is insufficient iodine intake. How can you increase your intake of this important nutrient? Iodine: sushi, oysters, scallops, kelp, fish paste, and if you’re feeling adventurous sea vegetables, along with foods such as radishes, onions, cocoa powder and watercress.

You also need sufficient levels of other nutrients like Zinc, Selenium, and Omega 3 fatty acids.

Natural PCOS treatments, and natural thyroid treatments are very effective.

You Can Do It!

I know, regardless of your current weight and your current health challenges, you can make positive progress toward reaching your ideal weight. It is possible, and it is worth it!

Dr. Rebecca Harwin

International author, speaker, PCOS expert and experienced clinician Dr. Rebecca Harwin has been helping women improve their health for many years. In fact, her life’s mission is to help women with PCOS from around the globe. Women like you! Dr. Rebecca Harwin understands how tough it can be, having suffered with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome herself. She remembers the excitement of her first natural period after 15 long years, and what it felt like to stand on those scales a few days before her wedding at 69kg, after loosing a huge 26kg – that’s 57 pounds. And being free of the tiresome mood swings, horrible acne, fatigue and energy slumps is a Godsend she loves to share the secrets to beating! After overcoming each of the signs and symptoms and gaining the upper hand, she is excited to show you how to lose weight and keep it off, regain your period, boost your fertility, have healthier, clearer skin and conquer your PCOS. Dr. Rebecca has completed eight years of intensive University study, and holds three degrees; a Bachelor of Chiropractic Science, a Bachelor of Applied Science (Clinical Science), and a Bachelor of Applied Science (Human Biology). She has also completed thousands of hours of further health studies. She is passionate about combining her comprehensive education and research with her personal and clinical experiences to bring you a comprehensive way forward from PCOS to perfect health.

3 Comments
    1. I am a patient with pcos n thyroid dysfunction. I’m taking thyronorm for my thyroid problem. But I do still have problems with pcos. I don’t get regular periods. I am vegetarian. Don’t eat oily n fried foods. My eating habits is disciplined. Yet I’m unable to lose weight. I’m 76kgs now.
      Please help me get rid of this extra kilos n also pcos..

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