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Lose Weight With These Diet Plans for PCOS

written by: Tennille Flowers • edited by: BStone • updated: 3/30/2011

Sixty percent of women living with PCOS are obese. Finding a healthy weight loss plan designed to help you combat the symptoms of this metabolic disorder doesn't have to be difficult. You can lose weight and maintain a healthy balance.

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    Why Women With PCOS Gain Weight Easily

    Polycystic ovarian syndrome and being overweight seem to go hand in hand. For the many women living with PCOS, dealing with weight issues can be difficult. Knowing how your body works, however, can make it a little easier. The food you eat is broken down into a substance known as insulin, a type of sugar made by your pancreas. It becomes the fuel your body needs to function properly. You are known as being insulin resistant if your cells and tissues are unable to recognize it. This will cause your body to think it is starving and store everything you consume as fat instead of using it for energy.

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    Diet Plans That May Help PCOS Sufferers

    While a traditional calorie reduction diet plan may not work for most women with polycystic ovarian syndrome there are several other systems that can help. In general, PCOS diet plans are low in simple carbohydrates, high in fiber and high in healthy sources of protein.

    The low glycemic index diet works well for many insulin resistant women trying to lose weight. The basis of this particular eating plan is to mainly consume foods that will not create a sharp increase in blood sugar levels. Foods known as simple carbohydrates quickly break down into sugar. Simple carbohydrates include: sweets, white rice, pasta, white bread, sugary fruits or vegetables and processed foods. Instead you will want to eat things like whole grains, walnuts, brown rice, apples and carrots.

    The zone diet is another system that may help you loose weight. This diet emphasizes eating quality proteins that have very little saturated fat, complex carbohydrates and sticking primarily with monounsaturated fats, like olive oil, when cooking. It suggests keeping away from fatty meats, processed foods, butter, egg yokes and starchy vegetables.

    A third popular choice is the South Beach diet. Like the others, it suggests limiting simple carbohydrates and saturated fats. Instead concentrate on protein intake, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. In the beginning stages of this system removing all carbohydrates is recommended. The theory is by temporarily discontinuing this food in your diet, you can eliminate the cravings for sugar. Once this initial phase has passed, slowly adding in healthy carbohydrates is once again recommended.

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    Why PCOS Diets Work

    PCOS diet plans work because they operate on the idea of eating fewer poor quality carbohydrates to keep the spike in blood sugar levels from occurring. Eating fewer carbohydrates will cause your body to use the energy that it already has stored away as fat. As the reserves are used you will begin to lose the excess weight. As your weight decreases so will the symptoms commonly associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome. Keep in mind that even a small weight loss of only five to ten percent of your body weight is enough to make a difference.