How to Lose Weight with PCOS — Tips for Safe, Natural Weight Loss

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Defining PCOS

Before explaining how to lose weight with PCOS, it’s important to understand what it is. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) affects about 5 percent to 10 percent of all females in child-bearing age, making it the most common female endocrine disorder. PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects multiple organ systems of the body and is often caused by hormone insulin problems. PCOS can affect girls as young as 8 years old and women through post-menopause. This condition is one of the leading causes of infertility and is often associated with weight problems.

Symptoms of PCOS can vary among women, but commonly include irregular or absent periods, irregular ovulation, acne, excessive hair growth on the body and face, thinning of scalp hair, accumulation of unruptured follicles on the ovaries and weight management issues. While there is no cure for PCOS, it can be managed by eating right, exercise and in some cases medication. Managing PCOS will help promote weight loss.

PCOS and Weight Problems

Although PCOS affects all women differently, about 60 percent of those with PCOS have trouble maintaining or losing weight. This also means that 40 percent of women with PCOS are within a healthy, or normal, weight range. Weight issues can cause obesity even if the individual is consuming a normal amount of calories.

One of the most common causes of weight gain in PCOS is insulin resistance, which causes energy in the form of glucose to be stored as fat rather than being made available for other functions in the body. The results are chronic fatigue and undernourishment, which may cause you to want to eat more.

While there is no cure for PCOS, it can be managed through diet, exercise and medical intervention if needed. Unmanaged PCOS can lead to diabetes and some forms of cancer. On the other hand, taking steps to manage PCOS can often eliminate all symptoms. In fact, many women who manage their PCOS are even healthier than other women because of their healthy lifestyle choices.

Diet

Changing how you eat can support weight loss by balancing your hormones and controlling blood sugar levels. A diet of complex carbohydrates is best for releasing sugars into the body more slowly to maintain even blood sugar levels. You should avoid processed foods, rather eat more natural and raw foods. A good source of protein and fruits and vegetables is important. Avoid sugars and watch out for sugar content in supposedly health foods that are loaded with sugar, such as fruit juice or some dried fruits.

Exercise

Along with eating right, exercise can do a lot to promote weight loss. While it can be more challenging for someone with PCOS to lose weight, a combination of healthy eating and exercise can lead to desired effects. Losing weight, or being at a healthy weight, can reduce the effects of insulin resistance. Any type of exercise is good to do as long as it is done regularly. If your time is limited, try taking a brisk walk during a break at work or using the stairs rather than the elevator.

Detox

We live around toxic substances that are not good for our bodies. Detoxifying requires ridding your home of toxic substances, including chemicals and sprays. Replace these products with more organic ones. Flushing your system of toxins helps your body’s organs to work better and boosts your immune system.

Stress

Focusing on destressing helps to even out your hormones. Being stressed causes your immune system to lower and increases cortisol, a hormone thrown into a volatile mix, that can lead to symptoms of PCOS and infertility. Try to take breaks during the day when you find yourself becoming stressed. Find ways to relieve your stress, such as calm music, meditation or exercise. Try not to worry about things you have no control over and simplify your life.

Although PCOS can be challenging to deal with, learning how to lose weight with PCOS by changing your diet, increasing exercise, detoxing and destressing can help you manage your symptoms and reap the benefits of a more healthy lifestyle.

Sources

PCOS Support: What is PCOS

Insulite Laboratories: PCOS and Weight Loss