Losing Weight with PCOS

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects women in their pre-menopausal stage and is characterized by hormonal imbalance. Polycystic ovary syndrome is a disorder of the endocrine that causes hair loss and irregular periods. Women with PCOS not only suffer from hormonal and menstrual cycle irregularities, but they also gain weight and they are unable to shed it off.

Why Is Losing Weight Necessary If You Have PCOS?

Around 50-60% of women with PCOS have problems with their weight. Unfortunately for women with PCOS, the normal weight loss plans might not work. Here are the risk factors associated with obesity:

  • Hormonal imbalance
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Irregular periods
  • Diabetes

These risk factors are aggravated with PCOS and losing weight with PCOS is very important. Women who are obese and have PCOS are seven times more likely to develop heart disease and diabetes because of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance causes good cholesterol (HDL) levels to go down and the bad cholesterol (LDL) levels to increase. The likelihood of diabetes is also high in women with PCOS since they have hard time producing insulin. With insulin resistance, they may find it even more difficult to lose weight.

How to Lose Weight with PCOS

1. No Distraction While Eating

There might be a choking hazard when you eat while watching the television or working on your laptop. Also, studies have also shown that eating while distracted will get you eating more food. To get rid of the distractions, have a time set apart for meals on your work schedule. Ensure you eat at a table and not on your couch or desk where there is a likelihood of you staring at a screen while eating. Your smart phone should not be next to you when eating. If your day is very busy and you cannot spare time for meals, take 10 minutes to drink a super shake. This is much better than an hour of over feeding.

2. Do Squats

Squats exercise several parts of the body like the core, back, glutes and quads. To do them perfectly, you should:

  • Stand with your feet at shoulder width.
  • Breathe in and move your body downwards as if you are sitting down.
  • Keep your back neutral, the core engaged and chest up.
  • Go low enough for your thighs to be parallel to the ground.
  • As you move upwards, exhale and ensure your upper body is straight.

3. Spice up Your Diet

Spices increase your level of satisfaction. According to studies, if people feel more satisfied, they would consume less. Spices also have a ton of health benefits. You can make your own blend of spices when you are feeling creative in the kitchen and sprinkle it on your foods. When taking tea or coffee in the morning, you can add cinnamon. Ensure your spices are fresh. Ground spices tend to have a shorter shelf life compared to whole spices.

4. Add More Walking into Your Day

A recent research showed that people who sit for more than 6 hours a day increase their chances of dying in the next 15 years by 10 % as compared to those who sit for only 3 hours a day. Losing weight with PCOS is much easier if you walk a lot. When others take breaks to go to Starbucks, you can take a walk.

 5. Do Push-Ups

Push-ups are perfect for working out your upper body as well as your core. If you feel that you cannot do push-ups, start practicing with the wall or a sturdy bench. To do push-ups effectively, you should:

  • Ensure your hands are on the floor with the width a bit wider than your shoulders. Keep your feet close and glutes firm. Engage your core to raise your torso.
  • Breathe in and move your chest to the ground, maintaining firmness on your core and glutes. Move your elbow towards your sides as you move downwards.
  • Breathe out and move upwards to the start position.

6. Eat Fewer Processed Carbohydrates

If you want to lose weight with PCOS, try to get your carbohydrates from fruits, beans and vegetables instead of processed grains like pasta, cereal, sugar and sandwich breads. Tips on how to eat less processed carbs include:

  • Use lettuce leaves to wrap tortillas.
  • Go for spaghetti squash instead of pasta.
  • For breakfast, take plain Greek yoghurt with honey or fresh fruit instead of cereal.

7. Do High-Intensity Interval Training

High intensity interval training is great cardio exercise for weight loss. These workouts will help your body burn fat faster and become more sensitive to insulin. High intensity interval workouts involve intense workouts alternating with low intensity workouts, for example, alternating between walking and sprinting.

8. Pay Attention to What You Drink

If you drink beverages with high amounts of calories, you tend to get less satisfied compared to solid food with the same amount of calories. As a result, you may consume more in order to achieve the same satisfaction. For someone who wants to lose weight, you should drink water, coffee, tea and occasionally a glass of wine. If you are planning on losing weight with PCOS, steer clear of the following:

  • Soda
  • Fruit juice
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Specialty coffee beverages
  • Commercially prepared protein shakes and smoothies

9. Get Enough Sleep

It is risky for your health if you do not sleep enough and it can frustrate your weight losing efforts. Lack of sleep will affect hormones that control your hunger. A study showed that you can reduce risk of genetic obesity by sleeping. Also, when you’re deprived of sleep, your fat cells' ability to respond to insulin is reduced. Get good sleep in the following ways:

  • Schedule a good 8 hours for sleeping.
  • Ensure your bedroom is cool and dark.
  • Your bedroom should be for sleeping only. No screens (television and laptops) should be there.
  • Have a specific bedtime and wake-up time.
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