The one thing that most people struggle to maintain is their weight. In PCOS, it is recommended by healthcare professionals that losing weight can help with controlling insulin resistance and controlling PCOS in general.
But how do you lose weight with PCOS and insulin resistance?
A Nutritionally Balanced Diet:
While it is wrong to completely eliminate certain food items from your diet, being watchful and aware of what you consume is of utmost importance. For women with PCOS, there are certain foods that need to be avoided and a few that need to be included in the diet.
Due to the insulin resistance that you face, it is advised that you eat foods that have a low glycemic index. Glycemic index (GI) is the rate at which sugar is released into your blood and so, foods with low GI are recommended so that there is no excessive release of sugar in your bloodstream. When you consume foods that have a high GI, your sugar levels spike and the extra glucose gets stored as fat in your body. This can make it difficult for you to lose weight.
Consuming more protein and vegetables along with some healthy fats can help you maintain your sugar levels. Tofu, chicken, and fish are high in protein and low in fibre, which makes them an excellent choice for women with PCOS. A lot of women with PCOS face mood swings and intense food cravings. It may feel very difficult to control these cravings but healthier snacking options can always be your saviour. You may also talk to your therapist or doctor to try and understand why and how these cravings come up so that you can deal with them better.
Women with PCOS who follow a low-carbohydrate diet may experience improved insulin metabolism, lower cholesterol levels, more regular periods, and an overall improved quality of life.
Regular Physical Activity:
There is no specific type of exercise that can guarantee weight loss, and hence physical activity in women with PCOS should not be restricted to only a particular set of exercises. Due to the weight gain experienced by women with PCOS, it can be difficult for them to practice high intensity workout routines. So, it is important to maintain an overall increase in physical activity and gradually go for exercises that you are comfortable with. Weight loss in PCOS can be slower, but it is healthy for you to be physically active or exercise because it can relieve a lot of symptoms in PCOS and is rewarding to the body in general too.
Losing weight in PCOS is not an overnight ordeal. With consistency and dedication, it can help you achieve a comfortable stage of managing your PCOS. Cardio, strength training, bodyweight exercises and improving your core strength can help you improve your lifestyle and symptoms. Choosing an exercise – you will be able to maintain in the long run – is the most effective one. Each individual has different challenges and experiences with weight control, so seeing a nutritionist can help you formulate the right strategy.
Apart from your diet and physical activity, managing your stress levels and getting good sleep each night is also important. High levels of cortisol, which is the stress hormone, can slow down metabolism and cause weight gain. Practicing relaxing techniques and following a healthy sleep hygiene routine will help your overall health in the long run.