PCOS and weight gain are intricately related. Often, one leads to the other and it creates a problem of hard to lose weight and PCOS Symptoms that you are currently struggling with.
Weight management struggles is a big part of polycystic ovary syndrome.
It has been observed that more than half of the PCOS patient struggle with high body fat and weight gain.
It may be so difficult that you think whether it is even possible to lose weight with PCOS! Or whether weight loss would help with PCOS?
Don’t worry! We get the pain and frustration around this eternal dilemma of weight loss with PCOS.
In this post, we will look into the details PCOS weight gain and Ayurvedic natural ways to lose weight.
In PCOS, the levels of insulin and blood sugar in the bloodstream rises. High levels of insulin further leads to excess male hormone (androgen levels) and insulin resistance, a condition in which body’s cells stop responding to insulin’s signals.
Thus, hormonal imbalance in pcos leads to high body weight and multiple symptoms that are collectively termed as polycystic ovary syndrome.
- Hirsutism: excessive hair growth on the face, arms, inner thighs, etc.
- PCOS Acne: breakouts on the face, upper arms, chest, back, and neck.
- Acanthrosis nigricans: another skin problem characterized by dark patches on the skin.
- Storage of fat in the abdomen, etc.
- Long-term risk of heart diseases, type-II;
- Irregular periods;
- Problems with fertility
- No ovulation
- Excess body weight
You can learn more about PCOS symptoms in this detailed post.
Here are the best and highly practical Ayurvedic tips on losing weight with PCOS.
The Best PCOS Diet plan For Weight Loss
There is no singular best diet regimen. Polycystic ovarian syndrome symptoms are unique to every woman. That’s why what works perfectly well for one woman may actually cause more health issues for the other.
So, rather than looking for special foods, you need to look into establishing a better relationship with food. Start eating right by following the basics. And here they are:
1. Eat foods with a low glycemic index
You might think you need to run completely from carbs, but that’s not absolutely necessary. You can still eat carbohydrates in moderate quantities.
The best sources of carbohydrates are the ones with a low glycemic index. After you eat them and they begin to digest, they release the sugar in them so slowly that the body is not in danger of a sugar overload.
2. Lots of fruits and vegetables
These are natural, free from synthetic additives, and keep you full for longer. E.g; Leafy greens, including red and purple leafy veggies, arugula, green and red peppers, beans and lentils, Plums, Almonds, sweet potatoes, etc.
3. Focus on taking the healthy fats
Good fats are rich in omega-3. You can stock up with tuna, salmon, etc.
4. Eat food that will cultivate the microbiome in your gut
Get Probiotics in Your Diet. There is a community of micro-organisms in your gut that helps keep you healthy. This is the gut microbiome.
In women with PCOS, your gut microbiome is severely compromised. Thus, it leads to digestive problems, mood swings, anxiety and poor metabolism, which causes weight gain.
You can support your gut health by consuming probiotics, prebiotics and fermented foods in your diet.
5. Get proteins in your diet
Take sufficient proteins to stay satiated and energetic for long. Proteins are the building blocks of hormones and body tissues. Also, it support good metabolism.
That’s why when you take in wholesome proteins in your diet, you also experience weight loss.
6. Regular Meal Times and Meal Size
Eating meals at fixed times and regularly is key to balance your hunger and digestion hormones. Make sure that your meal size isn’t too large or too small.
Also, don’t stay hungry for long. This can really increase your craving for sugars so much that you can’t resist. Eat regularly.
All in all, note what works best for you. You can experiment a while before going on a regimen.
Ensure you are comfortable with it before you begin with it. Do not go on a PCOS diet plan to lose weight that you know you will not be able to sustain in the long-term. It should be comfortable for your schedule, for your budget. On the other hand, you should be ready to adapt to eating right for your body.
2. Best Exercise to Lose Weight with PCOS
Exercise burns calories. It helps keep your weight down. But that’s not all. Regular exercise helps to balance hormones too, insulin in particular.
Here are some benefits of regular exercise of weight loss in PCOS:
- Exercising regularly helps your body to burn the glucose. Thus, it eventually raises your energy levels and reduces fatigue.
- When done right, exercise for PCOS can boost your metabolism to support weight loss significantly.
- Exercise improves insulin sensitivity of the body. Thus, it helps to remove the root cause of PCOS.
- Regular physical activity also helps to manage your Cortisol levels. This reduces your stress levels and hence provides your hormones a chance to fall in place.
Here’s a 7 day exercise plan for PCOS weight loss for you to get started with.
3. Sleep Well to Lose Weight with PCOS
With our hectic schedules nowadays sleep is often neglected, but if you want to lose weight with PCOS that needs to change. Here’s why:
- Sufficient hours of restful sleep reduce the level of cortisol and improves hormonal balance.
- You balance your blood sugar level and keep your hunger hormone levels in check.
- Good sleep also paves the way for natural detoxification of your body to lose body fat.
- Sleep also improves mental health and reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression that often accompany a pcos patient.
That’s why it is so important to have good sleep at night.
As a matter of fact, some PCOS women experience sleep apnea, a condition in which the breath ceases during sleep. This can really disrupt sleep and lead to fatigue, irritability, fogginess, and poor memory in the day.
Take care of sleep disorders. If you have it, do not ignore it.
4. Reduce and Manage Stress
Excess stress build up high cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol suppresses metabolism as it prepares the body for the fight and flight response. It also pushes in excess glucose in the blood, raising blood sugar level.
Thus, high stress makes you prone to gain excess weight and health complications. It is same for all, just that in PCOS your body is more sensitive to the action of stress hormones.
Hence, the effect of stress on PCOS weight gain is much more prominent.
Manage and lower stress by:
- Deep breathing exercises and yogic breathing
- Spending time in nature and with your loved ones
- Remove and reduce stress triggers
- Take time off and invest in self care measures
- Deep body massage
5. Herbs to Detox and Lose Weight with PCOS Naturally
Many natural herbs are used to treat health issues due to their healing properties. Ayurvedic herbs are a way to cleanse excess toxins from your body.
And the best part is they also support nutrition by providing micro nutrients that your body is perhaps deficient in.
- Dandelion Greens
6. Yoga Poses to Lose Weight with PCOS
Regular practice of suitable yoga asana help to tone the muscles thus increase strength, relax the mind to reduce stress levels and also increase bone density.
That’s why yoga is one of the best ways to naturally support your metabolism and weight loss with PCOS.
Here are some yoga asana that you can practice to find relief from PCOS symptoms and to lose belly fat.
- Setu Bandhasana (Bridge)
- Bhujangasana (Cobra)
- Dhanurasana (Bow)
- Ardha Matsyendrasana (Seated Half Spinal Twist)
- Natarajasana (Supine Dancing Shiva)
- Chakki Chalanasana (Churning Mill Pose)
- Janu Sirsasana (One Legged Seated Forward Bend)
- Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutations)
7. Motivation and Support
PCOS women suffer from high levels of mood wings, anxiety and depression. Is it the difficulty in losing weight, or the pain of unwanted hair, irregular periods or acne that is ridding your skin of being normal?
You know which one it is for you.
Join a community of fellow people that are experiencing the same things. Hold each others’ hands and walk through together.
Get encouraged by their stories, share your own stories. Get someone to keep you in check in case you want to compromise your diet and exercise regime.
You can do it!
Yes, you can beat the excess weight and PCOS symptoms!
Remember once again, it’s a journey, and you don’t have to go it alone.
But when you get off on the other side, you’ll be grateful.
Now we want to hear from you. Do write to us for any queries and feedback. We will get back to you the soonest.
If you have tried any of the above Ayurvedic natural ways to lose excess weight with PCOS, then do share your experience with us. Wishing you vibrant health!
1. Will PCOS go away if I lose weight?
The truth is that losing weight helps to improve the symptoms of PCOS. The condition will not magically vanish into thin air, and it can take time to start seeing notable results (can be up to six months).
PCOS Weight loss is really a transformational journey to achieve balance in metabolism and in hormones. It is not a race!
So, don’t go looking for quick fixes with medications for treating PCOS or crash diets to lose weight.
Your body is meant to take care of itself naturally. And the least you could do is to help it along with suitable diet and lifestyle.
Medications can only mask the symptoms. They take over the job of hormone regulation from your body.
That’s why when you stop the medications, the symptoms will still be there, but they would have progressed to be worse than before.
2. How does Weight Loss Help with PCOS Symptoms?
How does it get better? After losing weight, you will observe that:
- Ovulation is restored.
- Your menstrual cycle is now regular.
- Fertility improves.
- You have fewer complications in pregnancy.
- Insulin resistance decreases by up to 50%. This means that your body will be able to better use insulin. Then the insulin can better remove excess sugar from the blood. And further, that means that you can better manage your weight. See? It gets easier.
- You feel better about yourself when you find you need smaller cloth sizes.
- You are saved from the risk of long-term complications like diabetes, heart problems, endometrial cancer, etc.
3. How Does Weight Gain and Obesity Lead to PCOS?
Excessive weight and obesity can result from a number of reasons, more prominent being poor diet and lifestyle. However, the root cause of weight gain and hard to lose weight lies in poor metabolism and disturbance in insulin hormone.
Obesity further triggers multiple hormone imbalances in both sex hormones, stress hormones, and metabolism related hormones.
And often it poorly affects your reproductive system, leading to lack or absence of ovulation. And all of this when combined together creates an ideal ground for PCOS symptoms.
In fact, in some cases, it has been observed that PCOS arises after substantial weight gain.
So, summarily, PCOS increases the chances of weight gain and makes it difficult to lose weight. Likewise, being overweight can put you at risk of developing the polycystic ovarian syndrome.
4. Why do you need to lose weight with PCOS?
PCOS has its own complications. And, weight gain on its own leads to serious problems in the long run. So, when combined, they become more of a deadly duo.
This is why it is necessary to begin your PCOS weight loss journey as soon as you can before this duo can do too much damage.
Additionally, research upon research has consistently proven that weight loss can help to reverse PCOS Symptoms.
Losing as little as 5-10% of your weight can significantly improve your symptoms and help you achieve a better quality of life.
5. What is the best exercise for PCOS Weight loss?
Okay, again, there is no ‘best exercise’ per se. Stick to what is convenient for you. It’s okay as long as you stay consistent with it. Sticking with what is convenient doesn’t mean you should be lazy about it.
Try to exercise for about thirty minutes daily. Target at least four days a week if you can not do it daily.
Did you know that walking is also good exercise? For example, for an average person of 140 pounds, walking 2 miles per hour burns 80 calories per mile. Running burns 91 calories per mile.
Do not overdo it!
You don’t want to run yourself to stupor all in the name of burning as much weight as quickly as possible. Excessive and intense workouts raise your cortisol levels. It actually disturbs the hormone balance.
So, you should avoid over exercising as much as possible.
6. How can I lose weight fast with PCOS?
Improving your diet is the fastest way for PCOS weight loss. That’s right, you need to eat right. Here’s a video on PCOS diet that you may like to watch.
Remember that one basic problem with this polycystic ovarian syndrome is the imbalance of the hormone insulin?
Well, it turns out that the level of insulin in the blood at any one time actually depends on the food that we eat. This is why a PCOS diet works when you want to lose all the extra weight PCOS has gifted you with.
If you take care to optimize what you eat, when you eat it, how you eat, then you can affect the insulin levels. Thus, you can take control of that hormone.
When insulin is in check, the rest of the pieces begin to click back into place the one after the other.
Remember how insulin also leads to high levels of androgens (male hormones)?
Great! Now, it gets even better. If the insulin level is no longer high, then the androgen level will also go down.
The restoration of these two hormones will take care of many of the symptoms that you are experiencing.
7. Do people with PCOS weigh more?
PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome, is a condition that affects women of childbearing age. It is characterized by the presence of cysts on the ovaries and can cause a variety of symptoms, including irregular periods, infertility, and excess hair growth. PCOS is also associated with insulin resistance, which can lead to weight gain. While not all women with PCOS are overweight, studies have shown that a significant percentage of women with the condition are above their ideal body weight. In addition, PCOS is often linked with obesity-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. As a result, maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of managing PCOS. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to achieving a healthy weight, working with a doctor or nutritionist to develop a customized plan can help women with PCOS reach their ideal body weight and improve their overall health.
This article has given nice tips on lifestyle changes, including dietary modifications, exercise, stress management, and medication. These changes can help women with PCOS lose weight and improve their overall health.
However, it's important to note that weight loss strategies for PCOS may not work the same for everyone. Some women with PCOS may have a slower metabolism, insulin resistance, or other underlying health issues that affect their weight loss progress.