If you have someone suffering from this syndrome and has been wondering how to lose weight with PCOS, you have come to the right place!
To begin with, let us take some time to know what PCOS really is, its symptoms and even the causes.
PCOS which is the short form of the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is very common among women within the age of reproduction. This syndrome is a health problem which is caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones. And when the hormones are altered and imbalanced, it creates a problem in the ovaries.
Typically, the ovaries release an egg each month which is usually a marker of a healthy menstrual cycle. In a person suffering from this Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, the eggs may not be released or even developed at all during ovulation.
Symptoms Of PCOS
- Excessive weight gain and difficulty to lose weight
- Hair loss, hair thinning or the male-baldness pattern
- Ovarian cysts
- Irregular menstrual cycle
Women suffering from the PCOS may have their periods every 21 days. On the other hand, some women may miss their periods times more than normal and in severe cases, they may stop seeing their menstrual flow.
This condition is also referred to as having too much hair on the face, chin and other parts of the body where men usually have hair. Almost 70% of women suffering from this syndrome are affected by this hirsutism.
- Acne on the chest, face and the upper back
- Skin tags- around the armpit and the neck area
- Darkening of the skin which usually occurs underneath the breasts, the neck and in the groin.
Causes Of PCOS
Although there is no established cause of the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, the following can be said to be some of the causes.
- High Androgen Levels
Androgens are also referred to as male hormones. These hormones, however, are produced by women, although this is done in small quantity. In women with PCOS, the production of androgens is on the high side- produced more than normal. And these hormones are responsible for the activities and development of the male traits such as the male-pattern baldness.
- Genetic Factors
Women with a family history of this Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome are at a high risk of having this syndrome. Simply put, genes play a role as regards having this syndrome in that it runs in the family.
- High Insulin Levels
Insulin helps to control the process through which the foods consumed gets changed into energy. When the body becomes insulin resistant, the body cells do not respond or use insulin as it ought to. And as a result of this, the insulin blood levels get higher than normal.
Often times, this issue of insulin resistance is common in women with poor and unhealthy eating habits and poor lifestyle. When left unattended to over time, it can lead to type 2 diabetes.
This Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a gateway to other health problems. This means that once you have this syndrome, you are at a high risk of having some other health issues. They include:
- Depression and Anxiety
- Endometrial Cancer
- High Blood Pressure
- Unhealthy Cholesterol
- Sleep Apnea
The fact is that with PCOS, it may be difficult to lose weight. Now, Let’s take a look at how to lose weight with PCOS
How to Lose Weight with PCOS and Insulin Resistance Naturally
If you want to know how to lose weight with PCOS, the first thing you have to do is get rid or totally lower your insulin resistance. This will help you lose weight fast.
To lower your resistance levels, you have to:
1. Eat Healthily
Eat more weight loss foods while avoiding the sugary, salty & fatty foods you love as much as possible. You can eat more protein by making at least 30% of your diet protein while making carbs less than 50% of your diet. Use this tool to determine the right amount of protein, carbs & fats in your diet. Use these tips to kill hunger & curb cravings.
No matter how much you weigh, it is essential to do some exercises in order to lose weight and maintain it. A low or moderate level of exercise is good for freshers or beginners. A little exercise every day will help to lower insulin resistance.
As time goes on and you get in better shape, you can gradually add more time or switch to more strenuous activity. Although it is not necessary that it should be boring and just constricted to the gym.
A lot of people believe that they need to get registered in a gym or work out a lot in order to lose weight.
However, moderate or low impact exercise is actually best for those who are just beginning a weight loss journey. Exercise like taking a walk, swimming etc. Simply walk or swim for at least thirty minutes every day, six or seven days per week. This helps to lower insulin resistance and ultimately lead to weight loss.
3. Eat Small Meals At Intervals
Instead of having three meals per day, eat 4-6 smaller meals per day. This will ensure that your blood sugar is more stable. And that you are never hungry enough to indulge in eating. Eating three large meals a day is not good for women with PCOS.
This eating pattern of large meals spaced far apart encourages spikes and dips in both insulin and blood sugar levels. Instead of eating large meals in a day, break it up into smaller portions. With this, you feel satiated throughout the day.
Meanwhile, a lot of dieters assume that it is a good idea to skip meals so as to ‘save calories’ for special meals. This is not a good idea for women with PCOS. Instead, eat the same number of meals but with lower calories than usual.
Eating large meals is only going to disrupt insulin levels more. This is by keeping your stomach full and your blood sugar levels steady will decrease cravings while making you more comfortable.
So Having 4-6 small meals a day is a good way of tackling the hunger pangs as well as in maintaining the insulin levels.
4. Drink Lots Of Water
Drinking a lot of water helps with weight loss. Not only does it help in losing weight. Water has healthy effects on the body as a whole. It will also help to keep you full. It will kill all your hunger pangs for a longer period of time.
Some people who do not drink a lot of water experience dehydration. This results in dizziness, fatigue, and weakness. Even mild dehydration brings on symptoms such as hunger, fatigue, and dizziness.
5. Stay Away From Stress
No amount of healthy dieting and exercising will help you lose weight if you are constantly under stress. Stress contributes to a pro-inflammatory state which induces insulin resistance, obesity, and blood sugar dysfunction.
Try different stress management techniques to get your stress levels under control. Indulge in a hobby a few times a week to unwind, try deep breathing and yoga, or enroll in a meditation course to learn how to better manage your stress levels.
6. Sleep Well
Having insufficient hours of sleep or not sleeping at all can be detrimental to your insulin resistance. A study says that a single night of sleep deprivation causes as much as the insulin resistance you will get on six months high-fat diet. The study went ahead to affirm that a night’s sleep deprivation decreased insulin sensitivity by 33% while six months of a high-fat diet decreased by 21%.
Overall, adequate sleep helps to regulate and maintain blood sugar levels which in turn reduces the risk of having metabolic issues such as diabetes and obesity.
When you do not have adequate hours of sleep, it tends to take a toll on the hormones responsible for appetite regulation. In that, you eat more calories than you ought to when you are trying to lose weight.
In view of this, it is advisable that you have about 7 to 9 hours of restful sleep every night. As this will help train your mind and body so that you achieve your weight loss goal.
7. Use Supplements
The use of supplements provides the body with the power it needs such that it reverses insulin resistance naturally. The supplements you can use include:
- Vitamins like Vitamin B3 which is also known as niacinamide, Vitamin B-6 Pyridoxine, Vitamin D, and Biotin.
- Minerals – Magnesium, Zinc, Chromium, Vanadium and Calcium.
- Antioxidants- Resveratrol, Coffee Berry, Alpha-Lipoic acid, and Coenzyme Q10.
Other supplements you can use are fish oil, cinnamon, grape seed extract, Carnosine, bitter melon, and D-Chiro-Inositol. Asides these supplements, you can use herbs and spices like banaba leaf, Gymnema Sylvestre, and inula racemosa to lower your insulin resistance.
It is best to note that you do not have to take all of these supplements at a time. As you can begin by adding Chromium and Vitamins B3 and B-6 to your diet.
Once you start using these above-listed options to lose reduce the activities of insulin resistance, you will start seeing changes in the unpleasant symptoms. Also, it will reduce your risk of getting attacked by any of the other health issues often associated with the PCOS.
If you have tried any other methods to lose weight with PCOS and insulin resistance, do share with us in the comments.