According to a study, around 1 in 15 women of reproductive age will suffer from PCOS. PCOS or Polycystic ovary syndrome is a disorder denoted by hormonal imbalances, irregular periods, hair fall, or even development of ovarian cyst in either or both of the ovaries in certain cases.
If you have Polycystic ovary syndrome, then probably your doctors must have advised you to lose weight. But let’s face it, losing weight is no piece of cake for people who have PCOS.
In this article, we will see what PCOS is, its symptoms, why it is difficult to lose a few pounds, and what all can be done to lose weight.
What Is PCOS?
PCOS is a disorder, which is characterized by a series of symptoms. People with PCOS have hormonal imbalances, putting on weight issues, excess facial hair, insulin resistance, etc.
It affects the regulation of many hormones. Estrogen, which is responsible for many functions throughout a woman’s body, gets affected by PCOS. Therefore, many patients suffer from infertility, as the dysregulation of estrogen makes it difficult for them to get pregnant. Androgens, a male hormone, get released in abundance. Therefore, resulting in excess facial hair, acne, pimples, etc.
It also messes with insulin regulation, which has a major impact on energy storage and blood pressure regulation. Ultimately, it results in excess weight gain.
What Are The Symptoms Of PCOS?
Dr. Rekha B Kumar, MD, MS, an endocrinologist, who specialized in weight and metabolism. According to her, every woman who suffers from PCOS shows two out of the four listed symptoms, related to this condition.
- Irregular menstrual cycles.
- Ovulatory dysfunction
- Cyst in ovaries
- Excess secretion of Androgens
Some other common symptoms that can be seen in women suffering from PCOS are:
- Hirsutism – a condition where there is excess hair growth on the face.
- Cystic acne – It is a condition where hair follicles are entrapped into the skin along with sebum and oil. It occurs on the face, neck, and upper chest region.
- Hair loss or hair thinning
- Skin Tags – an uncommon skin growth that sticks out.
- Skin Darkening at neck, groin, and armpit.
- Gaining a significant amount of weight
These are very common in most women suffering from PCOS. The major issue is losing weight, as all the other symptoms can either be treated superficially or surgically. Now, let us know why it is difficult to lose weight with PCOS.
Why Is It Difficult To Lose Weight With PCOS?
Insulin resistance. The only reason that you are unable to lose weight is insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone present in our body, released by the pancreas.
This hormone is responsible for the regulation of blood sugar levels in the body.
So, coming back, insulin resistance is a condition where the body is unable to use insulin effectively.
In this condition, the body is unable to process carbohydrates in a normal way. That interferes with weight regulation and fat storage in the body.
PCOS also creates an imbalance in the hormone. This results in more cravings, the feeling of being hungry all the time. This creates a fluctuation in the blood sugar level throughout the day.
But, don’t you worry. There are many safe ways by which you can lose weight, despite having hormonal imbalances, insulin resistance, etc. We are here to tell you just that!
How To Lose Weight With PCOS?
There are a bunch of lifestyle changes that might help you in losing weight. These are tips that have been assembled after extensive research. If you are not so sure about these suggestions, you can always consult your doctor first before following them.
1. Reduce The Intake Of Refined Carbohydrates And Sugar
Refined Carbohydrates are simple sugar molecules that have a huge impact on the insulin levels in our body. These refined food items such as white bread, noodles, pasta shoot up your blood sugar level and also bring it down in no time. This leaves you hungry once again in a few hours after eating.
So, rather than consuming refined carbs and sugar, have more complex carbohydrates which are present in bajra / pearl millet, jawari / millet, etc. These food items do not instantaneously shoot up your blood sugar level, have high fiber content, and also keep you full for a longer period.
2. Have More Of Proteins And Fats
To feel full for a longer duration and avoid unnecessary calorie intake, adding protein and fats to your diet is a must.
Having a high protein diet not only helps you to feel satiated, but it also helps in reducing hair fall and helps to build collagen for skin and nails. Having a high-protein food item to snack on is better than mindlessly hogging on food items that have high amounts of refined carbs.
3. Have A Consistent Workout Routine
Having a regular workout routine can help in maintaining blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, conditions which are at high risk in women with PCOS.
Have cardio and strength training sessions as well. You can also add kickboxing, running, jogging, walking to your routine. 30 mins to 1 hour of minimum exercise can really help you to lose weight.
4. Practice Meditation And Self-Care
Practising meditation and self-care helps in reducing the stress levels of the person. People around the globe also put on some weight as they are under too much stress. Hence, reducing your stress levels can also help in keeping your weight in check. It can help in being mindful and increasing your willpower to face the obstacles in the way.
5. Have A High Fiber Diet
Having a high fiber can help you be full for hours. It helps in better functioning of the organs and also in losing weight.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Women suffering from PCOS can have sleep disturbances, sleep apnea, excess sleepiness during the daytime. Insufficient sleep can also alleviate hunger hormones.
If you are not getting enough time to sleep, make a fixed schedule. 6 to 7 hours of sleep regularly is a must for the body to perform its function efficiently.
If you are having excess trouble sleeping, visit a doctor immediately.
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Losing weight for women suffering from PCOS is not easy. 1 out of every 10 women is suffering from it. Facial hair, skin darkening, ovarian cysts, and many such symptoms are common in this disorder. Factors such as insulin resistance and imbalance in hormones make it difficult to lose weight. But, with the help of the above-given tips/suggestions, one can get on the path of losing weight.
Just remember you are not alone in this. Many women undergo these thighs and it is completely curable. So, don’t worry.
Let us know, if you have tried any of the above tips and if it has worked for you.