Pcos And Diet
Martha McKittrick, RD, CDE, Registered Dietician, Certified Diabetes Educator, OBGYN.net Editorial Advisor Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Gynecological Oncology, Infertility, Integrative Medicine, Pregnancy and Birth, Weight Management PCOS is a metabolic disorder that affects 5 – 7.5% of all women. It is the number one cause of infertility and if left untreated, can increase risk of endometrial cancer. In addition, women with PCOS are at a greater risk for heart disease and diabetes. Until recently, diet was not thought of as an important adjunct in treatment. However, since the fairly recent discovery regarding the role insulin resistance plays many experts now believe that diet should be a part of the treatment plan. Although further research is needed, it is believed that diet can help reduce insulin resistance, which can not only help erratic menses, hirsutism and acne, but may decrease the risk of heart disease and diabetes as well. This article will discuss the role of diet in PCOS and give practical suggestions for meal planning. Role of Insulin In PCOS Exactly why and how PCOS develops is not quite clear, however most experts now agree that insulin plays a major role. Insulin is a powerful hormone that is released by the body's pancreas in response to eating food - especially carbohydrates. It transports sugar out of the blood and into muscle, fat and liver cells, where it is converted to energy or stored as fat. Many women with PCOS have insulin resistance. This means that the process of getting the sugar out of the blood and into the cells is defective – the cells are "resistant" to insulin. The pancreas must secrete more and more insulin to get sugar out of the blood and into the cells. High levels of insulin or hyperinsulinemia, can wreak havoc in th Continue reading >>
Diet For Pcos And Insulin Resistance
Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, affects 5 to 10 percent of all women of reproductive age and is associated with infertility, irregular menstrual cycles, cardiovascular risks, insulin resistance and risk of diabetes, according to the Office on Women's Health. Many women who have PCOS also struggle with obesity, which can further complicate PCOS symptoms. Modifying your lifestyle by eating healthy and exercising can improve your body’s sensitivity to insulin, lower your blood sugar levels and normalize your hormone levels. Losing even 10 percent of your body weight can regulate your menstrual cycle. Video of the Day Fat is a critical part of a balanced diet, but where your fat comes from is important. Fats, particularly omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, should make up between 20 and 25 percent of your daily calories. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish, walnuts and flaxseed. Diets high in monounsaturated fats are associated with greater weight loss for women who have PCOS. If you have PCOS, eating a high-protein, low-carb diet may aid in weight loss and improve blood sugar levels. Aim to eat between two and five servings of protein per day. Adding complex carbohydrates to your diet can help with insulin resistance associated with PCOS. Most complex carbs, such as whole-grain breads and cereals, legumes, and starchy vegetables, are converted into blood sugar much more slowly than simple carbohydrates. This produces a weaker insulin response. Complex carbohydrates also tend to be high in fiber, which slows digestion, and helps you to feel full. Aim to get 30 to 50 grams of fiber per day. Fruits and vegetables are good sources of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. By increasing your fruit and vegetable intake, you can improve some symptoms of PCOS by Continue reading >>
Weight Loss With Pcos: Why Is It So Hard?
How many times have you been to the doctor only to be told to lose weight to improve your Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome symptoms? Easier said than done, right! We know that weight gain and difficulty with weight loss with PCOS is part and parcel of the condition and we seem to be fighting a constant battle with the scale. But, why is it so darn hard to lose weight? Just what is it about PCOS that makes weight loss seem virtually impossible? Let’s have a look at what is happening in our bodies and what some of the research says about weight loss and PCOS. Insulin Resistance and the Role of Insulin in PCOS Insulin is an important hormone that is responsible for metabolizing glucose or dealing with sugar in our blood stream. It transports sugar to the muscles and if the body has more glucose than is needed, insulin is involved in the process of storing it as fat should we need it later (1). Research shows that women with PCOS have some kind of dysfunction in the cells responsible for secreting insulin (Beta cells). It seems that these cells are responsible for detecting sugar in the blood stream and may over react, producing more insulin than is needed. This means that more glucose is stored as fat (2). Also, many, but not all, women with PCOS also have insulin resistance (3). This means that your body needs more insulin than normal to deal with sugar in your blood stream. High levels of insulin cause your body to store more fat and also causes your ovaries to make more testosterone, making the symptoms of PCOS worse (4). Unfortunately, Insulin and Insulin resistance is only one piece of this puzzle and isn’t the only reason that we struggle to lose weight… Slow Metabolism Women with PCOS have also been found to have a slower metabolic rate. Basal metabolic rate is the Continue reading >>
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (pcos) And Weight Gain
Weight gain is a common symptom of polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS. With PCOS, the body has difficulty using the hormone insulin, which normally helps convert sugars and starches from foods into energy. This condition -- called insulin resistance -- can cause insulin and sugar -- glucose -- to build up in the bloodstream. High insulin levels increase the production of male hormones called androgens. High androgen levels lead to symptoms such as body hair growth, acne, irregular periods -- and weight gain. Because the weight gain is triggered by male hormones, it is typically in the abdomen. That is where men tend to carry weight. So instead of having a pear shape, women with PCOS have more of an apple shape. Abdominal fat is the most dangerous kind of fat. That’s because it increases the risks of heart disease and other health conditions. What are the risks associated with gaining weight with polycystic ovary syndrome? No matter what the cause, weight gain can be detrimental to your health. Women with PCOS are more likely to develop many of the problems associated with weight gain and insulin resistance, including: All of these conditions can lead to heart disease. In fact, women with PCOS are four to seven times more likely to have a heart attack than women of the same age without the condition. Experts think weight gain also helps trigger the symptoms of PCOS, such as menstrual abnormalities and acne. What can I do to lose weight if I have polycystic ovary syndrome? Losing weight not only can help you look better -- it can also make you feel better. When you have PCOS, shedding just 5-10% of your body weight can bring your periods back to normal. It can also help relieve some of the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome. Weight loss can improve insulin sensitivit Continue reading >>
How To Reverse Pcos And Insulin Resistance
If you have acne, excess body hair, or menstrual problems, it could be PCOS. Your metabolic health and insulin sensitivity can greatly influence your reproductive health. Learn what PCOS is, how what you eat effects it, what causes and how to reverse pcos and insulin resistance, and finally, how to lose weight with PCOS. What is PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)? PCOS is a syndrome that affects about 15% of women worldwide. Because it’s a syndrome, there are a variety of symptoms a patient might have in order to be diagnosed. These symptoms include: excess weight, especially around the middle unwanted/male pattern body and facial hair hair loss male pattern muscle gain menstrual irregularity or absence of periods ovarian cysts insulin resistance difficulty regulating or losing weight It is often accompanied by fertility issues, insulin resistance, and/or type II diabetes. High blood pressure and cholesterol are also associated symptoms of PCOS. In this article, we’ll illustrate the relationship between what you eat and your hormonal health. We’ll also explain one of the most effective ways to naturally treat insulin resistance and PCOS, how to lose weight with PCOS, and why it works. Relationship between what you eat and your hormones There are different ways to develop PCOS. Among medics and researchers, there is an ongoing chicken and egg debate. Do an imbalance of female hormones cause PCOS? Or does a metabolic problem called insulin resistance cause PCOS? Well, it depends on the patient. Let’s explore how metabolic disorders like type II diabetes and insulin resistance can cause PCOS. We live in a “metabo-toxic” environment. We are constantly surrounded by stimuli designed for us to eat, and desire to eat, no matter if we’re hungry. Sugary morning pas Continue reading >>
How To Lose Weight With Pcos
Lisa lost 125lbs. despite having PCOS The Facts: Insulin resistance is the main reason why its more challenging for you to lose weight with PCOS. About 80% of the women with PCOS have insulin resistance but if you're overweight chances are you already have an insulin resistance. It's tougher for you to lose weight with PCOS because the insulin resistance increases your hunger & cravings making you eat too much so… The Best Way to Lose Weight with PCOS is to… Get rid of or lower your insulin resistance so you can lose weight normally just like everyone else and there's 8 simple ways you can get rid of insulin resistance… 1. Eat Right Eat more weight loss foods while avoiding the sugary, salty & fatty foods you love as much as possible. 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. Tip: Eat more foods high in resistant starch like Navy beans, bananas & potatoes because resistant starch lowered insulin resistance or improved insulin sensitivity in overweight people by over 50% when taking only 15 grams of resistant starch per day! 2. Exercise Follow these 10 rules to lose weight faster while exercising. Beginners: Do low-to-moderate activities like walking or swimming for 30-to-90 minutes per day. Exercise has been shown to lower or get rid of insulin resistance. The more overweight you are = the more likely you are to be insulin resistant whether you have PCOS or not. You can get rid of insulin resistance by going on any of these weight loss plans to lose weight by eating right & exercising. Losing just 5% of your bodyweight (which is only 5-to-20 pounds depending on how much you weigh) will help lower your insulin resistan Continue reading >>
So, What Is The Best Exercise For Pcos?
What’s The Best Exercise For PCOS Weightloss? The Answer May Surprise You When you think of the best exercise for weight loss, you probably think of high intensity workouts which help you to burn hundreds of calories. But what about the best exercise for PCOS weight loss? The answer may surprise you… In 2012, I signed up to run the Auckland marathon in New Zealand. It was probably my worst decision of the year. Not because I hate running, I love it. I have always been a competitive runner, so running a marathon wasn’t a big deal, at least for the old me. However, I didn’t want to complete this particular marathon because of my love of running or feeling of accomplishment. It was purely about getting the ultimate summer body. I remember thinking that this was going to be my best pre-summer slim down ever. I trained for 140 hours over 10 weeks, ran countless miles, and burnt over 70,000 calories. At the end of 10 weeks intense training, I’d lost 500 lousy grams. Worse yet, I was injured and didn’t even get to complete the marathon! It was more devastating than Brexit. We’ve all grown up being told that weight loss is simple: eat less and exercise more to create a calorie deficit. If this was true, then I would not have a business and PCOS weight problems would be easy to cure. All we’d need to do to lose weight is do an hour in a spin class every day. Your local gym will boast that this burns an average of 400-600 calories per class and the weight will fall off you. However, PCOS is a condition with lots of hormonal factors at play. These mess with the ‘calories in minus calories out’ equation, meaning that the ‘exercise more’ part doesn’t contribute in the way that it normally should. We may live in a world where many people do not exercise enou Continue reading >>
5 Ways Pcos Might Be Secretly Messing With Your Weight
If you’ve been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, it may feel like the numbers on the scale tick up no matter what you do—and that is hella frustrating. “Women with PCOS often say they can’t lose weight,” says Daniel Dumesic, M.D., ob-gyn, a PCOS specialist, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and division chief of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at UCLA. Though doctors aren't sure about exactly what causes PCOS, symptoms like weight gain and acne are caused by increased testosterone produced by the ovaries. Roughly 10 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 44 have this condition, according to the National Institute of Health. Here, five ways PCOS an cause weight gain and what you can do about it. Excess testosterone is linked to higher rates of insulin resistance, which can cause you to store more fat, especially around the abdomen, says Dumesic. And when you start gaining weight, that further increases your insulin resistance, which promotes the production of testosterone and so on, he says. It's a vicious cycle that could lead to diabetes if you're not careful. Strike back: To keep insulin resistance on the DL, you should get your glucose levels checked by a doctor regularly and start working a little cinnamon into your diet, says Dumesic. A couple of small studies have shown that the spice may balance blood sugar in women with pre-diabetes. Your doctor may also consider the dietary supplement inositol, which is similar to a B vitamin, in pill or powder form, says Lori B. Sweeney, M.D., endocrinologist and associate professor of medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System. Studies have shown that four grams per day can help lower testosterone levels as well as insulin resistance, resulting in weight loss fo Continue reading >>
How To Lose Weight With Pcos
What is PCOS & How To Lose Weight With PCOS? The first thing to know is that PCOS and insulin resistance go hand and hand, but it is much more than that. Saying it is about insulin resistance makes 2 mistakes. 1) People think that means it is always about obesity and starchy/sugary carbs (and many with PCOS are not obese and eat low carb diets). 2) It often pulls attention away from the other issue which is the brain ovary connection and its impact on being able to achieve weight loss with PCOS. To understand the question, “What is PCOS?”, you need an understanding of the normal female menstrual cycle. Here is a little background on normal menses. The hypothalamus (a part of the brain just above the brain stem) at the beginning of the woman’s cycle secretes ganodatropin releasing hormone (GnRH). This hormone then activates the release of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and leutinizing hormone (LH). These two hormones are involved in ripening the follicle (the place where the egg is held) and then causing the follicle to rupture and release an egg. FSH causes the ovarian follicle to mature/ripen, and this is the primary defect in PCOS (the follicle fails to mature). An immature follicle will not develop a mature egg and when the “LH surge” happens, the release of an egg is unable to occur and a cyst forms instead. All of this also results in rising estrogen and testosterone levels and a low or absent progesterone level. This is because only after an egg is released will the follicle become the corpus luteum, which is the major source of progesterone in a non-pregnant women (interestingly women and men have the same level of progesterone until the follicle ruptures and the corpus luteum forms). This lack of formation of the corpus luteum and therefore lack of Continue reading >>
How To Lose Weight With Pcos: 21 Proven Weight Loss Tips
How to lose weight with PCOS? This is a common question for women with PCOS. If you struggle with your weight, you are not alone; 60% of American women are either overweight or obese. However, losing weight can be especially difficult for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS. Why Is It So Hard to Lose Weight with PCOS? Women with PCOS usually have two major issues that make it hard to lose weight: abnormally high levels of androgens, or male hormones, and insulin resistance. However, it is very important for women with this syndrome to achieve a healthy weight, as this reduces the severity of PCOS symptoms. In addition, women with PCOS are at higher risk of developing serious health problems that are exacerbated by extra pounds, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. While losing weight is difficult for women with this syndrome, it is very important to lifelong health and improvement of fertility issues. How to Lose Weight with PCOS Losing weight with PCOS requires a multi-pronged approach. Not only do women need to eat fewer calories and exercise more often, they also need to control insulin and blood sugar levels while maintaining healthy hormone levels. These goals can be achieved with the following 21 tips. 1. Decide on an appropriate calorie goal and stick to it. Depending on your weight and activity level, you will need to eat 1200-2000 calories a day to lose weight. You may want to discuss your calorie goal with your physician, as it is not healthy to eat too few calories. Once you have set your goal, begin tracking your calories. Many people unknowingly eat many more calories than they realize. A food journal will help you to understand and overcome your weaknesses. Write down everything that you eat or drink along with their calorie content. This Continue reading >>
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (pcos) And Weight Gain
Most women at some point have to contend with weight gain. But for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), losing weight can become a constant struggle. PCOS is the most common hormonal disorder in women of childbearing age and can lead to issues with fertility. Women who have PCOS have higher levels of male hormones and are also less sensitive to insulin or are "insulin-resistant." Many are overweight or obese. As a result, these women can be at a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, and uterine cancer. If you have PCOS, certain lifestyle changes can help you shed pounds and reduce the disease's severity. Why does polycystic ovary syndrome cause weight gain? PCOS makes it more difficult for the body to use the hormone insulin, which normally helps convert sugars and starches from foods into energy. This condition -- called insulin resistance -- can cause insulin and sugar -- glucose -- to build up in the bloodstream. High insulin levels increase the production of male hormones called androgens. High androgen levels lead to symptoms such as body hair growth, acne, irregular periods -- and weight gain. Because the weight gain is triggered by male hormones, it is typically in the abdomen. That is where men tend to carry weight. So, instead of having a pear shape, women with PCOS have more of an apple shape. Abdominal fat is the most dangerous kind of fat. That’s because it is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and other health conditions. What are the risks associated with PCOS-related weight gain? No matter what the cause, weight gain can be detrimental to your health. Women with PCOS are more likely to develop many of the problems associated with weight gain and insulin resistance, including: Endometrial cancer Many of these condit Continue reading >>
Insulin Resistance Pcos Diet Weight Loss Exercise Facts
1. Insulin resistance affects women of all sizes. First, it’s important to know that insulin resistance is not exclusive to PCOS. It’s associated with numerous diseases, like type-2 diabetes and Hepatitis C, as well as other endocrine issues, genetic predispositions, and lifestyle and environmental factors. In many of these cases, insulin resistance is correlated with increased body weight (as is often the case in type-2 diabetes). Add to that the fact that PCOS is also often correlated with weight gain, and it would be easy to assume that thin women don’t have this symptom. But that’s simply not the case. “Really, it is not necessarily a fat person's disease or a thin person's,” says Dianne Budd, MD, a San Francisco-based endocrinologist. “There really is no ‘classic’ person [with PCOS].” While an estimated half of women (or slightly more) with PCOS are deemed “overweight” or “obese,” that leaves millions of women who are not. These women have what’s often referred to as “lean PCOS,” and because of that, they and their symptoms are frequently overlooked. But numerous studies indicate that PCOS-related insulin resistance occurs in women of all weights. It’s possible that this is because the insulin resistance that happens with PCOS is caused by something different than that which occurs in, say, type-2 diabetes (more on that later). Regardless, it’s important that all women with PCOS be screened for insulin resistance. 3. Exercise helps, in more ways than one. Exercise improves everyone’s insulin sensitivity, whether or not they have insulin resistance. That’s one of the reasons why consistent, balanced activity is good for us. The benefits kick in right away, as well. One workout increases insulin sensitivity for up to 16 hour Continue reading >>
16 Tips For Losing Weight With Pcos That Won’t Cost You A Cent!
I have received dozens of emails from women interested in losing weight with PCOS, but they can’t afford a gym membership, yoga classes or a personal trainer. Having all of those luxuries would certainly be helpful- I use some of them myself! But the truth is you do not need them. And you should not wait until you can afford them to start putting your health first. Women who lose weight with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) do three very important things: Exercise Eat a nutrient-dense diet Reduce their stress You might be thinking to yourself: “Sounds great, but how do I do all that without hiring a nutritionist, a yoga teacher and a personal assistant?” Today, I am going to share 16 actionable tips for losing weight with PCOS that won’t cost you a cent. And I’m going to give you downloadable bonus material that you can use to put these 16 awesome tips into action. The Bonus includes: A handy checklist for all of the tips in this post. Links to six of my favorite healthy recipes And a list of online resources to help you get started Click here to get the bonus sent to your in box now! 1. Eat without distraction. Eating while in front of a television, tapping away on a laptop, or driving is not just a choking hazard! People who eat distracted eat more. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reviewed 24 different research studies and found that eating while distracted increased overall food intake in most individuals. Eliminate distracted eating from your life by setting time aside in your schedule to eat. Go ahead and add lunch to your work calendar so that meetings and other responsibilities don’t invade your meal time. Make it a personal rule to eat at a table and not your desk or the couch where you’ll be tempted to stare at a screen while you eat. L Continue reading >>
Why Is It So Hard To Lose Weight With Pcos?
Why is it so hard to lose weight with PCOS? When you were diagnosed with PCOS, your doctor probably told you that the most effective thing you could do to improve your symptoms would be to lose weight, right? If youre anything like me, you would have retorted something along the lines of, Well Ive been trying that for the last 6 years, whats the secret, doc?,and you would have got the spiel about eating less and exercising more. But for I and 99% of my PCOS clients, weve been doing that for the last decade. Weve been living off salads and running for hours, but the scales keep climbing. Weve even gone a step furtherwe removed all refined carbohydrates to help our insulin levels, but still nothing. WTF! The reason why it is so hard to lose weight with PCOS is that youre not treating the root cause of the problem. Im going to show you today why we need to be looking much deeper than calories and carbs to reverse our PCOS. Specifically, Leptin resistance. The calories incalories out model of weight, and even carbs/fat is far too simplistic. Our body is much smarter than this. If the calorie equation was really the only mechanism of regulating weight, then every single person in the world would need to count calories everyday to keep a constant weight. Otherwise wed constantly be over or under estimating our energy needs For example, a piece of toast is 80 calories. If you ate a piece of toast more than you expended each day that would equate to something like 6 kilos weight gain a year. Or if you underestimated and ate one piece of toast less than you were burning, then you would lose 6kg a year. For someone like my mother who weighs about 50kg, you couldnt do that for long before you wasted away to nothing. So how can some people not care what they eat and maintain the s Continue reading >>
How To Lose Weight When You Have Pcos: 8 Science-backed Tips
PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) is a common hormonal disorder that affects up to 20% of pre-menopausal women. The exact cause is unknown, but an imbalance of male sex hormones (called androgens) is a big culprit. One of the most common symptoms is weight gain. In fact, 39% of women with PCOS are overweight or obese (1). Fortunately, a few lifestyle changes can help you to balance hormones and lose weight. This article looks at 8 tips for losing weight when you have PCOS. 1. Choose a Diet that Lowers Insulin Both PCOS and weight gain lead to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance then increases production of androgens, which leads to additional weight gain. This forms a stubborn feedback loop (2, 3, 4). Therefore any diet that reduces body weight and insulin levels will help. In fact, even modest weight loss will help lower insulin resistance in PCOS (5, 6). That means low fat and vegetarian diets can work, as can Paleo and Mediterranean. Anything that you enjoy and can stick to long-term, really. There are certain eating patterns that have been specifically studied for PCOS too: Low Carb Diets A low carb diet is an eating pattern that consists of about 30% of energy from carbs. For comparison, a standard American diet is around 55-65% carbs. Low carb diets have been shown to decrease insulin resistance particularly well. In theory, this should help prevent a rise in androgens that contribute to weight gain in PCOS (6, 7). Additionally, low carb diets tend to be high in protein as the carbs must be replaced by something. High protein diets help curb appetite, leading to a lower calorie intake throughout the day and more weight loss (8). Ketogenic Diets Ketogenic diets are very low in carbs (about 5% of total energy), moderate protein, and very high in fat. They have als Continue reading >>