Can I Lose Weight With PCOS?

Is It Possible To Lose Weight With PCOS?

Yes, it is possible to lose weight with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) - it may just take a little more time than for someone without the condition. There is no 'quick fix' so you will need to be patient and resist the temptation to follow a silly fad diet that promises instant weight loss for little or no effort. In order to lose weight with PCOS you need to:

1. Follow a healthy, balanced diet plan which includes lots of fruit, veggies, low fat dairy produce, whole grain products, and lean meat. As a rough guide PCOS patients are advised to eat about 50 percent of their calories in the form of 'good' carbs (e.g. fruit and veggies, whole wheat bread/pasta), 30 percent as lean fat (e.g. red meat, chicken) and the remainder as healthy protein (e.g. low fat cheese, eggs). There are hundreds of different diet plans available on the market. Chose one which best suits your lifestyle and taste preferences, that way you are more likely to stick to it. Many women with PCOS have good results with the Low GI Diet. If you cannot afford to join a reputable weight loss clinic for a personalized plan, check out The Anne Collins Low GI Plan, which is now being kindly offered for free to everyone who needs it.
2. Avoid going for long periods of time without eating. Many women with PCOS are insulin resistant so eating little and often helps to keep your blood sugar levels stable. Have a snack mid-morning, mid-afternoon and just before going to bed. A snack before bedtime will help prevent low blood sugar during the night. Ideally choose a snack which combines protein and carbs like a slice of brown bread with low fat cheese or a slice of lean ham or a bowel of whole grain cereal with low fat milk.
3. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water every day to keep your body hydrated.
4. Avoid adding table salt to your food. This will help prevent bloating.
5. Exercise is very important for women with PCOS. Aim to exercise at least 5 days a week, the best time to exercise is after eating as this will help control blood sugar. Ideally split your workout during the day, do 20 minutes of walking after breakfast and another 20 minutes after dinner in the evening. Other interesting tips: Natural treatment for PCOS.

PCOS Weight Loss Study

Research consistently shows that primary care doctors are unwilling to help obese patients lose weight. Often doctors feel unequipped to help or when they have attempted to do so, the success rates have been poor. Yet, one study by the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec showed significant weight loss in women with PCOS who were given weight-loss advice by their doctor and had follow-up consultancies involving a weigh-in and diet discussions every 6 months. On average, the starting weight was 231 pounds with a BMI of 38.7 which is almost morbidly obese. The results showed that 43 percent women who had follow-ups for up to 12 months lost 5 percent or more of their bodyweight (which is clinically significant). 20 percent of women who had follow-ups for 3 years or more lost 10 percent or more of their body weight. The study also showed that women who took the diabetes drug metformin lost more weight than those who did not (it should be mentioned that other studies are not so conclusive in respect to metformin).
Bottom Line: In the battle of the bulge, it really is worth working with a doctor who is genuinely interested in and has experience of offering weight loss support to patients with PCOS.

Related Questions
Can PCOS be cured?
• Thinning hair and balding patches: Does PCOS cause hair loss?
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• Considering pregnancy: How long does it take to get pregnant with PCOS?
• Feeling tired all the time - Does PCOS cause fatigue?

• Need more information about PCOS? See: Guide to PCOS
• Got another question? See: Womens Health Questions

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