PCOS weight gain is a fact. Around 50% of the women affected with PCOS suffer from weight gain as a major outcome of this condition. Compared to others, they have great difficulty in losing weight.
Data from the Centre for Disease Control shows that around 12 percent of women in the United States suffer from PCOS. The hormonal imbalance caused by this medical condition leads to weight gain and other symptoms.
If you or someone you know are suffering from PCOS-related weight gain, this article is for you. Through this article, you can find some methods to lose weight with PCOS. Also, you will get an enriching learning experience about the condition in detail. So, dive right into the article and find out the tips and tricks to beat weight gain from PCOS!
What Is PCOS?
PCOS is the abbreviation for Polycystic ovary syndrome. It is usually considered as a hormonal disorder. As a result, your ovaries tend to create excess hormones called androgens. This results in an imbalance in the levels of your reproductive hormones.
People with PCOS usually suffer from irregular menstrual cycles and infertility issues. Even though the name is ‘polycystic’, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have cysts in the ovaries. Even if that is the case, these cysts are not dangerous.
PCOS can raise the risk of infertility issues in women and can also cause other health conditions.
Common Symptoms Of PCOS
The reasons that cause PCOS are not clear. If you have any family member such as a sister or mother suffering from PCOS, the chances for you to have the same is higher. Also, there has been a link between insulin resistance and PCOS.
Women with PCOS are more prone to insulin resistance. And experts doubt that there can be an invariable link between the two conditions. Anyway, there can be visible symptoms that denote PCOS. If you have any of the following symptoms it is better to consult a doctor immediately:
- Abnormal periods– One of the common symptoms of PCOS is irregular or abnormal periods. This might include missing periods or not having them at all.
- Acne– Usually people diagnosed with PCOS are more prone to developing acne on the face, chest, and back.
- Weight gain: Gaining weight is another common symptom of PCOS. Around 40%-80% of people with PCOS develop symptoms of weight gain.
- Unnatural hair growth: This is one of the defining symptoms of PCOS. You might develop abnormal hair growth on your face or arms.
- Cysts: Some people might get affected by larger ovaries or egg sac cysts inside them.
- Infertility issues: Another common symptom of PCOS is infertility. Having irregular periods or disordered ovulation can affect the ability to conceive.
Why Does PCOS Cause Weight Gain?
People affected with PCOS usually suffer from weight gain as a major symptom. Research shows that PCOS can cause an imbalance in the working of insulin levels in your body. Having a functioning insulin level is necessary for your body to convert sugar and starch into energy.
While affected with PCOS, your body feels difficulty in using insulin for fat conversion. This results in an excess insulin build up causing insulin resistance. As a part of this, your blood sugar levels can go to higher levels.
Also having higher insulin levels can stimulate the production of androgen, a male hormone in your body. This causes unwanted hair growth and irregular periods along with weight gain.
What Are The Risk Factors Of PCOS-Weight Gain?
The weight gain caused by PCOS can complicate your health condition. It can lead to some other issues such as:
- High cholesterol levels❌
- High blood pressure levels❌
- Type 2 diabetes❌
- Infertility issues❌
- Sleep apnea❌
- Endometrial cancer❌
- Heart disease❌
Ways To Lose Weight With PCOS
Having PCOS can make it difficult for you to lose weight. But worry not, through healthy dietary and lifestyle changes, you can lose weight acquired from PCOS. Here are some of the methods to help you lose weight from PCOS. Check out the points below:
◼️Increase your protein intake
One of the ways through which you can lose weight with PCOS is by making some dietary changes. This includes leveling up your protein intake. Studies have shown that consuming more protein can keep you full for longer periods. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2012 elucidated that dietary protein intake can help with weight loss in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.
◼️Get into the habit of exercising
Another way to lose that PCOS weight is through exercising. Having a consistent exercise routine can help you accelerate your metabolism and burn those calories. Experts suggest that women with PCOS should engage in high-intensity interval training and cardio exercises to lose weight.
◼️Eliminate caffeine from your diet
Well, that seems like bad news. Still, caffeine can hurt your hormonal balance. Studies show that it can cause an imbalance in ovulation and raise the stress hormone levels in your body.
◼️Choose mindful eating
Having PCOS can prompt you to mindlessly indulge in foods that will lead to weight gain. Experts suggest that mindful eating can limit the consumption of food for you. By practicing mindful eating, you can truly savor the taste and flavor of the food. It will help you to understand the true needs of your body and when to stop eating.
◼️Consume more fiber
When it comes to weight loss, fiber can be your best friend. Eating complex and high-fiber foods can reduce belly fat and relieve the symptoms of insulin resistance in your body. According to the American Heart Association, it is suggested that women should consume at least 21 to 25 grams of fiber per day. Having enough fiber in your diet can ease up your digestion and aid in weight loss.
◼️Control your sugar intake
Women with PCOS have naturally higher levels of sugar in their bodies because of insulin resistance. That is why experts suggest they control the intake of added sugars. Limiting sugar can help with cravings and support your health. It can also fasten up your weight loss game.
◼️Go for a low-carb diet
It is suggested that women with PCOS need to try a low-carb diet. Having minimal carbs in your diet can lower the insulin levels which can aid with weight loss. Experts suggest that as part of the diet, you need to eliminate grains. And increase protein intake consecutively.
◼️Choose healthy fats over unhealthy ones
Studies have shown that replacing unhealthy fats with healthy ones will help in losing weight in women with PCOS. Some of the healthy fats that you can add to your meals are olive oil and avocado.
◼️Include fermented foods in the diet
Fermented foods or probiotics can improve the healthy gut bacteria in the body. This will support your weight loss process.
◼️Reduce your stress
One of the key factors while losing weight is to keep a check on your stress levels. The hormonal imbalance in the bodies of women with PCOS can increase stress. By practicing Yoga, deep breathing, and meditation, you can keep a check on your stress levels.
The Bottom Line
Polycystic ovary syndrome and weight gain have an invariable connection with each other. This is because PCOS causes hormonal imbalances that can lead to excess weight in your body. Many women with PCOS struggle to lose weight.
By adhering to healthy dietary and lifestyle changes, you can lose weight with PCOS. Some of these methods include: exercising, increasing protein intake, ditching sugar and fast foods, practicing mindful eating and self-love activities, etc.
Stick to these healthy changes and you can reduce the weight gained from PCOS.
Frequently Asked Questions
Having PCOS can disrupt the insulin levels in your body. This will lead to insulin resistance and thereby weight gain.
Even though there is no cure for PCOS you can lose at least 5% to 10% of your body weight by dietary and lifestyle changes.
If you have PCOS, try practicing jogging, brisk walking, swimming, cycling, etc.
Avoid processed and fried foods as these can increase the risk of weight gain from PCOS.
Compared to a normal belly, the PCOS belly will be apple-shaped.