PCOS Weight Loss Diet and Exercise: Detailed Guide!

Can you get rid of PCOS by losing weight? This is the most common concern of women suffering from PCOS. It is the most common hormone-related problem in women worldwide. It is also the most common cause of infertility due to ovulation problems.

The PCOS weight loss diet and exercise plan can help reverse the symptoms of poly cysts ovarian syndrome. Hence, the patient starts losing weight. Losing weight with PCOS can ultimately lead to a healthy life.

PCOS is an endocrinological disorder in women of reproductive age. It is a multifactorial disease. The most common cause is the formation of multiple cysts in the ovaries as the name indicates. This is due to excess production of androgens or male sex hormones in the female body.

Before getting into dietary management and exercises to treat PCOS, let us first have a look at the symptoms of PCOS.

PCOS patients are at higher risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. These are the major problems which we have to address through diet and exercise. 

Symptoms of PCOS

Following are the most common symptoms in patients with PCOS. These symptoms help to identify and treat the cause of disease.

  • Menstrual Irregularity
  • Hyperandrogenism
  • Polycystic Ovaries
  • Oily skin and Acne
pcos-symptoms
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consult your doctor. After a physical examination and blood tests, your doctor will make the possible diagnosis.

Why Is It Difficult to Lose Weight with PCOS?

It is difficult to lose weight with PCOS because you have three things that are working against you. Those three things are:

  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Insulin resistance
  • Chronic inflammation
hormonal-imbalance-symptoms

Now, if you have one of these three things, it can be difficult for you to lose weight. But it is not impossible. With the PCOS weight loss diet and exercise plan, you can lose weight without much effort.

How Diet and Exercise Can Influence Symptoms in PCOS?

Can diet and exercise improve PCOS symptoms? There is much evidence demonstrating the effects of certain diets on PCOS symptoms and associated conditions. So, this is where we look for different dietary strategies to cure PCOS. 

PCOS often involves impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. PCOS patients are at higher risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. These are the major problems which we have to address through diet and exercise. 

A low glycemic index diet plan with exercise that can increase metabolism are the basic strategies to adapt for PCOS treatment. 

What Type of Diets Can Be Helpful to Lose Weight With PCOS?

Here are some popular diet plans that work well to lose weight in PCOS. 

Mediterranean Diet

PCOS is a pro-inflammatory condition. The Mediterranean diet has anti-inflammatory properties. So, it can best treat the symptoms of PCOS.

PCOS patients should consume more components of the Mediterranean diet as compared to healthy patients. Patients on a Mediterranean diet should add the following into their diet plan.

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Legumes
  • Fish and seafood
  • Nuts and fiber
mediterranean-diet

On the other hand, they should not consume the following.

  • Simple sugars
  • Carbohydrates
  • Saturated fatty acids

Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat and low-carbohydrate diet. However, a few studies show that after 12 weeks of following a ketogenic diet, there is a significant reduction that also lowers the BMI.

Many weight loss drinks can be very beneficial in losing weight. The most effective drink is Cinnamon tea. This herbal tea can decrease insulin resistance. Hence, it can help lose weight by lowering blood sugar levels.

Following a ketogenic diet causes a significant reduction in blood glucose and insulin levels. It also reduces triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. It lowers the level of androgen and increases the level of estrogen. 

This is very important evidence of a ketogenic diet that can help reduce PCOS symptoms.

Low Advanced Glycation End Products Diet

According to a study in humans and animals, advanced glycation end products such as chips, cookies, crackers, etc can reduce insulin resistance. These food items can enhance PCOS symptoms. 

There is also evidence of a correlation between high levels of AGE and ovulatory dysfunction. So, PCOS patients can consume a diet low in advanced glycation end products.

Non-Vegetarian Diet

According to a study, a nonvegetarian diet causes significant improvement in PCOS symptoms. It decreases the number of pro-inflammatory markers. It increases anti-inflammatory markers and helps gain muscle mass.

Foods to Eat while Having PCOS

If you are on a PCOS diet, you should exclude all the unhealthy and processed food items from your diet plan. 

Here is a list of healthy food items to include in your PCOS diet. 

10 Superfoods to Include in Your Diet

It is better to treat PCOS with a healthy diet rather than taking medicines. Certain foods can help fight the symptoms of PCOS. They will also help you lose weight. 

  • Broccoli: It provides plenty of calcium which is an important anti-PCOS mineral. 
  • Spinach: Spinach contains a large variety of nutrients that can help reduce inflammation in the body. 
  • Blueberries: It is an antioxidant-rich fruit. It increases insulin sensitivity.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon helps increase sensitivity and thus treat obesity as well as PCOS.
  • Garlic: It helps relax blood vessels and increase blood flow.
  • Apples: They are low in calories and high in fiber. They help combat free radicals.
  • Nuts: Nuts help balance hormones and improve cholesterol and insulin.
  • Pumpkin Seeds: They contain essential fatty acids. They help regulate hormones. They also lower Insulin levels and help regulate periods.
  • Avocados: They contain plant sterols which help to reduce cholesterol.
  • Eggs: Eggs are high-protein foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
superfoods

PCOS Weight Loss Drink

Many weight loss drinks can be very beneficial in losing weight. The most effective drink is Cinnamon tea. This herbal tea can decrease insulin resistance. Hence, it can help lose weight by lowering blood sugar levels.

This herbal tea is very easy to make. Just boil one and half cups of water with a cinnamon stick. Stain the water when only a cup is left. Drink this herbal tea empty stomach to get the best results. It specifically helps to reduce PCOS weight gain around the stomach.

PCOS Weight Loss Diet Plan

How to reduce weight in PCOS? This is only possible by following a PCOS diet plan to lose weight. Here is a 7 day PCOS weight loss meal plan that can help lose weight.

DaysBreakfastLunchSnackDinner
SundayScrambled eggs with salsa and avocado and sliced orangesFajita saladVeggie chips and greek yogurtSteamed chicken with roasted broccoli
MondayOatmeal with apples and raisinsChicken saladSalad smoothieBroccoli ham frittata
TuesdayBacon and fried eggsChicken nuggets and applesauceChocolate chip cookies and almondsMexican chicken soup
WednesdayCoconut flour pancakesTurkey burger with avocadoBanana and almond butterGarlic roasted chicken thighs
ThursdayScrambled eggs with salsaItalian saladVeggie chips and guacamoleSlow cooker Korean short ribs
FridayOatmeal with blueberriesWaldorf’s chicken saladPaleo brownies and almond milkPaleo pizza
SaturdayPaleo waffles with fresh strawberriesPaleo Cobb saladCottage cheese and apple sauceSauteed veggies and guacamole

Effects of an Exercise Intervention on the Improvement of the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Exercise reduces blood glucose levels and moves them into your muscles. It lowers the need for insulin and improves body sensitivity to insulin. If you can manage your insulin levels, it means you have better management of hormones.

Exercise that works on multiple muscle groups is very effective in PCOS. These exercises increase metabolism. The increase in metabolism reduces blood glucose levels. This phenomenon can ultimately help in weight loss.

The Best Types of Exercises for the Management of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Why is it so hard to lose weight with PCOS? Well, it is not like that. PCOS weight loss diet and exercise is a perfect combination to fight the symptoms of PCOS. The following exercises are best when it comes to PCOS weight loss.

Strength Training

It is necessary to perform strength training three times a week with nonconsecutive days. So, you get a break between each workout. So it can be on Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Hope you get the idea.

These are the total body workouts. They hit all of your muscle groups. It includes an upper-body pushing exercise and an upper-body pulling exercise. A squat and usually an exercise with lower body pulling is the best combination.

You should go for quads and hamstrings exercises for the lower body. A core stability exercise for the upper body works better as well. Start to finish from warm-up to cool down. It should take about thirty to forty minutes.

Include healthy fat in your diet, for example, avocados, coconut milk, coconut oil, and some nuts. This can help you go into fat-burning mode.

Cardio

It involves high-intensity interval training because it is better at addressing insulin resistance. It also helps to reduce belly fat. It has an edge over traditional cardio. 

So, high-intensity interval training or HIIT is when you alternate between bouts of about twenty to forty seconds of really intense exercise. 

 Something like running as fast as you can, jumping ropes, burpees can help a lot. Low-intensity exercises like just walking, marching in place, skipping rope instead of jumping are also very effective.

You can alternate between this low and high-intensity exercise for about ten to fifteen minutes.

Recovery Exercises

Hardly, some people realize the importance of recovery or restoration exercises. But, these are the only game-changers in a weight loss program for PCOS.

Working out provides your body a stimulus to change. Healing and recovery are really important for metabolic actions. The increase in these metabolic actions leads to healthy weight loss.

So, in your recovery phase, you can increase your metabolism. It can also work on your insurance resistance. Yoga and stretching are the best recovery exercises for PCOS weight loss. 

Important Tips to Lose Weight Fast with PCOS

Here are some beneficial tips to lose weight fast if you’re suffering from PCOS.

  • Increase the amount of fiber in your diet. Fiber is very important to maintain a healthy hormonal balance as well as to reduce inflammation.
  • Include healthy fat in your diet, for example, avocados, coconut milk, coconut oil, and some nuts. This can help you go into fat-burning mode.
  • Eat more fermented foods. These food items can help enhance the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut.
  • Select the right type of exercise to fight PCOS. Go for light exercises like yoga and stretching.
  • Quit sugar. Sugar promotes inflammation and disrupts hormones. Quitting on sugar is effective in weight loss.
  • Get more sleep. Make sure you’re getting quality and quantity sleep. It will help you reduce cravings and avoid stress.

FAQs

Can you get rid of PCOS by losing weight?

Answer: Yes, losing weight can help control blood sugar levels. It also decreases the insulin resistance of our body. When you lose weight, it can help relieve the symptoms of PCOs which can ultimately help to get rid of PCOS.

What is the best time to exercise for PCOS?

Answer: You can do the exercises for weight loss at any time of your comfort. The need is just to enhance the metabolism and to reduce blood glucose levels so that weight loss becomes easier. 

What is the best diet for PCOS weight loss?

Answer: A low-glycemic-index diet plan can help in losing weight if you are suffering from PCOS. Along with this, a diet rich in protein and minerals can help fight the inflammatory changes that occur in the body of patients with PCOS.

Which exercise is best for PCOS weight loss?

Answer: Strength training is best for PCOS weight loss. Moreover, the exercises that help in releasing stress are also very effective. Such exercises include yoga, swimming, and stretching.

Bottom Line

PCOS weight loss diet and exercise plan is a healthy strategy to lose weight. PCOS patients should consume low glycemic index food. Foods which have a high glycemic index such as white bread and fried potatoes etc are harmful to PCOS patients.

If you are suffering from PCOS, try following a Mediterranean diet or ketogenic diet. For exercise, you should begin with a low-intensity exercise and gradually increase the amount of exercise. Perform some stress-relieving activities to stay productive.

Haleema Sadia

Haleema Sadia

A physiotherapist by profession, a Nutritionist by passion, a literarian by soul, and a writer by heart!

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