You would have heard a lot of stories of women suffering from PCOS who are struggling to lose weight, who have tried a lot of diets but in vain. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the diets you are looking forward to, should be easy and sustainable which means that restricting calories is not a very great idea to lose weight especially when you suffer from this disorder. Losing weight in a heal thy way requires that the diets you follow should be balanced diets, customized according to your preferences, likes/dislikes, routine, lifestyle and culture. Now, let us understand PCOS in detail-
PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It is a metabolic and hormonal disorder in which the ovaries get enlarged due to small cysts present on the outer edge. PCOS is associated with obesity, insulin resistance, menstrual irregularity, excessive hair growth, infertility or in layman terms, male hormone, Androgen, is produced in higher levels by ovaries than normal which ceases egg development and release. These eggs develop into fluid filled cysts which grows and enlarges in the ovaries instead of getting released.
Do you know that we cannot treat PCOS but can manage symptoms? How? Let’s look at it-
We need to understand the fact that weight loss plays a crucial role in managing the symptoms of PCOS as it helps the ovaries to reinstitute or regain its normal shape, the outcome of which is normal hormone production. impaired hormone secretion the root cause of excessive facial hair, acne, hairfall and irregular periods. In addition with this, weight loss also helps to reduce the risk of other diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, etc.
It all comes down to lifestyle management. We need to improve our lifestyle in order to lose weight. So, let’s understand the tools for lifestyle management or how can we change our lifestyle-
The most important factor is to start eating healthy which means small and frequent meals. A low-calorie, high protein diet with moderate amount of healthy fats and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) should be consumed. Let’s find out what all we should include in our meals-
Fibre helps to maintain blood glucose levels by slowing the sugar absorption which is the reason why we say that fibre keeps us full for longer period of time and it also aids in digestion by absorbing water and providing lubrication to stools so that they can pass easily. So, fibre intake is very useful for both maintaining blood glucose levels and weight loss. Foods rich in fibre includes- Mango, Apple, Banana, Oranges, Strawberries, brown rice, whole wheat, bajra, jowar, beans, peas, lentils, dark coloured vegetables, Beetroot, Mushroom, pumpkin, Carrots, spinach
– Glycemic Index is the measure of how fast a particular food item affects the blood glucose levels. Patients suffering from PCOS are usually insulin resistant that is, they have considerably high blood glucose levels. That’s why low GI foods should be consumed. Here’s are some low GI goods- Whole grains, milk, non-starchy vegetables, sweet potatoes, kidney beans, lentils, chickpea, pear, apple, oranges, grapes, peach.
– A very important tool to keep a check on your weight loss is controlling your portion size. Eating until 80% full is the best way to keep portion size in check and to be easy on digestive system.
– Chewing your food upto 30-32 times prevents you from overeating and allows the enzymes (that coverts carbohydrates into simpler, digestible form) present in your mouth to function properly.
– Meats, Eggs, Poultry, fish, dairy products, soybean, legumes are some protein sources. High protein diet in PCOS helps regulating the blood sugar level and also gives the feeling of satiety.
– Whenever we talk about weight loss, it is very important to talk about this vitamin. It helps in weight loss by changing the fat storage in the body. That is why Vitamin D levels should be checked if you are seeking to lose weight. The sources present in the nature are very less, some of them are exposure to sunlight, milk and eggs. That is why, it becomes necessary to have Vitamin D supplements.
Just 20-30 minutes of your day and you’ll feel your body smiling back at your and saying, “THANK YOU”. But avoid exercise vigorously because it will put strain on your body and will do more harm than good. So, go slow and choose milder exercises.
PCOS affects quality of life either because of the symptoms or realizing that they have a chronic illness. So, a regular 7-8 hours of sleep is a must thing to do. Try avoiding screen atleast 2 hours before your sleep. Having a hard time to manage your sleep? Then you should try having milk with a pinch of cinnamon or meditation before bed