As an initiative of Conquer PCOS – awareness campaign on PCOS amongst women by Metropolis Healthcare, Dr Duru Shah, PCOS Specialist shared that characterised by hormonal imbalance, irregular periods, and development of small cysts on one or both ovaries with insulin resistance and inflammation, PCOS makes it challenging for women to shed weight. Weight loss is challenging but not impossible.
Given below are some useful tips suggested by Shah that can give positive results which in turn will improve insulin resistance, hormone levels, menstrual cycles, and fertility.
Eat food with low Glycemic Index content
Diet with low-glycemic index content in PCOS affected women will help to keep the weight in control. Glycemic Index (GI) is a measurement of how quickly a food item is raising blood sugar. Some unhealthy food to avoid are ice cream, packaged fruit juice, breakfast cereals, packaged soups, pasta.
Some examples of such diet are vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats. Not all fats are harmful, some are healthy too. A diet rich in healthy fats can make you feel satisfied for a longer period of time. Avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, and nut butters are some sources of healthy fats. If consumed properly, it can be of a great help for women with PCOS.
Inflammation is common among women with PCOS, which is directly linked to obesity. Sugar and processed foods can contribute to this. Inflammation can be prevented by having Mediterranean Diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, and omega 3 rich foods, such as fatty fish.
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Vitamin D Supplements
Vitamin D deficiency can take up the chance of resistance to insulin, obesity and reduction in ovulation level. These are some ill effects of PCOS. Hence, for PCOS affected women, in case of vitamin D deficiency, they can opt for vitamin D supplements under the guidance of a doctor.
Eat Fermented Foods
According to a study, PCOS victims may have fewer healthy gut bacteria, which plays a role in metabolism and weight maintenance. Consuming foods that are high in probiotics such as yogurt, and other fermented foods can show positive impact on weight loss. Further, taking probiotic supplements can also have the same impact.
Restrict The Consumption Of Processed Food And Added Sugar
Processed food and added sugar may raise the blood sugar level, which in turn can increase the risk of insulin resistance, which is directly linked to obesity. It has been proven that the same amount of sugar intake can have different reactions in women with and without PCOS. Women with PCOS experience larger spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. As per research, women with PCOS must restrict the consumption for balancing their weight.
Slowing down of metabolism can be resulted from long term calorie restriction. Eating too little food can have negative impact on hormones that control appetite. The best way is to eat whole food by cutting out the unhealthy products.
The most effective way of reducing weight is exercise. It has been observed, women with PCOS who did weight training 3 times weekly, lost belly fat and gained lean body mass with reduction of testosterone and blood sugar levels.