Weight Gain & Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, known as PCOS , is one of the hormonal disorders that affects approximately 5 to 10 percent of adult women and the number is only increasing. PCOS symptom often varies between  acne, irregular periods, infertility, insulin resistance and weight gain. The biggest catch 22 situation in this scenario is that one of the side affects of PCOS is weight gain but this same side affect if not kept under control further aggravates the syndrome . Therefore after a thorough check up it is imperative to start watching your weight to manage your therapeutic condition better.

Women with PCOS due to the increase in weight and general insulin resistance in the body are more prone to diseases like diabetes and heart. All these conditions can be avoided by simply following a  exercise and healthy eating routine specific to this medical condition. The most common mistake made by people with this condition is that they go on fad diets or start starving themselves. All this will do nothing to the condition but only make it worse, making you more susceptible to additional nutrition deficiencies like osteoporosis etc. Here are three simple steps to lose weight with PCOS:

Step 1- Eat Right:

- Limit Carbohydrate Intake: Limit the intake of carbohydrate to 40-50 percent of the total diet per day.

- Avoid Refined Carbohydrates: refined carbohydrates like Maida-based or sugar, shoots up insulin levels which worsen the symptoms associated with PCOS and promote abdominal fat storage.

-  Include Low Glycemic Index (GI) foods: Foods with a low GI release sugar into the blood more slowly, resulting in a slow and steady release of insulin preventing insulin resistance. Low GI foods include those high in fiber, fresh vegetables and some fruits and protein-rich.

- Incorporate Soya: Soya and its products have phytoestrogen properties which mimic female hormone –estrogen bringing about beneficial effects.

- Eat at Regular Intervals: Any variation in meal timings puts pressure on the glands to release more of contra-PCOS hormones.

- Salt Restriction: Is another major aspect to prevent water retention and to relieve the symptom of bloating.

Step 2- Exercise:

Regular exercise helps controls insulin levels and reduces depression. The best forms of exercises for women with PCOS are:

-Cardiovascular Exercise

-Interval Training

-Strength Training

Step 3- Sleep:

Regular and adequate sleep pattern has an effect on blood glucose management. One study showed that otherwise normal people who were deprived of just one night’s sleep had impaired glucose/insulin systems. A good night sleep of 7-8 hrs/day is therefore essential to mitigate symptoms of PCOS arising out of insulin resistance. Lifestyle modifications including stress reduction, exercise, and balanced diet have positive effects for PCOS women planning to conceive.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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