Polycystic Ovary Syndrome affects millions of women in America today. In fact, it affects roughly 7% of the population. PCOS is the number one contributor to female infertility in the United States. However, unless you’re a woman who has had trouble with fertility, you probably haven’t heard of it. PCOS is characterized, primarily, by insulin resistance. Women with PCOS tend to reject the insulin their bodies produce, which puts the pancreas into overdrive to produce more insulin. This surplus of insulin then boosts a number of androgens in the body. Androgens are hormones that are found in greater abundance in males, but females also have them. However, in females, androgens typically appear in much smaller amounts. This excess of androgens, which are produced by the ovaries, can manifest in halted ovulation, acne, excess body hair growth and difficulty losing weight. PCOS is a challenging syndrome to live with and losing extra pounds can be a challenge, throw in your body chemistry working against you and you’ve got your work cut out for you! Thankfully, hope is not lost. Losing weight with PCOS can be done! Below are a few tips and tricks for the best way to lose weight with PCOS.
Ways To Lose Weight with PCOS
1. Set Measurable Goals
Take some time out of your day to sit down with your preferred note taking method. Whether it be a pen and notepad, pencil and sketchbook, portable device, computer or typewriter, the important thing is that you’re comfortable and that you can think clearly.
Think about the goals you have for your weight loss and write them down as they come to you. If you have a goal that seems insurmountable or intimidating, break it up into smaller goals that will eventually lead to the larger goal. You don’t have to think in terms of pounds and inches. Maybe you have an old pair of jeans or a dress that you’d like to strut your stuff in again.
Whatever your goals are, they should be measurable. This is crucial to achieving goals. You need to be able to track your progress and know when you’ve arrived at your goal so you can celebrate!
2. Create a Plan
You’ve already started the planning process by reading this article and you should be proud of that. Take the goals you’ve set for yourself and structure them in a way that lets you keep track of your progress. The planning phase is essential to your success in weight loss.
In your plan, make sure you take your schedule into account. Be realistic but push yourself. Schedule in time for working out, cooking meals, and getting adequate sleep. Set a goal for the week that isn’t focused on weight loss, necessarily, but will ultimately help you achieve your weight loss goal.
For example, if you decide to start running for exercise, find a hill that you can’t possibly run all the way up without walking. Make it a goal to run the whole hill without walking. Then add on to that goal in later weeks. Maybe you’ll add hill repeats to your workout. Let’s say you choose to pick up swimming as a way to shed excess weight. Time yourself swimming 100 yards in an all out sprint. Make it a goal to shave off a few seconds from that time by the end of the week.
You can see that goal setting and planning go hand in hand. Get creative with these plans and don’t get too caught up in the numbers on the scale. Have fun with your exercise and you’ll want to keep going back for more!
3. Eat More Plants and Less Processed Food
Processed Carbohydrates are your worst enemy when trying to lose weight. These include bread, cereals, pasta, white rice and added sugar among other things. These foods will give you a lot of calories and very few nutrients. Instead, focus on the wonderful world of whole plant based foods. Think high nutrient, low calorie. This is the key to the best way to lose weight with PCOS. Ditch the breakfast cereals and toast and instead enjoy a bowl of fresh berries and melon. Replace pasta with spaghetti squash. Make salads less boring by adding legumes, sunflower seeds, blueberries, fresh beets, olives, or avocado.
Think of every meal as an adventure. Try something new every day like dragon fruit, jicama, Mexican gherkins, or jack fruit. Don’t worry about getting too exotic with your food choices. Just take the time to realize that there are a lot of delicious foods out there waiting for your discovery.
4. Exercise Daily
Yoga is a fantastic way to develop introspective mindfulness, but in order to shed the pounds, you should be out of breath and glistening with triumphant sweat after a high-intensity workout. Running, swimming, and cycling are all activities that you can do on your own. If you’re more into the high energy atmosphere that group classes offer, look at joining a local gym, HIIT class, or Spinning class where you can get together with a group of people with the same goals as you.
The best way to lose weight with PCOS is to enjoy the process. If exercise becomes a chore you’re less likely to do it consistently. Find an activity that you enjoy and stick with it!
5. Build a Network of Support
Find someone close to you and ask them to support you through this process. Find someone who is nonjudgemental and empathetic and have them check in with you periodically just to talk about your experience. You shouldn’t feel accountable to them. They should just be there to listen to your successes as well as your failures and offer you support and validation.
Find a friend who loves to cook and have them show you some healthy recipes. Ask your fitness junkie friend to show you some new exercises to add to your workout regimen. Find an online forum where you can talk to other women with PCOS who are working on losing weight. Share what has worked for you and find out what has worked for them.
Again, get creative with this step. PCOS can feel isolating when you don’t have anyone to share your struggles with. There are many ways to find people who can support you.
6. Love Yourself
The reasons people want to lose weight vary from person to person.The most important thing you can do, however, wherever your are in life, is to love yourself. This is crucial to finding the best way to lose weight with PCOS. Realize that you are not perfect and that is beautiful. Realize that no matter how you look in the mirror or what the number on the scale reads you are a human being and you deserve nothing but love and acceptance. When you wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and say “I am trying to love myself more and more each day”. As you learn to love your body, along with any of it’s perceived flaws, you will develop an even greater desire to care for it. This will lead to a life of health and happiness.