What is the best PCOS weight loss diet plan? There are different answers as we are not created equally, there is no“one size fits all” answer because each woman is an individual.
But there are some things you can do to improve your PCOS symptoms that will work for everybody.
I started to focus on healing
PCOS is not only about infertility, it negatively affects every aspect of your life. Low mood, constant fatigue, weight gain,
That’s why I wanted to improve my condition by all means. But it was crazy difficult. I consulted many doctors but no one could help me. The only solution they suggested it to take birth-control medications. But it didn’t work well. Yes, with the help of birth-control pills I had more regular periods. But other aspects of my health were out of whack. I had severe PMS symptoms, sugar cravings, I put on weight easily and could not shed a single pound for months, I had fatigue and low immunity.
It felt like a constant battle.
And in general, taking birth-control for the rest of my life seemed so dumb and unnatural.
So I started searching for other things to cure PCOS. It took me thousands of hours to research, reading books, enrolling in courses, having conversations with different specialists. But now I know so much about PCOS and I implement this knowledge in practice. Thanks to my knowledge, I’ve managed to lose weight and cure my symptoms. And I really want for you the same because I know how overwhelmed and defeated PCOS make us feel.
I even don’t have cysts on my ovaries anymore! All the ultrasounds now show that I don’t have a single cyst. For me, it’s such a win!
How did I do that?
The process involves many aspects. I talk about all this in my course “Shedding belly fat in 30 days”. Even though the course is tailored for those who want to lose weight with PCOS and get rid of this stubborn hormonal fat around the belly, it covers deeper topics like healthy eating for PCOS, effective workout routine, supplements you want to take to improve your insulin sensitivity and many other details.
If you are serious in your desire to win over PCOS and lose weight, enroll now and start changing your life in a positive way:
In this post, I will help you to figure out how to eat with PCOS, as your diet can go a long way to helping you feel your best.
The main aim of
Knowing this, we can create a PCOS weight loss diet plan that help to cope with these two problems.
What is ideal PCOS weight loss diet plan?
To create an effective PCOS weight loss diet plan we need to understand what foods are beneficial for women with hormonal imbalances, and what foods you need to avoid.
So what is your diet should look like?
Low GI with a low Glycemic Load
Glycemic index measures how a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood glucose. The lower index of the food the less it causes blood sugar raises and insulin spikes.
In case with PCOS, you have to avoid insulin spikes as it is one of the main causes of higher testosterone levels and weight gain. High insulin levels also cause the development of cysts on the ovaries.
That’s why an effective PCOS weight loss diet plan should be based on foods with a low glycemic load. This means that the foods will cause a slow, gradual rise in insulin levels, so that less testosterone will be produced by the ovaries.
How to know what foods are low GI?
In short, it’s all natural wholefoods. The more processes and artificial the food it, the higher chances that it has higher glycemic index. Also, white foods are usually have high GI, such as white flour, rice, potatoes.
These processed and sugary foods send blood glucose levels soaring, trigger cravings and are best avoided as much as possible.
You can check this table Glycemic Index and Diabetes with the most popular groups of food and their glycemic index.
But besides that, you can lower a glycemic load of your meals by adding protein and fats to it. For example, if you want to eat a banana (which is high GI), you can add a tablespoon of peanut butter and sprinkle chia seeds on top. This way the whole meal will affect your blood sugar levels less than if you eat a banana alone.
Make sure you eat as little sugar as possible. It is one of the top foods to avoid in your PCOS diet plan. Sugar causes inflammation, insulin spikes, gut illnesses and many other side effects you don’t want to have when healing PCOS. If you feel addicted to sweets, check my post “How to stop sugar cravings” with good tips and recommendations.
The high-protein diet produces a significantly higher weight loss (study) than the standard diet if this is your goal. But what’s even more important, high-protein foods do not cause great increases in insulin levels. To help manage insulin levels and stay full for longer you want to eat enough protein with every meal. This way it will be hard to overeat as you will have a sustained satisfaction that reduces sugar and carb cravings.
Does it mean that you have to eat meat? Not really.
The reason why many specialists advice to eat lots of meat on PCOS diet is that it’s full of protein and packed with micronutrients. Because, obviously, it took a cow years to collect all the nutrients in her flesh. And now you just grab a steak and get all these nutrients. It’s convenient – that’s the main answer.
It’s convenient but it’s not necessary. You can provide your diet with lots of nutrients without eating meat. You just need to do it wisely. I have been on a vegetarian diet for more than 7 years now. And it neither worsen nor improves my results. I used to eat lots of meat earlier and suffered from PCOS severely. Now I don’t eat meat and fish, and I prosper. Because I eat accordingly to my goals. I put the best nutrients to my body and avoid things that are harmful to me. That’s what matters.
If you don’t eat meat, you have to keep in mind the following nutrients: protein, vitamin B12, amino acids, Omega 3 fats (DHA and EPA).
You can get all these nutrients from beans, tofu and other soy products, eggs, nuts and seeds, dark leafy greens, broccoli and asparagus.
The only vitamin I recommend to take in supplements is B12 as it’s difficult to obtain it from plant-based products.
If you are not sure how to eat high-protein meals on
Full of healthy fats
One of the biggest nutritional myths is that fat makes us fat. Of course, if you eat tons of unhealthy fats and combine them with simple processed carbs, you will gain weight. But if you eat plenty of healthy fats (while keeping carbs relatively low) you will lose weight. This is especially true for women with PCOS. You need to have lots of fat from whole food sources to improve your symptoms.
First of all, to improve insulin sensitivity make sure you include enough omega-3 fatty acids in your PCOS weight loss diet plan. You can find them in chia seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds.
Getting these fatty acids from food or taking omega-3 supplements reduced blood levels of testosterone (a male hormone). The researchers note that omega-3s help regulate levels of luteinizing hormone, an ovarian-stimulating hormone that affects testosterone secretion. To achieve these results you need to aim for 3 grams of omega-3s per day.
Second, you want to consume a decent amount of such fats like coconut oil/ grass-fed butter, avocado, nuts.
As I’ve mentioned before, you need to eat
You want to include quinoa, buckwheat, wild rice, sweet potatoes, beans and legumes, fruits and berries as good sources of carbs.
During my course “Shedding belly with PCOS” I often get asked how many carbs to eat daily. And to be honest, there is not a certain amount that works perfectly for everybody.
But I think that a good idea is to keep carb intake under 100g daily. In my case (and cases of my clients who finished the course) it gives stable results and sustainable fat loss.
It may be different for you depending on your goals and insulin resistance. The best thing you can do is to try it out for yourself. Start by eating between 80 and 150g of carbs every day. You can track your carb intake by using any fitness app like FitnessPal or FatSecret. If you see a slow stable weight loss, and you don’t have intense cravings, then continue with this meal plan! If you hit a plateau, try to eat less carbs for some time and see how it goes.
I don’t recommend going too low-carb unless you are obese and very insulin-resistant. In most cases, it doesn’t make any sense to go to this extreme. You don’t have to follow keto either. I see that it is rarely sustainable or realistic for people over the long term
So just make sure you don’t overdo with carbs and choose healthy complex carbohydrates for your PCOS weight loss diet plan. Again, if you need a certain plan to start out, download my free 7-day meal plan.
As you now know, women with PCOS have constant inflammation in their body. To reduce it and improve your symptoms, you have to eat an anti-inflammatory diet.
How to do that?
First, eliminate foods that you just don’t tolerate well. Learn your food intolerances or sensitivities (those that give you gastrointestinal distress after eating them, like bloating, indigestion, and gas) and then avoid them to reduce inflammation. In the post “How to get rid of bloating” I describe the main intolerances and how to deal with them. Make sure you’ve checked it out!
Cutting off foods you are either allergic to OR intolerant to are essential when trying to heal your PCOS through diet.
Second, eat less gluten. It tends to cause inflammation in our bodies and we already have higher levels of inflammation as a result of our PCOS. This elevated inflammation causes us to be more resistant to insulin. I personally tolerate gluten relatively well. But if I go overboard and eat gluten every day, I become more bloated and have a
Third, try to consume
Omega-6s are found in oils such as corn, safflower, sunflower, soy and vegetable, and processed products made with those oils.
Another thing you can do to reduce inflammation if to fill your diet with nourishing foods, antioxidants, greens. Check my post “Best anti-inflammatory foods” + a printable list.
I know, this step may be as difficult and cutting down bread. But it is beneficial for your health. Unfortunately, dairy is not good for women with PCOS. All dairy products (except butter) contain a growth hormone IGF-1 that messes up with your insulin.
I used to love dairy products very much. Especially due to my vegetarian lifestyle I relied on them a lot. But when I eliminated them I got rid of my bloating and I believe this change made me lose weight easier. Though I have dairy occasionally it is not a part of my regular diet anymore.
Again, you should try it out for yourself. Reduce the amount of dairy you consume (or even eliminate completely) for at least a month to see whether it makes you feel better or not.
Research on this topic is very limited and show different results. So nobody can tell for sure whether dairy is 100% bad or good. But I met many people who improved their PCOS symptoms on a dairy-free diet. There is also a study where women with PCOS went for low-starch/low dairy diet for 8 weeks and improved their
Other things to consider
1.Avoid carbs for breakfast
If you are struggling with PCOS and insulin resistance, eating cereals and sweets in the morning is one of the worst things you can do for your health. Your body’s response to insulin is not good in the morning so you want to avoid blood sugar raises by all means.
2.Eat the most calories at breakfast
When you have your calories is also important. That’s why I recommend following a certain timing. It’s advised that women with PCOS have to get the most calories in the morning. So planning to eat a really big breakfast (500-700 calories) and choose smaller portions for lunch/dinner may be another strategy you want to try.
3.Follow the ideal plate proportion
It’s only a recommendation but
How to stick to a PCOS weight loss diet plan?
Eliminate junk food in your house and all other temptations
Don’t rely on your willpower alone. If you have bad foods all around it is very difficult to resist and continue eating clean. Especially, if you are just starting. That’s why make yourself a favor and get rid of all the junk/fast food/simple carbs and sweets you have at home. Donate them or throw away. If people in your family love such foods, ask them to hide it and not to offer you any of these things. Make them aware that junk foods harm your health and prevent you from healing.
Have healthy foods on hand
We all love snacking, and sometimes we do it almost mindlessly. In order to prevent you from eating something bad for PCOS, purchase healthy foods you can eat without guilt. I recommend choosing pistachios, almonds, walnuts,
I recommend either meal prep the whole meals in advance or prepare the
Or cook every meal beforehand. I will save you tons of time while keeping you on track.
I really hope you find this post with PCOS weight loss diet plan basics helpful. Managing polycystic ovary syndrome takes commitment, but it’s worth the effort.
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