Understanding PCOS and Weight Gain: How Diet Can Make a Difference
Are you a PCOS sufferer frustrated with excessive weight gain? Are you wondering how your health condition is responsible for your undesirable weight gain? Do you wish to get in shape, manage PCOS, and improve your health naturally? If you replied affirmatively, you can find this article interesting and quite helpful to deal with PCOS effectively. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome i.e. PCOS is an endocrine disorder that results due to hormonal imbalance and affects females in their reproductive age group. Irregular menses, weight gain, insulin resistance, acne, infertility, excessive facial or body hair, and the presence of several cysts on the ovaries are the common symptoms of PCOS. The prevalence of PCOS in India is significant. The condition affects 3.7% to 22.5% of Indian women. It is crucial to recognize PCOS as an important health issue that needs prevention, early detection, and the right line of treatment to arrest or reverse it, for improving health and manage weight. Excess, undesirable weight gain is one of the most common concerns of several PCOS sufferers. Fortunately, adopting the right lifestyle measures and following a PCOS diet plan can help you keep your weight in check effortlessly. You might be wondering why PCOS sufferers gain a lot of undesirable weight, how PCOS and weight gain are related, and how a PCOS diet plan to lose weight can help, aren’t you? Get all your queries resolved by reading this blog below.
Why Females with PCOS Gain Weight?
Here are some prominent reasons for weight gain in females with PCOS.
A. Insulin Resistance:
Insulin resistance is known to be the prominent contributor to excess weight gain in PCOS sufferers. When some cells do not respond to insulin, a hormone that your pancreas produces, it is called insulin resistance. So, your pancreas happens to produce more insulin to maintain normal blood glucose levels. The build-up of insulin in the blood increases the risk of development of diabetes and excess production of androgen. Increased levels of androgen cause unpleasant symptoms, such as acne, excessive facial hair, and weight gain. It leads to the development of a vicious circle, whereas insulin resistance increases, PCOS symptoms and weight gain also increase. Women with PCOS happen to gain weight around their abdomen. This increases the risk of cardiovascular conditions.
B. Reduced Postprandial Thermogenesis:
In PCOS sufferers, insulin resistance also shares a link with reduced postprandial thermogenesis, which is heat generation due to metabolism after consuming a meal that boosts the metabolic rate temporarily. Females with PCOS experience reduced postprandial thermogenesis which is linked to reduced insulin sensitivity. Also, a reduced metabolic rate leads to an increase in the weight. And, it may predispose PCOS sufferers to excess weight gain.
Besides this, females with PCOS also experience emotional issues, such as anxiety, depression, and mood swings, that can lead to increased food cravings and emotional eating. The increased appetite and subsequent increased intake of food lead to weight gain.
D. Sleep Deprivation:
Sleep disturbances and a lack of sound sleep are more common in females with PCOS. If you sleep for less than 7 hours each night, you are more likely to turn overweight than individuals who get adequate 8 to 9 hours of sleep. A lack of sleep elevates the levels of the hormone Ghrelin, a hunger hormone, in PCOS sufferers, thereby making them gain weight.
E. An Underactive Thyroid:
PCOS is linked to high incidences of hypothyroidism. An underactive thyroid, which is also known as hypothyroidism, is a health condition in which your thyroid gland fails to produce sufficient thyroid hormone. It impacts the body’s metabolism adversely, thereby making you gain weight. Depression, aching muscles, fatigue, dry hair, and dry skin are some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism. A PCOD diet chart for weight loss may help regulate your weight and improve your health.
F. Insulin Treatment:
Insulin treatment is known to cause excess weight gain in diabetic females. There are marked incidences of diabetes in females with PCOS. Insulin treatment aids in breaking down proteins and fat, regulating blood glucose levels, and transforming food energy into fat. People going for it may experience excess weight gain.
G. Steroid Treatment:
Steroid treatment may cause an increase in body fat that can lead to weight gain. If PCOS sufferers are on steroid treatment for any health condition, they are likely to put on excess weight.
Weight loss can be a big challenge for PCOS sufferers; they happen to struggle a lot to lose weight. It’s harder for women with PCOS to lose weight than those who do not have the condition. Such a weight gain also increases the risk of several health conditions.
Risks Associated with Weight Gain due to PCOS:
There are several health risks associated with increased weight due to PCOS. Here is a quick rundown of the risks associated with weight gain with PCOS.
High Blood Cholesterol: Excess weight gain can lead to hypercholesterolemia that cause stroke and heart disease.
Type 2 Diabetes: Increased insulin resistance in PCOS sufferers can increase the risk of the development of type 2 diabetes.
Hypertension: Obesity in PCOS sufferers can make them prone to high blood pressure levels. This can raise the risk of stroke and cardiovascular conditions.
Sleep Apnea: Obese people are vulnerable to sleep apnea and sleep disturbances as the fat deposits in their upper respiratory tract narrow their airways and reduce muscle activity in the region.
Infertility: Being overweight and obese can impact women’s fertility adversely. PCOS sufferers experience an imbalance of hormones in their bodies that can make them gain excess weight and experience reduced fertility.
Endometrial Cancer: PCOS causes excess production of estrogen in females. This increases the risk of developing the cancer of uterine lining.
How Diet Can Help Manage PCOS and Weight Gain:
In PCOS sufferers, reducing even 10% weight helps in regulating menses, alleviating symptoms, and improving fertility significantly. It helps in reducing insulin resistance and lowering the risk of the development of diabetes and heart disease. Adopting certain healthy dietary measures and lifestyle modifications work wonders in reducing weight. It is crucial to inculcate healthy eating practices. Here’s everything about how diet and the right dietary measures can help you reduce weight and manage PCOS.
Have Fibre Food Sources:
Having foods high in fibre in your PCOS diet plan is beneficial to losing weight. Fibre helps you stay full for longer. So, you experience less appetite, reduced insulin resistance, and weight loss around the abdomen. So, have beans, sprouts, whole grains, apples, nuts, seeds, and other fibre-rich foods in your diet.
Say No to Processed Foods and Added Sugars:
Processed foods contain high content of refined carbohydrates and sugar. Eating them in excess when you are already suffering from PCOS increases your risk of insulin resistance. So, PCOS sufferers should avoid consuming processed foods, such as cakes, candies, canned soups, and pastries, among others.
Reduce Consumption of Carbohydrates:
When trying to lower your weight when battling PCOS, reduce your intake of carbohydrates. Due to hormonal imbalances, PCOS sufferers already have high levels of insulin in their bodies. To keep your insulin levels in check, you need to follow a low-carbohydrate diet. Besides this, you should also ensure you’re your PCOD diet chart consists of low-glycemic foods and not high-glycaemic foods, as high-GI foods may elevate your blood sugar levels.
Include Adequate Proteins in Your Diet:
Sufficient intake of protein is beneficial for weight loss and improving overall health. Eating proteins helps boost your metabolism which promotes the burning of a greater number of calories. So, you lose weight naturally. Also, protein consumption improves your satiety levels and prevents you from overeating. So, have seafood, beans, eggs, soybeans, and nuts in your PCOS diet chart.
Go for Healthy Fats:
Eating healthy fats is beneficial not only for improving health but also for achieving weight loss. Having these healthy fats in your PCOS diet plan to lose weight helps you feel full after your meals, lowers your hunger pangs, and promotes weight loss. So, enrich your PCOD diet chart with olive oil, peanuts, avocadoes, and sesame oil.
Choose Fermented Foods:
The consumption of fermented foods can help promote weight loss by increasing and maintaining the levels of healthy bacteria in your gut. Fermented foods are rich in probiotics that help improve lipid metabolism in PCOS sufferers. The increased metabolism aids in losing weight naturally. So, include yoghurt and other fermented foods in your PCOD diet chart.
Develop a Habit of Mindful Eating:
Mindful eating helps you enjoy relishing your food but prevents you from overeating. It makes you aware of bodily cues, such as hunger and feeling full. Mindful eating helps females with PCOS greatly as they are more vulnerable to developing an eating disorder. It also helps them in losing weight by preventing them from binge eating.
Females suffering from PCOS might experience chronic inflammation that makes them obese. Eating sugary and processed foods contribute to increased inflammation in your body. So, you need to lower inflammation by including healthy foods, which are rich in antioxidants and essential nutrients, in your PCOS diet plan. Eat foods rich in whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish to alleviate inflammation and keep your weight in check.
Do Not Undereat:
In an attempt to lose weight, do not try to eat less than the necessary quantity of food. When trying to limit your calorie intake, do not exert excessive restrictions on calorie consumption. Long-term restrictions on calorie intake can impact your metabolism adversely, thereby making it slower than normal. It can also affect the hormones that regulate your appetite badly. Later, when you resume normal eating after a certain period, you end up gaining much more weight quite quickly as your metabolism has slowed down. So, refrain from undereating. Instead, prefer to eat whole foods.
Balance Your Plate:
Relishing a well-balanced, healthy diet is the key to maintaining a healthy weight when battling PCOS. For that purpose, you need to balance your plate with food appropriately.
Fill up half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables, such as leafy greens, roasted broccoli, and salad.
Ensure a quarter of your plate contains proteins, such as fish or non-fried skinless poultry.
Let the remaining quarter of your plate contain complex carbohydrates, such as whole-grain pasta, brown rice, and whole-wheat bread.
Such a balanced plate can help you keep off the excess weight and improve your health and immunity naturally.
Monitor Your Portion Sizes:
Regulating your portion sizes works in preventing undesirable weight gain when managing PCOS. When following a PCOS diet plan, consider the right portion size in your every meal. Often, smaller portion sizes are recommended as they help you receive the right nutrition and prevent overeating. Regulating your portion sizes also helps you keep track of your daily calorie consumption.
Salt is necessary for adequate iodine intake, however, excess of it can be harmful, particularly when you are trying to lose weight. So, limit your salt intake. Salt contains sodium, which causes fluid retention and leads to weight gain. Processed food and foods from restaurants have excess sodium content. So, prefer to eat homemade foods by adding the necessary quantity of salt. Avoid processed and junk foods. This will help you keep your weight in check when managing PCOS. You may add dried herbs and spices to flavour your food in place of salt.
Besides these dietary measures, make sure that you get adequate, continuous sleep daily. Do moderate exercise regularly. Diet along with exercise routine work wonders in managing PCOS and weight. Also, practice relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises and yoga, to lower your stress levels.
Now that you know how PCOS and weight gain are related and how diet can help, follow these dietary measures to keep your weight in check. Consulting certified nutritionists, such as health experts at Health Total, can help you receive a customised PCOS diet plan to lose weight. Our diet plan not only helps you in losing weight but also boosts your immunity and prevents or lowers potential health risks. So, hurry up, reach out to us at Health Total and experience relief from PCOS and manage your weight with our personalized PCOS diet plan.
Sign up for a FREE consultation with Health Total experts to get more tips for managing PCOS and reducing weight with diet or managing any other health condition. Call toll-free at 1-800-833-171-709 and Book Free Consultation!
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