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Lose Weight With PCOS – The No-Restriction Approach

Written by: Nadine Sommer, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Nadine Sommer

Losing weight can be a difficult journey for anyone, but it can be especially challenging for women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). This article gives insight into how to lose weight sustainably without cutting certain foods like dairy or gluten from your diet, and without counting calories.

A woman at the mirror.

Do you ever feel like simply looking at a cookie makes you gain 5 pounds? I feel you cyster! The underlying hormonal imbalances of PCOS and those constant food cravings make it incredibly difficult to lose weight and easy to put it on, and often leave a woman suffering from PCOS feeling hopeless and frustrated since her doctor probably also told her that weight loss would help reduce PCOS symptoms and even improve fertility.


Chances are that you have already tried many ways to lose weight that resulted in minimal weight loss or no success at all. So, it’s about time I share my secrets with you.


But before I do so, please note that these are long-term approaches that are part of a PCOS-friendly lifestyle, and following these tips will allow you to lose about 1-2 pounds a week. If you lose weight faster than that you might gain it all back.


So, what are these secrets?


Tip No.1 – Adding more protein


Protein is an important macronutrient that can help you lose weight (1), especially if you have PCOS. Protein is digested inside your stomach and thus helping to keep you full and satisfied, which can prevent overeating. It also helps to build and maintain lean muscle mass, which is important for a healthy metabolism. Aim for at least 20-30 grams of protein at every meal. Great sources of protein include good-quality meat, hormone-free poultry, organic eggs, wild-caught fish, nuts, hemp seeds, and pulses.


Tip No.2 – Following a low to moderate-carb diet


Following a low- to moderate-carb diet can be helpful for women with PCOS who are trying to lose weight. Carbohydrates can cause insulin spikes, which can lead to weight gain and hormonal imbalances. By reducing your carb intake, you can help regulate your blood sugar and insulin levels, which can lead to weight loss.


My favorite PCOS carbs are non-starchy vegetables, which are low in calories and high in fiber, which means they can help you feel full and satisfied while also promoting healthy digestion. Some great options include leafy greens like spinach and kale, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, and colorful vegetables such as bell peppers and tomatoes. Incorporate these vegetables into your meals as much as possible, and you'll be amazed at how much they can help with weight loss.


Tip No.3 – Walking for fat burning


Walking is one of the best exercises for weight loss, especially if you have PCOS. It's low-impact, easy on the joints, and can be done anywhere, anytime. Walking burns calories, mainly in the form of fat, and helps you lose weight, but the key is to do it consistently. Aim for at least 30 minutes of brisk walking every day. You can even gradually increase the duration and intensity of your walks as you get fitter.


Tip No.4 – Intermittent fasting overnight


Intermittent fasting is a simple and effective way to lose weight (2), and it can be especially helpful for PCOS weight loss. One of the easiest ways to do intermittent fasting is by extending your overnight fast. For example, if you finish dinner at 6 pm, don't eat anything else until breakfast at 10 am. This gives your body a chance to rest and repair overnight. It fights inflammation, supports a healthy gut, and keeps the fat-storage hormone insulin low allowing these extra pounds to be burned.

If you have a thyroid condition or are undergoing a very stressful time in your life, it’s best to start with a small fasting window. Stop eating 2-3 hours before bedtime and eat a high-protein breakfast within the first hour of waking up.

Each body is different and you need to find out what works best for you.


Tip No.5 – Reducing stress


Stress is a major contributor to weight gain, especially for women with PCOS. When you're stressed, your body releases cortisol, a hormone that can increase appetite and promote fat storage. So, it's important to find ways to reduce stress in your life. This can include things like meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, or even just taking a relaxing bath.


Summary of the 5 PCOS weight loss hacks


In conclusion, weight loss can be a challenging journey, especially for women with PCOS. However, with the right tips and tricks, it is possible to lose weight slowly and sustainably and achieve your weight loss goals. By incorporating walking, intermittent fasting, more protein, stress-management techniques, and following a low to moderate-carb diet, as well as eating a lot of non-starchy vegetables, you can improve your metabolism, balance your hormones, and promote healthy weight loss. Remember, weight loss is a journey, and it's important to be patient and consistent with your efforts. With dedication and these tips in mind, you can achieve your weight loss goals, even with PCOS.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and visit my website for more info!

Nadine Sommer Brainz Magazine
 

Nadine Sommer, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Nadine Sommer, is a health coach helping women with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), manage and reverse their symptoms using a holistic approach to healing. She was diagnosed with PCOS herself, when she was in the middle of her health coach training, and made it her mission to help cysters regain their health, fertility and happiness. Nadine offers one-on-one health coaching, as well as the comprehensive, digital, 12-week "PCOS to Happiness" coaching program.

 

References:

  1. Cowan S, Lim S, Alycia C, Pirotta S, Thomson R, Gibson-Helm M, Blackmore R, Naderpoor N, Bennett C, Ee C, Rao V, Mousa A, Alesi S, Moran L. Lifestyle management in polycystic ovary syndrome - beyond diet and physical activity. BMC Endocr Disord. 2023 Jan 16;23(1):14. doi: 10.1186/s12902-022-01208-y. PMID: 36647089; PMCID: PMC9841505. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9841505/

  2. Li C, Xing C, Zhang J, Zhao H, Shi W, He B. Eight-hour time-restricted feeding improves endocrine and metabolic profiles in women with anovulatory polycystic ovary syndrome. J Transl Med. 2021 Apr 13;19(1):148. doi: 10.1186/s12967-021-02817-2. PMID: 33849562; PMCID: PMC8045367. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8045367/


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