PCOS weight loss

To begin, why is it so difficult to reduce weight when you have PCOS?

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormone-related endocrine condition. Hormones control a variety of body functions that affect weight, including hunger, how our bodies use food for energy, stress levels, and more. Unfortunately, there's still a lot we don't know about PCOS and the various ways it makes it difficult to lose weight. The causes of PCOS and the best strategies to cure it are still being researched by scientists. We do know, however, that decreasing even a small amount of weight can help with PCOS symptoms. Dr. Ayazo suggests that you follow these steps for success to help you on your way to better health.


Step 1: Be patient with yourself as you make progress.

With PCOS, losing weight is difficult, but not impossible. You can take longer to lose weight than someone who doesn't have hormonal issues. While delayed progress can be disappointing, there are some benefits to living a healthy lifestyle that you may not realize right away. Even if you don't lose a lot of weight, eating well and exercising regularly can help you avoid long-term health problems like diabetes and heart disease. In addition to medicine, a healthy diet and regular exercise can help alleviate some of the most frequent symptoms of PCOS, such as heavy periods, acne, excessive hair growth, and fertility issues.

Step 2: Exercise on a regular basis

Adults should engage in at least 150 minutes of physical activity every week, or around 30 minutes each weekday, according to the government recommendation. Physical activity is beneficial to your overall health and well-being, including weight loss. According to studies, persons with PCOS have a harder time reducing weight through exercise than people without the condition. Despite the fact that weight loss is gradual, exercise provides tremendous full-body benefits and can alleviate many PCOS symptoms. If you're having trouble moving more and sitting less, consider these suggestions:

  • Find things to do that you enjoy. Exercise does not have to be a chore, and there is no such thing as the "best" exercise. Instead, concentrate on activities that you enjoy, such as team sports, jogging with an audiobook, or weekend trekking with friends.

  • Create a routine. Making physical activity a habit rather than a chore can help you achieve your goals. Still, don't worry about doing the same thing every day for the same amount of time—adding some variety to your regimen might help it stay fresh.

  • Keep in mind that even a small amount counts. Doing something for 5 or 10 minutes is preferable to doing nothing at all. If you can't get in your suggested 30 minutes of exercise each day, a quick walk or yoga break will help you avoid becoming inactive. When you have the chance, take advantage of it.

Step 3: Maintain a healthy diet.

There is no one-size-fits-all diet that will work for everyone. Instead, specialists advise those who want to reduce weight to eat more protein, vegetables, and healthy fats while cutting out on sweets and carbohydrates. Because many PCOS patients have insulin resistance and high blood sugar, implementing these changes can help them avoid developing type 2 diabetes.

Here are some suggestions for a healthy diet:

  • Prioritize protein and vegetables. When you eat protein and vegetables before carbs, you can reduce your blood sugar more effectively than if you consume carbs first. Carbs on their own can cause blood sugar to increase for a short time before plummeting, leading to overeating.

  • Reduce your carb intake, but don't eliminate them totally. Eating fewer carbs has been shown to help patients with PCOS lose weight and enhance their metabolisms. Low-carb doesn't have to imply no carbs, thankfully. Switch to whole-wheat pastas and breads, which are high in dietary fiber and other nutrients, in addition to eating protein and vegetables first in a meal.

  • Find a technique to deal with your urges. Many patients with PCOS suffer from severe food cravings and binge eating problems. Cravings can feel out of control at times, but there are strategies to curb them. A doctor or therapist can help you develop techniques to manage with hunger pangs and figure out what causes your cravings.

Step 4: Don't restrict calories or exercise excessively.

If you're disappointed with slow weight loss, extreme diets and rigorous exercise sessions may appear to be the way to go. However, many "become skinny fast" plans may do more harm than good. To begin with, eliminating too many calories per day puts you at danger of nutritional deficiencies, which can have serious effects for your overall health. Excessive calorie restriction, according to research, leads to weight gain in the majority of people, especially those who return to poor eating habits. Over-exercising, on the other hand, might have detrimental consequences. According to one study, exercise without making dietary adjustments did not result in as much weight loss as expected. Exercising too much can put you at risk for injury, particularly if you push yourself beyond your physical limits.

While good food and regular exercise are important for weight loss, go slow and steady for long-term outcomes.

Step 5: Think about taking medicine.

PCOS does not have a cure, although some drugs can help manage symptoms. Medication is often most effective when combined with other lifestyle modifications such as exercise and a healthy diet. The following are some of the most regularly prescribed medications:

  • Medication for high blood sugar. Patients with PCOS are more likely to acquire prediabetes, which, if left untreated, can progress to type 2 diabetes. If you have high blood sugar, your doctor may prescribe medicine to help you fight insulin resistance. Metformin is the most commonly prescribed blood sugar-lowering drug.

  • Contraceptives that are taken orally (birth control). Oral contraceptives can help balance hormones, resulting in less erratic periods and hair growth. Although they won't help you lose weight, the appropriate birth control pill can be an important part of a comprehensive PCOS treatment plan.

  • Medication for weight loss. Several medications have been licensed by the FDA to aid weight loss when used in conjunction with a balanced diet. If you haven't been able to lose weight with diet and exercise alone, your doctor may prescribe weight-loss medication.


In addition, if your PCOS or weight causes you to feel depressed or anxious, your doctor may advise you to seek mental health treatment. While mental health treatment (such as seeing a therapist or taking antidepressants) won't help you lose weight, it can help you improve your general quality of life and manage with stress better.