1 Include protein and produce at each meal. Protein and produce (fruits and vegetables) are an all-star combination when it comes to weight loss. These two types of foods will power up your body and fuel your weight loss. This is especially important with PCOS, as this condition can make weight loss more difficult.
Protein is an essential macronutrient (or a nutrient you need in relatively large amounts) to your body. If you cut out too much protein, your weight loss may slow. Protein is essential for all diets, but especially with PCOS - this is what will truly fuel your weight loss.
Lean protein includes foods like: poultry, lean beef, seafood, pork, beans, lentils, nuts, eggs and low-fat dairy products. Choose a variety of these foods each day and week.
Fruits and vegetables are chock full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and are generally low in calories. Fill up on these nutrient dense foods to help maintain a lower calorie meal.
2 Limit your grains and starches. Since many women with PCOS are also insulin resistant, it's important to manage your carbohydrate intake. It's not recommended to go on a low-carb diet, instead it's recommended to eat moderate amounts of 100% whole grains. Aim for about 3 servings of whole grains daily.
One serving of whole grains is about 1 ounce. For example, 1 slice of 100% whole wheat bread is about 1 ounce and 1 serving.
100% whole grains are minimally processed and contain all 3 parts of the grain: the bran, the endosperm and the germ. These parts together make a grain whole.
Whole grains also offer more health benefits compared to refined grains. They're a great source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Foods like brown rice, quinoa, oats, 100% whole wheat bread or pasta and barley are all examples of 100% whole grains.
3 Ditch sugary beverages and drink 64 oz clear fluids daily. A minimum of eight glasses or 64 oz of clear, sugar-free liquids like water, iced tea or no-calorie flavored waters will help you maintain a healthy diet and body.
Sugary beverages may worsen or aggravate insulin resistance that's common with PCOS.
Sodas, sweetened coffees and teas can add a lot of calories to your day and may hinder your weight loss. In addition, PCOS is often accompanied by insulin resistance, making it important to avoid refined sugar as much as possible.
Keep a water bottle close by so you can track and measure your progress throughout the day.
4 Eat calorie-controlled meals. Weight loss with PCOS will involve monitoring your portions, types of foods and calories. Try to cut your total daily calorie amount by about 500 calories daily. This will help you lose about 1 pound per week.
Cutting out 500 calories a day results in about a 3,500 calorie deficit each week. This is the amount of calories that roughly equals 1 pound of weight loss.
Do not cut much more than 500 calories per day or eat fewer than 1200 calories total daily. Otherwise it'll be hard to ensure you're eating enough nutrients.
If you'd like to see increased weight loss, instead of cutting out more calories from your diet, try adding in more physical activity to help burn off more calories.
Safe weight loss is losing 1-2 pounds per week. Weight loss that exceeds that may be unsafe or hard to maintain.
1 Perform cardio exercises. Some of the hormonal and chemical changes that occur with PCOS can make weight loss frustrating. Increasing physical activity can help increase your metabolism and body's ability to burn calories.
Adding a minimum of 30 minutes per day of moderate-intensity aerobic or cardiovascular exercise is a good goal and will support your weight loss efforts. Aim for a total of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio weekly.
If you're able, increase the amount of time you can spend engaging in cardiovascular activity. As you participate in more activity, you'll see continued health benefits.
Increase exercise gradually, beginning with a low-impact exercise, such as walking. As your fitness levels improve you can increase your intensity or time of the exercise. Advancing slowly is safe and may help prevent injury.
Try various aerobic activities until you find an exercise you enjoy. You will be more likely to maintain an exercise routine that you find pleasurable.
Cardiovascular exercises can include: walking, jogging/running, biking, dancing, inline skating, hiking and swimming.
3 Exercise with a partner. Studies have shown that working out with a friend can help you to stay motivated and stick to your routine.
Hitting the gym with a friend can also help pass the time and keep you from getting bored.
If you can't find a friend or family member to head to the gym with you, try taking group exercise classes. You'll enjoy the company of multiple other gym-goers. If you keep going to the same classes, you might notice the same people showing up and can meet new friends!
1 Write down your goals. Writing down specific and realistic goals is a great way to stay motivated and keep on track. It's also a great visual to see your progress!
Come up with smaller goals that will help you reach your larger long-term goal. This may make the process seem less overwhelming than contemplating a large weight-loss goal.
Purchase a scale or other items you need to help monitor and track your goals.
Make a chart or record where you can record your progress - how much weight you've lost or how many days you've stayed true to your eating plan.
2 Purchase a journal. Journals are a great way to de-stress, vent and track your progress. You can take notes about your food choices, how much weight you've lost and any struggles you've been facing. This is also a good place to journal about living with PCOS, the frustrations it brings and how it affects your weight or mood.
Don't feel pressured to journal everyday. But it's a good idea to jot down your weight every time you get on the scale so you can see your progress.
Buy a journal that's pretty and attractive. This can help make it more fun and enjoyable to open up your journal and write.
Don't feel the need to write pages and pages. If you only have a few words to say, thats OK!
4 Tell someone about your goals. Being accountable for your goals can help make sure you stay on track - especially when you know someone else is paying attention.
Tell a friend, family member or your doctor about your weight loss and diet goals. Ask to do a weekly check-in to help monitor your progress.
Stay accountable with yourself too. Getting on the scale regularly, keeping up-to-date with your food journal or watching your insulin levels are great ways to stay accountable as you reach your goals.
Some dietitians are experienced with PCOS and weight loss.
4 Take all prescribed medications. There are a variety of medications that may be prescribed to you to help you manage PCOS. Some medications are designed to help you manage insulin resistance, while others are used to help correct any hormonal imbalances or irregular menstrual cycles.
Many women with this condition you have insulin resistance, and may be a candidate for medication called metformin, that can help with some weight loss.
Always keep a list of the types and dosages of all medications, vitamin/mineral or herbal supplements you're taking. Having accurate information to give all your health care providers will help them provide you with the best care.
Also track any side effects or symptoms you may be having from your medications. Inform your health care team of any symptoms that you experience.
5 Build a support group. If you'd like, share your situation with friends, family members or co-workers. Having people to support you throughout a weight loss process is helpful in keeping the weigh off long-term in addition to helping you cope with the diagnosis of having PCOS.
Seek support from others who are living with PCOS. They will have experienced and overcome many of the frustrations you are facing. There may be support groups or online forums dedicated to PCOS and weight loss.
You may also find support groups through your doctor's office or through websites dealing with PCOS.
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Approach diet and PCOS as part of a lifestyle improvement rather than a temporary diet. The rewards may extend beyond weight loss and may include increased energy, reduction of depression, a possible increase in fertility and decrease in insulin resistance.
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