Causes & Treatment

5 Tips for PCOS Weight Loss

Eloise Edington  |   15 Mar 2022

Anybody with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) knows that weight gain is a common symptom.

Why?  Because PCOS makes the body more resistant to insulin – the hormone that helps convert sugars and starch from foods into energy.

Whilst not all women with PCOS will gain weight, maintaining a healthy weight can sometimes be more difficult with PCOS.  However, there are safe, healthy ways to manage PCOS and lose weight.  At The Ribbon Box, we’ve reached out to Registered PCOS Dietitian, Tallene Hacatoryan (visit her Instagram) for her advice on PCOS weight loss.

Over to Tallene

How many times have you been told to “just lose weight” to help your PCOS? 

You’re not alone.  Whether it’s your doctor, a well-meaning friend, or even a family member…  It kind of hurts. 

As a Registered Dietitian, I’ve been through it all, and it took me years of exploring PCOS weight loss to really crack the code for my own body.  Now, I help Cysters like you lose weight for good (whilst helping to reverse PCOS symptoms along the way).

Of all the things I’ve learned, there are five tips I suggest you begin following on your PCOS weight loss journey:

1 – Try going gluten and dairy free

Insulin resistance and inflammation are two common root causes of PCOS.  If you’re sensitive to gluten and dairy, they can have a negative effect on your body’s insulin levels and inflammation.  Consider cutting out gluten and dairy for at least 30 days to see how you feel afterwards.  You might find that your PCOS symptoms of acne, mood, weight, hair loss and anxiety have improved.

2 – Stay off the restriction rollercoaster

Be honest – how many times have you starved before an event?  Or a vacation?  Or even just because you’re so sick of not being able to lose weight?

I have some bad news about restrictions: restricting calories and cutting out carbs completely could worsen the metabolic dysfunction that’s already going on in your body.  It can slow down your metabolism more, cause temporary weight loss and ultimately lead to more weight gain.  If you’re feeling “hangry” and miserable, restricting calories or whatever diet you’ve started is doing more harm than good. 

There are better ways to lose weight with PCOS, and that’s by addressing the root cause of the weight gain and symptoms.  Try taking The Cysterhood quiz here to help you find out what type of PCOS you might have.

3 – Treat your insulin resistance

80% of people with PCOS have insulin resistance.  The best way to start reversing your insulin resistance is to avoid the blood sugar rollercoaster. 

That doesn’t mean cutting out carbs completely, but understanding your carb tolerance instead.  There are many ways to manage blood sugar, and it doesn’t end with carbs.

You can try changing up your workout from going on long runs or cycling class, to slow, weighted workouts to help build muscle that will utilise sugar from your bloodstream and burn it for energy.

4 – Get 8 hours of sleep

Easier said than done… but a solid 8 hours of sleep can make a huge difference.  And I mean huge!  A lack of sleep can lead to a 30% increase in insulin resistance.  Not to mention that you’re more likely to reach for the caffeine and candy when you’re exhausted.

A good sleep routine, regular meditation and sleepy supplements like camomile and CBD can help to reduce the stress hormones that exacerbate PCOS.

5 – Focus on the big picture

Sometimes losing weight with PCOS doesn’t happen quickly.  But if you’re making lifestyle changes that are making you feel better, for example, your period is regulating and your hair isn’t falling out as much, these are good signs that you’re headed in the right direction.

Sustainably losing weight with PCOS is only possible through improving hormonal balance and sometimes the first signs of progress are not weight loss.  Don’t give up, if you feel good and you notice your symptoms get better, keep it up.  You can layer on the different components of PCOS weight loss as you go and find the formula that works for your body.

After 10 years of investigating my health, I want you to learn everything I know about PCOS, without all the tears.  My husband, Sirak, who is a PCOS personal trainer, and I have created The Cysterhood, a monthly membership to teach you our proven framework to PCOS weight loss and support you along the way!  Join thousands of women who are reversing their PCOS symptoms and thriving here.

If you are trying to conceive and considering using a sperm donor for fertility treatment at a fertility clinic, you can read much more on the Cryos website. You can also go directly to the Cryos Donor Search, where you can look through more than 1,000 sperm donor profiles for free.

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