Struggling with Weight and PCOS | Expert shares 5 helpful weight loss tips
Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS is a common hormonal and metabolic disorder that affects many women today. It is responsible for a whopping 16-25 percent of women’s health problems in Bangalore. It affects physical health with weight gain, acne or pimples, unwanted body and facial hair, and possible scalp thinning and loss. Emotional health is also affected in many women.Also Read – Bone Death – A Key Emerging Aspect of Post-COVID Syndrome. Here’s how to prevent this
PCOS can be seen in both obese and thin women. Overweight women tend to gain body weight, especially in the abdominal area. It is a well-known fact that lifestyle is a major contributor to weight gain. The recent COVID pandemic hasn’t really helped contain the problem. I see more women struggling with weight now following the sedentary lifestyle during COVID restrictions. Also Read – Know Your Shoe: Prominent Orthopedic Problems Triggered by Incorrect Footwear in Women
Regardless of the symptoms of PCOS one may have, the underlying management is lifestyle management. Weight loss is an important part of management, not only to reduce visceral fat and therefore waist circumference, but also to reduce the metabolic and hormonal imbalances of PCOS. Also Read – Diet Tips: 5 Reasons Why Skipping Meals is Highly Dangerous – Never Do It!
But how to lose weight? dr Aruna MuralidharSenior Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Fortis La Femme Hospital, Richmond Road, Bangalore says women with PCOS often struggle with weight, but these tips certainly help.
- A Smart Plate for PCOS – A round plate containing 40-50% vegetables and greens, 25-30% carbohydrates and 20-35% protein would help reduce insulin resistance. The carbohydrates must be low on the glycemic index (releasing sugars slowly rather than quickly). Protein helps increase satiety and reduce cravings. Also, a healthy fat intake reduces hunger and helps break down body fat. Probiotics support the growth of good bacteria in the gut that aid in weight loss. Fermented foods like yogurt, curd, idli, dosa, dhokla, etc. contain a generous amount of probiotics.
- Cut down on junk- Processed foods like chips, Namkeen, cakes, chocolate, etc. Refined grains and added sugars must be avoided or at least limited. Instead, whole, unprocessed grains lower the glycemic index and provide better nutrition.
- Regularity and mindfulness are important – regular eating, sleep hygiene, exercise schedule – everything needs to be done consistently. Eating less reduces metabolic rate and eventually leads to weight gain. Short term gains can be seen, but in the long term the body tends to gain weight more easily. Eating fewer calories also affects hormones that regulate appetite. Mindful eating helps the body to feel the body’s signals about satiety. Also, stopping eating when the stomach is about 80% full rather than stuffing it to the brim is a wonderful way to treat our body.
- Get some exercise and some nature – we all know that. But what to do and how to do is the question. About 45-60 minutes of cardio or aerobic exercise at least three days a week works wonders in improving insulin resistance and lowering testosterone levels. Although the scale may not show much change, there is a reduction in belly fat, which improves metabolism. Strength training also helps. The higher the stress hormones, the higher the insulin resistance. Nature walks, yoga, and meditation help reduce stress.
- Sleep better – Poor sleep leads to obesity. Those who sleep more than 6 hours are less likely to be obese. The more sleep deprived, the greater the hunger. However, beware of oversleeping.
PCOS is a lifestyle disorder that requires long-term control. It takes discipline, persistence, and a lot of determination to beat PCOS. Never give up.