Are you struggling to lose weight? Does it get you feeling down and make you want to call it quits with exercising? Do not give up just yet. There may be an underlying medical condition that is preventing you from losing weight. This blog is going to focus on one medical condition in particular – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
What is PCOS?
PCOS is a condition that comes from a hormonal balance. A woman’s ovaries make excess androgens than what is needed with this condition. Androgens are actually male hormones that a female’s body can also produce. Having elevated levels of this hormone can affect development, as well as the release of eggs during an ovulation cycle.
How to Know if You Have PCOS
Of course, the first step would be to make an appointment with your OBGYN to run some tests for this condition. However, there are some symptoms that you can see if you relate to in the mean time. If you do experience any or all of the following symptoms, it’s best to bring it to the doctor’s attention.
- Absent, irregular, or infrequent periods
- Skin tags (mainly around the neck or armpit area)
- Oily skin and acne
- Cystic ovaries
- Weight gain, especially around the waist
- Brown or black patches of skin (specifically the thighs, breast, arms, or neck)
- Thinning hair or balding
- Sleep apnea
- Pelvic pain
- Depression and/or anxiety
Okay, so how is this tied in with weight loss?
PCOS is a common culprit when it comes to a woman not being able to lose weight. The main connection between the two is high insulin levels. When insulin is high, it can cause the body to store unwanted fat, which is typically in the belly area. Weight loss can be a complex task because it can be hard to break down the fat when the body is in a fat storage mode. To lose weight efficiently, you would need to lower your insulin levels. This can be done by exercise, eating the right foods, and other treatment.
What Are The Right Foods?
Each person’s body is different, but when it comes to PCOS, the following foods are usually what the body needs.
- Replace any refined food with whole foods or low GI foods.
- Avoid processed anything.
- Keep away from sugar as much as possible, including sugary drinks
- Opt for healthier choices such as sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes.
- Eat protein and some fat in snacks and meals.
- Stay away from processed cereal. Eat only cereal made of barley, oats, and bran.
Is it Even Possible to Lose Weight With PCOS?
After reading all of the above, you may be wondering if it’s even possible to lose weight. Of course it is. The right steps should be taken in order to make those pounds melt off, for once and for all!
- Increase the Protein in your Diet
It’s best to have a ratio of higher protein to carbohydrates. Doing so will aid in weight loss. This is usually more helpful than “dieting” with someone who has PCOS.
This option must be brought to your doctor’s attention first. Inositol is a supplement that can help with insulin issues that stem from this condition. Several women have experienced weight loss when taking this.
- Lowering Calorie Intake
Nobody wants to hear this, but it’s true. You can’t consume more calories than you are burning off. That alone will make anyone with or without PCOS gain weight.
Exercise can actually assist in bringing your insulin levels to a normal range over time. Exercise is about more than just losing weight; it helps the entire body. Weight loss is a great benefit though, and if you stick to the above tips plus exercise, you should see weight loss.
PCOS does make it hard to lose weight, but why should you continue letting the condition win. Stop giving up. Practice the tips over and over that are mentioned above. Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss Inositol, and your new plan. It may be hard to lose weight with this condition, but it certainly isn’t impossible. As long as you change up your routine and follow the above tips, you can make struggling with losing weight a thing of the past!
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