Gaining weight when suffering from the polycystic ovary (PCOS) is something that happens to many women who suffer from this condition, something that can be solved with a good diet that will allow you to lose weight without putting your health at risk. That’s why, before starting a weight loss regimen, it’s essential to find out what’s causing the weight gain. Once the cause is found out, the help of a specialist will help us achieve our goal. Before discussing diet, we explain what polycystic ovary is and what causes it.
What is a polycystic ovary?
It is a hormonal imbalance that usually develops with puberty or during women’s reproductive life and affects between 8% and 20% of them worldwide.
“Although its causes are unknown, this syndrome is related to excess insulin. If the levels of this hormone rise more than necessary, androgen production can be increased and, consequently, cause difficulties in ovulation, in addition to increased acne or excessive hair growth. Also, the hereditary factor is another of the causes that may be behind this hormonal alteration”, they explain to us from Intimina.
Why is diet so important if you suffer from PCOS?
As we said, polycystic ovary syndrome increases the risk of suffering metabolic complications. That can put your health at risk. Therefore, it is essential to take care of your diet to, as far as possible, reduce that risk. As explained by the HM Regla specialist, “patient care should help treat their immediate needs (acne, hirsutism, menstrual disorders, sterility…) and prevent long-term complications (resistance to insulin, type II diabetes, and metabolic syndrome-cardiovascular risk) When lifestyle changes are supported by adequate pharmacological measures and maintained medical control, long-term complications can be controlled, and quality of life will be adequate for those patients with PCOS”.
The diet to lose weight or to maintain your optimal body weight does not differ from what experts call a healthy and varied diet. Antonia González, general director of Natural Psychofertility, explains what to eat if we suffer from a polycystic ovary. According to the expert, “the goal is to design a healthy lifestyle that goes well and promotes conscious eating, emotional well-being, and optimal physical exercise.” These are the changes you need to make:
- To maintain a healthy weight: moderating the consumption of carbohydrates will provide advantages in weight loss and glycemic control and improve insulin resistance.
- Eliminate alcohol, ultra-processed foods, and sugar: it will help reduce inflammation.
- Paint the dishes green: green leafy vegetables are rich in folic acid, an essential vitamin in hormonal regulation.
- Add vegetables rich in fiber: fiber is also an excellent ally to maintaining good blood sugar levels and hormones under control as well as favoring the microbiota (intestines). Specifically, all the cabbage families, such as broccoli, kale, and red cabbage, will promote the correct balance of female hormones and estrogens.
- Fruits, in abundance: they contain high amounts of antioxidants and polyphenols, which fight inflammatory processes.
- Pay attention to vitamin D levels: a vitamin D deficiency is associated with more excellent insulin resistance and weight gain, so sunbathing is good medicine.
- Don’t forget healthy fats: avocado, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, olives, oily fish, and chia seeds. They act as anti-inflammatories, allow you to feel satiated, and favor blood sugar balance.
- Introduce breaks with intermittent fasting: this is a nutritional strategy that consists of alternating periods of eating with others of fasting, allowing the body to use the stored energy. You can start by having dinner early and leave the body fasting for between 12-14 hours. Of course, Specialists recommend that it be done with the help of a professional.
- Practice sports regularly: improves the emotional state and improves the hormonal profile.
- Reduce stress: it is a crucial factor in health. Altered levels of cortisol (stress hormone) result in increased blood glucose level, fluid retention, fatigue, depression, anxiety, swelling, excess abdominal fat, etc. Restful sleep, meditation, yoga, and mindfulness can be allies.