About 5-10% of the female population is affected by Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). The cause is unknown, but it is considered to be the most common endocrine disorder in women. Genetics and insulin resistance are believed to play a significant role. One of the first symptoms is an irregular period. Others include an imbalance in the female sex hormones, weight gain, and male-patterned hair growth and balding. Aside from hormonal treatments, there are some natural ways to treat PCOS and eliminate many of the symptoms. A proper diet and weight loss routine is essential.
After my own horrific experience with PCOS, I decided to take my health into my own hands.
At the beginning of the month, I weighed 320 lbs. My goal is to get down to 180 lbs. by April 13th, 2014. Today is Day 13 of my lifestyle change and my current weight is 301.2 lbs. Here are some helpful things I’ve learned so far:
Keep a Weight Loss Journal
So many of the weight loss tips I’d read talked about keeping some sort of journal to keep track of progress, calories, and the weight lost. I registered at MyNetDiary and began using that immediately. I chose MyNetDiary because it also featured an application for my smartphone, making it accessible on the go.
Try to Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time
With MyNetDiary, your meal can be planned beforehand. I find it works best if you start getting an idea the night before about what your meal plan is going to look like the next day. If you have a vague idea, you can take the time to make sure you’ve got all the necessary ingredients. The following morning, before you have breakfast, be sure to mark down how many calories and how many portions you intend to have. This also includes planning for snacks. Leave room for flexibility, just in case improvisation is necessary.
Having a routine leaves little room for cheating. Low glycemic index foods are recommended to lower insulin resistance. Go for organic fruits, vegetables, whole wheat and multi-grain bread, and locally sold meat. Stay away from anything that is processed — aka genetically modified organisms (GMO). GMOs contain additives and hormones that will throw your entire system out of whack. The PCOS diet is similar to that of a diabetic. All of this and your daily calorie intake should be discussed with your doctor and/or nutritionist.
Find time in your day for a workout. Your workout should be 30 minutes a day at moderate intensity. If you can’t work out every day, then aim for 4-5 times a week.
Drink Lots of Water
Just like with any other diet, you should be drinking lots of water. You also need to completely cut alcohol, soda, caffeine, and any sugary drinks out of your diet. If you have to wean yourself off of any of these things, fine; but the sooner you quit altogether, the better.
Keep Your Mind and Body Busy
With PCOS, you may find that you get a lot of cravings. These cravings can test your will power. Keep yourself preoccupied. Go for a walk and bring a camera along to snap some pictures. Spend some time with friends. Join a dance class. Try to find something, aside from work and kids, which you will enjoy. Make it something that is stress-free.
Hopefully, with these tips, you will find as much success as I have in the first few days of my diet. Keep at it. If you get off track, don’t beat yourself up about it. Learn from it and continue on.
Virtual Medical Centre — Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Yale Reproductive Endocrinology