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How to Lose Weight With PCOS

If you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), you know first-hand how hard it can be to lose weight with PCOS. While there are certain factors that make losing weight with PCOS hard, it’s not impossible. Let’s talk about the factors and discuss how you can see weight-loss success with PCOS.

PCOS is a condition that affects a woman’s hormone levels. It impacts 1 in 10 women and is the leading cause of female infertility. Symptoms for PCOS include irregular periods, acne, fatigue, and weight gain or trouble losing weight.

The reason weight loss is challenging with PCOS is insulin resistance, which means the body isn’t using the insulin it makes, leading to high blood sugar. Approximately 70% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance. This is also why those with PCOS are at risk for type 2 diabetes.

According to a study on PubMed, even a small weight loss of 5% will reduce the effects of PCOS—including lowering the risk of serious health problems like diabetes and heart disease.

So, if you want to know how to lose weight to manage your PCOS, here are some tips:

What your PCOS diet should look like

Reduce your carb intake: A low-carb diet has been proven to have effective results for those with PCOS. This is because carbs have a direct impact on insulin levels. Healthline reported a study where blood sugar went down 30% when women with PCOS followed a lower-carb, higher-fat diet.

Eat more protein: Protein helps stabilize blood sugar and increased feelings of fullness after a meal. According to a Women’s Health article, when you lower your carb intake you should up your protein. Try adding high-protein foods like eggs and meat.

Get plenty of fiber: Studies also show that a high-fiber intake is beneficial for women with PCOS. In fact, one study shows it helps lower blood sugar, total body fat, and belly fat in women with PCOS. Plus, fiber helps you stay full after a meal and doesn’t raise your blood sugar.

The importance of meal prepping

Now that we’ve talked about a suitable PCOS diet, let’s chat about the importance meal prepping can play in ensuring you’re eating to benefit your PCOS.

When you plan out your meals, you can have a rock-solid plan for getting healthy meals on the table no matter what. To help, our health coaches have put together a guide so you can meal prep like a pro! Download our 2021 meal prepping guide here.

Exercise regularly

Studies show that both cardio and weight-training exercises can help women with PCOS lose weight and improve blood sugar levels. One study reported that women with PCOS who weight trained 3 times a week saw belly fat loss and lean body mass gains in 4 months. They also reduced their blood sugar levels.

Women’s Health also reported that exercising before a meal can help boost your metabolism. This helps women with PCOS control their blood sugar levels and promotes carbs to be used as energy. Get some more metabolism-boosting ideas here.

Not sure where to start? We have various exercise plans and can help you find a routine that you love. Try these moves.

Get enough sleep

When it comes to your overall health and weight loss, sleep is just as important nutrition and exercising.

Yet, sleep troubles are a common symptom of PCOS. Women with PCOS are more likely to suffer from sleep disturbances like insomnia or sleep apnea.

There are some strategies you can use to help with sleep issues, though. Since sleep is so important, our coaches put together a guide full of education and easy tips to improve sleep quality. Download the free sleep guide here.

Manage your stress

Handling stress is easier said than done. According to an American Psychological Association survey, nearly one-fourth of Americans rate their stress levels as 8 or more on a 10-point scale. Plus, PCOS is a condition known to cause stress.

But stress increases cortisol levels, which is linked to weight gain. This is even more true for women with PCOS, as studies show women with PCOS tend to have higher than normal cortisol levels. If you feel you’re prone to stress, here is a simple formula to help.

We also have some self-care techniques that may help lower your stress. Check them out here.

Consider 1-on-1 nutrition coaching

If your head is swirling with all of this information, we have a solution. You don’t have to do this alone. At Profile, you can partner with a health coach who will work with you 1-on-1. They will create a meal plan that works with your PCOS—not against it. Your coach will support you and educate you on healthy habits to manage your PCOS and sustain a healthy weight.

Here is what one member with PCOS had to say about Profile:

“I saw a nutritionist (for PCOS) and worked hard to lose 70 pounds, but it was so hard to do on my own and I gained some back,” said Carole, who lost 120 pounds with Profile. “It wasn’t sustainable. It was really nice to have a coach consistently helping me.” After seeing weight-loss success, Carole was able to conceive. She continued to coach with Profile throughout her pregnancy. “It was totally worth it. I can’t imagine having done it without Profile. It was amazing to know what to eat to grow a healthy baby and gain weight in a healthy way.”

Read Carole’s full story here.

Stop letting PCOS control your quality of life. Take our quick 2-minute quiz to get matched with a personalized plan tailored to your individual needs and health goals. 


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