What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is normally characterized by irregular periods or by no menstruation.
Also its been investigated that Women with PCOS have multiple cysts in their ovaries, because of overproduction of hormones called androgens. Around 50 percent of women with PCOS are overweight or obese.
Some other common symptoms include:
2. Hirsutism (excessive hairiness)
3. Male pattern baldness
Women with PCOS, are also at a greater risk of-
2. Endometrial cancer.
4. High blood pressure.
Why women with PCOS are fat?
One word answer is High Insulin level. Insulin is a hormone that’s produced in your pancreas. It helps the cells in your body turn sugar (glucose) into energy. If it is not producing enough insulin then your blood glucose level can rise.. also if you are insulin resistant ( body is producing insulin, buy not able to use it effectively).
Now if you are insulin resistant that means body is producing insulin, but not using it, resulting in high levels of insulin which in turn triggers ovaries to produce more androgens, like testesterone.
Insulin resistance increases with weight and it also makes harder to lose, thats the main reason why women with PCOS find it difficult to lose weight.
Also, a diet high in refined carbs, such as starchy and sugary foods, can make insulin resistance, and therefore weight loss, more difficult to control.
What to eat in PCOS
For effective weight loss in PCOS ,we just need to add on- 1. high-fiber vegetables-Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sproutsgreens, including red leaf lettuce and arugulagreen and red peppersbeans and lentilsalmondsberriessweet potatoeswinter squashpumpkinHigh-fiber foods can help control insulin resistance by slowing down digestion and reducing the impact of sugar on the blood. This may be beneficial to women with PCOS.
2. Lean protein– Fish, lean protein, chicken, egg whites etc.
3. Anti-inflammatory foods and spices-Turmeric tomatoeskalespinachalmonds and walnutsolive oil.fruits, such as blueberries and strawberriesfatty fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and sardines.
What all to avoid-
1. Foods high in refined carbohydrates- Refined carbs cause inflammation, increase insulin resistance, so these should be avoidedin PCOS significantly. These include highly-processed foods, such as:white breadmuffinsbreakfast pastriessugary dessertsanything made with white flourPasta noodles that list semolina, durum flour, or durum wheat flour as their first ingredient are high in carbohydrates and low in fiber. white bread and muffinssugary snacks and drinks.
2. Inflammatory foods Processed and red meats. fries, margarine, and red or processed meats.
How to exercise in PCOS
Exercises also contribute to the weight loss regime in PCOS.
We can consider the following type of regimes:
Steady-pace cardio workouts: These are workouts that get your heart pumping, usually at about 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate, it include walking, riding a bicycle, dancing like zumba , or taking an aerobics class.HIIT workouts: High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves balancing intense exercise bursts with rest intervals. It include burpees, tuck jumps, and mountain climbers and many more..
Interval training: Interval training is a way to exercise at different intensity levels, but not necessarily to the heart rate max you do with HIIT. This training type often involves doing different exercises in the same session to keep your heart rate up.
Mind-body exercises: It involves exercises like holistic fitness regime yoga, Pilates, tai chi etc, that help you to not only burn calories, but also reduce stress levels.
Strength training: Strength training involves using resistance bands, weights, or your own body weight to build muscle. This training type can help you build healthy muscles and bones. Increasing your muscle mass could help you burn more calories at rest, helping you maintain a healthy weight.
Time to change lifestyle
Yes, its the right time to change your lifestyle. Have an active lifestyle, and add on some form of above mentioned workouts ( around 40 mins per day) to reduce insulin resistance along with a clean diet ( high fibre, high protein) and avoiding ( refined sugar and inflammatory foods).