Maintaining an ideal weight is critical for women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). A healthy weight helps to regulate insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation (two major causes/contributors to PCOS), boost ovulation and regulate the menstrual cycle, improve general wellbeing and reduce the risk of diseases like Diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
With the beautiful summer months fast approaching, celebrations and parties to attend and tempting food on offer, how can women with PCOS ensure they don’t gain excess kilos?
These 7 tips will help you to avoid weight gain. In fact, they may even help you to drop fat easier than you thought possible.
1) Choose low Glycaemic Load (GL) foods
Low glycemic load foods reduce insulin resistance and blood sugar fluctuations. When you maintain stable blood sugar levels, there are fewer cravings, improved food choices (no grabbing the closest chocolate bar because your blood sugar levels have just dropped and need to be picked up, and fast!) and reduced insulin spikes (important for both PCOS and weight loss).
2) Include three 15 minute sessions of interval training per week
Interval training (IT) is simple, an 8 second ‘sprint’ followed by a 12 second ‘relative rest’ and repeat continuously for 15 minutes. IT has been shown to reduce insulin resistance and improve fat lost.
Sprint = at a fast pace for your current fitness levels
Relative rest = still comfortably exercising
3) Make your big celebratory meals at breakfast or lunch
When you eat a meal in the morning as opposed to later in the day, the same food affects your body differently. A big breakfast followed by smaller meals through out the day has been proven to improve insulin sensitivity, boost ovulation rates, reduce testosterone levels and aid fat loss.
4) Ensure enough sleep
Can you sleep yourself slender? Maybe. Women who slept 8 hours per day weighed 6 – 8 kg less than those who slept 6 hours or less.
5) Keep a lid on your stress levels
Christmas can be a busy, stressful time. By managing your stress levels you can reduce insulin resistance. This means fewer cravings and comfort eating, and potentially less hormonal weight gain.
6) Make time for yourself
Do you usually run around like the proverbial headless chicken during the festive season? Stop! You need to create time to plan your meals and your day, to create healthy options, to meditate, to exercise and to breath deeply and often.
7) Include lots of fresh salads, vegetables and healthy protein
Protein, such as fish, nuts and organic free-range eggs are filling. In fact, when women eat more protein, they naturally just eat less overall. Protein also helps to moderate blood sugar levels. This means that by including protein with your meals you will both eat less and the ‘naughty foods’ will have less of an effect on your blood sugar levels. This helps with weigh loss. When you also add fresh salads and vegetables, you further help to fill yourself and reduce blood sugar fluctuations.
These 7 steps are ideal for helping to maintain your weight, or even drops kilos, during the upcoming Christmas holiday season.
From PCOS to perfect health,
International author, speaker, PCOS expert and experienced clinician Dr Rebecca Harwin has been helping women improve their health for many years.
Dr Rebecca has completed eight years of intensive University study, and holds three undergraduate degrees; a Bachelor of Chiropractic Science, a Bachelor of Applied Science (Clinical Science), and a Bachelor of Applied Science (Human Biology). She has also completed thousands of hours of further health studies.
She is passionate about combining her comprehensive education and research with her personal and clinical experiences to bring you a comprehensive way forward from PCOS to freedom.