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Struggling With Weight And PCOS? Expert Shares 5 Helpful Tips For Weight Loss

Irrespective of the symptoms of PCOS that one may have, the underlying management is lifestyle management.

Published: February 25, 2022 11:28 AM IST

By Lifestyle Staff | Edited by Anjali Thakur

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Polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS is a common hormonal and metabolic disorder ailing many women nowadays. It accounts for a whopping 16-25 per cent of women’s health problems in Bangalore. It affects physical health with weight gain, acne or pimples, unwanted body and facial hair, and possibly scalp hair thinning and loss. Emotional health is also affected in many women.

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PCOS can be seen both in obese and thin women. In obese women, there is a propensity towards an increase in body weight, especially in the abdomen. It is a known fact that lifestyle contributes majorly to weight gain. The recent COVID pandemic hasn’t really helped in curbing the problem. I see more and more women having weight issues now following the sedentary lifestyle during COVID restrictions.

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Irrespective of the symptoms of PCOS that one may have, the underlying management is lifestyle management. Weight loss forms a vital part of management not only to reduce the visceral fat and thus waist circumference but also to reduce the metabolic and hormonal disturbances of PCOS.

But, how to lose weight? Dr Aruna Muralidhar, Senior Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Fortis La Femme Hospital, Richmond Road, Bangalore says women with PCOS often struggle with weight, but these tips certainly help.

  1. A smart plate for PCOS- A round plate with the proportion of 40-50% greens and veggies, 25-30% carbohydrates and 20-35% protein would help in reducing insulin resistance. The carbohydrates must be of a low glycemic index (releasing sugar slowly rather than quickly). Protein helps in increasing satiety and reducing cravings. Also, a healthy fat intake reduces hunger and aids the loss of body fat. Probiotics aid the growth of good bacteria in the gut that aid weight loss. Fermented foods like yoghurt, curd, idli, dosa, dhokla etc have a generous amount of probiotics.
  2. Cut down junk-Processed foods such as chips, namkeen, cakes, chocolates etc, refined grains and added sugars must be avoided or at least limited. Instead, whole unprocessed grains reduce glycemic index and provide better nutrition.
  3. Regularity and mindfulness matters- Eating regularly, sleep hygiene, exercise schedule- all must be done consistently. Eating less reduces the metabolic rate and eventually leads to weight gain. Short term gains may be seen but over the long term, the body tends to gain weight easier. Also eating fewer calories affect hormones that regulate appetite. Eating mindfully helps the body sense the cues from the body about satiety. Also, stopping to eat when the tummy is about 80% full and not stuffing it to the brim, is a wonderful way of treating our body.
  4. Get some exercise and some nature- We all know this. But what to do and how to do is the question. About 45-60 minutes of cardio or aerobic exercise at least three days a week works wonders in improving insulin resistance and reducing testosterone levels. Although the scales may not show much change, the belly fat does reduce improving the metabolism. Weight training helps too. The higher the stress hormones, the higher the insulin resistance. Nature walks yoga and meditation help in reducing stress levels.
  5. Sleep better-Poor sleep leads to obesity. Those who get more than 6 hours of sleep are less likely to be obese. The more sleep deprivation, the more the hunger. However, beware of oversleeping.

PCOS is a lifestyle disorder requiring long term control. It requires discipline, consistency and a lot of determination to conquer PCOS. Never give up.

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Published Date: February 25, 2022 11:28 AM IST