PCOS does often come with being overweight -so whether weight is the cause or the complication from the PCOS is arguable. However if you do have PCOS losing weight does minimise the symptoms of insulin resistance, infertility, metabolic sydnrome, hair growth, irregular periods, diabetes, etc. Many women with PCOS have suffered the inability to lose weight - it's one of the signs of PCOS.It is possible to lose weight with PCOS! Thousands of women have done it. Being overweight is no fun - being overweight and powerless to lose weight is tragic.
A huge effort is needed to lose the weight and keep it off! Advice from an Accredited Practising Dietitian is recommended.
There's no getting away from it. A good diet will lead to weight loss with PCOS, but if you really want to control your life, if you really want to lose weight despite PCOS, you're going to have to exercise.
As we get older, we move less. All movement is exercise. That means you're probably not exercising as much as you used to. It also means that any increase in movement will help make weight loss with PCOS possible.
There is no ‘best exercise’ for losing weight with PCOS. The best exercise is the one you will do. That said, there are some better exercises than others. More is better than less, for one. But any is better than none. Commit yourself to getting ‘more exercise’. For weight loss purposes, exercise comes in two forms.
- Exercise burns calories.
- Exercise creates muscle which raises metabolism
The second part is the one I'm going to focus on, because it nets long term weight loss with PCOS. Women with PCOS have a disrupted glucose/insulin system. Muscles stabilize glucose/insulin systems, making it easier to eat fewer calories, leading to better glucose levels, and muscles use more calories at rest. That means if you build a muscle, it helps you lose weight round the clock, not just while you're building it.
There's a lot of flexibility in exercise for weight loss with PCOS. Walking is good, running, cycling, gym - whatever you enjoy is best! Nearly every ‘type’ of exercise has been shown to lead to weight loss. Pilates, yoga, traditional weightlifting, running, walking, and even heavy lifting gardening will help women with PCOS lose weight. More is better, but any is good.
Sleep affects your body. The amount you sleep matters. People who consistently lack sleep are fatter (and have more glucose/insulin problems) than people who get enough sleep. People who work the night shift are heavier than their day-working counterparts.
Your body needs sleep, it needs it around the same time every day. Your glucose management system depends on it. One study showed that otherwise normal people who were deprived of just one night's sleep had impaired glucose/insulin systems. Imagine what our modern lifestyles of too little sleep, with too little regularity does to it!
I know it's not easy, but so much of our health depends on regular, sufficient sleep. If you're having trouble losing weight with PCOS, your bad sleep could be the key. Make a health commitment to yourself that you will get enough sleep. Take it seriously, because it could be the difference between lifelong health or a shortened lifetime of malaise.
If you snore or have apnea, as many people struggling with their weight do, the sleep you are getting is not good. This is a catch-22: heavy people have a tendency to snore or have apnea, and people with apnea or a tendency to snore have trouble losing weight. Women with PCOS who want to lose weight must take this component of their health seriously.
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