I know, I know, we ALL hate the D-word. But, it’s a word we naturally have been conditioned to associate with weight loss. And girl, I’m right there with you, it drives me crazy. “Diet” has unfortunately been associated with restrictions and other potentially harmful advice that have both caused issues for women throughout generations. The thought of a diet can also lead to disordered eating, unsustainable eating practices, and ultimately lead to a lack of satisfaction – cue the cravings and binge eating.
That’s a nah from me.
We need to talk about and recognize this – there is no ‘diet’ for anything. So, we’re not just going to talk about the best diet for PCOS weight loss, we’re really going to dive deep into the best lifestyle for PCOS and PCOS weight loss instead. No bull-sh*t, just facts.
DOES PCOS CAUSE WEIGHT GAIN?
I know this question is at the top of ALL of our minds. So, does it?
Babe, I wish I could say this wasn’t a loaded question with a loaded answer, but it is. To make it easier, let’s break PCOS weight gain down from the top. With a woman who has the chronic condition PCOS (I’m right there with ya), there are multiple factors and symptoms at play can that play into weight gain.
First, take a deep breath, your PCOS alone is not a life sentence to endless weight gain or struggles.
Now, read that sentence again. It’s 100% true! Instead, PCOS means there’s some extra attention that needs to be paid to certain aspects of the condition that can lead to weight gain. For example, here’s a big one, insulin resistance. Insulin resistance happens when the body has difficulty pulling glucose (sugar) from the blood and turning it into energy. When your body isn’t getting enough sugar from the blood, your body tries to produce more insulin in an attempt to maintain a normal blood sugar level.
Over time, the body begins to overproduce insulin to keep blood sugar levels normal, thus resulting in energy and weight struggles. PCOS insulin resistance is just one of the ways that weight gain is a by-product of having PCOS. Other factors can include elevated androgens and cortisol, too.
FOODS FOR A PCOS-FRIENDLY LIFESTYLE
First: BS Alert!
Cutting out entire food groups is NOT the way to go. Instead of looking at what foods to cut out, look at what foods to bring into the fold. PCOS has no cure, so we need something that works for life. More food? Yes, please!
Protein – The secret sauce to counteract that pesky insulin resistance! Avoiding a big spike in insulin production makes all your hormones happier by incorporating more protein into every meal.
Healthy Fats – Welcome to flavor town! We LOVE healthy fats in this house mkay? Bring on the nut butter, avocados, and cashews, ugh, yum. Talk about good energy.
Fiber – Think of fiber as protein’s partner in crime, here to kick insulin resistance’s a$$. Keep blood sugar spikes away by adding MORE delicious fiber into your diet. Think chia, flax, veggies, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, fruit, and avocado!
“Junk” in Moderation– Listen cyster, it’s truly okay to indulge. There’s a difference between binging and enjoying that piece of cake on your niece’s birthday. Enjoy yourself.
Also: Eat what you want, but in moderation! You don’t need to ‘save’ your calories, your body needs fuel throughout the day. Yes, I’m looking at you, a PCOS cyster who skips breakfast and snacks! You also don’t cut out whole food groups and nutrients (like gluten, dairy, soy, sugar). Enjoy your meals. Say no when pressured to eat something you don’t really want. Say yes when YOU want it. Now THAT is a lifestyle choice I think we can all get behind. Want to start implementing these best practices and more? Become a PCOS Boss like me and other cysters! We’re ready to support you, are you in?
HOW MUCH SUGAR IS TOO MUCH FOR PCOS? IS GLUTEN BAD FOR YOU?
If I see one more influencer blacklisting dairy or gluten, I’m going to lose it!
Let me give you the science-backed, real answers to the questions I know you’re asking. Do I need to cut out dairy to lose weight? Is soy bad for me? Should I remove gluten from my diet? And of course, how much sugar is too much for PCOS?
Here are the straight facts:
Dairy/Gluten/Soy – This one is silly to me! Where’s the balance? We have literally NO scientific evidence that dairy, gluten, or soy negatively influences PCOS. For some reason (probably having to do with profiting off sick women struggling for answers), influencers sure do have a lot of bad things to say about them. Cutting them out is trendy, yes, but overall not a good long-term option. Go back to balance every time. Gluten and dairy will not harm your PCOS! The only exception here is we do have some evidence dairy can make acne worse (but that’s true even in those without PCOS) so avoid dairy for a couple of weeks if this is a real issue for you to see if this helps!
Sugar – Yes, sugar does spike our insulin, but with mindfulness and intention, sugar can be a fun and happy part of a balanced diet. It’s about creating sustainable habits that don’t encourage rules or binging. Bottom line, there is a thing as too much sugar, but sugar can be a healthy, enjoyable part of our diets in moderation.
Cutting out these foods is highly restrictive (as well as unnecessary) and can ultimately cause more harm than good. Plus, there is ZERO, yes cyster, zero, research to back up claims against these foods and their relationship with PCOS and PCOS weight loss.
Instead of taking these foods out of the mix, you can look to the foods mentioned above to add, then mix in a balanced lifestyle approach that supports, not restricts, a lifelong, chronic condition like PCOS. When you see these posts on Instagram or TikTok, ask yourself, is this backed by science? Is this doable? And the big one, is it sustainable?
METFORMIN PCOS WEIGHT LOSS
Girl, you know I like to keep it real with you all, so let’s talk, shall we? Does Metformin help you lose weight?!
On one hand, yes it can. The drug aims to improve insulin resistance and improve ovulation; both of these are key goals of handling PCOS symptoms. On another hand, Metformin for PCOS can also cause other side effects like nausea, diarrhea, and muscle aches. Also, the drug was originally created, and still mainly prescribed, to combat type 2 diabetes, not PCOS.
Is Metformin a long-term solution for PCOS? Don’t get me wrong, Metformin is a great drug for type 2 diabetes, but I do believe there are better nutritional and supplement-focused treatments with comparable success rates. If you’re prescribed Metformin, despite the side effects, you will be expected to stay on it long term. But don’t forget girl, your health is always in your hands. If you have concerns, always talk with your doc.
WHAT DOES INOSITOL DO FOR PCOS?
Oh girl, now this is the jam! Turn this one up!
Inositol and PCOS go hand in hand. Remember those frustrating blood sugar spikes that exacerbate your symptoms like weight gain, facial/body hair growth, acne, hair loss, and irregular periods? Inositol is the golden ticket to help bring those back into balance. Inositol acts against insulin in the same way Metformin does but without all of the poopy (pun intended) side effects. (If you’ve experienced a Metformin poop y’all know what I mean).
Plus, it’s not a prescription. Inositol is a supplement derived from Vitamin B8. The supplement works to improve insulin sensitivity, fight cravings, preserve egg quality, and promote overall menstrual health. Now, ain’t that a lineup!
Interested in trying it out for yourself? Check out OVASITOL – this is my go-to brand, and from cyster to cyster trust me on this one. Are you still on Metformin? Before making any combinations of supplements and meds, always talk to your doc.
BOTTOM LINE: HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT WITH PCOS
Losing weight is something that no matter what road you head down, will take time. Healthy weight loss is defined as 1-2 lbs per week MAX. No more. Don’t let some random influencer tell you differently.
Here are some actionable items to move towards a healthy weight and PCOS lifestyle:
Introduce balanced, nourishing, hormone-friendly foods like more protein, healthy fats, and fiber
Get plenty of sleep – I know we all lust after those 8+ hours!
Support your body with supplements that support your hormones – I just so happen to know some great ones that have had excellent results for tons of other PCOS cysters so far! You can find them here.
Find your tribe – hi, I’m (and we’re) here!
If you’re ready to take that step to find your fellow cysters, I’m holding out a hand to you. Enlisting a professional with your best interest at heart doesn’t have to be hard, I’m ready to take those next steps alongside you.
I’m a message away and make things easy for your schedule and lifestyle with my PCOS Boss Academy. In this program, I set you up to be the Boss of your PCOS, not the other way around. The control stays in your hands.
In my extremely successful, signature program you get guidance on developing the right weight loss plan and lifestyle that works best for your unique body, PCOS, and goals. Plus, you’ll gain a whole new PCOS cyster crew (including myself) who’s ready to guide you through a science-backed process I went through myself.