A few months ago, I sat in on a polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) seminar led by reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Betsy McCormick. Her recommendation for overweight women with PCOS? Lose weight. If you have PCOS, weight loss can help to balance your hormones, regulate ovulation, and increase your chances of getting pregnant. After listening to Dr. McCormick speak, I was convinced that a PCOS diet plan can help many women lose weight and regain fertility.
If you have PCOS and want to lose weight, check out the best diets at U.S. News and World Report. This site displays rankings and overviews of many popular American diets. The best overall diet for weight loss? Weight Watchers. Just make sure you talk to your doctor first before making any drastic diet or lifestyle changes.
I am not a weight loss expert, but I personally find it easier to lose weight when following a vegan diet and avoiding all meat and dairy products. I am not alone in feeling healthy on this diet. U.S. News and World Report ranks the vegan diet as the 5th best diet for weight loss and the 2nd best diet for diabetes. These rankings make it a good choice for women with PCOS, especially if they watch their carb, fat, and sugar intake. If you have PCOS, you may already be well aware of the fact that PCOS puts women at risk for diabetes. Diets for diabetes can help you control your condition.
Daily consumption of vegetarian and vegan foods isn’t just good for weight loss and diabetes. Veggie proteins are linked with fertility health, too. In the Fertility Diet study, Harvard researchers found that women who ate less animal protein each day were more fertile than their peers. However, you do not have to eliminate all meat and dairy products from your diet in order to be fertile. In fact, a daily serving of high-fat dairy (whole milk, ice cream, etc.) may offer some fertility benefits. To lose weight for PCOS and improve your fertility, try replacing meat with soybeans, tofu, or nuts once in awhile, and see what happens.
Here are some of my favorite, easy weight loss strategies:
1) Eat whole, fresh foods as much as possible. As you plan meals and stock up at the grocery store, think about color – tomatoes, beets, carrots, oranges, bananas, yellow squash, pistachios, kale, spinach, broccoli, blueberries, black beans, and beets “ buy foods in all of the colors of the rainbow. (And I don’t mean artificial colors here!) Let Mother Nature guide you in your dietary choices.
2) Pump some iron (or do some downward dogs). According to exercise scientists, strength training should play a big part in your weight loss routine. When you gain muscle mass, your body burns calories and fat more quickly and efficiently, even when you are resting. If you can afford a trainer, consider investing in a few months of personal training sessions. They work. You will look and feel awesome.
3) Find out where to buy healthy food. It can take a lot of work to eat healthy foods and still enjoy what you are eating. This can be especially difficult when you are short on time and craving something delicious. Enter your local health food store to the rescue! Some health food stores offer grab-and-go, fresh, prepared foods to fit your busy life and satisfy your desire to eat good food.
Do you have a PCOS weight loss success story? If so, what helped you lose weight? Post a comment below. I would love to hear from you.