At least about half of women who have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are overweight or even obese. Women with PCOS are also at risk of developing insulin resistance, which causes weight gain or increases the risk of diabetes. Unstable hormones also tend to make PCOS women have overeating disorders. In the long term, obesity can increase the risk of various dangerous chronic diseases. So, losing weight is one of the most important pillars in controlling the symptoms of PCOS. What are the diet guidelines for PCOS?
Dietary guidelines for PCOS for weight loss
1. Make a healthy eating plan
PCOS is associated with an increase in insulin levels which can increase blood sugar levels and cause insulin resistance. So, you have to start limiting high-carbohydrate food intake - even if you can avoid it altogether.
Richard Legro, MD, chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Penn State Health Medical Center, said that people with PCOS need to increase their consumption of foods with a low glycemic index. The main food sources with a low glycemic index include vegetables and fruit, whole grains (eg whole wheat bread or oat porridge), tubers (sweet potatoes and carrots), and sources of healthy protein and fat.
In addition to focusing on a variety of low-GI foods, you also need to multiply foods that have anti-inflammatory properties, such as:
- Fish rich in omega 3, such as salmon and sardines
- Olive oil
- Green tea
It doesn't stop until the menu selection, you also need to pay attention to how often you eat. Instead of eating 3 servings a day in large portions, divide into smaller portions for the whole day. For example, 6 meals with a break of 3 to 4 hours. This method is very effective in avoiding drastic blood sugar surges.
2. Exercise regularly
Diets for PCOS also need to be balanced with regular exercise to improve insulin sensitivity in regulating blood sugar levels.
You don't need to be heavy, just do aerobics, take a leisurely walk, ride a bicycle or swim to keep fit. To prevent your body muscles from enlarging like a male bodybuilder, you can add light weight training. Generally, you can do exercise for at least 30 minutes every day (or at least 150 minutes per week). Also make sure you don't sit too long by staying active while in the office.
3. Don't forget to take PCOS medicine
Some medications that your doctor prescribes to treat symptoms of PCOS can help you lose weight, because the effect works to stabilize the body's hormonal disorders due to insulin resistance.
So, ask your doctor about the medication that suits your condition. Follow the dosage and how to use it to avoid the risk of unwanted side effects.
4. Stop smoking
If you have PCOS and are active smokers, it's a good idea to stop smoking immediately. A 2009 study chaired by Dr. Susanne Cupisti at the University Hospital of Erlangen, Germany, found that smoking can cause an increase in insulin and testosterone in women with PCOS. If the levels of insulin and testosterone in the body increase, automatically the symptoms of PCOS will worsen which can make the weight more difficult to lower.
5. Get enough sleep
Women with PCOS have an increased risk of daytime sleepiness and sleep apnea. Even so, try as much as possible to always get enough sleep, which is around 7 to 8 hours every night. The habit of staying up or lacking in sleep has long been associated with the risk of weight gain and diabetes.
If you have trouble forming a healthy sleep pattern, consult further with the doctor who handles you. Remember, there is no instant way to lose weight, including those who have PCOS. The diet for PCOS requires strong effort and intention from within.
- Rules for Diet If You Have PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)
- 5 Signs and Symptoms of PCOS, Hormone Disorders That Make Irregular Menstruation
- The best choice of contraceptive device for women with PCOS