Most of the women out there find themselves waging battles against their body weight issues. There is no denying that a woman’s weight has a direct effect on her menstrual cycle as well. And if you’re a woman with the polycystic ovary syndrome, your struggles with body weight take an extra mile down a rocky road.
But, What Exactly Is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
Known better by its abbreviation PCOS, it is one of the most common hormonal disorders found in women (1). If we have PCOS, our body starts finding it difficult to manage our hormonal insulin levels — which is responsible for breaking down the food we eat and converting the sugar and starches from our food into energy.
PCOS has long been associated with fertility problems in women. The symptoms can vary from acne, excessive growth of facial hair, irregular periods, etc. — it’s a condition that has a spectrum of symptoms (2). But, the most common symptom of all is weight gain. And we cannot resort to any mere exercise or diet routines to shed the extra weight gained because of PCOS. A bona fide approach is required for this. And experts have come up with 6 such ways that can aid weight loss if you have PCOS. Take a look:
1. Keep Your Focal Point On Nutrition, Not On Diet
You need to steer away from the notion of dieting. Instead, pay attention to your nutritional intake. Fuel your body well to lower your stress level and bring the hormonal activities under control. Eat foods that are high in fibers and low in sugars. And put processed and packaged foods under the prohibited signage. The aim here is to reduce your stress hormone (cortisol) levels and maneuver your insulin resistance (3).
2. Exercise First, Eat Next
When it comes to medical conditions like PCOS, exercise becomes an important activity to adhere to (4). And if you encourage yourself to work out before having your meals, it becomes an added advantage. This is because the metabolism rate is higher after a workout and your body ends up burning more of carbs and storing less of the fats from your food. That being said, we are not asking you to go hit the gym. You can play various sports or fun activities that will help you burn those extra calories.
3. Manage Your Stress Well
Living a stress-free life is impossible. Oftentimes, an exorbitant amount of stress can lead to weight gain. We call it the hormonal disruptors. And with women who are diagnosed with PCOS, their anxiety levels are extreme. Engaging yourself in healthy practices like yoga, meditation, and other routines that teach you to regulate your breathing will help you to handle life’s stress in a better manner (5). So, keep calm and aid your weight loss.
4. Follow A Strict Bedtime Routine
Our body needs to rest in order to function accurately every day. And the only time our body relaxes is while we are asleep. Try to get at least 6-7 hours of sleep every day; it will keep your hormones under check. People who don’t get their forty winks are more likely to be overweight, and it can affect their insulin resistance as well. And if you think you have sleeping issues that could be pointing towards sleep apnea, consult your doctor and take the necessary treatment (6). Lack of sleep can also mess up your hormonal activities, which instantly results in weight gain (7). And if you think your body responds well to occasional power naps, then don’t stop yourself from taking them. Follow a strict bedtime routine and see for yourself the positive changes that follow!
5. Drink Enough Water
We know that our body is mostly composed of water. And our body utilizes that water to carry out all its functions smoothly. Therefore, make sure you’re drinking enough water. Even the slightest episode of dehydration can be misunderstood as hunger by our brain. This results in overeating and ultimately leads to weight gain. Drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up in the morning kickstarts your metabolism with the right speed. It helps to flush out toxins from one’s body and promotes weight loss (8). However, if drinking plain water is too boring, try a detox water regime.
6. Maintain The Blood Sugar Levels Throughout The Day
We could achieve this by starting our day with a well-balanced breakfast. We shouldn’t be skipping any meals. It can cause serious fluctuations in our blood glucose levels, which disrupts the insulin resistance of our bodies. Resort to not-so-processed, anti-inflammatory diets that help to keep the body weight in check (9). Obesity shoots up if our sugar (read: an inflammatory agent) levels go haywire. So, if you’re a PCOS patient, steer clear of this white poison!
Lastly, remember that PCOS is a condition that is purely an outcome of our hormonal fluctuations, and it’s really not your fault if you are diagnosed with it. As long as you follow the abovementioned advice, your PCOS won’t be able to get the best of you.
Do you know anyone with PCOS? How are they dealing with it? Let us know in the comments below.
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