Dear Robin: Are grains to be avoided when you have PCOS since its extremely difficult to lose weight?
Dear Breanna: Grains can turn into sugar pretty quickly after eating, so no matter what your “cause” or “driver” of PCOS symptoms, eating grains could make them worse.
That being said, oftentimes women with PCOS don’t eat enough carbohydrates so they’re bodies are in constant stress and store mode.
Weight is a symptom of PCOS, NOT the cause, so only focusing on weight loss won’t fix your weight problem. Your weight will keep coming back no matter what you do.
Instead, focus on fixing the root causes of PCOS and your weight will slowly begin to melt away!
Here’s where to begin:
- Get your blood work done and have your doctor test for fasting glucose, insulin, HA1c (hemoglobin A1c), triglycerides and uric acid at the very least. This will help you to see if your fasting insulin is too high – you want it below 5.0, HA1c below 5.4, your fasting glucose below 90, triglycerides under 100, and uric acid 3.2-5.5.
- Begin to reduce ALL inflammation. This means cutting all sugar out of your diet, limiting fruit to 1 piece daily (that’s your only sugar), eliminating grains completely for a bit or just having 1/4-1/3 cup brown rice or quinoa with some wild caught fish and 2+ cups vegetables. Steel cut oatmeal (not the quick cooking kind) has the lowest sugar of any grain so soak some overnight, then boil in the morning and add some walnuts, coconut milk and 1/3 cup berries for breakfast. Starchy veggies are good, but have smaller amounts like 1/3 cup, and even beans (legumes) can be wonderful if you can tolerate them – just limit to 1/3 cup per meal. Focus on eating whole, real foods that are healthy and nutrient-dense.
- Support your “energy-producing” adrenal glands by getting into a routine every day. Eat a high protein breakfast, embrace the light and dark cycles of the day, get plenty of rest, eat regularly and stop eating at least 3 hours before bed – never after 7pm in order to keep insulin low.
- Move to balance hormones for weight loss. Walk daily, and do some low intensity HIIT when you’re able, but limit to 8-15 minutes total a few days a week. Lifting gentle weights, riding your bike, yoga, etc. are great ways to get in touch with your body, and produce hormones to make you feel so much better.
When you work towards a healthier lifestyle for you, you’re body will naturally release weight. I’ve seen this happen over and over again.
You’ve got this Breanna. Keep me posted on how you’re doing, OK?
Wondering if the symptoms you are suffering with could be PCOS?
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