Improved weight control is essential for better management of PCOS symptoms. But one method recommended in the past is being challenged by some experts who now say “grazing,” or eating small healthy snacks between meals, may lead to weight gain by interfering with the body’s metabolism and its ability to burn fat.
The experts believe people should go back to three healthy meals a day, including fruit and vegetables, and cut out snacks in between those meals.
When we eat, the body releases insulin – the hormone that helps carry sugar from food into the cells to burn as energy. This sugar energy can keep us going for around three hours, after which our bodies will start using energy from our fat stores.
If people can hold out for four to five hours between meals, they burn more fat and lose weight.
“Fat is burned as soon as the levels of your carbohydrate stores fall and you start the mobilization of fat for energy,” says Professor Stephen Atkin, head of diabetes and metabolism at Hull York Medical School in England.
“In my view, the ideal would be not to snack. It’s normal to feel hungry before a meal.”