June 03, 2022

Weight Loss for PCOS

The Qilo Team avatar
The Qilo Team
Dr Victoria Abbey avatar
Medically reviewed BY
Dr Victoria Abbey
Weight Loss
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Weight loss is a challenge for just about anyone, but it can be especially difficult for women with PCOS. Why? Because the hormone imbalance that causes PCOS also affects your metabolism in such a way that you burn fewer calories and store more of them as fat.

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) often gain weight and find it harder to lose weight than women who do not have the condition. However, losing weight can reduce some of the symptoms associated with PCOS and make it easier for a person to get pregnant. In this article, we look at ways to help people who have PCOS manage their weight, including dieting tips, exercise recommendations, and when to see a doctor.

What is PCOS?

PCOS stands for polycystic ovary syndrome. It is common in women of reproductive age, and it affects millions of women worldwide.

It's caused by an imbalance of female sex hormones, especially estrogen and progesterone, which can lead to ovulation problems and other complications. It also causes lower levels of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone, which are sometimes associated with higher levels of testosterone. A person with PCOS has too much androgen, a type of hormone, and this can cause irregular periods, acne, and thinning hair.

If you have PCOS, you might have irregular periods or no periods at all. You may also have excess body hair (hirsutism), acne, or oily skin -- all symptoms associated with elevated male hormone levels. And while some women with PCOS are obese due to obesity-related conditions like high insulin resistance and inflammation, others aren't overweight but still struggle with weight gain because they have less muscle mass than non-PCOS women do.

PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects 12 to 18 percent of women.

PCOS and Weight Gain

Women with PCOS are at a higher risk for obesity, which can lead to other health problems. In fact, about 80% of women with PCOS are overweight or obese. But that's not all: being overweight and obese also puts you at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

PCOS is a complex condition that affects the way your body produces and regulates hormones. It's sometimes called a metabolic disorder because how it can affect the way you metabolize food. With PCOS, your insulin doesn't work properly, which means that glucose (blood sugar) levels in your blood rise too high if you eat more than usual or if you don't exercise regularly. This can lead to weight gain and obesity as well as other health problems like heart disease and diabetes.

However, not all women with PCOS experience these changes at the same rate or severity—some can keep their weight down by staying active and eating right while others may struggle with their weight regardless of lifestyle choices. Some factors that can influence whether a woman experiences rapid weight gain include age at diagnosis, ethnicity or family history, the presence of other conditions such as depression or thyroid disease, and whether she has had children yet (PCOS tends to worsen after pregnancy), her stress level, and genetics.

A person may be more likely to develop PCOS if they have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more.

You may be more likely to develop PCOS if you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. It can be calculated using the following formula:

Weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared

A person who is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs 145 pounds has a BMI of 22.7; this person would not be considered overweight or obese, but still very close to the threshold for being so.

Types of Weight Gain Associated with PCOS

There are a few different types of weight gain associated with PCOS, and understanding them can help you manage your symptoms more effectively. Here's a list of some common types of weight gain associated with PCOS:

Weight gain around the belly and waist

This is also known as central obesity. It happens because your body produces more insulin in response to insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body store energy such as fat. So when you have too much, it can make you gain weight in places like your stomach, chest, and thighs. The extra fat around your middle can raise your risk for diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels.

Weight gain in the butt and hips

The second type is weight gain in your butt and hips. This type of weight gain is known as peripheral obesity, it can happen if you have an abnormal amount of male hormones in your body. These hormones can cause your hips and butt to grow larger than normal, which makes them look bigger on someone who already has a more curvy figure than average. This kind of fat distribution can lead to issues like arthritis or back pain because the extra weight puts pressure on joints and bones.

Weight gain in the face and neck area

This can happen because the excess male hormones that cause acne also cause hair growth on parts of your body like your face and neck—so when those areas start growing hair faster than other parts of your body do, they become fuller looking than usual! You may notice that your face looks fuller than before, especially around the cheeks and jawline area. This can happen because fat builds up within the skin tissue over time if you're eating too many calories or if your body isn't using all those calories properly due to hormonal issues like those caused by PCOS (meaning more excess energy gets stored as fat). Try cutting down on unhealthy fats such as fried foods so they don't end up causing this problem!

Addressing Weight Gain in Women with PCOS

Addressing weight gain for women with PCOS is a tough one because it's not just about losing weight. It's about getting your hormones in balance and making sure that you're eating the right foods at the right times of the day. But this is very possible, and the following tips can help in addressing weight challenges with women's PCOS.

Keep a food journal

Keeping a food journal is an effective way to track your eating habits and identify any patterns that may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts. When you keep track of what you eat, it's easier to see where you're falling short of your goals. You can also start identifying foods that trigger cravings or overeating so that it becomes easier to avoid them in the future.

Eat more protein 

Protein helps make you feel full longer than other foods do, which helps prevent overeating during the day and night. Foods high in protein include chicken breast, beef steak, tuna fish (canned or fresh), eggs (whole), tofu, fish fillets (canned or fresh), low-fat yogurt, and milk.

Eat low carb meals

Eat a healthy diet that is low in calories and high in fiber. Include more vegetables, fruit, protein foods, whole grains, and less red meat. Reduce your intake of saturated fat and added sugars.

Eat smaller meals

Eat smaller meals throughout the day instead of three large ones. If you eat small portions throughout the day instead of one or two big meals, it will help keep your blood sugar balanced and prevent spikes in insulin levels—which means less storage of fat!

Cut processed foods

Cut out as many processed foods as possible (including sweetened drinks). Processed foods are often packed full of added sugars and fats, which can make it harder for your body to break down the food properly and convert it into energy.

Be active every day 

Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity most days of the week to burn calories and keep your metabolism revved up. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can help you lose more weight and body fat than lower intensity activities over time because it keeps your metabolism elevated for several hours after exercising.

Consider joining an exercise program or hiring a personal trainer if you want someone else to hold you accountable for regularly exercising each week.

A person should aim to exercise for at least 150 minutes each week.

There are numerous benefits to exercising:

  • It can help you control your weight (see above).
  • Exercise can improve insulin sensitivity. This is important for PCOS patients because insulin resistance interferes with their ability to lose weight. When you exercise, your body gets used to burning fat as a source of energy instead of carbohydrates and sugar which raise blood glucose levels quickly. As a result, more calories are burned and less fat accumulates in your body.
  • Exercising also improves mood by releasing endorphins, which give you feelings of euphoria similar to those experienced after eating chocolate!
  • Regular exercise reduces stress levels and improves sleep quality (which is another problem associated with PCOS). You'll be able to sleep better if you're not worried about how stressful things have been during the day or what's coming up during the week ahead!
Understand what's going on in your body 

If you don't know the root cause of your problem, how can you fix it? Take some time to learn about PCOS, and talk with your doctor about how best to manage it so that you can lose weight.

Get help from other sources 

There are lots of communities online where women with PCOS share their experiences and tips for managing their symptoms (like this one!). You'll probably find someone who has had similar struggles, which will help give you hope that there's light at the end of the tunnel!

With support from others, such as a doctor and a therapist, you can lose weight with PCOS and improve your symptoms. Kindly visit www.qilo.co to join our waitlist, and be among the first to speak with our doctors and therapist on how best to maintain a healthy weight, even with PCOS.

Addressing weight gain is important for PCOS because weight loss can reduce many symptoms associated with PCOS, including irregular periods and excess hair growth. It can also improve the symptoms of PCOS, including insulin resistance and hyperandrogenism.

In addition to helping with weight loss and improving overall health, losing weight can reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Diets for Weight Loss

The DASH diet

The DASH diet emphasizes eating lots of fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy foods, whole grains, fish, poultry, and nuts while avoiding red meat, added sugars, and sodium.

The benefits of the DASH diet include lowering blood pressure and reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes by lowering your cholesterol levels. It also helps you lose weight if you are overweight or obese.

To follow the DASH diet:

  • Eat at least 8 servings of fruits every day.
  • Eat at least 3 servings of vegetables every day.
  • Choose whole grains over refined grains (wheat flour) as often as possible - at least half the time you eat bread/pasta/rice etc choose those made from whole grains rather than those that are enriched or refined versions that have had some nutrients removed during processing but not necessarily replaced with anything else beneficial for health either! If unsure about how much sugar has been added during processing just check out the nutrition label ingredients list for added sugars content in grams per 100gms so that way there won't be any surprises later down the track when consuming these products regularly as well as being able to control intake more effectively too! A good rule-of-thumb would be less than 5gms per 100gm serving size (e., 10gms total per serving).
The Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is a healthy eating plan that may be beneficial for people with PCOS. It has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, which can help prevent diabetes and weight gain caused by insulin resistance.

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and olive oil as the main sources of fat; it's low in red meat (which increases levels of testosterone), butter, and sugar. This type of diet also contains plenty of fiber—14 grams per 1,000 daily calories—which helps you feel full longer so you eat less at meals.

A person who follows the Mediterranean diet may have fewer symptoms of PCOS than someone who follows a different type of diet.

Low carb diets

It is important to avoid refined carbohydrates because they can increase blood sugar levels and block weight loss.

Refined carbohydrates are found in many processed foods such as white flour and sugar. They can be found in rice, pasta, and bread that have had their fiber removed. These foods cause blood sugar levels to rise rapidly and then drop again quickly. This causes weight gain because your body is constantly looking for food to replenish the energy it loses when blood sugar levels fall too low between meals.

Refined carbs are also hard on the pancreas which produces insulin, a hormone needed for proper digestion and absorption of sugars from food into cells. Over time this can lead to diabetes or prediabetes which will make it harder for you to lose weight by increasing cravings for unhealthy foods that contain high amounts of refined carbohydrates (like chips).

The next step is to moderate your intake of saturated fat, sugar, and salt in your diet by planning healthy meals ahead. One way to do this is by making a list of what you like to eat and then writing out recipes that incorporate those foods with other healthy options. For example, if you love pizza but don't want it to be unhealthy for you, make a healthier version at home with a whole-wheat crust and low-sodium tomato sauce instead of the regular kind.

You can also use apps like MyFitnessPal or LoseIt! on your smartphone or computer so that they keep track of how much food you're eating each day. This will help ensure that you don't go over your daily calorie limit without even realizing it!


If you've been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), chances are you've heard a lot of information about how to lose weight. The truth is that losing weight can be difficult for anyone, but some factors make it more challenging for people with PCOS.

The main thing to remember when attempting to lose weight with PCOS is that there are many different types of weight gain associated with the condition—not just one thing will work for everyone! Some women might find success in cutting out carbs from their diet or working out every day, while others may need something different.

It may be frustrating and seem unfair that it affects your weight so much more than other people’s, but remember that you have options for dealing with this condition. If you follow a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep every night, then your body will thank you by releasing less insulin into your system—and eventually helping to balance out those hormones of yours! In addition to these lifestyle changes though, don't forget about medication as an option when everything else has failed too.

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