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Weight Loss With PCOS

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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a hormonal imbalance as well as a metabolic dysfunction. Many patients have irregular bleeding, potential infertility issues, acne, pre-diabetes, excessive hair growth, potential issues with obesity and cholesterol issues as they age.

Being diagnosed with PCOS can be a confusing experience for patients, especially when it comes to figuring out what changes to make to their diet to help manage their PCOS symptoms. Since weight gain is common with PCOS, patients may be interested in managing their weight or learning how to lose weight with PCOS. Here is a list of foods to typically avoid if you have been diagnosed with PCOS, as well as a list of foods to include in your diet to help manage PCOS symptoms. In fact, studies have shown that what you eat can help reduce the impact of PCOS.

Foods to Eat

Whether or not you have PCOS, it is always best to eat a balanced diet full of natural, unprocessed foods. Unprocessed foods are in their natural state without added ingredients. Common unprocessed foods include raw fruits and vegetables, such as broccoli. Other foods that you should aim to include in your diet include:

  • Plain water and unsweetened drinks, such as tea without sugar or honey
  • Lean chicken, beef and pork (learn how to select lean meats)
  • High-fiber foods, such as bananas, broccoli, quinoa and oatmeal
  • Healthy fats, such as avocados, coconuts and extra virgin olive oil for cooking
  • Fatty fish, including salmon, tuna and sardines
  • Dark leafy greens, such as spinach and kale
  • Dark fruits, such as red and black grapes, blueberries and cherries
  • Black beans, lentils and other legumes
  • Plain Greek yogurt, eggs, milk and unprocessed cheese
  • Nuts, such as pine nuts, walnuts, almonds and pistachios
  • Whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta and brown rice
  • Dark chocolate in moderation
  • Spices, such as turmeric and cinnamon

You may even consider following the popular and heart-healthy Mediterranean diet, which you can learn more about here.

Foods to Avoid

Typically, if you have PCOS, you want to be conscious about eating food that are high in saturated fat and simple carbohydrates like sugar. As you learn to manage PCOS, you should avoid these food as much as possible:

  • Chips, cookies, candy and cake
  • Refined carbohydrates, such as supermarket pastries and white bread
  • Anything that is fried, such fried seafood, fried chicken and french fries
  • Sugary beverages, such as sodas, energy drinks, fruit juice and coffee or tea with a lot of sugar
  • Processed meats, such as hot dogs, sausages and luncheon meats
  • Solid fats, including margarine, shortening and lard
  • Excess red meat, such as steaks, hamburgers and pork
  • Fast food

Of course, there is more to living with PCOS. Lifestyle changes may be necessary as well, such as reducing your stress, being physically active (aiming to workout for at least 30 minutes 3-5 days a week), taking care of your mental health and possibly joining a PCOS support group.

Our women’s services team is here to help you. If you have any questions about your PCOS diagnosis, schedule an appointment with one of our physicians.

Schedule a Women's Services appointment with Lydia Lewis, MD


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