Polycystic Overy Syndome affects over 10% of women, the main problem is as states, the PO, but the most problematic are often the symptoms it generates, obesity and insulin resistance often the most difficult. Lifestyle modification and controlled eating habits are often advised as the most important factor in managing the condition, yet research is fairly limited, and Dr’s often not as clued up on diet and exercise as perhaps sometimes expected. Women with PCOS cannot simply “lose weight” to help ease symptoms, as the issue of weight is often a symptom itself.
I am by no means an expert on this yet having conducted research on this topic during my MSc and having come across clients who have struggled I am aware how certain diet factors and weight training can often help sufferers.
General, PCOS is related to certain levels or hormones, with insulin being one of the main ones. Insulin is allows your body to maintain blood sugar levels so you don’t get hypo/hyperglycemia. Women with PCOS often struggle with insulin resistance.
– It is really important not to sucomb to fad or crash dieting. Focusing on the quality and nutrition of the food is key, foods or ‘diets’ that cause spikes in blood sugar should be eaten sparingly and reduction high GI (glycemic index) foods. Opt for anything slow release (a low GI) such as wholegrain versions over high GI and processed foods.
– Balance blood sugar throughout the day
– Many (and not just women with PCOS) are scared of “fat” in the diet. (Ancel Keys skewed study has quite a lot to answer for here!) fat is essential to keep you satiated, help absorb A,D E and K vitamins and extremely important for hormone regulation.
– Many women with PCOS have often hit the treadmill – hard, and usually without much luck. This is often because intense cardio activity places prolonged stress on the body and cause chaos for hormonal balances. Every study (and I admit there aren’t actually that many) have all concluded that resistance training is beneficial to those with PCOS.
– Increased muscle mass can lead to an enhancement in the muscles ability to manage glucose – these adaptations occur REGARDLESS of the weight.