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How To Lose Weight With PCOS

How To Lose Weight With PCOS

By Moshy
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5 min read

How To Lose Weight With PCOS

Millions of adult women want to find an answer on how to lose weight with PCOS.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS, is a condition that plagues millions of women worldwide and often wreaks havoc on their skin, weight, and menstrual cycles. [1]Though the numbers vary across geographical demographics, PCOS typically presents symptoms during early adolescence to early or mid-twenties for menstruating women and results in high levels of androgen, a hormone that regulates metabolism.[2]

Because of the complications resulting from PCOS, many women feel that they can’t lose weight with PCOS. It can be deeply upsetting, especially as there’s no known cure for the condition. However, there is some good news – through adequate medical guidance, your Moshy doctor can help you plan how to lose weight with PCOS. After assessing your situation, they can provide the necessary medical, over-the-counter, or coaching solutions tailored to your needs. 

Read on to learn more about PCOS and weight loss.

What is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) refers to a condition where the ovaries produce abnormal amounts of androgens, male sex hormones, which are normally present in women at low levels. PCOS is characterised by the development or growth of multiple fluid-filled sacs (known as cysts) inside the ovaries. There are cases when the condition does not result in cysts, while some women without PCOS develop cysts.[3]

PCOS is commonly diagnosed via ultrasound and blood tests.

What are the symptoms of PCOS?

Common symptoms of PCOS are missed or irregular periods, sudden onset of weight gain that is difficult to shed, oily skin, and infertility. Other symptoms include darkened or thickened patches of skin, or skin tags around the neck or armpits.[4]

PCOS also causes a hormonal imbalance, leading to severe acne or hirsutism (excessive hair growth) among some women.[5] Not only does PCOS greatly affect self-esteem in women who have it, but it also presents some serious health concerns, especially with preventing or mitigating the development of Type 2 diabetes, loss of fertility, and the effects or symptoms of depression caused by hormonal imbalances. In Australia alone, the condition affects one in every ten females.[6]

Why is it harder for people with PCOS to lose weight?

Many women suffering from PCOS have difficulty metabolising certain proteins and nutrients due to insulin resistance, causing them to gain and retain weight, especially around the abdominal area.[7]

Many women with PCOS are often faced with a catch-22 regarding the condition. One of the most effective ways of managing the condition is to lose weight, but often the condition itself makes this difficult.[8] This is why many women struggle with how to lose weight with PCOS – the condition itself seemingly fights back.

Thankfully, while the condition itself has no known cure as of yet, several of its symptoms (including weight gain) can be managed. It all comes down to the approach regarding how to lose weight with PCOS. Because PCOS presents a different set of symptoms per individual, working with your Moshy doctor will give you a clearer idea of where to start, or even how to address the syndrome’s effects on the body.

Is there a natural way for people with PCOS to lose weight?

When it comes to how to lose weight with PCOS, it’s important to keep in mind that you’ll be addressing several factors instead of just one. With that said, there are natural methods for losing weight while dealing with the condition.

One of the most effective ways how to lose weight with PCOS is by regulating your hormones.[9] There are several ways to do so: some women do so through birth control pills or hormone regulators, which also help regulate their menstrual cycles and consequent effects, such as cystic acne and period-related discomfort like dysmenorrhea.[10] In some circumstances, birth control pills also help address amenorrhea, or the absence of menstruation, in adult women. [11]

However, reliance on birth control pills and similar hormone regulators may have adverse effects on other aspects of reproductive health, which is a concern for many women in committed relationships and who wish to become pregnant in the future. [12]

Given this information, many women opt to look for more natural means of hormone regulation, such as regular resistance training and aerobic exercise. [13]

Dietary changes for PCOS, especially proteins and sugars, is another way of regulating hormones.[14] This has the added effect of lessening the impact of insulin resistance, thus helping lower the risks of developing diabetes and pancreatic issues as the individual gets older.[15] 

If you have PCOS and aren’t sure which natural weight loss method is ideal for you, no worries. Your Moshy doctor will guide you through your options, such as identifying what are trans fat foods? and what food helps in losing weight and building a PCOS diet plan around it. They may also prescribe medication for PCOS weight gain or a PCOS appetite suppressant.

Because the medical research surrounding PCOS continues to develop, it’s best to update your Moshy doctor immediately if a certain treatment or prescription on how to lose weight with PCOS is either not working as intended or is causing unexpected effects to your body. This is especially important if you feel that the effects you are experiencing may affect your fertility.

What are some examples of PCOS weight loss strategies?

In addition to hormone regulation, there are other strategies that women, who are looking for ways how to lose weight with PCOS, can utilise.

Regular exercise. A piece of common medical advice for how to lose weight with PCOS is through implementing lifestyle changes.[16] This encompasses regular exercise as well as an overall healthier diet.[17] 

Meal replacement shakes. Together with regular exercise, meal replacement shakes may help address temporary nutrient deficiencies or gaps while transitioning from one diet plan to another. Regular exercise and healthier dietary changes encourage more effective weight loss or maintenance, which will help mitigate the other comorbid symptoms common for women with PCOS.

Managing stress. A supplementary method is reducing stress, causes of social anxiety, and other mentally distressing factors in daily life. Uneven hormone levels are known to lead to the development of mood disorders, leading to women with PCOS seeking treatment for the symptoms of stress or medication for anxiety.[18] 

Treating mood disorders. As mentioned previously, women with PCOS experience various complications as a result of the condition. A common complication is mood disorders. Mood disorders can also cause or exacerbate issues with keeping weight off, and may create a cycle where one encourages the development of the other [19] – poor mental wellness can lead to disordered behaviours regarding weight,[20] which could worsen the symptoms of PCOS.[21] 

Healthier sleeping habits. Adequate rest or sleep is also important when it comes to managing weight loss for PCOS. Inadequate sleep is associated with a higher chance of insulin imbalance and obesity.[22] 

A variety of factors managed through Moshy

Many women feel that they can’t lose weight with PCOS, which is understandable: the condition itself makes it seem impossible to keep weight off, and many women with the condition find themselves fighting an uphill battle with how to lose weight with PCOS.

With Moshy’s help, weight loss for PCOS is achievable. Our doctors, who are fully licenced and registered with AHPRA, are experienced in various means and ways of helping people lose weight, including women with PCOS. Our medical team is also familiar with treating other aspects of personal health and care, including mental wellness, skin care, and hair loss – aspects of personal health that are also commonly impacted by the syndrome.

To begin your journey to a healthier PCOS weight loss plan, simply complete and submit our brief questionnaire, and we’ll connect you with a Moshy doctor at the soonest available schedule.

Losing weight while managing a condition like PCOS often feels like going to battle, but it’s a battle that doesn’t need to be fought alone. We at Moshy want to help you fight back by keeping the weight off.

Moshy is the women's online health platform that supports anti-aging, skin issues, women's health, women's weight loss and more with real health experts.

Get in touch and speak to one of our Moshy doctors today.

22 References


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