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TOPIC: Best Diet/Exercise Plan for PCOS

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November 2, 2010 4:44 AM
I was recently diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome(pcos) and it is a very common disorder where your ovaries are not in proper working order. This leads to weight gain due to the imbalance of hormones. BLAHHH! It is known to be much more difficult for PCOS women to lose in..It takes longer and more of an effort. Which is fine with me, I love to workout! A great stress reliever.
My Caloric Intake is about 1,200-1500 calories a day. Sugar Free and Low Glycemic Index type foods.
I am burning about 800 calories a day with my workouts. I do 5-6 days cardio and 2-3 days/wk strength training. The weight, however just seems to remain stagnant! Starting to get very discouraged as all the hard work just doesn't seem to be paying off. I was wondering if maybe I'm not doing something right?
I've been to my family DR. and my Ob/Gyn and they both say I am on the right track w/ the diet and exercise plan I have developed. But they want to see a faster weightloss. SOOOO......I am asking for any advice you all can give me:) Thank you so much!!!
November 2, 2010 5:17 AM
oh mel, how awful, i'm on a lot of medication, an i thought i would never loose weight, is it possible that u may not be eating enough especially with ur work out, u no eating to few calories can be as bad as eating to many, an if ur doing the same thing every day, ur matablism could slow down, an go into starvation mode, u need to shake it up a bit, becouse it sounds to me ur stagnent, i do the diet chef an even doing that i have to take a day out, not over eating u understand but eating some thing different every fortnight or so, becouse if ur feeling bored an fedup, ur body will reflect the same, where do u live i'm in united kingdom

chin up babe keepsmile :):):)ing xx
November 2, 2010 7:13 AM
I live In Michigan USA:) Thanks for the tip!
November 2, 2010 7:16 AM
My sister has this and she basically eats similar to what a diabetic would eat. She has encorperated a lot of raw veggies and fish into her diet. She also doesn't drink any sweet tea or sodas. She just drinks water and unsweetened tea. She does the Gluercerna shakes and says they are pretty good.
November 2, 2010 7:22 AM
I have this too. I also find it incredibly difficult to lose weight. My doctor has offered to put my on metformin (it's typically a diabetic drug that also helps PCOS sufferers to lose weight), but I'm too stubborn and I want to lose weight without prescription drugs.

You should check out It's an online community for PCOS sufferers, and there's lots of really knowledgeable people there that can give you better advice than me. I haven't found anything that really works for myself yet, so I can't exactly give you advice :-).

But I also found it's an all natural supplement that's supposed to help PCOS sufferers. I'm thinking of buying it, but haven't done it yet. I think worst case scenario, it looks like a really expensive vitamin. But might be worth the try? I'm going to show it to my doctor first before I buy.
November 2, 2010 7:32 AM
Hi Mel

I also have PCOS and yes you have to work harder at losing AND it takes longer noway

However, I still lose 1lb per week and put this down to the fact that I'm consistently inconsistent!! lol

Basically that means that one week I'll do 6 days exercise, the next week I'll do 4. the next 4, the next 7, the next 3........ This is not planned, this is just how I am!

Eating is the same, one day I'll eat 1400, then I'll eat 1250, then I'll have a cheat day when I wouldnt even count how many!!

I go with the school of though that you have to keep your body guessing. And that it gets used to a new regime far too quickly.

Oh, and I also take oil of evening primrose to balance hormones, plus a multi vit. And somtimes I take chromium which helps to balance sugar, but you shouldnt need that if you stick to low GI/no sugar !! (I don't!)

Keep at it hun. But try and swap things around. It's all a bit of trial and error to find what works for you

Good luck flowerforyou
November 2, 2010 7:59 AM
I believe that betty is on the right track. You are eating too little.
November 2, 2010 3:33 PM
More soup, hot beverages, and raw veggies. Warm up, but don't cook, the raw veggies, if cold ones are unappetizing.

Make sure to get enough sleep. When not sleeping well, cut back even further on carbs in general, but make sure to allow some in the late PM, if you find that night carb restriction is adding to the insomnia. Insomnia makes me even more carb sensitive, but I need some PM carbs to sleep :-0

Work on stress reduction.

Stress hormones and insomnia seem to cause the same symptoms as the PCOS in me. It's like a triple whammy. The PCOS eased up with weight loss, but I'm still very affected by hunger and weight gain from stress and insomnia, and when things calm down I drop a couple pounds in just a week or two :-0

Also I think I don't seem to get any hunger relief from fruits. Fruit sugars can be weird for some people. When I'm struggling with weight gain, I cut back on fruits.
Edited by hunterr On November 2, 2010 3:36 PM
November 2, 2010 3:53 PM
I am currently reading Jillian Michaels book "Master your Metabolism" and it talks a lot about how our surroundings and what we eat effect our hormones which then effect our metabolism. She mentions PCOS in it too so I recommend picking it up.
November 2, 2010 10:48 PM
I've always heard that lower carbs help. But its true you might need to eat more. I was told last year that I had PCOS and I end up eating some of my exercise calories and have managed to lose at least 2lbs a week. I've been doing a mix of walking, zumba and now push ups.
November 3, 2010 12:02 PM
I was diagnosed with PCOS about 3 years ago. Now I'm having trouble having a baby and difficulty losing weight? ]What?? That's just not fair. Okay, I'm done venting and I'll answer your question.

There's a pregnancy thread on here somewhere where women talk about PCOS, getting pregnant, etc. Maybe you should try to find it for more info. For me to lose weight, I have to consistently eat around 1200-1400 calories per day and do moderate workouts about twice a week. I've never worked out more, so I don't know if working out more would help or not. My doctor told me to try a low glycemic index diet, and I just can't make myself give up carbs.

I tried Metformin (glycophage), and it didn't help me lose weight (or get regular periods). It did, however, cause me to experience almost all of the negative symptoms associated with it. I took it for about 3 months before stopping. I just couldn't handle the symptoms.

Good luck, and I know there's alot of information out there about PCOS and dieting.
November 4, 2010 5:47 AM
Thank you all for the advice! This battle will be won eventually! It doesnt seem fair that PCOS women have to work harder and it takes longer to lose...but either way Im doing it for a healthy life and a healthy growing family! Thanks again! Feel free to add me if you'd like!
November 5, 2010 12:13 AM
I'm new and have PCOS as well. Since my diagnosis in '07 I started on the Metformin, Spironolactone and a progesterone only birth control pill. For the first time ever I started losing weight when I dieted and exercised. As of the end of last year I had lost about 60 lbs. I was going to the gym almost every day and working really hard. I had a death in the family last December and have since gained about 35 back due to my tendency towards emotional eating. I have lit a fire in myself to get back on track so I came to this site a few weeks ago. Since then I've lost 6 lbs. I don't know if I could have done this without my meds because I tried for years and nothing. If you're in the Bay Area they have a PCOS clinic affiliated with UCSF that knows what they're doing.

I try to eat organic foods because I've read that the hormones and what not in the non-organic foods can wreak havoc on your system, especially if you have PCOS since we're battling with our hormones already. My rule is when I read a label, if the ingredients aren't something that I can find in nature then I don't buy it. I have my weak days too but overall it really helps me.
July 18, 2012 3:55 AM
I don't know if my plan is best for PCOS, but I have lost 88lbs in a year. I eat as much organic as I can get my hands on. I also don't consume white carbs. I try and limit sugar. I know the biggest tip is never drink your calories, that was huge for me. Good luck!
July 18, 2012 4:27 AM
what is pcos please let me introduce about it..
August 23, 2012 10:03 PM
i too have been struggling to lose weight and have been diagnosed with PCOS a few years ago. My doctor said that the biggest thing is, is to get rid of the carbs, also to add exercise, and it doesn't have to be alot, the biggest thing when it comes to exercise is to make little changes like taking the stairs rather than the elevator, stopping and taking a short walk. Although I have been doing this I too continue to struggle with losing weight. Another thing that I found that helped was having a friend that we can keep in track, and encourage you to make the right choices.
August 23, 2012 10:05 PM
Ive lost 185 pounds and I too have PCOS. I found for me the best was to zig zag my calories....I try not to eat carbs too often with my evening meal. Most of my food is unprocessed and that seemed to work for me.
August 23, 2012 10:40 PM
I've had very good luck with my low carb/low fat/high protein diet.

I'm finally even having regular cycles for the first time in my life.
August 23, 2012 11:24 PM
OP I'm confused. You appear to almost be at your goal weight having lost an impressive amount of weight. What exactly is not working for you?
August 24, 2012 1:57 AM
Hey, I would recommend Metformin. I took it to help me lose weight and also to help me get pregnant with my son. I concieved on the third month of taking it. The side effects can be very nasty but if you build up to the recommended dosage it can be a great medication. Also be careful that you eat the right foods on it, lots of fatty foods can make you feel sick. In saying that a friend of mine with PCOS took it with no side effects at all.
August 24, 2012 5:02 AM
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Hello, I was just diagnosed with PCOS. I am 25 years old and have always been told i had a hormonal imbalance since i was 20 years old. I have since moved to germany because my husband was stationed here and the army doc noticed my hormonal imbalance and referred me to a specialist. (Also my testosterone level was high) The german doctor (endocrinologist) diagnosed me with pcos. I thought to myself why did it take a german doctor 2 seconds to diagnose me with this after the ultrasound and all the american doctors would only tell me hormonal imbalance. He wants me to begin metformin and I am a little nervous about it because i am super sensitive to meds. I hope it helps. I guess i have a slightly elevated glucose level as well. Also, my husband has a low sperm count. Fertility is really against me for some reason and it makes me sad. Anyways, i have started to eat healthier at 1200 calories a day and i have lost 6 pounds in 2 weeks. I eat more protein and less carbs. My favorite breakfast is 2 medium eggs (no salt) and a kiwi. For a snack i like the light string cheese or a greek yogurt. For lunch i chop up some lettuce and put 4oz chicken on top and some tuna (watered) dinner i do whole wheat pasta, steak or a lean cuisine. I love this site because it is nice to look up the calories and ingredients before you decide what you should eat. Other snacks i like are celery, carrots, pears, tomatoes and dessert i do the whole fruit mango bars which are 60 calories. I also love blueberries and raspberries. Now you just decide which fruit you would like for the day and try to stick to one fruit a day since you want to limit sugar intake. I walk about 30 minutes every day and i like to play kinect zumba. I have a long way to go on my eating healthier journey but i have faith in losing this weight and maintaining. =) Best of luck!
Edited by AlyssaB43 On August 24, 2012 5:17 AM
August 24, 2012 10:46 AM
I was diagnosed with PCOS a little over a year ago and have struggled with my weight my whole life. After my diagnosis I went into sort of a depression. I thought I was turning into an ugly man (because of the list of symptoms I've read PCOS can cause). I recently switched doctors and my new doctor is amazing! If you live near the Dayton area in Ohio I HIGHLY recommend Dr Dale Drollinger. He changed my whole view on PCOS, it is no longer a monster ruining my life, but now is a slight bump in the road that I have to navigate over. I was at my heaviest 4 days ago at 180 and after starting Yaz for my periods, Bactrim for some of my other symptoms caused by PCOS such as boils on my thighs, and Adipex for weight loss, I have lost 4.5 pounds in 4 days! I feel amazing. The Adipex has made my appetite practically non existent, and I feel like it has changed my thought process about food, I now eat as my body asks for it (stomach growling) and not just when I'm bored, emotional, or just purely want it. I have also started some exercise and plan on trying to fit more of that into my schedule during the 3 months I'm on the pill to further my success of weight loss. I pretty much eat whatever I want, but just extremely small portions with lots of fruits and veggies. :) I am no longer a victim of PCOS and even if my weight loss stops before my goal weight I see myself differently and that is the best thing to happen to me in a long time! If I can do it, you can! Sometimes simple diet and exercise doesn't cut it. Especially with PCOS but its okay to ask for supplemental help from a Doctor. :)
August 24, 2012 10:49 AM
I posted on this a long time ago. Best advice given....inositonol. I've been taking it and it does seem to help. Try it. Got it at GNC.
August 24, 2012 11:02 AM
Try Primal. Like anything else it will not work for everyone but it has worked wonders for me. I have metabolic syndrome which is along the same lines as PCOS and have struggled for years to lose weight. In past 9 months on mostly Primal/low carb I have lost 100+.
April 28, 2014 4:20 PM
I didn't read through everyone's comments but here is my two cents, it's what my physician told me when I was diagnosed almost 6 years ago. He explained that the reason we produce to much androgen is because those of us with PCOS don't metabolize carbohydrates properly. He gave me three choices (I only remember two as the third was really lousy), they were the Atkins Diet and the SouthBeach Diet. We talked over the pluses and minuses of both and felt that for me and my needs the South Beach Diet and long term lifestyle was the best.

The books and nutritional information that you gain just from reading the South Beach diet on how different foods work together, how to choose good carbs when you do eat them and a whole host of information were fantastic advice. I was able to stay fairly focussed and lost a ton of weight in the first 6 months then maintained for about two more years. Because of kids, laziness etc I fell off the wagon and regained all my weight back.

This past week I have gone back on South Beach, am doing phase one at the moment. It's difficult but not insurmountable and I have already lost almost 6 pounds.

I hope you find this information helpful.


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