13 Tips To Lose Weight With PCOS

Published on December 1, 2021 and last updated for accuracy on August 13, 2022
13 Tips To Lose Weight With PCOS

As a result of hormonal imbalance, irregular periods, and the development of tiny cysts on one or both of the ovaries, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is commonly known.

As many as 7% of all adult women are affected by this illness.

In women who have PCOS, the hormonal abnormalities, insulin resistance, and inflammation associated with this condition make it extremely difficult to lose weight.

PCOS sufferers, on the other hand, can benefit from a 5-percent weight loss in order to improve insulin resistance, hormonal levels, menstrual cycles, fertility, and overall quality of life.

Here are 13 weight-loss tips for PCOS sufferers:

1. Cut Back on Carbohydrates

Because of carbs’ effect on insulin levels, reducing your intake may help manage PCOS.

As many as 70 percent of women with PCOS develop insulin resistance, which occurs when your cells are unable to recognize the effects of insulin.

In order to regulate blood sugar and store energy, insulin is essential. In both the general population and women with PCOS, elevated insulin levels have been linked to increased body fat and weight gain.

For the first three weeks of the trial, the women with PCOS and insulin resistance consumed 40% carbs and 45% fat, and then 60% carbs and 25% fat for the final three weeks. Each phase saw a 15% protein intake.

The lower-carb, higher-fat phase of the diet resulted in a 30% decrease in insulin levels, although blood sugar levels remained stable.

A low-glycemic diet, on the other hand, may be beneficial to women with PCOS. Food’s glycemic index (GI) tells you just how rapidly it will spike your blood sugar.

During a 12-week period, women ate a normal diet, followed by a low-GI diet. During the low-GI phase, their insulin sensitivity (the ability of the body to utilise insulin effectively) was greatly improved.

SUMMARY: Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may benefit from a low-GI, low-carb diet. As a result, weight loss could be aided.

2. Take In A Lot of Fiber

In women with PCOS, a high-fiber diet may aid in weight loss since fiber may help you feel full after a meal.

At 25 grams per day for women, the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for fiber in the United States is 14 grams per 1,000 calories. However, just 15–16 grams of fiber are consumed on a daily basis by American women on average.

When it comes to insulin resistance, total body fat, and belly fat, women with PCOS were found to have lower levels of fiber intake than those without PCOS.

Higher fiber consumption was linked to reduced body weight in another research of 57 women with this illness.

SUMMARY: Diets high in fiber may assist women with PCOS minimize insulin resistance, weight gain, and excess body fat by increasing satiety.

3. Consume Enough Protein

Blood sugar levels can be stabilized and the sense of fullness can be increased by eating protein.

It may also help you lose weight by reducing your cravings, increasing your metabolism, and controlling your hunger hormones, among other things.

More than 40 percent of the calories in one trial came from protein, while 30 percent came from fat, whereas the other 53 women with PCOS were given a typical diet with less than 15 percent protein and 30 percent fat.

An average of 9.7 pounds (4.4 kilograms) was shed by women in the high-protein group compared to the control group after six months of eating a high-protein diet.

Add protein to your meals or choose high-protein snacks if you’re concerned that you’re not getting enough protein. Eggs, nuts, dairy products, meat, and shellfish are all high-protein foods.

SUMMARY: Women with PCOS may find that increasing their protein consumption aids in weight loss. Eggs, almonds, and shellfish are all high-protein foods that can be added to your diet.

4. Consume A Balanced Diet Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

When it comes to PCOS, eating a diet high in healthy fats may help you feel more satiated after meals and help you shed pounds and other symptoms.

A low-fat diet (55 percent carbohydrates, 18 percent protein, 27 percent fat) was compared to a higher-fat diet in a trial of 30 women with PCOS (41 percent carb, 19 percent protein, 40 percent fat).

Fat loss was greater on the higher-fat diet than on the lower-fat diet, which also resulted in a decrease in lean body mass.

Adding healthy fats to meals, despite the fact that they are high in calories, can actually increase stomach volume and lessen appetite. You may be able to consume less calories during the day as a result.

Avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, and nut butters are all good sources of healthful fats. It is possible to boost the satiety of meals and snacks by adding a healthy fat to the protein source.

SUMMARY : Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may benefit from eating more healthy fats. Higher fat consumption has been shown to lower appetite and lead to greater weight reduction in studies.

5. Foods That Have Been Fermented

Metabolic and weight-maintenance processes may be influenced by the health of the gut microbiome.

Studies have shown that women with PCOS may have a lower level of good gut bacteria than women who do not have the disorder.

Weight loss may benefit from specific probiotic strains as well, according to new research.

Probiotic-rich meals like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and other fermented foods can help boost the population of good bacteria in your digestive system.

The same results can be achieved by taking a probiotic pill.

SUMMARY: Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may have reduced levels of helpful gut microbes. Probiotic-rich meals and supplements may help you lose weight by supporting the bacteria in your stomach.

6. Eat mindfully

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are three times as likely to suffer from an eating disorder than the general population.

One possible answer is mindful eating. Increased awareness of physical cues such as hunger and fullness can be achieved using this method.

If you’re struggling with binge eating or emotional eating, mindfulness-based approaches to food may assist.

Then there’s the fact that mindful eating habits have been connected to weight loss.

SUMMARY: Eating mindfully can help you become more aware of your body’s internal hunger cues, which may help you lose weight. In particular, women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are more susceptible to developing eating disorders.

7. Limit Processed Foods and Added Sugars

You can also help yourself lose weight with PCOS by limiting your intake of harmful foods.

Insulin resistance, which is linked to obesity, can be caused by eating a diet high in processed foods and added sugars.

With PCOS, a woman’s ability to digest sugar may differ from that of a woman without the condition.

After eating the same quantity of sugar, women with PCOS have higher blood sugar and insulin levels than those who do not have this disorder.

Minimally processed, genuine meals not only elevate blood sugar less than highly processed foods, they are also more gratifying, according to recent research.

PCOS sufferers are advised to reduce their intake of added sugars and processed carbohydrates in order to manage symptoms and maintain a healthy weight.

Among the foods that are high in added sugar and processed carbs include cakes, cookies, candies, and even fast-food restaurants.

SUMMARY: Processing foods, including refined starches and added sugars, can lead to weight gain because they raise blood sugar levels.

8. Aim to Lessen Inflammation

The body’s natural response to illness or injury is inflammation.

Obesity has been linked to chronic inflammation in women with PCOS. Inflammation may be exacerbated by diets high in sugar and processed.

Researchers found that women with PCOS who ingested 75 grams of glucose, a specific type of sugar, saw an increase in blood indicators for inflammation.

It is possible that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, and omega-3-rich meals like fatty fish could reduce inflammation.

SUMMARY: Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are more likely to be inflamed, which has been related to obesity. Inflammation may be prevented by eating a diet rich in whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables.

9. Make Sure You Don’t Under Eat

In the long run, restricting your caloric intake can reduce your metabolism. Short-term weight loss is possible, but over time, the body adapts to calorie restriction by reducing the number of calories it burns, which can lead to weight gain.

A negative impact on appetite-regulating hormones can also be caused by consuming too few calories.

According to one study, restricted dieting was found to alter the levels of the hormones leptin, peptide yy, insulin, and ghrelin; these hormones enhanced hunger and caused weight gain.

Consuming more whole meals and avoiding sugary and processed foods may be a better approach than counting calories.

It has been found that a diet high in vegetables and whole foods, while low in refined grains, added sugars, and other high-calorie items can help people lose weight without restricting calories.

SUMMARY: Weight gain may result from long-term calorie restriction, which may slow down your metabolism. Instead of restricting your food intake, strive to consume a diet rich in complete, unprocessed foods.

10. Make Time for Regular Physical Activity

Exercise is a tried-and-true method for shedding pounds.

PCOS patients shed 2.3 percent body fat in a 12-week study including 16 women who conducted 45–60 minutes of cardio three times per week.

Women with PCOS shed less fat than women without the illness, but they did lose belly fat and improve insulin sensitivity as a result of the exercise plan.

Women with PCOS may benefit from weight training as well.

Forty-five women with PCOS participated in a trial in which they lifted weights three times each week. While testosterone and blood sugar levels were reduced, they shed abdominal fat and increased lean body mass.

SUMMARY: Women with PCOS who engage in regular cardio and weight training may be able to reduce their body fat and increase their insulin sensitivity.

11. The Importance of Getting Enough Sleep

It’s becoming more and more common knowledge that getting enough sleep is essential for good health.

Excessive daytime slumber, sleep apnea, and insomnia are all possible side effects of PCOS.

Ghrelin and cortisol, hunger-inducing chemicals, are activated when you don’t get enough sleep, which may encourage you to eat more during the day.

Being overweight or obese is linked to a lack of sleep, according to a study.

Sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of obesity, according to a study of 18 studies.

Additionally, the study found that for every additional hour of sleep per night, the BMI decreased by 0.35 kg per square meter.

Furthermore, studies have shown a connection between fat loss and better-quality sleep.

There is an increased risk of gaining belly fat in healthy adults who sleep less than six hours per night than those who sleep between six and eight hours each night.

SUMMARY: Obesity is associated with insufficient sleep. Increasing the amount of time you spend sleeping may help you lose weight, according to studies on healthy adults.

12. Control Your Anxiety

Managing your stress can help you control your weight because stress is linked to weight growth.

Cortisol, a hormone produced by your adrenal glands in response to stress, levels rise in the body. Weight gain and insulin resistance are connected to chronically high cortisol levels (39).

The accumulation of abdominal fat is exacerbated by long-term stress. Inflammation caused by abdominal fat causes your body to produce more cortisol, resulting in a vicious cycle.

Stress management is the key to lowering cortisol levels.

Meditation, yoga, and spending time in nature have been shown to reduce levels of cortisol.

SUMMARY: High amounts of cortisol, a stress hormone, have been related to insulin resistance and abdominal obesity. Yoga, meditation, and spending time in nature can all reduce cortisol levels.

13. Consider Supplements

Supplements may be helpful for people with PCOS in managing their weight and symptoms.

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may benefit from taking a supplement called Myo-inositol. Helps to enhance insulin sensitivity. Inositol is connected to B vitamins. It is a specific type of inositol known as Myo-inositol.

Myo-inositol was given to half of 92 women with PCOS in a randomized trial for 14 weeks. Those taking inositol had weight loss, whilst those taking a placebo had weight gain.

Carnitine, an amino acid present in meat, may also help people lose weight.

Carnitine was found to be more effective than a placebo in 12-week research involving 60 overweight women with PCOS. The carnitine group shed an average of 5.9 pounds (2.7 kg), whereas the placebo group gained only 0.02 pounds (0.1 kg).

SUMMARY: The supplementation of Myo-inositol and carnitine may help women with PCOS lose weight and reduce certain symptoms.

For women with PCOS, losing weight can be a challenge.

Inflammatory foods, such as refined carbohydrates and highly processed foods, should be avoided in favor of whole foods, protein, healthy fats, and fiber-rich foods. In addition, several vitamins may be beneficial.

A person’s way of life should be taken into account as well. Exercise, stress management, and sleep all have a role in losing weight.

If you have PCOS and are having difficulty reducing weight, you may want to try some of the suggestions provided above.

Understanding PCOS

Symptoms of the polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) include irregular or nonexistent menstrual cycles.

Cysts in the ovaries are common in women with PCOS, due to an overabundance of androgens in the body.

Overweight or obese status is present in around half of all women diagnosed with the illness. Typical signs and symptoms are:

  • acne
  • hirsutism (excessive hairiness)
  • male pattern baldness

Women with PCOS, especially if their symptoms are not controlled, may also be more vulnerable to:

  • heart disease
  • endometrial cancer
  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure

In many cases, women with PCOS are able to regulate their symptoms and lower their chance of developing other health issues by making healthy food and lifestyle choices.

What Impact Does PCOS Have on my Diet?

In women with PCOS, insulin levels tend to be higher than normal. You create insulin in your pancreas, which is a hormone. It aids in the conversion of sugar (glucose) into energy for the cells in your body.

Blood sugar levels can rise if you don’t create enough insulin. Also, if you are insulin resistant, this can occur because your insulin is not being utilized properly.

Insulin resistance can cause your body to pump out excessive amounts of insulin in an effort at maintaining normal blood sugar. The ovaries can create more testosterone if insulin levels are too high.

A higher-than-normal body mass index may also contribute to insulin resistance. In women with PCOS, weight loss can be difficult because of insulin resistance.

Weight loss and insulin resistance can be more difficult to control if you eat a diet high in refined carbs such as starchy or sugary foods.


  1. https://www.verywellhealth.com/pcos-and-weight-loss-why-it-is-so-hard-2616492
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-lose-weight-with-pcos
  3. https://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/a20650974/pcos-weight-loss/
Read Next
Losing Weight During Menopause (and Keep It Off) Losing Weight…