It has been quite a long and painful journey from discovering I had PCOS to finally reversing it. So to share the story, I did a video with the help of some amazing friends that are huge supporters in helping me get the word out there. It can be done! PCOS can be reversed NATURALLY! You just have to be willing to BE THE CHANGE!!!! http://youtu.be/HcEudUdirEQ
Does it frustrate you to hear that you must lose weight in order to improve your PCOS symptoms when PCOS makes it difficult to lose weight? Yup, that's how I felt, too. Not all women with PCOS are overweight, but it's still important to maintain a healthy body. Check out this article by Katie Humphrey for more information on maintaining a healthy weight with PCOS as we get older. WHY WOMEN WITH PCOS ARE AT PARTICULAR RISK WHEN WEIGHT GAIN SHIFTS WITH AGE Weight gain shifts as we grow older, with younger women tending to gain weight on their thighs and hips. That is me for sure. I pack it all on in the thighs and butt. But after menopause, weight gain often moves to the midsection, increasing the chance of developing the cluster of risk factors for heart disease called metabolic syndrome (syndrome x), which is closely linked with PCOS. Those of us with the hormonal imbalance caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome are already at greater risk of the onset of metabolic syndrome because of numerous "shared" symptoms. These include high blood pressure, increased levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol and reduced HDL "good" cholesterol. An expanding waist measurement is now thought by many doctors to be a more accurate predictor of a heart attack than overall weight. Heart disease kills up to almost six times more women than all forms of cancer combined. It's not all bad news, however. Luckily, deep abdominal fat, which is stored around our internal organs, responds more quickly to regular exercise than other kinds of fat. So you have two choices. Either work out a safe exercise program based on the advice of your doctor in conjunction with your PCOS treatment program. Or, if you're experiencing success, be sure to stick with the exercise regime you already follow to help better manage PCOS symptoms like weight gain and avoid the onset of metabolic syndrome. Weight loss will come when you're exercising and making healthy choices. Just be patient, give it time, and focus mostly on wanting to be healthier. If you don't need to lose weight, it's still important to exercise and take care of your body. This week, take a step in the right direction and increase your exercise, whether you're a beginner or a fitness junky. Get moving and you'll feel better and, ultimately, see the effects on the outside! Read My Story and how I reversed my own PCOS and learn about how my Wellness Support Challenge Groups help others reverse PCOS symptoms
New research has shown that diet and exercise have different effects on PCOS-linked weight. For four months, Karolinska University in Sweden put 57 overweight PCOS women on a supervised diet, a supervised exercise program, or both. On average, their body mass index (weight) was reduced 6% by the diet program, 3% by the exercise and 5% by the combined diet and exercise. But there was a distinction as to where the body fat was lost. Lower body fat and lean body mass were decreased in the dietary group, whereas upper body fat was reduced and muscle mass maintained by exercise alone. In other words, a healthier diet reduced lower body fat while exercise reduced upper body fat. Amazingly, 69% of the women had a significantly improved menstrual pattern while 34% of the women ovulated, regardless of whether they did diet alone, exercise alone, or did both. Plus, they didn't have to resort to drugs like birth control pills or metformin. Best of all, the women were able to maintain their lower weight and better monthly cycles for several years after the program ended. The message seems to be that if you want to improve your monthly cycle and shed fat, you should start a healthier diet. Or you can exercise. Either one. Or, you can do both! I strongly suggest starting with the diet aspect. 90% of the effort required to reverse PCOS is diet. You can exercises for hours every day but if you continue to eat processed carbs and sugar, your progress will be minimal. The main thing is just to get started and BE THE CHANGE! I have reversed my own PCOS symptoms with the support of the beachbody community. See my story. It was a long and hard road. I had lots of cheat days.... who am I kidding, I had cheat weeks! But I always got back on the wagon. Nothing worth while is ever easy. I got down on myself at times and felt that if I had another ultrasound where my ovaries looked like grapes, I would scream!!!!! But the day finally came when I had a single mature follicle. It took almost a year to change my lifestyle. I found that the key was not doing it alone. It is easy to get sidetracked when you are only counting on yourself not to fail. Having a community of people supporting me was key. Now I am a leader in that community helping others with the same struggle. It can be done. So, where will you get started or take your lifestyle plan to the next level? Let me know how I can help Smooches, Coach Jenn Graham
Of course Fruit is good for you. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. That being said, women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) must be cautious when eating fruit. This is because we usually have insulin resistance or some type of blood sugar issue like hypoglycemia, pre-diabetes or diabetes. Fruit is an important part of our diets, but eating it frequently and in large portions can spike blood sugar levels which cause the body to produce too much insulin (which can lead to insulin resistance and other health conditions over time). This is due to the fact that the body quickly uses up the sugar (fructose) found in fruit – that’s why it’s known as a “simple carb.” Simple carbs give you energy quickly and then the "avalanche effect" sets in. So eat fruit in moderation. Here are some pointers for eating fruit if you have PCOS:So at the end of the day, yes fruit is your friend but in moderation and when paired with protein. So don't swear off fruit just be mindful of how much and when you eat it. There are so many benefits of fruit, we just need to make sure the dis benefits are kept in check. Check out some of my personal recipes on my nutrition page.
- Eat fruits low on the Glycemic Index (www.glycemicindex.com). You want to choose foods with a number lower than 50. These fruits will have a slower-digesting effect on your body, thus producing less insulin when consuming and keeping blood sugar levels steady. These foods include apples, berries, kiwis, etc. Avoid melon fruit varieties.
- Eat fruits before noon (12:00pm) or 1:00pm at the latest. The earlier you eat fruits, the more readily your body will use up their energy. You may find that eating fruit later in the day will cause your blood sugar to spike, thus causing fatigue and, worst of all, food cravings. If you have ever had mid-night cravings, you know what I am talking about.
- Always eat fruit with some form of a protein. Never, ever eat fruit alone! I like to mix a bag of berries with nuts (walnuts or almonds).