Managing Your Weight With PCOS
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Weight gain is a concern for many women, but when living with PCOS the imbalance in hormones can lead to a frustrating yo-yo battle with weight. Extra inches around the lower abdomen, hips and thighs also increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other complications related to PCOS. If you are a woman living with polycystic ovary syndrome and are in need of ways to manage your weight, here are a few tips on how to do just that!
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Why Does PCOS Cause Weight Gain?
Insulin is a hormone that helps convert sugars and starches from foods into energy. PCOS makes it difficult for the body to use insulin, causing insulin and sugar (glucose) to collect in the bloodstream.
The increased insulin levels also increase the production of the male hormones, androgens. In women with PCOS, the androgens can trigger acne, irregular periods, body hair growth and weight gain. The extra weight tends to collect around the abdomen, where men usually carry weight.
Losing weight with PCOS isn’t simply about looking good and feeling better; it’s also about preserving your life. Abdominal fat is considered the most dangerous kind of fat because it can lead to other serious health conditions. The following four tips can be used to help keep your weight in check.
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1. Add foods into your diet that help with balancing hormones.
The Earth is filled with edible vegetation that can serve as natural substitutes for balancing hormones. Incorporate clean proteins such as soaked or sprouted nuts, beans, seeds, quinoa, lentils, wild caught fish or organic pasture-raised/grass fed chicken, turkey or beef. Add antioxidant-rich vegetables that are dark and green such as kale or spinach and brightly colored veggies such as green, yellow or red bell peppers. Starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash and yucca are also great options to add to round out the meal. For seasoning, use healing spices and herbs such as cayenne, garlic, ginger and cumin.
2. Engage in activity daily.
Whether you hit the treadmill, jog a bike trail, take a bike ride or engage in dance or yoga, getting at least 30 minutes of rigorous activity daily is a great way to keep hormones in check and to get into shape.
3. Avoid alcohol and sugary foods.
Alcohol converts to sugar once the body processes it and combining those empty calories along with sugary foods will pack on the pounds quickly. Avoiding these foods will help to reduce the amounts of fat the body stores and will keep the bulge away from those problem areas. It’s better to put live foods into your body such as vegetables and fruits low in sugar.
4. Keep stress levels low.
Stress can cause weight gain and retention of unwanted fat around the midsection. Reduce your stress levels by performing yoga, practicing daily meditation, taking relaxing walks or by eliminating the cause of your stress all together. Whatever it is that you need to do to keep your cool, make a commitment to do so on a daily basis.
Visit the BlackDoctor.org Womens Health center for more helpful articles and tips.