With PCOS you don't want to obsess about food since stress is bad. Food is good. It's life-giving. It really doesn't have to be a struggle and there will be different nutritional plans that work for different people.
PLEASE, DO NOT GIVE UP If ONE HASN'T WORKED.
There are some pointers in this page but feel free to experiment (within reason) and find what works for you.
We have a fear around our food and we keep adding labels that criminalize. Healthy or unhealthy. Obese or anorexic. Orthorexic(unhealthy obsession with healthy food) or pure junk food eater. There must be a middle ground that a girl can sustain right?
First things first, if you are overweight then there is an abundance of research stating that even as little as 6%of your body weight may help improve your symptoms. (1)(2)(3)(4) Losing weight and getting proper nutrition is a harder task please ask for a professional's help if you feel like you are not informed enough.
What to Eat?
So as you might guess nutrition is one of the most crucial steps in health. Before all else, food should nourish and replenish. What is true for a healthy person is still true for a healthy person with PCOS. With PCOS though, nutrition has to not only nourish and replenish but it should also detoxify and calibrate the hormones back into its healthy state.
Have a balanced diet
Try to consume a variety of food groups. You have already seen this pyramid. It is very much advised by the nutritionist is to eat from a variety of food groups.
But with PCOS it’s better to tweak this pyramid.
Try to consume fewer carbs meat and dairy and eat a whole bunch of vegetables instead. Sounds simple enough it is simple to actually do it too. A pyramid more like this perhaps. This diet goes extremely close to the vegan or vegetarian lifestyle and these are great options too but you don't necessarily have to be strict vegan to win your war. Just be careful if you are going to make a switch, pay close attention to whether you are replacing all the required nutrition for your health. And if you will eat meat try to avoid processed and hormone filled options. Your body needs macronutrients (protein, carbs and fat) and also micronutrients (vitamins, minerals). An example will be, if you cut back on animal products completely, then restock on plant protein with legumes and nuts.
There is a sea of information You have to do your own research. Nutrition is like a lifelong dance with food. Take a few salsa lessons if you want to salsa. There is a learning curve to all this and once you get the hang of it will feel very natural.
Carbs and sweets
Eating carbs and sugars will increase your insulin so it is a very effective quick fix for fatigue. Sounds too good to be true. Because it is. Because you drop back down as the sugar levels drop and you have spent your emergency funds too. There is a whole post on this “In moderation” is the key word. Eat low glycemic carbs and try to avoid all artificial sweets. A few potatoes or a whole bread sandwich is fine every once in a while. Another key is to eat carbs with some time in between so it is not spiking your insulin.
Fats do affect the insulin levels. So once again “in moderation”. Don’t feel guilty for any fat you consume. Your body really needs good fats but obviously, fats do cause body fat. Not all fats are created equal. An avocado and fries have a different level of nutritional sin. Trans fats are bad, saturated fats are slightly less bad, vegetable oils are good, fish oil is great.
This is another macronutrient. It is a building block for so many of the healing processes like muscle repair and the good news is it is not going to be affecting the insulin balance. That is why so many weight loss programs have lean proteins. This doesn’t only mean chicken breasts. Hormone filled animal products are actually not going to be as beneficial as you would hope. Try for grass fed options. You surely know of sportive people that obsess over proteins going through mountains of powder. However, your daily need of protein does not need to be to that extreme. Your body will eliminate the extra.
Look at this calculation to figure out how much you actually need.
Depending on how healthy and how active you are a.k.a. how much muscle repair you need; the number varies from 0.8 to 1.8. To scale, 0.8 being a healthy couch potato and 1.8 being a professional gymnast with the flu. Pick the number that is appropriate to your activity level then just multiply by your weight in kg(If you don’t know the metric system, 2.2 pounds makes 1 kg).
So an average female(55kg) that does an hour of yoga will need
55*1.1= 60,5 gr of protein
This site does the math for you.
1. Learn to Enjoy Nourishing Food
We are used to artificially enhanced eating experienced with refined and processed and sweetened treats. But life is good because of the bad. You can not go to Disney Land every single day and expect it to be fun non-stop. Try to obtain a fresh mind about your food. This will help you integrate healthier options.
2. Plan your meals ahead
I promise it will get easier as you get used to it. It actually won’t seem like extra work.
Take a trip to a close by farm. Make it a little road trip. Acquaint yourself with the owners, acquaint yourself with nature. Most people will be more than happy to help. If you are eating animal products then see for yourself that they are not pumped with hormones. Then you can stock up. On seasonal veggies and organic dairy maybe even some honey. Fill your freezer and fridge with food that you know will heal you and make you happy. And make sure to exchange a contact number so next time when you don’t have the time to make the trip you can have it shipped.
Comments, questions, or you already have experienced this and you want to add.
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