PCOS And Dieting

Updated on April 08, 2009
K.S. asks from Hampton, VA
13 answers

I am getting ready to diet and would like ideas from other moms w/ PCOS about how they were able to lose weight. This week I am going to try a salad and soup diet. I am not big on exercise at all, so I am trying the calorie thing and avoiding white carbs and some fats and sugar. I'd like to know what worked for you, be it drugs or specific food combos.
I am currently not on any drugs and when I was on metformin/glucophage I didnt lose any weight.

MORE INFO: after reading a few responses I felt the need to add a little more informaiton. I did join a gym Jan. of 08 and did really well for a month or so, lost 10lbs. But my kids refused to stay in their childcare. I had to quit at the end of the Spring. I do hate exercise, but am willing to do it. My problem is: I HAVE NO ENERGY AT ALL. And am very tired. I wake up tired and I go to bed tired. I am sure part of this has to do w/ my diet and also w/ my Anemia. The easiest thing for me to do right now is walk, which I plan on doing. Problem w/ that is I have Foot issues and am in pain any time I walk for more than about 10minutes. I have a spur and Plantar Fasciitis: I know, its from being so heavy for so long. SOooo, I figure if I can walk a couple times a day for 15min. each time that might help some.
But I do realize of course I have to change the way I eat and I need to exercise. What I am looking for is helpful tips on whats effective for PCOS'ers since its more difficult for us to shed weight.

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answers from Charlottesville on

Here is something you might want to look up. Agrisept-L. i lost 4 lb in two weeks with this. I did change my diet.

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answers from Washington DC on

I have PCOS too and I became a personal trainer - got help from my GYN with metformin, addressed my eating and exercising, went from 200 to 140 lbs and FINALLY was able to get pregnant @ 42 yrs old. (That was a 5 yr odyssey and I'm 47 now) The PCOS was causing infertility issues which it does. Look - the simple carbs do not CAUSE PCOS. PCOS is insulin resistance just as Diabetes is. That's where we will go if we don't get our weight and diet in check. The carbs make the whole problem worse because we do not handle blood sugar the way normal people do. I suggest you educate yourself on how any body works by reading YOU - the Owners Manual or YOU: On a Diet by Dr's Oz and Roizen (Oprah Dr's)That will tell you about what the high blood sugar does to ANYONE and that the high blood sugar in us causes our pancreas to overwork, throws our thyroid out of whack, makes it easy to gain weight, hard to lose and COMPLETELY imbalances our hormones (hence my infertility) The good news is that when you lose your weight and get your food plan under control (follow the diet from The Diabetes Foundation - it's right for everyone!) it is as though you never had PCOS. They don't know what causes it - but they do know that the simple carbs make it worse and render you unable to lose weight. And sorry to tell you the truth about this - exercise manages your blood sugar - you HAVE to at least walk. And salad and soup is not enough to sustain you. You need protein to maintain your muscle mass. Or your body will grab it's calories from your muscle and it will not have enough energy to burn fat. If you starve yourself your body holds onto everything thinking it's not getting fed again and it will make your metabolism grind to a halt. The more muscle you have on your body the more calories you burn. Eat every 3 or 4 hours. Breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks in between. (Stop eating 2 hours before bed) All 6 mini meals should be composed of Protein, Healthy Carb (whole grain or fruit or veggie)and healthy fat. Eating fat free is a myth - total garbage. Especially to us with PCOS - Then you just tell the carbs you eat to race into your bloodstream and shoot your insulin levels up because there is no fat to slow it down and keep your hunger satisfied and regulate your blood sugar.(insulin signals your body to store the calories - make fat) Fat we eat is like a tiny time capsule, regulating how the blood sugar is released - but must be the HEALTHY kind. And the last thing is that you MUST drink water. 8 -8oz glasses a day for everyone. Add 1 glass for every 10 lbs of extra weight you carry. I was drinking 100 oz when I was losing my weight. So to get your metabolism started again the simple things you can do is:
1) Diabetes foundation diet
2) Eat Protein/Healthy Carb/Fat every 3 to 4 hours for 6 mini meals daily
3) Stop eating 2 hrs before bed
4) Drink your water
5) Walk at least 30 minutes daily to start the exercising process until you feel stronger - then you're gonna have to bump it up and maybe start strength training, yoga, Pilate's SOMETHING to maintain your body's muscle

Those simple things will help fire up our metabolism. And if you need a buddy - weight watchers IS great! I did that during my odyssey. Or go online - Biggest Loser or Jillian Michael's - all have member sites for support and tips and recipes!
Good luck - sorry so long winded but this is a complex issue and there is a lot of learning that comes with this diagnosis. It's a multi level recovery process. But start now - because we have the physiology that if it remains unaddressed we don't just stay the same - WE GAIN MORE!
Get on it, Girl! I'm cheering you on!!!
Blessings, S.

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answers from Norfolk on

Try Weight Watchers. It sounds like you need to change your lifestyle NOT just the food. You will not lose weight and keep it off unless you exercise. Exercise does not have to be sweating it out in the gym. Put in a CD and dance with your kids. Take them for a walk, take them swimming and get in the pool with them. Talk to your physician. Fad diets may give you short term results but nothing that will stick. Good luck.

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answers from Washington DC on

No one likes to hear it, but lower calorie intake AND exercise are the healthiest ways to lose weight. I know, I'm working on it, too. My doctor told me to make sure that I am eating enough food. If you eat too few calories, you will actually slow down your metabolism. I also have PCOS and have found that by cutting out refined carbs (mostly) and eating loads of veggies and lean protein, I have dropped 10 pounds in 6 weeks. I also do yoga three times a week and walk for at least 30 minutes a day. I break it into 10-15 minute increments. Yes, make healthy eating choices, but you really can't forget to exercise. It helps keep the body young. My parents are in their 70's but super-active (not exercisers, but physically active) and they look like they're 10 years younger. When I stopped being so active, I felt myself age. Seriously, I got stiff and sore and felt lumpy. Now that I am doing more for myself, I have a ton of energy! Good luck!

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answers from Washington DC on

my friend has PCOS also and she recommended this website: http://www.ovarian-cysts-pcos.com/ndb.html. She said the book is really good....



answers from Roanoke on

PCOS is caused by diet. Sugar and refined carbs (flour) are the causes. Stop ALL sugar, flour, pasta, soda, caffeine. Sugar is addictive. If you have one item, you will get back on the bad food. And it depletes your energy. Exercise is a must if you want to lose the correct weight--the fat. Females, due to our estrogen, will lose glycogen first (quick sugar in the liver), then muscle mass (protein), and last, fat. So this is why you might lose weight at first, but eventually you put it back on, plus an additional 5 pounds. Exercising, 3 days aerobics, 3 days weights, will tell your muscle mass that it is needed and cannot be sacrificed. 30 minutes per day is good. Get your preschoolers involved, maybe with a fun exercise DVD. Teach them exercise and diet is important and routine.

The correct diet is the alkaline diet. You will soon be able to get information on this diet from my web site, www.sevenpillarstotalhealth.com.

Also, check your body temperature at the same time every day, after you have been up and active, say around noon. Do this for 2 weeks. If your body temperature is below normal (below 98.6), you also suffer from toxicity. Toxins prevent the cells from burning fuel in their little incinerators, the mitochondria. This leads to diseases and the accumulation of weight. 70% of your calories are used to maintain body temperature. So if your temp is 1 degree lower, you need a whole lot less calories than a normal temp. For information on cleansing, check out my website. I will be available for internet analysis as soon as I find out the legal parameters.

L. S. Cheek, MD



answers from Norfolk on

Hi there,

Not sure what PCOS is but I have had GREAT success with T-Tapp. You can check it out at www.ttapp.com. I lost 22 inches in 60 days but just doing the 'basic workout plus' everyother day, that's only 15 minutes long.

Good luck, S.



answers from Chicago on

I don't like dieting or exercising and have tried everything that has come up... Unfortunately the only way to keep your weight off, is by exercising or else you'll have to diet your entire life. So for me the ONLY this that has worked is some serious weight watchers, combined with exercising (cardio & weights) 5x a week. Its a pain to do, but pretty motivating cauz u start seeing results fast. Once u get to your target weight, then u can go to the gym only 3x a week to maintain and u've learned how to eat properly with ww. trust me, it works. good luck



answers from Washington DC on

Hi Kristi,

I have PCOS and when I took Metformin, I lost weight then gained more than I lost but I did get pregnant. I'm now not taking it though. For food, I'm following Dr. Mirkin's advice and diet. I eat steel-cut oatmeal for breakfast with dried fruit and seeds (nuts are allowed and pine nuts are yummy but my daughter is severely allergic). I actually put the oatmeal in in the crockpot/slow cooker at night so I have it ready in the morning. I also make a big batch and refrigerate the rest in individual containers so I can microwave it in the morning. This makes it as easy as instant oatmeal which is not as filling or healthy. It keeps me full and gives me good energy without crashing.

For lunch, we have salad with our favorite, reasonably toppings or leftover dinner. And for dinner, I usually make a stew or soup from Dr. Mirkins' website.


I like this way because the info is free and the recipes are all there. His recommendations like avoiding simple carbs and fried foods make sense. A lot of people have misconceptions on what whole grains actually are. I was at the grocery store the other day and the person over the loud speaker was advertising whole grain bread as a source of whole grains. WRONG! As long as the grain is processed, the body sees it as sugar, even if it was a whole grain to begin with.

Anyway, it may take a while to get your family to like the food and figure out which recipes you like best but it's worth it. And that's another thing, the recipes are meant for the whole family. My 2 yr old loves the food. Oh, I leave out the spices like cayenne pepper for the spicy recipes.

Anyway, as for exercise, I was wondering if swimming is an option for you. Carrying or pushing your 2 and 3 yr old and walking in the water may be fun for them and it's great because the water takes the weight off your feet but gives great resistance for your body. 30-60 mins of that will definitely give you a great workout.

Oh, also, I'm not sure how overweight you are, but a lot of people with weight problems have sleep apnea. It may be worth checking that out. That may also be the reason you're tired. My husband felt SO much better when he started wearing his CPAP machine at night.

Hope this helps.



answers from Richmond on


Like the others have said, exercise is extremely important when trying to loose weight. I hate it too, but I've found something that I do love that helps me exercise at the same time and that is Tae Kwon Do. I work out with friends and learn self defense and get to move up through the ranks so I feel like I have a sense of accomplishment. I did weight watchers and it worked great. I've been maintaining my weight for almost 2 years now and it's been wonderful. Hope this helps, God Bless.



answers from Washington DC on

Wow, ya learn something new every day! I'd never heard of PCOS, so I googled and found this.


Seems to me you need to exercise too just to fight off the weight gain you'd get without it. I know, I hate it too, but moving on a regular basis will help you no matter what. I read that you're more likely to develop diabetes and exercise can definitely help with that.

I just went back into the AF reserves and have to be "fit to fight" by the 7th Feb. Yikes! I went from not being able to hold myself in the proper push-up position, to being able to do three weak push-ups in a just a week or so, so go slow and work up. Challenge, but don't hurt yourself. Sore muscles are an excuse to quit for a few days, which gets you nowhere. And my running has gone from 2-3 minutes to 10 in about two weeks. You just gotta work it! Sorry!

If you have a Wii, I heard Wii Fit is great!

Oh and watch for the high fructose corn syrup! It's in things you wouldn't expect to see it in, like bread crumbs and ketchup, Campbell's Healthy Choice tomato soup(!), etc. Read labels rabidly. From what I've seen, it's in a LOT of processed foods, so the raw-er you can get, the better.

Good luck! -S

P.S. When I get a sugar craving, I'll go and get a drop or two (literally ) of honey and it's sooooo sweet it actually heads off the craving and I need to rinse my mouth out with water! BUT check with your doctor before taking this advice, I've heard honey is the worst form of sugar! But I say if it keeps you from eating half a bag of Orange Milanos....lesser of the evils?



answers from Washington DC on

Hi Kristi,
The South Beach!!! The paperback blue book! It goes over what you should eat each day for each meal and provides all recipes. It's awesome and the best part is that your whole way of eating changes. I wouldn't consider it a diet but rather a lifestyle change. I also take supplements from Mannatech which are food supplements that really help. I can give you more info on that if you're interested. Take care, C.



answers from Washington DC on

I too have the exact same problem, or I should say I did.
I weighed 260 and went to the DR. I am currently on metformin. The doctor told me to lose the weigh or be a diabetic. My brother passed away at age 36 due to issues from diabetes. I was not going to let this happen to me.
I started the South Beach Diet. Golden rule: meat , cheese and eggs.. I bought the $5.00 bk at Walmart, look thru it briefly, I did not do phase (1) I went to phase (2) ..I am not a fancy cook, I did it very quick and easy.. rolled up meat w/ a slice of cheese ..etc (NO BREAD)And I didi not do the all lean meat stuff they talk about... Made egg salad, hard boiled eggs, tuna fish salad an so on..and the great thing is eat all you want...At work once nightly I went to the 5th floor , up the steps...took me 2 minutes !!! I too have foot problem, but dealt with the pain.... do the stretches before you go.... stand on steps and lower your heals, this helps....I am tired too , but as you go on this diet about two weeks into it you will feel alot better... you will not see results right off , but within about 15 days you should drop 10 or more pounds... YES you might get tired of meat , cheese and eggs and nuts, but when you can go buy normal clothes IT'S WORTH IT... I do need to go back on mine to maintain every so often... I too have a stressful life... and I hate to cook..... Lazy about that .. and I wanted a quick fix... That was how I did it... email me if you have any more questions on how I did it.... my battle will be for life... PCOS is not easy to live with .. I went from a 2x to a med..... and my first pair of jeans that had a zipper ! since giving birth to my oldest.... 27 yrs ago !!

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