What Diet is Best for PCOS?
by Herman Weiss on Mar 08, 2023
The best diet for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome!
Did I get your attention yet? I hope so, because this advice will likely be the best you will hear about gaining control over your hormonal balance.
If you have PCOS, you no doubt are familiar with the symptoms – irregular menstrual cycles, acne, mood swings, difficulty losing weight and more. Well, I’m here to tell you that there is hope!
A healthy lifestyle can make a world of difference in treating PCOS. Going online and following influencers with similar stories and symptoms who have beaten back their personal demons and succeeded in achieving their goals whatever they may be (fertility, weight loss, acne hair growth, hair loss etc.) is helpful but needs to be taken with a 'hefty dose of salt'.
Make Your PCOS Diet Work for You
Not everyone presents the same and not every diet that works for one will work for the other. There are quite a large number of presenting symptoms. I often say to my patients "I really do not care about the other 999 if you are that one in a thousand and really you are even more unique than that". A specific recommended diet only works, if it works for you. Ask yourself:
- Do you like the ingredients and flavors in your PCOS recipes?
- Does the prep time fit into your schedule?
If the effort for prepping something is too much or you find the taste of the foods you prepare mediocre, there is no way you are going to be able to sustain this or any other diet. The key too success is that your diet needs to be adapted to you.
Embracing a Healthy PCOS Lifestyle Takes One Step at a Time
The first step to a successful PCOS lifestyle journey is embracing the commitment and understanding it doesn't happen over night. It's always best work with a provider to find the right plan for you.
I had a patient write to me via provationlife.com. She had been using our supplement for three weeks but was frustrated as she had not gotten her period. I had to reiterate that patience is the root to effect change, and the changes she makes now will result in a long term improvement. It often takes weeks or months to see effective changes.
10 Diet and Nutrition Tips to Help Your PCOS Get Under Control
- Eat a nutrient-dense diet full of whole foods – fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and complex carbohydrates. Avoid processed foods as much as possible.
- Increase consumption of omega-3 fatty acids through fatty fish or flaxseed oil supplements.
- Include high fiber foods like cooked legumes (beans and peas) and whole grains to help regulate blood sugar levels.
- Choose good sources of monounsaturated fat, like extra virgin olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds.
- Limit or avoid red meat, sugary drinks and high glycemic carbohydrates (white bread/pasta).
- Stay hydrated – dehydration can worsen PCOS symptoms.
- Reduce stress through exercise, yoga or meditation.
- Get enough sleep – lack of sleep can exacerbate PCOS symptoms.
- Avoid alcohol as it can increase PCOS symptoms.
- Take select vitamins such as vitamin D, calcium, magnesium and zinc to further support hormone balance in PCOS.
These tips may seem intimidating, but with proper planning and discipline you can make the necessary changes to get your PCOS under control! The key is to find a healthy lifestyle that works for you – one that is sustainable and enjoyable at the same time. Good luck on your PCOS journey! Because it is a journey, and all of life is a journey, enjoy it, live it.
Enjoy Life Intentionally
Have fun in the kitchen by experimenting with different types of recipes and ingredients. Challenge yourself to meet reasonable goals and be patient with yourself! A healthy lifestyle isn't just about dieting; it's also about enjoying life in an intentional way. Live like you mean it by taking care of yourself first and foremost! Whatever you do remember that little steps over time lead to big changes so don't give up! You got this! PCOS doesn't have to be the end of your story, but rather the starting point for a healthier and happier life. Use PCOS as an opportunity to take charge of your health and lifestyle and be empowered by it. Good luck!