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How Does a PCOS Diet Differ from a Regular Weight Loss Diet?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects about 13% of women of child-bearing age. Sadly, PCOS often is accompanied by weight gain, fertility issues, and type II diabetes. A diagnoses of PCOS may mean that the ovaries are generating an excessive amount of hormones creating an imbalance in the body.

Though there are many medications available to address PCOS, a change in diet will have a substantial impact on bringing balance back to hormone levels. Losing weight with PCOS may seem like a challenge, but a PCOS diet is an all-natural way to restore your health and improve fertility outcomes. To learn more about the best diet for PCOS weight loss, read on.

A PCOS diet vs. Regular Weight Loss Diet

When most women decide to shed extra weight, it is common to do nothing more than cut calories. Though this sounds simple enough, severely restricting calories will only result in some short-term weight loss. However, this drastic reduction in energy intake will not produce lasting results. A low-calorie diet may even lead to feelings of low energy.

A PCOS treatment diet aims to address the underlying issue of hormonal imbalance. In addition to the imbalance of estrogen, it is estimated that between 50% and 75% of women with PCOS are also experiencing insulin resistance.

Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) always have the goal of bringing back harmony and balance in an effort to restore health. For the treatment of PCOS, diet must be specifically tailored to address imbalances as well as energy stagnation. The principles of TCM have been shown to work in collaboration with a PCOS diet for lasting weight loss to help reduce the unwelcome symptoms, such as obesity or excess hair growth known as hirsutism, that come with the conditions. Because PCOS is associated with obesity and hormonal imbalances, nearly all PCOS treatments will involve bringing balance to the hormones, correcting insulin sensitivity, and reducing androgen levels.

Chinese Medicine’s Viewpoint on PCOS

The TCM viewpoint on PCOS, like with all disease, is to correct disharmony and imbalance. When Qi, blood, Yin, and Yang are in proper balance, the body is seen as disease-free. Deficiency or stagnation of kidney Qi, spleen deficiencies, and the presence of phlegm and dampness must be resolved and restored to proper balance using a PCOS treatment diet to help bring relief to symptoms and improve fertility.

The best diet for PCOS weight loss will be specialized to help harmonize the body’s energies for optimal health. How the diet is specialized will depend on each person’s unique deficiencies and pattern of disharmony.


Key Principles of a PCOS Diet

Eating a proper diet has been shown to regulate periods, lower hirsutism, and improve other PCOS symptoms naturally. Losing weight with PCOS will have help with the following outcomes:

• Reducing inflammation: Carrying extra weight is often accompanied by inflammation. This is due to an increase in inflammatory cytokines that are produced by the body’s fat cells. This increase in inflammation can also negatively affect the body’s insulin receptor function. Losing weight with PCOS will reduce body fat and, along with it, reduce inflammation.

• Regulating insulin levels: Insulin resistance is often present with PCOS. Women with insulin resistance can make insulin, but their bodies are not able to properly use it. When accompanied by obesity, insulin resistance becomes worse. This greatly increases the chances of developing type II diabetes.

As insulin levels rise, this can have an affect on the levels of luteinizing hormone which, in turn, lead to an increase in the production of androgens. A PCOS treatment diet is specialized to ensure that hormone levels are brought back into proper balance.

• Supporting hormonal balance: Having excess amounts of body fat, known as adipose tissue, will also drive hormonal imbalance. As sex hormone-binding globulin falls due to high levels of insulin, women may see the promotion of free androgens which can negatively affect fertility. The best diet for PCOS weight loss will reduce body fat and restore hormonal balance.

How a PCOS Treatment Diet Works

Losing weight with PCOS involves nourishing Yin, Qi, and blood. The foods eaten have just as much of an impact as eliminating the PCOS foods to avoid. Though a PCOS diet will be tailored to a patient’s needs, most will involve organic vegetables, lean proteins, and beneficial fats.

• Fruits and Vegetables:  Some healthy PCOS diet options include fruits and vegetables that do not increase insulin levels in an effort to manage insulin resistance. Foods such as leafy greens and berries are great options. Including non-starchy vegetables such as asparagus, cabbage, and broccoli will also help to provide nourishment and lead to weight loss.

• Meats and Whole Grains: Adding lean meats and whole grains such as rice will provide nourishment to the kidneys while helping to strengthen the spleen. They will even improve and regulate the flow of Qi while helping the body to generate blood.

• PCOS foods to avoid: PCOS foods to avoid include anything that will lead to dampness, inflammation and Qi stagnation. Avoid dairy as it can weaken the spleen and lead to phlegm. Refined carbohydrates, such as flour and sugar, will require insulin to metabolise and are best avoided. Sweets, fried foods, or anything that is highly processed foods must be avoided. Because alcohol consumption can also contribute to phlegm and dampness, those with PCOS should steer clear of it.


Related: PCOS Diet – Foods To Fight PCOS Naturally

The best diet for PCOS weight loss will be specialized to ensure that the underlying imbalances are properly addressed. It will also involve steering clear of the PCOS foods to avoid. Be sure to include plenty of lean meats and non-starchy fruits and vegetables while avoiding sweets, dairy, and anything that is highly processed. To learn more about PCOS diet for weight loss, reach out to a TCM practitioner your options.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our consultation page where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.

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