Did you know that September is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Awareness Month? PCOS is a common hormonal disorder that affects many women worldwide. It is characterized by various symptoms. These include irregular periods, hormonal imbalances, and insulin resistance which can lead to weight gain.
Managing your weight when you have PCOS is crucial for your overall health (skin included!). Dr. Josephine Grace Rojo Tan, Belo Medical Group’s ENT-Facial Plastic Surgeon and a Low Carb & Fasting Practitioner, to share a tailored plan to PCOS patients that can aid in weight loss while also promoting healthy, radiant skin!
The Connection Between PCOS, Weight and Skin Health
PCOS and weight gain often go hand in hand. Women with PCOS tend to have higher levels of insulin in their bodies. This can lead to increased fat storage and make it more challenging to lose weight. Excess weight can exacerbate PCOS symptoms and increase the risk of other health conditions.
Furthermore, PCOS is associated with skin issues such as acne, excess facial hair growth (hirsutism), and skin tags. The hormonal imbalances in PCOS can lead to these skin problems. This is why it is important to address both weight and skin health when managing the condition.
A PCOS Focused Meal Plan For Weight Loss
Creating a meal plan that targets weight loss while considering the unique needs of PCOS patients can be highly effective. Here’s a guide to help you get started:
- Balanced Macronutrients: To reverse PCOS, similar to Diabetes Mellitus, limit insulin-triggering foods. Focus on natural and healthy proteins and fats, and choose low-glycemic, nutrient-dense carbs. This way, you will feel full without raising your blood sugar that also worsens insulin resistance & other symptoms of PCOS.
Suggested food: Green leafy vegetables; cauliflower, broccoli and chayote; avocado, nuts and olives for good sources of fats; fish, seafood, organic meat and poultry products are sufficient to fill one’s plate.
- Fiber-Rich Foods: Fiber helps with digestion, reduces insulin spikes, and contributes to a feeling of fullness, preventing overeating.
Suggested food: Incorporate foods like fruits that are low in sugar (ex. berries), vegetables and certain nuts and seeds into your meals for variety and better nutrient profile.
- Protein-Packed Breakfast: Start the day with a protein-rich breakfast! Protein helps stabilize blood sugar levels and keeps you feeling satisfied throughout the morning.
Suggested food: Greek yoghurt, cheese, malunggay, spinach, broccoli, tofu, beaf, steak, lean pork, oats, quinoa, smoked or cured fish, fresh fish, white meat chicken
- Controlled Portion Sizes: Be mindful of portion sizes to avoid overeating. Consider using smaller plates and utensils to help control portions visually.
- Time-restricted Eating: Also known as Intermittent Fasting (IF), women with PCOS can benefit from this too. Whether you eat in bulk or in small, frequent meals, limiting your meal hours to 12 hours can already do wonders. There are many IF schedules to accommodate every woman’s lifestyle. The basic 12:12 means 12 hours overnight fast with 12 hours eating window during the day. On the other hand, 16:8 is a more advanced schedule with 16 hours of fasting from calorie-containing food and drinks and an 8-hour eating window period. Those are just samples and you can explore more on this once you feel your body is ready. No need to force it or starve yourself. You just need to eat right!
- Healthy Snacking: Opt for nutritious snacks! Raw veggies with hummus, a handful of almonds, or a piece of fruit with nut butter are good examples. Avoid sugary and highly processed snacks.
- Hydration: Stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Proper hydration can help improve skin health and overall well-being.
- Limit Sugars and Processed Foods: Minimize your consumption of sugary drinks, sweets, and highly processed foods. These can lead to insulin resistance and exacerbate PCOS symptoms.
- Regular Physical Activity: Combine your meal plan with regular physical activity. This can further aid in weight loss and PCOS symptom management. Just make sure to consult your physician before starting any exercise regimen.
PCOS can pose unique challenges, but with the right approach, you can manage your symptoms effectively! A meal plan focused on weight loss and tailored to PCOS can not only help you shed excess pounds but also promote better skin health. Remember to consult with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian when making significant dietary changes to ensure they are suitable for your specific needs. By nourishing your body with the right foods, you can improve your overall health and feel more confident in your skin!
Let a Belo Medical Group doctor help you out with your PCOS skin concerns! Call 8819-BELO (2356) or click here to book a consultation.