PCOS is a hormonal issue that causes some unwanted changes to a woman’s body – see here for a previous post
One of the largest issues is weight gain or difficulty losing weight – and this can be caused by the hormonal reduction in metabolism (calculated as Basal Metabolic Rate – BMR), and the unfortunate relationship with insulin resistance.
How much does PCOS affect metabolism?
Quite a lot!
In a study in Greece click here for the abstract, 91 women were assessed to monitor their BMR.
Women with PCOS had on average burned 420 less calories than others. The average PCOS BMR in the study was 1,445 calories – but if PCOS was coupled with insulin resistance – it dropped the BMR average down to only 1,116.
So for women with PCOS – because you don’t burn as much energy – you need to match your food intake to your BMR to stop weight gain (or slightly reduce it) for weight loss.
In theory, with insulin resistance, sticking to a lower carbohydrate intake should also help to keep those fat storing insulin levels down.
What does this look like?
Here is a day’s example:
Oats – 30g = 113cal
Milk skim – 250ml = 90cal
Banana small = 77cal
Mixed salad = 88cal
Small tin of Tuna in brine, drained = 88cal
Balsamic dressing – fat free = 10cal
Apple – medium 67cal
Yoghurt natural low fat, plain = 120cal
1 serve chicken breast (1/2 breast or 86g cooked) = 143 cal
1 cup broccoli = 48cal
1/2 cup sliced carrot = 26cal
1 cup mashed sweet potato = 250cal
Total – 1,177 calories
Now this might not sound like much food intake and you might feel hungry – so all you need to do is couple it with some exercise – which will allow you to eat a bit more!
For example – a person of an average body weight of 80kg – brisk walking 5.6km/hr will burn approximately 200 calories
Adding the daily walk will allow extra snacks or slightly bigger meals to help you get through the day, or may be that extra exercise expenditure to help with weight loss!
PCOS sucks – but with a few little changes it just might make the difference for you to control the unwanted side effects.