I pretty much threw myself out of the car as I dashed into the house.
I was past that shocked stage of being told I have PCOS.
I had received ZERO answers from the doctor…well unless you count the general eat better and exercise more “fluffy” recommendations.
I felt I had just been handed a prescription and shoved out the door.
I was now at the “Forget that…I am going to figure this out for myself” stage.
Which brings me back to exciting the car with dignity…
I was going to ask my good friend GOOGLE.
(Just to clarify…this was pre-smartphone age…)
And google did not disappoint. I was led straight to article after article of diet recommendations…and you know what the #1 trending diet was for?
The KETOGENIC Diet.
What the heck was that?
In case I need to catch you up to speed…it’s moderate protein, high fat, and very low carb. Supposedly it was the best for regulating the metabolism of someone with PCOS.
It felt like everywhere I turned, all I heard about with the keto diet.
I mean…the way everyone talked, there was no other diet that came close to comparing. If you have PCOS, you HAVE to do keto.
Now, don’t get me wrong…
Women were being successful on the keto diet. Many were able to lose weight, get pregnant, and lesson some bothersome PCOS symptoms.
It can do some great things for many women and when you are relying on google or social media sites now, it can feel like it is the only thing that works.
This past week, a fellow Cyster over in our Cyster Talk Community was desperate for some answers. She wondered:
Can you ACTUALLY lose weight WITHOUT the Ketogenic Diet?
Because we are only a week and a half into the new year and still thinking about fresh starts and creating goals, let’s dive a little into “how to get started eating healthy for PCOS”…
So, the questions I am going to cover today are:
- Can you lose weight WITHOUT going on the keto diet?
- Why might the keto diet NOT be something you want to do?
- How to go about starting a healthy eating plan that will actually work for you?
About the keto diet…
- YES! You can lose weight.
- YES! It may help with PCOS symptoms.
- YES! It feels like there is an army out there that will send me loads of hate mail for saying anything remotely negative about their beloved KETO DIET.
But, I cannot stand the keto diet.
I think it is dangerous, very restrictive, cuts out many foods that are rich sources of vital nutrients, and sets you up for major health risks such as heart disease and diabetes if you are not careful.
Unsubscribe to my emails or send me hate mail now, but I can’t as a medical professional with extensive nutritional training recommend a keto diet to anyone in good faith.
But please, hear me out.
If you want to do the keto diet, then go for it. There are some benefits to the diet. I love that it does encourage cutting way down on unhealthy and processed foods that are full of sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats. It does a great job of getting that junk out which will go a long way in improving your health.
However, I think for most people, it just isn’t the best option.
Today, I am here to tell you that there are other ways to lose weight.
You definitely do not need to do a keto diet if you find it goes against what you believe.
I want you to have a healthy relationship with food, not feel like you have to restrict all your favorite foods.
My whole mission here is to help you be confident, feel beautiful, enjoy your life, and LOVE YOUR BODY.
I think it all starts with what you are fueling your body with. I definitely do not believe that going on a diet, even if you want to lose weight, is ever the right course.
They just set you up for failure.
When you restrict so much of the food you love, you start viewing your plate differently. You start beating yourself up over any slip up.
Speaking from experience…
Eventually you will end up in a place where you are depressed, lack confidence, and feel guilty with anything you put into your mouth.
I was not bulimic or anorexic, but I felt like my desire to be healthy and thin led to so many restrictive rules and an overall dysfunctional relationship with food.
That is no place to live.
I will cover more about this in a couple weeks, but basically I just want you to be happy, my dear Cyster friend.
You deserve to LOVE your food. You deserve to LOVE your body. You deserve to LOVE your life.
Just because you have PCOS does not mean you need to go on the latest trendy diet. Even if you are successful short term, they will just set you up for failure the moment “you go off the diet”.
So, the first thing you need to do when getting your diet on track here in the new year is to focus on how you view food.
Skip the diets.
Let’s get you LOVING your food by viewing it as a positive and fulfilling adventure.
Your job is not to deprive, restrict, or any other negative diet word you can think of. You can skip the diet, learn about fueling your body with more nutrients, and ultimately healing your PCOS at the same time.
So, where can you start?
- Start small.
- If you try to do a million new things in the kitchen all at once, you are setting yourself up for failure.
- I recommend starting by cooking more meals at home and from scratch.
- I am a library card holding queen and can recommend a ton of books you can check out that can help with the “learning how to cook” thing. My husband can tell you of some horror meals those early days of marriage.
- Don’t be afraid to try something new.
When it comes to more guidelines of what to eat/what not to eat, I don’t get into specifics of macronutrient percentages. Everyone is different and need different percentages. But I recommend:
- Cutting out the processed food. Think most food that you buy in boxes or premixed seasoning type packages.
- Cut down on the white flour products such as white/enriched breads, pastas, baked goods, etc.
- Cut down on any beverage that isn’t water. Most are full of empty calories, lots of sugar, and nothing healthy for you.
- Drink lots of water. Infuse water with fruits. I like to buy the La Croix naturally essence water which is carbonated water essence with fruit flavors…nothing added to it. Most teas are okay.
- Cut down on the dairy products. They have hormone messing ingredients in them. Organic or milk from another animal still have those naturally occurring hormones in them that God gives the animal so it will produce milk for their babies.
- Start adding food that fuels your body and will show your body you LOVE it. If I asked you what you thought the most nutrient dense foods are that nature gives us, what would you say? Green leafy vegetables, non-starchy vegetables, fruits, beans, and 100% whole grains.
These are all full of micronutrients that have been shown to reverse chronic diseases, increase longevity, and improve quality of life.
I stopped focusing on the macronutrients (protein, carbs, fat) a long time ago. Our bodies in this day and age with all the food options out there…we are lacking in so many vital minerals, antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber. These are so densely packed into whole food plant based sources, based your diet on these types of food. Fuel and love your body well!
That right there will get you off to a great start.
We want a healthy relationship with food.
It is time to stop punishing your body by going on yet another fad diet. Let’s start LOVING YOUR BODY. You can lose weight by choosing to fuel your body with the best food that God has blessed us with in nature.
It’s time to start our movement! Let’s skip the diet + LOVE our food and bodies together!
Your fellow Cyster,