For all but 5 minutes Jodi was so relieved to finally get a diagnosis for all she was going through.
It finally had a name.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS.
She was ready to get the ball rolling on beating some of the symptoms, losing some weight, and finally getting pregnant.
That was until her doctor abruptly handed a piece of paper to her as he made a quick exit giving her instructions to simply go lose some weight and then come back to see him.
Her mind raced as she thought, “Well, duh. I have been trying to lose weight for years. Nothing has worked which is why I am sitting here in this office.”
It’s like: Well…thanks for nothing…
I mean, if you could have lost that weight on your own, wouldn’t you have lost it by now?
I hear ya!
Research has shown that by just losing 5% of your body weight can dramatically easy your symptoms, which is why most doctors recommend weight loss first. They don’t know much else to help you.
Losing weight with PCOS can be tricky and challenging, but it is not mission impossible!
This is where I come in.
If you are just going through the motions of losing weight by seeking a quick fix, you will definitely NOT find the answers you are looking for from me.
Losing weight is going to take work. It involves making a complete overhaul of your current lifestyle so we can create a healthier and more fit YOU.
Together we can design a lifestyle plan that is going to feel more like a guilty little pleasure than capital punishment.
So…let’s start at the beginning…
Here’s what you should do FIRST when you have been diagnosed with PCOS and want to lose weight.
Get the Lab Tests Done.
Start with getting a little blood work done if your doctor is willing to work with you. This will identify some of the more common “issues” going on that should be treated by your doctor before you can get the green light to starting a weight loss program. Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Insulin + Glucose, Testosterone/Androgens, and your Thyroid are all important to understanding if there is something else going on that can make losing weight impossible. For example, a low thyroid means a low metabolism so no matter how hard you would try, losing weight would be next to impossible without getting your thyroid levels fixed.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Make sure you believe you can be successful. I have helped many other cysters reach their health and weight loss goals. Just because you have PCOS, does not mean you are destined for a life at a weight you are not happy with.
Next, I want you to find the time to be healthy. One of the biggest issues to weight loss is having enough time to eat healthy, exercise, and take care of you. But one thing sets the successful apart from the unsuccessful: They make their health a priority. When you view something as a priority, you will FIND the time to make it happen.
Finally, create your small goals. Yes, you may want to lose 50-100 pounds, but you can quickly lose your motivation when you are seeing the pounds fall off just one or two pounds a week.
Start small. Are you going to lose 2 pounds this week? Are you going to focus on how your clothes fit? Make your goals measurable so you can definitely check them off your list when you achieve them.
Join a Support Group
It is very HARD to lose weight without someone having your back. The going gets tough, but when you have a friend or a group of people supporting you through your journey, you are much more likely to be successful.
There is an AWESOME group of your fellow Cysters who are in a private Facebook group just waiting for you to come join them. They are such a supportive group who is ready to laugh, cry, and give you hugs as you go through this journey.
Grab my FREE PCOS Exercise Cheat Sheet for Weight Loss and I’ll send you an invitation to that group!
Take Inventory of Where You Are
It’s time to take a look in the mirror. Keep track of what you eat and how you typically exercise over the next week. Are there places you have fallen off the bandwagon? Are there places you are noticing already where you can improve? What do you feel you have done well and what could be improved?
A lot of Cysters come to me after the frustration from lack of results sets in. They feel they are working out like crazy and eating healthy, but they don’t have anything to show for it.
The first thing I want to see is their record of what they have done. 9 times out of 10 (I totally made that statistic up…it’s definitely A VAST MAJORITY of time) there is something that sticks out right away.
In order to know what has been working or not, we need the record of what you are currently doing.
Let’s Talk Food
There is no amount of mindset mumbo jumbo you can do and there is no amount of exercise that you can do that will fix a BAD diet.
When you do Google research for the best diet for PCOS you will come up with all sorts of “try this diet” junk. The main three you will see promoted are low carb, Paleo, and Keto diets.
Yes, these fad diets may help you lose the weight. They are great at getting many cysters to cut out so much of the junk that plagues our usual ways of eating food. However, there are LOTS of icky health complications that come from long term following of these diets.
Let the nurse in me come right out and say it: PLEASE don’t do these fad diets. I have seen first-hand what happens when these are continued long term (that is if you can even stick with them for any length of time).
It really isn’t all that complicated about what to eat when you have PCOS. In fact, it’s pretty simple: cut out processed foods, animal products, dairy, and focus on getting the majority of your calories from foods that are rich in fiber, micronutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Give your body healing fuel. When you drown your body in the most nutrient dense foods God has made, your body will more than thank you.
You will naturally lose the weight and reverse your PCOS symptoms.
Let’s Talk Exercise
Exercise is AWESOME for your metabolism. It can increase insulin sensitivity (fix that insulin resistance that most of us cysters have). By focusing on 30 minutes a few times a week of cardio along with some strength training, you can do wonders for your weight loss and overall body composition.
The biggest mistake I see is cysters doing tons of cardio and being scared of strength training.
Hours of cardio is not going to help your weight. You might actually find yourself gaining weight.
The key to your metabolism is in your muscle mass. Yes, we do have extra testosterone so many cysters are scared of lifting weights.
It will take a lot more than what we have to come out bulky on the other end.
The truth is the more muscle mass you have, the more calories your body has to burn up on a daily basis even when you are not working out.
There is a reason that over 90% of people who lose weight will regain all the weight and more. With the majority of weight loss programs and diets on the market, a quick fix is the number one promise.
As soon as you go off the diet plan and return to your regular lifestyle, you will regain the weight. The key to weight loss, even with PCOS, is not about finding the right diet, it is about making the changes necessary to affect your weight for the rest of your life.
So, don’t be swayed by those “diet for PCOS” promises out there. Instead, keep things simple. Make them a priority. Celebrate little successes. Find the support to help keep you going. Download an app to keep you motivated such as fitbit, runkeeper, myfitnesspal, lose it!, or Fooducate.
My final tip to keep you bulletproof is to start journaling through your journey. PCOS affects how we feel and how we view our bodies. For most women, weight loss tends to be just about dieting and adding in some exercise, but PCOS affects who are feel we are to the core. Dive into those feelings. If you don’t deal with your feelings that you are WORTH IT, you won’t see results.
Losing weight with PCOS feels like an uphill battle.
If you have tried every diet or exercise plan out there, but are still hoping for results, don’t give up! I am so glad you have found my little blog in the big internet world.
It is exactly why I am here.
To help you get through this. We can do this together!
Let me help!
Start by downloading my PCOS Exercise for Weight Loss Cheat Sheet to get the inside scoops on how you can best jumpstart your weight loss using exercise. I’ll send you an invite to the private support group to you no longer have to go through this journey alone.
Let’s do this!