How to Manage PCOS
Part of the PCOS For Dummies Cheat Sheet
If you’re willing to overhaul your diet and start a simple exercise program, you can gain a great deal of control over your PCOS symptoms. Insulin resistance causes many PCOS symptoms, and diet and exercise help control insulin resistance.
If you’re overweight, lose weight by limiting yourself to 1,500 calories per day. Losing weight is one of the biggest factors in controlling PCOS symptoms, particularly if you’re trying to get pregnant.
Eat regular meals (but don’t pile your plate), and have a couple of small snacks during the day. Don’t let yourself get hungry.
Follow a low-GI diet by substituting low-GI carbs for high-GI carbs. The glycemic index (GI) measures how a carbohydrate affects blood sugar. High-GI foods break down quickly into glucose while low-GI foods are absorbed more slowly. Low-GI foods stabilize your blood sugar, while high-GI foods cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. Refined sugars are high-GI foods, while fruits and vegetables are generally low-GI.
Limit the fat in your diet. Cut down particularly on saturated and trans fats (including fatty meat, butter, cakes, pastries, and cookies).
Use as little salt as possible. Look at labels of processed foods to try to keep your total sodium intake below 2,400 milligrams a day.
Eat at least five helpings of fruit and vegetables every day.
Get some physical activity every day. Half an hour is great, but an hour is even better to help keep your weight under control. Remember to start slowly and incorporate both aerobic and weight-bearing exercise into your routine. You don’t have to do all your exercise at one time — 10 minutes of exercise three times a day is just as good as 30 minutes all at once.