Updated: Nov 30, 2022
So, how do you manage weight and insulin levels when you have PCOS? The simple answer is to reduce the amount of glucose in your bloodstream at any given time.
Shedding 135+ pounds was no light work. It required major dedication and a commitment to myself that failure was no longer on the table. Before the weight began to disappear, I had to learn which foods and bodily functions were causing my weight gain.
Insulin is one of the many hormones in the body but has a very specific job: to regulate the amount of glucose in the blood. Let me explain.
Each time you eat, the food is broken down into nutrients that the body needs, one of which is glucose. You need glucose for energy to do just about everything. Once this glucose is in your bloodstream, it prompts the production of insulin; which then signals your cells to take in glucose and convert it to forms of energy. The liver and muscles transform glucose into glycogen, and fat cells convert it into fat for storage.
Insulin resistance is a state where your cells do not respond to the signaling of insulin, and glucose marinates in your blood.
This causes the pancreas to produce more insulin to help better absorb the glucose. When there is an over production of insulin, it creates inflammation and causes weight gain. This often leads to Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Not only that, our body does not like glucose floating around in our bloodstream, and will convert it as fat around our midsection.
So, how do you manage weight and insulin levels when you have PCOS?
The simple answer is to reduce the amount of glucose in your bloodstream at any given time. The less glucose there is in your blood, the less insulin is required.
Focus on low-glycemic foods that don’t spike your glucose levels like:
legumes (lentils, black beans, chickpeas, hummus, etc)
whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, or oats)
organic vegetables (if you can tolerate leafy greens, zucchini, carrots, or sweet potatoes)
plant-based proteins (tofu, soybeans, tempeh, or nuts)
Avoid foods that will spike your glucose levels such as:
Refined and processed foods
flavored coffee drinks
white bread, white pasta, white potatoes, white rice.