Why is it hard to lose weight with PCOS?

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Why is it hard to lose weight with PCOS?

Most women at some point in life go through the phase where they feel they need to lose weight. But for women with PCOS, weight loss is a constant struggle. PCOS is the most common hormonal disorder in women of reproductive age and can lead to fertility issues in women. They also have higher levels of male hormones and are also insulin resistant. As a result, women with PCOS are at a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, heart problems and endometrial cancer. However, lifestyle alterations play key role in PCOS and reduce the disease’s severity.

Why does PCOS lead to weight gain?

PCOS makes it more difficult for the body to utilise insulin which normally helps convert starch and glucose to energy. This condition is known as insulin resistance and can cause insulin and glucose to build up in the blood.

Elevated insulin levels increase the production of androgens. High androgen levels lead to symptoms such as facial and body hair growth (hirsutism), acne, irregular menstrua; cycle and sudden weight gain. Since the weight gain is triggered by androgens, it typically leads to obesity around the waist. That is where men tend to carry their weight. So, instead of having a pear shape, pcos women have more of an apple shape.

Fats around abdominal area is considered to be the most dangerous kind of fat as it triggers the risk of heart disease and other health conditions.

Risks related to Weight gain in PCOS

Weight gain is harmful for the body no matter what the cause of it is. Women with PCOS are more likely to develop many problems associated to insulin resistance and weight gain. These women are at the risk of developing:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Uterine cancer
  • Infertility


The above-mentioned risks can also lead to heart diseases.

How to lose weight effectively in PCOS?

Losing weight not only cuts your risk for many diseases, it also makes you feel confident about yourself. With PCOS, even losing 10% of your body weight can help your cycle to function normally. It also helps relieve some of the symptoms of PCOS.

Weight loss can help improve insulin resistance which has a direct impact of reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease and other fatal conditions.  To lose weight, you may visit a doctor who can prescribe the right medications for you and also let you know about the lifestyle alterations that you may need to do.

It is recommended that women with PCOS must include a lot of fibre in their diet and avoid processed foods to keep the blood sugar levels normal.  Eating four to six small meals throughout the day, other than three large meals has been found effective in controlling sugar levels. 30 minutes of exercise has also proven to help women improve their overall health and lose weight when done regularly. The right alterations can always bring about the right changes in your body and keep your mind stress-free.

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