PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) is a common hormonal disorder that affects up to 20 percent of pre-menopausal women.
The exact cause is unknown, but an imbalance of male sex hormones (called androgens) is a big culprit.
One of the most common symptoms is weight gain. In fact, 39 percent of women with PCOS are overweight or obese (1).
Fortunately, a few lifestyle changes can help you to balance hormones and lose weight.
This article looks at 8 tips for losing weight when you have PCOS.
1. Choose a Diet that Lowers Insulin
Both PCOS and weight gain lead to insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance then increases production of androgens, which leads to additional weight gain. This forms a stubborn feedback loop (2, 3, 4).
Therefore, any diet that reduces body weight and insulin levels will help. In fact, even modest weight loss will help lower insulin resistance in PCOS (5, 6).
That means low fat and vegetarian diets can work, as can Paleo and Mediterranean. Anything that you enjoy and can stick to long-term, really.