“Easy Ways to Lower Your Sodium Intake to Lose up to 5lbs of Water Weight in Less than One Week"
When you need to lose a bit of weight really quickly it's tempting to opt for a detox diet or simply starve yourself. These options can have a negative impact on your health so I want to teach you how to lose 5lb in one week safely.
A Quick Explanation of PCOS
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), also known as Stein-Leventhal syndrome is a condition that affects nearly one out of ten women. It is the most common endocrine disorder affecting women of reproductive age. PCOS is a syndrome, which means that it is a group of symptoms that affect the ovaries which alters the regulation of the menstrual cycle. While the exact causes of this syndrome are unknown, experts believe that several core factors play a role in its development. These factors include genetic predisposition, elevated androgen levels (testosterone, DHEA, etc), low-grade inflammation, and high levels of insulin.
So lets start off with what most women are concerned about. Cysts on your ovaries can be very scary, but learning about these types of cysts and how they come to be can help ease your worries. Let's talk about the two most common types of cysts that women with PCOS have (1).
Follicle cysts. In a normal menstrual cycle, an ovary releases an egg each month. This egg grows inside of a follicle but when the egg matures, the follicle breaks open to release the egg. A follicle cyst forms when the follicle doesn't break open to release the egg, this causes the follicle to continue growing into a cysts. These cysts often have no symptoms and go away in one to three months.
Corpus luteum cysts. When the follicle breaks open to release the egg as it would in a normal menstrual cycle, it then shrinks into a mass of cells called corpus luteum. This mass makes hormones to prepare for the next egg for the next menstrual cycle. Corpus luteum cysts form if the sac doesn't shrink. Instead, the sac reseals itself after the egg is released, and then fluid builds up inside. Most corpus luteum cysts go away after a few weeks. But, they can grow to almost four inches wide. These cysts are often painful because they may bleed or twist the ovary, some medicines used to cause ovulation can raise the risk of getting these cysts.
Other common symptoms of PCOS include (2):
So what comes first, the chicken or the egg? Did you get what I did there? egg...get it? Well in this case were really asking what comes first...the egg/cyst or the elevated androgen hormones and insulin resistance?
Uncontrolled weight gain has always been a big concern for women with PCOS. In fact, this weight gain is sometimes considered "unexplainable" and then doctors prescribe medications to help slow this down. I assure you this weight gain is both controllable and explainable, as it is a result of a condition called insulin resistance.
Up to 70% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance (healthline). This means that their cells can't use insulin properly and as a result can't utilize blood sugar for fuel like it should. Here's where the weight gain comes in; When the body can't absorb anymore glucose (sugar) it gets circulated to the liver to be stored as fat. To make matters worse, when the cells cant use insulin properly, the body's demand for insulin increases. The pancreas makes more insulin to compensate, excess insulin triggers the ovaries to produce more male hormones.
This cycle leads to irregular menstrual cycles and the possible development of other medical conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and various heart diseases. Fortunately, research has proven that a few lifestyle modifications can ease the symptoms of PCOS and improve fertility levels.
Now that we know that the weight gain is caused by insulin resistance, we need to take two steps to improving insulin sensitivity.
1. Move more
2. Eat less high glycemic index/processed foods
Moving more doesn't have to mean super intense workouts, it can simply mean going for daily walks, swimming, and of course, good old fashioned strength training. For those who are looking for a weight loss challenge my 28 day PCOS HIIT split weight loss program may be perfect for you as it is a combination of interval training and Strength training 2-3x a week to enhance insulin sensitivity.
You can sign up here for a consultation: Contact
Notice I didn't stop at "eat less". Traditional overly restrictive diets work even worse for women who have PCOS than they do for other 95% of people that fail to adhere to them. If you aren't properly digesting glucose then limiting your daily intake even further can have dangerous side effects. The answer is in learning how to identify and avoid High GI foods that cause blood sugar spikes (this causes insulin to spike as well). In doing this alone, you will effectively limit the spikes in insulin and help your body digest more glucose effectively to use as fuel. Look for low GI and 100% Whole Grain stickers on food packaging.
So, what can be done?
When you break down the problem, it is the high levels of insulin in the blood that cause a lot of the problems. It can be argued then that lowering insulin levels would be one of the most important things you can do to relieve many PCOS symptoms (especially weight gain**). One of the best ways to reduce insulin levels is to decrease the intake of high glycemic foods and begin exercising more to deplete muscle glycogen levels (stored sugar). Let's see those cells turn away glucose now that they are completely empty ;). Let's take a closer look at what diets can reduce the overall carb intake and which ones are the most sustainable for the long run.
Calorie restriction: A restrictive diet means that you just start eating less. The logic behind this is of course that the less you eat the fewer carbs you consume. The problem here is that regardless of how much you eat, the body will keep storing fat because of PCOS. Calorie restrictive diets are also not sustainable in the long run. (change)
Aside from the fact that you feel hungry all the time which can affect every other area of life, your body also goes into starvation mode. As soon as your body thinks that there is a shortage of food, it starts storing fat very effectively in preparation for the famine it believes is approaching.
The keto diet: The keto diet works on the premise that if the body switches to burning fat as a fuel source, we will lose weight a lot faster and very efficiently. The diet helps to make the switch by reducing carb intake to as low a level as 20gms a day and supplementing with protein and mostly fat. The diet can be very effective for certain types of weight loss programs but not for PCOS.
The keto diet requires careful planning and even supplementation in certain cases. There is little to no room for error when using it with a condition for PCOS which makes it unsustainable for long-term use. A diet that requires you to severely restrict your brain's preferred source of natural fuel can cause lasting negative effects to your energy levels and slow your metabolism for months after this diet.
If you want to hear my complete unbiased opinion on the ketogenic diet you can watch part 1 of my ketopocalypse series below
Intermittent fasting: This diet works on the logic that the body takes up to ten hours to consume all the carbs in the system. If you fast for longer than ten hours in a day or fast every other day, the body is forced to start burning fat as an energy source. The problem with this type of dieting is that if you are hungry while fasting, you tend to overeat when you decide to have a meal. Doing this over a prolonged period of time will not let you lose weight but could, in fact, make you gain some.
Regardless of which version of fasting you do, or any diet you take on, especially for losing weight. You can’t think of it as a diet; what it is is a lifestyle choice, a change you’re choosing to adjust your life to in order to better your health and well-being. There are no easy answers, no get skinny quick schemes. What you lose fast, you will gain back fast.
It’s easy to lose water weight, but it takes time to readjust your body composition. You can’t expect to fast for three weeks and lose 20 pounds, much less keep it off. Allow your body time to learn. It may go into shock, confusion, or even panic in the beginning. But if you’re willing to have patience and keep persistence, you body can and will adapt to a healthier lifestyle. You can and will lose weight, or gain/tone muscle. You can and will keep off the extra pounds.
Listen to your body. Don’t give up, or give in to temptation, but adapt to your individual person. Take care of yourself, whether it be fasting and dieting, or proper hygiene and nutrition. Be kind to your body, and your body will be kind to you.
More on intermittent fasting here
The most effective diet for PCOS
The good news is that there is an effective diet that helps you lose weight sustainably. Rather than drastically restricting your daily caloric intake or eating only on certain days, this diet involves eating more natural and low glycemic index foods. The method is sustainable because the body is well nourished, so you feel full longer, and as a result your energy levels are much higher.
Here’s what you need to do:
A diet that focuses on well rounded nutrition rather than restricting calories keeps energy levels high and insulin levels low.
Examples of anti inflammatory foods (3)
How can exercise benefit those with PCOS?
Some amount of exercise is good regardless of PCOS, but it can be a game changer if you do have the syndrome. Exercise and keeping active will help to burn fat and promote weight loss. Find a routine that you enjoy like cycling, weight lifting, swimming, zumba and set your routine to be active at least 3 days a week (aim for about 120 minutes of exercise per week).
Having a support group with like-minded people who accompany and encourage you to exercise is an invaluable resource to help you to keep going. Exercise also releases endorphins in the brain that help combat mood swings brought on by PCOS.
PCOS does not have to be a debilitating condition. With the right approach and knowledge, the symptoms can be managed and even reversed in many cases. If you have any questions feel free to comment below or clicking the included link sign up for a call to talk about lifestyle adjustments to alleviate your PCOS related symptoms. If you are interested in my 28 day PCOS Weight Loss Program you can click the link below to learn more about it or sign up for a call using the contact button.
I want to take back charge of my life from my PCOS related symptoms!
I would like to schedule a consult call to talk about adjusting my lifestyle to be more suitable for weight loss, self confidence, and happiness.
"Healthier Every day"
1. Iglesia, Cheryl B. “Ovarian Cysts.”
Womenshealth.gov, Women’s Health, 22 May 2018, www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/ovarian-cysts.
2. Smith, Lori. “Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 5 Jan. 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265309.php.
3. Tarryn. "What Is The Best PCOS Diet?" PCOS Diet Support. PCOS Diet Support, 18 July 2018. Web. 24 Oct. 2018. www.pcosdietsupport.com/the-best-pcos-diet/
I'm Ethan Halfhide, my goal with this blog is to give you the resources you need in order to take charge of your life and get more results from your workouts in less time, so you can get healthier everyday.
Ethan embarks on a journey to cut through the negativity and misleading information the is in the fitness industry. He chats with real influencers making a positive change to provide listeners with clarity and inspiration they need to fulfil their goals.