Post # 1
So…I was just diagnosed with PCOS today, after an 18 month battle with “unexplained” infertility. My doctor refuses to medicate me, but is adamant that I lose weight, and is very convinced that weight loss will get me back to normal.
Has anyone with PCOS had success with Weight Watchers? Are there any other plans that have worked better? I know that low carb is awesome, but I do much better with structure. Any ideas?
Post # 3
My friend is having great success cutting out all sugar and white carbs. I’m sure someone here can give you firsthand advice, though!
Post # 4
@redsmarties: I did Weight Watchers 5 years ago and lost 30lbs. My period ceased altogether while I was losing, but I did a round of provera when I was pretty much finished losing (though I could have stood to lose another 30) and my periods remained semi-regular for the next year and a half or so until I went on birth control, then off it again, then on it again and gained all the weight back.
Weight Watchers has changed a lot since then, but so have I. I tried it once or twice and did not like the new program much. I have found that exercise and portion control work OK for me, and most recently I’ve lost 16lbs eating paleo. Neither one has returned my cycle to normal, however, even with metformin. Good luck!
Post # 5
I have pcos and was told to change my lifestyle starting with my diet. I was fortunate to have a dr that prescribed Metformin along with the diet change, but with those two I was able to lose over 60 pounds now. As edub mentioned, the cutting out of processed sugar and simple carbs (white bread, white potatoes, anything like that that will break down into sugars fast in your body), was a very key ingredient to my success.
I went from having no cycles at all for 17 months, to being pregnant! Sadly, I’ve since found that I have other issues, so now we are working on getting my body to *keep* a pregnancy, but losing weight was such a huge thing.
I know it’s an extra expense, but is it possible for you to see an endocrinologist? My endocrinologist has been amazing! She’s the one who diagnosed my PCOS and put me on metformin.
Post # 6
I again will say that cutting out the processed sugar and simple carbs will help. I lost about 10 lbs in about a month doing that. It’s really rough, but so worth it.
Post # 7
@redsmarties: I’m sad about your diagnosis, but at least you have an answer now! RunningElley lost like 50+ and has PCOS, her story is very inspirational to me seeing as she is pregnant now.
I used Weight Watchers and LOVED it the last time. I lost 20 lbs (when I was already within a healthy weight range) on it. I did it again recently, but it stressed me out with TTC and losing weight. I’m just going to stay the weight I am until we have TTC’ed for a while longer.
Often times, weight loss does help. I don’t have a diagnosis of PCOS yet, but I have heard a lot of positive stories about weight loss. Of course you may still need medications, and of course there are some stories that weight loss hasn’t helped yet.
Here’s a very interesting thread about diet and PCOS:
Post # 8
I have PCOS but also had a hysterectomy several months ago and I have been doing Weight Watchers for going on 5 weeks now and I love 10.2 pounds so far.
I’ve always thought with PCOS also came difficulty to lose weight (at least what my OB/GYN told me)
Post # 9
Thank you, everyone. I also have fibromyalgia, and have been told that cutting out sugar and white carbs (or most carbs) will help with the pain. So this might be a double success.
@PoeticDoveInLA: Yes. PCOS does often mean difficulty losing weight. In fact, that’s one of the symptoms that my doctor asked about. I’ve been low carb for months, and I run three times a week, and I still haven’t dropped a single pound.
Post # 10
Sorry to hear about your PCOS, but glad that you have a diagnosis. In terms of dietary advice, I’m not too sure if this is also for weight loss or just for hormonal balance, but I found these recommendations from Patrick Holford:
The role of food
In addition, eating foods rich in phytonutrients and essential fatty acids and eating organic wherever possible can help to balance hormones. Another important factor is eating plenty of foods which are naturally high in fibre. These include beans, lentils, oats, brown rice, vegetables and fruits. When oestrogen has been used, it is processed by the liver and passed into the intestine where it binds to fibre to be carried out of the body – this encourages the excretion of the unwanted oestrogen and a lack of fibre will do the opposite.
Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts contain substances known as glucosinolates. These plant chemicals have been found to help the way in which the liver processes oestrogen for it to be excreted from the body.
Alcohol can interfere with the way in which the body processes oestrogen, so keeping that to a minimum is important.
Even without carrying out a hormonal testing or having the expert input of a nutritional therapist, implementing the strategies described can have far-reaching effects on balancing your hormones, whether you get mild premenstrual symptoms, have a more debilitating condition such as endometriosis or are going through the menopause.
The Hormone Harmony Diet
Eat at least 4 servings of soya products a week and include other phyto-oestrogen-rich foods in your diet
- Include foods rich in essential fatty acids in your diet – seeds, nuts, fish
- Include plenty of foods which are naturally rich in fibre – beans, lentils, oats, brown rice, vegetables and fruits
- Eat organic foods as much as possible
- Increase your intake of cruciferous vegetables – cabbage, broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts
- Drink filtered water
- Minimise your intake of sugar and sugary foods or drinks
- Reduce your intake of animal fats – milk, cheese, cream
- Limit your alcohol intake to no more than three units, three times a week, and have some weeks completely alcohol-free
- Phyto-oestrogen supplements. Soya extracts: look for a soya product that contains active isoflavones genistein and daidzein produced from organic, GM-free soya. Herbs such as Mexican yam, Black cohosh, Dong quai, Agnus castus best taken in a blend.
- Essential fatty acid supplement such as linseed oil, GLA or fish oil. If you take fish oil, take a supplement that contains 300-400mg of DHA/EPA; for GLA, make sure you are getting at least 100mg of GLA.
- Antioxidant supplement that contains at least vitamins A, C and E, minerals zinc and selenium plus extras such as glutathione, CoQ10, berry extracts and/or lipoic acid
Post # 11
Though I realize my story may not be the norm, here it is.
I have PCOS. It took us a year and a half to get pregnant. I tried clomid cycles with a trigger shot and timed intercourse. I tried iui. I was put on metformin. I decided to temporarily quit all infertility treatments and join weightwatchers. I was only slightly overweight, my goal was to lose 13. I lost 8 in a month and was pregnant my first cycle!
I think excercise, weightwatchers, and metformin combined was the answer!
Post # 12
I have an extremely hard time losing weight with PCOS, however it has been much easier for me since I have been put on Metformin. Right now I am exercising, taking met, and doing weight watchers and have lost 22 lbs. since going on metformin. I also have regular cycles now (still no bfp though, we are on cycle 12 trying).
Prior to adding the met, I hadn’t lost any weight. I had a pretty heavy exercise routine and was eating well for about 6 months and hadn’t dropped a pound. I do believe that it kept me from continuing to gain weight during that time (which started as soon as I stopped BCP. I do have the IR with the PCOS though, which I know not everyone has. Honestly, if it were me, I would try to see an endo/get a second opinion.
Post # 13
I would definitely AVOID anything with soy, especially processed soy! Women with PCOS sometimes have estrogen dominance and taking a bunch of soy supplements isn’t wise without talking to your doctor.
Post # 14
@bunny: Ah yes, sorry OP, I didn’t think of that.
Post # 15
I have a mild case of PCOS and had great success with the South Beach diet…basically, cutting out the sugar and processed carbs as others have said above.
Post # 16
Thanks so much for all of your input, this is great.
@bunny: my naturopath has already warned me to STAY AWAY from soy, especially overly processed stuff. He says the same, that it really boosts/mimics estrogen.
@heathaah: This is wonderful. What an awesome story. Makes me even more inspired to start losing weight.
@Sunshine1810: Come October, I’ll have a new doctor (not just an NP), so I’ll demand a second opinon and a referral to an endo/RE