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If You’ve Been Diagnosed With Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Try These Dietary Changes

If You’ve Been Diagnosed With Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Try These Dietary Changes

Following a PCOS diet won’t only help to alleviate symptoms and potentially cure the syndrome, it may also improve your overall health as you’re strongly encouraged to follow a diet rich in natural ingredients!

How is PCOS affecting your body?

It means your body is not using insulin properly. Insulin is a vital tool in our bodies’ digestive process as it promotes the absorption of glucose. If a person is insulin-resistant, their blood sugar levels rise. This, in turn, causes the pancreas to pump out high levels of insulin to compensate.

In a woman, this can lead the ovaries to produce more androgens, such as testosterone, which can manifest itself in several ways, including sudden increased hairiness and other unpleasant side effects, like acne, irregular menstrual cycles, male pattern baldness, and difficulty losing weight.

It has also been linked to more serious problems, including infertility and heart disease.

pcos-labeled-web
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    Medical research, however, has shown that a healthy diet can play a very important role in combating hormonal conditions, such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

    It’s important to keep away from processed foods and unhealthy fats, as well as refined carbohydrates, as these all cause inflammation and exacerbate insulin-resistance. Due to this factor, sources of lean protein, such as chicken, turkey, and fish are a great way to go on a PCOS diet. A high-fiber diet can also be very beneficial to women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, as it slows down digestion and reduces the impact of sugar on the blood. Foods with anti-inflammatory properties are recommended because PCOS is linked to inflammatory problems caused by the immune system’s reaction to the syndrome.

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    Below are two examples of recipes that can be chopped and changed, always in a healthy manner of course (think more veg and no processed or refined foods).

    Chicken Stir-Fry

    2 Skinless chicken breasts

    2 Diced onions

    2 Garlic cloves

    Chopped tomatoes

    1 Teaspoon of curry powder

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    1 Teaspoon of turmeric

    1 Teaspoon of chili powder

    Olive oil

    2 Cups brown rice

    This is a bit of a toss-up between a chicken curry and a stir fry because we want to avoid dairy products usually associated with curry sauces, while taking advantage of turmeric, which has very useful anti-inflammatory properties – as do the tomatoes. It’s also best to keep away from seed oils such as vegetable, grapeseed, and canola oil.

    Instructions:

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    1. Allow the rice to cook while browning onions and garlic in a large frying pan.
    2. Cut chicken into pieces and add it into frying pan. Heat until cooked through.
    3. Add tomatoes and spices. Simmer the mixture for about 30 minutes.
    4. Serve over a bowl of brown rice.

    Grilled Salmon and Basil with Steamed Broccoli

    2 Salmon steaks

    2 Tablespoons of olive oil

    2 Tablespoons of lemon juice

    1 Tablespoon fresh basil

    2 Lemon wedges

    1 Cup broccoli florets

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    Salmon is a great source of lean protein, as well as the essential omega-3 fatty acids. It is also considered a fantastic option for PCOS diets because it’s high in Vitamin D. Low levels of vitamin D have been found to correlate with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and are linked to insulin-resistance and acne problems.

    Broccoli also has a very low glycemic index and is a fantastic source of calcium and is very low in calories. Steam if possible to retain as many nutrients as possible in the cooking process.

    Instructions:

    1. Mix lemon juice and basil in a small bowl before brushing the mixture on both sides of the salmon.
    2. Grill at medium temperature until salmon reaches an internal temperature of 145ºF.
    3. Steam broccoli separately.
    4. Serve with lemon wedges.

    It’s important to note that any suggestions are guidelines, and that people with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome have had varying success with different diet plans. As always, it’s important to experiment and see how your body reacts to the changes. Dairy, for example, is known to worsen symptoms in some women, while others haven’t found it necessary to fully remove it from their diet.

    Rely on trial and error to see which foods work best for you and your health.

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    Christopher Young

    Freelance Blogger, Writer and Journalist

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    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

    Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

    1. Exercise Daily

    It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

    If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

    Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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    If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

    2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

    Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

    One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

    This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

    3. Acknowledge Your Limits

    Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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    Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

    Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

    4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

    Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

    The basic nutritional advice includes:

    • Eat unprocessed foods
    • Eat more veggies
    • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
    • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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    Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

      5. Watch Out for Travel

      Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

      This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

      If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

      6. Start Slow

      Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

      If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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      7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

      Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

      My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

      If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

      I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

      Final Thoughts

      Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

      Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

      More Tips on Getting in Shape

      Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

      Reference

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