PCOS - What You Need to Know
This one is a bit personal for me as I have PCOS.It’s been a little bit of a blessing when it comes to training – I can lift a decent amount of weight and I put on muscle just thinking about it. The down side is painful periods, weird hair grows (those of you that know me know that I have some pretty hairy arms), and difficulty losing weight when I don’t follow my own advice.
Seeing as it’s becoming so common to be overweight and have one of these conditions, I figured I’d give you my take on it all. I’ll mainly talk about PCOS, but anyone with Endometriosis can also follow the suggestions.
PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) is an insulin disorder. Yes, there are some other factors involved, but the main cause is excessively high insulin (blood sugar) levels caused by an overconsumption of carbohydrates.
Ultimately, to control your PCOS symptoms, you must control your blood sugar. Seeing as eating too many carbs causes you to have no control over your blood sugar then simply stop overeating on carbs.
For those of you who have no idea what the symptoms are or what you can expect if you have PCOS, here is a run down of what I’ve come across with myself and my clients:
Elevated insulin (blood sugar) levels
Hair growth in uncommon places – face, arms, stomach, etc.
Painful and irregular periods
Increased androgen (male sex hormones) production
Cravings for carbs (ironically, what causes the issue in the first place is what you will actually crave. This is true for a lot of conditions – for example, individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity will crave foods that contain gluten!!!)
For myself and my clients, I have a very standard approach – Diet, Lifestyle and Supplementation.
I’ll break it into a few sections to make it easier to follow.
As I’ve already said, PCOS is an insulin disorder for overeating on carbohydrates. First thing to do is to cut the carbs that aren’t working for you:
All forms of sugar (yes, even fruit – that’s the first dot point anyway)
Just google carbs and stop eating just about all of them for now
Add in protein – as a guide, start with 100g 3-5 times per day:
Red meat – if you can stomach it
NO SOY (more on this down further)
Add in good fats – as a guide, have a serve of one of these options with every meal:
Organic, unsalted butter
PCOS in an insulin disorder, however it is also a hormonal disorder. The hormones I’m talking about here are called xeno-estrogens or xeno-hormones. They are basically fake hormones, substances that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body and throw off the balance. They include:
Shampoos and conditioners
And the list goes on and on and on……
You basically need to get rid off all types of exposure to these fake hormones that you have control over. For me, I work in a gym where they use cleaning products and have very little ventilation. I cant control that, but I can control everything else. Control what you can, forget about what you cant.
A little note on soy products here – do not eat them. If you are a vegetarian, too bad, soy is not for you or for any human really. Soy mimics estrogen and will definitely give you short and long term issues. For example, a mother that was feeding her newborn child soy formula notices some pink spots in her nappy. Long story short – she took her to the doctors and they found that she was having a period. A newborn baby having a period – no this is not a typo. There are some forms of soy that aren’t too bad for you, but just steer clear!
These are just suggestions, I am not prescribing anything here. Here is what I do once diet and lifestyle are cleaned up:
Cod liver oil – sooths the lining of the uterus to control pain
Magnesium – stops the uterus from contracting by relaxing it so you can control pain
So, just to recap:
Stop overeating on carbs
Get rid of all forms of xeno-estrogens/xeno-hormones that you are able to
Supplement only once diet and lifestyle are cleaned up
It really is that simple, you don’t need any fancy medications or any special ‘diet’. Some people will need a slightly different approach and may have to tweak a few things here and there, but the principles are the same.
If you have some more questions or have a specific issues that you need help on then feel free to ask via Facebook or send me through an email: