PCOS or Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common hormonal disorder in women that can be the reasons for a lot of symptoms like, facial and body hair growth, stubborn acne, weight gain and fertility issues. Women with PCOS have higher levels of male hormones ( androgens) which can lead to insulin-resistance.
Losing weight in PCOS not only reduces the risk for many associated diseases,but also it helps in the PCOS management. Shedding just 5% to 10% of your body weight can help you manage several symptoms and can also regularise your periods. Dietary modifications and lifestyle changes can be a major factor in PCOS weight loss. This article deals with many fibres that help in losing weight in PCOS.
Fibers for losing weight in PCOS? Yes you heard that right
Dietary fibres, known as roughage, are the parts of plant foods that can’t be digested by your body. Instead, it passes through the digestive tract as it is and comes out of the body. The fibres help you in having a prolonged feeling of fullness and reduced appetite, which can ultimately help in losing weight in PCOS.
The fibre is the food for the gut friendly bacterias which are normally found in your gut. There are about 100 trillion bacteria living in your gut, and are responsible for normal functioning of the digestive system.
Fiber is classified into 2 categories:
Soluble fiber. This type of fiber can easily dissolve in water and forms a jelly-like substance upon dissolving . These types of fibers can help in lowering blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Soluble fiber passes through the gut mostly intact. On reaching the gut friendly bacteria, they get digested by these bacterias and used as energy.
This type of fiber is beneficial for health and helps in losing weight. When viscous or soluble fibers mix with water in our body, which slows down the digestion by forming a jelly-like consistency. This inturn makes the person to feel full for longer duration, thus helping them to eat less. These are some soluble fibers that help in losing weight in PCOS.
Foods containing soluble fibers are:
- citrus fruits
Insoluble fiber: This type of fiber helps people who struggle with constipation as this type of fiber increases the movement of food through the gut and majorly increases the stool bulk.
In women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), incorporating fiber-rich foods into the diet can be beneficial for weight management. High-fiber foods can help regulate blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and contribute to a feeling of fullness. Here are some fiber-rich food options that may be helpful for losing weight in PCOS:
- Whole Grains: Opt for whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, oats, and whole wheat. These grains contain more fiber compared to refined grains.
- Legumes: Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are excellent sources of fiber. They also provide plant-based protein, making them a good choice for a balanced diet.
- Vegetables: Include a variety of colorful vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, kale, and cauliflower. These vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber.
- Fruits: Choose whole fruits, especially those with edible skins, like apples, pears, berries, and oranges. These fruits provide both fiber and essential vitamins.
- Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds are high-fiber snacks that also offer healthy fats and nutrients.
- Psyllium Husk: This is a soluble fiber supplement that can be added to smoothies or mixed with water. It can contribute to a feeling of fullness.
Remember that a well-rounded, balanced diet, along with regular physical activity, is essential for losing weight in PCOS. It's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to create a personalized nutrition plan tailored to individual needs and preferences.
Both these types of fiber provide health benefits but the soluble fiber – aka viscous fiber – has more role to play in losing weight in PCOS. The more soluble the fibre, the better it works at making you feel full and reduces appetite. Sudden dietary changes can cause some side effects like abdominal discomfort, cramps, and even diarrhoea. If you’re planning to lose weight and switch to a high fiber diet, remember to eat a balanced diet or talk to a nutritionist for the right guidance. Make sure you give enough time to your body to adjust to the changes. Consult our Gytree experts in nutrition for advice and packages to eat the right way with PCOS.