What is the Best PCOS Diet?
We all want to know the best diet to go on to help us with our PCOS, but is there a set 'diet' that can do that for us?
There are so many diets out there telling us this one is the best, this one will work. Until another one comes along and we try that one out, only to be disheartened again when it does not work. Eventually, you are stuck in a rut, thinking why doesn't anything work and you end up blaming yourself. This cycle you put yourself through does not help with managing your PCOS and the symptoms. Such a cycle only brings more stress, which is a likely cause of your PCOS and therefore must be managed. However, what we continue to forget is that we are all different. There is no standardized diet that can help you because all of our bodies respond differently.
What should you do?
Get out of the diet mentality
This is the most important factor when you are looking to bring balance to your life. Everyone knows that diets do not work. Change your mindset and change your lifestyle. Making changes to your life to aid your PCOS is what is required, but they do not need to be drastic changes. Any small changes you make will benefit you in the long-term.
It is crucial that you see it as a lifestyle change instead of a diet, this way you will be less stressed and enjoy life much more.
We have all gone through stages where we do not want to eat because anything we eat just seems to not agree with us. But remember, it is not healthy to restrict or avoid certain food groups. It is important that you live a balanced lifestyle to avoid putting unnecessary stress on your body. You can see I am constantly referring to stress because stress is a cause for hormone imbalances.
Diet is about Good Nutrition
Good nutrition is the foundation to living a healthy lifestyle. It is crucial that we eat whole foods, foods that have nutritional benefits and make us feel good.
So what does that mean?
Whole foods are foods that have been minimally processed and are close to their natural form. It is important that your diet is varied and you are eating an array of foods that are nutritious, which in turn will offer you health benefits.
Your meals should always include the three macronutrients; protein, carbohydrates and fats, as well as your micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). They should not be one macronutrient dominant. Too much of anything is not good for you.
It is suggested that women who suffer from PCOS should reduce their carbohydrate intake and be aware of the carbs they eat, in order to manage the insulin in their body. Reducing your carbohydrate intake is perfectly fine, as long as you are not eliminating them completely and eating a sufficient amount.
Cutting out carbohydrates entirely is not the answer. When it comes to carbs complex carbohydrates are a healthier option, instead of simple carbohydrates, these take longer to digest and offer a slow release of energy. A further option is to eat gluten free, as research indicates gluten is a hormone disruptor.
However, that does not mean you can never have white bread or white rice. If complex carbs take up most of your carbohydrate intake it is possible to include some simple sugars, it is all about moderation.
Fats are not the enemy just like carbs are not. Fats do not make you fat. Fat is a key macronutrient in our diets, they regulate the production of sex hormones, they aid the body to use vitamins and they are a source of energy.
It is also important to remember what worked for one person may not work for you. Therefore, it is crucial that you stop looking to what everyone else is doing and eating and start listening to your body. Become in tune with your body, find out what your body responds to and does not respond to well.
Through experience, I have realized that my body responds well to a whole food diet, one that involves low glycemic fruit, lots of vegetables, low in dairy, lean animal protein, healthy fat and some gluten-free grains.
Find a Healthy Balance
It is all about balance, find a healthy balance. For something not to feel like a chore, it has to be something you are able to do day in a day out. A lifestyle is 'a way of life'. Therefore whenever you come to decide on something, such as making changes for your health, you need to ask yourself, "is this sustainable?" "can I do this for the rest of my life?". If the answer is no, then you need to rethink your approach.
Follow a healthy lifestyle, nourish your body with whole foods, home cooked meals and nutritious foods. However, let yourself eat foods labelled as 'bad' and 'unhealthy,' because these foods are also required to live a healthy lifestyle.
Exercising regularly is a great way to manage your PCOS and should be part of your lifestyle. However, exercising is not something you need to overdo.
Exercising is just another component to living a healthy lifestyle and offers an array of benefits for you and your health.
Everything has its purpose in your life, nothing should be overdone, everything in moderation.
Moderation = Healthy Lifestyle
There must be a balance, balance is key to a healthy but also a successful lifestyle.