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What is PCOS?

PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, which is a condition that affects many women and how their ovaries work.

The symptoms of PCOS can include

  • Irregular periods or in some cases no period at all
  • Difficulty conceiving due to irregular ovulation
  • Excessive hair growth – this can appear on the face, chest, back or buttocks
  • Thinning hair or hair loss
  • Acne or oily skin
  • Weight gain

PCOS tends to affect around 1 in 10 women and statistics suggest around 50% of these women have PCOS yet are undiagnosed. Signs of PCOS will often become apparent during late teens or early twenties.

Why does PCOS affect weight loss?

Often women with PCOS, diagnosed or undiagnosed, will struggle with weight loss. Many will cite that a calorie deficit doesn’t work for them or they don’t believe that the science of a calorie deficit works.

The truth is calorie deficit works for fat loss, that’s a scientific fact. However, the difficulty with someone with PCOS is that their Basal Metabolic Rate(BMR) could be up to 40% lower than traditional calculations would suggest, this is especially relevant to women who are insulin resistant too.

Whats the best way to manage weight with PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can make it more difficult to lose weight due to hormonal imbalances that can affect metabolism and insulin resistance. However, weight loss can still be achieved with a combination of diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes. Here are some tips for losing weight with PCOS:

  1. Eat a balanced diet: A balanced diet consisting of whole foods, lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates can help manage blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation in the body. This can help reduce insulin resistance and aid in weight loss.
  1. Focus on low-glycemic foods: Foods with a low glycemic index (GI) can help manage blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance. Examples of low-GI foods include non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and most fruits.
  1. Avoid processed foods: Processed foods are often high in refined carbohydrates, added sugars, and unhealthy fats. These can contribute to weight gain and inflammation, which can worsen PCOS symptoms.
  1. Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help improve insulin sensitivity, boost metabolism, and aid in weight loss. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
  1. Manage stress: Stress can worsen PCOS symptoms and lead to emotional eating. Practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga.
  1. Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can disrupt hormone balance and increase the risk of weight gain. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
  1. Consider medication: Some medications, such as metformin, can help manage insulin resistance and aid in weight loss for women with PCOS. Consult with a healthcare provider to see if medication is right for you.


Remember, weight loss with PCOS can be a slow process, so it’s important to be patient and consistent with these lifestyle changes. Consulting with a registered healthcare provider who specialises in PCOS can also be helpful in developing a personalised weight loss plan.

If you would like to discuss weight loss management with us, the leading weight loss personal training facility in North Devon, please do not hesitate to get in touch and we can guide you through the best exercise and nutrition plan to get you on the right path for managing your PCOS and weight loss safely and effectively.



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