In prior posts I mentioned my diagnosis with PCOS and how it has contributed to my weight struggles, among many other problems, over the years. One of the main reasons we struggle with weight when we have PCOS is that our body cannot properly process carbs, more specifically sugars, creating an insulin resistance. This is also why so many people with PCOS often go on to develop diabetes, because the body cannot process sugars the way others normally can.
Thankfully, if you never develop diabetes, we do not suffer from the crashes as bad as a diabetic would and we do not have to avoid sugars entirely BUT there is a way to eat carbs so that our body can process them properly and not hold on to the sugar, creating the extra weight we are all struggling to lose.
During one of my very early visits to the nutritionist, we decided to go with a lower carb diet. By low carb, however, I am still eating 150 carbs a day. That is A LOT. We worked on a game plan, which I try to stick by and has help me lose over 25 lbs. Here is what we tried to aim for:
- Breakfast: No more than 35 carbs
- Lunch: no more than 45 carbs
- Dinner: no more than 45 carbs
- Snacks: either 1 30 carb snack or two 15 carb snacks throughout the day.
Dairy carbs do not count as the amount of protein outweighs any carb actually in it BUT it must be plain
Fruit – limit to 1 piece per day, usually in the morning as it is 15 carbs alone for one piece on average
Combine carbs with protein so you stay fuller longer (I think I mentioned that in my last post)
Can have alcohol but stick to low carb and avoid beer like you are allergic! I’ll avoid the beer as longs as I can have my whisky or wine 😉
Now the kicker – if you didn’t eat all your carbs at that meal, you lost them. E.g. if I had a 35 carb lunch, I didn’t get to bank the 10 carbs for later.
Focusing on these details alone, helped the weight fall off instantly more than following a calorie restriction. I wasn’t hungry anymore and having sugar cravings. My meals were balanced. I could eat cheese!
When I did hit plateaus, I would up my gym routine and would check my carb intake. Was I measuring? Was everything really considered to fit into the allowed ranges? Was I really having sugar when I wasn’t supposed to?
Things you learn quickly eating this way, processed carbs have waaayyy more sugar and carbs than natural carbs. I eat oats for breakfast everyday, quinoa or sweet potatoes at lunch, and butternut squash at dinner. These are all very filling and natural, making you feel good after eating them.
I think the hardest to practice but the one I keep and will keep preaching over and over again is the concept of carb pairing. I learned this from reading about the glycemic index. By pairing a carb with a protein or a fat, the body will process that carb much longer, keeping you satiated longer. Trust me! Have an apple with peanut butter or a piece of string cheese. You will not be starving in 20 minutes due to the sugar crash of just eating an apple.
Now the one item I must confess is that I have not been a big carb craver in many years. I do love my rice and potatoes but have never been a pasta and rice craver. I still eat them, but just not so often. If I do buy bread, stick to sprouted grain (Ezekiel for example), rye or sourdough. If I do buy pasta, try to get the fresh stuff that you know has minimal “fillers”/additives”. Natural is better!
Also, there is no one size fits all. This is something my nutritionist worked out to fit my workout routine and body type. I am by no means a licenses or professional nutritionist but am only wanting to share what has worked for me and my PCOS and weight loss struggles the last few months. This has been easier for me than anything else I have tried in the past, which is why I had to share! I would love to hear if others have tried something similar or have had luck on diets created for them as well!
Its all a struggle but tools make it easier! Enjoy your Easter readers!