The New Year brings with it our intent to make various resolutions. Two such important resolutions for women with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) are a healthy low-calorie diet and increased physical exercise. Making positive changes in these two areas will lower your risk of acquiring adverse disease states associated with PCOS and benefit your overall health. Even minor changes to your diet and exercise routine can have a positive effect.

The PCOS Weight Myth

One of the most common myths associated with PCOS is that women with this syndrome tend to have an increased propensity to gain weight and find it more difficult to lose weight. However, most scientific studies have not shown a correlation between PCOS and reduced metabolism or a decreased ability to burn calories. So keeping that resolution may be easier than you think!

Small Changes, Big Improvements

The good news is that you don’t have to make drastic changes to see results. A mere 15-pound weight loss or a 5-10 % body weight reduction can result in a significant improvement in menstrual cycle regularity. The bad news is that these lifestyle changes have a very high attrition rate of 39-49%. The inability to stick to a particular diet and/or an increased exercise regimen is often due to unrealistic goals and weight loss expectations. Setting small, attainable goals in your diet and exercise updates will help set you up for success.

Where to Start

The key to weight loss is doing what works for you. Studies have not found a particular weight reducing diet that is more effective in women with PCOS. A low calorie diet, however, is the most effective diet in the long run. Similarly, finding an exercise regimen that you enjoy enough to do regularly is more likely to lead to successful weight loss and, ultimately, improved health. Weight resistance exercise increases muscle mass which increases metabolism, so it should be an integral part of everyone’s exercise routine.

Here’s to Your Health

Keep in mind that not all women with PCOS who successfully lose a significant amount of weight will see an improvement in menstrual cycle regularity. However, you will enjoy innumerable consequential health benefits by making positive changes to your diet and exercise routine. Let’s kick off 2017 with a sense of renewal and positive energy. Happy New Year!