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PCOS and Exercise – The Benefits

We’ve heard over and over again that weight loss is important in managing PCOS and that diet and exercise are more effective than medications in improving your PCOS symptoms. Previously, we’ve focused a lot on the importance of diet and the kind of diet we should all be following.

But, we haven’t really tackled the topic of exercise and just about every day I get emails asking me about what exercise we should be doing and how much. So, I think it’s time to have a closer look at exercise and it’s importance in managing our symptoms.

My own relationship with exercise is a bit hit and miss. Before getting married, I went to the gym about 5 times a week, doing cardio and circuit training. I looked and felt great but my PCOS was undiagnosed and I didn’t have many symptoms. It was also 7 years ago before I settled into married life and had a baby.

Diet and exercise are more effective than medications in improving your PCOS symptoms

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Now, I find that time tends to run away with me and I have not managed to get back on track. I did run for about 3 months last summer but became despondent when I saw no improvements in my weight, waist circumference or other symptoms (in fairness I also wasn’t focussed on my diet and didn’t try particularly hard). I know that I’m not the only one like this out there. I’m sure some of you can relate to this (please tell me you can relate!!!)

I have often said that if I understand why I need to do something, I’m far more likely to actually do it. That is why I think we need to have a closer look at the benefits of exercise for women with PCOS. Let’s have a look at what the research says.

Benefits of Exercise for PCOS

How-to-lose-weight-with-PCOS-exerciseOne piece of research that I came across gave me some hope in terms of exercise and weight loss. Researchers found that women with PCOS who did 3 hours of aerobic exercise per week for 12 weeks had improved insulin sensitivity, cholesterol and visceral fat (that fat around your belly) even though they did NOT lose any weight. (1) So, even if you are not seeing any improvements on the scale, you are still doing good work to improve your symptoms in the long term by engaging in exercise on a regular basis.

Also, women with PCOS suffer from chronic inflammation (more on this is a future article because I think it’s a big one). But,regular exercise improves inflammation markers (2) which is hugely important because chronic inflammation is linked to insulin resistance. (3) Once again, this shows that exercise improves sensitivity to insulin.

There’s one final thing that I want to mention. A group of researchers looked at a number of studies and literature regarding exercise and PCOS. They considered 8 studies and found that “most consistent improvements included improved ovulation, reduced IR (9–30%) and weight loss (4.5–10%). Improvements were not dependant on the type of exercise, frequency or length of exercise sessions.” (4)

So basically we’re saying that even if you don’t lose weight when exercising, you are still working on improving your:

  • insulin sensitivity
  • frequency of ovulation
  • cholesterol
  • body composition

 

You’ll see in all of the research studies we’ve looked at, there is a common thread: insulin resistance. Let’s have a look at why this is key with PCOS.

Insulin and PCOS

Researchers have found that insulin plays a key role in the development of PCOS, even if we are not insulin resistant. You see, insulin acts on our ovaries to stimulate the production of male hormones (testosterone). This happens in all women but our ovaries tend to be oversensitive to insulin, producing too much testosterone.

But wait, there’s more. Insulin also acts to decrease the amount of Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG). Testosterone should bind to SHBG and not be free floating to cause havoc on our systems. If SHBG is low, there will be more free testosterone in our systems. (5)

And here is the kicker: testosterone causes most of our PCOS symptoms: increased hair growth, male pattern baldness, acne, irregular cycles. So, you can see that it is VITAL that we mange our insulin levels to manage our testosterone. Everything that I have mentioned on this site in terms of diet is aimed at managing insulin and testosterone through diet. Now you have another way of managing it – through exercise.

Summing it up

So, we’ve said that exercise is really beneficial to managing our PCOS as it helps to manage insulin levels which in turn improves our testosterone and SHBG levels. I can already hear the question you’re going to ask next: How much and what kind of exercise should we be doing? That’s too big a topic to tackle in this article so stay tuned for the follow up article on exercise!

I’d love to hear your experiences of managing PCOS with exercise. Also, do you have any tips on how to stay motivated with exercise? I’d love to hear them!

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Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and PCOS expert who has been a leader in the online PCOS space for over 8 years. Tarryn has the support of leading clinicians from around the world who support her scientific approach to understanding and talking about PCOS this includes all medical journals and ongoing research. You can read more about Tarryn and the team here.

Table of Contents

65 Responses

65 Responses

  1. I’m 36 and like yourself I’ve struggled with diet and excercise; i’d diet and see minimal result and I’d excercise and see minimal results.

    After being shocked at the scales once again, I went back on a diet and as usual lost 3kg and nothing else. Like many people, I suspect, I pay the gym a fee every month to not go! I’ve been lucky that at £17 it’s cheap, I decided then that I’d be able to afford a personal trainer to get me back into losing weight. I’ve never been fond of the gym but I now go 3x a week alternating between arms, legs and hiit. I’m truly amazing that I’ve lost an additional 5kg and I’m at a weight that I haven’t seen in a decade. It’s not much, and it’s slow progress, but it’s going down.

    I’m now starting my third cycle of 10 sessions and oving to cutting down seeing the PT to fortnightly then monthly. It maybe expensive but I’ve learnt so much. It’s not available to everyone but with a little exploring of options anything is possible.

    For me, I’ve found you can’t lose weight and keep it off without doing both diet and excercise. Counting calories isn’t for everyone, but for me, it’s taught me about portion size and those pesky high calorie foods that count for so much weight gain. Next step is concentrating on fruit based sugars and dessert!

  2. Hi I am Lia
    I am 26 years old. I have irregular periods. But dnt have any weight loss or acne. But when I consult a doctor she said I have PCOS. Is there any thing to worry???

  3. hi im daignosed with pcos a month ago.. and report usg report says that there are peripherally arranged follicles around both ovaries and left ovary showing 14mm dominent follicle and i have severe hair fall and weight gain .i have heard pcos doesnt have cure. and i have irreguar periods from such a long time and and i have missed for about months now and im a virgin. can someone tell a solution and canregulaar vigarous exercise get my cycle back and cure pcos

  4. Hi all I got to know that I got PCOD last month and 34 years of age and started getting too many acne on face. Getting too many mood swings and before periods I become too hyper I even got thyroid. Looking at my sentence the doctor said I got PCOD. I am doing weekly workout of 4 days and still not having proper sleep.my volume has cum down, but my weight doesn’t reduce, I’m too much worried with f marks on my face, n daily I get 2-3 new pimples… I’m using.. dornis tablet, and
    retino A , clindamaycin n kojimed ointments, pls help me further…..
    Wht more further medication shd I take, n my getting my periods in 24-25 days… Previously I used to get ond 28th day, n frm past 3 mnths ,it’s early, with too many pimples.

    1. Hi,
      My case is same as yours the only thing is that i m not having thyroid.. But there is a severe hair fall, pimples all over my face those black patches.. M fed up..

  5. Hello..
    I have PCOS problem from past 2 years.My age is 24.
    My Doctor gave me Birth contol pills every month but that went ineffective after a year. I changed the doctor but same result. Then I consulted a Homeopathy doctor from last 3 months (Because I want a permanent solution for this problem)

    Its been 6 months I have not got periods. My weight is not getting reduced (though I started hard work for that just some days back). The huge reason is maybe my CA Final exam’s stress coz I have got failure in that from last 2 years (it is somehow relateable).

    I just want to know Two things –

    1. Does Homeopathy work for PCOS or I really need to go back to my Alopathy Doctor (for Birth contol Pills) ?

    2. Is it fine if I have not got periods from 6 Months as a symptom of PCOS or It means there is a big problem ?

    1. Yes homeopathy works, it takes time but it works. But with homeopathy u need to follow an exercise regime and minimize your junk food intake

  6. Hi
    I am 22,I have been trying to conceive form last 5 months but I was having irregular periods.when,I went to my Gyneac I am daigonised with PCOS problem.My doctor advised me to have folic acid tablet and have exercise.She also said if your are not having regular periods even after next 3 months then come to me.

    I want your suggestion what should I do to have conception I am little bit tensed.

    1. Diva, you need to make sure that you are eating well for your PCOS and taking supplements like Ovasitol or Inositol, Omega 3 and Vitamin D

  7. Hi, I am 27 years old and I have been diagnosed with PCOD for almost a year now. My doctor has advised me to take metformin and follic acid tablets and asks me to do a follicular study for every single cycle and keep trying to conceive. I exercise everyday for an hour and follow a good diet. I am actually fed up of going for scans over and over again with just zero as the outcome. I have terrible pain during my menstruation. I have actually don’t know what is going wrong and why I am not being able to conceive. I always dreamed of having a baby making it a perfectly family but it just breaks my heart. Can you suggest what better I can do to help my situation.

    1. Hi i am 26 years old and have been suffering PCOS(HypoHypogonaidism) since i was 21, i have come to a state now that my ovaries are now normal. to reach this state
      * regular exercise 4 times a week for 1.5 hours
      * eating 6 times a day
      * last meal before 7:30 PM
      * medication – Lynoral and meprate
      was the solution. i know it sounds cliche but thats what works no excuses. you will feel mentally stronger and positive. it needs patience a lot of it. it took me 3 months to loose 7 Kg and i am still going on for next 5KG.
      Now it doesnt ain too much. now life is amazing and it doesnt limit me anymore

      1. hi my names anna I’m 21 and I’ve just been diagnosed with PCOS and am trying to find the best diet and exercise plan do you hae any recommendations that you could give me

  8. Hi i am a 15 year old girl and i was diagnosed with PCOS about 3 weeks ago. I have gained about 50 lbs in the past year. I have been trying to do the paleo diet for about 3 weeks now. I have lost about 15 lbs. I am currently taking metformin. I don’t know what to do and i really want to lose a lot of stomach fat and get my legs thinner like the way they use to be. I just want to know what i can do to lose weight quick. Is there any type of exercise that you can do that will actually help you lose weight with pcos? I please let me know what i can do

    1. Hi Lexi, I’m Tracey. I’ve been managing PCOS since I was 14. I am now 24. The most important thing that I can tell you about weight loss with PCOS is that it is never fast or quick. Patience is completely necessary which I know is hard, especially when you’re in high school and battling this. The best way to manage it is to take your metformin consistently, follow the PCOS Diet (carb balance), and a birth control pill without added testosterone (i.e. Beyaz) and do a lot of anaerobic exercise. Anaerobic exercise builds muscle and kills off stomach fat and firms up targeted areas. Do not neglect your aerobic exercise though as it is still just as important for your overall health and insulin levels. You need a healthy balance of the two. Just lifting weights and doing resistance won’t take care of the problem. Focus on a 1:2 ratio for carbs. For example, you have 14g of carbs you need at least 7g of protein. I try to keep carbs very low in general. I try to take in 30g of protein per meal without exceeding 300 calories. Finally, with PCOS it’s a battle. I’ve lost 30 pounds and gained 50 and lost another thirty just to gain another 50. Consistency is so crucial and as you get older losing weight gets harder and harder. I was battling this in high school too. I gained a ton of weight immediately, I got terrible acne, my hair thinned, and my body got hairy. I battled a lot of extremes to get to where I am today…in the midst of all your worries about your weight do not neglect your mental health. Depression is so common with PCOS and once you get into college and you’re stressed it gets worse…all of this affects your weight. Moral of this story…don’t neglect an overall healthy lifestyle. It’s easy to stop dieting and exercising once you’ve lost weight. With our condition we can’t sit still. We have to work extra hard to maintain our weight.

      I hope this helps you a little.

  9. Hi i am a 15 year old girl and i was diagnosed with PCOS about 3 weeks ago. About a year ago i was 125 Ibs and i started my period. I have gained about 50 lbs in the past year. I went from being 125 lbs and a size 2/4 to 175 lbs and a size 8. I have been trying to do the paleo diet for about 3 weeks now. Before that i was gluten free for about 3 weeks. Since then i have lost about 20 lbs. I am currently on the 750 mg of metformin twice a day. I haven’t really been doing exercise because i heard walking may be the only thing that helps. I don’t know what to do and i really want to lose a lot of stomach fat and get my legs thinner like the way they use to be. I just want to know what i can do to lose weight quick. Is there any type of exercise that you can do that will actually help you lose weight with pcos? I really want to be thinner and be happy and comfortable with my body. please let me know what i can do

  10. i understand how difficult it can be to manage your life when other things really take a lot of your day’s time. But small changes can bring in lot of impact even if you are not able to give a dedicated time. for example take stairs instead of lift, take walk with friends than a bike, take your 2 year old on a cycle drive, u n ur 2 year old both will enjoy. motherhood is already a lovable but difficult and exhausting task. take good amount of sleep no matter what that surely helps to bring you more balance. try power naps during day time with your 2 year old. read books, all this positivity does a lot of wonders for me everyday, i hope it does the same for you.

  11. Hi i got my pcos diagonise last yr.i was in a perfect weight when i diagonised it.but then doctor told me t loose weight and she even gave me birth control pills for 3 months.i used them and lost 3kgs also.8 months it went well.i do gym regularly but my period is not normal from 2 months. Whr comes the problem ? My weigt is perfect ! Not understanding what the problem is plzzz help me with this. I cant suffer with acne anymore

  12. i have dogonised pcos 20 days back. i am just 20years old n becoze of pcos i have got pimple on face cheast back;-). just 7 months before my face was so clear n i didnt even had a small pimple or mark but now my face is full of pimples n scars n i put up 6kgs in 4 months and experiencing every strange feelings like burning sensation in palm foot even my hormones are altered and i am nt understanding how to tacle this please help with ur suggestion

  13. Hi, i can relate to this article a lot. In past years i have done only aerobics and was not able to see results on a scale. However a did lose some cm around my waist. What i have discovered however is when you switch up your exercise methods, be it aerobics, gym, running, walking, swimming, etc. The results tend to show there. It is also importabt to keep your diet in check as well as the times in which you eat as this has an affect on your results as well. It is also important to eat within 30 mins after completing a workout so as to replace all the nutrients you havw just burned. Hope this was helpful

    1. No! Weight loss is completely possible! Don’t give up! You need to find a doctor who is willing to work with you. My doctor and Gyno have helped me manage my PCOS for 10 years. My weight varied, it’s gone up and down. The key is not letting it get out of control. You can do this. It’s hard and discouraging but even half a pound is progress and it’s worth it. Every pound lost is a win for PCOS. Don’t let slow progress discourage. Slow and steady is what you want to aim for for lasting results.

  14. I was diagnosed with PCOS in May 2013…it was a big blow on not only my self confidence but also self esteem and worth. Because of some problems I couldn’t exercise till this summer. I started with brisk walks, from 25 mins to 50 mins and then reduced it to 15-20mins with 250 double jump skipping and 300 high knees or Marching. Starting from 50 each and increasing 20 each week. And I lost about 4 KGS in 2 months. But gained 2kgs in 2 weeks in which I couldn’t exercise because of college. I started using the gym facility in my college and even though now I’m back to the weight I was before college started and even after 2 months I haven’t lost any significant amount of weight I have lost almost 1.5 inches on my tummy, and an inch on my thighs.It sometimes depresses me that the weighing scale just doesn’t budge but my doctor, teachers and my mom remind me to be patient…It takes about 2-3 years to get outta this condition and even then you need to keep active and exercising.

  15. Hello all….a little late in looking at this post and responding but I’d like to share how I lost weight and managed PCOS. My doc advised me to make sure I sweated a lot when I exercised and I found that joining an aerobics class helped me in my goal and made me look forward to doing something enjoyable. Floor exercises like yoga or pilates help burn visceral fat, and diet and nutrition management further help in weight loss. Now my periods are like clockwork and it is a boon to be fit, feel light and be cheerful. Good luck to all who are reading this post! Just make sure you stick to your workouts and eat sensibly……

    1. I myself have pcos and manage if , it’s deffiebtky not easy but I knew 3 years Ago I had pcos and no doctors believed me after plenty of tests because I was living a pcos lifestyle , i diagnosed myself after they first told me no . I did my research and leaned from it and did what I had to do before I became i obese , I wasn’t having it !!! So I took action
      On my own , I am a former fitness competitor and never understood why I was never losing weight as much as I was training and eatkmg every 3 hours and very low in carbs and never added sodium, my trainer and I were dumb founded , so we knew to get me ready for a show I had to start months earlier then most and eat a lot less …. But I ws determined to step
      On stage so I worked out longer and harder and ate 25-50 carbs. Day !!! I went from 150 lbs to 110 in a year ! I know gain weight to put muscle on to lose weight for show …. I eat every 3 hours , eat 50-75 cabs ( offseason ) on season ( 25-50) , and workout 6 days a week 2 days just cardio 600 cals ( carbs 50) weight training (75 carbs ) I took a year off from competing and let lose a little Nothing CRAZY. Half a cup of real ice cream , extra peanut butter , piece of cake once in a blew and …. 30lbs in 6 months , also was diagnosed with ADD the adroil also made me gain , I was baffled ! Now I finally go to the doctor weight 150 lbs ( mostly muscle ) but deff a little belly in the mid section now I finally get diagnosed with pcos ! So I went right back on a pcos diet , non dairy / gluten free and no sugar !!! I manage how to make my food delicious and still enjoy gluten free low carb snacks to keep sane ! I plain on doing a show in April , I’ll start show dieting in December and I’m doing a mini cut now to adjust my body for December , it’s simple ladies , eat clean , train hard , sleep ! And the. Work and stay active !

  16. Hello all…i do alot of aerobic workouts and the simple motivation secret to sticking to ur workout is…always choose something u enjoy doing..maybe a sport,jogging,walking,any outdoor or indoor activities etc. (trust me there is sooo much of choice) the most important thing is YOU should enjoy what u do that way ull stick to ur workouts more than u can imagine.i always hated exercise but ever since i started off with group aerobics there is no stopping me..and when i was diagnosed with PCOS a few months ago the doc said my symptoms are still controlled because of my 6 day/week workouts… Soo girls what are u waiting for??? 🙂

  17. Hi all
    i need to know that have any of u any problem with the digestion along the pcos? bcoz i am experiencing a lot of burping after eating any thing even if its a salad and especially after a meal?
    DEAR TARRYN
    can you please answer that why is it (is it because of pcos)?
    what i can do to solve this burping problem actually it is very embarrassing and hard to control burping.

    1. Hi there, I know this is old but I see you have not gotten any responses. Maybe people thought you were being funny lol because it sounds so odd. However, the same thing happened to me. Mine were more like hiccups because for some strange reason I don’t burp. Anyway, my chest would hurt at times because of so many hiccups.

      Once I cut out bad carbs and reduced my sugar intake significantly is when the hiccups stopped. I think it does have something to do with PCOS and how bad carbs affect us. Because on days I would want to heat bread, pasta, potatoes, cake and things like that the hiccups came back. I would also feel nausea after.

      I hope this helps someone out there.

  18. Hi i was diagnosed with pcos 12 years ago. i excercise regularly and seem to

    be permanently on a diet to no avail. i have read your article and feel much
    Better knowing that i am making some changes i get very dis heartened when i do so much and don’t see any results. but your article has reallyhelped me thank you

  19. Hello,

    I’m wondering when would it be better to exercise. I read conflicting advice. I read that people with pcos should exercise in the morning on an empty stomach so that we don’t make more sugar. I also read you should exercise after a small snack to that you’re blood sugar doesn’t crash. Does anybody know? Maybe if I had a glucose monitor I would be able to know how exercise affects me.

  20. I’m so gland to find this site, all my fear of unable to conceive disappear, the first thing I did was to cut off my sugar intake, I have being trying to conceive for the past two years now, I just pray the diet and exercise stuff works, no period now for the past eight months.

    1. Hi Jenny,

      Make sure you’re taking Inositol and Folic Acid, Omega 3 and Vitamin D as well.

      Good luck and I hope you get some amazing baby news soon!

      Tarryn

  21. Hi! Wow I just happened to come across this website. I know how important it is to exercise. Even if it is 30 minutes of walking 5 days of the week, it’s something. But brisk walking. I have to lose abt 10 kilos- so good luck to me! But I also think its important to lose weight slowly otherwise you tend to put it back on. I

    1. Hi Sam,

      I absolutely agree with you! Any exercise is good. Good luck with your weight loss!

      Tarryn

  22. I’ve been diagnosed with PCOS for about 10 years and stumbled on this website today. 4 years ago at 32 my ob/gyn did a complete hysterectomy with bilateral oophorectomy….big mistake. While my cysts are gone and the irregular periods and bloating, I’ve now found how much more estrogen does for your body outside of reproductive functions! I’ve been sort of a typical, an athletic build most of my life, no trouble with fertility, but did suffer from the hirtuism and a few other symtoms. Since my hysterectomy, which for me was essentially surgical menopause at 32, I’ve put on weight and become overwhelmed by the different (and contradictory) information related to diet and exercise. I tried metformin but it gave me very low blood sugar symptoms. One article I read suggested that consistent walking or moderate level exercise is best for PCOS as running stresses the body which increases the level of cortisol and therefore still allows for fat storage in our midsections. I’ve been trying to follow a fairly low carb diet but it has consisted of large amounts of cheese as a protein source. Reading that this should be avoided is interesting to me. It makes sense with the hormone component. I guess I’ll need to add that to my already long list of what not to eat. 🙁

  23. Im a RN that works 12-16 hr days 3-4 days a week. Im already tired most of the time then add those long days at work. My days off Im useless just exhausted. Dont see how I can workout 3-6 days a week. I have been trying to concieve since October 2012.

  24. Hi All, my teenage daughter was diagnosed 4 days ago. Unfortunately she can be very stubborn (more than me). She was vegan for over a year, now vegetarian. The small changes in her diet won’t be an issue – it will be the exercise. If it’s genetic, I think she’s got this from both sides, as some close relatives, may be, unfortunately, ‘classic examples’ very big/ low fertility. This has not scared her, so can anyone suggest some bribery techniques (without financial incentive). It’s been a while since I was 17. Or should I still give her some more time for the news to sink in. She’s also doing final year at school so this is “what I don’t need right now”, understandably. I’m joining her in the changes she will need to make.

  25. I had just joined because I’m so confused over my diet. I’m very excited to start. Regarding working out…I’ve been active in the gym for over 2 years. I had some relapse along the way but I kept at it. . I started off lightly. I did the couch to 5k training (there’s an ap for that) and did my first 5k after the program. Start with something simple and build. Everyone who is capable can walk. It was just the beginning for me. I’ve done 9-5k’s since and now lead me to spin. I spin 1-2 times a week. I also hike, walk, jog in between times of spin. I do Ujam fitness occasionally (the hip hop version of Zumba). Signing up for 5k’s help to have something to work towards. Good luck to everyone!

  26. I just joined because I’m so confused over my diet. I’m very excited to start. Regarding working out…I’ve been active in the gym for over 2 years. I had some relapse along the way but I kept at it. Prior I wasn’t an active person. I started off lightly. I did the couch to 5k and did my first 5k after the program. Start with something simple and build. Everyone who is capable can walk. It was just the beginning for me, and now lead me to spin. I spin 1-2 times a week. I hike, walk, jog in between times of spin. I do ujam occasionally (the hip hop version of ujam). Signing up for 5k’s help to have something to work towards. It was the start of my work outs.

  27. When I found out I had pcos, I felt really angry and really alone.
    It is so wonderful it find a website that is so positive and helpful.
    I look forward to using your knowledge and expertise. Thank you xo

  28. Hi Tarryn,

    I’m getting married in 6 months!!!

    Wooohooo! So excited of being a mom and I am declaring my victory
    over PCOS in advance. 🙂

    With PCOS, I gained 30 lbs in just a couple of months.
    Now I only need to lose half of it.

    Exercise works wonders for me. Aunt Flow visits as scheduled.

    Its actually hard for everyone to start exercise as a habit.
    But once it becomes a habit (like eating healthy) it becomes a natural thing. So, a 15 minute a day work out is good enough at the beginning then work our way up to 30 to an hour a day. Then the next thing you know, you’re running marathons. 🙂

    I like this post. Thank you for inspiring us.

  29. Thank you so much for writing this. I was diagnosed with PCOS 3 days ago. My doctor stressed the importance of me improving my diet and increasing my activity to at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week, even if it was simply going for walks to get my heart rate up. I understood how diet was extremely important but couldn’t figure out why my doctor insisted on the exercise until reading this article.

  30. Shianne,

    I completely agree with you about the lack of energy. I have sudden bursts of it too. All of a sudden, I’m emotional, drained and completely dis interested in doing any kind of excersize. It isn’t like me to be un active. I’m naturally very active, always have been, but over the last year, I have become severely lethargic and exhausted at times to the point I just get grumpy and want to sleep and couldn’t think of anything worse than going for a walk..

    Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated! x

  31. Hi I am new on this site but must say that it’s the best one I have come across by far!
    I have been attending the gym from January this year ans have only lost 2kgs.
    I gym Mon to Fri and do cardio and circuit training.
    I have mild pcos and have been diagnosed with it for 5 years after giving birth to my son.
    I keep thinking that I am not working hard enough to lose the weight and it can be depressing.

  32. I started trying to exercise (baby steps is what i keep saying) at least walking to pick up my son from school which is about a mile there and a mile back everyday and i was going for a fast paced walk with a few bursts of sprints here and there for extra kick on the weekends. I was starting to feel AMAZING then out of no-where i have had zero energy to clean my house let alone do my walks. I dont understand why i am suddenly exhausted with no energy. Anyone help me out? Im not exactly in the best position for super awesome groceries i can afford hamburger helper and limited produce, which i know isnt good for PCOS but my family is on SUPER tight budget, and half the time i only eat dinner due to the lack of groceries. I know this has alot to do with my energy level but my groceries and food intake has not changed, why was the first week/two weeks so awesome and now i am depleted?

    1. One of the side effects of PCOS is also sleep apnia, that causes u to have zero energy and also prevents u from loosing weight take it from me I got diagnosed about two months ago and have a Cpap machine which gives u the oxygen u need. Now I feel like a new person.

  33. Fitting exercise in is always hard! I try to add it into my everyday life, for example instead if getting the bus home from work I walk. It is a decent walk, 5.5km so that is easier than having to make my way to the gym, which would be about a 2.5 hour round trip. On my days of I swim or go to the gym. That way I am exercising 6-7 days a week.

    I find the secret to keeping myself motivated is variety, being able to do different things. I worked with a personal trainer for a couple of months, about 6 months ago, and that gave me lots of different ideas and strategies to use on my own. The personal trainer also taught me that I can do much more that I ever thought I could, he pushed me out of my comfort zone. A great feeling!

    I am considering work with a trainer again so that I can learn new ways of pushing myself as well as providing me with more variety.

  34. I’ve recently came across a new exercise that helps with insulin resistance. It unlike other exercises is also low impact. Great for me as I also have sciatica from previous back injuries. I like Zumba and yoga but in starting a regimen with them my sciatica acted out causing me to stop working out. So here’s the exercise T-Tapp http://www.t-tapp.com/ with the “hoedown” being the insulin resistance helping exercise. I have been doing those exercises even with my hurt back and I find I can do them. They are simple and quick. I’ve also started looking into going organic with a majority of items not just food. So I’ve found this site that turned me onto I-Iapp. http://wellnessmama.com/ she has great easy recipes on how to make your own lotion, shampoo and so forth. She actually tried out T-Tapp and her research really made me look further into it. See what you think.

  35. Hi all!

    The best results I have gotten was when I was working out consistently but this was my last year at college (YIKES). It was not anything too serious sometimes I would hit the gym for 45 mins on the eliptical or I would just walk from south campus to north campus. I also ate better too. i did not cut all the bad foods like sweets, fast food, etc out. but i did limit my consumption. I am trying to get back into this. Good Luck to you all as well.

    and thank you Tarryn for the article and this site!

  36. I am absolutely not fond of exercise. But reading this, I may give it a try. I started with Zumba in march, once a week. I really like it when I’m at the gym. But going to the gym. That’s my problem.
    And it is only on a tuesdaynight. Last week I had to work en this tuesday our prince became a king, so everyone was partying here in Holland.
    Ergo, I missed Zumba for almost 3 weeks now. That’s not helping.
    I am really goning to try! But any motivation tip is welcome!
    x Stefanie

    1. I try to stay away from bread and milk. I purchased a stationary bike and I have a trampoline and a kettle bell. I rotate the exercises every day. I just started a month ago. I haven’t lost weight yet but my pants fit better and my husband said I’m starting to get my waist back! The sweating is really helping my anxiety. Let’s keep it up ladies!

    2. Stefanie, I do Zumba at home. I use the Zumba Wii game but you can also get it on the x-box kinect. You wouldn’t have to worry about getting yourself to the gym and can Zumba anytime. It also allows for some flexibility in how long you want to exercise for, two bursts of 30 mins instead of 1 hr at a stretch. The game has several levels and rewards to keep you motivated. I particularly enjoy it because I can dance my heart out without feeling awkward about doing it with a bunch of strangers.

  37. since i joined pcosdiet, about a month ago, i took dairy out(in addition to the gluten) and do 45 minutes of cardio five times a week after work. ive lost ten pounds! i had to buy new clothes! whoo hoo! four of the pounds came off the first week i took dairy out. i found talking to your friends and co-workers about your exercising habits and goals helps you want to go to the gym after work, instead of home. the exercising is key! do it!
    -sarah

  38. This article breaks it down nicely. I did a 10 week weight loss challenge with my trainer recently, and didn’t lose any weight whatsoever!!! Although it was really frustrating, the measurements taken at the beginning and the end showed some body change happening. And my doctor said my vitals were much better than before. My trainer worked very hard at keeping a positive outlook for me. It is nice to see it in this article that its not completely my fault I am not seeing results on the scale!

    1. Jenn thanks for the input because there are days when I get very frustrated when I see little to know results.This morning I wanted to throw my scale out the window. I have a trainer as well and I have not lost any WIEGHT if fact I have gained however I can see changes in body composition but the numbers in the scales are moving in the worng direction.Trainer reminds me that muscle weight is heavier. It is a struggle. I was working out 3 days a week now I am working out 5 days a week to see what kind of results will show.

  39. I have two appointments a week with a trainer. Making the appointments helps me to stick to that. I also do yoga and run ( when I am motivated). Another benefit I have found is the excersise helps a lot with my anxiety and depression. I always feel better after some excersise

  40. I have been following the pcos diet with some paleo thrown in for about 6 weeks now, I haven’t noticed overall weight loss although the 4 lb I put on over the 2 week holiday in the middle is coming off now so maybe I am about to get to the next number down in the stones!(Sun also great for my SAD symptoms!)

    I do 2 sessions of Zumba a week and 2 of Pilates as well as trying to do Pilates or walking my kids’ dogs on a couple of the days I don’t have a class. I really enjoy the classes, I am feeling more alert, less likely to want to sleep in the afternoon and dietwise I’m not missing the dairy or high gi stuff. I made a cake with 1/4 cup coconut flour this week and it was so light and yummy. give the exercise and diet a go – you may like it!

  41. Hi just found you in Pinterest, I love your blog and am going to be a daily visitor now 🙂
    I was just recently diagnosed with PCOS after going through the symptoms since 17.

  42. Thank you so much for this article! Its motivating. I’m currently on metformin so am seeing weight loss but still not as much as I would like. Seeing that even if I’m exercising and not losing it will help me regulate things is so motivating. I just found you on Facebook and Pintrest and can’t wait to learn more.

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