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Weight loss with PCOS: Why is it SO hard?

How many times have you been to the doctor only to be told to lose weight to improve your Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome symptoms? Easier said than done, right! We know that weight gain and difficulty with weight loss with PCOS is part and parcel of the condition and we seem to be fighting a constant battle with the scale. But, why is it so darn hard to lose weight? Just what is it about PCOS that makes weight loss seem virtually impossible?

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Let’s have a look at what is happening in our bodies and what some of the research says about weight loss and PCOS.

Insulin Resistance and the Role of Insulin in PCOS

Insulin is an important hormone that is responsible for metabolizing glucose or dealing with sugar in our blood stream. It transports sugar to the muscles and if the body has more glucose than is needed, insulin is involved in the process of storing it as fat should we need it later (1).

weight-loss-wth-pcos-insulin-resistance
Research shows that women with PCOS have some kind of dysfunction in the cells responsible for secreting insulin (Beta cells). It seems that these cells are responsible for detecting sugar in the blood stream and may over react, producing more insulin than is needed. This means that more glucose is stored as fat (2).

Also, many, but not all, women with PCOS also have insulin resistance (3). This means that your body needs more insulin than normal to deal with sugar in your blood stream. High levels of insulin cause your body to store more fat and also causes your ovaries to make more testosterone, making the symptoms of PCOS worse (4).

Unfortunately, Insulin and Insulin resistance is only one piece of this puzzle and isn’t the only reason that we struggle to lose weight…

 

Slow Metabolism

Women with PCOS have also been found to have a slower metabolic rate. Basal metabolic rate is the number of calories you need every day to function. This includes keeping your heart, brain and organs going, eating and digesting food, etc (5).

In a recent study, researchers found that women without PCOS needed roughly 1868 calories per day whilst women with PCOS only needed around 1445 calories per day, and those with insulin resistance needed even less (6).

This means that women with PCOS do not need as many calories per day as the average women as metabolism is much slower in women with PCOS. It doesn’t seem very fair, does it? We don’t need as many calories as the average woman but we fight fierce cravings and tend to feel hungry all the time. What’s up with that?

Appetite Control

There are a number of hormones involved with hunger and appetite control. Some of these include ghrelin,
weight-loss-with-pcos-why-is-it-so-hard

Cholecystokinin and leptin. Recent research has shown that women with PCOS do not feel as full or satiated after meals as women who don’t have PCOS (7).

This means that women with PCOS will continue to feel hungry, even if they have eaten all of the nutrients and calories they require.

Summing it Up:

So, this is the frustrating story for many of us with PCOS. We gain weight quickly and struggle to lose it as a result of our:

  • Difficulties with insulin
  • Slower metabolic rate
  • Disordered appetite control

Thankfully, though, this isn’t the end of our story and there are some things we can do to help us lose weight. We’ll get on to this in the next blog post.

This may seem like a hopeless article but I do want to encourage you! Yes, losing weight is important in managing our symptoms, but it isn’t an easy road. If you are struggling with weight loss, heart that it’s probably not through lack of trying and it’s not all in your head. Your fight to lose weight is real and it is shared by thousands of other women who also have PCOS!

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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

244 Responses

244 Responses

  1. My biggest issue is the insulin resistance. My problem is I usually have no appetite. If I do, I can’t eat much. They’ve also told me that my metabolism was “through the roof” but then couldn’t explain why I wasn’t losing weight other than I wasn’t eating enough. When I do finally have an appetite, I’m shamed into feeling like I’m just being greedy. I feel like PCOS is just a cruel joke and a curse.

  2. As a functional practitioner I would like to also add doing a two week cleanse can be beneficial for hormones . Also taking probiotics is good for the gut microbiome. And with the young women most importantly I would avoid eating and drinking in anything plastic as well as avoid Hormone disruptors such as perfumes shampoos and lotions that contain sulfates and phthalates as well as BPA’s which also includes canned food.

  3. I was diagnosed at the age of 14, and have been prescribed birth control over since (I’m 22 now.) Weight loss has been SUCH a pain. I’m 5’7″ and weigh about 180 pounds and no matter how much I diet or exercise that seems to be where I stay at. For those who are also struggling- let me give you some of the tips that have at least helped me and could hopefully help you too. PCOS increases your odds of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers, depression, etc. So if you don’t see the weight loss you’re looking for, you should still try your best to exercise daily and eat healthy just to prevent or manage these issues. Though the standard woman needs 1800 calories per day, women with PCOS need 1400 or less as unfair as that is. The only thing you can do is eat as healthily as possible by sticking to foods that won’t irritate you. For me personally I follow IBS guidelines and try to avoid dairy, high fats, and heavy carbs (though carbs give you energy so don’t cut them completely.) The only long-term solution I have found is gaining muscle. Yes, cardio is important, but more muscle means you will burn those extra calories that you consume. Plus it provides almost immediate gratification because though you aren’t losing weight, you feel stronger and can see a difference. Hopefully this helps, I spent many years uninformed and wondering why I kept gaining weight, why I was always bloated and depressed… Sticking to low fat proteins and veggies with daily weight training has been the best solution for me so far. I hope this helps.

  4. Good day, my name is Adrianna. Today was my 17th birthday and honestly I can relate soooooo much to your daughter because I have been diagnosed with PCOS for a while now. There are so many things that I become depressed about and I cry so many times and feel like I have nothing left to hope for. I would like to urge you, please encourage her and motivate her to feel like the end has not come. I have no one on my side to help me through this battle but she has you. Do not allow her to do this alone.

  5. I am 30 and was diagnosed with PCOS in 2015. Just last month I really began to focus on my health and diet. My husband is dieting with me so we can motivate each other and do it together. We are doing a low carb diet. Well, we started April 25th and so far he has lost 13 pounds and I have lose a measly 5 pounds! ONLY 5 POUNDS! We are doing the same exact diet and the weight is just falling off him like it’s nothing. Today was a really bad day for me. I went out into the car and sat ate McDonalds while crying my eyes out. It’s just not fair. I’m doing everything my doctor told me to do. I don’t understand what I’m doing wrong. I seriously almost want to start starving myself, become bulimic and loose the pounds that way.

    1. I’m 31 and was diagnosed with PCOS 2 years ago, I have tried every diet, med and fad out there 2 months ago I did whole 30 for the first time. It was awful, but I was fed up enough with my weight to stick it out. Found I couldn’t have gluten or dairy inflammation much…but more than that info I gained better control over my craving and my hunger signals diminished. I now don’t need to to eat as much to feel full and find myself without the cravings I once had. I have stayed away from gluten completely as well as dairy, and sugar intake has been limited daily and only natural sugars honey, and coconut sugar. I only weigh myself once a month and let myself have 1 day of being down before focusing on the fact that I feel amazing. Now that I have the control i need I will be focusing on eating a 1300 calorie diet within my other guidelines, until I am where I want to be. I have only lost 6lbs in 2 months but, this is my life not a diet not a fad, this is what I need to do for my health for a lifetime. So I choose to focus on the None Scale Victories and making changes that will last a lifetime. for you and your journey, much love and we got this we are strong!

    2. Bulimia just makes things worse. Take it from a now recovered 15 year Bulemic. I’m my leanest now. Lift heavy weights. Use that extra testosterone for something. 65 pounds came off in under a year for me when I added heavy weights. Find a crossfit gym if you can

    3. Don’t starve yourself. Look into Tru Vision supplements which has helped lots og gals in like situations lisevweight and get their health back. Lots of miracle Tru baby testimonies too!

    4. Don’t do that .. it might take sometime.. but eventually you will lose all your extra pounds. I’ve lost weight by working out soooo dam hard. . But then after I reached my goal weight I stopped and started eating all the junk again.. then I’ve gained weight again.. now I’m struggling even more than before to lose that.. still I haven’t lost my hope.. and I can definitely feel improvement. . But it should be constant and really hard workouts..

  6. I have been battling PCOS since I was diagnosed in my mid-20’s. It is challenging and is certainly a constant battle. I feel best when I exercise regularly, and cut sugar and carbs from my diet. I am premenopausal now and it is more difficult to control sugar cravings and manage my weight plus my 16 year old daughter was just diagnosed with this and is significantly depressed by it. I am worried for her as well as for her twin sister who has not yet been diagnosed. It is a lifelong burden and journey in which you have to love yourself and embrace and work with your deficits from PCOS. I will be my daughter’s support along this journey and hope to steer her towards a healthy way of living so that the impacts of PCOS will be minimal.

    1. Good day, my name is Adrianna. Today was my 17th birthday and honestly I can relate soooooo much to your daughter because I have been diagnosed with PCOS for a while now. There are so many things that I become depressed about and I cry so many times and feel like I have nothing left to hope for. I would like to urge you, please encourage her and motivate her to feel like the end has not come. I have no one on my side to help me through this battle but she has you. Do not allow her to do this alone.

  7. I am a 19 years old girl from Hong Kong, and now I am having a diet, doing regular exercise every day and eat clean. I have been continued about three months, but my weight just loses 2-3 kg. It really frustrated and struggled me a lot, why I lose weight that slow. After reading this blog, it really helps me to understand more what is happening in my body. But I want to know if there are some methods can help PCOS women to lose weight.
    Thank you:)

    1. Hey Rachel! I have PCOS and I’m 25! I started to diet in March and I’ve lost 22 pounds. I felt the same way you do. I felt like I wasn’t doing enough on my diet and exercising. Went with the doctor and he stated that I was doing an awesome job to keep it up! It will take longer for us to lose weight! Keep it up Rachel!!

      1. hey Jazmin, I’m 14y old I’ve been on a diet for 2 months now, I eat very clean healthy food and exercise every day in the morning. I lost 10lbs in the first month but these past 3 weeks my weight stayed the same. and I am getting very nervous because I still have another 20lbs to lose and I might be going to boarding school and I can not control what I eat there. Do you have any tips?
        Btw I’m very happy for your achievements 🙂

    2. Tru Vision supplement would help you greatly..all natural too! Let me know if you want to check out their fb page free for testimonies.

  8. Hi, I was diagnosed with PCOS from the age of 11, a year after I started my period. I am now 20 and 11st while being 5ft tall and have issues with body confidence and depression. I am a cosplayer and hate the look of my body whenever I wear costumes or even just dresses. I have tried everything from diets to literally murdering my legs from walking but I only seem to gain weight and not lose it. I am attempting to lose a stone in 5 weeks and pushing my body past my Limit. What I want to know, is why is it so hard to lose weight. I have not been able to shift it off my stomach and it looks like I am pregnant (Which I am not) I get a lot of looks and snide comments from just strangers around me and it is infuriating. Also my bum sticks out and my spine is curved (another body issue aside from PCOS) Does anyone have any advice on how I can deal with this and lose weight quickly?

  9. I’m 27, I take the bus, and walk at least 14 blocks a day. I always take the stairs to my apartment (I live on the 4th floor) and I do the stairs at least 3 times a week, where I walk up and down 5 flights about 7-10 times in a row. In the summer I have a different job and I ride my bike to work and back at least 9 miles at least twice a week. I go for mile long walks on days I don’t. I eat healthy, I rarely eat sugar (occasionally I will slip and eat a chocolate bar around my period.)I eat a lot of homemade soups and salads, and then I pack leftovers for lunch. My soups include homemade chicken stock, pieces of chicken, potatoes, kale, onions, carrots, barley, and mushrooms. For snacks I eat a slice of cheese, or a small can of olives. My portion sizes are not big because my mom gave me this diet once, for portion control and it was more than I usually eat. I walk to the grocery store, I walk to the mall, I walk to the library, I walk during breaks at work. I don’t have a car. After doing this for a year, I have lost 3 lbs. I am 5’2 and I weigh 168 lbs. I don’t have acne, or hair loss because I eat so healthily but Jesus Christ when I hear normal people complaining about weight loss, I want to punch them in the face. My dad said he worked so hard to lose 9 lbs, all he did was cut out eating squares at meetings. Another guy said he cut out pop and lost 30 lbs. I don’t even drink pop or eat squares. I am so sick of people (including my family) judging me harshly and telling me I must be eating a bunch of stuff I shouldn’t. My doctor is at a loss and is sending me to a dietitian. I am so frustrated. Now all fat people say they have medical reasons for being fat, and so nobody even believes you when you tell them. (I hate fat people who have no reason to be the way they are.) I do more exercise and I eat healthier than most thin people, and I am fat and it isn’t fair.

    1. Try cutting out meat and dairy and see how you feel. I say this because meat and dairy contain a lot of unnecessary hormones that our body doesn’t need like estrogen. And they’re inflammatory, so they just add more fuel to the already raging wildfire.

    2. I am facing the same i tried so hard for the past 3 months regular exercise less food and most importantly healthy food small proportions and u have still lost 3 lbs believe me i didnt even lose 1 lb thats how harsh it is for me i feel like its the end of the world for me even if i tried and struggled all people can do is judge me for eating stuff that i dont for not being healthy which i try to me im so frustrated

    3. Hi Elias, I just wanted to say that I hear you and can relate sooo much. I have PCOS and have battled my weight since the age of 16. I used to spend hours at the gym and followed a strict 1200/day calorie diet and never lost weight. My mom and I did weight watchers after I unexpectedly gained 15 lbs one summer, and it was so discouraging because I followed the diet to the T, never cheated, and didn’t lose more than 1-2 lbs over a year. The people at weight watchers always assumed I “cheated” on the diet and lied about it (I didn’t). I am 31 now, and still struggle with my weight (I am 5’0 and weigh 150) but I just thought I would share a couple of things I have learned over the years. To a certain degree, I have let go of my “weight loss” mindset, and now focus on strength and fitness goals (I recently ran my first 10k), and put energy into what makes me feel good (hiking!). I have found the Whole30 program to be very effective – I recently lost 4 lbs after following that program for a month, which was more weight than I have lost in 1 year, and I have kept it off. I have started running and doing a lot of exercise with hand weights at home, and even though I haven’t lost more weight, I feel stronger and better about myself. Popsugar fitness is a channel on Youtube that has great free videos, as well as Tone It Up (on Youtube and they have their own website), and I recently just started using Daily Burn. It is a paid subscription, but totally worth it. The trainers are very encouraging for those days when I feel like, what is the point? In regards to other people judging you – you can remind them that other people’s genetics are different, but mostly you just have to tune out their voices and focus on yourself. I know this is easier said than done, but it sounds like you make healthy choices every day and you should be really proud of that. Maybe try some new things, and see if anything works for you.

  10. I’m 14 years old and have PCOS. The amount of times I say to myself you can lose weight, it’s easy! It really isn’t easy. I cry a lot, I’m alone a lot and cover up a lot simply because there is nothing about my body that I like. My doctors have offered me Birth Control but I’ve rejected it because I think I can do it on my own but I can’t. Everyone around me is just getting skinnier but I feel bigger each day. I don’t know what to do anymore.

    1. Oh sweetie I know exactly how you feel. I’ve been put on birth control in the past for my PCOS and to force my body to have a period every month. I was on it for about a year until I finally decided to quit it because it all it did was make me have periods and made my anxiety and depression worse. It did not help me lose weight. Birth control is just a band-aid solution over a bullet hole. It doesn’t get to the root of the problem. It just masks the symptoms. As soon as you come off of it, your symptoms reappear. I know it sucks, but just remember you are not alone, there are so many women struggling with this stubborn illness just like you.

    2. I can remember feeling exactly the same way when I was your age. I was diagnosed with PCOS at 15 and whilst I was relieved to finally understand why I felt and looked the way I did, it didn’t do much to make things better. I had terrible acne, awful hairloss and just struggled so much with my weight. My mood swings were so violent and erratic that I sometimes stuggled to see a future. I did start taking the contraceptive pill and it did make a difference to my acne (with the help of other treatments too) and my hairloss was stunted. The only way I managed to control my weight was to eat as if I was diabetic and start exercising. This was the hardest hurdle as my confidence was so low and the progress was very (very) slow. The good news is that over time I started to understand my condition better and therefore manage it more effectively. I went to Uni, made lifelong friends, worked and played hard, fell in love and eventually started a family (it wasn’t an easy journey but I made it through). Now I have a beautiful, clever and much loved 14 year old daughter who is going through this rough ride, just like you are and I did… To you both I say that PCOS don’t define who you are but it will define how you will make your journey. Be patient, be kind to yourselves and believe that change can happen. It won’t be as quick as others, but it can and will happen. X

    3. hey poppy I’m 14y old as well, 2 months ago I’ve been diagnosed with PCOS ,in the first month I’ve lost 10lbs but now I’m just stuck I’m expected to lose another 20lbs, and I might be leaving to boarding school so I will not control what I eat and that scares me.
      I completely understand, I went vegan and I feel better try cutting out dairy and meet 🙂

  11. I still have a issue with having PCOS. I was diagnosed at 15 with PCOS and doctors explained to me all that it could do and I took it as nothing big because I was skinny nice little body once I hit 19 I started to gain so much weight out of nowhere and it has been a battle ever since. I work out I try to eat less and I feel like nothing works. I cut rice out of my life which I love & pasta as well. Bread is hard for me but I cut down a lot of it from before. I eat salads which I love here and there but every day kills me. I cut a lot of the bad things but my period is non stop if I get off the birth control. It horrible all the PCOS girl I’ve talk to they don’t get their period and I’m the opposite I get my periods and it will never stop I could go months with my periods. Its so weird. I go to the gym 3-4 times a week but I’m not motivated at all. Its so hard to keep up with a strict diet when I’m always hungry. But I’m praying things get better.

  12. Hi so I have recently been diagnosed with PCOS and to be honest I have been feeling really depressed and stressed reading all about PCOS I can’t believe how many women struggle with this.I’m going be 21 in November and can’t believe it’s taken me this long to talk to my doctor about these simptomes so basically all I want is advise on how to make the best of things like the abnormal hair growth that is one of the worst things killing my confidence at the moment because of my age it’s so hard already being very overweight you have to be so strong having people look at you whispering it’s hard and adding all that extra hair it makes me feel like less of a woman. I think the reason I am asking help here is because you guys are going through the same stuff it’s easy to read all the mediCal information to help you live better but I think it would benefit me better to get advice from someone who is living with PCOS and have seen what works and what doesn’t. I am sorry for this long comment basically all I am asking is advise on what is the does and don’t Living with PCOS Thank you so much

    1. I used to shave my face like twice a day, my facial hair growth was thick and really embarrassing. I also have hair growth on my abdomen. I never feel really comfortable in anything other than an over-sized sweater and jeans. I lack a lot of self confidence, but it is getting better! Although it was more than a little painful, I had a face wax and have not had to shave at all for a week. The gal that did my face wax, pointed out that I might have a hormonal problem so I went to the doctor the following day. The doctor asked me about the typical PCOS symptoms and after some blood-work and testing, she determined that I did have PCOS and we talked about an action plan.

      FOR ME, that has helped boost my confidence just a bit. I don’t lose weight easily at all and have had to combine self exercise twice a week, trainer instructed exercise three times a week, daily calorie counting, and the doctor just put me on birth control to help with the facial hair. I used to work at an elementary school and I remember the kids asking why do you have a beard? or why is your tummy so big? and that always crushed me. I know I ate my way to the weight I am – so I don’t use PCOS as an excuse. However, I was very active in high school and played sports. I started gaining weight quite rapidly around 14 and kind of just kept ballooning. I got into that eat when you’re sad circle ( eat when you’re sad, be sad that you gain weight, so eat some more). For me, weightlifting has helped a lot! I do squats with weight and dead-lifts. I also try to walk, I got a fit bit (you can use free apps on phones or other step counters), I try to do 5,000 steps a day at least, but my goal is to do 10,000 steps a day.
      I told my doctor about my workout routine and calorie counting, she told me I should have lost more weight by now, but that it might be because of the PCOS’ affect on insulin that I am having a difficult time. It helps me a little to know that it isn’t that what I am doing is not enough.

      Hope this helps, I feel kind of like I am rambling on now and I have only been diagnosed for a week so I feel like I am not qualified to talk about “my experience” just yet. Either way, hope this helps even a little and you are totally right, it helps to know that I am not alone in this!

      (28, F, Very Overweight, Diagnosed just a week ago)

  13. I see a lot of comment about people recommending different diets on here. And I just wanted to point out that just because a diet works for you, doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. Each persons body is different, and while there are similar guidelines each person with pcos is recommended to follow, there’s so many ways to do it. I’ve been eating a high carb, low fat, plant based vegan diet for the past 6 months and have seen more improvement in my pcos in those 6 months than I have in YEARS. That’s what works for me, and it could work for other as well. But I recommend all of you to do research on all the different possibilities, try them out, see if they work for you. If they don’t, don’t force you self to continue with them. I tried countless ways of eating before I found what works for me. And for anyone concerned about the protein aspect, there’s plenty of plant based vegans who are able to eat high protein, myself included. But plant based in the key here. I also take spiro and birth control to help my pcos, but since starting this diet and losing 50lbs, my doctor is going to be lowering my dosage of spiro because I’m doing so well. It is possible to get your pcos in control. Don’t get discouraged!! It’s a long journey of trying out hundreds of different possibilities and diet and lifestyles and changes, but if you stay motivated, and keep focusing on where you want to be and how you want to look, you will find the right changes to make for YOU. and thing will begin to improve with your symptoms. They won’t completely go away, but I promise they do get better. And I absolutely recommend that anyone looking to change their diet to improve their pcos research a high carb low fat plant based(vegan or not) diet, and give it a shot for a couple of weeks or months. You might be surprised, or you might realize it’s not for you, and that’s ok! But keep searching for the right way of eating for you because it will make a world of difference.

    1. I love fruits like oranges! I wouldn’t mind doing something like this. I’m 156 pounds and doing a 1500 calories diet most days a w eek. Sometimes I have cheat days but just once in a while.

  14. Hi, I am 31 I have had PCOS for a few years but no one ever properly diagnosed me until a month ago. I am struggling to loose weight. I don’t know what to do I have tried everything from a special diet to no junk food I am about to give up. I don’t know what to do.

  15. Hi!

    Found this website in an desperate attempt at getting some kind of grip of things. I was diagnosed with PCOS about 3 years ago but I’ve always struggled with my weight. Even though I eat healthy and exersice I gain weight. After I was diagnosed I started taking Yaz birth control pills to manage my symptoms. Sure, it worked for a while. A couple of months ago I was rushed to ER with massive pulmonary embolism and it was touch and go there for a while. Most probably I was the one in thousands of women who suffer blood clots from using birth control pills. So, here I am, unable to exersice due to remaining clots in my lungs, no way of controlling my symptoms, loosing hair on my head, growing hair where I don’t want it, acne and gaining weight. I’m at a loss… Was told that the only remaining way to reduce/control the symptoms was to loose weight but how? Being over weight also cause an increased risk with blood clots so I’m desperate to find some kind of help. Any help or advice you can give me is greatly appreciated.

  16. Hi, I’m 17 and I weigh north of 270 lbs and have found no matter how hard I try with more exercise and not a lot of food. I gained weight which you can see why I may find that frustrating. I have had a diabetes test done and it was all normal. I am also on an anti-anxiety and depression medication and have recently started having appetite loss and chronic fatigue. All blood tests result in normal. They all just keep telling me to lose weight and it will go away. Any suggestions?

  17. I hate PCOS. The first and most drastic symptom I experienced at 20 was severe hair loss. Balding at 20 SUCKS a bag of d****, let me tell you. Now at 30 I am seeing the scales creep way up, and it feels like any control I once had over this disease (syndrome) is slipping. I’m a slave to spiro which I take to control acne and hirtiusm. It makes me gain weight and lose hair like crazy, but if I stop, I get severe cystic acne and full on facial hair. So now I can choose to be fat and bald or excessively hairy and covered in acne / scars. Either way I lose. Love it.
    Sorry for the negativity, but sometimes you don’t want advice on how to fix it, I mean, hello, most of us have tried EVERYTHING. Sometimes we just need to vent amongst people who get what we are going through.
    I am working out, and eating super healthy, meditating, etc and I refuse to give up hope, but from time to time I get really mad that I have this, mad for myself and all the other beautiful women out there suffering the effects of this hideous disfiguring disease.

    1. I really, really needed to hear this. I am 29 with same issues. It’s enraging. I have taken spiro in the past. I didn’t like the side effects. Metformin didn’t do anything for me. Birth control made me a mess. I’m not taking anything now and I feel like it would be a good time for me to just start from scratch with how to approach my PCOS. It sucks when you have no one you can talk to about it. Friends and family don’t get how frustrating and upsetting it is. PCOS is such a complicated monster. It screws with you socially, physically, emotionally… I hate it. But like you said… you just have to be hopeful and not give up. Good luck and keep kicking butt.

    2. I totally know how you feel. I lost hair, had acne and then faced hirsutism on top of weight gain. Two things that helped me control hairloss, hirsutism, acne AND lose the damn weight was spearmint capsules and saw palmetto. I don’t know if you have tried it yet, but if you haven’t, it is worth a shot! I did that along with an antinflamatory diet (cut out gluten, dairy, refined sugar) and it all began to heal. I hope this helps and I am so sorry you are struggling, hang in there! I am sending hugs and healing thoughts your way?

        1. Hi, I started a couple of months ago and so far I have not noticed getting *worse*. That’s good..right? I mean, cystic acne is not so terrible, the weight is creeping back but I don’t feel like Im going on that descending spiral anymore. More like stabilised on crap-level.

    3. This is the comment I was looking for. I just want to vent so bear with me. I have been working my a** off exercising and eating clean. I am 21 and was diagnosed 4 years ago- as soon as I was a wave of acne bulldozed over me. I have been on an even stricter diet for a month and just checked my weight 30 minutes ago- nothing changed. Nada. I used to be bulimic so every set back makes me question- is it the food? how many calories is in that? Over the years I have tried to mute that voice but this isn’t helping. Its dinner time where I am- honestly I lost my appetite but I am gonna force myself to eat and continue. I have been in multiple sports teams in school, always been to the gym and have done multiple diets to find the one that suits me. Its so frustrating to see people close to you loose weight so quickly- my brother lost 10-15 kg last month because “he felt like it and needed a change”. The worst is people who barely know you suggesting that you walk “30 minutes on the treadmill and the results will come pouring in”. Lady it isn’t that easy- otherwise I would have been invisible with the amount of effort I have put in. Honestly I am really tired but I am gonna keep going- that’s all we can do. If anyone wants to talk- I am here.

    1. Hi Prash; I found when I was a teenager that what worked best for me were exercises that used my body weight as resistance (pushups, squats, chin-ups etc) and that eating a low carb diet helped. Keep your caffeine consumption down too, if you’re drinking soda, change to diet and only have one or 2 a day unless you like root beer (root beer is caffeine free). Do be careful with soda anyway, it can be hard on your kidneys. I’ll never forget the bladder infection I got in high school, even now I won’t drink more than 2 sodas in a day (I usually keep it to 1). Caffeine can raise your estrogen levels and cause you to gain weight or retain weight and definitely keep your sugar intake to a minimum, I try to keep mine at 20g per day maximum. Most days I can nearly completely avoid sugar. Sugar intake includes fruit, I threw my hormones out of wack last year eating too much fruit and put on a lot of weight in the process, be careful. We have to be careful how we treat our bodies, we have it harder than women without pcos. Also, if you’re smoking, stop, that effects your hormones too and as someone with pcos, you have a higher rate of cancer. I know you’re 15, but I smoked when I was 15 – I wish I had known then, just how much it makes you stink.. and also that it was what helped keep me so heavy. Take care of yourself, take it easy, love yourself and know that if today doesn’t work out (dietwise) that tomorrow will be better.

    2. It is tough. Sugar is one that should be cut out. It is in a lot of things including dairy, processed foods (anything in a box or bag). Gluten and dairy can be triggers for people as well. But you have to find what works for you. High protein and fiber meals are a good start. Lots of veggies, still eat fruit but watch your intake. Eat lean meats, like fish, eggs, chicken and eat complex carbs like oats. Try to exercise (moderate to high) 30 minutes a day

    3. hey, prash I’m 14y I’ve been diagnosed 2 months ago I lost 10lbs by cutting out unhealthy carbs unhealthy fats, refined sugars, processed foods, and dairy, I just went vegan as well and I make sure to work out everyday for an hour. I’m am in a weight loss plateau but I just won’t stop doing what I do and the weight will get off
      good luck;)

  18. Hi – yet to be diagnosed with PCOS but have been to the doc and he has referred me to get a scan done. Ive put on about 5kgs in the past month all while eating next to nothing and exercising daily. Im also suffering from IBS so following a lowFODMAP diet to avoid getting overly bloated. My question is what foods should I eat to help lose weight? There are heaps of food groups I have to avoid on the lowFODMAP diet and getting the nutrients from what I can have is proving very difficult. I need high protein right? I cant have legumes, no yoghurt, no dairy, no soy, no celery, no sweet potato, no pumpkin, no broccoli no wheat, no tinned tuna, no avocado etc. It leaves me with boiled eggs for breakfast, rocket cucumber tomato carrot salad for lunch, coffee with almond milk, roasted capsicum zucchini tomato carrot and chicken for dinner. Maybe a few rice cakes and peanut butter for snack or homemade popcorn. But still seeing the kgs go on. I go for a walk/run for approx 60 mins everyday. What else do I do? I dont think i should eat any less and i try and have a carrot for snack or maybe sunflower seeds so im eating small portions regularly. Help!

  19. Hi everyone,

    I’m 21 and I just recently got diagnosed with PCOS. I’m currently around 260 pounds and its hard for me to lose weight. I’m in denial/embarassed about my weight gain/loss. My doctor prescribed metformin. I feel very alone right now because none of my family/friends understand.

    Does anybody have any suggestions to start a lifestyle change? What worked best for losing weight and keeping it off?

    1. Hi,

      I’ve taken metformin for weight loss (PCOS too) and it worked really well. I would suggest keeping yourself really busy (but planning your meals beforehand so you don’t binge)- it takes your mind off the hunger. I would also suggest calorie counting (and keeping an eye on macros- you want lower carbs and higher protein, medium fats) with MyFitnessPal. Try sticking to around 1500 per day at first, and get a little lower (never lower than 1200, however, although if you’re not hungry don’t force yourself to eat just to meet this requirement!).

      Honestly, the whole thing was pretty painless. Watching the scales dip down is the only thing I needed to keep going. Anyways, it’s not like I had to DO anything- I DIDN’T eat like crazy, so it was the absence of action that made me lose weight. Don’t exercise right now if it sucks- and it will suck for a while. You can do that later when you’re at a lower body fat. It’ll be easier then.

  20. This article didn’t mention how dairy affects weight gain in many women with PCOS (notice I didn’t say ALL women). The reason it’s recommended by many experts is because milk, cheese and butter contain a substance called insulin-like growth factor ( IGF-1), which is similar in structure to insulin. Its insulin-like properties mean it can stimulate storage of glucose in fat cells and can trigger increased production of testosterone.

    IGF-1 is involved in the maturing of the follicles on the ovary and stimulates the production of male hormones from the ovaries, increasing androgen production from the adrenal glands. It specifically stimulates an enzyme called 5 Alpha Reductase, which converts testosterone (causing acne and excess hair).

  21. In the early 1980s, my 16-year-old daughter stopped having Her menstrual cycle. We went from doctor to doctor to doctor with various scary diagnosis. Her testosterone was so high that the doctors told her that she probably had cancer. They put her on prednisone, and she gained 100 pounds and eight Months, became muscular and grew a beard and hair all over her body. It was another ten years before Physician’s in the states began diagnosing PC0S. She did a lot of research and was excited to learn about Metformin but found only one doctor in the states who was prescribing it. Finally, she was able to get a prescription an thought her problems were over. Unfortunately, she is severely allergic to everything that she has tried. Even after having a “lap band” she is back up to 325 lbs, shaves everyday and has lost most of her hair. She is in her late 40’s now and is house bound. She has given up any hopes of a normal life
    Is there there any hope for her? Any new medications on the market?

  22. I was also diagnosed with pcos in 2011. It was really frustrating specially when I found out its hard for me to get pregnant. My menstration is always delayed and I really gain weight. I already have my medication before but it is expensive. Hope you can help me to encourage to fight pcos. I dont know what to do anymore. Thank you I’m not the only one with this kind of problem. God bless you all.

    1. Hey Joy! I am 21 and I was diagnosed at 15. Me and my mom noticed that I started my period late maybe around 14 and it wasn’t much blood. I was overweight, had facial hair and bad “pizza” acne. So at 15 I was told about pcos and my confidence was always low but it hit rock bottom. I became depressed and closed myself in my room and starved myself a lot. Until I decided to make a change when I was 16. I started to only drink water/green tea, workout EVERYDAY for 30-60 min with maybe one rest day, ate 3-5 small meals a day, stayed away from fried foods, fast foods and sweets, tried not to eat after 7/8pm, and slept 6-8 hours a night too. It took me a year but I went from 158 to 128. I think it took me year because there was plenty of slips or days I would skip a work out for 3 days in a straight. My workouts were nothing intense either. But if you really do intense works outs, you will see results faster. Unfortunately, 3.5 years ago I had my first boyfriend and gained weight than after the breakup, I gained more. I went up to 170 and lost 10 pounds in a month & a half. I am 160 now but I want to go down 30 pounds in 3 months! So I am going to give it my all and hope I’ll get my periods again. Haven’t had a period in 2 years until a few months ago when I lost 6 pounds. I wish you luck and all the women out there with PCOS luck! We can do this! We run the world 😀

    2. Hey Joy! I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2010, I was in high school then and didn’t really understand what it was. Now 6 years into learning more about it, I finally had progress in losing weight! I went to see the best endocrinologist in my area, but in the end all he said was Metformin was the only thing he could/would prescribe. However, as the symptoms vary from woman to woman so do the side effects. It made me gain a lot of weight and when I told the doctor I went to see he just tried to up the medication. Seeing as I was in high school when this happened and my mother was buying all of the medication and I took it hoping it would somehow work. Sadly it didn’t, but I recently went to a new physician for a routine checkup; while I was there I asked him if there were any other options for getting my weight under control cause I was tired of it! He told me that the main options for women with PCOS is Metformin, I told him milidly disheartened that it made me gain all the weight I was now trying to lose. He prescribed me a weight loss supplement, a form of Adipex, with this specific supplement you have to watch your blood pressure and happily it had no effect on it! Sorry for the long story, but I just wanted to let you know that it is possible to lose weight, yes it is harder especially for us; but it is possible and as long as you keep your mentality positive as much as you can! I hope you can find a way that helps you the most, keep working at it and don’t lose hope!
      God bless you and I hope you have a good day 🙂

    3. I have Pcos as well and it’s always been a struggle managing my weight considering I played every sport out there! With the help of specialty doctors at an IVF clinic I was able to get pregnant with my son. I wasted a long time working with my OBG when I finally realized through a friend that I needed an IVF specialist. Good luck to you.

    4. hi dear,dont be afraid.. pcos is not a very big isssue.. now adays its a very commong disorder among women so.. what u do is.. u have to completely avoid,all diary products,meat,chicken,goat,etc etc.. because it contain alots of hormone.. so its a big no.. never ever use those products.. but dont be vegan ok u can hv fish speciallay,salmon and sardine these r best.. then include more veggies in ur diet and for protein eat lentils,chickpeas and all.. dont forget to check ur health every month do exercise like 30 min walking;brisk walk willbe better,running,yoga,small weight lifting this is enough.. please donot give up pray to god.. thats very much important 🙂 and stay healthy thank u

      1. So because a lot of women have it the condition is not serious? The condition is serious and more serious because a lot of women have it. The meat in your diet is extremely important because you need to increase your protein, only certain meats have added hormones and people in general should stay away from them. Please check your facts before you start giving the wrong advice to people in need

        1. Thank you Kerri for this response. I was about to post it myself. The side affects of PCOS are very serious for most of us and can lead to long term damage to our bodies. Just think about all the issues that come along with serious weight gain! It can also be very psychologically defeating.

    5. Hello, Joy. I have a similar story but the difference is that for the last 2,5 years i’ve been TTC. It’s heartbreaking to have 0 control of your life. I think my ovaries hate me. More than that, i was diagnosed with adenomyosys and had surgery (like a C-section) to preserve my uterus. I am a successful 30 year old and i have a happy life, so no, my PCOS have nothing to do with low self-esteem. After years of treatment (you name it: metformin, myo-inositol, progesterone etc, etc) I AM TIRED! So (because of the surgery i can TTC only after may next year) i’ve decided to do the last thing in my power. I ve decided to eat (just like my doctor in keep telling me) a gluten free, sugar free diet and to work out. Now 5 weeks after my resolution i am 6 kg (about 12 pounds) lighter and my body is firmer. I feel great! I feel pretty! I can wear old clothes which i love. I am sure that by next year i will concieve but in the meantime, i enjoy being in my body and all the wonderful differeces losing weight brings. So, don t delay, really, only you have the power to chance your lifestyle. (sorry, english isn t my first language) fingers crossed!

    6. Hi Joy, don’t know if you still check this website. Just want to let you know i also have PCOS. I found it hard to conceive as well, as i wasnt even ovulating apparently. BUT I started Metformin and fell pregnant after a few months. I had a beautiful little girl.
      Then not long after her first birthday we fell pregnant again UNPLANNED! It really is amazing.
      I think sometimes after you have one baby, your body knows what to do.

      Good luck with your PCOS and trying to conceive if you haven’t already been successful.

    7. Hi Joy. No you are not alone. Many women need medication to help with many symptoms and to get pregnant. Diet and exercise help, especially low glycemic foods. You can do it! Take it one day at a time 🙂

  23. I am beyond frustrated. Not only do I have PCOS, i have uncontrolled diabetes & hypertension. In 2013 I had my right ovary & Fallopian tube removed due to a volleyball sized tumor which by the grace of God was benign. I have been with my husband for 11 years now and I am 33 years old. I love children and don’t want to give up on that dream but I’m at a brick wall and don’t know what to do anymore. I am currently on Metformin, Januvia, & Glimeperide… I mean I’m like a walking pharmacy. My husband is my savior. I’ve been depressed with the fact that I may never be able to conceive my own child. What do I do? I’m desperate! Otherwise… I give up! ?

    1. Oh and another thing, since I’ve been with my husband I’ve had regular periods every month for 7 days straight. HELP PLEASE!

  24. I have been diagnosed with PCOS since I was 12 years old and have taken birth control since I was 13. Anyways, I have had 2 miscarriages and finally I had a beautiful baby girl that is now 8 months old today. Since my daughters birth I have not been able to lose the weight! I started my birth control 6 weeks after her birth. I have tried diets, haven’t had to change my eating habits since I eat pretty healthy, I walk about 20-25miles a week, tried taking diet pills and nothing has worked!! I have been overly stressed since I have been back to work, dealing with family issues, and my daughters medical problems! I need some help I have become depressed about the way I look and feel that I’ll never get back to what I was before I had gotten pregnant!

  25. I was diagnosed two years ago with PCOS. I have been overweight and had issues with my period since I started it. I started my period early (age 10) and it was never regulated. I went on birth control at 16 and it caused a “normal” period for a while. When I was 21, I stopped taking birth control and it stopped my periods for six and seven months at a time. I slowly gained weight from high school and through college. I finally went to my OBGYN and was diagnosed. Since starting Metformin, I have been able to slowly lose about 40 pounds. I recently hit a wall. I am back to craving bread and sugar 🙁 I know that in order to keep going and losing weight I need to get back into the right frame of mind, but I have no desire to right now.

    1. Megan, it can be really hard, especially when you don’t have any motivation. Maybe just try do ONE thing today for your PCOS.

    2. hi there… I got diagonsed with PCOS at the age of 21 and have tried metaformin and other medications but they have failed. I just turned 28 this year and my hormones and been off the chart. Any advice on any natural diet or supplement? my anxiety and depression is so bad I’ll have wonderful days then days where i just cant hang. Would birth control even be an option any more?

      1. Have you ever tried a soy based protein shake? I notice when i take spirutein shakes in replacement for my normal breakfast or lunch i feel better.

        1. You should be careful with soy. Soy is a phytoestrogen, meaning it raises estrogen levels naturally. This can be bad news for someone with PCOS who is also probably sttuggling with estrogen dominance.

      2. Have you tried a nutritionist or lifestyle change programs. I got onto one and it has helped tremendously

      3. I recently started taking inositol and have noticed a difference. I will also be taking a folic acid both brands from Swanson. Just do a little research of your own and reviews on brands.

      4. Hi. I was diagnosed at age 17 in 1997, and then it was the “sorry we can’t do much but shove pills at you”. I recently have stopped taking birth control and aldactone and started a regimen of taking herbal supplement’s after doing tons of research. My hair was falling out and my weight was out of control, and of course the beautiful acne side affect. I’ve been taking Saw Palmetto, Vitex, Stinging Nettle, Pygeum, Licorice Root, White Peony root, DIM complex, Maca and Black Cohosh. My hair is slowly fading from my face, my cycle is leveling it self out and my symptoms have improved drastically. If you feel comfortable taking so many herbals, I’d recommend reading up on each if them to see if it’s best for you too. I know the pain and anger, I’ve been dealing with this for 20 years almost. I pray one day we’ll all be free of this horrible symptom.

    3. What exercise and diets have you tried? For me when i plateau on weight loss i have to shake up my routine. Like juicing one day or even have a cheaters meal once a week for a month. At my best i would do 2 protein shakes, a premade salad bowl, a meat and vegetable dinner and snack on healthy fruits and 10 almomds. That is with an appetite suppresor (phentermine) and doing a 30 minute beachbody intense cardio routine.
      I think the key is helping your body realize your not starving it.

    4. I have suffered with PCOS for years just like you. As a young teenager till now at 33 years old. Just had my last child with lots of help from a fertility Doctor. But now I get these periods last 12 and even 14 days. I gained weight and I am just not happy about it. Not sure where to start. I am at least 30 pounds over weight. With my twins I had 10 years ago, I was able to return to my original weight but this time around I just can’t break it at all. It is very fusterating. And the hair growth has gotten worse. Anybody

    5. I have a similar problem, I’m only 18 and PCOS is already having such a huge affect on me, I’m trying to study hard and get my life in gear but it always seems to get in the way, I was diagnosed with anxiety as a young child and as I grew older it started to fade but now recently it’s back and I will get panic attacks daily and it’s almost impossible to do something without implications. It’s really getting me down. I would say I eat healthy, I absolutely hate processed foods and basically live on cooked vegetables and stir frys yet I am still clinically “obese”. I just don’t know what to do anymore. I’m hoping that because you’re all older and wiser than me you might have some tips and advice?

  26. Hi I am Samantha I think I have pcos
    I am 15 I am in low average wieght
    But I never get my period and I gained wieght and I can’t loose it either

  27. I walk 2 hours a day and up five days a week. Any other women would have lost 8lbs maybe in a month. But my scale is stuck. I’m 161.5 lbs. I litterally went up 2.5lbs after a pms binge of froot loops, mini reeses peanut butter cups and french fries. I mean i know whats going to happen the consequences, but have no control during the manic demolition of carbs. I was 159 on sunday. How can a person litterally go up 2.5lbs overnight? The walk was not a mitigating factor this morning. And now I have to start over for what feels like the 50th time after a binge. I got to 143 back in march and destroyed it with several binges.

  28. I’ve been diagnosed with PCOS about 2 months ago. I’m 20 years old. And I feel terrible. I’ve always been different. Always! Never got my period. Have awful facial hair. Acne. Manly voice. Gaining weight too fast. No energy at all. Have to sleep during the day because I’m just tired all the time. My anxiety and depression is getting worse. And I just don’t know what to do anymore.

    Well first off, I finally went to the docs after not having my period for a year if not longer. And she told me I need to get an ultra sound and once I got that tooken care, she said we’d proceed from there. So that’s exactly what I did. And I was diagnosed with PCOS. I went back to her and we discussed the results and she said she was gonna put my on birth control. She prescribed me Microgestin. Which I later checked online and had terrible reviews. Saying it caused even more acne and facial hair. But I gave it a try. She also made it seem like it wasn’t a big deal. She said PCOS is a 3 on a scale of 10 and it’s not that serious. I thought it was complete bs because my anxiety and depression is through the roof. My mood swings are awful. So I decided that I should actually go see a gyno for a second opinion which I should get taken care of this week.

    I just finished my first pack of birth control and I got my period a week before the resting period and I am a complete mess! My acne was disgusting. It got worse. And I just feel so depressed and sad. My parents don’t understand much because they just don’t feel what I feel. Everytime I tell my mom I wanna see a psychiatrist she thinks it’s a joke. So I’m done explaining myself to her. I’m not over weight but I was about 6 months ago. I lost about 12 pounds. But I couldn’t do it without working out and thermogenic supplements because I just couldn’t seem to lose it by myself. And ever since I found out I had PCOS I gained a little weight. I’m just so upset. I’m glad I found out the reason for all my symptoms. I just feel horrible because I’m so insecure. I can’t seem to ever finish school because I fall in this depression once school gets a bit tough for me and I end up dropping the classes and feeling even worse. I can’t seem to do anything I like anymore. And sadly I don’t even know what I like anymore. I’m constantly trying to get away from home and to be around friends so I don’t have to feel so sad. I’m scared I won’t make anything of myself anymore. Idk what to do with my life honestly. PCOS has really changed who I am. And I feel like I won’t ever be who I wanna be. As much as I try.

  29. hi there… I am 25years old…. I am fat since my 11th class… it was always difficult to loose weight even after joining aerobics etc.. then I entered medical school because of which I kept on gaining weight …bt from last year as I was working and studying in hospital I shed of 10 kilos In an year but since I am home from 2 months I have again gained weight.. I never had any issues with my menstrual cycles they hav always been regular ..also I dont have any acne on my face… I hav stopped doing workout because of some issues and I am stressed about gaining weight… my clothes have become tighter I am loosing confidence In me … I am generally depressed!
    but yes I have painful menstruation since 2 cycles ..can there be chance if having PCOD??

  30. I knew I had PCOS but my doc never diagnosed me because I am lean. I finally got diagnosed after coming off of YAZ, which by the way was the only pill that worked for me. Post quitting I gained 10+ pounds with no explanation. While quitting I had seen a naturopath and had my hormones and thyroid tested- my thyroid was on the low end of normal. I got on a supplement plan: vitex, milk thistle, zinc etc, and got regular periods….and then pregnant, only to miscarry 7 weeks in. That’s when the real PCOS symptoms started: acne, hair, no periods. Finally got my doc to run a bunch of tests and only had one marker for PCOS: high AMH levels, but that was enough. Went back to my ND and she put me on supplements: berberine, inositol, d-chiro inositol, and maca. Berberine + inositol is the natural equivalent to metroformin. After 6 weeks of it, my acne is gone! Hair growth…same but I got laser now (def recommend), no notable effect on weight which is what I was hoping for. I am trying low carb/paleo per her rec., but my energy and mood just can’t seem to handle it. I love carbs! Hope this helps someone..will update with any new changes.

    1. Glad to know that milk thistle can help! I drink a shake that had that in it. Really helps with cravings. I never thought of getti5my thyroid checked, maybe I should

    2. I have pcos and went paleo dropped 50 pounds in 6 months just do it and have a cheat day it helps the cravings

    3. I am by no means a doctor, just a twenty something with PCOS. And I follow the opposite diet… A high carb, low fat, vegan diet. I have not told my gyno this but she was impressed with all the weight I had lost in the three month gap between my visits. I eat a lot of rice, beans, veggies, potatoes, and try to cut out processed food. Spinach and fruit smoothie for breakfast, maybe vegan tacos for dinner. I feel it’s sustainable and something I will follow for the rest of my life and I highly recommend it!

      1. Different bodies respond differently to all diets, there is not one clear cut diet for PCOS. Not all of us are insulin resistant. It is really up to each of us to take control and figure out what works best for us as an individual

  31. I have PCOS I was diagnosed AFTER I quit getting the depo provera shot I was on it from 2007-2011 stopped right before I got married. I knew I wanted a child AFTER depo provera was out of my system, the nurse who gave me my shots said AFTER you stop it can be anywhere from 3 weeks to 18 months you WILL get your period back, when I started I was 150 lbs when I stopped I was 250 lbs. It’s now mid May 2016 and I STILL HAVE NO PERIOD!!! I’ll lose a few pounds here and there by doing south beach diet (phase 1 is two weeks of no carbs junk food soda, to detox your body) but if I go into phase 2 (where you can add carbs back to your diet)I gain it all back. I am 5’0 28 years old 250 lbs and I’m at my wits end. I exercise and walk a lot at home and work (breakfast attendant at a hotel) only drink water. I dont know what to do. I eat maybe 1000-1100 calories a day, not sure if that’s too much.

    1. You should check out the movie fat,sick, and nearly dead. It inspired me to go one a juicing reboot. It helped a lot with my pcos symptoms and I lost weight on it. or check out rebootwithjoe.com

      1. … but then if she’s anything like me. The moment she goes back to ‘normal’ food after the juicing reboot, it’ll all come back on within days. I gained 5kg within as few days easy, it’s the most disheartening thing imaginable, especially when it takes 12 weeks of hard work, weight lifting & the cleanest nutrition possible to lose not even 1kg (or under 1% body fat), only to gain it back twice within a day or two. PCOS is a jerk. 🙁

        1. Have you tried doing a lifestyle change program? It changes your diet obviously but in a different way

          1. The only time I have lost any weight was taking l tyrosine and eating only 1 meal per day. I lost 3 stones form 15 stone. I have stopped taking the tyrosine after some ill effects after 2 years of taking it, and put the weight back on started eating 3 meals per day again.

            I am now back on the 1 meal per day. I take vitamins ( bcomplex D & GABA) . I eat around 800 cals per day total.

            I avoid any chocolate in the house but I am not losing the weight yet. I hope to start to see a difference in around 3 weeks. I know that I am going to have to live with eating 1 meal per day for the rest of my life, it is the only thing that has ever worked for me. On the plus side, you can eat pretty much anything in that meal so it is something to look forward to . I usually eat mediteranean. I think its called the warrior diet or something.

          2. Hannah, have you talked to a nutritionist or anything? I have taken a metabolism booster with 2 out of 3 of my meals and limited what I eat. It has helped immensely

  32. Let me tell you. I was diagnosed with pcos only 3 years ago and during that time I cried so much I was both upset as all hell i had to suffer with this and also happy I had a real answer to everything and maybe a way to help. I changed my diet and my exercise according to pcos research. Low carb really helped and having a personal trainer once to twice a week. I lost 35lbs but my body is still fat. I gain so easy around my midsection ugh.
    I felt un feminine and gross my whole life the moment I hit puberty I k ew i was different than other girls. I now suffer from mad self body esteem issues that go so mentally deep it’s stopping me from dating anyone. I have stretch marks saggy skin and hair everywhere…

    Here are my symptoms
    Bloating
    Nausea
    Tiredness
    Lack of appetite control
    Gain weight easily and hard to lose
    Hirsutism (man hair)
    Anxiety
    Depression
    Self esteem issues
    Body dysmorphic disorder
    Heavy sometimes irregular periods

    No cure but:

    Green tea with spearmint
    Supliments
    Low carb, sugar, dairy/ high protein
    Exercise
    (In looking into getting on Metaformin)
    Self love
    Patience

    Helped me a lot. Good luck.
    I recently found a guy I wanna be with so I hope I can overcome my issues. He knows what I have but he doesn’t really understand. He’s an anorexic stick of a man lmao. I love him though.

    1. Hi! Been there done that! Know exactly what your going through! I’m 29 5’5 168lbs and can’t lose a darn pound for the life of me. I found a dr a few yes back that has helped me tremendously! You have to find a good dr that just isn’t willing to put you on metformin to mask the symptoms. You have to find the root cause. I’m on 225 mg of progesterone/ dim/ multi vitamin and iodine drops to help with keep a healthy thyroid! 3 years later I feel so good. I feel like I could take on the world. It’s all about finding a dr who is committed to helping you 100% be the best person you can be! If it wasn’t for my dr, who I drive an hr and a half to see I don’t know where I would be! Good luck to you! Keep searching!

  33. Hi. I am 14 years old. I have been diagnosed with PCOS last year, and over the summer I lost 20 pounds and took my medications…. and my body started turning normal for about 4 months, but now I haven’t had my period in 4 months, and I have been having pain for the past two days, although I don’t understand why. I think it is probably because I gained weight once again, but I’m not really sure. My mother said she wants me to have surgery, but since I have already been improving before, that means it’s not necessary right? All I have to do is to keep a healthy diet, and it will be fine right? Please give me advice, and please tell me has anyone experienced pain during PCOS? It says that PCOS doesn’t cause pain online, but I feel like the muscles in my uterus are just being squeezed, kind of like cramps, except it’s inside my body. It is definitely not in my abdomen. It’s inside. As in you know what I mean. thank you so much!!!! God Bless!

  34. I was just diagnosed with PCOS a few weeks ago and have really been struggling with my depression and anxiety because of it. I have been struggling with issues that have now been attributed to PCOS since I was in high school and am now realizing that my extreme weight loss from middle school to high school (around 14 or 15 years of age) was attributed to PCOS. Then toward the end of college I began gaining weight. It seemed to have evened out there for awhile around the age of 22, but tat was due to extreme restriction and intense exercise. That type of lifestyle is not something I can sustain and I have gained about 20 pounds while still working out 4-5 times per week and eating a healthy, balanced diet.

    Is this just my life now or is there anything I can do to feel strong and healthy again?

    1. hi Tracy! I am only 20 but have had similar experiences with loosing a lot of weight but
      mine was a couple years earlier than 15, and than I gained a lot of weight back around 16-17. now I work out and eat healthy as possible, staying away from
      processed foods has helped quiet a bit. are you on any medications to help with the insulin? because that should help with the weight a little& remember to try to stay away from sugars as much as you can!
      hoped that helped a little! goodluck!

    2. I know it’s hard. I was active and ate healthy but was still gaining weight. So I had to up my exercise (7-8 times a week) and cut out even more out of my diet

  35. Ive literally just been diagnosed with pcso, im 18 and pretty overweight. I have no confidence in myself at all and no matter what I do I cannot lose weight. Im supposed to be of to university in September but I have so little self-esteem and confidence in myself I feel awful and have always been bullied about my weight. What can I do to lose weight please?

    1. Do you also have insulin resistance? Get your doctor to run a blood test to find out. If so, a high protein and low carb diet is what they recommend.
      I’m at uni now and in my experience there is virtually no bullying at uni compared to high school. At uni everyone seemed to just get over themselves!
      Good luck 🙂

    2. I know how you feel about like self esteem over your weight, but don’t despair. As that other person said, there is a huge difference between college & high school. People in college tend to be more intelligent & then want to be there, unlike high school in some cases. Although sorority and fraternity members can still be kind of immature, not all, but enough in my experience. You should try maybe joining an online group of people with your same issues to get some moral support and also maybe see a counselor or maybe get some self help books to help with your self esteem, at least to there point where you feel it’s manageable. I know it can feel very significant when you have a bad experience, but there is so much more to your than your weight, I’m sure. Try to join groups pertaining to your other interested and I’m sure being around like-minded individuals and doing things you’re good at will help your confidence. It will also help relieve stress which is very important for weight loss when you have PCOS. Also you will come to find out that some people actually prefer heavier people as their partners because they find it attractive. So don’t ever feel ashamed of who you are. We’re all different and we’ve led different lives and have unique challenges. You deserve to be happy and be loved just as much as anyone else. Take heart that it can get easier, just don’t give up. I absolutely recommend continuing on to college.

  36. I was diagnosed PCOS in 2004. I have struggled with my weight for years and have tried every diet/eating regime going- weight watchers, slimming world, Atkins, paleo. I can only ever lose 10lbs max plateau for a few months then I get disheartened and it comes back again never more just back to where I was before. It’s mainly my tummy bum area and drives me bananas!! I have recently been diagnosed with pernicious anaemia and so need to take lots of vitamins and minerals I’m trying to do this mainly with my diet but I’ve just read some of the comments and they say to stay away from fruit :-/ I now also have a bad knee, a torn meniscus and worn cartilage, and a orthopaedic doctor said when he sees me again (in 3 months) he wants me to have lost weight! well chance would be a fine thing!! I told him I’ve been on a diet since January and lost 2lbs and he looked at me like I was just a big cake eating fatty!! Which then made me want to pack it all in and go gorge on cake!!!
    Anyway, ive recently seen lots of articles about diabetes medication helping and wondered if it’s worth asking my doctor about metformin?? Do you really think this will help or does anyone have a diet that has worked for them?!
    Thanks in advance

    1. I’ve seen weight loss with metformin! but you need to exercise and diet along with it. it is worth the ask!

    2. I lost weight on Duromine it’s amazing, speeds up metabolism and gives you extra amounts of energy, maybe ask your doctor about it 🙂

      1. Hey how did you find the Duromine over time? how long would you recommend going on it for? did you lose much weight? i’ve tried everything and i’m currently on Keto I just need something to give my body a boost. Thanks 🙂

    3. Hi!
      Metformin actually works! I was diagnosed last summer and I started metformin right away and lost 30 pounds in 5 weeks (with moderate exercise). It isn’t the weight loss solution, but it will help jump start your body. Your body will still fight the weight loss if you’re in a stressful environment because it causes an increase in hormones. I would highly recommend taking metformin but if you’re in a stressful environment (like college or a high stress job), you might be fighting biology

    4. I’m 37 yrs old and have struggled with my pcos and a lot of weight gain. Like you I’ve tried every diet and would only lose a few pounds. I started taking met forming 6 months ago and do a 1200 calorie a day diet. I’ve lost 65lbs so far. The met forming has really made a difference. I also feel better since I’ve been taking it.

  37. I have been diagnosed with PCOS at the age of 17 but was unfortunately put on birth control pills with no information whatsoever about my condition. However, after miraculously given birth to my beautiful baby boy at age 21, my weight has gone out of control along with my hirsutism.

    I saw another Doctor to get answers, and am now on Metformin (for weight loss) and Spironolactone (Anti-Androgen). My questions are if this combination had good results or any bad affects on anyone? Can I take Inositol/Folic Acid with this combination of pills?

    I have recently had blood work done as well, and came back with “normal” results for every category. Is this PCOS or can it be another underlying problem?

    Thanks for the wonderful website and support.

    xx

    Katherine

    1. I’m currently on metformin and spironolactone. Metformin has helped me lose weight but I have had to be on a strict diet and excersie routine which I eventually grew tired of. However, I am still on the meds and find that they do help me from not gaining any more weight. I have found that being on spironolactone really helps with my acne. I got off of it for a few months and then my face was soon covered with huge cystic like pimples. I quickly got back on the med and they went away very quickly. I hope this helps:)

    2. HEY!! I have taken the combination of these 2 meds for years – I have exciting news… I lost 60 pounds fairly quickly after starting them. I did diet and exercise moderately but the medicine really helped. Some weeks I’d lose 5 lbs. It was so exciting! Now 5 years later, a baby and weight gained.. the meds are not working as well as they used to. I’m now having a harder time losing the weight even with diet and exercise. I have a doc apt next week so I hope it’ll change and I’ll have a new plan of action but I thought I would comment and give you some hope in the mean time!

    3. Hi,

      I am on both of the medications that you were talking about. I have seen some success with taking both medications. I would definitely talk to your doctor about adding Inositol/Folic Acid. My results recently came back as “normal” but I know that if I were to stop these medications now, they would probably go back up. It could be that your hormones were not too out of control when they were tested and the medications are helping.

  38. It is so helpful to read the posts of my fellow cycsters. I used to be extremely skinny to the point I used to pray that I could gain weight. (Big mistake). I got my first period at 16, never had another until I was 18 and Dr at that time that that was ok. When I graduated from college I needed to look into this irregular cycle. Around the age of 24 I was diagnosed with PCOS. I received little information about it and/or what to do with it. Thank goodness for Dr. Kristin Abbruzzi who explained it, treated it and CHANGED my life. The only problem…..I can lose weight. I’ve lost lots on several occasions, but keeping it off is virtually impossible whether I eat, starve, exercise or not….. I keep ending up back where I started. It’s a horrible merry go round to be on. I share this because some of what you have shared has been a HUGE help to me….hopefully someone will read my post and realize they too are not alone. Best wishes Cycsters.

    1. Everyone thought I was anorexic in high school, and I prayed that I could gain weight as well! Now my weight has gone out of control and I cannot shed it off :/

      1. This is what also happened me. Was so skinny that people thought I was sick. Nothing I ate ever helped me gain weight. Then I started to pile on weight around 22 and now I’m the biggest of all my friends. I hate it. It feels so alien to me. Was only diagnosed with pcos at 32 when I started to try for a baby. Starting to get very frustrated coz I ain’t getting any younger and nothing I do helps me lose weight. I hate bumping into anyone I haven’t seen in years cause I can feel them judging me and it like they’re thinking “what happened her??!!!” But mostly it’s the baby thing bothering me. That’s more important than how I look. Still very annoying though.

        1. Hi Emma, I was diagnosed at 32 but had no real understanding of what it meant. All I ever wanted was to be a mom. I had miscarried at 22 which was very upsetting. At 35 I went on Atkins to lose weight and was pregnant within a month. I had no idea at the time that not eating carbs would decrease my insulin and help allow me to become pregnant. I just loved that it made my cravings go away. I went on the Carbohydrate Addicts diet to help lose that baby weight and became pregnant with my daughter within a month. Another total shock, as I was told I would probably never have kids. I would suggest a high healthy fat, high protein, low carb way of eating. It really does make a difference when I eat that way.

    2. Me too. I could literally eat everything I wanted, as much as I wanted and I barely gained a lb. Always had slightly irregular periods though, but generally they were around 35 day cycles. Went on the bc pill and stopped it a year ago to ttc. No period since and diagnosed with pcos. Now i just cannot stop eating! I have tried so much to curb the cravings and keep me full but nope. My stomach is a yawning pit of hunger all day every day. I’m not on any medication though

  39. I 28 years old and have PCOS with Hirsutism. I was first diagnosed at the age of 14. Just throwing this out here, but these supplements really helped me. I now have regular periods and I’m losing 2-3.5 pounds per week so far (with some calorie restriction and exercise).

    1. Swanson Utra High Potency: Apple cider vinegar capsules.
    2. Himalaya Livercare supplement (take 1-2 capsules a day)
    3. Zen labs Advanced Green tea Extract with 45% EGCG (try to take this with a cup of Oolong Tea).

    I am not a medical professional, but I hope this does help someone. PCOS sucks, but we can beat this or at least manage it. Oh, and if anyone has advice about dealing with facial hair, please tell me. I practically became a hermit because of it.
    🙁

    1. There was one poster in the soulcysters forum who had great results with NAC for her hirsutism. Might be worth looking into.

    2. to deal with facial hair, get laser hair removal. honestly it is the only thing that removes the hair. I suffer from bad hiratuism and it’s the only thing that has helped… i’ve had 4 sessions so far and the results have been good. You need to be consistent with it, most places will tell you that you need at least 10-12 sessions which is very much correct.It is literally 5 minutes out of your day once and month, and it really tackles the issue.

      1. Isn’t laser hair removal expensive? I mean all yhose sessions. And I’ve heard for some PCOS sufferers that it ends up coming back(?)

  40. I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 16, I did not have my period for about two years after I got it for about two years straight. I ignored my doctors instructions of taking metaphormin and birth control and instead let my body slip away from me. I gained about 100 pounds in two years, I ate whatever I wanted and did not exercise regularly. Now I am 20 years old and regret it so very much. I take both birth control and metaphormin now, and exercise regularly. My advice is that it really is all about diet. No matter how much I worked out, if I ate bad I would see no results. There is a rough road ahead of anyone with PCOS, but it is your body and taking control of it is the best thing you can do. Also with hair thinning I have found that Evening Primrose Oil helps a ton! it’s over the counter as well! Just wanted to share my story with some ladies who are going through the same! and this blog helped tons!

  41. Hi,

    I have had PCOS since I hit puberty. None of the doctors in the small town I lived in could figure out my sudden increase of weight around the abdomen and upper arms, so I couldnt understand why I was so fat till I was 19 and an endocrinologist told me that I suffered from PCOS. I had no idea what it was. But I was 19 and with the doctor’s moral support, I controlled my food habits and lost around 35-40 kilos in one year. It was a tremendous weight loss for me and I found it hard to fit in my new body image. So after a point, I started gaining again. I couldnt understand PCOS as well even then. Its a complex metabolic syndrome and the young mind is all for other things than having a disciplined lifestyle. I gained back all the weight over the period of 3-4 years. And once again, fell into the depression of being ‘fat’.

    Only last year, when I got a television show as an actor, did I really pay attention to the problem I was facing. As everyone knows, camera adds ten pounds and I was already very heavy. So one look at my on-screen avatar and I was convinced that I needed to be uber-disciplined to shed those PCOS kgs again. I consulted a naturopathist (because I so didnt want to be on ‘metformin’ again) and she wrote me a magical diet. I was to have a fasting day where I could only eat salads and buttermilk (an absolutely no-salt, and no-sugar day) once a week. Only once a week. I was allowed to eat anything the remaining days. Just by that, I lost 1-2 kgs a month. And with moderate exercises 5 times a week (mostly walking), I pushed the weight loss to 2 more kgs a month.In toto – 4kgs per month. That’s pretty awesome for a PCOS patient.

    Its been a year since I am following this diet and I have lost around 15 kgs for good – I am pretty sure they arent returning.

    So it may feel difficult to begin with and even more difficult to sustain, but once you start losing, you lose quite effectively. My menstrual cycle is amazingly on time since last 5-6 months. Life has never been better.

    May all my cysters find the inspiration to make it happen. Good things always take time. Cheers. 🙂

    1. Your comment helped me alot. Please can u explain your diet plan in details. Thank u very much

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