Asked for female, 27 years old from Hyderabad
PCOD/PCOS is a common hormonal disorder in women which can lead to weight gain and irregular periods. While most women depend on pills to deal with it, these simple changes in your lifestyle will help you deal with the condition in a better way.
1. Nutritional approach: Deficiency of micronutrients contributes to insulin insensitivity and compromise ovarian function. So,
•Completely stay away from processed/ refined cereals (which have a high glycemic index or GI). Switch to wheat, rice, jowar, ragi, barley (which have low GI) and enjoy your roti, parantha, pulao, biryani, dosa, poha, upma etc.
•Eat an adequate amount of lean proteins like dal, milk, eggs, fish, yogurt, cheese, paneer, lassi, sprouted legumes.
•Include good sources of omega-3 and omega-6 present in nuts, seeds, ghee, olives, coconut etc. Our body needs essential fatty acids for absorption of fat soluble vitamins like A, D, and E.
•Alpha-lipoic acid improves glucose uptake in cells, promotes weight loss and improves the health of ovaries. It is found in flaxseeds, walnuts, spinach, broccoli, peas, Brussels sprouts etc.
•Micronutrients like selenium, zinc, chromium, magnesium, niacin, and riboflavin improve sugar control and promote hormonal balance. These can be obtained from a variety of whole grains, nuts, green leaves, fresh fruits and veggies, egg, seafood etc.
•Vitamin B12 is essential to support the function of ovaries. So include dairy (especially curd, paneer), eggs, seafood, and sprouted/fermented items.
•Calcium in abundant supply helps to overcome premenstrual cramps.
•Include supplements of above-mentioned nutrients as diet may not provide enough because their requirement is above normal.
•Most importantly, eat local, seasonal, freshly prepared food items, stay away from food items that have long ingredient lists as they are 'processed' and have a number of additives (preservatives, artificial colors, flavor enhancers et al).
2. Exercise strategies: Regular workouts are non-negotiable. They are essential to burn off fat stores for hormonal balance and regular ovulation. A minimum of 150 minutes a week is recommended. Divide your time between strength training, cardio exercises and yoga for optimal results. Just like a diet, your exercise must be balanced too.
3. Sleep: Adequate sleep is non-negotiable too. Sleeping at a more or less fixed time every day and for an adequate number of hours is a prerequisite to keep hormones in sync.
Also read: Lack Of Sleep May Reduce Fertility And Cause Weight Gain. Signs That You're Sleep Deprived
4. De-stress yourself: Love yourself more than anyone else, prioritize your health, learn to say no, take time out to exercise and relax. Pursue your favorite activities, learn a new skill, and never ignore your body signals.
So, it's certainly possible to wean yourself off the pill and restore hormonal balance by implementing and adopting permanent lifestyle modifications.
Wishing you all lots of patience, self-discipline and persistence as you endeavor to adopt these changes for good!