PCOS/Insulin Resistance Support - Listen to doctor or do me?

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06-25-2011, 07:12 PM
My doctor said to eat 200 carbs per day? Is that right? Or should i go lower:) Like between 120-150:carrot:

06-25-2011, 08:03 PM
How many calories are you consuming?

06-25-2011, 08:17 PM
The Centers for Disease Control say, on their website, that an adult needs about 130 gm of carbohydrate and 54 gm of protein in order to survive.

I'm trying to lose weight, so I make sure all my carb sources are from mostly vegetables and a little fruit. No grains, legumes or anything processed. I've doubled the amout of protein so I can manage hunger, and that's still a safe level. I don't worry so much about fat intake, but I do limit my fat sources to what comes naturally in lean meats, eggs, avocados, nuts and seeds and olive oil. My current BMR is 2080, so I keep my calories below that, and shooting for 1580 calories a day. Sometimes I eat less, but not that often. And never above current BMR.

06-25-2011, 08:20 PM
i'm eating 1600 cal per day

06-25-2011, 08:42 PM
Why did you ask the doctor if you weren't going to at least try his advice? Eliminating whole food groups is not sustainable in the long run.

06-25-2011, 08:51 PM
Are you on metformin, insulin or other blood sugar lowering medications?

200g has traditionally been considered moderately low in protein (it was the standard recommended for most type II diabetics, although some people in the field believe that's a little high for some folks and that 100-150 grams is more reasonable, and a few believe that 100 should be the max).

At 1600 calories, 200g would be 50% of your calories. That might be a little high (especially if you were counting net carbs, that is if you're not counting fiber as a carbohydrate. Fiber is a carbohydrate, it's just an indigestible one).

Personally I follow a lower carb exchange plan (I love exchange plans) based on the plan I found on this website.


For the 1500 -1800 calorie plans,

the middle of the road plans run about 200g of carbs

and the high protein plans run about 125-150g of carbs

Three veggie servings can count as one bread exchange, so sometimes I spend some of my bread exchanges on veggies (more volume for the calories, also more fiber).

I'd recommend experimenting. 200g may be perfect for you, or it might be a little high (if you were extremely active, it could even be too low).

Also, did your doctor say whether 200 was a maximum or a minimum target?

If you're on blood sugar lowering medications, you may need to keep carbs above a specific level (or at least eat more frequent meals), so that you don't experience low-blood sugar issues.

06-25-2011, 08:55 PM
130 grams of carbohydrates a day to survive? I wonder how they come to that conclusion. There are ALOT of people who don't eat that many a day and survive lol. Frankly, the percentages advised by the US government do not promote healthy weight. If I ate 50% or more of my daily calories from carbs, I would be twice as big as I am now.

Your doctor probably based that number not just on the number itself, but on a percentage of the calories you should be consuming.

People with PCOS have to be alot more careful about carb intake than others. It is the issue that has the most to do with whether you gain or lose. Because your doctor knows a whole lot more about you than we possibly could garner from your post, your best bet is to listen to him/her.

I personally have limited my carbs to around 100 a day to lose weight and it works well for me. If your diet has consisted of alot of carbs until now, your recommendation could be on the high side simply because it is an easier transition and it will be more likely that you will stick to it in the long run-or even based what he thinks is best based on your dose of metformin if you take it? If you aren't sure why or don't agree, another discussion is probably in order.

06-25-2011, 10:08 PM
130 grams of carbohydrates a day to survive? I wonder how they come to that conclusion.

My guess is that they don't mean this literally. They're probably estimating a guideline not a set-in-stone-limit, more of an RDA (recommended amounts) and probably not based on non-overweight population. A person with 2% body fat is going to have different needs than someone with 60% body fat.

The traditional Inuit diet is extremely low in carbs during most of the year, and their rates of heart disease and other ailments are quite low (assuming a traditional lifestyle as well). Genetics may play a role, but also likely is the large number of calories burned in hunting and just maintaining body temperature during the cold months uses the fat for fuel). For years, scientists wondered how the Eskimo could live on a virtually meat-only diet, especially wondering where the vitamin C came from. Turns out whale and seal blubber contains more vitamin C per weight than oranges.

This reminds me of a woman who our WW leader told us about from another WW group she led. The woman said her doctor told her she needed to add one tablespoon of fat every day, so she started drinking a tablespoon of oil in addition to her normal diet. She was adament that her doctor told her she had to do this.

The WW leader told her that the doctor meant that her total intake of fat for the day didn't have to more than 1 tablespoon. The woman was adament that no, her doctor told her to add oil. The WW leader asked her to double check with her doctor any way. She did, and was embarassed to learn that the WW leader was right, her doctor had meant her total fat intake, not additional intake.

06-26-2011, 01:27 PM
Oh okay:) I'll try to stay between 120-150 (At the most)

06-26-2011, 03:29 PM
For a 1600 cal diet, low carb is considered 40-45% which would be more around the 180's 120 seems way too low. I fluctuate from 1200-1500 on my cals and I always have between 100 and 140 carbs. for a low carb diet of 45% of your cals coming from carbs 180 would be your target. 40% would be 160 carbs. Just something to think about. A great way to find out how many carbs is in your diet say...how many carbs would you need if you were to consume 30% carbs a day would be 1600 (your cals) X .3(30% in decimal)/4 (number of calories in 1 carb) = 120. According to dietary guidelines for women with pcos and insulin resistance we need 40-45% carbs. The nutritionists guide to pcos is a great book of reference for this, as well as the pcos protection plan. Check them out. So yes, 200 carbs is too high but 120 is too low.

06-26-2011, 03:45 PM
In the past, I've tended to view doctors as all-knowing people, but a few things have changed my mind:

- Long-term maintainers on this board who repeatedly state that their personal doctors are the first to admit they don't know much about weight loss and maintenance.
- A conversation with my (excellent) internist who wanted to know about the kidney stone surgery I was going to be having. Obviously she's not my urologist (who's the one who did the surgery, btw), but that was the first time it struck me that I knew more than a physician about a medical procedure.
- I have a very good friend who is a medical doctor. We've had discussions before about how specialized medical knowledge can be, and how it's impossible for one doctor to have knowledge that is both broad AND deep.

All that being said, I think docs give a lot of very good advice that can sometimes be very general, and it doesn't hurt to take their advice with a grain of salt. Do your own research. Where appropriate and with common sense, experiment on yourself. Be a partner with your doctor, as opposed to a blind follower, and make sure your doc knows what you're up to.

06-26-2011, 05:36 PM
When my doctor suggested a low-carb diet for my IR, he warned "but not too low," and when I asked "how low is too low," he admitted that he had absolutley no idea.

I LOVE this doctor, because he's just so honest and up-front about what he doesn't know, and he doesn't treat patients like idiots, either.

06-26-2011, 05:57 PM
i am pre-diabetic...is that the same as insulin resistant? i'm not sure...anyhow, since March i've been low-carbing and consider this the way i need to eat forever unless i'd rather progress straight into diabetes...i have no idea what my calories are but i started keeping lower than 200, then dropped to lower than 100, now i aim for lower than 50 per day and i've been steadily and slowly losing weight (the good weight, FAT, not water weight)....i have also eaten under 30 carbs per day but that's really hard for me since i like more variety in what i eat...to stick under 30 would be to limit myself to variations of meat, cheese, eggs and cream really...and i prefer more veggies, occasional fruit, etc

06-26-2011, 06:16 PM
I think there are different types of insulin resistance, but yes metabolic syndrome and pre-diabetes as well as diabetes are all types or degrees of insulin resistance.

My numbers were so close to diabetic that my doctor said that for all practical purposes I should consider myself diabetic. I've only had two blood tests in the diabetic range. I actually should ask him whether my blood sugar numbers qualify me for diabetic counseling, because Medicare will pay for only one diet class if you're insulin resistant, but will pay for a refesher course every year if you're diabetic.

06-26-2011, 08:18 PM
Pre-diabetic is insulin resistant. There aren't different degrees of insulin resistant its just insulin resistant. Type 2 diabetics are insulin resistant with diabetes, meaning they need extra help. I thought there were different degrees of insulin resistant too it turns out there isn't :\