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Does having PCOS cause a much lower rate of weight loss?

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Old 04-07-2012, 07:00 AM   #1
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Default Does having PCOS cause a much lower rate of weight loss?

I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was around fourteen. My symptoms include acne, weight gain (though I contributed to that with some truly awful eating habits) and some abnormal hair growth.

To women who have PCOS and have lost weight: Did you experience slower weight loss because of your PCOS? What would you suggest for someone with PCOS to do as they lose weight?

I'm 23 and I'm on a diet of approximately 1200 calories and have been trying to get at least 40 minutes of exercise daily.
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Old 04-07-2012, 07:10 AM   #2
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I have lost 203 pounds and that took me 5 years and the last 6 months been basically maintaining (about 15-20 pounds off my ideal weight) I found the key was cutting down on processed foods and not eating carbs at dinner. I would go thru periods of times where I would lose big numbers and periods of time (like now) where i struggled to get the weight moving. But regardless of the scales...by taking care of yourself and putting good food into your body will make your body healthier. It will also depend how much weight you have to lose.

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Old 04-07-2012, 08:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkazz123 View Post
I have lost 203 pounds and that took me 5 years and the last 6 months been basically maintaining (about 15-20 pounds off my ideal weight) I found the key was cutting down on processed foods and not eating carbs at dinner. I would go thru periods of times where I would lose big numbers and periods of time (like now) where i struggled to get the weight moving. But regardless of the scales...by taking care of yourself and putting good food into your body will make your body healthier. It will also depend how much weight you have to lose.

kazz =]
I just watched your video. Your story is truly inspirational.

I've tried to cut down processed foods to the point where I eat almost no processed foods at all, and I don't eat carbs at dinner. I have quite a lot to lose. 88 pounds to get to 198 (my first goal) and probably another 30+ after that.

I suppose I'm just worried about my BMR and whether my PCOS is going to inhibit my body's ability to shift the weight. I'm not any medications or treatment for PCOS, either.

Thanks for your response.
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Old 04-07-2012, 11:55 AM   #4
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Amy, there are studies that show PCOS greatly inhibits the rate of weight loss, but it's not impossible. What you have going for you is your youth. We still have to do everything we can to lose the weight, and your diet is already on target. Great job!

You haven't talked about what type of exercise you do. I highly recommend weight training in the afternoons. It really helps to manage IR. A LOT!

Have you gone in to the doctor to have your blood sugar levels tested? If you are having serious issues with IR, you might be put on metformin to help manage that.

Otherwise, don't lose heart and just keep at it. You'll get there!
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:10 PM   #5
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Hi Amy!

This article is interesting -- PCOS/Insulin weight gain and BMR, Study -- because it talks about BMR and PCOS patients.

So, yes, PCOS patients have a lower BMR than "normal" people. Additionally, if you have PCOS and Insulin Resistance, then your BMR is even lower!

For me, since I have both, it means that yes, I *have* to eat less than a normal person to have the same rate of weight loss.

I've lost over 35 lbs but it's taken me 2.5 years to do it. I get stalls and then I have to shift something (or the latest was a nutritionist who put me on a diet that made me GAIN weight because she used normal BMR charts, not for people like me).

For me, I have to eat 1500 calories and exercise regularly in order to lose weight. I don't lose 2 lbs a week. This week, I lost 0.5 lb and I'm happy that I did!

HOWEVER..... this is NOT meant to discourage you. What it means is that you have to look at your diet as a way of treating your PCOS... your food is your medicine in this case. It's not just about losing weight, but it's about improving your body's response to the food you're eating, if you have IR, improving your cells response to insulin, managing your blood sugar levels, and of course, cholesterol and all the side effects that you can get.

There are plenty of posters here who have lost the weight AND have PCOS. It may just take a little longer than other people. Sometimes, I have a pity party for myself because it seems like all the other posters on 3FC can lose weight so much faster than I can, and I exercise more and eat less than they do! It's very frustrating, but it's the only thing that works for my body.

I also don't eat processed food and I tend to cook at home 90% of the time.
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:37 PM   #6
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I should say altho I have PCOS i am not IR...but that said i did lose mine very slowly....and its incredibly tough getting losses now i am so close to goal. We can only try and be the best "me" i can be....and if this is as close to goal that i get then that will be okay...also i do a LOT of exercise - 7-12 hours per week pretty intensive exercise

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Old 04-07-2012, 07:33 PM   #7
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All of this stuff is kind of scary, tbh.

I don't *think* I am IR. I had my bloods done last year and everything was fairly normal; however, that's not to say things haven't changed since then. I don't have any symptoms which might alert me to being IR and have never experienced problems with too much sugar, like feeling physically sick. But that said: I think it's time I got myself tested again.

I'm going to cut out grapes (even though I love them) and eat fruits with a lower GI, like pears. Thanks for the tip! I'm also going to try and up my calories today (I was eating between 850 and 900, unbeknownst to me). And next week I'm going to start lifting weights.

Thank you everyone for your advice!
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:31 PM   #8
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Great posts in this thread. Glad to see I am not the only one going through SLOW weight loss due to (at least, in part) PCOS. I'm also NOT IR, but my Doc told me that having a dx of PCOS (even w/o IR) absolutely makes losing weight harder. I get regular periods now that I have lost about 70 pounds, but I was only getting them once or twice a year at my highest weight. I am not on any medications right now.

I've been sticking to 1400-1500 calories per day, and this seems to be working well for me. According to my BMR calculation, I should be eating 1900-2000, but I DO NOT lose weight at that level, even with some exercise.

I have also cut out grapes and white pastas & breads. I typically have brown rice or whole grain pasta with dinner (one serving, measured) and my body is doing fine with this. Everyone is different though. Occasionally, I go out to dinner like everyone else and eat things I shouldn't, and the scale always lets me know. LOL ...

For me, I have the understanding that this is a marathon, not a sprint. It doesn't make it any easier, but it helps my mindset, especially when I have my "bad" days.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:37 AM   #9
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Focus on being healthy!!!!
- Work on changing your lifestyle into regular exercise, and healthy eating.
- If you just work on eating what's right with your PCOS (I have a copious amount of sugar free items).

What I have learned with my own case of PCOS, is that keeping your mind on weight causes you to stress out. So, keep your mind on the meals you eat, and how the whole grains/ veggies will benefit your body with their nutrients.
Get healthy!
And if you lose weight while getting healthy, then so be it. (Going to happen anyways)
Weigh yourself only ONCE a week, because your weight can fluctuate between 1 and 5 lbs.
Good luck!
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PghGal View Post
Great posts in this thread. Glad to see I am not the only one going through SLOW weight loss due to (at least, in part) PCOS. I'm also NOT IR, but my Doc told me that having a dx of PCOS (even w/o IR) absolutely makes losing weight harder. I get regular periods now that I have lost about 70 pounds, but I was only getting them once or twice a year at my highest weight. I am not on any medications right now.

I've been sticking to 1400-1500 calories per day, and this seems to be working well for me. According to my BMR calculation, I should be eating 1900-2000, but I DO NOT lose weight at that level, even with some exercise.

I have also cut out grapes and white pastas & breads. I typically have brown rice or whole grain pasta with dinner (one serving, measured) and my body is doing fine with this. Everyone is different though. Occasionally, I go out to dinner like everyone else and eat things I shouldn't, and the scale always lets me know. LOL ...

For me, I have the understanding that this is a marathon, not a sprint. It doesn't make it any easier, but it helps my mindset, especially when I have my "bad" days.
Great post.

It's really confronting for me to hear that my PCOS is going to adversely affect the rate at which I lose weight, but that's something I'm prepared to deal with. I'm an impatient person by nature and I like to see the effort I put in being rewarded, but I suppose my journey is just going to be slower than most and there's not a lot I can do about it.

When I checked out my BMR on the internet it told me I could eat over 2500 and still lose. I have serious doubts as to whether this would happen. I'm eating around 1200 now and trying to limit sugar and carbs, and I am seeing results, although they're a little all over the place. I know this can happen when you're weighing yourself every day, but weighing myself daily tends to keep me on track. Knowing I have to weigh in the next morning generally stops me from overindulging or eating something I shouldn't.

I eat bread, although I restrict it to one slice of multi-grain per day. But today I had a salad wrap for lunch and dinner and the extra carbs are really doing a number on me. I'm much hungrier than I usually am.

Congrats on your weight loss, you've done so well.

I can't wait until I start getting regular periods again. I honestly can't remember the last time they were regular. Probably when they first started!
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:09 PM   #11
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Daily weighing doesn't have to be demotivating, even with slow weight loss. It's only demotivating if you EXPECT to see daily losses.

I weigh twice a day (or more), and it's extremely motivating (even with my slow weight loss) because my primary goal isn't weight loss it's weight maintenance (i.e. "not gaining").

I wish I had discovered this tip as a much younger (and much faster loser). I always quit weight loss programs when I lost motivation (usually because the weight loss would slow to a point that I felt like I would NEVER get the weight off, and I felt if I couldn't get ALL the weight off there wasn't any point in continuing the effort).

If I had focused on "not gaining" like I do now, I wouldn't have been so easily demotivated.

Thank God I was able to see the value in "not gaining" to the point now that I never feel discouraged because "not gaining" is ALWAYS possible. Even if I have gained, I still have the ability to "not gain" any more. And while I'm at this business of "not gaining" if I can lose a little too, that's bonus.

When I started this "not gaining" business, I never in a million years would have thought I'd be able to acheive (let alone maintain) a loss of 105 lbs. The most I'd ever lost before was 70 lbs, and the longest I'd ever been on a downward weight trend was 2 years, and the longest I'd ever been at a stable weight was maybe 5 years. It's now been about seven years or more since I've had a substantial regain.

I can choose to say "it's taken me seven years to lose 105 lbs, how absolutely pitiful."

or I can say, "Seven years without a gain, how totally, amazingly AWESOME!

You don't have to be a genius to figure out which attitude is more motivating.
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