- Make a satisfying protein-rich drink or smoothie by blending 2 cups (473 ml) of low-fat yogurt with 1 cup (237 ml) of crushed seasonal fruit, a banana, and a dash of soy powder.
- Eat a salad or broth-based soup as a first course so you’ll feel full, but take in fewer calories.
- Pack healthy “on the go” snacks such as unsalted nuts, carrot sticks, pears, and apples so you’re not tempted by chips or candy bars.
- Change to a lifestyle mindset
- Stop thinking about the word “diet” as an unsatisfying set of restrictions and instead think about long-term changes that lead to slow, steady weight loss. Create a healthy lifestyle that includes daily exercise and eat right by making smart choices.
- Choose nutrient-packed foods: Ensure balance and give your body a full range of protein, fats, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- Pay attention to portion sizes: Share a dish when eating out or keep some for later if the portions are too large. At home, serve reasonable portions on small dishes (so they look bigger) and avoid second helpings.
- Take a walk: Get 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five to six days per week to use up the calories you take in and prevent weight gain. Aim for 60 to 90 minutes a day for substantial weight loss.
- Get started: Begin healthful habits today to manage your weight for the rest of your life. Small steps count, so look for opportunities: take the stairs, park farther away, walk to shops.
Always beware of products that make outrageous claims. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. When choosing a product, consult with your pharmacist or health care provider for assistance. Important questions to ask are:
1. Has the product been clinically tested?
2. Are there any side effects or interactions?
3. How should the product be taken (before meals, with food)? 4. How long can I take this product?
Drugs are occasionally prescribed for people with a BMI over 30, or people with a BMI over 27 who also have other risk factors or diseases. Typically, these drugs are used to complement dietary therapy and physical activity, and should never be taken in place of lifestyle strategies. There are two main categories of weight loss medications:
• Appetite suppressants decrease appetite and increase the feeling of being full. Side effects include nervousness, insomnia and irritability, increased blood pressure, nausea, diarrhea and dry mouth.
• Drugs affecting the gastrointestinal tract, such as orlistat, decrease the amount of dietary fat that the body absorbs. Reported side effects include loose bowel movements, abdominal cramps and nausea.
PCOS is a condition characterized by hormonal imbalances, irregular periods, excessive hair growth and obesity. One of the key features with PCOS is insulin resistance, which can affect fertility, cause weight issues and even increase heart disease risk. It is not known whether PCOS causes insulin resistance or the other way around.
Birth control pills such as Diane 35 are often used because they lower levels of circulating androgens (hormones that are associated with hair growth and oily skin). The concern with taking products such as Diane 35 are the side effects such as low libido, mood swings, depression, headaches and bloating to name a few.
Here are some things that you can do naturally to help improve PCOS:
Follow a low glycemic index (GI) diet and get regular exercise because both of these things can improve insulin sensitivity. All our hormones are interconnected, and if something is out of balance (like insulin) it can affect other aspects of health, such as weight and fertility.
A low GI diet means avoiding all refined/white flour products such as white bread, pasta, rice and baked goods. Instead have the whole grains (brown bread/rice/pasta). Cut down on sugar and juice. Eat small frequent meals with low GI carbs, healthy fats like olive oil, fish and avocado, and lean protein.
For exercise aim for 30 minutes to one hour of moderate intensity activity daily. Exercise can help improve body composition, insulin sensitivity and androgen levels and it may help restore ovulation.
For supplements I would recommend:
- Hormone Balance by femMED – contains ingredients that help to balance hormones
- Chromium 200mcg daily to improve insulin sensitivity
- Fish oil (omega-3) 1000mg twice daily
For more information refer to this article:
• Keep a food diary. Before you decide what you need to change, take an objective look at what you are eating now. Most of us underestimate the number of calories we eat and forget about the quick little snacks we grab here and there. By writing down everything you put in your mouth you will gain awareness of where you need to make changes, such as whittling down the fillers (refined carbohydrates, sweets, and snack foods).
•Set manageable goals. A 50-pound weight loss is daunting. Focus on five-pound increments instead. If you gradually lose one-half to one pound a week, you will lose five pounds in five to ten weeks. In the meantime, you will be shaking off some of your fattening habits and adopting healthier ones.
•Make more daily health-promoting choices. If you like to snack, choose fresh fruit over ice cream. Opt for nuts or sunflower seeds over high-fat potato chips. Order your latte with skim milk instead of cream. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park your car farther away from your destination, so you do a little more walking. All of these small shifts in behavior add up to steady weight loss and improved overall health.
•Take pride in your progress. Modest losses can yield impressive health benefits. By losing ten pounds, you can lower your blood pressure significantly. When you lose twenty excess pounds, you: reduce your mortality by 20 to 25 percent; reduce angina symptoms by 91 percent; decrease total cholesterol by 10 percent; cut your risk of developing diabetes by more than 50 percent; and increase your exercise tolerance by 33 percent.
•Make a commitment to lifelong changes. Changing your diet and lifestyle for a month or two is a good start, but it is not enough. For long-term weight loss, you need to make long-term changes.
According to a recent report from the U.S. Surgeon General, obese individuals have a 50 to 100 percent greater risk of premature death from all causes than individuals without excess weight. An estimated 300,000 deaths are attributed to obesity in the United States each year.
Controlling your weight may extend your life span. Several clinical studies have found that people who were lean lived significantly longer than those who were extremely overweight. This is no surprise, considering the effects that excess weight has on your risk of developing chronic disease.
It may be comforting to know that even small losses can result in great health rewards. If you are overweight, losing even 5 to 10 percent of that excess can dramatically improve your health—lowering your blood pressure, cholesterol level and blood sugar. Plus, you will have more energy and feel motivated to continue with your program. Discover how weight loss for women can put your health on the right track.