I've recently been diagnosed with PCOS. Even with PCOS, since going paleo, I've lost weight, but not as much as most people seem to. If there are other PCOS ladies out there, what worked for you? I've been doing a "meat and veggies" diet, with milk products primarily being in the form of kefir, butter and cheese. Basically, dinner is a meat of some sort (chicken, beef (grass-fed if possible), pork, fish), and a decent amount of veggies (everything from squashes to turnips to greens). Breakfast is either leftovers or eggs and some sort of protein (usually no-sugar bacon). Lunch is often non-existent or consists of leftovers.
I think my diet's pretty good, but the weight loss has been only about 10 lbs in 5 months. My husband has lost what little extra fat he had and is gaining muscle rapidly (yay!) on the same diet. I'm thinking the PCOS may be a factor.
I was never officially diagnosed with PCOS, but I had symptons, as well as female relatives who were diagnosed. For me, healing my metabolism was key to alleviating my symptoms. I was quite overweight, and at first I lost weight by getting into heavy-duty exercise (strength training with a personal trainer twice a week, plus intense cardio). I also changed my diet to something Zone-like, with lots of low-fat dairy and "healthy" grains like oatmeal. Despite the weight loss, I still had symptoms of PCOS, most notably surrounding my monthly cycle. I turned a corner hormonally when I ditched grains, sugar and milk (still eat butter and heavy cream). At the same time I threw off the intense cardio in favor of long, easy walks: at least an hour several times per week; usually a two-hour walk on the weekends.
My own weight loss has been slow, maybe 10 pounds per year (still working on the last 15-20).
PCOS is usually associated with insulin resistance, which may partially explain why you've lost weight at a slower pace than your husband.
Intervals and HIIT style training usually demonstrate increasing insulin sensitivity. http://pubget.com/search?q=doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.0803781
You're probably also deficient in magnesium, being insulin resistant.
Consider eliminating all grains and gluten containing products from your diet. PCOS shares some similarities with other autoimmune disorders that's led some to speculate it's partially mediated by gluten.
You've also not mentioned normalizing your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Have an omega-3 red blood cell test, and supplement your diet with fish oil, grassfed products etc.
Wow! A lot of comments lately. I thought I should give an update, as things have definitely improved for me. I hadn't mentioned previously (because I thout it was a separate issue) that I also had stage 3 endometriosis. I had surgery for the endo in June, and, suddenly, the weight started dropping. I'm now down 31 pounds from the beginning of the year, and it keeps coming off. I think the inflammation from the endo, and the hormonal imbalances from the PCOS were combining and causing a lot of the problems. Once the endo was gone, the metformin and diet could be more effective, and I started making progress. At the same time, we started doing almost all of our shopping at the farmers market, including meat. It's amazing how grassfed meats are more filling than conventional! Even though they're more expensive, our overall food budget is about the same, since we simply don't get as hungry.
I also have PCOS and though I am fairly new to paleo eating I have limited carb intake in the past and it definitely helps with the weight loss. I've also found that strength training is more effective when trying to lose weight than cardio. I have to spend hours on the treadmill or elliptical to match what I can do in about 40 minutes 3 times a week with strength training. I do walk my dog everyday as well, so I wouldn't cut out all cardio but I've found I don't have to be as intense with it.
In spite of all that, my weight loss is still slower than all the great success stories I hear. I do my best to just keep plodding along and concentrate on how much better I feel eating a paleo diet then all the processed stuff I was eating before. I do find it much easier to have a constant rate of weight loss on this diet even if that rate is still slow. On other "diets" I have found that I tend to yo-yo a lot.
So while this may not answer your question, hopefully it helps to know that others feel your pain. ;-)
I have PCOS and insulin resistance. I am very new to paleo, but will share my experience so far...
I have cut out ALL dairy (including butter - I believe that fat still makes you fat, NO cheese at all), caffeine (not good for us with IR), sugar, grains and legumes.
I still eat some fruit and nuts - and have been losing weight ok. Like I said, I am still new to this all, but in the last couple of weeks I have lost 3.4kg (16 days) - which I am very happy with. Other than that I have protein with every meal now (I used to hate eating lots of protein) and veggies.
I drink loads of water during the day, and allow myself a glass of red wine 2 or 3 times a week, with a block of 85% dark chocolate.
And it's as simple as that.
It is time for my period now - I've always had heavy periods and generally felt awful during that time - but this is the first time ever that it's light and I feel ok (I keep on waiting for it to turn all nasty but it's been 4 days now of "calm"). hehe
The only thing I do have a problem with is that I feel very tired and weak. I go walking three times a week, and have just started a little strength training. Very little. But yes - about the feeling weak - I used to eat tons of sugary junk - so I think my body is adjusting to paleo. I refuse to give up though..
Good luck to ya. :)
Hi there! I also have PCOS and did lose weight going paleo. More than weight loss, I noticed stable weight for the first time. Although the points when I did lose the most weight/body fat were when I followed my instincts... Spontaneous exercise doing whatever activity I felt up for, non-scheduled eating with only foods I was craving (as long as it fell within paleo guidelines, obviously). For whatever reason, that worked the best. Good luck, girl.
Wow I needed to read this post - thanks for posting. I am PCOS with insulin resistance - I think I was quite sick when I started - I lost about 10 kg right away but I think it was more the inflammation from the grains. Weight has slowed to just about no shift for 3 months and I am so strict. I stopped exercising last month for one reason or another and my periods stopped again. Back into it ( lots of weight training and working in the fat burning zone - for the first time this actually works for me ) and I am back on track with my periods and seem to be dropping a few Kg again too! So I wonder if I am still sick and have a long way to go before I help my IR. I also take Chromium - that seems to help a little with the IR ( well I have become quite sensitive to insulin now dont know if its the diet or the Chromium or both)
Good Luck - I feel your pain though I hear such great stories and it makes me sad that I am not one of them ( YET!)
I also have PCOS and IR. After a dietician recommended by my specialist told me to re-introduce carbs to lose weight I started searching for further info on diet, naturally correcting pcos, IR when I found this site. I have heard of Paleo before but am just wanting to purchase a really good book that specifically outlines the diet & lifestyle change, hopefully including exercise, sleep, portion recommendations also - can anyone help?
Girls who have lost weight with this - did you have much to lose and in what time frame can you expect? Is it quite slow to go?
Did most of you continue with metformin also?
Thanks you so.