GENIUSFEMINI

Indian Diet for PCOS

Indian diet plan for weight loss in PCOS

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome/Disorder is all around us. Studies have found that in every 5 women, 1 woman suffers from PCOS or PCOD. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS is a complex disease, and there are various factors that can cause PCOS. Till now, doctors haven’t found the exact reason that causes PCOS, but presumably, genetic or lifestyle factors affect women the most to get PCOS. Sedentary lifestyle, lack of sleep and exercise, stress and unhealthy diet — are the major factors responsible for PCOS. Here is an Indian diet plan for weight loss in PCOS.

On the internet, a lot of sources claim to have found ‘a perfect diet’ that can cure PCOS ‘completely’. But they may or may not be true and trustworthy. So, you must be very careful in choosing what you believe and eat. There are a lot of myths regarding food intakes in PCOS, which aren’t backed by sound science. So, you better be careful while choosing your nutritional diet.

Related read: How to Know if you have PCOS? Causes and Symptoms

In this article, we’ve brought a practical Indian diet plan to follow in PCOS that ensures to give you adequate nutrition, reduce inflammation and insulin resistance. This diet will help you lose weight and, of course, will relieve you from PCOS symptoms. Needless to say, no diet plan can help you lose weight unless you engage your body in some kind of activity. 

A proper diet along with exercise and stress management is the only way we can beat this complex disorder called PCOS.

We have enough medical evidence which proves that a plant-based diet is more beneficial than animal-based diet, especially in terms of PCOS and metabolic syndromes. This below mentioned diet also does not contain any refined, packaged and processed food. Of course, this diet plan has an ample amount of complex carbohydrates to maintain an optimum blood sugar level, and which helps reduce the insulin spikes. Also, this has a good amount of plant based proteins and minimum fat to ensure you receive all your needed nutrients properly.

The diet will give you approximately 1200-1400 kcal.

We have included 2-3 alternatives to make the food choice diversified, and to save you from boredom of eating the same meal.

Morning Drink: Calorie count- 0

Start your morning with a powerful antioxidant drink at about 6-6:30 am.

Option 1: Moringa Juice

Moringa oleifera has been known as the superfood because of its natural detoxifying agents. 

Moringa Juice for PCOS
  • Moringa powder is anti-inflammatory, and its diuretic properties help reduce water retention. 
  • It has an amino acid called Glutamic acid. It helps in curbing sugar cravings. 
  • Moringa is high in fiber that prevents fat absorption in the gut. 
  • Moringa powder has 2 times more calcium than milk and 4 times more vitamin A than carrot, which keeps the symptoms of menopause and irregular menstrual cycles at bay.
  • The foremost concern in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is insulin resistance. There have been researches conducted to find whether Moringa oleifera really helps in PCOS, and moringa has successfully shown to decrease the levels of insulin in diabetes mellitus. Therefore, moringa has shown its potential in lowering the insulin levels in blood along with androgen levels and increasing folliculogenesis. 
  • Moringa also helps reduce cramps and PMS during your menstrual cycle. It has 3 times more potassium than banana and vitamin B1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 12,14 and 17, which calms the nervous system to help with your mood swings and anxiety levels.

How to consume?

  1. Take 1 teaspoon of dry moringa leaves and soak them in water. Drink this in an empty stomach. To balance out the bitterness of moringa add 1 teaspoon of honey into your drink.
  2. You can also boil 10-12 fresh moringa leaves to make this tea.
Option 2: Fenugreek water 

Womxn diagnosed with PCOS have difficulty in insulin tolerance as they cannot utilize the insulin secreted by pancreas. This leads to excess production in testosterone and finally obesity. In an experimental study, patented as Furocyst, it has been noted that fenugreek extracts help reduce the ovarian volume and number of ovarian cysts. A significant percent of womxn (71%) taking the treatment were back to having regular menstrual cycles, and a few of them (12%) successfully became pregnant.  

  • As fenugreek seeds are high in soluble fibers, it slows down the digestion, resulting in a significant decrease in sugar absorption from carbohydrates. As the absorption of sugar happens at a lower pace, this method is efficient to decrease the blood sugar level and improve insulin resistance.
  • Because of its anti-diabetic properties, scientists have found that fenugreek seeds can be used as an effective remedy to cure type-2 diabetes.
  • Compounds present in fenugreek seeds are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which are beneficial to ward off the PCOS symptoms like inflammation, glucose intolerance, low level of high-density lipoprotein.
  • Also, it has been known since ages that fenugreek seeds extract is beneficial for hair growth, acne management and oily skin.

How to consume?

  1. Take 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds and soak them overnight. The next day, chew the seeds along with water (as needed) and consume it in an empty stomach.
  2. You can also use fenugreek seeds in your meals. Either dry toast them or saute in oil for a few seconds, then add the aromatic seeds into your cooked preparation.
  3. You can also intake fenugreek sprouts as salads.
  4. Many prefer to eat fenugreek seeds prior to their lunch or dinner. It gives the feel of a fuller stomach helping in eating less to boost the weight loss journey. 
Option 3: Cinnamon, licorice and cumin tea

The next option for your morning tea is cinnamon, licorice and cumin seeds. In a study performed at Columbia University Medical Center in New York city, it has been seen that women who took cinnamon capsules, got their menstrual cycle regularized after 6 months. Even two pregnancies happened spontaneously.

Cinnamon tea for PCOS
  • Compounds of cinnamon improve blood sugar level, reduces insulin resistance, and improves menstruation and fertility.
  • Licorice helps maintain the male hormone levels, which is a distinct cause for PCOS. Licorice roots have been used in Ayurveda since ages. It has a compound called glycyrrhizin which helps in keeping the hormones levels in balance. Also, this compound is helpful for protecting your liver and gut health.
  • Licorice has anti-inflammatory properties. It can help with managing stress level, boosts immunity and endocrine system function.
  • Additionally, licorice treats acne.

How to consume?

  1. You can boil cinnamon sticks, licorice sticks along with cumin seeds and make yourself a cup of tea. Add a teaspoon of honey if needed. 

Caution: More than 3g cinnamon or licorice may upset your stomach.

Exercise

Next is exercise. Although, we cannot categorize exercise as diet, but it is a major part of the Indian diet plan for weight loss in PCOS. Remember, no diet can help you lose weight if you do not take part in any activity. You can simply go for walking, cycling, jogging or swimming. A much more holistic approach is yoga and meditation. 

Meditation

20 minutes of daily breathing based meditation will help you stress management.

Yoga

  • Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation (3-5 sets)
  • Cobra pose of Bhujangasana (1-2 minutes)
  • Bow pose or Dhanurasana (15 seconds, 3 sets)
  • Cat-cow pose or Marjaryasana-Bitilasana (2-3 minutes)
  • Camel pose or Ustrasana (15 seconds, 5 sets)
  • Bridge pose or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (1 minutes, 5 sets)
  • Seated Forward Bend or Paschimottanasana (1-2 minutes)
  • Butterfly pose or Baddhakonasan (2-3 minutes)
  • Plank or Kumbhakasana (1-2 minutes)
  • Child’s pose or Balasana (1-2 minutes)

Sun Exposure

PCOS patients are typically seen to be vitamin D deficient. So, try to spend 10-15 minutes out in the sun daily.

Breakfast: Calorie count- 300-400 cal 

Option 1: Cheela with veggies

How to consume?

  1. Use oats, moong dal, besan or chickpea flour, barley as the flour base.
  2. For vegetables you can use carrot, spinach, fenugreek leaves, beetroot, beans, cauliflower, tomato etc.
  3. Use the vegetables and flour in the equal quantity so that you get all the important nutrients from those veggies.
  4. Cook without oil if possible. Otherwise, you can use 1 teaspoon of olive oil or mustard oil or ghee. Do not use refined oil. 
  5. You can eat this cheela with dal, seasonal vegetables and green chutney.
Option 2: Poha or Upma

An Indian PCOS diet plan for weight loss is incomplete without the recipe of Poha or Upma.

How to consume?

  1. Here also use equal amounts of vegetables along with your poha or upma. Oats upma is preferable and healthier than the traditional ragi or rava upma.
  2. Or you can have Quinoa upma as well. Quinoa is a significant source of vegetarian protein. It is perfect for breakfast as well as lunch or dinner. 

Option 3: Oats porridge

Oats is a great source of protein. Oats has an antioxidant called Avenanthramide which helps in lowering the blood pressure level.

How to consume?

You can make the oats porridge with any plant based milk and add some dry nuts and any fruits of your choice.

Mid-Morning Drink: Calorie count- 100-150 cal

Between 11 AM and 12PM, you can have this mid-morning drink. 

Option 1: Smoothie

You can have any fruits you like and mix them together to make a smoothie.

How to consume?

Apple, spinach, oranges, ginger. In a food processor, mix all of them and pour in a glass. You can add two ice cubes in it.

Option 2: Buttermilk

You can add low fat curd into your diet without stress. Don’t listen to the myth that dairy is not good in PCOS.

How to consume?

Add low fat curd, with salt, green chilli paste, a pinch of cumin powder and whisk it with cold water. Sprinkle chia seeds on top of it.

Lunch: Calorie count- 250-300 cal

Option 1: Salad bowls

For lunch, the best preference is a medium bowl of salad.

Sprouts/Chickpea/Boiled Moong dal salad- add any seasonal vegetables like carrots, capsicum, tomatoes or fruits like apples, grapes into it. Sprinkle some lemon juice on it and serve.

Option 2: Fruit bowls

Mix any seasonal fruits and seeds (pumpkin, melon, chia) along with some coconut pieces and dates. 

Option 3: Rice and vegetables curry or dal

The most common Indian lunch option in PCOS diet plan for weight loss is ½ cup of rice along with a bowl of vegetable curry or dal. 

Mid-evening snack: Calorie count- 80-100 cal

Around 4-5 PM you can have your Mid evening snack.

Option 1: A cup of green tea

Studies have shown that Green tea consumption has a positive impact on Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome treatment, including hirsutism.

Option 2: Coconut water

Coconut water is a natural health drink that cools down your gut. It re-hydrates the body and maintains natural body temperature.

Option 3: Lemon water

Lemon water helps liver to function properly as it has properties that remove toxins from your system and aids in digestion.

Option 4: A handful of roasted nuts (almonds, walnuts, faux nuts etc.).

Nuts are loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. They certainly are helpful in maintaining your hormone balance.

Dinner: Calorie count- 300-400 cal

Try to have your dinner by 7-8 PM.

Option 1: Rice and dal/sambar

Option 2: A bowl of khichdi with ample amounts of veggies and lentils. 

*Note: Do not listen to the myth that brown rice is superior to white rice and you can not have rice if you have PCOS/PCOD. It’s just that. A myth.

Related read: 10 Myths and Facts about Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Post dinner walk

It’s good to walk for about 20-30 minutes after your dinner. 

Before Bedtime

Before bedtime, you can have a cup of cinnamon tea and do some light yoga. It will help calm your mind, relieve some stress and melt away muscle strain. Doing some bedtime yoga will help you deal with your insomnia and mental health, which is the dreadful side effects of PCOS. 

  • Breathing based meditation/practice mindfulness
  • Cat-cow pose
  • Cobra pose
  • Child’s pose
  • Corpse pose

Bedtime

Make sure that you are careful about your sleep timings. A proper and regular sleep timing is very needed for your healthy progress in reversing PCOS. 

Always remember to not use any electronic devices one hour before bedtime.

Caution

There is some distinct caution you must follow in this Indian PCOS diet plan for weight loss.

  • Never eat less to treat your Polycystic ovarian syndrome. It might get worse.
  • Learn to differentiate between temptation and hunger.
  • Prefer plant-based diet over animal based diet. Because that way, it’s easier to lose weight.
  • Do not starve yourself to lose weight. 
  • Never go for some harsh and crash diet and strenuous exercise regime. 
  • Do not go for intermittent fasting. It might not be helpful for your PCOS reversing treatment.
  • Always try to stick to simple and local foods. 
  • Use jaggery or honey instead of sugar.
  • Use ghee or olive/mustard oil instead of refined oil.
  • Avoid restaurant food, packaged, processed, and refined food as much as you can.
  • Avoid unnecessary refrigeration and microwaving. 
  • Drink a lot of water.

The above diet might seem difficult to follow, but once you do, you’ll start noticing a significant difference in your PCOS reversing regime. You’ll start to feel energetic and of course you’ll lose weight.

Always remember to put yourself first. So start investing in yourself from today. Stay happy and positive. 

Just tell yourself, ‘There’s nothing I cannot do!’ and see the magic happen after that.

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