Piling on the Weight in Spite of Diet and Exercise? Here's What to Do
My 28 year daughter suffers from PCOS, has regular periods though.
She is always on some kind of diet, watching sugar carbs and fats, goes to the gym a minimum of 5 day a week.
She is still piling on weight especially lower body, bottom, thighs and stomach.
It breaks my heart to see her so upset. Please help
PCOS Editor's Response:
Is it possible she doesn't have PCOS? She may have "metabolic syndrome", which is another disorder that is similar to PCOS. A percentage of women with PCOS also have metabolic syndrome, but many don't.
When you say "she is always on some kind of diet", I suspect her diet may be the reason for the weight gain. People who try this diet and that diet and the other diet tend to not do well in terms of weight loss.
As a minimum, her diet should have these attributes.
1) No added fructose to any food or beverage. A notorious example is high fructose corn syrup, found in thousands of food products. Fructose in whole fresh fruit is OK. No dried or canned fruit.
So, no fructose that is added to any food product. None. Nada. Nothing.
No fructose in "natural" products like honey or agave syrup. None. Nada. Nothing.
Fructose causes fatty liver disease and insulin resistance in the liver, which drives up her weight.
2) No sucrose or any other added sweetener, whether "natural" or artificial. The only exception is stevia.
3) No grains except wild rice or quinoa.
4) Five or more servings of whole vegetables per day.
5) Fish (salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel, etc.) or fish oil at least several times a week.
6) Raw nuts and seeds on a regular basis.
Is she doing these things?
Next, what is her vitamin D level? Has she had it checked? Is it below the mid-range of normal on a lab test?
Third, is her thyroid OK? Most doctors only use a blood test called "TSH". If your TSH is normal, then they say your thyroid is perfectly OK. But TSH only detects a percentage of thyroid disorders. If her TSH is "normal", it is NOT mean her thyroid is OK. The reason for focusing on the thyroid is that optimal function is required for weight loss.
Fourth, she should get a liver ultrasound. She may have NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease). It is very common among overweight individuals, or those who have PCOS, metabolic syndrome or diabetes. If she has NAFLD, she should consult with a licensed naturopathic doctor or other health professional who knows how to manage that disorder. NAFLD not only exacerbates PCOS, it also makes it harder to avoid gaining weight.
Finally, exercise. The good news is that she's exercising. Not only that that burn fat, but working the muscles sending signals to abdominal fat that has the effect of reducing chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation in abdominal fat messes up all your other hormones. Therefore, physical activity and exercise is highly beneficial.
Note that PCOS, metabolic syndrome and diabetes are all diseases with a strong inflammatory component. All of them involve a problem with hormone balance, blood fats, and excess weight. Exercise reduces all of these problems in all of these diseases.
I don't know what type of exercise she's doing. But intermittent intense exercise is probably a good idea.