Five things anyone with polycystic ovarian syndrome needs to know about their diet.

By Susie Burrell.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) can be a very tough condition to manage form a dietary perspective.

Not only are carbs important, but so too are your good fats, calories and meal timing. So if you are one of the many women trying to manage it, here are five things to know about your diet when you have PCOS.

1. It is all about the carbs.

Chances are if you have PCOS you are also battling high insulin levels. The issue with high insulin is that it also means you are more likely to store fat.

The amount of carbohydrate you consume when you have PCOS is very important. Too much and you will not lose weight, too little and your metabolism will slow and make weight control even more difficult.

So for each individual it is about getting the right amount of carbs for you to achieve your weight loss goals. For most girls this will be 30-40 per cent total calorie intake.

Some carbs will be important to your diet. (Image via: iStock)

2. Timing is important.

We could debate this for hours but when you are trying to control insulin levels through the day, meal and carb timing is important. Too little at the wrong time of day will likely lead to overeating and cravings later. For this reason, small meals with even amounts of carbs and proteins is the best approach for managing PCOS. (Post continues after gallery.)


3. Fat is all about the type.

When we talk fat, it is not about whether you have full cream or skim milk or use olive or coconut oil, rather it is about the total balance of fat in your diet as the right fat balance will help the cell wall be more receptive to the hormone insulin.

Most of us consume too much poor quality fat and this drowns out the good fats. For this reason, chances are you need to eat more nuts, seeds, good oils and less cakes, processed foods and fats from fatty meats and fast foods. 

Avocado is a great source of good fatty oil. (Image via: iStock)

4. Calories are still important.

You can have a perfect balance of carbs and proteins and still not be managing your weight if you are consuming too many calories. Remember when your hormones are out of whack you may not be burning calories as efficiently as you once did which means your calorie control may need to be a little tighter if you have PCOS.

5. To get results, you will need to be strict, at least most of the time.

One of the biggest dietary issues when battling PCOS is that little extras always slip in which prevent you from managing your weight effectively. In turn this can mean weight continues to increase gradually over time and the PCOS gets worse. For this reason, periods of strict carb and calorie control to induce any necessary weight loss will ultimately improve hormone levels and make weight loss easier long term.

Five things you might not know about PCOS. (Post continues after video)

If you struggle with PCOS and are looking for a health program, the Shape Me PCOS plan could be for you.

With over 350 PCOS designed recipes, Shape Me has developed a higher protein option for women battling PCOS and weight gain on an ongoing basis.

As PCOS is a medical condition, Shape Me strongly recommends working directly with Susie via the Ask Susie functionality to have all of your individual needs supported throughout this program. Sign up today here.

This article originally appeared on the blog, Shape Me By Susie Burrell, with permission from the author. To see more from Susie, take a look at her website, or follow her on Facebook or Instagram.