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PCOS, Paleo, Weight Loss and Cheats

Commented on October 29, 2012
Created October 28, 2012 at 11:35 PM

Hi all,

I'm new to this and wanting some advice/experiences from those more experienced than myself, especially if you have/had PCOS.

I am a 24yo female, 5' 7" and 153 lbs, closer to a size 8 than a 10. I have been paleo for about three months, getting stricter with time. I have (or had) hypo/hyperglycemia before beginning paleo but have not had an episode since and have tried intermittent fasting with lots of success blood sugar wise so I'm guessing my sugars are in a good place (yay!). I have a few questions, feel free to answer whichever you want!

  1. Has anyone else here experienced success with symptoms of PCOS and paleo? I have never been overweight like many people with PCOS but have always been a little chubby. Since my diagnosis I have fluctuated weights but always stayed within a "normal" range (BMI). Since beginning paleo I have lost about 10 lbs. but have stayed the same the past few weeks but still losing inches. I'd love to know if anyone has had this experience of PCOS and never being overtly overweight. Were you ever able to lose the "fun tire" as I call it?

  2. What would you say to a person like me who makes room in my diet for paleoified "cheats". I eat good, nutritious meals everyday and aim to stay under 80 carbs per day, usually falling around 70, but I do make room in my carb count everyday for one paleo treat. When I bake them, I cut the honey or coconut sugar called for in half so that each treat is usually 10 carbs, occassionally more. Like I said, I make room for them. Is this going to be bad in the long run though? Just curious if anyone has had success doing this.

  3. Has anyone with PCOS and stalled weight loss and insulin resistance had success with carb refeeding once a week?

Sorry for all the questions! I am just wondering if I am doing things right enough or not. Like I said, I have lost inches the past couple weeks but my weight has stabilized. Corresponding with that time frame was when I truly started to do Mark Sisson's Primal fitness protocol so I'm curious if I'm gaining muscle weight or what the deal is. Is this a healthy weight for me? I know that my doctor has always told me that people with PCOS can't have the high hopes of ever being "thin" because of the nature of the syndrome. I guess my question is, can I expect more weight loss with time? Should I be satisfied? Should I try harder? Any advice/ experiences would be greatly appreciated!

1aae34350ebd8f018c61179a11be00ea

on October 29, 2012
at 09:16 PM

Thanks so much! That's great info. I am actually in the process of getting my pcp to refer me to Jennifer Fay who works with Dr. Dorsett. I have a friend with PCOS who uses her and says great things. Good to know. Before I lost the last ten pounds I was at 29% body fat so I'm guessing I am still above 18% but I will look into it anyway. :)

D41bd7b3d3b962eb0146f471eb632f56

(2029)

on October 29, 2012
at 07:47 PM

You might check your body fat percentage now to make sure 7% isn't too much. I'm at 23% and losing 7% would put me at risk of lowered fertility. Fertility tends to decline below 18%. In fact, a "higher" bf% is coorelated with higher fertility in women. Paleoforwomen.com and Huntgatherlove.com are great resources for that sort of information.

D41bd7b3d3b962eb0146f471eb632f56

(2029)

on October 29, 2012
at 07:44 PM

I always figure, even if someone isn't planning to become pregnant soon, fertility is a good indicator of health (or non-health!). :) Mine is a reproductive endocrinologist: Dr Janelle Dorsett through the Center for Reproductive Medicine. She was great about not trying to push meds on me if I didn't need them and very supportive of my lifestyle changes.

1aae34350ebd8f018c61179a11be00ea

on October 29, 2012
at 03:19 PM

I definitley feel better on Paleo as well. My blood sugar is regulated and I also just feel happier. I felt like I was so moody before. Went off bc a couple months ago. Without it I had a period about every 10 months. I'm trying to regulate cycles naturally by eating well and regulating blood sugar.I did just start a period so I'm a little excited (what woman ever said that)! Could just be leftover from bc BUT every time I've gone off before, its been another 10 months until I've had one so it certainly seems like I might be able to be hopeful. I hope children are in both of our futures!

1aae34350ebd8f018c61179a11be00ea

on October 29, 2012
at 03:13 PM

It's nice to see someone else from this region on here! I am not concerned about fertility at the moment but am hoping to lose extra weight so that I will be more fertile in the future since they say that losing 7% of body weight should do that. Even though I am at a healthy weight, I still haven't been able to regulate cycles and only have a period about once every ten months. Since I am at a technically healthy weight, this worries me. Who's your doc?

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3 Answers

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D41bd7b3d3b962eb0146f471eb632f56

on October 29, 2012
at 05:01 AM

I'm almost identical to you. 24 y/o, 5'7", about 150 lbs (don't weigh myself anymore, but that seems to be about what the doctor's scale says every year). I was diagnosed with mild PCOS last year.

I lost weight several years ago, so paleo hasn't really done anything for me in that regard. I should also point out that I'm moderate carb, treading the line between primal and WAPF. I tend to have unstable blood sugar if I don't match my carbs with enough protein, but I've never experienced anything good from decreasing my carbs below 100 g/day for an extended period of time. My "intermittent fasting" is pretty much limited to the fact that I work at a coffeeshop on my feet for the entire time that normal human beings might eat lunch, so I have a long stretch between breakfast and lunch, if I bother to eat lunch at all. Haven't really observed any benefit or not, since it wasn't really my intent.

As for cheats, I have a history toward disordered eating behavior if I become "strict," so "cheats" have always been a net benefit for me. I have to remember that there's more to life than my diet, and restricting myself any more than I do tends to push away all those other important things. Not everyone feels this way, but it's important for me to not give myself a hard time if I eat some gluten free bread or something every once and while, or heaven forbid! The candied nuts at the baby shower I went to yesterday!

As for weight, I have a large frame and I spent all of my adolescence at 150 lbs (albeit at a higher body fat percentage), so that's pretty much my set point. I've been as low as 140 in my adult life, but that was at the height of my disordered eating, and I was starving myself and overexercising to get there. I had to learn and accept that my frame and set point are not conducive to a fitness model physique. I also have to remember that many fitness models are not at optimum health. When I was diagnosed with PCOS, my paradigm shifted. It was no longer about how lean I could possibly become, but about what my body could accomplish--namely a healthy pregnancy and childbirth. I already knew I had a condition called Uterine Didelphys (a double uterus+cervix), so I knew that pregnancy would be potentially complicated for me, but adding PCOS to the mess triggered an urgency in me to fuel all my potential for optimum fertility. To me, as a woman with so many odds against me, fertility is the apex of my health. If I can do that, I can do anything. :)

ETA:

I have experienced more stability in my blood sugar, clear skin, and a regulation in my cycles for the first time in my life since adopting a paleo-esque, higher-protein/lower-carb protocol. I feel stronger and less bloated as well. May not be losing any weight/inches, but that in itself is worth it for me. :)

ETA again!:

I see you're from Lubbock! I live in Plainview! My doc is in Lubbock!

1aae34350ebd8f018c61179a11be00ea

on October 29, 2012
at 03:13 PM

It's nice to see someone else from this region on here! I am not concerned about fertility at the moment but am hoping to lose extra weight so that I will be more fertile in the future since they say that losing 7% of body weight should do that. Even though I am at a healthy weight, I still haven't been able to regulate cycles and only have a period about once every ten months. Since I am at a technically healthy weight, this worries me. Who's your doc?

D41bd7b3d3b962eb0146f471eb632f56

(2029)

on October 29, 2012
at 07:44 PM

I always figure, even if someone isn't planning to become pregnant soon, fertility is a good indicator of health (or non-health!). :) Mine is a reproductive endocrinologist: Dr Janelle Dorsett through the Center for Reproductive Medicine. She was great about not trying to push meds on me if I didn't need them and very supportive of my lifestyle changes.

D41bd7b3d3b962eb0146f471eb632f56

(2029)

on October 29, 2012
at 07:47 PM

You might check your body fat percentage now to make sure 7% isn't too much. I'm at 23% and losing 7% would put me at risk of lowered fertility. Fertility tends to decline below 18%. In fact, a "higher" bf% is coorelated with higher fertility in women. Paleoforwomen.com and Huntgatherlove.com are great resources for that sort of information.

1aae34350ebd8f018c61179a11be00ea

on October 29, 2012
at 09:16 PM

Thanks so much! That's great info. I am actually in the process of getting my pcp to refer me to Jennifer Fay who works with Dr. Dorsett. I have a friend with PCOS who uses her and says great things. Good to know. Before I lost the last ten pounds I was at 29% body fat so I'm guessing I am still above 18% but I will look into it anyway. :)

0
3720f5eb63757f8cdbf393ac7530c1c3

(259)

on October 29, 2012
at 09:41 AM

I started paleo as I was diagnosed with PCOS this year and I really want kids...

I've never been overweight, maybe because I'm a fitness instructor? But I have lost a couple of inches off my waist since I started early September without even trying to, going from about a 26.5 inch waist to about 24.5 inches - I don't know what I weigh as I don't have any scales.

My back-acne has gone, although I'm still getting a few doozies on my face every couple of weeks and the facial hair is still pretty bad although I started lazer treatment to get rid of it permanently... I've not had a period since July though, and the one before that was December 2011 so my cycles still aren't right at all.

I'm still loving the energy I now have though and I'm sure the paleo thing is doing me good as all my joint pains have now gone too after years of sore knees and wrists that I assumed were just side effects of my job :)

1aae34350ebd8f018c61179a11be00ea

on October 29, 2012
at 03:19 PM

I definitley feel better on Paleo as well. My blood sugar is regulated and I also just feel happier. I felt like I was so moody before. Went off bc a couple months ago. Without it I had a period about every 10 months. I'm trying to regulate cycles naturally by eating well and regulating blood sugar.I did just start a period so I'm a little excited (what woman ever said that)! Could just be leftover from bc BUT every time I've gone off before, its been another 10 months until I've had one so it certainly seems like I might be able to be hopeful. I hope children are in both of our futures!

0
36684f3cb2ba211b5f844257d6e254d6

on October 29, 2012
at 09:32 AM

I think you should be contented for the moment, take it easy for sometime. Try some naturally easy ideas from this free ebook you can download here too. All the best and great work.

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