Cultivating support for your PCOS and advocating for better care


Are you or is someone you know affected by PCOS? I have some bonus episodes for you! Listen now for the third bonus episode all about how to self-advocate for your health and find support while struggling with PCOS.

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This episode is brought to you by my online course, Your Step-by-Step Guide to PCOS and Food Peace™. Sign up now to get on the waitlist for the next enrollment period TOMORROW, and receive my FREE road map: Your First 3 Steps Toward Food Peace™ with PCOS. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how.

Product links may be affiliate. If you click and make a purchase, there’s no extra cost to you.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • Be sure to check out the first and second PCOS bonus Love, Food episodes!
  • You shouldn’t have to advocate for yourself, but unfortunately you’ll probably have to… so I have some tips to share!
  • PCOS is a women’s disease, and so there’s not a lot of research about it out there, and people don’t really want to talk about it. Plus, weight gain is a part of PCOS, which makes it even harder to find support because we live in a fatphobia world.
  • BUT, increased support actually helps improve our health! It can lower your blood pressure, help with insulin sensitivity, and so much more. So support is a big deal!
  • Weight bias in the healthcare community is a moral issue!! We have to combat it, and it starts with us.
  • First off, what’s weight stigma? It’s negative attitudes towards a person due to their body size. This leads to prejudice and discrimination, and results in lower quality of care. Stigma also activates a hormone response that ultimately leads to increased insulin resistance, and so much more. AND PCOS is tied closely to weight gain, which means that weight stigma is a BIG deal for those struggling with PCOS!
  • But doesn’t shame help us lose weight and watch what we eat? NO! Shame does NOT promote weight loss, and can in fact lead to more weight gain and avoidance of medical care.
  • The research also shows us that bias within the healthcare community is rampant. That means that as someone with PCOS, you need to walk into the doctor’s office armed with information, and ready to advocate for yourself and protect yourself from weight stigma. Here’s some ways how:
    • Decline to be weighed. You DON’T have to be weighed! It’s NOT a medical necessity, and it can be super triggering.
    • Assert that you don’t need to talk about dieting. Protect your recovery by letting them know that you aren’t interested in talking about weight loss, and that talking about dieting could actually put you at risk for weight gain.
    • Let the doctor know that diets just don’t work. Let them know that diets have never benefitted your health, and demand a different intervention strategy.
    • Ask your doctor what they recommend to patients that are in smaller bodies. There are ZERO conditions that only affect people in larger bodies, and so there are weight-neutral ways to improve your health.
    • Ask for the research! Ask for the data that shows long-term success (sustained weight loss with improved health for five years or more)… it doesn’t exist!
  • It sucks that you even have to do this extra work, but there ARE people out there in the fat activist community who are ready to help you.
  • The last thing we need to talk about is how to find support. Be open with your friends and family about your struggle, join our PCOS and Food Peace Support Group on Facebook, find support on social media, try to meet up with folks in person, and head to the PCOS Awareness Symposium!

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series.

My Top 5 Tips to Manage Your PCOS Without Dieting

Are you or is someone you know affected by PCOS? I have some bonus episodes for you! Listen now for the second bonus episode all about my top 5 tips for managing your health with PCOS without dieting.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

This episode is brought to you by my online course, Your Step-by-Step Guide to PCOS and Food Peace™. Sign up now to get on the waitlist for the next enrollment period on January 25th, and receive my FREE road map: Your First 3 Steps Toward Food Peace™ with PCOS. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how.

Product links may be affiliate. If you click and make a purchase, there’s no extra cost to you.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • Did you miss the first Love, Food PCOS Bonus episode? Check it out now!
  • You’re not a failure! You’ve been given the WRONG tools to help manage your health with PCOS.
  • Most people with PCOS are given a pamphlet that gives a one-size-fits-all solution… but this doesn’t work with PCOS! PCOS affects EVERY cell in your body, which means that a holistic approach to management is crucial. It can affect your mental health, hormone levels, and SO much more! It’s complicated!!
  • There’s really a lack of research around PCOS out there, and most healthcare providers have NO CLUE how complicated PCOS can be. That means you need to be your best advocate!
  • Solutions to your health shouldn’t be agonizing! They shouldn’t hurt!! That’s why I don’t recommend dieting, and I promise you that my solutions will NOT make you feel miserable.
  • I didn’t always know that diets don’t work. It took me working in the field and digging in the research for YEARS before I really got it. Diets predict weight GAIN, not weight loss, and people with PCOS are even MORE likely to experience that weight regain (this has to do with insulin levels, testosterone, and inflammation… listen to the show to get the details on the science!).
  • Pursuing weight loss should NOT be the primary treatment for PCOS! I’ve learned so much over the years working with women with PCOS (including Whitney Way Thore of My Big Fat Fabulous Life), and I have the training to help people manage the condition WITHOUT diets.
  • My top 5 tips to take charge of your health with PCOS:
    • Stop being a slave to the scale.
    • Put diets on the back-burner. The diets just increase inflammation and make you feel AWFUL! It’s time to put them down.
    • Don’t ignore your cravings, mood changes, or weight gain (AKA the symptoms of PCOS)! Say hello to them, and consider that they’re trying to tell you something important.
    • You are the expert of your body!
    • Explore self-compassion. Get rid of the should’s and rewrite them to support you!

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series.

The Worst Diets for PCOS

Are you or is someone you know affected by PCOS? I have some bonus episodes for you! Listen now for the first bonus episode all about which diets are the WORST for PCOS management.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

This episode is brought to you by my online course, Your Step-by-Step Guide to PCOS and Food Peace™. Sign up now to get on the waitlist for the next enrollment period on January 25th, and receive my FREE road map: Your First 3 Steps Toward Food Peace™ with PCOS. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how.

Product links may be affiliate. If you click and make a purchase, there’s no extra cost to you.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • The primary treatment for PCOS is dieting… but diets don’t work long-term! So what do we do?
  • We’re going to look at three different diets and break down why they don’t work for PCOS management…
    • Low-calorie diets: if you have PCOS, reducing calories below a certain point promotes inflammation, which is ultimately super harmful for our health, contributes to extreme exhaustion, drives up insulin levels, and encourages weight gain in the long-term.
    • The Keto diet: Keto diets promote a low-carb, low-fat, low-protein eating style, and if you have PCOS, you need more protein in your diet than the average person! Plus, there’s ZERO published research looking at folks trying Keto plans who also are managing PCOS. The majority of the research also doesn’t look any further than 4-6 weeks, which isn’t long enough to claim long-term weight-loss success!! Long-term, Keto is going to promote weight gain and obsession over your food choices (which can ultimately lead to eating disorder behavior!!).
    • Weight Watchers: WW is similar to the low-calorie meal plan, but it may actually be the WORST for PCOS! That’s because it’s super accessible, and it co-opts body-positive language to pretend it’s not a diet. Plus, they encourage low-fat and low-protein consumption, and remember, if you struggle with PCOS, you need more protein!! Less protein contributes to fatigue! Plus, WW has done their very own diet research that shows that 80% of their participants regain the weight within two years (and it’s probably higher than that!).
  • You deserve a recommendation that’s going to be health-promoting in the long term. So what do you do?? Any kind of style of eating that you’re doing should promote energy and make room for connection with family and friends. You should also make sure to choose something that has been shown to work long-term through the research (including through your personal evidence!).
  • The number one predictor of weight gain is dieting, and the more we diet, the more we gain! But this is NOT your fault!! You’ve been given the wrong tools.
  • Letting go of dieting is NOT letting yourself go… it’s letting yourself BE.
  • Wondering how to promote health with PCOS without dieting? Tune into the next Love, Food bonus episode to find out!

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series.

I have to diet with PCOS…right?!? Let’s explore PCOS + Food Peace.™

What is Food Peace™ in the context of struggling with PCOS? Listen now to hear my PCOS and Food Peace™ Manifesto.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

This episode is brought to you by my online course, Your Step-by-Step Guide to PCOS and Food Peace™. Sign up now to get on the waitlist for the next enrollment period in later this month, and receive my FREE road map: Your First 3 Steps Toward Food Peace™ with PCOS. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how.

Product links may be affiliate. If you click and make a purchase, there’s no extra cost to you.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • What IS Food Peace™ and PCOS anyway? What if we’ve been told to eat this, not that, in order to manage our PCOS? How do we move away from that kind of thinking?
  • Do some of us end up engaging in anorexia nervosa trying to manage our PCOS? Yes! Especially if we’re in larger bodies.
  • People in larger bodies are urged to practice eating behaviors that we diagnose as disordered in smaller bodies… this is a problem! It also points to how fatphobic our society is.
  • Dieting increases inflammation, which is one of the biggest issues with PCOS.
  • At least one in ten women suffer from PCOS, but there’s minimal research funding for it. We need to get more information on this condition!
  • So what’s Food Peace™? Food Peace™ is coming to terms that diets don’t work for you, and understanding that diets are the failure, not you.
  • It’s time to find a new way to eat, and listen to your bodies for the answers! Women with PCOS have a different kind of communication with their body, and it’s my job to guide you through learning that mode of communication.
  • If you’re in a place where you’re struggling to manage your PCOS, you may feel like you’re ALWAYS hungry. The Food Peace™ process is about reconnecting with your intuitive self and learning what that feeling of being always hungry really means.
  • Dieting predicts weight gain and eating disorders, and intuitive eating leads to positive health outcomes. So really, which one is better for our health?
  • Here’s my PCOS and Food Peace™ Manifesto:
    • You didn’t cause your PCOS!
    • Diets failed, not you! Diets are a form of restriction, so it’s no wonder you feel like you can’t control yourself around food.
    • Your weight doesn’t define your health or your worth.
    • Your PCOS has its own language.
    • Notice what helps energize you, and what doesn’t.
    • Self-care matters, and so does advocacy.
  • 25% of our health is due to behaviors, and 75% of our health are determined by social determinants of health and our genetics… this means that stigma and discrimination have a HUGE impact on our health! Specifically, weight stigma contributes to inflammation and poor health due to the fight or flight response.
  • There are SO many of us out there ready to help you fight weight stigma in PCOS healthcare. Come join us!

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series.

Body Positive PCOS New Year Resolutions

Kimberly Singh, Julie’s resident nutrition grad student {{ also affected by PCOS! }} is back to blogging on PCOS topics. Enjoy!

Are you tired of new year resolutions related to weight loss yet wonder what else to focus on?

As the new year approaches you may find yourself surrounded by diet culture at its annual peak. This is particularly difficult time to avoid diets.

Here are are 5 New Year’s resolutions that will help your PCOS while maintaining a weight-neutral approach.

Experiment with giving yourself permission to eat.

Allow yourself to eat without restriction and rules. This is scary at first, but eliminating the rules will allow you to better listen to your body.

Take a leap of faith, and trust yourself to shake off the rules created by diet culture.

Eliminating food rules will even make eating a more wholesome experience that creates space for connection, creativity, and warmth around food.

Engage in movement that brings you joy.

Let your body be present and fully engaged in movement. Move in a way that lets you feel connected to your body.

Strip away the judgments about stamina, duration, and frequency.

Simply let your body be.

Eat enough protein.

Julie recommends that women with PCOS experiment with eating 10 to 20 grams of protein in the morning and evening. Shift your focus away from labeling foods as good versus bad, and focus on eating enough.

Observe how this change affects your energy levels and PCOS symptoms.

I have found it helpful to create a list of go-to meals with enough protein. I like to be ready for the unexpected, so my go-to meals range from take-out to super fancy recipes.

Observe how your body reacts to different foods.

Be your own scientist as your discover how to best manage your PCOS.

Be a neutral observer as you explore how you feel after you eat different types of foods. You may find it helpful to take notes throughout this process. Observe how specific foods affect your energy levels, mood, and appetite.

Remind yourself that you can use this information as you please. This does not mean that you have to eliminate any foods that do not leave you completely energized and satisfied.

Don’t be scared to say, “no.”

Say “no” to people, ideas, and healthcare professionals that are not serving you and your PCOS experience. Listen to your gut instinct.

Stepping away from experiences that are not serving you will create space for experiences that are aligned with your values.

Want to find a way to treat your PCOS without dieting?

Julie can show you how! Get on the wait list here.