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.

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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 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.

Weight Loss Isn’t the Answer for your PCOS

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

It’s that time of the year again.

Everyone is revving their engines to prepare for a new lifestyle filled with vegetables and water.

They are starting their elimination diets and shaming their prior self for indulging in things like sugar and bread (gasp).

As they start this new lifestyle with blind optimism, they are sure this time will be different.

Not like last January, or the one before that, and so on. In a few weeks to months the craze will wear off, and most dieters will be back to eating sugar and whatever else they currently deem unhealthy trash.

Sound familier?

If you have PCOS this is probably a familiar cycle.

You already know the shame and pressure to change your body’s size through restrictive dieting and rigid exercise. 

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

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

As if society’s pressure to shrink yourself wasn’t bad enough, you probably have doctors promising you that all of your PCOS nightmares will end when you drop the weight.

Who wouldn’t want that?

They paint this beautiful picture of your PCOS symptoms vanishing with the proper amount of restriction. If you just do it right and long enough you will be practically cured.

However, they fail to warn you about the increased risk of eating disorders and weight cycling among dieting women with PCOS. They rarely ask about a history of binge eating disorder, which is common in women with PCOS. And last but not least, they fail to warn you that dieting causes you to ignore your body’s internal method of regulation.

Diets inherently tell you to ignore your body and listen to the blanket of shame that society throws on people of size. 

Healthcare professionals prescribe weight loss for PCOS as an ultimate solution, ignoring the weight cycling that usually accompanies the PCOS experience. The reckless prescription of restrictive diets to a population at an increased risk of eating disorders causes harm to women with PCOS.

Not only does dieting lead to weight gain (the literal opposite of what PCOS dieters expect) but it also poorly affects their health.

Diets discourage people from knowing how to use food as fuel for their bodies. Julie finds that by urging her clients to observe reactions to different foods, they are able to identify how to best energize their bodies and manage their PCOS.

Women with PCOS get energy from food in a different way from others, and by turning down the volume on dieting, they are able to better hear what their bodies prefer. I have found it to be helpful to log how I feel 1-3 hours after eating different foods. 

Dieting can seem so appealing, especially for those of us with PCOS. It promises a whole new shiny life-a better version of yourself that is lingering inside of you and waiting to be released.

It can even sound like the only solution to your PCOS, but it is not.

You are the only solution. 

You have the internal wisdom to guide yourself to health and happiness, and don’t let diet culture tell you otherwise.

As the new year begins, I urge you to ditch your diet. I urge you to stop restricting. Stop listening to messages about weight loss filled with shame, and start listening to your body.

Here are some of my favorite resources when diet culture has me in the dumps:

  • Weight-neutral podcasts: some of my favorites are Love Food, Dietitians Unplugged, Food Psych, She’s all Fat.
  • Lindy West’s writing has a great balance of humor and realness of the fat experience.
  • Intuitive Eating (<–this is an affiliate link) is a must-have. It will help you unlearn diets.
  • And last but not least: myself! When I am present and grounded with myself, I know that diets are not right. Self-compassion and mindfulness help me get through my toughest moments.

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

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

Jeanes, Y. M., Reeves, S., Gibson, E. L., Piggott, C., May, V. A., & Hart, K. H. (2017). Binge eating behaviours and food cravings in women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Appetite, 109(Supplement C), 24–32. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2016.11.010

Lee, I., Cooney, L. G., Saini, S., Smith, M. E., Sammel, M. D., Allison, K. C., & Dokras, A. (2017). Increased risk of disordered eating in polycystic ovary syndrome. Fertility and Sterility, 107(3), 796–802. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2016.12.014

Mann, T., Tomiyama, A. J., Westling, E., Lew, A.-M., Samuels, B., & Chatman, J. (2007). Medicare’s search for effective obesity treatments: Diets are not the answer. American Psychologist, 62(3), 220–233. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.62.3.220

Morosi, A., & Jeanes, Y. (2017). Food cravings, binge eating and emotional eating behaviours in overweight and obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 76(OCE1). https://doi.org/10.1017/S0029665117000155