Is intermittent fasting good for PCOS? If you live with PCOS, you may have heard that intermittent fasting can help alleviate symptoms and make losing weight possible. As an intermittent fasting coach, I’m here to tell you that it can.
I’ve watched several clients with PCOS shed stubborn weight and lower their PCOS symptoms using intermittent fasting. Of course, every person is unique, but the benefits of intermittent fasting can’t be understated.
In this blog, I want to take some time to share some insight about intermittent fasting and PCOS, including why it works and the benefits of intermittent fasting for PCOS weight loss.
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a complex metabolic disorder that affects 6-12% of American women of childbearing age. PCOS is a medical condition characterized by chronic anovulation (lack of ovulation) and excess androgen production.
Some of the most common symptoms of PCOS include weight gain, difficulty losing weight, acne, hair growth on the face and trunk, and difficulty regulating hormones and getting pregnant. PCOS often results in persistent lower back and pelvic pain, along with irregular or absent menstrual cycles.
In addition, people living with PCOS are often insulin resistant, meaning their bodies don’t use insulin effectively. As a result, they’re also at a higher risk for other diseases, like Type 2 diabetes, uterine cancer, high blood pressure, heart problems, and more.
Living with PCOS can be painful and frustrating. So, it’s no wonder so many women living with PCOS are looking for treatment options. This is where intermittent fasting can help.
Is Intermittent Fasting Good for PCOS?
So, does intermittent fasting work for PCOS? In short, intermittent fasting has been shown in study after study to be effective at helping people living with PCOS reduce symptoms and lose weight.
While every person is unique, in general, intermittent fasting is an excellent way for women with PCOS to do things like:
- Improve menstruation regularity.
- Regulate androgen hormones.
- Reduce weight (primarily body fat).
- Decrease insulin resistance.
- Lower chronic pain.
The 5 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting with PCOS
Let’s take a closer and more in-depth look at some of the most significant benefits of intermittent fasting for PCOS.
1. Increased insulin sensitivity
As I mentioned above, people with PCOS often have issues with insulin regulation. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting effectively regulates insulin levels and improves insulin sensitivity in the body.
Insulin plays a critical role in many of the symptoms of PCOS (more on that in a bit). Intermittent fasting’s ability to regulate insulin levels is one of the key reasons it’s such a popular lifestyle choice.
2. Reduced inflammation
Most people with PCOS have elevated inflammation levels. Chronic inflammation is linked to many illnesses and can significantly contribute to chronic pain. New research indicates that intermittent fasting can help reduce chronic inflammation.
Reduced inflammation can mean less pain and a lower likelihood of developing other diseases associated with PCOS down the road.
3. Weight loss
We’ve got to talk about insulin again because insulin has a huge effect on weight loss. Over time, high insulin levels can lead to insulin resistance, which can block your body’s ability to utilize fat stores for energy, making it incredibly difficult to lose weight.
Intermittent fasting causes insulin levels to drop and can help reverse insulin resistance over time. As a result, your body can operate more effectively, allowing you to lose weight. This is one of the most significant benefits for women with PCOS because losing weight is such a challenge.
4. Lower Androgen Levels
Androgens, like testosterone, are typically high in people with PCOS, which can cause a number of other symptoms, such as irregular or absent periods, excessive body and facial hair, and difficulties getting pregnant. In addition, high androgen levels are often a result of hyperinsulinemia (too much insulin) and insulin resistance.
We’ve already tackled how intermittent fasting helps regulate insulin, but it can also help regulate hormones – specifically androgen markers in premenopausal women with obesity. In addition, intermittent fasting can help balance other hormones, which can help reduce PCOS symptoms significantly.
5. Improved Cholesterol Levels
Women with PCOS are already at an increased risk for heart problems. That’s why reducing cholesterol levels is critically important. Research shows that intermittent fasting can help balance both LDL and HDL cholesterol, which is critical to preventing cardiovascular issues later on.
While heart issues may not be the first thing on your mind if you live with PCOS, there’s no harm in incorporating heart-healthy habits into your routine.
So, Does Intermittent Fasting Work for PCOS?
So, does intermittent fasting work for PCOS? Definitely! Intermittent fasting is an excellent way to reduce symptoms and achieve weight loss with PCOS. From balancing your insulin and hormone levels to lowering inflammation, intermittent fasting can help you reach all your goals.
I’ve personally seen dozens of women with PCOS lose weight and get their lives back after starting intermittent fasting. Not to mention there are also plenty of intermittent fasting benefits that don’t have anything to do with PCOS at all, including:
- It’s much easier to stick to than other diets because it’s more of a lifestyle than a diet.
- it gives you a lot of flexibility.
- It can increase your mental clarity and focus.
- It plays a role in reducing your risk of other diseases, like cancer.
- It has numerous health benefits.
- It adapts seamlessly to your schedules and goals.
- And more!
It’s worth noting that studies show that people who have PCOS have the most significant benefit when they do intermittent fasting under the care of an intermittent fasting specialist. And that’s where I can help.
If you live with PCOS and are interested in using intermittent fasting to help alleviate your PCOS symptoms, I have the expertise you need to get results. So, whether you’re interested in intermittent fasting for PCOS weight loss or hoping to get rid of painful periods, I’m here to help.
Reach out now to schedule your free 20-minute consultation, or enroll in a fasting program today to get started.