PCOD And Weight Management Tips For Women

What is PCOD?

Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) is a hormonal disorder observed commonly in women during their reproductive age, causing symptoms like irregular periods, acne, unwanted hair growth, and obesity.

Weight loss for PCOS: 4 tips from a dietitian

Weight gain in PCOD

Weight gain in PCOD

Weight gain is a common concern in women diagnosed with PCOD. It occurs omen with PCOD have altered hormone levels causing difficulty regulating their metabolism.

This leads to weight gain, especially around the abdomen. The excess weight can further worsen hormonal imbalances and exacerbate PCOD symptoms.

Excessive weight that concentrates around your stomach region can cause infertility and, a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, anxiety, and depression.

Furthermore, obesity during pregnancy in women with PCOD can increase health risks for both the mother and the baby. 

Importance of weight management in PCOD

Addressing obesity in PCOD is essential for reducing the burden of complications and improving long-term health outcomes.

It is found that losing weight by just 5% can significantly improve PCOD symptoms. Losing more than 5% of the body weight is associated with improved fertility due to reduced number of follicles in the ovaries.

Weight reduction of 5-10% leads to benefits like:

  • Improves ovulation
  • Regulates menstrual cycle
  • Decreases insulin resistance by 50%
  • Reduces risk of developing heart diseases and diabetes
  • Prevents complications in pregnancy
  • Improves fertility

Thus, weight management plays a key role in the overall management of PCOD. Lifestyle interventions aiming for managing symptoms of PCOD focus majorly on weight loss. 

Tips for Weight Management in PCOD

If you are someone with PCOD struggling to lose or maintain your weight, there are some approaches to follow:

Consuming a healthy diet

A balanced diet helps you lose weight and achieve a healthy body. It positively affects your body’s insulin sensitivity and metabolism and promotes weight loss. 

  • Consume a nutritious diet filled with whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats.
  • Limit the intake of processed foods, sugary beverages, and refined carbohydrates. 
  • Consume foods with low glycemic index and avoid a high-carbohydrate diet.
  • Consider a high-protein diet as it is very effective in reducing weight. High protein content can reduce insulin, lower appetite, and reduce unwanted hair growth in females with PCOD.5

Exercising regularly 

Reducing sedentary time and incorporating physical activity into routine plays a key role in weight management in PCOD. For women with PCOD, exercise not only promotes weight management but improves hormonal balance, leading to better symptom control.  

  • Incorporate exercise into your daily routine, aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week. 
  • The types of exercises may include aerobic exercises, strength training, yoga, tai chi, walking, cycling, etc. 

Managing stress

Managing stress

Chronic stress can exacerbate PCOD symptoms and contribute to weight gain. Stress management can enhance weight loss by improving the levels of body fat and hormones in the body. It also regulates your menstrual cycle and ensures psychological well-being.

  • Practice stress-reduction techniques such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, etc. 
  • Prioritize self-care activities and find healthy outlets for stress relief. 
  • Consider cognitive therapy for behavioral structuring to deal with anxiety and stress. This will also enhance your adherence to lifestyle changes, making them sustainable. 
  • Consult a therapist who can help you better deal with the emotional dysregulation and lowered self-esteem due to PCOD to lower your stress levels.

Improving sleep quality 

Adequate sleep is essential for hormonal balance and weight management. A short and disturbed sleep, which is often seen in PCOD patients is linked to weight gain.

  • Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night and establish a regular sleep schedule. 
  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine, limit screen time before bed, and create a comfortable sleep environment. 

Resorting to natural therapies

Many individuals with PCOD turn to natural and complementary therapies to lose weight, alleviate symptoms, and enhance overall well-being.

These therapies often include supplements such as vitamins, minerals, and fish oils, as well as herbal remedies in various forms like teas, tablets, and liquids.

Although these may prove to be benficial for weight management, they should be used only under the professional guidance of a doctor.

Considering medical management

Weight-loss medications can be considered by obese women with PCOD.

However, currently, there is insufficient evidence to suggest that weight-loss medications offer superior effectiveness compared to a healthy lifestyle alone. Your doctor can guide you best about weight loss medications based on your requirements.

Exploring Surgical Options

If inspite of all your efforts you are unable to manage weight with PCOD, bariatric surgery may be the option for you. However, eligibility for weight-loss surgery is contingent and depends upon meeting specific criteria besides the medical condition. 


PCOD is closely linked to excessive body weight. An understanding of how weight gain in PCOD impacts your health can motivate you to focus on strategies for weight management.

Comprehensive PCOD tests and effective weight management plays a vital role in managing PCOD and improving overall health outcomes.

By adopting healthy lifestyle habits, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management, and quality sleep, women with PCOD can take control of their condition and lead happier, healthier lives.