Why Diets and Food Restriction Don’t Work for PCOS

✦ PCOS is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome


If you have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and you’ve been searching for solutions to your symptoms, it’s more than likely that you’ve encountered dieting and food restriction as a main way to manage your condition. However, though it might seem counterintuitive, there are many reasons why this is NOT the best approach to managing PCOS.


A key reason is that dieting and food restriction is not sustainable. Meaning that most of us are not able to go more than 6 months following a strict diet or cutting out specific foods. Even if we manage to go more than 6 months, in order for this restrictive way-of-eating to really be a solution to our PCOS, it has to be something we can keep up with life-long.



PCOS is not a temporary condition


PCOS is not a temporary condition. It’s one that you essentially have to keep in check throughout your life. If you’re relying on a restrictive diet to help you do so, then at some point or another, it will become difficult for you to sustain. Hence, when you fall off track with your diet you will also undo whatever improvements you’ve seen in your symptoms thus far and will be back to square 1.


This is not to say that it has to be hard to manage PCOS, but instead, it’s to recognise that if you cannot sustain something for at least the next few years, then you need to reevaluate if it’s really the right approach to addressing your PCOS.




Then why is it that doctors, everywhere you look online, and all the information you've read point to cutting out sugar, carbs, gluten, and dairy to reduce PCOS symptoms?


This is largely because there is a hyper-focus on weight-loss for PCOS management and though these food restrictions may help you lose weight in the short-term, they don’t determine the long-term implications for your PCOS - especially since restriction is not sustainable.


The important thing to note in this discussion is that weight-gain is NOT a cause of PCOS, but instead it’s a symptom of the condition. Meaning that, having excess weight on your body didn’t cause you to develop PCOS - having PCOS is what caused you to gain weight in the first place.

By losing weight, you are not addressing the root-cause of your condition, and instead are just using a band-aid solution. When you don’t address the root-causes of PCOS, your symptoms eventually come back even though you initially saw improvements from whatever it was you were doing.


For example, let’s say you cut out carbs and sugar and lose a ton of weight - initially you might feel really good and your symptoms may improve, but eventually, you may start feeling worse, and then symptoms and even weight might start to creep back in even if you’re doing the exact same thing as before.


This is because PCOS is a condition driven by hormonal imbalance and metabolic dysfunction (slowed metabolism). Without addressing these two aspects of your health directly, you won’t be able to experience long-term success with PCOS management. More often than not, dieting and food restriction makes hormonal imbalance and metabolic dysfunction WORSE.


This is why Coach Nush takes a very holistic approach to PCOS in her coaching practise by addressing sleep, stress management, supplementation, and mindset in addition to nutrition and movement. This is the only way to sustainably reverse symptoms.


PCOS Transformation with Coach Nush, feature on Brilliant-Online

About Coach Nush


Coach Nush is a certified Health and Life Coach focused on addressing PCOS in a natural and holistic manner through sustainable diet and lifestyle change. Her background is in Public Health and she is also a 200-hr registered yoga teacher. Coach Nush has been interested in optimising health through diet and lifestyle for several years now and have reversed all of her own PCOS symptoms naturally where traditional medical approaches have failed. Now, Coach Nush is on a mission to help other womxn with PCOS do the same.


To learn more about the PCOS Transformation Program and how to work with Anushree follow her:


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