The most important rule of PCOS weight loss, for me, is to eat dessert after every meal. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) symptoms bring enough suffering already, and while the best way to start managing the condition is through changing your diet to one that is low in sugar and processed foods, it does not have to suck.
I love food, I want to be healthy, and I am not willing to compromise. You do not have to either. By putting a little more thought into what you eat and how you structure your diet to manage your PCOS symptoms, you can also have dessert after every meal, or even for your entire meal, and be healthy and lose weight.
If your sweet tooth is also relentless, but you really want to be healthier and achieve weight loss with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), here are a few ways that you can make desserts part of your daily diet while becoming a healthier version of you:
- You Can Eat Some Pineapple or Grapefruit Before a Meal
This is a tip I only started incorporating recently. Both pineapple and grapefruit help improve digestion when you have it before your main meal. For the past three years, I have not been eating fruit often because of the sugar content, but now I am trying to have grapefruit before meals to see if it will improve my digestion and help me lose weight.
Fruit feels like dessert to me, but I limit my consumption to two a day, so that my sugar intake for the day does not become too high. PCOS is linked to high insulin levels, which is also caused by excess glucose in the body from sugar and carbohydrates.
2. Eat Dark Chocolate Before and After the Meal
I learned this tip when I was still in school while watching the show called “The Doctors”. They were talking about a study where people were given some dark chocolate twenty minutes before a meal and then again five minutes after.
It helped reduce the amount of food that people consumed at mealtimes, and also reduced the frequency of snacking. This is one diet tip I never forgot.
As a full-blown chocolate addict, I understand that having it as part of my diet is important if I want to feel satisfied.
If you are too impatient to wait until after your main meal for dessert, have a block of dark chocolate before and after the meal, or divide the dessert you have planned for yourself (hopefully one that is low in sugar) into two, and have half before the meal and the rest after.
I absolutely love doing this and I highly recommend it to anyone who has a big sweet tooth and constantly wants to indulge.
3. Follow the 80/20 Rule on Your PCOS Diet
If you eat healthily at least 80% of the time, then you do not have to stress as much about being a bit more lenient the other 20% of the time, even when you have PCOS.
There are different ways of doing this, which include:
- Work out how many calories you want to consume to either lose weight, maintain your healthy weight, or gain a bit of weight. Then work out how many calories you want to allocate to indulgences, which is your 20%.
- Eat healthily throughout the week and save your indulgences for the weekend. This is something a lot of people end up doing naturally, because when the weekend, social events, and hours spent binge watching TV and snacking become a reality, your diet could be pushed to the side for a few days. You do not have to start over on Monday if you have prepared to indulge a little and eat a bit more dessert on the weekend by eating well and exercising throughout the week.
- I love the calorie cycling approach, which I am currently experimenting with on my PCOS diet. Instead of stressing about having to eat a certain number of calories a day, I worked out the number of calories I would have to eat and burn to lose half a kilogramme or a pound a week. If you just go on the math alone and disregard all the other things that influence fat loss, such as the quality of your food, total carb intake, hormonal responses, and inflammation, then to lose this much a week, I would have to burn 3500 calories more in the week than I consume. It does not matter if I stick to 1500 calories for two days in a row or eat 1200 calories on one day and 1800 on the other. It is the total for the week that counts.
That way, if I get surprised by a social event or stress eat one day in the week, it does not matter as much. I made a calendar and planned out how I would like to divide my calories for the week and then just swap out days depending on what happens.
If you often eat too much dessert or eat a lot of carbohydrates at dinner, then you can develop strategies around it. A good tip is to workout before you indulge, because if you can deplete the glycogen stores in your muscles, then some of the excess glucose from eating sugar and carbohydrates will be used to replenish your glycogen stores and less can be converted into fat.
If you do strength training or high-intensity interval training, you can increase the number of calories that you burn at rest after the workout is finished. So, if you do a workout like this before a really indulgent and big meal, then you will actually still be burning calories from the workout and your body will use more of your food to recover.
If following an indulgent diet that contains a lot of dessert is something that you also want to do, then know that it is possible. I have been eating dessert at least twice a day for the past two years since deciding that this was something that I wanted to make a priority on my PCOS diet.
I just make my own dessert or try to find things that are low in sugar and dairy and do not contain soy, gluten, or trans fats, so that I can still indulge and eat dessert on my diet without making my PCOS symptoms worse.