PCOS Awareness Month: What Is PCOD And Why It Causes Weight Gain? Foods To Eat And Avoid – Check List


PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) or PCOD (Polycystic Ovary Disease) is a condition that affects girls and women of reproductive age. It can lead to hormonal imbalance and metabolism problems that can cause several side-effects like delayed periods, weight gain, hair loss, and facial hair among other symptoms. It can also lead to fertility issues in some women. The month of  September is known as PCOS Awareness Month and the aim is to raise awareness and educate women about the disease, which often go undiagnosed. Ahead of PCOS Awareness Month, Dr Harsh Desai, Director, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Sterling Hospitals, Gurukul, speaks about the disease, symptoms, cure, and more.

What Is PCOD?

Dr Desai: PCOD, or Polycystic Ovary Disease, is a condition that affects women’s ovaries. It happens when there’s a hormonal imbalance, leading to irregular periods. This imbalance can cause the ovaries to produce many immature eggs that turn into cysts over time. PCOD can result in irregular periods, fertility problems, extra hair growth, acne, and weight gain. It’s like a mix-up in the body’s hormone system.

Why Does It Lead To Weight Gain?

Dr Desai: Weight gain is a common issue with PCOD, and it happens because of a few key reasons. Firstly, the body doesn’t use insulin (a hormone) well, leading to weight gain around the belly. Secondly, PCOD messes up the hormone balance, making people more hungry and likely to store fat. Lastly, the body’s metabolism changes, making it easier to gain weight and harder to lose it. PCOD’s impact on insulin, hormones, and metabolism contributes to the weight gain observed in individuals with this condition.

Also Read: Healthy And Happy – 8 Ways In Which High-Intensity Workouts Can Yield Amazing Benefits For Beginners

Food To Have If You Have PCOD Or PCOS

Dr Desai: To manage PCOD, maintaining a balanced diet becomes important where one should include foods like whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat bread, and oats. These have a lower impact on blood sugar levels and can help manage insulin resistance. Your diet should also consist of sources like lean meats, poultry, fish, tofu, legumes, and beans. Protein can help control appetite and stabilise blood sugar levels. Healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil should also be consumed as these support hormone production and overall health. Also try to incorporate Anti-Inflammatory Foods such as berries, leafy greens, turmeric, and ginger, which can help manage inflammation associated with PCOD.

Foods To Avoid In PCOD OR PCOS

Dr Desai: Steer clear of processed sugars, like sugary snacks, desserts, and sweet drinks, as these can worsen insulin resistance and cause weight gain. Cut down on white bread, white rice, and refined carbs that make blood sugar spike. Minimise fried foods and fatty meats that have unhealthy fats. Consider reducing dairy and gluten, as they might cause inflammation for some with PCOD. Also, limit beverages like caffeine and alcohol, as too much can disrupt the hormonal balance and cause inflammation.

Why It’s Important To Maintain A Balanced Approach with PCOD

Dr Desai: Dealing with PCOD often means that weight gain happens quickly, making balance crucial. Keep an eye on portion sizes to avoid overeating. Stay active with regular exercises, mixing cardio and strength training to help with weight and health. Seek advice from a gynecologist or dietitian for personalised guidance based on your needs. Stay patient and stick to your diet and lifestyle changes – it might take time but a slow and steady approach works best for managing PCOD and weight.


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