Weight loss with PCOS - Help please.
Hey there. First off let me apologize if I'm in the wrong place, I'm new to this forum so bear with me. My problem is quite clear if you've read the title, I've tried googling and beyond and seen no results so this is my last hope from the internet. It would not only make my day but probably my whole life even if little information was provided!
Let me start by saying that I am a female at the age of 18. I'm 162 cm (5'3) and weigh 54kg (around 119lbs). My body is a little weird if that's what you'd call it. I have both "skinny" and "fat" places. For example my stomach is not completely flat and my hips are around 95cm (yikes for a girl my height!) and waist 77 cm. However my arms, fingers, face and neck are really "skinny", my wrist is only 14 cm and so on. I have a few cellulites too. These things are completely unnoticable if I'm wearing somewhat of a baggy shirt, I look rather skinny then with my arms showing but I'd like to wear tight clothes and t shirts with a little stomach showing off for the summer and most important of all, beach wear!
I go to school from 8 am to 5 pm every day except for Thursday when I start at 12.30, so I have no time to work out during those hours. The only available time I have is from 5.30-8.30 pm and since I can't waste time changing buses I do my training at home using a DVD I bought from Amazon, Jillian Michael's 30 day shred I believe it's called. It's basically a 60 minute workout with 3 difficulty stages at 20 minutes each, I've only done it once and got horrible DOMS so I took a few days off.
I recently started trying to lose weight again so I haven't had the time to switch up my recipes. I've basically eaten the same thing every day for a week now with an exception at dinner. For school I start off at 7 with a Maximuscle promax diet shake which is around 220 calories, I don't eat anything after that until 11.30 when I have lunch and I hardly eat anything during that time either. The school food is basically pasta, cheap fish or rice with a twist every day so I only have a little bit of the side salad until 6 after my workout. I then eat anything from chicken to eggs to muesli, basically around 300-500 calories. I don't eat anything after that as I go to bed pretty early and the hunger just doesn't hit me.
Now to the dreadful part, I have PCOS. I've heard so many nightmare stories about PCOS that have made me just forget about working out and think less of what I eat because I've thought "meh the kilos won't go down anyway". People have said that it takes around twice to three times as much time and effort for the centimetres to go away and you have to REALLY know what you're doing and so on. Well I have no idea what to do, I'm completely lost! The most important thing for me is that I stay healthy with no extra fat hanging out, no muscles and no model-skinny body type. I pretty much want this http://bit.ly/I3fc6M !
Question time, I'll just write everything in order so it's easier to read! Sorry for all the trouble following.
1) PCOS-knowers out there, is it really as bad as people claim it to be? How much more time would it take than a "normal" person to lose those extra centimetres? What exactly are those "special things" you need to know about in order to lose weight?
2) I've heard from people that you should both eat and not eat before your exercise, which one is it for losing weight? Apparently it's said that you should exercise on an empty stomach because then you burn fat, and if you've eaten you burn calories instead. Does that mean I should not eat lunch and just take my diet shake until I start my DVD, or nothing at all?
3) How many calories should I eat to lose weight but still feel good? Is my current 800 calorie intake too low or is it just what I need to eat?
4) I'd really love, love, love some new healthy recipes within my calorie range, anyone know any good ones? Preferably nothing from the sea as I don't like that
5) I've heard that eating in small portions divided throughout the whole day is always better than eating two huge meals, should I be doing that instead?
6) As I need to lose those extra centimetres soon for the summer, should I exercise more intensely and frequent or do you think I'll be able to do it in three months with the proper food schedule and current workout?
These are all my questions and info, I hope you didn't have too boring reading all this and I'll be looking forward to your answers, anything will do! Thanks in advance for taking the time to help me out
1) PCOS, being a syndrome, is a bit hit-or-miss with regards to how it influences bodyweight (to be diagnosed with a syndrome, you basically just have to tick a certain number of symptoms out of a list of related symptoms, so each specific issue isn't necessarily experienced by everyone with the syndrome). But the fact that you're not heavy now indicates to me that PCOS probably won't be a very limiting factor for you. I once trained a woman with PCOS who was more than twice your weight at the same height as you, and she still managed to lose weight at a fairly normal rate when I trained her. In any case, at 54kg you probably don't need to lose weight. Recomp, maybe, but not lose.
2) In the context of 24 hours, I don't see that it really matters what ratio of fat vs carbs is burned up for energy during exercise. If you burn 500kcal worth of body fat, then that's 500kcal worth of body fat removed. If you burn 500kcal worth of glucose, then that's 500kcal worth of body fat that won't be accumulated. So I never bother with targeting an optimal heart rate for fat-burning during training, nor do I see much benefit in training on an empty stomach. Even if 500kcal taken out of the stored body fat for exercise were better than 500kcal taken out of the blood stream for exercise before it could be converted to fat, the absence of performance-oriented nutrition prior to training will reduce the quality of your workouts, and (as I've learned through experience) can cause all sorts of issues due to the extremely low blood sugar levels produced by fasted training. Notably, there's a correlation between PCOS and diabetes, so this should be especially important for you to pay attention to. Make sure you've eaten properly before training so that you can do your best while training.
3) I expect that your 800kcal/day is too low, but since you have a metabolic condition, it would be unreasonable to assume that your metabolic rate will live up to expectations. If you didn't have PCOS, I would suggest you consume closer to double you current calorie intake, possibly more. Since you do have PCOS, I really can't say.
4) I'm no good for recipes, sorry. But go for the important food groups: meat (any), dairy, fruit and vegetables. For the average person, anything else may be beneficial, but isn't direly important for good health or improving body composition. Since you have PCOS, you may have some special dietary requirements beyond this.
5) Again, depending on what signs/symptoms you have for PCOS, you may have specific meal-timing requirements for best health and functionality, but for body composition issues, it doesn't really matter whether you have your calories spread out across 6 small meals or 1 big meal, or anything in between. So, do whatever allows you to stick to a consistent plan without too much misery.
6) More exercise isn't always better, and this is especially true while aiming to lose bodyfat, due to recovery issues (the body recovers fastest when it's receiving more calories than it needs, and slowest when it's receiving less than it needs). But the most honest answer is: it depends. There are too many factors at play to say.
Ryan - D.Fitness. SQ 2x150kg - BP 95kg - DL 190kg - OHP 60kg
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