How to Heal PCOS Naturally in 3 Simple Steps: Diet, Exercise, and Self-Care
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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects up to 10% of women of reproductive age. It is characterized by irregular or absent periods, excess male hormones, insulin resistance, weight gain, acne, hair loss or growth, and infertility.
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PCOS can have a significant impact on a woman's physical, mental, and emotional health, as well as her quality of life. Unfortunately, there is no cure for PCOS, and the conventional treatments often involve medications that have unpleasant side effects or do not address the root causes of the condition.
However, there is hope for women with PCOS who want to reclaim their health and life naturally. In this article, we will introduce you to a proven 21-day plan that can help you heal your PCOS with a holistic approach that focuses on diet, exercise, and self-care. This plan is based on the book "Healing PCOS: A 21-Day Plan for Reclaiming Your Health and Life with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome" by Amy Medling, a certified health coach and founder of the large PCOS Diva online community.
By following this plan, you will be able to balance your hormones, reduce inflammation, improve your insulin sensitivity, lose weight, clear your skin, restore your hair, boost your fertility, and enhance your mood and energy levels. You will also learn how to embrace your femininity, celebrate your uniqueness, and empower yourself to live your best life with PCOS.
How to heal PCOS naturally in 21 days
The 21-day plan for healing PCOS naturally consists of three main steps: following an anti-inflammatory and hormone-balancing diet, incorporating daily movement and exercise, and practicing stress-reducing self-care. Each step is designed to help you address the underlying factors that contribute to PCOS and support your body's natural healing process. Let's take a closer look at each step.
Step 1: Follow an anti-inflammatory and hormone-balancing diet
One of the key aspects of healing PCOS naturally is eating a diet that supports your hormonal health and reduces inflammation in your body. Inflammation is a common feature of PCOS that can worsen insulin resistance, increase male hormones, impair ovulation, and cause cysts on the ovaries. Hormonal imbalance is another hallmark of PCOS that can cause a variety of symptoms such as irregular periods, acne, hair loss or growth, weight gain, mood swings, and infertility.
To combat inflammation and balance your hormones, you need to eat foods that are rich in antioxidants, fiber, healthy fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. These foods can help lower inflammation, regulate blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity, modulate estrogen and testosterone levels, support liver detoxification, promote ovulation, and nourish your reproductive system.
Some examples of anti-inflammatory and hormone-balancing foods are: - Leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, arugula, and lettuce - Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts - Berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries - Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds - Healthy oils, such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and flaxseed oil - Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel - Lean meats, such as chicken, turkey, and grass-fed beef - Eggs - Legumes, such as lentils, beans, and chickpeas - Whole grains, such as quinoa, oats, brown rice, and buckwheat - Herbs and spices, such as turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, garlic, and rosemary - Tea, such as green tea, chamomile tea, and spearmint tea
On the other hand, you need to avoid or limit foods that can trigger inflammation and hormonal imbalance in your body. These foods can increase inflammation, spike blood sugar levels, worsen insulin resistance, raise male hormones, disrupt estrogen metabolism, impair ovulation, and aggravate your PCOS symptoms.
Some examples of inflammatory and hormone-disrupting foods are: - Refined sugars and carbohydrates, such as white bread, white rice, pasta, pastries, cakes, cookies, candy, soda, and juice - Processed foods and junk foods, such as chips, crackers, fries, burgers, pizza, hot dogs, nuggets, and frozen meals - Trans fats and hydrogenated oils, such as margarine, shortening, and vegetable oils - Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and butter - Gluten-containing grains, such as wheat, barley, rye, spelt, and kamut - Soy products, such as soy milk, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and soy sauce - Alcohol - Caffeine
To make it easier for you to follow an anti-inflammatory and hormone-balancing diet for PCOS, here is a sample 21-day meal plan that you can use as a guide. You can adjust the portions and ingredients according to your preferences and needs.
Day Breakfast Lunch Dinner Snacks --- --- --- --- --- 1 Oatmeal with berries,almond butter,and cinnamon Kale salad with grilled chicken,avocado,and lemon dressing Salmon with roasted broccoliand quinoa Apple with almond butter 2 Scrambled eggs with spinachand cheese Lentil soup with whole wheat bread Turkey chili with brown riceand salad Carrot sticks with hummus 3 Smoothie with spinach,banana,almond milk,flaxseeds,and protein powder Chicken wrap with whole wheat tortilla,lettuce,tomato,and mayo Stir-fried tofu with vegetablesand brown rice noodles Greek yogurt with granola 4 Quinoa porridge with coconut milk,walnuts,and berries Roasted vegetable salad with feta cheeseand balsamic dressing Spaghetti squash with turkey meatballsand marinara sauce Celery sticks with peanut butter 5 Egg muffins with spinach,mushrooms,and cheese Tuna salad with lettuce,cucumber,olives,and olive oil dressing Roasted chicken with sweet potatoand green beans Trail mix with nuts,dried fruits,and dark chocolate 6 Pancakes with almond flour,eggs,baking powder,and maple syrup Vegetable curry with chickpeasand coconut milk Steak with baked potatoand asparagus Cottage cheese with berries 7 Chia pudding with almond milk,vanilla extract,honey,and berries Turkey sandwich with whole wheat bread,sliced turkey,cheese,lettuce,tomato,and mustard Vegetable lasagna with zucchini noodles,ricotta cheese,spinach,and tomato sauce Hard-boiled egg Step 2: Incorporate daily movement and exercise
Another important step for healing PCOS naturally is incorporating daily movement and exercise into your routine. Exercise can help you manage your weight, improve your insulin sensitivity, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reduce your risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, enhance your mood and mental health, and boost your fertility.
Exercise can also help you balance your hormones by lowering your testosterone levels, increasing your sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels, and regulating your menstrual cycle. SHBG is a protein that binds to excess hormones and prevents them from causing harm in your body. Women with PCOS often have low SHBG levels, which can lead to high testosterone levels and symptoms such as acne, hair loss or growth, and irregular periods.
But what type of exercise is best for PCOS? According to a review of studies published in the journal Sports Medicine, there is no one specific exercise type that is superior to others for women with PCOS. However, some general guidelines are: - Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, or dancing. Aerobic exercise can help you burn calories, improve your cardiovascular fitness, lower your blood sugar levels, and reduce inflammation. - Include at least two sessions of resistance training per week, such as lifting weights, using resistance bands, or doing bodyweight exercises. Resistance training can help you build muscle mass, increase your metabolic rate, improve your insulin sensitivity, and lower your testosterone levels. - Add some high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to your routine, such as sprinting, jumping rope, or doing burpees. HIIT involves alternating short bursts of intense exercise with longer periods of rest or low-intensity exercise. HIIT can help you burn more fat, boost your growth hormone levels, and improve your aerobic capacity. - Vary your exercise routine to avoid boredom and plateaus. Try different activities that you enjoy and challenge yourself with new goals. You can also join a group class or a sports team to make exercise more fun and social.
To help you get started with exercising for PCOS, here is a sample 21-day exercise plan that you can follow or modify according to your fitness level and preferences. You can do these exercises at home or at the gym.
Day Exercise --- --- 1 30 minutes of brisk walking 2 20 minutes of resistance training (upper body) 3 Rest or active recovery (such as yoga or stretching) 4 30 minutes of cycling 5 20 minutes of resistance training (lower body) 6 Rest or active recovery 7 15 minutes of HIIT (such as sprinting or jumping rope) 8 30 minutes of jogging 9 20 minutes of resistance training (core) 10 Rest or active recovery 11 30 minutes of swimming 12 20 minutes of resistance training (full body) 13 Rest or active recovery 14 15 minutes of HIIT (such as burpees or mountain climbers) 15 30 minutes of brisk walking 16 20 minutes of resistance training (upper body) 17 Rest or active recovery 18 30 minutes of cycling 19 20 minutes of resistance training (lower body) 20 Rest or active recovery Step 3: Practice stress-reducing self-care
The third and final step for healing PCOS naturally is practicing stress-reducing self-care. Stress can have a negative impact on your PCOS and hormones by increasing inflammation, raising cortisol levels, lowering progesterone levels, disrupting your menstrual cycle, and affecting your mood and mental health.
Stress can also trigger emotional eating, which can lead to weight gain and worsen your insulin resistance and PCOS symptoms. Therefore, it is essential to find healthy ways to cope with stress and take care of yourself emotionally and physically.
Some of the self-care activities that can help you reduce stress and improve your PCOS are: - Meditation: Meditation is a practice that involves focusing your attention on your breath, a word, a mantra, or an object. Meditation can help you calm your mind, relax your body, lower your blood pressure and heart rate, and improve your mood and well-being. You can meditate for as little as 10 minutes a day using an app, a guided audio, or your own technique. - Journaling: Journaling is a practice that involves writing down your thoughts, feelings, experiences, and goals. Journaling can help you process your emotions, gain clarity and insight, release negative thoughts, and express gratitude. You can journal whenever you feel like it or follow a prompt or a theme. - Yoga: Yoga is a practice that involves moving your body through various poses and breathing exercises. Yoga can help you stretch your muscles, improve your flexibility and balance, strengthen your core, and enhance your blood circulation. Yoga can also help you reduce stress, anxiety, and depression by promoting mindfulness and relaxation. You can do yoga at home or join a class that suits your level and style. - Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy is a practice that involves using essential oils to stimulate your senses and influence your mood. Aromatherapy can help you relax, energize, uplift, or soothe yourself depending on the type of oil you use. You can use aromatherapy by diffusing oils in a room, applying them to your skin, inhaling them from a bottle or a tissue, or adding them to your bath or massage oil. - Massage: Massage is a practice that involves applying pressure and movement to your muscles and tissues. Massage can help you relieve tension, pain, stiffness, and inflammation in your body. Massage can also help you improve your blood flow, lymphatic drainage, immune system, and nervous system. You can get a massage from a professional therapist or do it yourself using your hands or a tool.
To help you get started with practicing stress-reducing self-care for PCOS, here is a sample 21-day self-care plan that you can follow or modify according to your preferences and needs. You can do these activities alone or with someone else.
Day Self-care activity --- --- 1 Meditate for 10 minutes 2 Journal about what you are grateful for 3 Do a 20-minute yoga session 4 Diffuse lavender oil in your bedroom 5 Massage your feet with coconut oil 6 Meditate for 10 minutes 7 Journal about what you are proud of 8 Do a 20-minute yoga session 9 Diffuse peppermint oil in your office 10 Massage your neck and shoulders with almond oil 11 Meditate for 10 minutes 12 Journal about what you are excited for 13 Do a 20-minute yoga session 14 Diffuse lemon oil in your kitchen 15 Massage your hands with olive oil 16 Meditate for 10 minutes 17 Journal about what you are passionate about 18 Do a 20-minute yoga session 19 Diffuse rose oil in your bathroom 20 Massage your back with jojoba oil Conclusion
PCOS is a common and complex hormonal disorder that can affect your health and well-being in many ways. However, you don't have to let PCOS control your life or define who you are. You can heal your PCOS naturally with a holistic approach that involves following an anti-inflammatory and hormone-balancing diet, incorporating daily movement and exercise, and practicing stress-reducing self-care.
By following this 21-day plan, you will be able to address the root causes of PCOS and improve your symptoms. You will also be able to enjoy the benefits of a healthier and happier lifestyle that supports your physical, mental, and emotional health. You will feel more confident, empowered, and feminine as you reclaim your health and life with PCOS.
If you are ready to start your journey of healing PCOS naturally, here are some tips and resources to help you along the way: - Consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, exercise, or medication. They can advise you on the best course of action for your specific case and monitor your progress and health. - Join a support group or a community of women with PCOS who can offer you advice, encouragement, and inspiration. You can find online groups on social media platforms or websites dedicated to PCOS. - Read books or blogs that provide more information and guidance on healing PCOS naturally. Some examples are "Healing PCOS: A 21-Day Plan for Reclaiming Your Health and Life with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome" by Amy Medling, "The PCOS Diet Plan: A Natural Approach to Health for Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome" by Hillary Wright, and "PCOS Diva" by Amy Medling. - Celebrate your achievements and reward yourself for your efforts. No matter how big or small, every step you take towards healing PCOS naturally is worth acknowledging and appreciating. You can treat yourself to something you enjoy, such as a massage, a movie, or a new outfit.
You are not alone in your struggle with PCOS. You have the power and the potential to heal your PCOS naturally and live your best life. All you need is a plan, a commitment, and a positive attitude. You can do this!
Here are some frequently asked questions about healing PCOS naturally:
- Q: How long does it take to heal PCOS naturally? - A: There is no definitive answer to this question, as it depends on many factors such as your age, weight, genetics, lifestyle, and severity of symptoms. However, some studies have shown that women with PCOS can see significant improvements in their hormonal levels, menstrual cycles, ovulation rates, and pregnancy outcomes within 12 weeks of following a healthy diet and exercise program . Therefore, it is possible to heal PCOS naturally within a few months if you follow the 21-day plan consistently and make it a part of your long-term lifestyle. - Q: Can I heal PCOS naturally without medication? - A: Yes, you can heal PCOS naturally without medication if you follow the 21-day plan that involves diet, exercise, and self-care. These natural interventions can help you balance your hormones, reduce inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity, lose weight, clear your skin, restore your hair, boost your fertility, and enhance your mood and energy levels. However, if you have severe symptoms or complications that require medical attention or intervention, such as diabetes or endometrial cancer, you should consult your doctor before stopping or changing any medication. - Q: Can I heal PCOS naturally if I have lean PCOS? - A: Yes, you can heal PCOS naturally if you have lean PCOS. Lean PCOS is a type of PCOS that affects women who have normal or low body weight but still have high levels of male hormones and insulin resistance. Lean PCOS can cause similar symptoms as other types of PCOS such as irregular periods, acne, hair loss or growth, and infertility. However, lean PCOS can also increase the risk of metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis. Therefore, it is important to heal lean PCOS naturally by following the 21-day plan that involves diet, exercise, and self-care. These natural interventions can help you balance your hormones, reduce inflammation, improve insulin sensitivity, regulate your menstrual cycle, - Q: Can I heal PCOS naturally if I am pregnant or trying to conceive? - A: Yes, you can heal PCOS naturally if you are pregnant or trying to conceive. In fact, healing PCOS naturally can improve your chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy and baby. PCOS can cause infertility by preventing ovulation or causing miscarriages. However, by following the 21-day plan that involves diet, exercise, and self-care, you can increase your ovulation rates, balance your hormones, lower your miscarriage risk, and reduce your pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia. However, if you are pregnant or trying to conceive, you should consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, exercise, or medication. They can advise you on the best course of action for your specific case and monitor your progress and health. I hope you enjoyed reading this article and learned something new about healing PCOS naturally. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you and help you in any way I can. 71b2f0854b