Carbohydrates are incredibly valuable when it comes to keeping us healthy and feeling energetic- if we choose the right ones…The key is to choose the best quality carbohydrates and watch the quantity we consume.
A friend recommended The PCOS Diet Plan
to me many months ago. I bought the book immediately, and
even quickly read through most of it. But at the time, we were right in the middle of fertility treatments, and I was majorly distracted. I read the book, but neither took notes nor absorbed most of its guidelines and suggestions.
I came across the book again several days ago, while looking for another book, and something just told me to pick the book up. And I am so glad I did! For someone who needs exact numbers and figures, and a concrete game-plan, as opposed to vague recommendations, this book is perfect. The author provides specific guidelines for calorie and carbohydrate intake based upon height, weight, and activity level. She does not account for extraneous factors such as breastfeeding or pregnancy, so you would need to make some adjustments if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
…Start by estimating your calorie needs and then figure out how much of that should come from
carbohydrates, assuming that with insulin resistance, aiming for 45 percent of your calories from carbohydrates is the right amount.
Instead of advocating for a diet that restricts carbs to the extreme, she emphasizes the importance of a “moderate carbohydrate” diet.
“For women with PCOS, your best bet is a less-processed, moderate carbohydrate diet, where carbs are spread out in smaller doses over meals and snacks, paired with lean proteins and small amounts of healthful fats wherever possible.
She explains where our carbs should be coming from (fruits, veggies, and whole grains, as opposed to sugar), how many servings of each of the a fore mentioned we need per day, and how to spread them out so that they have as little impact on our blood sugar as possible. Her guidelines are specific, practical, and doable. They are wonderful guidelines even for people who do not have PCOS.
Your best choices for complex carbohydrates are minimally refined whole grains that have retained their dietary fiber and health-promoting phyto-nutrients because they’ve not been processed to remove the fiber and the germ… Choosing moderate amounts of whole grains, starchy vegetables, and beans to provide the bulk of your carbohydrate intake will add a lot of fiber and other health-promoting nutrients to your diet.
Everyone’s carbohydrate guidelines will be different based upon height and weight, exercise level, whether you are trying to lose weight or not, etc. But here is what mine looks like:
More healthy hints:
- Purge your house of refined foods.
- Do this by incorporating healthier foods one meal at a time.
- CONSISTENTLY eat healthier… Do not expect a miracle after Day 1. Commit for the long-haul.
- Plan for treats by making room for them occasionally, but do make them OCCASIONAL, and not regular occurrences.
Rules for a happy PCOS plate:
- Cover half the plate with non-starchy vegetables (ex: salad, or vegetable soup.)
- Cover 25% of the plate with lean protein.
- Cover the remaining 25% of the plate with a high-quality starch.
- Include two servings of healthy fat per meal (ex: a pat of butter.)
The book goes over guidelines for protein and fat as well. The author also provides charts explaining which foods fall into which category, as well as charts telling you how many grams of carbs are in many common foods.
I am focusing specifically on carbohydrates in this post because they are my Achilles heel… I am always bouncing between eating FAR too many, or not enough. And oddly, eating too few carbs almost always leads to overeating them later (at least in my case.)
The PCOS Diet Plan is a practical and wonderful tool for those of us who are learning to manage our PCOS symptoms, and increase our chances of fertility naturally. Reading it, and following its guidelines the past few days has given me a renewed hope and motivation.
(P.S.- I want to make it clear that I am not affiliated with the book or its author in any way. I am not receiving any sort of compensation for writing this post or promoting the book… I just think it’s a great resource!)