5 PCOS Diet Plan Tips To Boost Your Fertility and Help You Get Pregnant

Did you know that following a PCOS diet plan can help you lose weight, boost your fertility and increase your chances of getting pregnant?

PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, is one of the most common causes of female infertility, affecting approximately 5 – 10 percent of women of childbearing age. In addition to infertility and subfertility, the majority of women with PCOS experience obesity, excessive facial hair growth, acne, and irregular menstrual periods. Doctors classify PCOS as an endocrine disorder and imbalance of male and female hormones, or androgens and estrogens.

Spaghetti with roasted chicken and vegetables

Eat delicious dinners on your PCOS diet plan

Because PCOS is highly associated with obesity, insulin resistance, and elevated insulin levels, many doctors recommend similar approaches to treating both PCOS and diabetes, which is also an endocrine disorder that involves the regulation of blood sugar. Just as they do with diabetes, doctors recommend that women with PCOS make dietary and lifestyle changes to reduce their PCOS symptoms–in short, to start a PCOS diet plan.

In this article, I present five useful tips for starting a PCOS diet plan to lose weight, boost your fertility, and increase your chance of getting pregnant.

PCOS Diet Plan Tip #1 – Get a handle on portion sizes and total caloric intake.

Since PCOS is so often accompanied by being overweight, it’s important to make sure you’re not overeating at meals. Figure out your Body Mass Index, and aim to get your BMI under 29.

Don’t starve yourself to lose weight! Research appropriate portion sizes for meals and remind yourself of what portions should look like on your plate.

Remember you want to eat fewer calories than you’re burning on an average day, so that means you’ll need to find out your Basal Metabolic Rate, or BMR.

When you know your BMR, you know how many calories your body needs to survive and maintain your current weight. Now subtract 200-400 calories from that number and consider it your new goal for daily caloric intake. By eating 200-400 fewer calories than your BMR every day, your body will steadily lose weight.

Take it slow and don’t go overboard with any radical calorie cuts. Your goal should be steady weight loss over a long period, not quick weight loss over a period of days or weeks.

PCOS Diet Plan Tip #2 – Eat foods with a low-glycemic index.

The glycemic index is a measure of the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream have a high GI; carbohydrates that break down more slowly, releasing glucose more gradually into the bloodstream, have a low GI.

Since PCOS is so closely associated with high blood sugar, you’ll want to choose low-glycemic foods that affect your blood sugar less dramatically.

Here’s a list of foods and their glycemic index rating. The list is organized by type of food.

A short list of high-glycemic foods to avoid:

Waffles – 76
Doughnut – 76
White bread – 71
White rolls – 73
Baguettes – 95
Rice Krispies – 82
Cornflakes – 83
Watermelon – 72
Baked potato – 85
Parsnips – 97

A short list of low-glycemic foods to eat for your PCOS Diet:

Pound cake – 54
Soya milk – 30
Apple juice – 41
Carrot juice – 45
Pineapple juice – 46
Grapefruit juice – 48
Multi grain bread – 48
Whole grain – 50
All-Bran cereal – 42
Oatmeal – 49
Low-fat yogurt – 14
Whole milk – 27

PCOS Diet Plan Tip #3 – Eat smaller meals, more frequently throughout the day.

A primary goal of your new relationship to food should be to keep your blood sugar steady, without the lows that come from skipping meals or waiting hours between them. Starting a PCOS diet plan means eating more frequently throughout the day.

Eat snacks and mini-meals between breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and don’t let yourself become ravenously hungry or cranky. Getting grumpy from hunger is caused by low blood sugar, and that’s bad for your PCOS.

PCOS Diet Plan Tip #4 – Integrate more exercise and physical activity into your daily life.

Love it or hate it, exercise is an essential part of getting control of your PCOS. Exercise burns calories and raises your basal metabolic rate, meaning your body will burn more calories even when resting. If you hate exercising, try adjusting your self-talk around exercise.

One technique I’ve found that works to increase my amount of physicial activity is doing stuff that I don’t consider “exercise” but still burns calories. I’ve lost a few pounds by walking or riding a bike to places I would normally drive, and you can too!

Another way to adjust your self talk is to write a list of pros and cons of exercising. On the pro list, make sure to include the fact that increasing your time spent exercising will increase your chances of getting pregnant and having a baby. Sometimes we just need to be aware of a problem and have a little motivation, and making changes comes easier.

PCOS Diet Plan Tip #5 – Talk with your doctor about fertility drugs.

Two popular fertility drugs, Metformin and Clomid, have shown promise in treating PCOS and helping women achieve pregnancy.

Metformin glucophage is a drug developed to treat Type 2 diabetes. One of Metformin’s “off-label{” uses ios the treatment of PCOS. Metformin works by lowering your insulin level anddecreasing your testosterone levels, and restoring your normal menstrual cycles.

Clomid is a widely prescribed fertility drug works indirectly to induce ovulation. It causes the hypothalamus to produce more GnRH which stimulates the pituitary gland to produce FSH, which helps establish a normal ovulation cycle.

So what’s your next step? Are you committed to following a PCOS diet plan? If so, let us know in the comments!

Related articles:

Clomid Tops Metformin for Treating PCOS Infertility
Living with PCOS – Mary’s Story of Trying to Conceive with Polycystic Ovaries

3 Responses to 5 PCOS Diet Plan Tips To Boost Your Fertility and Help You Get Pregnant

  1. Jon August 4, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    Don’t forget that the diet of the man is also important for fertility. A man’s sperm takes around 3 months to develop, so for the best chances of the man having good, strong sperm he needs to eat a healthy diet with a rich variety of vegetables especially for 3 months before you “plan” to get pregnant. If planning is a long process then this means that both partners should really focus on a healthy diet for all the time they are trying to conceive.

  2. Tim Campbell March 5, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    Good tip by Jon as well.
    The great thing about thinking about both the man and woman, when it comes to eating healthy, is that you can share the “work” and motivate each other. Much easier to eat properly when you are two.

  3. Ellen October 7, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    Soy Milk may be low-glycemic but it’s bad for women with PCOS. Soy mimics hormones and can contradict some of the medications prescribed for PCOS maintenance.