Can someone recommend a diet for my PCOS?


:banghead: Hi all- I know that this isn’t exactly a church related question. but here goes…Diagnosed with PCOS. took fertility drugs. have 4 year old daughter now. Also have BAD BAD insulin resistance related to the PCOS. This is NOT NOT NOT diabetes yet. I want to never be a diabetic. So I struggle every single day trying to find a diet that is good for insulin resistance. I’ve searched the web and most of the PCOS sites and can’t find anything that says WHAT diet to do. I need some structure. My family doc says “Just lose weight and the insulin resistance will go away”. Well, I’ve been taking Metformin for 4 years now and the resistance is just getting worse. doing weight watchers now, but I just can’t seem to lose well with this. Considering doing “Biggest Loser” plan on the website. Any suggestions? I realistically have about 60 pounds to lose but would settle for 40. Doing WW, I seem to lose at about 1/10 the rate of everyone else in the office doing the program. I want results! And I want to be able to say that “I was insulin resistant, but I’m not anymore”. I will appreciate ALL the advice given. thanks-twk


I have some friends with PCOS, they have found useful information from a web group called “Soul Cysters” - I do not have the internet addresss, Google might help you?


What are you doing in terms of exercise? Is there a way that you can add exercise into your diet and simply modify your diet?

How about portion size? Are you making sure you are allowing for reasonable portions?

I think the word Diet is a debilitating one. Because the result of which is either success if you lose weight or failure if you do not. The best results could be achieved by tweaking things instead - like exercise and portions. Adding a few carrot sticks right before dinner for bulk - etc.

It is a change of mindset - a diet means temporary. I will add you to my prayers because this is a difficult thing. May you have God’s hand in success.


I too have PCOS and insulin resistance. If you are prescribed metformin, that will help some with the IR. Also, you have to cut way down on simple carbs. That means virtually no sugar, white flour, or anything else that turns directly into sugar in your blood. You can google some info on ‘glycemic index’, and stay with food that takes a long time to break down into sugar, like protein and fats, but not carbs. When I was healthiest with my PCOS, I exercised every day and ate no sugar, and almost the only carbs I ate were from veggies and fruits, and a little whole grain bread. But you have to cut out any processed food. No white bread, very little pasta, no sweets, no drinks with sugar (regular pop, juice or ‘fruit drinks’, no sugar in tea or coffee–use equal).
It is a very tough diet to stick to. I did it for several months, and got pregnant after 8 years of infertility! It works that good. I finally got my system back into normal functioning. Of course since then I’ve been pg, and now am nursing my baby, so I haven’t been as strict with it. But as soon as she weans, I’m back on it again. It is the main thing I have found to help PCOS–the combination of no-sugar diet, exercise daily, and taking metformin. Hope some of that helps!


the book that has helped me, and I got if from a family member who is now diabetic, but had PCOS for a long time before this, is the Diabetes Solution by Dr. Richard Bernstein. You should also read the Schwartzbein Principle because she gives the rationale for healthy eating NOT dieting as it relates to women’s health issues, and she is frank about the problems related to hormonal imbalance. both these disorders run in our family and we are all agreed this approach, low carb and hormonal balance, is the key to both, since the disorders are so inter-related.


Check out these books that my doctor wrote.

Basically, don’t eat anything made from flour. If you do, eat it very sparingly. Cut out refined sugar, too. When you go to the grocery store, stay on the perimeters of the store. That’s where the fruits and veggies and lean meats are. Most of the stuff in the middle is refined. Keep it simple, keep in natural.

I strayed away from my diet the past 2 months and I am paying for it now because my cycle is completely thrown off. What you put in your mouth is so crucial when you have PCOS. :frowning:


You need to visit an endocrinologist. He or she will take blood tests and determine your hormone levels and what dosing of metformin would be appropriate for you specifically. Where you were four years ago is probably different then where you are now.

As for the diet, my endocrinologist recommends 80% protein and veggies and 20% non-veggie carbs (NO simple carbs) per meal. But, I’m not a kidney patient and don’t have a protein limit. It’s really important that you discuss this with a doctor who will listen to you. If your family doctor is not helpful, then find one who is. You really should be seeing a specialist and not just a family doc.


I don’t know much about PCOS. However, from what other posters have suggested, I would think that Weight Watcher’s “Core” plan might help. PM me or ask your leader for more info.



I am in the same boat you are. And it really is horrible, that no matter what you do, it seems the weight is superglued to your body. I was on avandia, then metformin and now I am on Janumet. It’s one of the new drugs for IR.
The weight comes off slowly and it is frustrating. I walk on the average 10-12 miles a day and still…one freaking pound at a time…gain 2…lose one…gain 1… lose 1/2. Five years ago I had a breast reduction and since then I have lost 34 pounds. But that was a heck of a lot of hard work And it has been a roller coaster ride.
I picked up a book called The New Glucose Revolution. It has some very good pointers. May be of help to you. Bases a diet on the glycemic index.
Keep working at it. Don’t give up.

P.S. you can PM me if you’d like


This book, Protein Power Lifeplan, made so much sense to me and helped me to eat healthy and lose weight. It is also very good for PCOS. My GYN recommended it for my DD, who has symptoms of PCOS. She feels and looks great when she follows this plan.

Here’s a discussion forum dedicated to the plan. It’s fabulous, and the recipes are absolutely incredible. These people can cook! And there’s a forum dedicated to insulin resistance if you scroll down a bit.

My belief in this plan is just one small step down from my Catholic faith.



I will pray for you. I also have PCOS and insulin resistance. I tried Metformin and had an allergic reaction that landed me in the hospital. I’ve tried dieting to fix it for YEARS - NO sugar, NO flours/grains except occasional brown rice, no potatoes and other starchy stuff, alcohol, etc. Followed to the letter. Did not lose one ounce. I actually gained :frowning: I also tried herbal remedies like vitex and dong quai that are promised to work for anyone with no danger - nothing happened.

I finally caved awhile ago, and let my (Catholic, open to NFP, respectful of my beliefs) GYN put me on the Yaz BCP (I prayed over this decision for years - I know all the dangers and possibilities, and do not need to be told I’m excommunicated or anything else I’ve seen on other threads). She had done blood tests and explained to me, when I told her I didn’t want to mask the symptoms/have a one size fits all thing to shut me up, was that this specific pill in my case was not one sized fits all, and would give me the hormones my body was lacking naturally. I do have to say, the effect was immediate and WONDERFUL. The hair stopped growing on my face almost overnight. I lost 9lbs without doing anything (did not feel sick from the hormones and was eating properly) in a week. My moods stabalized - I’ve been angry and irritable for years, probably from testosterone - I felt womanly, gentle, filled with love. It even started fixing my OCD, which didn’t respond to countless psychiatric drugs. For the first 3 weeks, I felt like I was myself again.

Then my blood pressure shot from an average of 105-110, to over 130 and the GYN took me off immediately. It started to come down, and is now hovering around 115. So it’s not for me, even though it worked beautifully (for me, I don’t recommend it for everyone :frowning: My period returned on schedule after I went off it, with the worst cramps of my entire life too. I passed out in the bathroom. Joy.

So now I’ve been back to the strict dieting that doesn’t work, the exercise that doesn’t work (I keep detailed journals and know I don’t cheat), the prayers that don’t work, the bad moods, the OCD, the beard, etc. It’s very frustrating.


I am a diabetic with PCO. Mine is Type 1 since I was 11 so I have always been on insulin anyway. Being on the insulin has helped me see how different things affect my IR.

One thing I have noticed: my IR goes way up after ovulation. I have two extremely different sets of requirements for pre and post ovulation. It would be interesting to know if this is common.

Also, if you like breads and sweets, you can grind your own wheat for bread. It is so much healthier and it doesn’t affect blood sugar levels the same way as white bread. Another thing I have found is Tupelo and Sage honey. These honeys do not break down in the same way and cause the blood sugar increase that clover honey (what’s found in the store) or other sugars do. I even use it on pancakes, waffles, etc. (I make these with a combination of grains and beans.)


Abby is right anyone with PCOS and/or insulan resistance needs to see an endrocinologist as well as her gyn because the problems are intertwined, and the hormonal imbalance affects the entire body not just the reproductive system. Lose the word “diet” as in a crash plan to lose weight or a temporary way of eating from your vocabulary. You are looking for a life-long health maintenance plan. When you begin metformin or any similar drug, you have to be monitored because when you change your eating, esp. to less carbs, your dosage will change. Vital to have regular monitoring on any diabetes drug regardless.

stadre is also right, esp. for type 1, but can be true also for anyone with PCOS, meds, diet and other measures needed vary with your cycle, but you need help figuring this out. Esp when your cycles are very irregular, or non-existent for months on end, it can be a challenge. Until you get help with the PCOS the insulin related problems are not going to be helped, which is why relying on ABC pills for it is so dangerous. Not only are the risks of side effects greater for us, but the underlying hormonal problem is only being masked, not addressed, and in fact by throwing this unnatural cycle of hormones into the mix, the underlying problem is aggravated. Schwartzbein does a good job explaining this for the lay person.

also peri-menopause, which can come earlier for us, changes everything.


I have PCOs and am insulin resistant and follow the GI diet ( sort off)
I have been on metformin for a year.
Have lost 35 lbs in the last 17 months (20lbs to go). This is by watching what I eat and working out. On my last visit to the endocrinologist was told to start doing weights since my weight loss has plateaued…so trying that.

However as someone mentioned you should visit a endocrinologist and go from there.


Here’s another idea, based similarly to the GI diets.

The web page has some general information, if you are interested in hearing more, PM me and I’d be happy to share more details. The plan stresses eating natural, organic, and fresh foods, supplementing with herbal teas and supplements. There are also simple exercises and breathing work that is part of the plan. The practitioner who developed the program, modifies elements for the individual and provides individual support.

I am currently on the plan. I have seen an overall improvement in my energy levels, moods and ability to cope with stress. It’s also helped my allergies (pollen, hay fever, etc), my symptoms are much less and I recover faster.
I have lost about 10 lbs, but it looks like I’ve lost a lot more and feels more like ‘me’. I don’t hit energy slump in the afternoons, since my blood sugar levels are stable. I am able to sleep well and feel well rested, and sleeping about 1-2 hrs less than I used to.

Best wishes to you.


I just recieved a book I ordered and discovered that it might be helpful to you. It is called “Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition.” Here it is on Amazon:

It has a section on PCOS.



I have a friend with PCOS. She has found that eliminating white flour and refined sugar from her diet alleviated most of her symptoms.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit