Weight Loss & Dieting Community
7.65k Members
325405 tn?1262293778

diabetes and PCOS with dieting

My doctor told me I've had problems losing weight the last couple years (haven't lost any really) because of PCOS (something about polycystic ovarian something or other) and because of my diabetes and insulin resistance.  I can't take stuff that would speed up my metabolism or diet pills because I also have an autoimmune disease (mixed connective tissue disorder) and the doctor is afraid it might mess up my thyroid function or something so won't prescribe any weight loss medication.  Being on metformin for my diabetes I have dropped about 6 pounds in the last 6 weeks, since my blood sugar levels are more under control.  That's a lot better than before.  Is it just going to take a long time?  So, I am if weight watchers won't take the weight off (not to mention throwing my money away every week having done that), what type of diet will work?  I can't do too low carb, but I have cut the carbs way down because of the diabetes, but don't know how far to push it.  So, I'm a little over 200 pounds and am 5'5".  And what kind of low impact exercise is good if you have joint issues?  I am only 34, but with my health issues sometimes I feel like I'm more like 80 or 90.  I gained 90 pounds being pregnant (gestational diabetes which turned in to full blown diabetes) two years ago, and before that, I was normal weight.  I have been watching calories the last two years, maintaining a diet of around 1200 to 1400 calories, but the doctor said that caloric intake with the insulin resistance thing was not going to help me, it's the carbs.  So, how do you do a South Beach or Zone type diet with getting enough to have energy to chase after a 2 year old with boundless energy and not pass out?  

Well, I guess before when I was normal weight, I was eating too many carbs and sugar  heavy stuff, so I guess it's better I had a wake up call gaining 90 pounds during my pregnancy to get me to start eating healthier.  And even though I am overweight, I am eating healthier now than I was 2 to 3 years ago.  But, it's still depressing to be 80 pounds or so overweight.

8 Responses
172023 tn?1334675884
A program will work if you work the program as written.

Eat only lean meats, fat free dairy, whole grains, fruits and veggies, and eat very little to NO highly processed foods.  No excuses.  Rid your house of pretzels, cookies, chips, candy, sugary or highly processed breakfast cereals, and fatty foods of any type.  Your family and child can benefit greatly from learning this way of eating, too.  

Walk 3 or 4 times a week, do whatever simple exercises you feel you can.  Anything is better than nothing.  If you have problems with your joints in your lower body, for now do arm and upper body exercises.  Or vice versa.  If you can only walk to the mailbox, by golly, walk there every day, and soon you will be able to start adding a few more steps little by little.  

My husband was on Metformin, and lost over 40 pounds this way.  He is now off his meds, both for diabetes and hypertension.   You can do it too!  

I'm not sure how long ago you did WW.  The program has changed quite a bit in the last couple of years.  I do the Core program, which involves eating as I described above.  My husband eats that way by default, b/c I don't plan or prepare anything else.  We've both learned how and why to eat.  

But any sensible program THAT YOU FOLLOW EXACTLY will work for you, insulin resistance or not, PCOS or not.  Many programs have thousands of women with these conditions that have been very successful.  

Best of luck to you in starting off a healthy life in whatever way you feel would work for you.  
Avatar universal
I agree with peekawho, WW does work you just need to be patient. I have a very bad back and fibromyalgia. My dr stresses yoga and walking. Do to my fibro activity has been limited, however it is my intent to go back to yoga. I also have a Susan Sansone walking DVD that is excellent.

I also have pre-diabetes. My dr put me on metformin at the end of December and I have already lost 15 lbs. My dr. is thrilled. I do need to start exercising or my weight will be at a stand still. I do know that my dr is very much for the South Beach diet. He stress little to no carbs.  Good luck and keep us informed.

325405 tn?1262293778
Thank you for the advice.  I think I am going to do South Beach.  I don't have the money to spend on Weight Watchers anymore, and I did stick to that diet fanatically but I really did need my metformin.  I think part of why I weight gained was I was on and off prednizone the last couple years.  I am goign to refuse to take it anymore, unless absolutely necessary.  I have an autoimmune disease, so sometimes it is necessary unfortunately.  My doctor said without the medicine I am currently on, the metformin, was why I couldn't lose weight, and because I had diabetes for last couple years unchecked.  She is really mad at my OBGYN for just dismissing me with a single blood strip test for not having diabetes after having gestational diabetes.  My doctor said the OBGYN should have had me in again a couple months later to check my 90 day blood sugar levels and do a glucose tolerance test and other stuff or told me to see my regular doctor.  She did however say if I had not done Weight Watchers when I did it, I probably would have gained more weight instead, so it is a good thing I did Weight Watchers.  At least I maintained what I did.  My doctor recommended South Beach diet and thinks with diabetes it is an excellent diet to pick since it focuses on carbs and lean meats and watching fats as well as carbs.

I think I will skip the phase I of the South Beach diet... my blood sugar levels were going too low when I tried it the first day.  So, I am starting on Phase II instead, and my sugar levels are normal now.  I am not able to do yoga because of my physcial limits, but I am taking up Tai-chi and walking and stair climbing (on my own stairs).  I am glad to hear that you have lost 15 pounds on metformin and South Beach.  I think I will try that because of the diabetes.  

I agree with peekawho on those processed foods as well.  I have just discarded them because my sister told me to do so yesterday, so I think it is funny you also said it in your message.  Her daughter has diabetes type I, and they raised her girl's blood sugar.  In the last couple months she has gone organic and all natural for her daughter.  I am now doing the same.  I also picked up sprouted grain bread which my sister has a lower GI than regular bread.  I also have a friend at church who was a nutritionist many years ago.  She has given me all her books on sugar busters and GI info which has to do with how your body processes certain types of sugar.  The sprouted grain bread does not have any flour in it at all.  It is made with whole grains and it is pretty grainy.  I think it is going to take some getting used to, but that's what I'm doing because I have to and I'm refusing to just ignore stuff because something is yucky.  I luckily have a Trader Joe's near me, so it is cheaper than WHole Foods by a lot.  My sister also told me to get fat free milk instead of 1 or 2% because she thinks homogenization is bad as well, even for diabetics.  I am not sure why and haven't read about it, but the fat content being 0 in skim milk is a good thing anyways, so I have also made the plunge and also done that.

So, this is a really major switch for me.  And in the long run, I will be healthier.  It's just frustrating that I was 140 pounds before I got pregnant which I guess is almost 3  years ago now.  *sigh*  My daughter is 28 months old, so I have to be thinner for her so she has a good female role model in life.  And me eating healthier means she eats healthier, so I guess this was a good thing to happen to me in the long run.  If I hadn't gained all that weight while pregnant and took it off easily, I wouldn't be switching my diet completely around now, which means my daughter's diet would not be switched around either.  She doesn't need all those carbs either.  And the all natural, home made foods, much better for her as well.  I am no longer going to buy pre packaged anything, have bought a crock pot and a vegetable steamer/rice cooker, so I can steam fresh veggies.  I am homemaking my own soups.  Or will be soon since I just got recipes.  My husband is totally on board for all this, and let me buy all the stuff at the store this week.  

So, all in all, I keep having to tell myself, that this is a good thing that is happening in my life, not a bad thing.  And I am going to stick to the South Beach Diet completely, and take my meds every night and not skip any doses (I've done that in the past with other medications but will not do it now).  
325405 tn?1262293778
P.S.  I do know my daughter does need lots of carbs, more than I do, but not in the prepackaged crackers and junk food, and more in the whole grain breads and brown rice and natural cereals.  She will be eating the normal amount of carbs, but in all natural/organic form.
Avatar universal
I am so happy that you have decided to watch your carbs and bought a crock pot and steamer/rice cooker. It sounds like you are on the right track. You will do fine. Good Luck and let me know how you are doing.

Avatar universal
P.S. if you like the skim milk, buy some sugar free carnation milk packages. It is really good and you should enjoy it emensely.
Have an Answer?
Top Healthy Living Answerers
649848 tn?1534637300
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
14 super-healthy foods that are worth the hype
Small changes make a big impact with these easy ways to cut hundreds of calories a day.
Forget the fountain of youth – try flossing instead! Here are 11 surprising ways to live longer.
From STD tests to mammograms, find out which screening tests you need - and when to get them.
Tips and moves to ease backaches
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.