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PCOS and Cravings - All You Need To Know

Food is the greatest pleasure of being alive, agreed. But if left unchecked, this pleasure can bring you a lot of pain.

If you have PCOS, there’s a good chance that you also have serious binge-eating tendencies. Bars of chocolate, cans of soda, packets of chips - be honest, don’t you refuse to sleep without these by your side because “just in case?”

We know you do. But no, we don’t blame you.

PCOS is a major problem. And unlike most other health issues, its repercussions are not limited to a countable number. It mars your life and lifestyle in as many ways as possible - appetite being one of those.

So today, we’ll discuss PCOS and cravings - its causes and management tips. Let’s start!

5 Major Factors Causing Unhealthy Cravings In Women With PCOS

Craving sweets at night, are you? Well, it may be because of these reasons;

1. Insulin Resistance

You already know that PCOS causes the body to resist insulin. But what you probably don’t know is that when the body becomes less responsive to insulin, it leads to higher levels of the same hormone in the bloodstream. As a result, our cells fail to receive the energy they need. Thus, to quickly satiate the body’s need for energy, PCOS patients feel the constant urge for food, particularly those high in sugar and carbohydrates.

2. Hormonal Imbalance

PCOS is characterised by hormonal imbalances. This implies, women with PCOS have higher levels of androgens (male hormones) and lower levels of estrogen in their bodies. But apart from causing period irregularities and childbirth issues, it can also mess up your day-to-day life by changing your appetite pattern and increasing unhealthy food cravings.

3. Low Levels of Ghrelin

Ghrelin is a hormone responsible for stimulating hunger. Research suggests that women with PCOS have lower levels of ghrelin, making it harder for them to feel satisfied after a meal. Thus, the binge eating!

4. Stress

Stress can be a major trigger for unhealthy food cravings whether or not you have PCOS. However, having this period problem only makes the situation worse if you tend to stress a lot. In PCOS, the body is insulin resistant, and the hormones are imbalanced. With these two factors already causing incessant cravings, the release of cortisol (stress hormones) only adds to the problem.

5. Lack of Sleep

Sleep plays a vital role in regulating appetite. But as women with PCOS experience sleep disturbances due to their symptoms, their appetite gets impacted negatively. The lack of sleep increases levels of ghrelin and decreases levels of leptin, a hormone that regulates appetite in the body. This leads to increased cravings for unhealthy foods, particularly those high in sugar and fat.

Say Goodbye To PCOS Cravings - 5 Tips To Follow

PCOS craving can be controlled if you follow these 5 tips;

1. Focus on a Balanced Diet: Eating a well-balanced diet can help maintain blood sugar levels and prevent insulin resistance, which is a common trigger for unhealthy cravings. So eat a diet that is high in fibre, protein, and healthy fats like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and nuts.

2. Exercise Regularly: Exercise can help regulate insulin levels and improve hormonal imbalances, thereby reducing the likelihood of unhealthy cravings. In fact, just 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week can make a huge difference. Do brisk walking, cycling, swimming, fat loss workouts, or strength training. The idea is to incorporate regular exercise into a daily routine.

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3. Get Enough Sleep: Getting enough sleep is vital for managing PCOS cravings. Get a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep each night to help regulate your appetite and reduce cravings.

4. Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can trigger food cravings, so it's important for PCOS patients to stay hydrated. Drinking water and other hydrating fluids can help reduce cravings for high-calorie, high-sugar foods.

5. Manage Stress: Finding ways to manage stress can also help reduce cravings. This can include practices like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises, as well as engaging in activities that bring joy and relaxation.

Wrapping Up

PCOS cravings are terribly tough to neglect and even tougher to control. Yet, if you follow the correct approach and be consistent with it, we promise - the difference will be unreal. So what are you waiting for? Start today and beat PCOS - one day at a time.

For more blogs on fitness, check out VyomFIT.

Some Common FAQs:

Q. Does PCOS cause cravings?

Ans. Yes, PCOS causes extreme food cravings in women.

Q. How does PCOS affect eating?

Ans. The condition of PCOS negatively impacts eating. It increases appetite and unhealthy food cravings, causing you to gain abnormal weight.

Q. What kind of foods should I avoid if I have PCOS?

Ans. If you have PCOS, limit the intake of sugar and carbohydrates. This means you must avoid fried foods, processed foods, and aerated drinks.

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