Ovarian cysts can form in or on the ovaries, and can be the result of a hormonal imbalance. Chronic problems with ovarian cysts or numerous cysts on the ovaries may indicate a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS. The PCOS Foundation reports that 5 to 10 percent of women of childbearing age suffer from PCOS. About half of these women experience weight gain to the point of obesity. The reason for this is the hormonal imbalance often associated with this condition. One of the hormones affected is insulin, which changes the way sugars, starches and other foods are used and stored by the body. To lose weight with ovarian cysts, use some of the same techniques used by people not suffering from the condition.
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Reduce your caloric intake. To lose weight, you need to create a caloric deficit. The National Institutes of Health maintain that a caloric deficit of 3,500 calories triggers a weight loss of 1 pound. A caloric deficit of 500 calories each day adds up to 1 pound of weight loss each week.
Limit processed foods. The National Women's Health Information Center recommends limiting processed foods to encourage weight loss in women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome. Processed foods tend to contain added sugars. And since insulin levels change the way sugar is stored, you should minimize the amount of sugar you eat.
Minimize your saturated fat intake. There's some evidence that minimizing saturated fat intake can help to promote weight loss in women with PCOS, according to the McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois. More studies are necessary, but consider avoiding high-fat meats, poultry skin and any food high in saturated fat to help you lose weight.
Incorporate more complex carbohydrates into your diet. Complex carbohydrates are typically high in fiber. Foods high in fiber are digested at a slower rate, which lessens the increase in blood glucose levels and thereby impedes the transport of sugar to the cells. Sugar not used by the cells is stored as fat, so by eating whole-grain products and legumes, you help to keep blood glucose low, which can help with weight loss in women suffering from PCOS. McKinley Health Center notes that you should eat between 25 and 30 grams of fiber per day.
Eat more fruits, vegetables and lean meats, advises the National Women's Health Information Center. These foods are generally lower in calories and sodium than convenience foods and prepackaged meals. By increasing your intake of these foods, you will naturally lower your caloric intake.
Get more exercise. The Cleveland Clinic suggests 20 to 30 minutes of exercise at least four to five times a week to encourage weight loss for women living with PCOS. Any type of exercise is of benefit, including swimming, walking, biking, jogging or playing tennis, basketball, soccer or other competitive sports.