Why are Calorie Restricted diets not a good option for women with PCOS?

Tired of listening to advice about what to eat and what not to? Did you fall for any bizarre diet plan that didn’t work out? Do you love food and find it impossible to eat bland salads all day? Don’t you worry! We’re here to tell you that such a restricted diet is absolutely unnecessary! 


Studies have shown that diets and physical activity are indeed good for your body, but going on restrictive diets not only shortens the nutrient intake but also lowers your morale. Over 50% of women suffering from PCOS are obese and often surf through the internet to find the most relevant information for diets and weight loss programs and begin with it. Suffering from PCOS is hard enough, but to suffer without good food is just intolerable.

So, what exactly are Calorie Restricted Diets?

Since Insulin is a compelling factor in PCOS, these diets usually focus on reducing calorie intake. It keeps getting worse when these diets keep changing the daily intake of calories and avoid specific food groups. 

Calorie Restricted diets vary from program to program. These programs usually focus on a group of people rather than a person, which leads to the neglect of allergies & side effects from it.


Some of the restriction on food are:

  • No fruits
  • Always have a Gluten-free diet
  • Avoid Dairy
  • Don’t eat sugar at all


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These restrictions often have adverse effects on one’s body. Gluten-free diets have resulted in weight loss for women; since it is not scientifically proven, consult with a doctor before starting these diets. No intake of fruits would lead to the loss of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, but consuming seasonal fruits have a multitude of benefits like, reduces blood pressure, reduces insulin resistance, and improves cholesterol levels. Avoiding dairy and sugar is also, unadvisable as the source of calcium and protein to the body are restricted. 

Further studies have also shown that ‘Low Carbohydrate Diets’ contain as much as 60% of calories from fat, much of which is saturated. These diets are not recommended for women with PCOS as there is a risk of heart disease and lack minerals and diseases fighting phytochemicals.


In conclusion, these ‘Calorie Restricted diets’ are not the answer for weight loss; once weight loss programs are over, women with PCOS regain weight quickly as compared to others that result in eating disorders or poor self-esteem. All this shouldn’t stop anyone from having a healthy diet, as diets can be personalized and followed with proper guidance.

Some Important Tips from PCOS Virago

  • Refrain from finalizing your diet plans online; do consult a nutritionist.
  • Do not lower your carbohydrate intake; select lower glycemic index food as they control the rise of blood sugar.
  • Try combining carbohydrates with protein and fat for a healthy meal.
  • Exercise regularly; it reduces calories and lowers blood pressure.

A sustainable balanced diet is a healthy diet. Do not stretch yourself thin and be unhappy by following eating habits that are not sustainable in the long run. Follow a diet that you can stick with for the rest of your life and also, one which makes you happy.


Get in touch with us to connect with our expert nutritionist for further guidance. 

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