Hitting it hard in the gym may not be the best idea for women with PCOS

Hitting it hard in the gym may not be the best idea for women with PCOS


Monday, November 30, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!

BEING a nutritionist, I interact almost daily with women who have been diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) from all over the world. And, it is amazing how strikingly similar their experiences are in trying to navigate and understand this hormonal dysfunction.

Although a very common condition — it is believed one in 10 women will be diagnosed with PCOS — many women have little or no knowledge of the condition until their diagnosis.

Following the instructions of their doctors they start their pills and set out on a mission to lose weight and achieve that “healthy” body mass index.

They sign up for a six-month membership at the gym, purchase the cutest workout outfit with matching shoes, and of course that tub of high quality whey protein powder for that post-workout smoothie. They are excited.

They may have gone the first week and gave their all, but couldn't muster up the energy to go back. If you have ever experienced this, let me give you some words of wisdom: it isn't your fault.

Many women don't know that weight gain, joint pains, cravings and fatigue are common symptom of PCOS. The problem is that your stress hormones are out of balance, metabolism slow, and your body system inflamed. And by not treating the root and exercising incorrectly, they could be making it worse.

Let me explain.

Rubbing on the waist trainer creams and fat burning gels?

Your liver is a very busy organ. Literally anything you put in or on your body must be filtered by the liver. These days that's a whole lot, especially if you are using cellulite creams and topical gels. Your liver gets overworked and can't do its job well.

When that happens it starts storing the harmful chemicals and toxins in fat cells.

Drinking that post-workout smoothie?

Back away from the scoop! That protein powder isn't for you — your body, as a woman with PCOS, is very sensitive and cannot handle it. Many of the ingredients listed in these muscle-building cocktails may just be burdening your liver and damaging your gut.

Many women with PCOS will suffer from poor gut health and it is a major culprit behind bloating, acne, brain fog, even missing periods.

Remember, just because the ingredients are healthy for your partner doesn't mean it will be good for you.

Popping painkillers after the gym?

You know that feeling like you got ran over by a truck? That wasn't just post-workout soreness. It is inflammation and oxidative stress.

Your body as a woman with PCOS wasn't made for stress; you react to it more strongly and stay in the “stressed out” mode for a longer a period of time. This may be at the core of your hair loss, cravings, joint pains and aggressive mood swings and insomnia.

My mission is to ensure that my clients don't carry on the cycle of destructive behaviours. In my practice I help women with PCOS lose weight to reclaim their bodies without a restrictive diet, relying on medications, or spending hours in the gym.

If you are a woman with PCOS, know that your body wants to work with you — you just may not know what it needs.

Monique Allen, BSc, is a certified holistic nutritionist and PCOS coach. She runs a web-based practice where she helps women with PCOS lose weight without diet, the gym, or pills. For additional resources or personal support, follow her on social media @themoniqueallen or e-mail hello@themoniqueallen.com

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaper-login




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon