Speeding up metabolism for PCOS

Speeding Up Metabolism for PCOS

PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) is a set of symptoms due to elevated androgens (male hormones) in women. PCOS can slow down your metabolic rate and eventually lead to weight gain. The minimum amount of energy a body requires to carry out the biochemical processes is called the basal metabolic rate (BMR).Purposes of metabolism are the conversion of food/fuel to energy to run cellular processes and the elimination of nitrogenous wastes along with various other functions like production of energy, repair of wear and tear processes etc . It is known that women with PCOS, particularly those with insulin resistance (IR), present a significantly decreased BMR which can have severe implications on overall health.

Along with female hormone imbalances, hunger hormone, ghrelin, could also be deregulated in case of PCOS. This means that you are almost always hungry and have low sensitivity to satiety after a meal.

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Here are some of the ways to boost your metabolism

  • Exercise regularly: Target 30-60 minutes of exercise a minimum of three days a week. Strengthening your arms and legs with gentle weight training at least twice a week will increase your metabolism. This increased metabolism  stays pumped up for many hours after a workout.
  • Eating smaller meals every 3-4 hours will keep your metabolism high throughout the day. This way you can also be rest assured to avoid overeating during your main meals.


Avoid stress because it activates the release of cortisol. This is a natural steroid hormone that slows down metabolism and can cause PCOS and weight gain particularly around the stomach. Cortisol can also make you crave for that cube of chocolate post lunch!

  • Use very less sugar or avoid if possible. Sugar consumption throws your metabolic switch into fat storage
  • Use herbs and spices in your food which will give a big boost to


Include good amount of fibre in your diet so that it controls the blood glucose levels. Fibre will also aid better digestion and thus helps to boost the metabolism.  Remember to opt for those fresh salads in your buffet meal!

  • Lower levels of vitamin B12 have been observed specifically in women with PCOS. Include more of vitamin B12 foods like dairy, greens, lean meat, whole eggs, nuts & oil seeds because they help your body convert this nutrient to energy.

Boosting metabolism will help prevent weight gain and even overcome obesity. Healthy balanced diet and lifestyle modification will help you deal with low BMR in PCOS

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Krupa. Hiremath

Consultant, Nutrition.