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How to Structure your Meals for PCOS Weight Loss.

woman holding dish with herbs

PCOS weight loss is hard on our best days. If you’re used to eating anything you want including sweets and breads and junk food, our plan could be a challenge for you. Most plans simply trade out high-GI (glycemic index) foods for lower-GI foods. This is a fine approach and it keeps breads and rice and other carbs in your life, albeit dark breads, brown rice, etc.

Why some low-GI plans still don’t achieve PCOS weight loss.

The problem is that fat loss with PCOS is slowwwww. Like snail slow, even if you’re eating ‘PCOS-friendly’ low-GI carbs along with lean meats and veggies. And all ‘PCOS-friendly’ low-GI foods don’t lend themselves to fat loss or building the body of our dreams. So, if you’re serious, you need to evaluate foods based on whether they lend themselves to fat loss and all-around good nutrition.

PCOS Fat Loss - woman with basket in farmer's market

From this point forward, we’ll assume our primary goal is fat loss. Our goal is not eating the most delicious foods our taste buds have ever touched. Our goal is not making meal time the most convenient time of the day. Our goal is not finding the magic weight loss pill and then continuing to eat the same crap that made us fat in the first place. Get it right in your head so you don’t cheat yourself. If our goal is fat loss with PCOS, we have to structure our meals so we eat in a way that BEST supports this. We’re dishing out a little tough love here. And you may have 1,001 retorts about how you can keep on doing what you’re doing and reach your goals. It’s okay. By all means, go with the program you like best. Our program is ambitious because we don’t want to be just a little less fat, we want to achieve our most audacious fitness goals. And we can. 🙂

Meal structuring for success.

We have created quite comprehensive food lists divided into the following categories:

  • Daily Foods
  • Sometimes Foods
  • Treat Meal Foods

They are categorized based on how helpful they are at expediting weight loss. Not because they are good or bad. We propose dividing your daily food into 3 meals and a snack. We believe in the fat-banishing power of lean protein, so we have some with every meal and snack.

MealLean protein + any ‘Daily Foods’
MealLean protein + Veggies
MealLean protein + Veggies
SnackLean protein + any ‘Daily Foods’

To make the program as simple as possible, we only track two things: 

  1. Calories
  2. Protein

Don’t worry. You’ll get plenty of fats and carbs. You just won’t track them. You’ll notice there are 2 meals each day that are Lean protein + Daily Food Veggies. Some programs suggest adding a small amount of starchy carbs to every meal. This is fine once you’re closer to your goal weight. Right now our goal is maximum fat loss. To achieve this, adding starchy carbs on top of fibrous carbs isn’t helpful. What are fibrous carbs? Vegetables! Yes. Vegetables are carbs and they’re packed with all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. You can eat huge, towering bowls of vegetables, stuffing yourself like a goop, and still lose weight. They are our secret weapon to not cheating on our diets.

For a clear example on how to structure your meals, have a look at one of our Daily PCOS Meal Plans.

No matter how you structure your meals, aim to hit your calorie and protein goals.

We eat 1500-1800 calories daily

PCOS Weight Loss - woman in green tank top holding orange bell pepper

Unless you are very short of very tall, 1500-1800 calories is a good calorie allowance for you to aim for every day. If you are eating within this range and you’re eating quality foods (Daily Foods), you will lose weight because this is a calorie deficit for most women. Very tall and very short ladies, here’s your calorie allowance guide. You don’t have to eat the same number of calories every day. Some days you’ll be satisfied at 1500. When you start losing weight, your body will make you feel more hungry. On those days, go ahead and bump it up, but not above 1800. You’ll vary your calories naturally. Our recommended menus typically fall between 1500 and 1700. This is to leave room for add-ons. For example, if you want to add a coffee or other approved food, there’s room for that.

Try not to go below 1500. This leads to hunger. Hunger leads to binging. And binging leads to the dark side. If you’re currently eating 1200 calories or below and you have a lot of weight to lose, raise your hand in the air, turn the palm toward your face, and smack yourself. We don’t under-eat. This. Always. Backfires.

We eat 120-230 grams of protein daily

PCOS Weight Loss - grilled food on black cooking pot

Protein is your buddy-buddy from now on. We hope you like meat. If you’re vegan because you want to save the world, we applaud you. Thank you for your service. We reckon you already know how to get the protein you need, so it will just be a matter of smart swapping. We don’t recommend not eating meat as far as PCOS-related weight loss goes. It’s just harder. Our foods are all designed to deliver lots of protein throughout the day.

Eat within your calorie and protein allowance. Structure your meals so you have lean proteins at every meal + veggies at 2 meals. Eat primarily from the Daily food list. That. is. it.

More PCOS Weight Loss Resources

Review our comprehensive food lists and familliarize yourself with what foods made the Daily list. These are your best go-to foods because they are both low-GI and lend themselves to fat loss. Take a look at some of our Recipes and you’ll see that you can make really delicious foods from our Daily foods. Treat meal foods feature Daily foods + items from the Sometimes and Treat Meal foods.

Check out our YouTube Channel for supportive videos weekly on PCOS Nutrition, PCOS Inspiration, PCOS Training, PCOS Mental Health, and PCOS Accountability.

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