THE PCOS-BUSTING DIET PLAN
The following is the plan I’m currently using for weight loss. I started it on March 29, 2010. These guidelines came from A Patient’s Guide to PCOS by Walter Futterweit. I’ve adapted it to a 1,200-1,300 calorie a day diet, although he recommends 1,100 for accelerated weight loss. My food choices tend to be on the low end of the glycemic index. The carbs I do eat tend to be high quality, complex carbs (beans, brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat pasta). Please note that any carb counts are total grams of carbs–not the traditional net carbs (grams of carbs minus grams of fiber minus grams of sugar alcohols).
I will not mislead you: in theory, this is a relatively easy plan to follow. It’s easy to put together meal plans and I can be pretty flexible when something happens to disrupt that plan. In practice, it is not easy. Eating out requires quite a bit of thought and planning. And although I do not have the cravings for sweets that I used to, I find myself quite hungry throughout the day–I get full quickly thanks to a veggie-heavy diet loaded with fiber, but I get hungry within a couple hours of eating. That said, the weight loss is happening for now. Considering I lost barely 5lbs in the previous 3 months religiously tracking every bite, monitoring my food intake, maintaining 1,000 calorie/day deficits and working out 5 days a week (with at least 3-4 of those workouts being high intensity), this is a success. Below are the basic guidelines I follow, as well as some examples of the food I’ve eaten.
BREAKFAST: under 250 calories, <30 grams of carbs, 1-15 grams of fat
- Light wheat or multigrain English muffin with 1/2 cup of Egg Beaters and a Laughing Cow light cheese wedge
- 1 cup of lowfat cottage cheese with cinnamon and Truvia sweetener
- 2 poached eggs with 1/2 cup of diced melon
AM SNACK: under 150 calories, <20 grams of carbs, <8 grams of fat
- an apple
- a pear
- 1/2 an apple with 1 TBS almond or peanut butter
- 1 slice of light wheat bread with a TBS of almond or peanut butter
- tall nonfat latte with 1/4 ounce of raw almonds
- 1 cup of raw veggies (cukes, mushrooms, celery, red pepper) with a dip made with 1/4 cup of fat free Greek yogurt and seasonings
- 1 cup of skim milk with a 50-calorie scoop of whey protein powder (this is particularly useful as a pre- or post-workout snack)
LUNCH: 300-420 calories, <25 grams of carbs, 5-30 grams of fat
- large mixed greens salad with balsamic vinegar (or salsa), 4 oz grilled chicken and 1/2 cup of beans
- 3-4oz oven roasted turkey breast on one slice of multigrain toast (or two slices of light wheat bread) with dijon, lettuce, tomato and pickle and 1 cup of vegetable soup
PM SNACK: under 150 calories, <20 grams of carbs, <8 grams of fat
- same as AM snack
DINNER: 300-450 calories, <44 grams of carbs, 8-27 grams of fat
- 4 oz grilled chicken, 2 cups of steamed fresh vegetables, 1/2 cup of brown rice
- 4 oz poached salmon with fresh dill, 1/2 cup of lentils, a large mixed green salad with balsamic vinegar
- Stir fry: 4 oz lean protein, 2 cup veggies and 1/2 cup of brown rice. I make a stir fry sauce with 1 tsp olive oil, 1 crushed clove of garlic and lite soy sauce.
DESSERT: under 120 calories, <20 grams of carbs, <8 grams of fat
- sugar free Jell-O with 1 cup of strawberries and 2 TBS FF Reddi Whip
- 1/2 cup of fat free Greek yogurt with 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder and a packet of Truvia sweetener
This is the plan I was following until I realized it simply had stopped working for weight loss. For most people, this is a very feasible and effective plan. See my About Me page to learn why it was not working for me.
I eat three meals and one to three snacks daily. My total calorie count consumption varies. Typically, it’s 1500-1700 calories daily, but I have increased it to 2,000-2,200 on days that I burn an extraordinarily high number of calories. Typically those high calorie days don’t occur more than once or twice a week, when I’ve burned 3,200-3,300+ calories.
Breakfast (7 am): 1 serving of a complex carb & 1 protein
- Vans multigrain/flax waffles with 1 TBS peanut butter
- 2 scoops Aria Vanilla protein powder blended with 1 c. Skim Plus milk and 1 serving of frozen or fresh fruit
- 2 slices light wheat bread, 1 TBD peanut butter, 1 TBS reduced sugar preserves
- 1/2 cup of Egg Beaters or egg whites w/LF cheese, a couple TBS of chopped veggies (optional) and an Arnold’s Sandwich Thin
- 1/3 c. (dry) oat bran cereal made with cinnamon, 2 TBS chopped nuts, Skim Plus milk and SF chai
- 1 serving Quick Oats made with 1-2 scoops Aria Vanilla Protein powder
- 1/2 serving Quick Oats made with cinnamon, 1-2 scoops Aria Vanilla Protein powder and 1 small chopped banana
- See about 2-3 dozen more oatmeal recipes here.
Snack1 (9:30/10am): carb-protein balance, under 200 calories. Whether I eat this depends on my calorie burn and hunger levels for the day. If I have a morning work-out, I tend to be hungry for this snack. If it’s a regular day and I don’t work out til the evening, I often skip this.
- Cliff Mojo bar
- Tall nonfat latte & a few almonds or a protein-rich granola/snack bar
- 6oz Greek yogurt with 1 serving of fruit
Lunch (Noon): 1 serving of a complex carb, 3-4oz lean protein, 2 c. veggies, 1 fat
- grilled chicken, salad w/olive oil & vinegar, small baked potato or serving of pasta
- 2 slices of light wheat bread, lettuce, tomato, onions, hot peppers, 1 TBS light mayo OR 1 slice of cheese, 3-4oz of dry tuna or lunch meat
Snack2 (4-5pm): carb-protein balance, under 250 calories
- a piece of fruit with 1 TBS peanut butter or LF string cheese
- 1/2 c. 1% cottage cheese with a container of FF, low sugar yogurt
- a smoothie made with Greek yogurt, skim milk, protein powder and fruit
Dinner (7-8pm): 1 serving of a complex carb (optional), 4 oz lean protein, 1-2 c. vegetables
- stir fry with brown rice, 3-5 oz lean protein (chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, fish), veggies
- 2 oz pasta (dry weight) w/homemade lean chicken sausage, veggies, 1 TBS part-skim ricotta and low sugar pasta sauce
- 5 oz tilapia on mixed greens with salsa, fresh cilantro, diced avocado, tomatoes, minced red onion, shredded carrot and peppers.
Dessert, optional (within an hour of dinner): carb-protein balance, under 150 calories
- SF Jello or pudding
- 1 slice light wheat toast with 1 TBS peanut butter
- 3/4 c. cereal (high fiber, low sugar) with 3/4 c. Skim Plus milk
- 1 envelope of diet hot cocoa made with skim milk