When Bhakti came to see me, she had experienced an inexplicable weight gain along with discontinuous menstrual cycles and an instruction from her doctor to correct her diet. She was unhappy to be putting on more weight than was justified by her diet, and she was suffering from hair thinning, slight acne and constantly feeling bloated and lethargic. On exploring, I found that she had hormonal imbalance that had led to PCOS and the symptoms that it causes.
Not all diets are the same, and hence Bhakti’s diet was tailor-made for her lifestyle, history and condition. On account of designing such a diet, it was necessary to collect pertinent information regarding her current diet, food habits and relevant history in addition to her weight and BMI.
The nutrition intervention for PCOS or for that matter every hormonal imbalance has a different approach than the routine weight loss as there are two dimensions –
- correction of hormonal imbalance
- weight loss
After noting her details, I commenced work on her diet with the primary intention of controlling Bhakti’s hormonal imbalance, and a secondary intention of helping her achieve weight-loss that she coveted.
- CORRECTION OF HORMONAL IMBALANCE
Hormonal imbalances are resultant of various reasons. A few of the causes of hormonal imbalances are incorrect eating habits, lack of sleep, stress (physical or mental), nutritional deficiencies and lack of exercise.
Following are the steps involved in the process of correction of hormonal imbalances that lead to PCOS –
- Detoxification, or the removal of the toxins that accumulate due to hormonal imbalance, from the body
- Sleep strategy correction
- Lifestyle changes – change in eating patterns food consumed and exercise
2. WEIGHT LOSS
Following the basics principles of healthy eating by incorporating a substantial amount of fruits, raw vegetables and good fats in the diet.
As mentioned before, PCOS is caused by hormonal imbalance which is controlled with the right diet in addition to medication. Since Bhakti had the medication corner covered, the nutrition was left unto me. The diet I designed for Bhakti comprised of ingredients and recipes easily available in the market and a regularity in the Indian household. This made the diet and her health goals achievable to her.
People often assume that diet is just for the privileged and following a diet costs a lot of money. It is a rampant misunderstanding that diets prescribed by nutritionists often consist of foods that are expensive and foreign, such as Avocado and Quinoa. While Avocados and Quionoas have their health benefit, so do foodstuffs that have been consumed by us Indians for decades, at the least and centuries, at the most. It is altogether possible and rather preferable to have the local foodstuff in the regular meals, and you will find that that is what I will include in your meal plans. As such, the only challenge is consumption of the meals in appropriate amounts at appropriate times, in addition to a healthy lifestyle. In line with such a philosophy, Bhakti’s diet consisted majorly of regular homemade food items like fruits, vegetables and rice.
It is always a delight to me when my clients are as dedicated as Bhakti was, who followed the plan completely, as a result of which there were perceptible changes in her health apparent within the month.