How PCOS Affects Your Metabolism

Weight gain and difficulties in trying to lose weight are two common experiences for women with PCOS but, why is this? how and why does PCOS affect your weight?

It's well documented that between 70-80% of women with PCOS will also have insulin resistance. A condition in which the cells of your body stop accepting the hormone insulin, resulting in your blood sugar levels rising which then results in increased fat storage and you have an extremely difficult time trying to lose this fat.

But, a lesser spoken about factor is the way in which PCOS, and insulin resistance, will reduce your metabolic rate. 

Download your FREE PCOS Weight Loss Guide

How To Lose Weight With PCOS.

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The Female Metabolism

The female metabolism is made up of four distinct components:

  1. BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate)
    This is the energy required every day to simply keep you alive and running. Your BMR makes up around 70% of your overall metabolic rate.
  2. NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis)
    This is the energy you burn getting out of the chair, walking to the toilet, speaking, moving. Any movement that isn't specifically exercise. Your NEAT makes up around 10-15% of your overall metabolic rate.
  3. TEF (Thermic Effect Of Food)
    This is the energy required to eat and digest food. Your TEF equals around 10% of your overall metabolic rate.
  4. EAT (Exercise Activity Thermogenesis)
    This is the energy you burn through via exercise and it equals to around 5% of your overall metabolic rate.

Whenever I refer to your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) I am referring to the sum total of the four numbers above.

pcos metabolism

PCOS Slows Down Your Metabolism

So, your BMR makes up roughly 70% of your overall metabolic rate. A study was done on women with PCOS and the speed of their BMR, here were the results of the study:

PCOS BMR

As you can see, women with PCOS have quite a lower BMR than women without. What does this mean? For women with PCOS, it will be much easier to overeat, and therefore, gain weight as they require fewer calories to do so.

For women with PCOS and insulin resistance (70% of all women with PCOS), this issue becomes an even greater challenge as their BMR is close to half of that of women without PCOS. This is a huge factor.

It means that if you have PCOS + IR and you are eating exactly what your best friend is, who doesn’t suffer PCOS - let’s say 1,868 calories a day - she will stay the same weight while over the week you have eaten way over your body’s needs which could result in a weight gain of half a pound or 200g of weight. Over months and years, this will all add up, believe me.

How To Speed Up Your Metabolism

  1. Improve Your Insulin Sensitivity 
    As you noted from the results above, insulin resistance plays a huge role in decreasing the speed of your metabolism so you should be doing everything you can to improve your insulin sensitivity, by 

    1. Increasing your lean muscle mass by doing resistance style exercise. If you're unsure on this, my PCOS program is based around this exercise
    2. Lowering your carbohydrate intake to around 25% of your total caloric intake
    3. Supplement with inositol, magnesium, and chromium. All of these are in our PCOS multivitamin, Balance, click here for more information. 

  2. Increase Your Protein Intake
    Many studies have found that higher protein intake (40-50% of total caloric intake) has positive effects on your metabolism. If you're unsure on this, my PCOS program meal plans are designed specifically for this.

  3. Little Tricks 
    I have a few other little tricks, caffeine causes accurate increases in metabolic rate, my advanced fat burning supplement MetaBurn contains 200mg of caffeine per serving so if you're looking for an incredible kickstart to your day, MetaBurn is perfect as it also contains ingredients to help with mental performance and other fat burning properties. Also, quality sleep and reducing stress will also positively impact your metabolic rate and overall feeling of well-being.

Check out these wonderful results from some of my incredible PCOS clients.

Want To Successfully Lose Weight With PCOS?

If you're like most of my PCOS clients, you've spent years trying to lose weight without too much success. This is because you must take a PCOS specific approach to lose weight. It's why our  10-week PCOS program is so incredibly successful.

Our 10-week PCOS program is designed to get you the best weight loss results possible while still being able to enjoy your life (and favorite foods of course!).

Learn more about our 10-week PCOS program here.

Download your FREE PCOS Weight Loss Guide

Learn How To Lose Weight With PCOS

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About Drew Baird:

Drew Baird is the founder and owner of Drew Baird Fitness and Healthy PCOS. He has coached over 23,200 women on his online weight programs and helped his clients lose over 256,000kgs.

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