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14 PCOS Friendly Recipes for Weight Loss

PCOS Friendly Recipes for Weight Loss

When you have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) it can affect almost every system in the body, leading to a long list of health issues. The symptoms of PCOS that you may be dealing with include excess facial hair growth, irregular periods, acne, hair loss, mood swings, sleeping issues, and weight gain. 

That last one is tough, especially when you go to the doctor and they probably have dismissed your PCOS by saying “just eat less and exercise more.” But, there’s a lot working against us Cysters that makes it really difficult to lose weight with PCOS! But no need to stress about this any longer, as you PCOS Registered Dietitian and fellow PCOS Cyster, I am here to help.

Cysters struggle to lose weight because many naturally have high insulin resistance, so our bodies often absorb glucose as fat instead of converting it to energy. This worsens chronic inflammation and hormonal imbalances, leading to further insulin resistance, and sending your body into an exhausting cycle! 

So, your diet for PCOS needs to be specially curated to keep inflammation low, hormones balanced, and insulin sensitivity high! Other trendy eating plans like the Whole30, paleo, or keto diet just don’t take into consideration all these nuances of our bodies. That’s why as a PCOS dietitian I’ve curated my own meal plan that really works for Cysters like us! It’s an anti-inflammatory and gluten- and dairy-free diet that’s as tasty as it is nutritious! 

I have my full meal plans and recipe catalog on The Cysterhood app, but I’m going to walk you through the basics of changing your eating habits with PCOS-friendly meal choices. This is the key to losing weight with PCOS!

PCOS Friendly Recipes for Weight Loss

14 PCOS Friendly Recipes for Weight Loss 

Breakfast Ideas for PCOS

Chia Pudding

Every PCOS-friendly diet plan starts with at least 30g of protein through a nutritious breakfast! One of my favorites is chia pudding, because you can make it the night before for an easy healthy breakfast. It’s a great source of fiber, healthy fats, and antioxidants. That means chia pudding can help regulate blood sugar, increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce inflammation, which can totally support your weight loss goals.

But is it tasty? YES! Chia pudding is just a base, but you can add in so many mix-ins like fruit, vanilla, gluten-free granola, cinnamon, cocoa powder, collagen powder, xylitol (healthy sugar!), nuts, coconut flakes, and whatever else you love! (As long as it’s PCOS-friendly, of course.) 

On the app: Blackberry Coconut Chia pudding, Apple Pid Chia Pudding, Lemon Raspberry Chia Pudding, Chocolate Chia Pudding, and more!

Chia Pudding PCOS

Smoothies

Smoothies, like chia pudding, can be suited to your taste and, when made right, are super healthy! Just keep it gluten- and dairy-free and choose fruits low on the glycemic index. Beyond the base of cashew milk, coconut milk, or other dairy-free alternatives add in things like tea, avocado, peanut butter, lemon or lime juice, vanilla, mint, cinnamon, cacao powder, chia seeds, nuts, flaxseeds, and healthy greens! (Here are even more smoothie ingredients.)

You could even include collagen powder, gluten and dairy-free protein powder, maca powder, and/or Ovasitol in your smoothie. These add additional weight loss benefits without altering the flavor. Ovasitol is one of the best (if not the best) supplements for PCOS, and you could get your morning dose of inositol in a delicious smoothie! Just make sure you grab the best quality Ovasitol made specifically for women with PCOS from Ovafit

On the app: Strawberry Colada Smoothie, Ferrero Rocher Protein Smoothie, Blueberry Smoothie, Peanut Butter Smoothie, and more! 

PCOS Smoothies

Overnight Oats 

Overnight oats are like chia pudding; you can make them the night before and have them ready for mix-ins in the morning! You just need dairy-free milk, rolled oats, and protein powder. The rest is up to you. Fruits low on the glycemic index, vanilla, cocoa powder, xylitol, cinnamon, pistachio butter, coffee powder, dairy-free yogurt, nuts, chia seeds, and more. 

Oats are great for PCOS, because they can help lower bad cholesterol, reduce insulin resistance, and improve gut health for weight loss. Plus, they’re full of nutrients like manganese, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, folate, and thiamin! All in all, oats are a win for PCOS breakfast. 

On the app: Peanut Butter Jelly Overnight Oats, Brownie Batter Overnight Oats, Chocolate Orange Overnight Oats, Tiramisu Overnight Oats, and more! 

PCOS Overnight Oats

Egg Bites

If you’re more of a savory breakfast person, egg bites are the perfect breakfast hack. You can make them in muffin liners in the air fryer in minutes, and add plenty of tasty and healthy ingredients like bell pepper, mushrooms, spinach, and dairy-free cheese. Egg bites can help regulate your blood sugar, keep you full, and help you fight PCOS cravings throughout the day! Here’s more on why eggs are good for PCOS and you can find the full egg bite recipe on the app. 

Egg Bites
PCOS Friendly Recipes for Weight Loss

Lunch Ideas for PCOS

Hot Girl Salads 

The base of every weight loss journey is salads, right? But, the thought of salads can seem boring, tasteless, and restrictive, but that does NOT have to be true. Introducing…. hot girl salads. The key to a hot girl salad is making it delicious AND PCOS-friendly. 

Do this by picking your favorite healthy protein, like tuna, chicken, fatty fish, or eggs. Then, load it up with your favorite veggies, healthy fats (gotta have that avocado), and even some dairy-free cheese! Dressing can be as simple as lemon or lime juice, but there are plenty of homemade dressings you can make at home that add lots of vibrant flavor to your salads without adding calories or leading to inflammation! 

On the app: Shrimp Caesar Salad, Mediterranean Tuna White Bean Salad, Broccoli Apple Chicken Salad, Spring Steal Salad, Grapefruit Avocado Salmon Salad, and more!

PCOS Hot Girl Salads

Deconstructed Bowls 

Lunch time is busy! You need something you can throw together quickly and eat anywhere, whether you’re at home, at the office, or on the go. So, take some of the ingredients of your favorite meals that require a lot of prep and dishes, and throw them all into one hearty bowl. Think sushi, burgers, steak dinners, breakfast platters, tacos, and fajitas. Throw them all into one bowl for the perfect high-protein, anti-inflammatory lunch for PCOS! 

On the app: No Cook Tofu Bowl, Chipotle Shrimp Bowl, Shrimp Fajita Bowl, Fish Taco Bowls, Steak Bowl with Avocado Chimichurri, Brussels Sprouts Chicken Bowl, and more. 

PCOS lunch ideas

Chicken Fingers and Chicken Nuggets

Bet you didn’t think breaded chicken was on the menu for weight loss! Of course, the usual breading may trigger our symptoms, but women with PCOS can still indulge in so many of their favorite foods with just a few ingredient changes. Chicken is a good protein choice for weight loss, so gluten-free flour and gluten-free bread crumbs are key! Or, you could add some serious healthy crunch with crushed pecans and walnuts instead of bread crumbs. 

On the app: Pecan Crusted Chicken Fingers, Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets, and more!

Chicken Fingers and Chicken Nuggets

Wraps 

In the Cysterhood App, we teach about finding your unique Carb Tolerance Range. (We don’t believe in eating ZERO carbs. Here’s more on low carb diets for PCOS.) Sandwiches have been a go-to for lunches for centuries, but bread isn’t our only option now. Swap the regular bread for gluten-free whole grain bread, gluten-free tortillas, or lettuce. 

On the app: Lettuce Wrapped Burger, Everything Holiday Turkey Wrap, Mediterranean Chicken Tahini Wrap, Chili Lime Shrimp Wrap, and more!

PCOS Friendly Recipes for Weight Loss

Dinner Ideas for PCOS

Tray Bakes

At dinner, you want something indulgent, quick, and PCOS-friendly. That seems like a tall order (no pun intended), but it’s possible! Tray bakes are a favorite in my house, because they are quick to assemble, don’t require lots of dishes, and are ready in under an hour! 

The tray bake should be a combination of healthy protein and vegetables! Add plenty of spices and garnishes for added flavor, and these low calorie meals are delicious and allow you to go back for seconds without compromising your weight loss goals. 

On the app: Hawaiian Chicken Bake, Sheet Pan Lemon Garlic Salmon & Rainbow Veggies, Chicken Tikka Sheet Pan, Sheet Pan Cashew Chicken, Sheet Pan Steak Fajitas, and more! 

PCOS Friendly Recipes for Weight Loss

Pizza

A diet with pizza? YES! Pizza is one of those things that I couldn’t give up when I started my own PCOS healing and weight loss journey. You can make your own gluten-free pizza crust using almond flour (but many stores carry premade ones). Then, some healthy marinara sauce and your favorite Italian seasoning will create the perfect base for your pizza. Of course, you also need dairy-free cheese. 

The rest is up to you and your favorite toppings, but I recommend skipping pepperoni and going for chicken, turkey, Italian sausage, and veggies. Pro tip: caramelized onions are AMAZING on pizza!

On the app: Buffalo Chicken Pizza, Caramelized Onions & Squash Pizza, and more!

PCOS pizza

Soup

Soups are ideal for busy weeknights especially when you make them in a slow cooker! Instead of cream- or cheese based sauces, try low calorie and anti-inflammatory veggie- and broth-based soups! Make sure you include protein in your meal somewhere, whether in the soup or on the side. 

On the app: Mediterranean Chicken & Chickpea Soup, Butternut Squash Soup, Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup & Shrimp, and more! 

PCOS soup recipes

PCOS Friendly Recipes for Weight Loss

Snack and Dessert Ideas for PCOS

Popsicles

There’s no harm in one (maybe two) snacks a day when trying to lose weight, as long as all your meals and snacks are intentional and PCOS-friendly. Popsicles are the perfect way to get your sweet fix without raising your blood sugar levels and packing on those pounds! Plus, you can add Ovasitol to your popsicles for a snack that actually helps you target cravings and relieve symptoms! 

On the app: Lemon Yogurt Popsicles, Mojito Inositol Pops, Strawberry Cheesecake Popsicles, and more!

PCOS Popsicles

Cookies

You might have been told that cookies are a no-go when losing weight, but if you swap the usual cookie ingredients out for dairy- and dairy-free alternatives and use xylitol for your sweetener, you can enjoy them guilt-free! Treat yourself without the expense of triggering your symptoms!

On the app: Cranberry Pecan Oatmeal Cookies, Hot Chocolate Cookies, No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookies, Red Velvet Cookies, and more! 

PCOS Friendly Recipes for Weight Loss

Brownies

Brownies can work in your PCOS diet with the right ingredient choices! You can even get that great texture (and great flavor) for your brownies by using beets or sweet potatoes. However, if you’d rather not be so adventurous, you can use almond flour instead of white flour, xylitol instead of sugar, and dairy-free chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate chips! You’ll still get the great flavor, without the inflammation, blood sugar spikes, and weight gain! 

On the app: Sweet Potato Brownies, Peppermint Chocolate Brownies, Beet Brownies, and more!

PCOS Brownies
Lose weight with PCOS using these diet-approved meal ideas!

Losing weight with PCOS can be hard, but making the right meal choices is key to fighting insulin resistance and inflammation! Remember, it’s not all about what you shouldn’t eat. Instead, it’s about what you should eat to provide your body with the right nutritional support to thrive.

So, start with an anti-inflammatory gluten- and dairy-free diet using The Cysterhood app and then add in beneficial supplements like Ovasitol and the Metabolism Plus bundle to fill in the gaps. That way, you have the best chances to lose weight and finally live symptom-free with PCOS. We can do this together! 

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