how to exercise when you have pcos

Focus on nutrition, not diet
Daria advises veering away from fad diets, and eating with a focus to fuelling your body, managing stress and balancing your hormones. For her clients, the key is to address insulin resistance and to reduce cortisol (stress hormone) levels by packing their diet with anti-inflammatory foods.

On her shopping list are lots of leafy green vegetables, blueberries, pineapples and a focus on whole foods and sources of protein like fish, eggs and chicken breast, and good fats like nuts and avocado.

Daria’s also a big fan of spices like turmeric, cinnamon, fenugreek, and ginger, that are anti-inflammatory and believed to help with insulin resistance.

One of Daria’s favourite foods for balancing hormones is Flaxseed which is rich in fibre and Omega 3s. She tells her clients to eat two tablespoons per day in on salads, or sprinkled on porridge or in smoothies.

Cut out the crap

Reducing foods in your diet that cause spikes in blood sugar is crucial to managing your PCOS. This means opting for wholegrain sources of carbohydrates over anything with a high GI.

Daria advises reducing your consumption of white pasta, white rice, and anything super-processed (including processed meats).

Daria also suggests swapping fruit drinks and smoothies for whole fruit, because they contain more fibre, which is vital for a healthy gut - “most of the ladies I train have problems with gut function”, Daria says. Fruits low in fructose are best, like grapefruits, clementines, lime, lemon, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries.

Try and balance your blood sugar throughout the day

“Start with breakfast” Daria says “Don’t leave home with an empty stomach and then grab a sandwich at 12. So many of my clients skip breakfast or have coffee and a croissant - and their bodies struggle to process it”.

Try something like eggs, salmon and spinach, or a smoothie with vegan protein, a blend of berries, cinnamon and avocado. Just make sure whatever you’re eating stabilises your blood sugar by including protein and fats as well as low GI carbs.