PCOS Belly: What does it Look like?

PCOS Belly

Polycystic ovary syndrome is caused by an imbalance of androgens. The most common symptoms include ovarian cysts, irregular periods, and hair on the face and body. Treatment options include hormonal birth control and metformin, a diabetes drug.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects a woman’s hormone levels.

Women with PCOS produce higher-than-normal amounts of male hormones. This hormonal imbalance causes the body to skip menstrual periods and makes it more difficult to get pregnant.

PCOS also causes facial and body hair growth and baldness. And it can contribute to long-term health problems like diabetes and heart disease.

PCOS belly refers to the abdominal weight gain (obesity) and bloating often experienced by women with PCOS. This weight gain is primarily due to hormonal imbalances (higher androgen levels), insulin resistance, and inflammation, which can lead to increased fat accumulation in the abdominal area.

PCOS belly can lead to physical discomfort, emotional distress, and an increased risk of developing health complications such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

What is PCOS belly and what causes it?

Women with PCOS tend to have higher fat deposits in the abdominal area, regardless of their body mass index. This means that even thin or normal weight women can have a PCOS belly.

Experts believe that elevated male hormones in women are the cause of PCOS syndrome. Many other factors can play a role in a large bloated belly. This includes insulin resistance, genetics, hormonal imbalance, metabolism defects and inflammation.

To understand what PCOS belly is, it is important to understand the two types of fat in the body: subcutaneous and visceral fat.

The first is stored under the skin and is soft to the touch. Subcutaneous fat is less harmful but still difficult to lose.

On the other hand, we cannot feel a visceral sensation because it is located in the deepest recesses of the stomach. It surrounds the internal organs and is therefore considered dangerous for health.

Excess visceral fat is a risk factor for PCOS and other metabolic problems. But the good news is that this fat is easier to lose.

Causes of PCOS Belly:

Several factors contribute to the development of PCOS, including insulin resistance, hormonal imbalances, and inflammation.

Insulin Resistance: Insulin resistance is a common feature of PCOS and is thought to play an important role in the development of PCOS belly. When the body becomes resistant to insulin, insulin levels increase, which can lead to weight gain, especially in the abdominal area.

Hormonal Imbalance: Hormonal imbalance is another major cause of PCOS abdomen. Women with PCOS have high levels of the male hormone, androgens, and low levels of the female hormone, estrogen. Imbalances in these hormones can lead to weight gain, especially in the abdominal area.

 Inflammation: Inflammation is also thought to play a role in the development of PCOS belly. Women with PCOS often have high levels of inflammation, which can lead to weight gain, especially in the abdomen.

Genetics: A genetic predisposition to PCOS and central obesity may also play a role in the development of PCOS belly.

PCOS Belly Symptoms:

PCOS belly symptoms can vary from person to person, but the most common symptoms include:

  • Abdominal weight gain
  • Excessive hair growth
  • Acne
  • Irregular periods
  • Difficulty getting pregnant
  • Depression and anxiety

What are the risks of stomach PCOS?

Now we know that it matters where you carry your excess body fat. In PCOS, most of the excess body fat is found around the waist. This type of body fat is linked to a higher risk of several cardiometabolic and reproductive problems:

Hypertension. The more you weigh, the more likely you are to develop high blood pressure because your heart works harder. Central obesity, i.e. excess fat in the abdomen, is particularly linked to this problem, much more than simple excess weight.

High cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Central obesity is more likely to cause high triglycerides on its own. If you have high cholesterol for hereditary reasons, this combination can lead to more complications related to high cholesterol, such as heart disease.

Insulin resistance. Too much belly fat means you risk having higher insulin levels and resistance to the insulin your body produces. This can progress to the development of type 2 diabetes.

High levels of inflammation. Many factors related to excess abdominal fat lead to inflammation in the body. Inflammation causes many side effects, including fatigue, mental depression, and a higher risk of heart complications.

Infertility and missed periods. Excess body fat, ovarian cysts, high levels of male hormones, and inflammation together contribute to the loss of female fertility. High levels of male hormones inhibit the maturation of female eggs, which develop into cysts rather than mature eggs. Note: Here you can learn how to develop a diet that can help with the fertility problems of PCOS.

Some tumors/Cancer. Because women with PCOS do not ovulate as much as other women, the endometrium does not dry out completely each month. The result is a higher risk of excess endometrial lining and a higher risk of endometrial cancer.

PCOS Belly Treatment:

Is PCOS belly or excess abdominal fat inevitable and immutable? Not completely. You can manage this condition and reduce risk factors for complications simply by using the strategies below.

  1. Eat well to lose or maintain weight

A healthy diet that produces only 6% to 7% weight loss can improve symptoms and reduce belly fat. The way to lose this type of weight is to follow a PCOS diet: eat more foods like these:

  • Whole fruits
  • Vegetables of any kind except starchy ones like potatoes
  • Fiber-rich whole grains (wholemeal bread, pasta and brown rice)
  • Lean meats (poultry and pork tend to be leaner if you choose unprocessed meat)
  • Fish
  • Healthy fats (avocado or nuts and seeds in small amounts).
  • Avoid foods known to promote weight gain

As with most diets, there are always foods you should avoid to manage your PCOS belly, including:

  • Processed foods from the store (pizza, cakes, crackers and ready meals)
  • Baked goods (many are high in sugar and fat without redeeming nutrients)
  • Fatty meats (beef is often high in fat)
  • Processed meats (bacon, cold cuts, ham)
  • Indulgent snacks (chips, trail mix, high-fat popcorn)
  • Sweets (candy, icing, sweet baked goods)
  • Calculate your caloric needs

 You can calculate your calorie needs by measuring your height and weight. Then think about your desired weight, which should be about 5-10% lower than your current weight. Then use a calorie calculator to calculate your calorie needs. When asked for your weight, enter your height, desired weight, and age. It will calculate your calorie needs. Then use that number to figure out how to get that calorie intake using healthy foods.

  • Eliminate alcohol consumption

Alcohol contains no nutrients and often a lot of calories. If you drink beer or drinks with added fluids (juice or soda), your calories and carbohydrate intake add up. You can drink occasionally, but don’t make it a daily habit.

  • Exercise regularly

Regular exercise speeds up weight loss and is great for heart health. Strength training improves your metabolism by adding muscle. This may include weightlifting or other muscle-strengthening activities. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves running, cycling, or other fast-paced activities that bring your heart rate to about 80 percent of your maximum for a short period of five to ten minutes. Once you get tired, reduce your efforts to lower your heart rate before returning to a higher training range. This pattern allows you to push yourself further without getting tired. NOTE: Simply targeting your abs by doing sit-ups or other abdominal exercises does not target belly fat or burn many calories.

  • Practice good sleep hygiene

Lack of sleep impairs metabolism and affects appetite. This combination promotes weight gain. Get seven to nine hours of sleep a night to ensure you optimize your metabolism for weight loss or maintenance.

  • Reduces stress

Stress promotes the release of cortisol. Cortisol increases blood sugar and promotes insulin release to improve abdominal fat composition. If you do everything you can to avoid stress, you can improve your ability to lose weight and improve your body composition.

  • Limit your caffeine intake

Caffeine itself is not harmful in small amounts (one cup of coffee per day is enough). However, high doses of caffeine (greater than 2 to 3 cups per day) are linked to greater perceived stress, higher cortisol levels, and increased abdominal fat.

PCOS Belly Diet:


Meal  Food
  Breakfast  Greek yoghurt, berries, almonds, chia seeds  
  Lunch  Grilled chicken salad with mixed greens and quinoa  
  Dinner  Baked salmon, steamed broccoli, sweet potato  


Meal  Food
  BreakfastSpinach and mushroom omelette, whole-grain toast  
Lentil soup, whole-grain pita, mixed greens  
Grilled tofu, brown rice, roasted vegetables  


Meal  Food
  Breakfast  Overnight oats with almond milk, apple, and walnuts  
Turkey and avocado wrap with whole-grain tortilla  
  Dinner  Quinoa and vegetable stir-fry with grilled shrimp  


Meal  Food
  Breakfast  Chia seed pudding with berries and coconut flakes
  Lunch  Chickpea salad with mixed greens and feta cheese
  Dinner  Baked chicken, quinoa, steamed asparagus  


  Meal    Food
Whole-grain cereal, almond milk, sliced almonds  
  Lunch  Caprese salad, whole-grain crackers, hummus  
  Dinner  Grilled fish, barley, roasted Brussels sprouts  


  Meal    Food
  Breakfast  Smoothie with spinach, banana, almond milk, and protein powder  
Cauliflower rice stir-fry with mixed vegetables  
Turkey meatballs, zucchini noodles, marinara sauce  


  Meal    Food
  Breakfast  Avocado toast on whole-grain bread, hard-boiled egg  
  Lunch  Mixed greens salad with grilled steak, avocado, and roasted red peppers  
  Dinner  Vegetarian chilli with black beans and quinoa