THE CHALLENGE STARTED ON FEB 21
“At my heaviest I was 260 lbs and I have now reached my goal weight of 150 lbs! Following Kym’s plan and doing the 30 Day Challenge is the best decision anyone with PCOS can make.
“Before I met Kym in 2016 I was hopelessly overwhelmed by my PCOS. After completing the 30 Day PCOS Diet Challenge I began ovulating on my own again and I became pregnant on the first cycle we tried!
“I joined Kym’s Challenge in November, and started applying what I learned. By January I was getting a regular cycle, by April I had lost 50 pounds, and by July I was 13 weeks pregnant!! My A1C levels have dropped out of diabetic range, and my blood pressure is out of the hypertensive range. I sleep much better, and don’t feel as groggy during the day. My hair has also thickened up and I now have less unwanted hair on my chin and upper lip.
“After doing my first Challenge (after years of never ovulating) I ovulated on my own, started losing weight, had energy, felt different… Felt alive again. Eight months later after sticking with the diet I fell pregnant naturally. Beyond shocked!! I’m dying for July 8th to get here so I can meet my baby girl. Kym I’m beyond grateful that you start something so amazing for us all. Thank you so much for your guidance and support.
“Today marked a huge day for me because I have kept up with the diet I learned about during the Challenge and have now officially lost over 50 lbs. I have tried everything before and never have I lost anywhere near this amount. I still have a ways to go but this Challenge has given me so much hope and confidence.
The PCOS Challenge
Week 1 + 2 Days
During the first 9 days of the PCOS Challenge you’ll receive a series of nutritional video lessons packed full of evidence based information. These lessons will help you make better food choices when implementing a PCOS diet that you can sustain over the long term. I’ll also be giving you daily challenges to set you up for success for the rest of the 30 days.
The majority of western breakfasts are terrible for women with PCOS so in Week 2 you’ll start your new PCOS diet plan with a unique breakfast menu that will support rather than hinder your recovery from this disorder. My PCOS friendly breakfast meal plans will have you feeling fuller for longer, and will decrease your cravings for unhelpful foods. These meal plans and PCOS recipes come as a downloadable PDF that you can keep and continue to use long after the PCOS Challenge ends.
During Week 3, you’ll keep going with your new breakfast regime but step things up by also having dinners made from all the best foods for PCOS. One of the things you’ll love about my meal plans is that they’ve proven to be the best diet for PCOS weight loss (see the testimonials section) but you don’t need to worry about counting calories.
After having become accustomed to both starting and finishing your daily meals the right way, in Week 4 you’ll add lunch to your new PCOS diet. Nothing is going to treat your symptoms better than completing the 30 Day Challenge with 7 days of eating nothing but the best foods for PCOS. Week 4 is a real confidence booster for many people, as this is often when you can start to experience the power of a true PCOS treatment diet.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What types of foods will the PCOS meals include?
A quick summary of the food principles that make up the meal plans include eating as many nutrient dense whole foods as possible, especially vegetables and fitting in lots of animal protein and good fats. The PCOS meal plans are also low carb and low GI making this Challenge a perfect place to start if you’re looking for a low carb diet for PCOS.
What types of foods will each PCOS meal plan exclude?
In your diet plan over the 30 days we will be intentionally avoiding gluten (wheat), dairy products, sugar, and high GI carbohydrates like potatoes, rice, pasta, breads, and breakfast cereal. While food intolerances and allergies are unique for everyone, eliminating these foods strikes the right balance between simplicity and efficacy against PCOS, as well as trying to make the Challenge achievable for as many people as possible.
Do the meal plans include snacks?
Unfortunately, the PCOS meal plans do not include snacks as these are of relatively less priority than the main meals I’ve provided. I do however have a $5 Challenge Companion Guide that includes 17 PCOS friendly snack recipes, 13 PCOS friendly drink recipes, and a fresh fruit guide that tells you everything you need to know to really get the most from the Challenge.
Will the meal plans suit vegetarians and vegans?
While I would absolutely love to support vegetarians and vegans (I was one myself for over ten years), advising how to obtain complete and sufficient nutrition on these types of diets is very complex. I’m not saying it can’t be done without meat, it’s just unfortunately too much information to fit into only 30 days. In the PCOS diet plan provided in the Challenge I recommend the regular consumption of meat as part of your long term recovery from this disorder. Eating unprocessed meat is the simplest and most effective way to ensure we get all the nutrients we need to treat PCOS and the scientific evidence supporting this is just too strong to pass up.
Should I avoid caffeine?
I chose not to cover caffeine in the Challenge as I designed the Challenge to be a starting point where we cover the basics and get you started on your journey without overwhelming you. My views on caffeinated drinks are that they’re likely to be more harmful than helpful when it comes to rebalancing your hormones since they can have an adverse effect on your cortisol levels. If they contain sugar, then that’s doubly true and if you struggle with stress, anxiety, or insomnia, getting off the caffeine seems like a pretty sensible thing to do. That said, some people are going to be able to handle caffeine better than others so it can come down to your personal situation and how the cost/benefit stacks up for you. You can click here to read where I talk about this some more.
I am still craving carbs / I feel crappy eating low carb.
The reason I recommend the amount of carbs that I do is because it helps you not have significant cravings and helps prevent you from feeling crappy. What we are aiming for is long-term sustainable change so make sure what you’re doing is something that you can do sustainably long-term. It might be worth upping your carbs to the amount that I suggest in the meal plans if you’re not feeling very good and you find yourself wanting to eat sugar and processed carbs.
What are the best fruits to eat?
Generally berries and melons as they are lower in fructose but it really depends as even those can vary greatly depending on factors such as species etc. In general the sweeter it tastes the more sugar is in it. What’s more important is keeping your daily intake to 1-2 servings of fruit max.
What if I don’t have a lot of time to prepare meals?
I have chosen the quickest and easiest PCOS recipes I could for this Challenge because I know how busy you are! Also by adding just one meal to the Challenge each week, the meal plans are structured to let you warm up to the Challenge rather than throwing you in the deep end of making 3 PCOS friendly meals per day all at once and totally overwhelming you.
When do we get our first shopping list?
The first nine days are nutrition video lessons only. I’ll be sending out the first shopping list on Day 5 of the Challenge, giving you five days to prepare before the meals start on Day 10.
What sweeteners can we have?
It’s always tricky when answering questions about sweeteners as nutritionally speaking, I think the best sweetener is no sweetener. But I know that’s not realistic for anyone living in the real world so here is a brief summary of my preferred sweeteners. If it’s suitable for the food or drink you’re making then whole fresh fruit is definitely your best choice. Dried fruit is another okay one as you still get the fiber and micronutrients, but the sugar content is obviously a lot higher. If fruit doesn’t work, then I’d recommend raw natural honey provided you’re not planning on cooking with it or heating it in anyway. Even though honey contains a lot of fructose, the unique set of enzymes, proteins, flavonoids and other polyphenols it contains seem to have a protective effect provided these haven’t been destroyed by heating. Glucose-based sweeteners like brown rice syrup or corn syrup (not to be confused with high fructose corn syrup of course) are generally my go-to for baking and desserts as these are fructose free. Another option I’m fairly comfortable with is stevia or monkfruit extract. You probably want to find a pure product for these non-nutritive sweeteners though as many manufacturers cut them with all sorts of things that may not be good for you.
Do we need to quit sugar/dairy/processed foods/gluten from Day 1?
I leave this decision up to you. One of the benefits of starting now, is that you’ll see more progress before the 30 days is up, but you also risk getting jaded as it can be difficult to make these changes if you don’t have enough nutritional support. By transitioning you onto a full PCOS friendly meal plan by Week 4, I hope to make this process easier for you as the meals I prescribe will reduce sugar cravings and help you feel fuller for longer. Obviously, it’ll also be easier to avoid gluten and dairy since you’ll have a full set of recipes that exclude these ingredients.
I generally think a one step at a time approach is always more sustainable but personal motivation can go a really long way too. Perhaps you’d prefer taking a middle-road that suits where you’re at right now?
Can I get the calorie count for each meal?
I haven’t included calorie counts with my recipes as I’m actively encouraging women that want to lose weight to NOT restrict their energy intake.
Limiting calories as a way to lose weight seems to be a real zombie in the dietary advice world – it just won’t die despite having been proven to be terrible for those seeking long term sustainable weight management. Studies have shown that just about everyone who tries “dieting” ends up gaining more weight in the long run, with the relationship so clear that having tried calorie counting in the past is actually one of the best predictors of long term weight gain.
I realize that this is still part of our dietary zeitgeist, but I’m hoping to separate Challenge participants from this idea as a means to achieving and maintaining their healthy body weight. It’s been clearly shown that it’s WHAT we eat, rather than how much that matters. As you will see during this Challenge, you can still lose weight while eating ’till you’re full and satisfied. You can still lose weight while eating a lot of meat and fat, and you can still lose weight without ever wondering about the calories.
I feel really strongly about sharing this message. I’m sure that this difference in attitude is why so many women with PCOS that do the Challenge are now having amazing weight loss success and are keeping it up long term. They’re making better food choices a new normal in their lifestyle rather than thinking about going on another weight loss diet.
I share more of my thoughts here in this blog post which you might find interesting.
I train a lot and feel like I should be eating more?
If you are doing high energy workouts you may need to increase the portion sizes prescribed in the meal plans I give you during the challenge slightly BUT stick with the same macronutrient percentages (for example you don’t want it to come only from carbs). In line with the meal plans I recommend around 3 – 4 ounces (85 – 115 grams) of wholefood carbohydrates (weighed cooked), around 5.3 oz (150 g) of unprocessed meat (weighed raw) with every meal and 2 cups of non-starchy vegetables per meal (breakfast you can be slightly more lenient with if you find it difficult).
Can I participate in the Challenge while pregnant?
Yes, you can definitely follow this diet while pregnant! In fact it is important that you stick to a PCOS friendly diet while pregnant because it can help you have a healthy pregnancy and keep excess weight off in order to lower the risk of preeclampsia, premature birth, etc. It can also help you manage or completely avoid gestational diabetes. For example, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes (which is very common with PCOS) during my pregnancy and by sticking to the diet that I prescribe during the Challenge I was able to keep my blood sugar levels perfectly normal throughout the entire pregnancy. It will also help keep your symptoms in control post-pregnancy (which is a time when many women find they get even worse). We also now know that through epigenetics that health of the mother DURING pregnancy can have long term impacts on the health of the child.
Is this PCOS diet plan designed to help me get pregnant?
Absolutely! If you’re looking for the best PCOS fertility diet then you’ve come to the right place! By following the same meal plan and food principles that I give you during the Challenge I was able to fall pregnant naturally after years of failed IVF treatments. You can read more about my story here. While it’s likely to take a little longer than 30 days to perfectly regulate your cycle (it took me many years) this PCOS diet plan will give you the kick start you need to get pregnant.
I’m breastfeeding, can I still follow this meal plan?
If you stayed within your doctor’s recommended weight gain during pregnancy, you may need to increase your daily energy intake by up to 500 calories while breastfeeding. This will mean increasing the portion sizes prescribed in the meal plans by approximately a quarter while keeping the same macronutrient percentages where you can. For example you don’t want your extra 500 calories to come only from carbs.
Is this a PCOS diet plan for weight loss?
The main goal of this Challenge is for people to manage their PCOS symptoms – and weight loss is certainly one of the most common outcomes. If you’re looking for the best diet for PCOS weight loss then you’ll also love the video lessons as these provide you with the core food principles you need to achieve sustainable and meaningful long term results. Click here to see some of the inspiring weight loss results from previous Challenge participants.
What about if I have thin-type PCOS or I don’t want to lose weight?
I have thin-type PCOS myself so trust me when I say that the Challenge is equally applicable to you regardless of your body weight. Restoring a healthy hormone balance is just as important for women that are lean as it is for those with the more classical type of PCOS. You don’t need to worry about losing too much weight if you’re already a healthy body weight as you’ll still be eating a full intake of calories – it’s just that the composition of these calories will be more PCOS friendly.
I haven't received any challenge emails
The reasons you may not have received one are:
1. It’s in your junk mail folder, your promotions tab (if you use gmail), or your deleted folder. Make sure to always check these folders first and if it’s in one of these places you will need to add me to your contacts list if you don’t want this to happen in the future.
2. You may have entered your email address incorrectly when you first signed up. You will know this is the case because you will not have received the first confirmation email when you originally signed up. You can try signing up again, and make sure you confirm as soon as you get the email prompting you to do so.
3. You signed up late for the Challenge after the most recent email was sent, in this case you won’t actually be sent any emails that already have gone out, but will be on track to get the rest of the upcoming emails.
If neither of those are the case, some people’s email providers may take up to 12-24 hours to deliver an email so sometimes it’s just a matter of being patient.
I’ve signed up late, how do I catch up?
If you signed up after the Challenge has started you will have received an email telling you how you can catch up.
I did the last Challenge, am I signed up for the next one automatically?
You will need to re-sign up for the Challenge if you have done it in the past and want to do it again.
How do I add you to my email contacts?
For a guide walking you through how to add me to your contacts list, click here.