PCOS Carb Range for Maintenance?

After a long weight battle my weight and cycle have finally become normal after LOTS of tests to determine PCOS with insulin resistance. I have lost 45 pounds through calorie counting and carb counting (100-120 grams per day) and had my cycle go from 45 days to 28 and acne all but clear up. Feels great to finally feel "normal" again.

As I am slowly transitioning to maintenance I am wondering if anyone has any advice for how to up my calories in ratio to carbs? I am 5'3.5 and weigh 155. I have a large frame so for me this is actually pretty small. I ate between 1200-1300 calories and around 100-120 grams of carbs to lose the weight, and I eat pretty healthy so that calorie amount never made me feel hungry.

I guess I am worried to increase calories I would need to increase carbs (as I couldn't realistically maintain those carb levels on a 1600-1700 calorie diet) and I don't want my weight to go up because of the carb increase.

I get that I will probably just have to try and experiment with what levels work for me, but wondered if anyone has any good advice how to start! Thanks!


  • deannalfisher
    deannalfisher Posts: 5,600 Member
    this is probably a eating plan you should develop with a RD or similar who knows and understands medical nutritional needs/limitations
  • jessiefrancine
    jessiefrancine Posts: 273 Member
    Can you increase your calories slowly (I think a common recommendation is bumping up intake by 100 calories at a time) while sticking to the same percentage of carbs?

    So, if you were eating about 100 grams of carbs each day on a 1200 calorie goal, that means you were eating about 1/3 of your calories from carbs. Try to stick to that ratio since it seems to be working for you.
  • __TMac__
    __TMac__ Posts: 1,665 Member
    I have PCOS as well. I'm at 150g now and am I'm planning on 150-200g when I hit maintenance, but I'll continue to exercise vigorously most days. I'll reassess as time passes based on results.

    What are you doing for exercise?
  • RAxB
    RAxB Posts: 120 Member
    My goal is to increase calories slightly to maintenance, I also thought to keep the same ratio as now, just worried about overall counts, you know?

    I do cardio 3 days a week (3 mile run, 4 mile walk, or elliptical) as well as various Jillian Michaels toning DVD's (No More Trouble Zones, Yoga Burn, 30DS or RI30) or various other pilates/yoga DVD's. And have had the same workout schedule for years, even when I was at a higher weight. It is now just a bit easier and faster!
  • RAxB
    RAxB Posts: 120 Member
    this is probably a eating plan you should develop with a RD or similar who knows and understands medical nutritional needs/limitations

    After finally getting to the test results I don't have a lot of money leftover for more professional visits. That would be my first choice, just not an option at this point unfortunately.
  • tahxirez
    tahxirez Posts: 270 Member
    There is no reason you have to eat any more carbs than you are happy with. Prioritize proteins and fats and keep your carb macro stable. It will result in a lower percentage of your total calories coming from carbs but who cares? I mostly eat at a 30% carb percentage to help keep me full and it works fine. That happens pretty naturally though, I don't aim for it as I don't have any training specific needs at the moment and I naturally prioritize protein and fat due to preference.
  • amusedmonkey
    amusedmonkey Posts: 10,330 Member
    It depends on your blood sugar. Do you have a home testing kit? I watched my carbs at first, but the more I lost the more carbs I could handle without my blood sugar skyrocketing after a meal. Now I'm at a point where I don't even pay attention to carbs because my readings are in the normal range regardless of the amount of carbs.

    How is your A1C doing? Do you have walk-in labs where you could test it more frequently? You could try increasing your carbs and test after a month (the last month before the test affects 50% of the result) then adjust accordingly. Alternatively, you could keep your carbs the same and reach maintenance calories by increasing protein and fat if you want to err on the side of caution.
  • macchiatto
    macchiatto Posts: 2,890 Member
    I also have PCOS with IR (and MS). I've experimented with different carb levels. For me, for weight loss sticking to 50 gm/day of carbs worked great. I experienced a lot of unexpected benefits at that carb level, too. (I never thought I would go that low! Previously 80-100 gm/day worked well but this time around I had to go even lower.) I

    Based on my personal experience, I think it's doable to keep carb levels to 100-120 gm/day at maintenance calories (I did that for a while a few years ago) but it does take some experimenting and getting used to. Now that I'm back in maintenance again I'm planning to gradually increase calories while keeping my macro ratios the same. Once I hit maintenance level calorie-wise, then I'll experiment with increasing carb levels until I find my sweet spot. That might be worth trying for you, too, and see how it goes, how it affects your PCOS symptoms, satiety, etc.