106: Do people with PCOS have a lower metabolic rate? (and is that why so many with PCOS struggle with weight gain?)

Something I hear thrown around a lot in the PCOS community (especially with those who have unexplained weight gain) is that people with PCOS have a lower metabolic rate. But is that actually the case? 

I think there’s a lot of confusion about this. Given that for many with PCOS ‘unexplained’ weight gain is a problem, there are a lot of assumptions made that this is due to the fact that we must naturally have lower metabolic rates. 

Our metabolisms are extremely adaptive because for our body, the goal is always to survive — no matter what. In my time in this field, I have done a lot of work with people on their metabolic rates and seen a range.

One patient I worked with had a resting metabolic rate of 900. Meaning she had to eat under 900 calories to even entertain the idea of weight loss. Sustainable? Abso-fucking-lutely NOT! PCOS weight gain having to constantly eat like a squirrel.

The thing is, we aren’t BORN with metabolic rates this low. I don’t want anyone to feel like they’re doomed to eating 1200 (or worse, 800!) calories a day to not gain weight — because you’re absolutely not!

Understanding about metabolic rates, PCOS and weight is not something that can be simply condensed down into a few hundred words on Instagram, hence me not really posting much about it! But I think it’s something I really need to touch on as there’s so much misinformation out there around this topic. So in today’s episode of The PCOS Nutritionist Podcast, I’m debunking all of the myths and misconceptions around PCOS and metabolic rates.

Weight gain happening no matter how low calorie you go? Wondering if your metabolism is wrecked from dieting?

Repairing your metabolic rate is no easy feat and is definitely something you want to work with someone on. But firstly, we want to determine that root cause. That way we can help you solidify those habits before we go gungho into meddling with calories! 

I can help you with all of these things in The PCOS Protocol. You don’t have to do this all alone and you don’t have to be restrictive in order to get on top of these symptoms you’re experiencing.

This episode is for you if:

  • You struggle to lose weight, no matter how low calorie you go
  • Chronic dieting has been a part of your PCOS journey
  • You have (or think you have) insulin resistance
  • You’ve heard that metabolic rates are lower because of PCOS

Some things we cover in this episode:

  • What is metabolic rate?
  • How do we measure metabolic rate?
  • What influences metabolic rate?
  • Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT)
  • FFM and Metabolic Rate
  • Is it decreased in PCOS?
  • How to bring metabolic rate back up

Resources and References:

Links to our programs: