Eat Well

What is PCOS Belly: What It Looks Like, How to Treat It, and How a Dietitian Can Help

Author:

Author:

Author:

Araminta David, RN, BSN

Published:

Published:

Published:

July 1, 2024

Medical review:

Medical review:

Medical review:

Stephanie Brown, MS, RD, LD

What is PCOS Belly: What It Looks Like, How to Treat It, and How a Dietitian Can Help
What is PCOS Belly: What It Looks Like, How to Treat It, and How a Dietitian Can Help
What is PCOS Belly: What It Looks Like, How to Treat It, and How a Dietitian Can Help
What is PCOS Belly: What It Looks Like, How to Treat It, and How a Dietitian Can Help

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects your reproductive system. It can cause you to have irregular periods, infertility, acne, and facial hair. 

If you have PCOS, you may have insulin resistance, which can cause your blood sugar levels to be high. It can also lead to high levels of male hormones called androgens. These hormonal imbalances can make it harder for you to maintain a healthy weight and can lead to “PCOS belly”.

What is PCOS Belly? 

If you have PCOS, you may find it harder to lose and maintain your weight. You may also find that you hold weight around your midsection. This is actually common for those with PCOS and is sometimes called PCOS belly.

While PCOS belly is not an official medical term, it’s become a common way to refer to the abdominal fat accumulation that those with PCOS may experience.

PCOS belly vs. endo belly 

You may have heard the terms PCOS belly and endo belly and wondered how they are different. Let’s define each:

PCOS belly: Linked to PCOS. Driven by hormonal imbalances that increase the storage of abdominal (belly) fat.

Endo belly: Linked to a condition called endometriosis. Driven by inflammation and bloating in the abdominal area.

The main difference between the two is that endo belly is caused by severe bloating, whereas PCOS belly is caused by the presence of belly fat around the midsection.

What causes PCOS belly? 

If you have PCOS, it can commonly cause insulin resistance and lead to high blood sugar levels overtime. PCOS can also cause you to make higher levels of male hormones (called androgens). Hormonal imbalances in PCOS can impair your metabolism, making it easier for you to gain weight and harder for you to lose it, especially around the midsection.

What does PCOS Belly look like? 

PCOS belly often refers to fat storage around the lower abdomen. Some people call it an “apple shape” appearance that can look like bloating. They may also feel that their abdomen seems larger than proportional to the rest of their body.

Other signs of PCOS belly 

The visual sign of PCOS belly alone does not mean you have PCOS. There are other signs and symptoms of PCOS that go along with it.

Irregular periods are a hallmark sign of PCOS and are linked to the hormonal imbalances that also contribute to belly fat.

Alongside visible belly fat, symptoms of PCOS can include acne, excess hair growth, and thinning hair on the scalp.

What is the PCOS Belly shape? 

PCOS belly is often described as an apple shape, with excess fat stored above the hips at the midsection. This is visibly different from the pear shape where fat gathers on the hips and thighs.

PCOS and belly fat

Many women with PCOS find that they gain weight in their midsection. This is often due to hormonal imbalances caused by the condition.

PCOS apple belly

Those with PCOS may feel that they have an apple shape because of fat around the midsection. This type of fat accumulation is associated with “visceral fat” or fat that accumulates deep in the abdominal cavity and around the organs. Whereas the pear shape is associated with “subcutaneous fat” at the surface of the skin.

Unfortunately, the apple shape pattern of fat accumulation around the stomach is linked to a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes.

PCOS apron belly 

Apron belly, or pannus stomach, is a term used to describe a large flap of excess abdominal fat that can hang down. While there are different potential causes, weight gain due to PCOS may cause this appearance. 

Those who experience visible changes in their body due to PCOS may feel negative emotions about their appearance. If this is a source of shame and stress for you, please remember that you are not alone and there are tools that may help.

How can you get rid of PCOS belly? 

PCOS Diet

Weight loss using a PCOS diet can help with the appearance of PCOS belly. 

A well-balanced diet that is high in fiber can help support healthy blood sugar levels. Including plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet can help ensure nutrient sufficiency and support healthy hormone levels. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acid sources, like salmon, may have anti-inflammatory benefits.

Avoiding foods such as fried foods, packaged snacks (cookies, cakes, etc.), and sugary beverages can also be helpful if you have PCOS.

Physical activity

Regular physical activity can help with insulin resistance. Talk to your medical team about adding cardiovascular activities like brisk walking and stationary biking into your routine. You should also consider strength training. This can be particularly helpful if you have PCOS because it improves insulin sensitivity and increases muscle mass, which in turn can help burn more calories and reduce abdominal fat.

Medical treatment

Medical treatments for PCOS may include medications to improve insulin sensitivity and medications that can impact hormone levels. Talk to your medical team about your options.

How a dietitian can help treat PCOS Belly 

If you’re struggling with PCOS belly and need help with your diet, a Season Dietitian can help! We can match you with a registered dietitian (RD) who can create a personalized plan to help you lose weight and manage PCOS.

Your Season Dietitian can create a PCOS diet plan that can help manage insulin levels and reduce body fat. They can also give you guidance on changes you can make to your diet to help balance hormones.

Your Season Dietitian can give you accountability you need to make lasting lifestyle changes and reach your goals.

If you have PCOS and have been frustrated with trying to lose weight on your own, consider working with one of our expert dietitians. We can’t wait to meet you!

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects your reproductive system. It can cause you to have irregular periods, infertility, acne, and facial hair. 

If you have PCOS, you may have insulin resistance, which can cause your blood sugar levels to be high. It can also lead to high levels of male hormones called androgens. These hormonal imbalances can make it harder for you to maintain a healthy weight and can lead to “PCOS belly”.

What is PCOS Belly? 

If you have PCOS, you may find it harder to lose and maintain your weight. You may also find that you hold weight around your midsection. This is actually common for those with PCOS and is sometimes called PCOS belly.

While PCOS belly is not an official medical term, it’s become a common way to refer to the abdominal fat accumulation that those with PCOS may experience.

PCOS belly vs. endo belly 

You may have heard the terms PCOS belly and endo belly and wondered how they are different. Let’s define each:

PCOS belly: Linked to PCOS. Driven by hormonal imbalances that increase the storage of abdominal (belly) fat.

Endo belly: Linked to a condition called endometriosis. Driven by inflammation and bloating in the abdominal area.

The main difference between the two is that endo belly is caused by severe bloating, whereas PCOS belly is caused by the presence of belly fat around the midsection.

What causes PCOS belly? 

If you have PCOS, it can commonly cause insulin resistance and lead to high blood sugar levels overtime. PCOS can also cause you to make higher levels of male hormones (called androgens). Hormonal imbalances in PCOS can impair your metabolism, making it easier for you to gain weight and harder for you to lose it, especially around the midsection.

What does PCOS Belly look like? 

PCOS belly often refers to fat storage around the lower abdomen. Some people call it an “apple shape” appearance that can look like bloating. They may also feel that their abdomen seems larger than proportional to the rest of their body.

Other signs of PCOS belly 

The visual sign of PCOS belly alone does not mean you have PCOS. There are other signs and symptoms of PCOS that go along with it.

Irregular periods are a hallmark sign of PCOS and are linked to the hormonal imbalances that also contribute to belly fat.

Alongside visible belly fat, symptoms of PCOS can include acne, excess hair growth, and thinning hair on the scalp.

What is the PCOS Belly shape? 

PCOS belly is often described as an apple shape, with excess fat stored above the hips at the midsection. This is visibly different from the pear shape where fat gathers on the hips and thighs.

PCOS and belly fat

Many women with PCOS find that they gain weight in their midsection. This is often due to hormonal imbalances caused by the condition.

PCOS apple belly

Those with PCOS may feel that they have an apple shape because of fat around the midsection. This type of fat accumulation is associated with “visceral fat” or fat that accumulates deep in the abdominal cavity and around the organs. Whereas the pear shape is associated with “subcutaneous fat” at the surface of the skin.

Unfortunately, the apple shape pattern of fat accumulation around the stomach is linked to a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes.

PCOS apron belly 

Apron belly, or pannus stomach, is a term used to describe a large flap of excess abdominal fat that can hang down. While there are different potential causes, weight gain due to PCOS may cause this appearance. 

Those who experience visible changes in their body due to PCOS may feel negative emotions about their appearance. If this is a source of shame and stress for you, please remember that you are not alone and there are tools that may help.

How can you get rid of PCOS belly? 

PCOS Diet

Weight loss using a PCOS diet can help with the appearance of PCOS belly. 

A well-balanced diet that is high in fiber can help support healthy blood sugar levels. Including plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet can help ensure nutrient sufficiency and support healthy hormone levels. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acid sources, like salmon, may have anti-inflammatory benefits.

Avoiding foods such as fried foods, packaged snacks (cookies, cakes, etc.), and sugary beverages can also be helpful if you have PCOS.

Physical activity

Regular physical activity can help with insulin resistance. Talk to your medical team about adding cardiovascular activities like brisk walking and stationary biking into your routine. You should also consider strength training. This can be particularly helpful if you have PCOS because it improves insulin sensitivity and increases muscle mass, which in turn can help burn more calories and reduce abdominal fat.

Medical treatment

Medical treatments for PCOS may include medications to improve insulin sensitivity and medications that can impact hormone levels. Talk to your medical team about your options.

How a dietitian can help treat PCOS Belly 

If you’re struggling with PCOS belly and need help with your diet, a Season Dietitian can help! We can match you with a registered dietitian (RD) who can create a personalized plan to help you lose weight and manage PCOS.

Your Season Dietitian can create a PCOS diet plan that can help manage insulin levels and reduce body fat. They can also give you guidance on changes you can make to your diet to help balance hormones.

Your Season Dietitian can give you accountability you need to make lasting lifestyle changes and reach your goals.

If you have PCOS and have been frustrated with trying to lose weight on your own, consider working with one of our expert dietitians. We can’t wait to meet you!

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects your reproductive system. It can cause you to have irregular periods, infertility, acne, and facial hair. 

If you have PCOS, you may have insulin resistance, which can cause your blood sugar levels to be high. It can also lead to high levels of male hormones called androgens. These hormonal imbalances can make it harder for you to maintain a healthy weight and can lead to “PCOS belly”.

What is PCOS Belly? 

If you have PCOS, you may find it harder to lose and maintain your weight. You may also find that you hold weight around your midsection. This is actually common for those with PCOS and is sometimes called PCOS belly.

While PCOS belly is not an official medical term, it’s become a common way to refer to the abdominal fat accumulation that those with PCOS may experience.

PCOS belly vs. endo belly 

You may have heard the terms PCOS belly and endo belly and wondered how they are different. Let’s define each:

PCOS belly: Linked to PCOS. Driven by hormonal imbalances that increase the storage of abdominal (belly) fat.

Endo belly: Linked to a condition called endometriosis. Driven by inflammation and bloating in the abdominal area.

The main difference between the two is that endo belly is caused by severe bloating, whereas PCOS belly is caused by the presence of belly fat around the midsection.

What causes PCOS belly? 

If you have PCOS, it can commonly cause insulin resistance and lead to high blood sugar levels overtime. PCOS can also cause you to make higher levels of male hormones (called androgens). Hormonal imbalances in PCOS can impair your metabolism, making it easier for you to gain weight and harder for you to lose it, especially around the midsection.

What does PCOS Belly look like? 

PCOS belly often refers to fat storage around the lower abdomen. Some people call it an “apple shape” appearance that can look like bloating. They may also feel that their abdomen seems larger than proportional to the rest of their body.

Other signs of PCOS belly 

The visual sign of PCOS belly alone does not mean you have PCOS. There are other signs and symptoms of PCOS that go along with it.

Irregular periods are a hallmark sign of PCOS and are linked to the hormonal imbalances that also contribute to belly fat.

Alongside visible belly fat, symptoms of PCOS can include acne, excess hair growth, and thinning hair on the scalp.

What is the PCOS Belly shape? 

PCOS belly is often described as an apple shape, with excess fat stored above the hips at the midsection. This is visibly different from the pear shape where fat gathers on the hips and thighs.

PCOS and belly fat

Many women with PCOS find that they gain weight in their midsection. This is often due to hormonal imbalances caused by the condition.

PCOS apple belly

Those with PCOS may feel that they have an apple shape because of fat around the midsection. This type of fat accumulation is associated with “visceral fat” or fat that accumulates deep in the abdominal cavity and around the organs. Whereas the pear shape is associated with “subcutaneous fat” at the surface of the skin.

Unfortunately, the apple shape pattern of fat accumulation around the stomach is linked to a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes.

PCOS apron belly 

Apron belly, or pannus stomach, is a term used to describe a large flap of excess abdominal fat that can hang down. While there are different potential causes, weight gain due to PCOS may cause this appearance. 

Those who experience visible changes in their body due to PCOS may feel negative emotions about their appearance. If this is a source of shame and stress for you, please remember that you are not alone and there are tools that may help.

How can you get rid of PCOS belly? 

PCOS Diet

Weight loss using a PCOS diet can help with the appearance of PCOS belly. 

A well-balanced diet that is high in fiber can help support healthy blood sugar levels. Including plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet can help ensure nutrient sufficiency and support healthy hormone levels. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acid sources, like salmon, may have anti-inflammatory benefits.

Avoiding foods such as fried foods, packaged snacks (cookies, cakes, etc.), and sugary beverages can also be helpful if you have PCOS.

Physical activity

Regular physical activity can help with insulin resistance. Talk to your medical team about adding cardiovascular activities like brisk walking and stationary biking into your routine. You should also consider strength training. This can be particularly helpful if you have PCOS because it improves insulin sensitivity and increases muscle mass, which in turn can help burn more calories and reduce abdominal fat.

Medical treatment

Medical treatments for PCOS may include medications to improve insulin sensitivity and medications that can impact hormone levels. Talk to your medical team about your options.

How a dietitian can help treat PCOS Belly 

If you’re struggling with PCOS belly and need help with your diet, a Season Dietitian can help! We can match you with a registered dietitian (RD) who can create a personalized plan to help you lose weight and manage PCOS.

Your Season Dietitian can create a PCOS diet plan that can help manage insulin levels and reduce body fat. They can also give you guidance on changes you can make to your diet to help balance hormones.

Your Season Dietitian can give you accountability you need to make lasting lifestyle changes and reach your goals.

If you have PCOS and have been frustrated with trying to lose weight on your own, consider working with one of our expert dietitians. We can’t wait to meet you!

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects your reproductive system. It can cause you to have irregular periods, infertility, acne, and facial hair. 

If you have PCOS, you may have insulin resistance, which can cause your blood sugar levels to be high. It can also lead to high levels of male hormones called androgens. These hormonal imbalances can make it harder for you to maintain a healthy weight and can lead to “PCOS belly”.

What is PCOS Belly? 

If you have PCOS, you may find it harder to lose and maintain your weight. You may also find that you hold weight around your midsection. This is actually common for those with PCOS and is sometimes called PCOS belly.

While PCOS belly is not an official medical term, it’s become a common way to refer to the abdominal fat accumulation that those with PCOS may experience.

PCOS belly vs. endo belly 

You may have heard the terms PCOS belly and endo belly and wondered how they are different. Let’s define each:

PCOS belly: Linked to PCOS. Driven by hormonal imbalances that increase the storage of abdominal (belly) fat.

Endo belly: Linked to a condition called endometriosis. Driven by inflammation and bloating in the abdominal area.

The main difference between the two is that endo belly is caused by severe bloating, whereas PCOS belly is caused by the presence of belly fat around the midsection.

What causes PCOS belly? 

If you have PCOS, it can commonly cause insulin resistance and lead to high blood sugar levels overtime. PCOS can also cause you to make higher levels of male hormones (called androgens). Hormonal imbalances in PCOS can impair your metabolism, making it easier for you to gain weight and harder for you to lose it, especially around the midsection.

What does PCOS Belly look like? 

PCOS belly often refers to fat storage around the lower abdomen. Some people call it an “apple shape” appearance that can look like bloating. They may also feel that their abdomen seems larger than proportional to the rest of their body.

Other signs of PCOS belly 

The visual sign of PCOS belly alone does not mean you have PCOS. There are other signs and symptoms of PCOS that go along with it.

Irregular periods are a hallmark sign of PCOS and are linked to the hormonal imbalances that also contribute to belly fat.

Alongside visible belly fat, symptoms of PCOS can include acne, excess hair growth, and thinning hair on the scalp.

What is the PCOS Belly shape? 

PCOS belly is often described as an apple shape, with excess fat stored above the hips at the midsection. This is visibly different from the pear shape where fat gathers on the hips and thighs.

PCOS and belly fat

Many women with PCOS find that they gain weight in their midsection. This is often due to hormonal imbalances caused by the condition.

PCOS apple belly

Those with PCOS may feel that they have an apple shape because of fat around the midsection. This type of fat accumulation is associated with “visceral fat” or fat that accumulates deep in the abdominal cavity and around the organs. Whereas the pear shape is associated with “subcutaneous fat” at the surface of the skin.

Unfortunately, the apple shape pattern of fat accumulation around the stomach is linked to a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes.

PCOS apron belly 

Apron belly, or pannus stomach, is a term used to describe a large flap of excess abdominal fat that can hang down. While there are different potential causes, weight gain due to PCOS may cause this appearance. 

Those who experience visible changes in their body due to PCOS may feel negative emotions about their appearance. If this is a source of shame and stress for you, please remember that you are not alone and there are tools that may help.

How can you get rid of PCOS belly? 

PCOS Diet

Weight loss using a PCOS diet can help with the appearance of PCOS belly. 

A well-balanced diet that is high in fiber can help support healthy blood sugar levels. Including plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet can help ensure nutrient sufficiency and support healthy hormone levels. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acid sources, like salmon, may have anti-inflammatory benefits.

Avoiding foods such as fried foods, packaged snacks (cookies, cakes, etc.), and sugary beverages can also be helpful if you have PCOS.

Physical activity

Regular physical activity can help with insulin resistance. Talk to your medical team about adding cardiovascular activities like brisk walking and stationary biking into your routine. You should also consider strength training. This can be particularly helpful if you have PCOS because it improves insulin sensitivity and increases muscle mass, which in turn can help burn more calories and reduce abdominal fat.

Medical treatment

Medical treatments for PCOS may include medications to improve insulin sensitivity and medications that can impact hormone levels. Talk to your medical team about your options.

How a dietitian can help treat PCOS Belly 

If you’re struggling with PCOS belly and need help with your diet, a Season Dietitian can help! We can match you with a registered dietitian (RD) who can create a personalized plan to help you lose weight and manage PCOS.

Your Season Dietitian can create a PCOS diet plan that can help manage insulin levels and reduce body fat. They can also give you guidance on changes you can make to your diet to help balance hormones.

Your Season Dietitian can give you accountability you need to make lasting lifestyle changes and reach your goals.

If you have PCOS and have been frustrated with trying to lose weight on your own, consider working with one of our expert dietitians. We can’t wait to meet you!

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects your reproductive system. It can cause you to have irregular periods, infertility, acne, and facial hair. 

If you have PCOS, you may have insulin resistance, which can cause your blood sugar levels to be high. It can also lead to high levels of male hormones called androgens. These hormonal imbalances can make it harder for you to maintain a healthy weight and can lead to “PCOS belly”.

What is PCOS Belly? 

If you have PCOS, you may find it harder to lose and maintain your weight. You may also find that you hold weight around your midsection. This is actually common for those with PCOS and is sometimes called PCOS belly.

While PCOS belly is not an official medical term, it’s become a common way to refer to the abdominal fat accumulation that those with PCOS may experience.

PCOS belly vs. endo belly 

You may have heard the terms PCOS belly and endo belly and wondered how they are different. Let’s define each:

PCOS belly: Linked to PCOS. Driven by hormonal imbalances that increase the storage of abdominal (belly) fat.

Endo belly: Linked to a condition called endometriosis. Driven by inflammation and bloating in the abdominal area.

The main difference between the two is that endo belly is caused by severe bloating, whereas PCOS belly is caused by the presence of belly fat around the midsection.

What causes PCOS belly? 

If you have PCOS, it can commonly cause insulin resistance and lead to high blood sugar levels overtime. PCOS can also cause you to make higher levels of male hormones (called androgens). Hormonal imbalances in PCOS can impair your metabolism, making it easier for you to gain weight and harder for you to lose it, especially around the midsection.

What does PCOS Belly look like? 

PCOS belly often refers to fat storage around the lower abdomen. Some people call it an “apple shape” appearance that can look like bloating. They may also feel that their abdomen seems larger than proportional to the rest of their body.

Other signs of PCOS belly 

The visual sign of PCOS belly alone does not mean you have PCOS. There are other signs and symptoms of PCOS that go along with it.

Irregular periods are a hallmark sign of PCOS and are linked to the hormonal imbalances that also contribute to belly fat.

Alongside visible belly fat, symptoms of PCOS can include acne, excess hair growth, and thinning hair on the scalp.

What is the PCOS Belly shape? 

PCOS belly is often described as an apple shape, with excess fat stored above the hips at the midsection. This is visibly different from the pear shape where fat gathers on the hips and thighs.

PCOS and belly fat

Many women with PCOS find that they gain weight in their midsection. This is often due to hormonal imbalances caused by the condition.

PCOS apple belly

Those with PCOS may feel that they have an apple shape because of fat around the midsection. This type of fat accumulation is associated with “visceral fat” or fat that accumulates deep in the abdominal cavity and around the organs. Whereas the pear shape is associated with “subcutaneous fat” at the surface of the skin.

Unfortunately, the apple shape pattern of fat accumulation around the stomach is linked to a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes.

PCOS apron belly 

Apron belly, or pannus stomach, is a term used to describe a large flap of excess abdominal fat that can hang down. While there are different potential causes, weight gain due to PCOS may cause this appearance. 

Those who experience visible changes in their body due to PCOS may feel negative emotions about their appearance. If this is a source of shame and stress for you, please remember that you are not alone and there are tools that may help.

How can you get rid of PCOS belly? 

PCOS Diet

Weight loss using a PCOS diet can help with the appearance of PCOS belly. 

A well-balanced diet that is high in fiber can help support healthy blood sugar levels. Including plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet can help ensure nutrient sufficiency and support healthy hormone levels. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acid sources, like salmon, may have anti-inflammatory benefits.

Avoiding foods such as fried foods, packaged snacks (cookies, cakes, etc.), and sugary beverages can also be helpful if you have PCOS.

Physical activity

Regular physical activity can help with insulin resistance. Talk to your medical team about adding cardiovascular activities like brisk walking and stationary biking into your routine. You should also consider strength training. This can be particularly helpful if you have PCOS because it improves insulin sensitivity and increases muscle mass, which in turn can help burn more calories and reduce abdominal fat.

Medical treatment

Medical treatments for PCOS may include medications to improve insulin sensitivity and medications that can impact hormone levels. Talk to your medical team about your options.

How a dietitian can help treat PCOS Belly 

If you’re struggling with PCOS belly and need help with your diet, a Season Dietitian can help! We can match you with a registered dietitian (RD) who can create a personalized plan to help you lose weight and manage PCOS.

Your Season Dietitian can create a PCOS diet plan that can help manage insulin levels and reduce body fat. They can also give you guidance on changes you can make to your diet to help balance hormones.

Your Season Dietitian can give you accountability you need to make lasting lifestyle changes and reach your goals.

If you have PCOS and have been frustrated with trying to lose weight on your own, consider working with one of our expert dietitians. We can’t wait to meet you!

Discover how to manage PCOS belly with our comprehensive guide. Learn about causes, signs, and treatments of PCOS-related abdominal fat. Get expert advice on diet, exercise, and how a dietitian can help you achieve weight loss and improve health.

In this article