Medically Reviewed by Dr. Melissa Thompson, PT, DPT, MTC
Dr. Thompson is board certified and the owner of Louisiana Pelvic Health. Her expertise is in alleviating neuromusculoskeletal symptoms during pregnancy, postpartum, and throughout a woman's life.
Many women feel like it's nearly impossible to lose weight with endometriosis.
And, we're not here to tell you it's easy...
If losing weight was easy, then everyone would be thin, fit, and healthy. But, it's NOT easy.
But, does the endo diet work to help lose weight? How can you achieve weight loss with it?
In short... YES, the endo diet does work. Combined with discipline, it’s the kind of diet that promotes weight loss which will make you look (and feel) great.
Ready to start? Read more about shedding pounds with the endo diet to feel GREAT about your body.
Endometriosis and Unexplained Weight Loss - Warning!
A brief understanding of endometriosis: it’s a condition in which the endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterine cavity, causing chronic pain.
It’s a phenomenon among affected women that involves the hormone estrogen, causing stomach pain, nausea, and bloating, among others.
Weight gain is also pretty common for women with endometriosis.
But, here's where you need to make sure you're safe and healthy:
If you're experiencing unexplained weight loss and haven’t begun a diet, aren't changing your current diet, and are worried about your health, then you need to see a doctor immediately.
Please note that if you experience loss of appetite, notice dramatic changes in your weight and things feel so wrong already, then it’s time to see the doctor for it could be something serious that requires immediate medical attention.
Weight Gain Endometriosis - Why You Might Gain Weight
There was research among women with endometriosis from 2014 that shares that endometriosis could be responsible for weight gain and poor body image.
Changes in hormones (estrogen and progesterone) - such as increased levels of estrogen - only make endometriosis worse. Estrogen dominance can lead to weight gain, and it’s something that cannot be resolved overnight.
But, there’s endo diet that you need, and may also help in relieving painful symptoms while boosting your morale and health.
In endometriosis, abdominal bloating, also known as “endo belly” can make you feel bad about yourself.
Endo belly is no joke - some women get a noticeable "belly" due to the bloating. And, it's REALLY uncomfortable.
Not all women with endometriosis experience the same degree of symptoms, so you may or may not experience this.
Having endo belly is often explained as painful, making you feel heavy, and can change your perspective on the way you look.
2. High Levels of Estrogen
Some women with endometriosis have and experience recurring issues with estrogen dominance.
Which means they have an abnormally high amount of estrogen in their bodies which can lead to increased growth of endometrial lesions in the body.
What does this mean?
Well, it can also lead to weight gain...
Endometriosis Treatment Diet Can Promote Weight Loss - Here’s Why:
The main goal of the Endometriosis Treatment Diet is to help relieve the symptoms that come with it and promote healthy weight loss.
With Endometriosis Diet, this means:
1. Staying away from processed foods (and you’ll be glad you did).
Research suggests that following a healthy endo diet helps you steer clear from the pain and discomfort, rather than the ‘normal foods’ (or heavily processed foods) that only worsen symptoms.
2. A gluten-free diet might be the way to go!
Not only are gluten-free foods (that are natural - not processed gluten-free alternatives) way healthier, but they also promote the sometimes forgotten value of eating whole (or unprocessed) foods such as fruits, vegetables, and lean meats.
3. Steering clear from foods that cause flare-ups helps a lot.
A diet that is high in fiber - mostly found in fruits and vegetables - increases the likelihood of weight loss.
4. There’s more to flourish in nutrient-dense foods than calorie-dense foods.
The endo diet has its focus mainly on foods that are nutrient-dense, meaning foods that are low in calories.
The endo diet is anti-inflammatory
The endo diet can help fight pain and inflammation brought by endometriosis.
How does it do this?
Well, the endo diet is focused on anti-inflammatory properties. It promotes the elimination of sugar (which is one of the leading causes of inflammation from a Standard American Diet. It relies on whole foods (not processed foods). And there are other elements of the diet that promote reducing inflammation.
So, it's best to follow a well-balanced diet that's nutrient-dense and mostly plant-based.
Does an anti-inflammatory diet promote weight loss?
Consuming an anti-inflammatory diet for endometriosis can promote weight loss. Not directly, but it can. We aren't here to make claims that aren't backed by science.
The main goal of the anti-inflammatory diet is to help your macronutrients from fats, protein, and carbohydrates.
Also, an anti-inflammatory diet was not wholly structured for weight loss, but a diet consisting of nutrient-dense foods will most likely lead to weight loss.
The endo diet avoids processed foods
The Endo diet tries to exclude eating processed foods - the ones with preservatives and can be bought store-packed. These foods are likely to cause endometriosis flare-ups and are likely to worsen the condition.
Does avoiding processed foods promote weight loss?
One recent piece of research says that eating processed foods only promotes weight gain and not the other way around.
Processed foods tend to have more calories, fats, and protein in them which is most likely to cause such, and not helpful in trying to improve your health while battling endometriosis.
The endo diet avoids gluten
A link was found between gluten and endometriosis that suggests that gluten in foods aggravate the symptoms, and can only make them worse.
But, a well-placed and well-balanced gluten-free meals as part of the endo diet can help in gluten intolerance.
Does avoiding gluten promote weight loss?
Although it isn’t guaranteed that avoiding gluten alone will help you lose weight, it's likely that avoiding gluten AND substituting healthier options can and should encourage weight loss.
The endo diet adds nutrient-dense foods vs. calorie-dense foods
As mentioned previously, nutrient-dense foods can make a successful endo diet.
While the body needs calories, it's much more than that. Sometimes it's looking at the micro-nutrients to make sure your foods are packing as manay nutrients as possible.
Can eating nutrient-dense foods like fruits and veggies promote weight loss?
Planning a feasible weight loss can be daunting, especially so if you’re fighting endometriosis.
An unhealthy diet can lead to weight gain, so it’s best to turn your back from foods that you’ve enjoyed in the past, and settle on a more healthy option by consuming fruits and leafy vegetables that may help weight loss.