TEMPLE, Texas — Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) dietician Tallene Hacatoryan and her husband, PCOS personal trainer Sirak Kalaygian, have made it their business to help “cysters” - the name they give their PCOS clients - get healthy, feel better and lose weight.
According to Hacatoryan, a woman with PCOS struggles with weight loss because of hormonal imbalances that identify as metabolic dysfunction.
Often, women are told to just eat less and workout more, but Hacatoryan said that doesn't work when it comes to PCOS.
"That further exacerbates these root issues of PCOS and then oftentimes women are blamed for not being able to lose weight even though they've been trying so hard," she said.
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She would know, because Hacatoryan was diagnosed with PCOS about a decade ago.
"One of the things that I was told to do several times by so many different naturopathic doctors who specialized in PCOS was to go gluten and dairy free, and that had a profound impact on my level of inflammation."
Hacatoryan said eating this way made all her symptoms go away. Now it's the foundation of the Cysterhood - a monthly membership program where she and Kalaygian guide clients back to health.
In the group, Hacatoryan teaches clients ways food can work as medicine to help alleviate symptoms while Kalaygian leads workouts and helps cysters understand why the things they've been taught before, probably aren't working.
"We're not looking for short-term results we're looking for long-term results. What happens when you do really intense workouts, for example running for hours, even like hit or kickboxing for a long period of time, it dumps a lot of sugar into your bloodstream to use for energy. However, because of insulin resistance, you're not able to convert that sugar into energy and instead it gets stored as fat," Kalaygian said.
Kalaygian suggested limiting cardio sessions to 30 minutes, focusing on lifting weights slowly and working out in the morning or midday when cortisol is already high. Hacatoryan said working out this way totally changed her own health and the couple has helped thousands of other cysters too.
"I just feel like myself again and I can happily say I am thriving with PCOS," she said.