The ketogenic diet, and intermittent fasting may have a place in healing from PCOS and symptoms of hormone imbalance for you. These are tools you may want to use from time to time to fine tune or adjust the results you’re getting.
What is a ketogenic, or “keto” diet?
It’s a high fat, very low carbohydrate diet that changes the way your body converts food to energy. By eating low carb and high fat, your body will go into a state called ketosis, where it burns fat for fuel instead of carbs (sugar) for fuel.
When your ketone levels measure 0.5-3.0 millimoles per liter, you’re in a state of ketosis.
For many, it can be helpful for weight loss and also for healing. You can read about stories of people like Dr. Terry Wahls who healed from multiple sclerosis using a keto diet, and many women with PCOS have said that a keto diet has helped them lose weight.
When used correctly and with “normal” metabolic function, a person could benefit by reducing inflammation, body fat, appetite, increasing energy, and having fewer cravings. It can have a beneficial effect on hunger and satiety hormones.
Unfortunately, this may not be the case for many women with symptoms of PCOS, in fact, it may have the exact opposite effect. You may gain weight and become more inflamed.
It’s important to note that women with symptoms of PCOS, with elevated androgens and insulin, may have metabolic challenges in switching from carbohydrate/protein usage to lipid (fat) usage.
This can lead to additional weight gain and inflammation.
Intermittent fasting (IF) may also lead to the metabolic state of ketosis. It can help the body’s healing process by reducing the amount of hours the body is digesting, and increasing the number of hours the body is healing, thus reducing inflammation, promoting weight loss, and overall improving insulin sensitivity and fasting glucose.
What is intermittent fasting?
It’s eating in a shortened time window – from six to eight hours. There are many ways you can do this:
- Start eating by noon, stop eating by 8pm (2 meals daily)
- Start eating by 11am, stop eating by 7pm (2 meals daily)
- Do IF 2 days a week (2 meals daily) and eat normally three days/week
- Eat only one meal per day
So what is right for you?
This is unclear, but the right approach is based on your metabolism and the way your body functions. So you may want to experiment a bit.
What’s a bit tricky in women with hormonal imbalance, is that if you don’t eat for hormone balance, like I teach in the 5-Element System, then your stress hormones elevate and this can cause insulin to rise even more potentially making your symptoms worse.
The most important thing to remember about eating and food, is that you have to eat every day in a way that’s sustainable for you, and neither of these diets are sustainable. Both keto and IF would be for a short period of time to fine tune a hormonally-balanced lifestyle and protocol.
The 5-Element System will teach you how to eat in a sustainable, healthy way, and then when you’re ready, we’ll show you how to do the keto diet or intermittent fasting to your advantage if this is something you really want to do. It’s part of the program!
Remember, begin with a healthy, hormone-balancing diet. Click here to learn more about the 5-Element System so you can get started right now.