Hello Cysters! I’ve been MIA for a little bit- trying to center myself and walk purposefully and passionately in everything that I do. While I was away, I stumbled upon what might just be the answer to all of my PCOS prayers. Scroll down to find out why I’m using the Ketogenic diet to treat my PCOS and why I think you should too. 

The ketogenic diet has been proved to be successful for women with PCOS. Check out this article to find out everything you need to know to use the Ketogenic Diet for PCOS.

The best PCOS diet plan

So, if you’ve been following my journey or have joined any of the past webinars you know that I am very serious about tackling insulin resistance as a first line of defense against PCOS.  Most women with PCOS are insulin resistant- meaning our bodies just don’t recognize insulin. Insulin resistance is usually the culprit behind missed periods, failure to ovulate, hirsutism, acne, and all those other awful PCOS symptoms. Insulin is produced in the pancreas and has a couple different jobs in the female body like controlling  blood sugar levels and managing hormonal levels. When your body doesn’t recognize insulin, the pancreas attempts to make more insulin and eventually gets tired which can lead to Type 2 Diabetes. All the excess insulin floating around also results in a bunch of testosterone.  Many Cysters take medications like Metformin or supplements like Inositol in order to manage their insulin resistance. I’ve tried both and am currently taking Ovasitol (Click to order and use code 132503 for a $12 discount) in order to increase my insulin sensitivity.


It is always my goal to treat PCOS as naturally as possible which is why I spend A LOT of time researching and figuring out natural ways to lower my insulin resistance. As I was creating this month’s meal plan for the subscription service, I stumbled upon the Ketogenic (Keto) diet. I’ve been Keto for about 4 days now and I feel great.

Hello PCOS is now your guide to PCOS, in a box. That means that when you sign up for the box, every month you will receive a collection of hand picked PCOS goodies that will support you on your journey to live a healthy and happy life with PCOS.

Lets jump right into why I’m using the ketogenic diet to treat PCOS and why I think you should too.

What is the ketogenic diet?

The Ketogenic or Keto Diet is a high fat, low carb way of eating. Yes, you read that correctly, I said HIGH FAT.

Most likely you were taught this food pyramid growing up:

The ketogenic diet has been proved to be successful for women with PCOS. Check out this article to find out everything you need to know to use the Ketogenic Diet for PCOS.

(credit: Mypyramid.gov)

This traditional way of eating includes lots of “healthy carbs” to give your body energy throughout the day, very limited fats, and moderate protein. I’ll get to why this is actually isn’t the best diet for PCOS in a minute, lets just cover the basics now.

So, with the Ketogenic diet, we switch some major key elements of the pyramid. Instead of the body using carbs for energy, the goal is to get into a state of ketosis (which the body normally temporarily experiences most mornings) so that the body will use fat for energy instead. The ketogenic diet has been highly researched  and all evidence points to the fact that eliminating or significantly lowering the amount of carbs consumed (limited to 20-50 grams daily to reach ketosis) is the best way to lose weight, maintain health, and treat many disorders like PCOS, diabetes, epilepsy, and even some cancers. The Keto diet is totally safe, and there is no starvation involved.


When the body utilizes fat for energy, blood sugar levels and insulin resistance are significantly lowered. This happens because when carbs are consumed instead, (good or bad) they are converted into sugar (glycogen) in the body which then has to be controlled by insulin. If those carbs are limited, there is no glycogen, insulin has less work to do, and insulin sensitivity is improved.

PCOS and Ketosis

By now, I’m sure you’ve figured out that if most PCOS symptoms are typically caused by insulin resistance, and  Keto diet improves insulin resistance, then switching to a Keto diet can significantly improve your PCOS symptoms. It’s really that simple.  Below are a few reasons I decided to go to Keto which might help you figure out if Keto is right for you.

  1. You will lose weight : I’ve been Keto for 4 days now and I’m down 5lbs. Seriously. I haven’t counted 1 calorie and I’ve enjoyed all my meals. There is no need to count calories while following the Keto diet because, as long as you pay attention to your macros (proteins, carbs, and fats– more on that later), the calories will take care of themselves AND you will lose weight. Once you reach a state of ketosis (it takes 4-7 days for most people) your body turns into a fat burning machine! That means with a little deficit in your fats, your body will turn to stored body fat for energy.
  2. There is proof in the pudding: Trusting that your body can run off foods like bacon, eggs, and steak can be a little too good to be sure, I know. Thats why I want you to read this study and not just trust everything I say.
  3. There are so many yummy food options: In the past, I struggled with eating clean and healthy because I felt like I was forced to stay away from all the foods I loved. One doctor even told me to avoid eggs. WHAT! Man, I love eggs. While I’ve been Keto (yes, I have taken on this diet as a way of living now. Lol). I’m eaten a bunch of good food. Bacon, steak, eggs, butter (lots of it), soup, and full flavored fatty goodness. I’m full, healthy, and happy. Most Keto-ers enjoy dairy products but I avoid everything except grass fed butter. Dairy products still cause inflammation which may screw up your PCOS. Follow HelloPCOS on Instagram to see look all the yummy meals I’m enjoying. You can also follow me on MyFitnessPal where all of my macros, meals, and deets are available.
  4. There is a good chance you will regulate your menstrual cycle relatively easy: I’ve read about100k (okay not that many- but close) forum posts from Cysters who said they started their period within 2-3 weeks of going Keto (after missing countless cycles). Think about it- if there is less insulin floating around in your blood, then there will also be less testosterone, and your lady parts should (if you don’t have any other complications) tell Aunt Flow it’s clear to show up. Boy, I’m excited about this one. I’ve struggled tremendously with my cycle and as soon as I get any good news I’ll let you Cysters know.
  5. All of your symptoms should improve: With improved insulin sensitivity and less testosterone floating around then all of your other PCOS symptoms should improve as well. That means less acne, depression, anxiety, improved ovulation, improved skin discoloration, and the list goes on. I’ll be documenting my journey along the way so make sure you sign up for the email list to hear about all of my exciting progress.


So far, Keto is going good for me. I don’t know if it’ll be the exact same for you but like I said, there is proof in the pudding. If you do decided to use the Keto diet as your PCOS diet plan below are some basics. I’ll be posting my updates and letting you ladies in on my journey along the way so there will be plenty more posts on what works and doesn’t work for me.

A few tips for going keto

  1. Be prepared: Totally changing the way you eat definitely takes time and planning. Make sure you have a good meal plan and you are always prepared. If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.
  2. Eat good quality foods: Remember, the quality of food matters on any diet. For Keto, try to buy grass fed animal products and meats. This way, you avoid the possibility of ingesting the hormones, corn, and soy that some cows eat.
  3. Understand the process: Right now, your body is most likely addicted to carbs. When you eliminate carbs from your diet, there is a chance that you will experience what is called “The Keto Flu”. Many people report that the withdrawal symptoms are similar to the flu- body aches, headache, runny nose, etc. The Keto Flu and cravings for carbs/sugars typically go away after 3-5 days. I personal have experienced a mild headache and cravings for sugar. Nothing too serious tho.
  4. Be aware of carbs: Carbs are in A LOT of foods you probably never thought of. Fruit, veggies, and of course grains. Most fruit and starchy veggies are off limits for Keto.
  5. Foods to eat: 
    • Any animal meat (organic grass fed is best)
    • Bacon (yes- bacon gets it’s own line)
    • Eggs
    • Grass fed butter
    • Coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut snot if you can find it (lol, everything coconut is loaded with healthy fat), Evoo, ghee.
    • Fruit: avocado, strawberries, blueberries LIMIT THESE
    • Veggies: Green and leafy everything, cauliflower, bok choy, onions, peppers.
    • Fatty fish: Salmon (wild), tuna, sardines
    • Shell fish
  6. Foods to avoid:
    • Grains: Rice, quinoa, wheat, flour, grits, pasta
    • Sweets: Cakes, cookies, ice cream, pie
    • Drinks: fruit juices, soda, lemonade
    • Root veggies: potatoes, carrots,
    • Alcohol and beer

So, what do you think?

That was a ton of information to take in, I know. If you decide to try to Ketogenic diet to treat your PCOS go slow, be kind to your body, and trust the process.


Comment below and let me know if you’ve tried Keto and what your experience was. If you have any questions or are confused about PCOS and the Ketogenic diet, comment below or email me and I help you out.


Just diagnosed?

Have you just been diagnosed with PCOS and don’t know where to start?

Are you having trouble understanding the basics of PCOS and how you can manage your symptoms?

Are you fed up with how difficult it is for you lose weight and you need a guide?

Author: Chris



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22 thoughts on “Why I’m Using The Ketogenic Diet to Treat My PCOS + Why I Think You Should Too.

  1. This looks very interesting. However, every diet tip seems to counteract one of my other issues 🙁 GERD and IBS. sometimes I feel such at a loss with all of this. This info is great. Maybe I can taylor it for me.

    Posted on May 31, 2016 at 6:22 am
    1. Susie,

      Yes! Everything can be tailored. email me at Chris@HelloPCOS.com if you need help getting started.


      Posted on September 27, 2016 at 6:43 pm
  2. There is another interesting piece of information about the link between diet and PCOS. According to research, eating a big breakfast and a small dinner can cause a drop in testosterone levels and insulin resistance by at least 50%. Of course you need to do it consistently. Just try to eat the majority of your calories early in the day.

    Posted on July 5, 2016 at 7:04 am
  3. Hi Chris, how can I follow you on my fitness pal? I just started the keto diet yesterday and have struggled with irregular periods for years now. Hoping this can make a change!

    Posted on September 27, 2016 at 5:56 pm
    1. Rose,

      My screen name on myfitnesspal is HelloPCOS! I’ve been a little slack with logging lately but I’m getting back on it! Looking forward to sharing with you. Please let me know if you need any Keto advice.


      Posted on September 27, 2016 at 6:45 pm
  4. I have just started going keto to treat my pcos. I’m 10 days in and loving it! I find that it’s so much easier to control eating habits when you aren’t starving and I never feel starving while in ketosis. One thing I’m having difficulty with is I find some days I look way thinner and can see where the fat has melted off and other I feel like I look the same. Not sure if this is related to how much water or maybe not eating enough but it’s so frustrating. I guess time will tell but if you have any ideas as to why I’d love to hear them.

    Posted on September 29, 2016 at 1:08 am
    1. Congrats on your new journey! I love that about keto as well I don’t feel like I’m starving myself and I’m generally full. Our body def retain water daily, even hours so that can def make you feel like you look super different at times. Just remember that its about the progress over time. Progress can be difficult to take in when you are constantly looking for that change. Try to pay more attention to how you feel and it should help.

      I did experience a lot of frustration when i first start Keto because I became addicted to the scale going down fast. It helped me to stop weighing myself for a while.

      I hope this helps.


      Posted on September 29, 2016 at 1:47 pm
      1. Thank you Chris I will definitely try to stay off the scale for awhile!

        Posted on September 29, 2016 at 6:07 pm
        1. Yes, celebrate and love on yourself without depending on the scale. Its so freeing.

          Posted on October 26, 2016 at 1:08 pm
  5. I didn’t receive a password when I signed up to get access to the library** Please help

    Posted on October 31, 2016 at 2:50 pm
    1. I just emailed you : )

      Posted on October 31, 2016 at 4:37 pm
  6. Hi Chris, how would this diet affect cholesterol levels? I just got back my test results and the numbers were higher than normal. And it looks like everything listed under Foods to Eat, is what I’m supposed to avoid for a low cholesterol diet. Do you have any suggestions? I know my big thing is I need to start working out again, but this medication I’m on seems to zap all of my energy. I’m willing to try anything natural and healthy versus taking all these different types of meds. Thanks

    Posted on October 31, 2016 at 8:20 pm
    1. Tameka,

      Cholesterol intake is a common concern when people switch to a Ketogenic Diet. I hope you join the Free Keto Bootcamp, as we will be diving deep into Keto concerns.

      To put it as simple as possible, in the past, it has been recommend by the American Dietary Guidelines (ADG) to limit dietary cholesterol due to risk of heart disease and heart attack. In the most recent ADG publication (2015), the limitation recommendations where removed. Studies have should that the cholesterol that we get from food doesn’t truly impact risk of cardio vascular disease or heart attack. Our bodies make cholesterol and will monitor levels as needed. Most of the cholesterol we eat is never absorbed and simply gets excreted as waste.
      Here is a link to the current ADG recommendations.

      With Keto, you will be eating more healthy fat (your body is getting energy from the fat as well as your stored fat) so there will be more dietary cholesterol (which is found in animal foods) in your blood but it isn’t anything you need to worry about. Worrying about cholesterol levels was a misconception of the past and current guideline aren’t including restriction recommendations. Switching to fat as an energy source will aid with insulin resistance, hormonal balance, energy levels, and weight loss. My recommendation is to always eat a balanced diet of real whole foods.

      I hope this helps. We’ll discuss this more in the Keto Bootcamp.

      I’m not a doctor and I suggest you discuss your concerns with a Keto friendly doctor as well as do your own research. ***

      Posted on November 2, 2016 at 3:42 pm
  7. Legumes are a straight up carbs for us PCOSers. Best to stay away completely. Just discovered this diet and now your website. I am totally going for it. Can’t wait.

    Posted on February 9, 2017 at 3:27 pm
  8. Today is my first day starting Keto….Was wondering Chris if you are still on it and is it still working for you?

    Posted on March 10, 2017 at 1:22 am
  9. I found this on Pinterest and I have suffered and I mean suffered from pcos since I was 8 years old and I have only been on the keto diet for a week and couple of days and I have already seen a difference in the first 3 but today I have started my monthly without having one In almost 2 years and for once in a long time I have hope after 4 miscagiges then nothing I have so much hope just because of this article thank you so much yes it was hard at first but it is totally worth it it has been a life changing experience for me I encourage anyone with pics to give this a try

    Posted on March 16, 2017 at 8:49 pm
  10. I have been keto for 2.5-3 months and haven’t seen a great improvement in PCOS symptoms. I have lost about 15 pounds, which is a plus and a big reason why I started, but I haven’t seen any improvement in acne, actually seems worse in the last month or so. I haven’t had a period during that time (only had 3 sporadic ones since I stopped my BC in November) and no real change or improvement that I’ve noticed in my depression/anxiety. I’m a little discouraged that it hasn’t improved anything 😕 I do eat a lot of dairy at about every meal, even more now since cheeses are such an easy keto food so I’m wondering if cutting it out or at least down to minimal will help?

    Posted on September 8, 2017 at 11:38 pm
  11. Hi!! I have been suffering fro PCOS for 5 years now and decided to start Ketogenic Diet just 3 days ago. For so long, I never had a period and just in my 3rd day, I started my period!!! My cravings went away and I feel good.. Although people to where I live at are commonly eating rice, which is hard to avoid.. I finally am getting the hang of it and ignoring and avoiding carbs… this blog of yours gave me more hope!! I haven’t myself yet, I’m planning to weigh myself by the end of next week, I hope to be surprised with amazing results.

    Posted on January 25, 2018 at 9:06 am
  12. I have been on the Keto diet for 11 weeks. I have loved all the benefits of it. I’ve lost 23 pounds easily. I’ve never been able to describe any of my previous weight loss efforts as ‘easy’. You truly loose you cravings for carbs and sugary treats within the first couple of weeks. You should never be hungry because you can always treat yourself to a snack so long as it doesn’t blow you carb goal of between 20-50 carbs, but after a few days to 3 weeks on the Keto diet you’ll find you’re hardly hungry even at meal time. It truly is amazing! I even eat chocolate cookies and chocolate avocado brownies using approved keto sweeteners like swerve, stevia, xylitol and erythritol. Tip: if you find your homemade foods have a crumbly consistency, use a teaspoon or two of beef gelatin in the recipe. It doesn’t have a beef taste or any taste as far as that goes and it acts as a binder in your recipe. I have felt so great on this diet. That said, there are some road blocks to try to avoid. I would recommend drinking a sugar free electrolyte drink link Replenish. This will help you avoid the Keto flu, swollen lower legs and feet and headaches. It’s crazy that you actually need the sodium and other electrolytes when going Keto. The worst road block I’ve experience on the Keto diet occurred just last week and it has forced me off of the Keto diet for now, although I hope to be back on in another week. The Keto Rash. It’s absolutely awful! It’s the itchiest rash I’ve every experienced. It will keep you indoors out of the sun and out of the gym as it intensifies greatly with sun and sweat. I’m currently taking a bile salt supplement, digestive enzyme and B12 methylated folate pill to help get over this, but ultimately it was adding carbs to my diet that finally has improved this horrible Keto rash. I believe once I have completely kicked this rash that if I continue the bile salt and digestive enzymes, it may keep the rash away. Apparently (from what I’ve read on various sites) when you begin burning fat cells, you release the toxins stored in the fat cells. If you’re burning fat cells quickly, the more toxins are being released and forcing your liver to deal with them. If the liver becomes overwhelmed with toxins it may not be able to handle them all properly and as a back up plan, your body begins excreting the toxins thru your skin. These toxins or maybe even keytones such as acetone are irritating to the skin and cause this miserable rash. Or so this is how I understand it from researching on line. It’s a road block that knocked me off the Keto diet, but all the benefits I’ve gained from diet tells me it’s worth giving it another try once I get this rash under control. If anyone that’s been Keto’ing for awhile has any knowledge about how to avoid this rash when I begin the diet again, please share. I’ve had PCOS for many years. I use metformin once or twice a day (supposed to be twice daily). I have wondered if the metformin may have contributed by pushing me too far into ketosis or maybe too fast. I was trying to stay at 20 net carbs daily, but I may have even gone a little lower on some days not intentionally. My husband has been doing the keto diet and has had great weight loss results too. 24 pounds in only 10 weeks. He has not had a single negative side effect from the diet. Good luck to everyone!

    Posted on June 18, 2018 at 11:09 pm
  13. I have been on Keto for about a month now. I had severe PCOS related hypoglycemia, and it is gone. Like gone completely. It was so bad at times I would fall from dizzy spells and pass out. Keto is amazing. I am going to be going off birth control soon, and I am very interested to see what happens there. When I wasn’t on it I had no regularity. Cross your fingers for me.

    Posted on August 3, 2018 at 1:53 pm
  14. Thank you for sharing this I have PCOS myself and i can use the tips and advice here on handling my PCOS properly. im also planning to do keto diet and try if it is going to work on trimming down my body weight.

    Posted on April 3, 2019 at 1:39 pm