Keto helped Carolina reverse PCOS and lose 200 pounds
Carolina began to have hormonal issues in her childhood, and went through early puberty when she was just 5 years old. Since her periods never started, a doctor confirmed that she had PCOS at age 13. At that time she was already 6 feet (183 cm) tall, and had started putting on weight.
All medical professionals echoed the same “calories in, calories out” mantra. But following that recommendation left her constantly hungry, so she stopped going to doctors.
In her early 20s she learned about food quality and adopted a whole-foods diet. She ate lots of soaked beans, rolled oats, sprouted grains, and raw honey. These seemingly natural but carb-rich foods sent her blood sugar on a rollercoaster, and didn’t help her lose weight or improve her health.
How she discovered keto
When she was about to turn 29, her health was in such a bad state that she no longer could function. Her weight had crept up to 400 pounds (181 kg), and she needed to do something urgently. Since commonly prescribed PCOS medications, like birth-control pills and metformin, never worked for her, she sought help from a naturopathic doctor instead.
The naturopath diagnosed her with hypothyroidism, severe anaemia and high insulin levels. As part of treatment, she recommended that Carolina stop eating all sugar, and even mentioned ketones.
Carolina became interested and started researching. Within short she discovered the keto diet. Since her boss wanted her to get her health back, Carolina was put on disability leave that Friday. The next Monday she dove into keto.
Keto helped Carolina lose 200 pounds and heal her PCOS
Carolina started keto in August 2014, and had the first natural cycle in her whole life just four months later. That shows that PCOS can be a reversible disease and that carbs may play a big role. She has also lost about 200 lbs (91 kg).
Carolina’s greatest motivation to start keto was reversing PCOS so she could become pregnant. And in late 2017 she gave birth to two healthy boys. You can read more about Carolina’s pregnancy story here. Because of her amazing keto results, she wants to spread the message and is looking to start a PhD program in nutrition to study how keto affects fertility.
Carolina’s low-carb lifestyle
Carolina’s keto eating has changed over time. When she started in 2014, there weren’t many pre-packaged keto products. For that reason she mostly ate meals with three variable components: protein, non-starchy vegetables, and fatty sauce. And she continues eating these simple meals and rarely uses recipes.
Back then fat bombs were popular, and Carolina incorporated them daily. She snacked every few hours, and baked keto-friendly bread and dessert. She thinks having such a gentle transition helped her stick with the diet.
But as her hunger faded over time, she went from having many snacks, to eating three meals a day, and then to incorporating intermittent fasting.
Carolina didn’t exercise when she lost weight, and that shows that what you eat is the most important. But since exercise is great for health, she now enjoys weight lifting and hiking.
Carolina’s top tips for people starting keto
- Write down your reasons for doing keto. Knowing what fuels your dedication is important, especially for reminding yourself in tough times. Carolina started because she wanted to have children. Now her motivation is being an involved parent instead.
- Know your challenges. If you can’t say no when other people are eating high-carb food, then always carry something keto-friendly with you. If you can’t keep certain food at home because you’ll eat it, don’t buy it. If you don’t know what to eat on keto, check out some Diet Doctor meal plans and recipes for inspiration.
- Just start and be kind to yourself. Like the saying goes: “A year from now, you’ll wish you had started today.” It’s a learning process, so you don’t need to know everything from the beginning.
Thanks for sharing your journey with us, Carolina, and congrats on your mission to get you PhD and help further the field of low-carb nutrition science. You have already inspired so many people and that is just going to continue in the future. Congrats!
/ Dr. Bret Scher
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