Diet & Weight Magazine

Is a Keto Diet a Good Choice for Lean Women?

By Dietdoctor @DietDoctor1
Is a Keto Diet a Good Choice for Lean Women?

Are the benefits of a keto diet as great for lean women as they are for overweight women?

Get the answer to this and other questions - can low carb and intermittent fasting help regulate my cycles? - in this week's Q&A with the fertility specialist Dr. Fox:

A ketogenic/low-carb diet for lean women?

Hi Dr. Fox, thank you for your time.

I have been searching online for information about ketogenic diet or low carb for lean women (BMI 19-20). I listened to your insight about the AAA personality, it is not the case :)

As I have not found information, I wondered if you could provide your experience with treating difficulties in getting pregnant for otherwise healthy women (hormone levels normal and so on) using the ketogenic/low-carb diet.

I have been paleo for the past year, but I'm thinking maybe it's not low enough for my needs and considering lowering. In terms of my food intake: I eat twice a day, usually a salad, meat/fish/eggs/liver usually in a generous amount of butter/some animal fat, in the evening I add a sweet potato or potato, sometimes piece of fruit. Exercise: once or twice a week about 40 mins of body weight exercises.

Thank you in advance,

We believe that the ketogenic diet is equally helpful for your phenotype as well as the obese insulin resistant group. If you become keto-adapted, you would not then experience hypoglycemia (hunger) that causes and exaggerates a stress response that ultimately results in much lower pregnancy rates. This diet is also excellent for pregnancy as well.

I would avoid potatoes and almost all fruit. Some of these are allowed on paleo. Whatever you do, avoid aerobic exercise (heart rate over 100). The diet then serves as a stress reducer. Also stop caffeine.

Coffee versus green tea?

You mentioned that in preparation to get pregnant, coffee is a thing that is important not to consume. Have you got an opinion about green tea?


Yes sorry, coffee is just the poster child for caffeine. The offensive agent is caffeine, so if the green tea has no caffeine, it would be OK. Decaf is also not OK because it still has caffeine just less. Hope this helps?

Remember that caffeine and amphetamine are closely related. Doesn't sound very positive for a fetus??

LCHF and IF to regulate cycles?


I have irregular cycles. No other known cause for my irregular other than my weight (no confirmed PCOS).

I'm reading conflicting information of the effects of IF on a menstrual cycle. I'd like to continue both LCHF and IF if I can.

Since I've started (about six weeks ago), I've lost 22 lbs (10 kg). I have much more to go (100+ lbs - 45+ kg), but am happy with my results so far.

I'm currently on day 60 of my cycle and my OB prescribed Provera for every 90 days in case I don't menstruate on my own.

Is it realistic to expect to get a regular cycle after some more substantial weight loss? We'd like to conceive a second child on the next year or so.

Thank you!

Dr. Fox:

Ketogenic diet does improve cycle length. So if you were a 60 day cycle person, with the diet you might go the 45 or 35 days. Maybe not all the way to 28 days though, unless you are extremely compliant and approach normal body weight (BMI 22).

IF is only safe from a cycle standpoint after keto-adaptation period (4-6 weeks) so you may be at that point now?? If you are not ketogenic, fasting creates stress which is a negative factor for ovulation and metabolism.

Best of luck.

More questions and answers

Questions and answers about low carb

Read all earlier questions and answers to Dr. Fox - and ask your own! - here:

Ask Dr. Fox about nutrition, low carb and fertilityy - for members ( free trial available)

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog