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Up to 92 per cent of women who have PCOS (polycystic ovarian disease) are eventually able to conceive after appropriate low-calorie diet. Losing weight by counting calories does not restore fertility absolutely every time, but for about 40 per cent of women who have PCOS it is all that is needed to restore the hormonal balance that enables a baby to be conceived. The objective of any PCOS diet plan is to reverse a phenomenon called insulin resistance. This is a vicious cycle of high blood sugars leading to high insulin levels leading to still higher blood sugars and still higher insulin levels. Understanding insulin resistance requires a little understanding of how insulin works. Insulin helps almost all the cells in the body receive sugar for fuel out of the bloodstream. It literally fits into a "lock" on the surface of the cell that allows glucose to stream inside.

Cells burn glucose, and the oxidation of glucose sugar creates free radicals. A certain number of free radicals is OK, but lots and lots of free radicals can begin to damage the cell. When the amount of sugar coming inside the cell is just too high, it bars the doors to insulin. The pancreas then sends out more insulin to try go the sugar out of the bloodstream, the cells become even more insulin resistant, blood sugar levels go up even more, and so on. This happens all over the body except in the ovaries. The body makes extra sure the ovaries get all the fuel they need by not allowing insulin resistance. The higher blood sugar levels go, the more the ovaries make their hormones.

The ovaries normally make a lot of estrogen and a little testosterone. But when blood sugars run very high, they make a lot of estrogen and also a lot of testosterone. Through a series of hormonal signals this locks eggs inside a protein coating so they don't come at the normal time for ovulation. It can be very hard to stop this process, or very easy. It's very hard to manage hormones or to do ovarian surgery. It's relatively easy just to eat less sugar!

Women who can cut enough sugar (along with white bread, white rice, and white potatoes) to lose just 4 to 20 pounds (2 to 9 kilos) often conceive within just a few months. About 40 per cent of women who have PCOS can conceive within six months of losing at least 2-5 per cent of their total weight, and up to 92% can within a year. Exercise helps, but it isn't essential. The key to any successful PCOS diet plan is very basic: Eat less! Then when you conceive it's time to resume eating more for the normal development of the baby.

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