Common delusion claims that women who switch to keto can experience a full range of hormonal problems – increased cortisol levels, thyroid hormone problems, and irregular periods. While some women have excellent results on ketogenic diets, others suffer from mood swings, flare-ups, and even excess weight.
Let’s see if this is true and how to make the keto diet more acceptable for women to maximize their health benefits. Stay tuned to find out more!
Basics of Keto for Women
First, let’s take a look at the general guidelines for ketogenic nutrition for women.
- The proportion of carbohydrates in the diet should be between 5% and 10% of the total daily calories. Try to stay between 20-50 grams of “net” carbs per day. “Net” carbohydrates are the number of carbohydrates excluding fiber.
- Eat lots of green vegetables (400 to 900 grams per day). Practically, you can calculate the threshold amount of carbohydrates that keep you in ketosis. Check some Keto Supplement Reviewedto find some that can help deepen your ketosis.
- 75-80% of energy should come from fat. It is very important to take the quality of fats into account. It is preferable to choose “good” fats. The healthy fats for keto are avocados, coconuts (coconut oil, coconut cream, high-fat coconut milk), medium-chain triglycerides (MCT oil), fatty fish (preferably wild).
- They are responsible for the regularity of the menstrual cycle and help align the women’s hormonal background.
- About 20% of the energy must come from protein. It is important to consider your level of physical activity here. More active women should increase their protein intake to maintain muscle mass.
- Avoid foods that cause digestive discomfort. By consistently eliminating foods, you can track over time foods causing discomfort. For example, skin problems in women can be caused by consuming dairy products that are allowed on the keto diet.
Benefits of Keto for Women’s Health
The ketogenic diet has shown itself well in treating the following problems in women:
- Obesity, overweight after childbirth
- resistance to weight loss (this is when the body simply refuses to burn fat).
- metabolic syndrome
- polycystic ovary syndrome
The main cause of most fibroids, endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndromes, and severe forms of PMS in the modern female world is hyperestrogenism (a large number of estrogens). And the reason is insulin resistance. The primary remedy is to reduce carbohydrates in the diet.
So from this point of view, the healthy keto diet would be the best treatment protocol. Insulin resistance is the cause not only of hyperestrogenism but also in proliferative processes (cell growth), including fibroids and endometriosis. Therefore, keto will be a priority.
Women with metabolic disorders, obesity, ovarian problems, and hormonal imbalance in ketosis get a chance to recover without medication, torturing themselves in the gym, and other willpower tests. Metabolic disorders respond well to ketosis because it lowers insulin, glucose, and weight.
What is Keto Diet Effect on Hormones?
- Ketosis lowers the level of insulin, a pancreatic hormone required to utilize glucose. It also increases leptin, a hormone that suppresses hunger. In one word: goodbye to compulsive overeating and constant craving for food.
- Consuming 5% more fat than usual increases estrogen and androgen levels by 12% in postmenopausal women.
- Insulin sensitivity has a profound effect on the balance of sex hormones. Ketosis helps put things in order in this area.
There is a simple and effective way to improve estrogen, adrenaline, dopamine, and histamine, and simultaneously arrange a delicious detox for the body without celery smoothies. Drink homemade bone broth, an irreplaceable source of collagen.
How to Adapt Keto for a Woman’s Body
For women, before starting keto, experts recommend taking an analysis of the function of the thyroid gland and sex hormones. Interestingly, the majority of Alzheimer’s diagnoses are in women. The researchers believe this is a more compelling reason to switch to a ketogenic diet than the pursuit of weight loss.
As a supplement to keto, experts advise taking a closer look at such an eating style as intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is an easier way to achieve mild ketosis. When it comes to weight loss, intermittent fasting works better with a ketogenic diet. You can use the 16/8 protocol – eating takes place in 8 hours.
For example, if you finish eating at 6 pm, you can start your next meal at 10 am. Or you can choose any other interval convenient for you.
Basic theses of the keto diet for women:
- Women on keto lose weight more slowly than men: this is the physiology, it is useless to compete.
- Ketosis affects female hormones: with the right approach – positively.
- If thyroid problems worsen and the cycle is disrupted, do not rush to return to oatmeal with fruit: ketosis, most likely, has nothing to do with it, but stress is possible.
- Keto is healthy and safe for women.
Keep asking yourself if a low-carb diet is right for you or not. In addition to clinical tests, pay attention to how the bodyweight changes, whether the body fat decreases, whether there are menstrual irregularities, and whether any hormonal problems have worsened. Remember that 20-30% of body fat is a healthy range for most women to reproduce. Lack of weight and fat can explain any hormonal and menstrual irregularities.
When it comes to research on keto for women, most of it shows that ketosis improves women’s health. There are many kinds of research on the effects of keto on menstruation, all of which show that low-carb diets improve ovulation and cycle regularity.
Eat enough fat, stay lean, and keep your stress in check – then you can reap the benefits of ketosis without any problems. We wish you good health!
Please share your experience following the keto diet. What health benefits have you noticed along the way?
Author’s Bio: Catherine Wiley is a healthy food enthusiast and fitness instructor from Dorking, UK. She’s been a lifelong student of health and enjoys staying active with her husband, 2 young children, and dog Bentley in the beautiful Surrey Hills countryside.