Let’s start with the central question – what is the keto diet? The ketogenic diet is based on the burning fat system by significantly reducing the number of carbohydrates consumed and increasing the amount of fat. Carbs are the central source of energy, and in the case of their reduction, the body enters a state of ketosis – carbs starvation of cells. Due to the lack of glucose, and, accordingly, energy, the body begins to use ketone bodies as the primary source of energy. To do this, it needs to break down fats – this is how weight loss occurs. Besides, the ketogenic diet has a beneficial impact on women’s health. Want to know the details on how to follow a keto diet for women? Let’s dive in!
Preparing for The Keto Diet for Women:
Studies have shown that the male body tolerates diets, including the keto diet, much more comfortable. For women, several nuances allow you to control the process of losing weight and get the most health benefits. This is because women have a more complex hormonal system that significantly affects weight changes.
Before starting, several preparations for women are necessary to ensure that this type of diet does not harm:
- Do a ferritin screening test to determine the level of iron in your blood (it shouldn’t be high);
- Buy a ketone/glucose meter to monitor the level of ketones/glucose in the body;
- Purchase a high-precision culinary scale;
- Get tested for vitamin D (it shouldn’t be low);
- Consult and get approval from a dietitian doctor.
How to Calculate Your Daily Macronutrient Intake:
Each metabolic process is different. To feel comfortable, women need a certain amount of nutrients, which can be calculated by knowing the weight.
- Protein (Your desired weight x1 gram of protein = the amount of protein your body needs; it needs to be divided equally between meals. You should use x1,5 coefficient if you have moderate workouts regularly).
- Carbohydrates (the total number of net carbs does not exceed 50 grams per day)
- Fats (healthy fats for keto make up 70-80% of your diet, and the amount of omega-6 does not exceed 4%)
- Don’t forget about the best fiber supplement for keto. It is essential to consume nutrients in the correct amount to avoid vitamin or mineral deficiencies during the keto diet.
It is also essential to determine the percentage of body fat. To find out the percentage of fat, you need to try one of these methods:
- Weigh yourself on a special scale with bioimpedance analysis;
- Compare your physique with the physique of people in photos with different percentages of body fat;
- Use caliper.
Keto Diet Benefits for Women’s Health:
Eating a lot of dietary fiber from green vegetables on a keto diet has female health benefits when combined with healthy fats and no carbohydrates.
- Fiber and fats slow down the digestive process, help the body feel full for a long time, and remove toxins.
- Fibers help bacteria to strengthen the body;
- They reduce spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels;
- Healthy fats perform the protective function of the liver;
- They form short-chain fatty acids useful for intestinal bacteria;
- Healthy keto improves the balance of female hormones and regulates the menstrual cycle;
- The lack of carbohydrates helps to relieve inflammation of various kinds;
- Keto diet stimulates rapid weight loss and burning of subcutaneous fat;
- The body learns not to overeat and does not suffer from hunger;
- Extra pounds are not returned with further moderate consumption of carbohydrates;
- Diet normalizes metabolism and contributes to the elimination of type 2 diabetes, acne, skin rashes, migraines, etc.
Does The Keto Diet Affect Hormones?
Changes in hormonal levels are a serious illness that can be difficult to miss. If you are healthy, your hormones are naturally balanced. But if you are overweight, you are at risk group. This condition goes beyond the normal range and may be accompanied by an increase in insulin production, and then an increase in blood sugar, which, in turn, can lead to the development of diabetes. It is essential to understand that type 2 diabetes is the result of being overweight. Do not confuse it with type 1 diabetes mellitus, which is most often diagnosed in children and is also called “thin diabetes” – it appears because the body does not produce insulin at all, and it must be injected on its own.
In the case of hormonal disorders, the keto diet works in several ways at once. It gradually reduces weight, eliminates insulin spikes, and lowers blood sugar, thereby regulating the level of hormones in women.
So the answer is no, keto is not capable of harming your hormones as long as the “safety precautions” are followed. During the ketogenic diet, the body receives enough healthy fats – under these conditions, the function of the thyroid gland is unlikely to suffer. The cause of hypothyroidism can be fasting or too low daily calorie intake.
Moreover, scientists confirm that due to the intake of healthy fats in the body, the keto diet can improve the level of sex hormones in women, thyroid hormones and eliminate insulin spikes.
The keto diet is generally safe for women’s health. But some women report changes in their menstrual cycle after they cut out carbs. Any diet can cause amenorrhea (abnormal absence of menstruation) in some women. This is most often due to abnormal weight loss and the strict limit of calorie intake. Remember that it is forbidden to reduce daily calories by more than 15% from the daily norm.
It also can be triggered by hormonal changes. If you find a negative impact on your menstrual cycle while on a low-carb diet, increase your carbohydrate intake from 5% to 15-20%. When your menstrual cycle stabilizes, you can lower your carbs again, but gradually.
Have you tried a keto diet? What advantages of women’s health have you experienced? Please share your experience in the comments below.