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Special Thanks to my team and Nicholas Norwitz – Oxford Ketone PhD Researcher and Harvard Med Student – for working diligently on research as well!
Keto for Women vs Men | What You Should Know: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xrsbz-LowPc&t=11s
What Women Should Eat in a Day on Keto (Sample Meal Plan): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijIrbrlbZOU&t=37s
5 Major Causes of WOMEN’S Stomach Fat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDaFmlLHIjo&t=4s
How to do a Keto Diet: The Complete Guide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBw2rdwBfZE&t=2s
Now I’m not a woman, but nine years of doing keto and nine years of studying and researching keto and being alongside some of the best keto researchers, I know a fair bit about what happens with the ketogenic diet on the female body.
Now I’m not a perfect expert in this world, but I can at least break down what the research is showing and at least disseminate some good information so that you have a solid comprehension of what’s happening in the female body.
So maybe there’s instances where you feel like you’re plateauing quicker than your male counterparts, and we have some hypotheses there because it really just comes down to estrogen and other hormones.
The first thing I have to address is there aren’t a whole lot of studies that take a look at women’s hormones on the ketogenic diet over the longterm. I have to be very, very clear on that so we’ve had to kind of look at different studies and look at different things surrounding PCOS, surrounding estrogen, and put a lot of things together.
We do have an interesting hypothesis as to why women might stall out faster than men when it comes down to the early phases of keto adaptation. Now some of the things that we have to recognize is that a lot of times changes in hormones and changes just in the body are more noticeable in women than they are in men simply because women have a lot more in the way of hormones.
These are things that are going to be catalysts for different reactions within the body. It’s more noticeable in the female body than it might be in the male body. Also, women have sort of a built-in litmus test by having a monthly period. That’s something that is very easy to see when it gets thrown off.
In essence, women have things that highlight changes a little bit more. It’s actually quite easy to recognize a change in hormonal function as far as the keto diet goes with women because you can see it. Periods may become irregular or they become more regular. It’s just recognizable.
Here’s a couple of references just to make this clear. The AACE Clinical Care Reports published a study that took a look at four women who were having fertility issues and are having irregular periods.
They put them on the ketogenic diet and they found that just after six months, all four of them ended up having normal periods and two of the four conceived and the funny thing is they weren’t even actively trying to conceive. It just came that much easier, so that’s a very, very good story for people that are trying to get pregnant or are having fertility issues.
Now the next study was published in Nutrition & Metabolism. Very similar. Took a look at five women that had PCOS, put them on a ketogenic diet at less than 20 grams of carbs per day and they found that yes, their PCOS symptoms went away, symptoms improved dramatically, and they ended up getting back on their normal period schedule and two of the five ended up getting pregnant.
Let’s dive a little bit deeper because you’re probably wondering about fat loss, your thyroid, some of these other things.
One of the big things I want to look at is the under-consumption of fats for women. Due to various environmental and societal reasons, women tend to under-eat in the first place. Now on a ketogenic diet it’s very easy to under-eat the fats, especially women that are first starting.
They just have this aversion to eating those calorically dense fats because it’s extra calories. Why do they need them? They tend to trim the fats a little bit. This can obviously cause some slowdowns in your basal metabolic rate and it causes some slowdowns in your thyroid function. Lower levels of T3.
So women, yes, do keto. Enjoy it. In fact, your bodies are probably more adapted to utilize fats for fuel than men’s are simply based on the fact that you utilize lipids better throughout exercise.
Nicholas Norwitz – Oxford Ketone PhD Researcher and Harvard Med Student: