I recently sat down for a chat with a friend of mine. She’s in her late forties and had been following the keto diet for several years. She’d started after a visit to her gynecologist, where she’d been seen due to heavy periods. Her doctor diagnosed her with hormone imbalance and suggested keto as a way to help regulate her hormones and as a way to lose the extra weight she had put on when her job became sedentary.
My friend was surprised at the ways that the keto lifestyle had changed her life. Sure, she enjoyed the things we’ve all come to expect as secondary effects of adopting keto; increased energy, a smaller appetite, and weight loss. However, other things were happening to her body, and she was thrilled! After our afternoon together, I came home and did some research. Sure enough, keto may well have been the reason that my friend was celebrating. I’ve outlined some of the positive changes she has experienced.
Fewer Hot Flashes
My friend’s gynecologist told her that she was likely still years away from full-blown menopause. However, as anyone who has gone through "the change" can tell you, the symptoms start long before you start missing periods. Hot flashes are often one of the earliest symptoms that menopause is on the way. When my friend started eating keto, her hot flashes decreased. Another friend who is on the keto diet tells me that when she takes a cheat day and enjoys a nice piece of freshly baked bread, a hot flash is sure to follow within the next eight to twelve hours. It’s so predictable that she will actually turn on the fan before bed if she’s had any kind of grain.
Less Brain Fog
While brain fog isn’t necessarily a symptom of menopause, it surely walks hand-in-hand with getting older. When you’re in ketosis, ketones replace glucose in your brain. Ketones help your brain function at a more optimal level. For us older ladies, that means less brain fog!
If you’ve been following the keto diet for any length of time, you have probably experienced both ends of the sleep spectrum. In the first few months, there are times when you can’t keep your eyes open past six p.m., and times when you barely sleep. Over time, that evens out, and your sleep returns to something closer to “normal” for you. However, the quality of that sleep improves as well. You begin to wake up feeling more well-rested. That tends to set the pace for your energy levels through the day, which leads to my next finding.
More Stable Energy Levels
As women get closer to menopause, they tend to have more issues with that late afternoon slump. My friend confided in me that before she started on the keto diet, she would sneak out to her car and take a fifteen-minute power nap during the afternoon. She could not finish her day without that short nap. However, since she started keto, she has been able to stop the afternoon naps. The answer lies within the ketones. BHB, a type of ketone, may be a more efficient fuel than glucose. So when your brain is using those ketones, it’s not working quite as hard, which means you don’t get as tired.
Ketosis Slows Aging
Our doctors have been encouraging us to take antioxidants for years now. We know that we run into oxidants every single day, and antioxidants help combat the effects of oxidation. Being in the state of ketosis makes it difficult for our bodies to produce oxidizing agents. It’s like the ketones flip a switch!
Ketosis Improves Your Sex Life
We’ve all heard the whispers. The closer you get to menopause, the less you enjoy sex. There are dozens of products on the market to help women enjoy sex at a time when nature has told us it might be time to slow down. However, most of us aren’t quite ready to close down the shop! Being in ketosis can help your absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, especially Vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential in the production of those hormones that make sex, well, sexy. It’s a fundamental building block for a healthy sex life. I can tell you with certainty that this was the aspect of keto that most excited my dear friend!
As women approach menopause, there are tons of body changes that are entirely out of our control. The metabolism slows down, crow’s feet appear, and all of the sudden you’re inappropriately sweaty. Some women also find themselves depressed about the psychological ramifications of the end of your childbearing years. It’s easy to see why some women who are menopausal (or approaching menopause) experience a decline in their self-esteem. However, even if you’re not doing keto to lose weight, building a stronger, healthier body generally increases your self-confidence. There may be some mental work involved in building up your self-esteem, but that’s a normal part of a significant change in how your body works.
All in all, the keto way of eating is an excellent option for older women. It supports a healthier body at a time when our bodies naturally begin to slow down. We fight nature in so many other areas, so why shouldn’t we use diet, too?
Are you looking for a support group to help with those self-esteem issues? Interested in starting keto or getting support while you are doing keto? I would love for you to join my Facebook group, where we talk about the real issues surrounding women who live the keto life! Stop by my group and say hi!
You got this!
Leta ~ Intentionally Bare
DISCLAIMER: The information in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only. The content in here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or heard here.