Revealed: How Keto Impacts Women's Hormones

blog you tube Mar 19, 2024
Graphic with a photo of Lesya, hands thumbs up and down, and the title

Ever wondered if keto could be messing with your hormones? 

Today, we're diving deep to uncover the truth.

Today's video dives into a crucial topic many of us wonder about: How does the keto diet really affect women's hormones? 

We're going beyond the usual talk about weight loss, diving into the science of how keto can both help and hinder aspects like insulin resistance, thyroid function, and overall hormonal balance. 

If you're a woman considering keto or already on this journey, this is information you don't want to miss. 

Let's dive straight into how the ketogenic diet, or keto, influences our hormonal health. 

This topic is crucial, especially for us women juggling careers, family, and our own health.

Keto, widely known for its weight loss effects, operates on a low-carb, high-fat regimen. 

This approach drastically alters our body's primary fuel source, which in turn, has a significant ripple effect on our hormones – these tiny yet powerful entities that govern everything from our metabolism to our mood.

Now, let’s zoom in on the positive side of the ketogenic diet, particularly its benefits for insulin resistance, diabetes, and PCOS. 

These advantages are grounded in science, and understanding them can be a game-changer for many women.

Starting with insulin resistance, a condition where our body's cells don’t respond well to insulin, leading to elevated blood sugar levels. 

It's a precursor to type 2 diabetes and a common issue in PCOS. 

Here’s where Keto steps in as a potential hero.

By drastically reducing carb intake, keto lowers blood sugar levels.

This reduction eases the demand for our body to produce insulin.

A study published in the journal 'Nutrition & Metabolism' found that a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet led to significant improvement in glycemic control for patients with type 2 diabetes. 

This means better blood sugar management, which is crucial for combating insulin resistance and diabetes.

Moving on to PCOS – a hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts. 

PCOS often comes hand-in-hand with insulin resistance. 

A 2005 study in the journal 'Nutrition & Metabolism' showed that women with PCOS following a ketogenic diet for 24 weeks experienced improvements in weight, percent body fat, fasting insulin, and others symptoms related to PCOS. 

This link between keto and improved PCOS symptoms is a ray of hope for many women struggling with this condition.

These studies highlight keto's potential in managing conditions that are notoriously challenging, especially for women. 

By reducing carbs, we're essentially helping our body to reset its insulin sensitivity and manage blood sugar more effectively.

This can be a powerful strategy for those dealing with insulin resistance, diabetes, and PCOS."

However, it’s important to approach this with a full understanding of your own body's needs.

Keto can be a part of the solution, but it's not the only factor.

While we've seen the brighter side of keto for women's hormones, it's time to pull back the curtain on its potential drawbacks. 

Imagine keto as a high-stakes gambler in the casino of our bodies – it can yield big wins but also significant losses, particularly in thyroid function, cortisol levels, and estrogen/progesterone balance.

First up, is the thyroid, our body's metabolic pilot. 

Under keto’s low-carb regime, it's like navigating through a storm with limited fuel. 

Research in the 'Thyroid' journal indicates that such diets can lead to a decrease in thyroid hormone production. 

This is akin to the pilot struggling to keep the plane steady – leading to potential weight gain, energy loss, and a feeling of being perpetually in the cold.

Then we encounter cortisol, our body's alarm system. 

Keto, in its drastic change, can trigger this alarm constantly, misleading the body into a 'fight or flight' response. 

This is like having a smoke alarm that goes off at the slightest hint of trouble, leading to heightened stress levels. 

For women already under stress, this can translate into weight gain, especially in the midsection, and can throw our sleep and mood out of balance.

Our reproductive hormones, estrogen and progesterone, are also in this mix. 

They react to changes in our body’s energy store like dancers to a rhythm. 

When keto dramatically alters this energy balance, it's like changing the music mid-dance. 

The result, as shown in a study from the 'Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism', can be irregular menstrual cycles and an impact on fertility – essentially, the dance of our hormones becomes less coordinated.

So, while keto can be effective for conditions like insulin resistance, its role as a stressor, particularly for high-stress women, can sometimes lead to weight gain instead of loss. 

It’s a dance of balance, where one misstep in our nutritional choices can lead to a cascade of hormonal changes. 

This underscores the idea that nutrition is not a one-size-fits-all, especially when it comes to managing the complex symphony of women's hormones.

Have you noticed changes in your hormonal health while on keto? Did it help or hinder your well-being? Let’s discuss in the comments below.

Now that we've seen both sides of the keto coin, it's time to talk about a strategy that offers balance: Clean Keto Carb Cycling. 

This approach is tailored for those who want the benefits of keto without the hormonal rollercoaster. 

It’s especially useful for women who are mindful of their hormonal health but still want to address concerns like insulin resistance and PCOS.

Let's break down what Clean Keto Carb Cycling really means. 

Think of it as a hybrid car that can switch between fuel types. 

Some days, your body runs on keto mode, using fats as the primary fuel. 

This aligns with the traditional keto benefits, helping with insulin resistance. 

On other days, we reintroduce carbs strategically, allowing your body to switch gears. 

This is crucial because it provides a respite for your thyroid and helps keep cortisol levels in check.

It's all about timing and balance. 

On days when your body needs more energy or when you're feeling particularly stressed, adding healthy carbs can be beneficial. 

This way, you maintain metabolic flexibility, teaching your body to efficiently switch between using fats and carbs for fuel. 

This flexibility is key to avoiding the negative hormonal impacts often associated with strict, long-term keto diets.

Clean Keto Carb Cycling is like a nutritional dance where you lead, and your body follows in harmony. 

You’re not stuck with a single step; instead, you have the freedom to move in a way that feels right for your body on any given day. 

It’s about tuning into your body’s needs, understanding its rhythms, and feeding it accordingly.

A study in the 'Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy' supports this balanced approach. 

It suggests that alternating periods of lower carb intake with times of increased carb consumption can help maintain metabolic flexibility. 

This means you're optimizing fat-burning on low-carb days while supporting thyroid function and keeping stress hormones in check with strategic carb inclusions.

This strategy transcends the concept of a diet. 

It's a lifestyle adaptation, specially crafted for women who are managing careers, families, and personal goals. 

It's about empowering you to make nutritional choices that resonate with your body’s needs, ensuring you remain vibrant, balanced, and ready for life’s challenges.

Here are some actionable tips for balancing keto and carb cycling with your hormonal health.

1. Personalization:

Tune into your body's responses. 

Monitor how different carb levels affect your energy, mood, and menstrual cycle. Tailoring your diet to these cues is crucial for hormonal harmony.

2. Timing Is Key:

Align carb intake with your activity levels. 

More active days call for healthy carbs; quieter days are perfect for keto. This syncs your diet with your body's energy demands.

3. Quality Over Quantity:

Focus on whole foods. 

Whether it's a keto or carb day, choose unprocessed proteins, fats, and fibers. 

Good food quality supports hormonal and overall health.

4. Hydration and Fiber:

Stay hydrated and maintain a high-fiber diet. 

Both are essential for hormonal balance, aiding in detoxification and digestion.

5. Flexibility and Adaptability:

Be ready to adjust. 

If strict keto isn't aligning with your hormonal needs, modify your carb cycling approach. 

The goal is a sustainable and comfortable dietary rhythm.

If you want a more customized approach, I invite you to take the next step in your health journey by booking a complimentary session to see how my coaching program can cater to your hormonal health and fat loss goals. 

Click the link in the description to get started on a path tailored just for you!

Now, if you are on keto but struggle to stick with it, I invite you to watch the next video in this series where I will share 5 Hidden Reasons You Can’t Stay On Keto.

I’ll see you in the next video!