If you're a woman over 40, chances are you've noticed it gets tougher and tougher to lose weight. In your 20s and 30s, you might have dropped a dress size (or two) by cutting out dessert for a few weeks. Now, in middle age, weight loss feels like a slog.
Not to mention that many women over 40 feel tired, stressed, and run down. Sleep problems and stress can worsen those feelings—leading to higher levels of cortisol, which unfortunately make you gain weight right in the middle (ugh)!
But there's plenty of hope! You've come to the right place if you hope to follow keto in middle age. Here's how to follow keto for women over 40, 50, 60…and beyond. It's never too late to get the body and energy you deserve! The ketogenic diet can help you get there.
Keto through the Ages
Regardless of age, the keto diet is an excellent option for ditching that hard-to-lose weight (especially belly fat). When we eat a high-carb diet, our bodies never really get around to burning the calories from all that sugar and starch.
But when you cut back on carbs, increasing protein and fats, your body shifts to a state of ketosis. Ketosis is where your body is no longer burning through the carbs you consume but rather through those fat stores (goodbye gut and thighs).
You can get some of the positive effects from any low-carb diet. What happens when you cut carbs is that you often feel more energetic and lighter. There’s no more carb coma after a too-big bowl of white flour pasta, a big gulp of sugar soda, or a heaping helping of dessert.
Instead, your metabolism gets fired up, and you'll see results. You'll hit those weight loss goals. Want to make those results appear even faster? Try keto!
The keto diet is a high-fat, high-protein, low-carb way of eating. For middle-aged women, keto should still include healthy fats (think less bacon, more olive oil, avocado, and salmon). You see, it's not that fats are bad for you—in fact, they help boost your brain power and energy. You actually need omega-3 fats to keep your brain and nervous system healthy. Follow an eating plan that lowers your carb intake while still including veggies and other healthy diet components.
High-fat diet plans get a bad reputation, but fats are only bad for us when they come with carb-partners (like a big bowl of ice cream). Your body never has a chance to metabolize properly. But when you shift into a low-carb diet, you suddenly use fats and proteins much more efficiently—building muscle and fueling your energic, lean, and gorgeous body!
Keto for Women in Middle Age
For women in middle age (40s, 50s, and even beyond), keto is especially effective. Most women start to experience the early signs of menopause (a.k.a. perimenopause) sometime in their late 40s. This is when you might experience symptoms like mood swings, hot flashes, insomnia, night sweats, decreased libido, and the dreaded weight gain. Some of these may require lifestyle changes or medication to manage estrogen levels.
As your body stops experiencing a menstrual cycle, you might notice that your body shape shifts. You may gain weight in different areas—typically, women notice that they stop gaining in their booty and instead put on weight in their abdomen and middle.
All these symptoms may sound like a major bummer, but there are also plenty of benefits to getting older. You have a lower risk of certain cancers, you no longer have to deal with a period each month, and you may also notice that once your hormone levels stop shifting, you feel calmer with fewer mood swings.
Keto helps women over 40 experience fewer hormone fluctuations that cause hunger. It can boost your metabolism and help your blood sugar levels stay steady. Focusing on getting more protein can help you build muscle tone and counteract the effects of aging on your body—like bone density loss, for which women have a higher risk.
Other benefits of keto in middle age are still being explored, especially when combined with exercise and intermittent fasting. Some research shows that a keto diet may help people reduce chronic inflammation and certain cancers. It may help with excess weight and inflammation associated with heart disease. It may also help with insulin resistance. There is research on keto as therapy for Alzheimer's disease, and many people report better sleep, lower chronic stress, and increased feelings of energy and happiness on keto.
So, what do you need to know for keto in your 40s, 50s, and beyond? How can you take advantage of the benefits of keto in middle age?
5 Tips to Help You Stick to Keto in Middle Age
If you’re ready to explore the benefits of keto, it’s easy to get started. One of the great aspects of the keto diet is that you’re eating many foods that feel indulgent (like cheese)! So it's easier to stick to than diets that feel like deprivation. Here are some tips to help you stay successful.
1. Talk to Your Doc
Before you start keto or any low-carb diet, visiting your healthcare professional is always a good idea. Keto won't prevent all the symptoms and side effects of menopause. If you're struggling, it's essential that you discuss it with your care provider. It's good to get a baseline assessment of your overall health.
Your doctor will also want to take your bloodwork and check for early signs of diabetes (a possibility in middle age) and run preventative screenings. Mammograms, colonoscopies, and other screenings are all recommended as you enter your 40s and 50s. Check in with your doctor to ensure that you're starting your body is ready for your new diet!
2. Focus on Protein
It's tougher to keep muscle mass as you age, but muscle is essential for keeping your body strong and healthy. Declines in muscle tone can make you more prone to falls, breaks, and accidents. It can also make it tougher for your body to heal and recover from any injury or setback. To keep that important muscle, you need to get enough protein.
Fortunately, protein is part and parcel of keto. While the diet focuses on low-carbs and healthy fats, protein like eggs, chicken, fish, beef, and turkey are all excellent ways to bulk up your meals and keep yourself satisfied. Be sure to focus on getting protein in some form in every meal—it's the best way to keep the health benefits of a muscular physique. Plus, protein is a great energy source.
3. Don’t Deprive Yourself
Here's a little secret for keto success at any age—don't deprive yourself of your favorite foods; find ways to remake them in a low-carb way! Here's where It’s Skinny Pasta and Rice can help you succeed on keto. It’s Skinny Pasta is made from a fantastic ingredient called konjac root. Konjac is full of filling glucomannan fiber, which enables you to keep your blood sugar steady.
What’s even better? It’s Skinny Pasta and Rice have ZERO net carbs and only 9 measly calories per pack! You can enjoy It's Skinny as an easy swap in any of your favorite recipes. The texture is a dead-ringer for their more "traditional" counterparts, and there's no overpowering taste (like some noodle swaps). It's Skinny pairs perfectly with your favorite keto-friendly foods and toppings for a low-carb meal you'll love.
It’s Skinny products are available in four varieties:
- Angel Hair
You can order your favorite style on our website. Better yet, order a variety pack so you can try them all! We also offer organic varieties, helping you stick to all your clean-eating goals. Feel better (and never hungry) with It’s Skinny!
4. Get Plenty of Exercise (Including Weights)
Building muscle is an integral part of maintaining your health in middle age. If you're following a keto meal plan or any other diet, it's essential also to make physical activity like strength training a major priority. When you're on keto, you'll likely have a lot of energy. Because you see results quickly, you'll also feel motivated to keep those good vibes going.
Take that energy to the gym and work it out! Exercise is the best thing for many of the effects of menopause (like moodiness and poor sleep). It will help you avoid osteoporosis and loss of bone density in the long term. It can also help you maintain a healthy body weight, fight a low libido, and shift hormonal imbalances. You can still change your body for the better at 40, 50, 60, and beyond! There's plenty of time to hit your fitness goals.
5. Hydrate with Electrolytes
If you’re enjoying your favorite recipes on keto (with modifications like It’s Skinny Rice and Pasta swaps), but yet, you find that you're a little hungry or experiencing keto cravings, look at your hydration. Are you getting enough water? Are you getting electrolytes, too?
Many people forget that electrolytes are important for keeping your bodily fluids balanced. If you're exercising and sweating more, you might be losing essential electrolytes like potassium, calcium, and even sodium. Be sure to replenish with water and low-calorie electrolyte drinks.
If you’re ready to try keto, get plenty of ideas from It’s Skinny. Explore our low-carb recipe section to help you remake all your favorite meals with guilt-free It’s Skinny Pasta and Rice. You’ll be amazed at how great (and energized) you’ll feel when you kick out carbs. No matter your age, a keto diet plan can be great for women's health.