Can the Keto diet aid weight loss during the menopause?

Eggs in a basket

Goodbye oestrogen, hello muffin top.

What happened to dieting for a week and watching the pounds fall off?  Since hitting my mid-forties I’ve struggled to lose weight, especially from my middle and was keen to discover if the Keto diet could aid weight loss during the menopause.

What is Keto?

The ketogenic diet (or keto, for short) is a low carb, high fat diet which claims to offer many health benefits. It involves reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.

Ketosis is a metabolic state in which your body uses fat for fuel instead of carbs.

It occurs when you significantly reduce your consumption of carbohydrates, limiting your body’s supply of glucose (sugar), which is the main source of energy for the cells.

Following a ketogenic diet is the most effective way to enter ketosis. Generally, this involves limiting carb consumption to around 20 to 50 grams per day and filling up on fats, such as meat, fish, eggs, nuts, and healthy oils 

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Foods to Avoid

  • Sugary food
  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Grains
  • Beans and legumes
  • Root vegetables
  • Low fat or diet products
  • Alcohol

Foods to eat

  • Fish and seafood
  • Meat
  • Low-carb vegetables
  • Cheese
  • Avocados
  • poultry
  • Eggs
  • Nuts, seeds and healthy oils
  • Plain Greek yogurt

Short term benefits

Speedy and (if the diet is followed correctly) significant weight loss.

Short term issues

Constipation, headaches, bad breath and poor gut health.

Bedtime Reading

Over the weekend,  I read The Fast 800 Keto by Dr Michael Mosley. From the title, I expected a hardcore starvation regime but instead discovered a sensible three-tier approach to weight loss and maintenance. The program doesn’t advocate long-term Keto and guides the reader toward a Mediterranean style diet. 

Keto book

My experience on Keto

I’ve lost 6 pounds in a month which, for peri-menopausal me, is fantastic. I haven’t been hungry or felt deprived which is another bonus. On the negative side, I’m struggling with severe constipation and have been relying on linseeds and Troo Syrup to counteract this; both are ‘allowed’ on the Keto diet.

Troo Syrup with nuts and seeds

Weight Gain During the menopause

Weight gain and bloating are common symptoms during menopause.

As women go through the menopause, it doubles their risk of developing metabolic syndrome. This is a combination of a large waist, high blood pressure, high sugars and high blood fat. They’re also at great risk of laying down visceral fat, the fat shifts, if you like, towards the abdominal area – and that’s high-risk fat. One of the main reasons why women put on weight is a fall in oestrogen levels. This leads to women storing more fat around the middle (which is the unhealthy, visceral fat), rather than on the thighs or the bottom.⁠ This leads to women storing more fat around the middle (which is the unhealthy, visceral fat), rather than on the thighs or the bottom.⁠

Michael Mosley

Keto during the menopause

Although research on the ketogenic diet specifically is limited, some studies have found that decreasing carb intake may help prevent weight gain associated with menopause.

For example, one study in over 88,000 women found that following a low carb diet was linked to a decreased risk of postmenopausal weight gain.

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There’s currently a lack of research on the potential health effects of following a ketogenic diet long-term. Restricting your carb intake may make it difficult to meet certain nutritional and fibre requirements.

As with many diets, Keto may result in temporary weight loss, but with most diets (as opposed to lifestyle changes) many people often regain weight once they resume a normal diet

The ketogenic diet may offer benefits for women during menopause, including increased insulin sensitivity, decreased weight gain, and reduced cravings.

However, it may increase certain risk factors for cardiovascular disease and restrict the intake of several important nutrients. What’s more, the Keto flu may temporarily worsen symptoms of menopause during your body’s transition into ketosis.

Though the ketogenic diet may work for some women during menopause, keep in mind that it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone.

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I know diets don’t work, but we all need motivating at times. For me, short term the Keto diet has shifted pesky peri-menopausal pounds but it’s not something I want to follow long-term.

What are your thoughts? Keto for a weeko? Or just another fad?

Thanks for stopping by.

Stay well,

Charlotte x 

Tips to avoid menopausal weight gain:

  • Increasing the amount of protein and good fats you eat.
  • Avoiding alcohol and processed food.

To learn about the benefits of raw honey during the menopause click here.


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