A Ketogenic diet is very low in carbohydrates, high in fat and moderate in protein.
It is a bit like the Atkins diet that was popular in the 1990s and I am yet to be convinced it is the answer to female fat loss for the over 40s.
The idea with the Keto diet is it forces the body to burn fat by putting the body into ‘Ketosis’ and experts claim there are lots of other health benefits like decreasing levels of insulin and therefore regulating female hormones like Estrogen.
There have been lots of dramatic weight loss stories in the media, including women over the age of 40 and that’s great if they have lost the weight and managed to keep it off. The problem with this diet, for me, is that it is very extreme to cut out a whole food group.
If you absolutely hate carbs, and never want to eat carbs ever again, then great, this is the diet for you. But if, like me you enjoy bread, rice, oats and potatoes then you will be setting yourself up to fail. My advice about taking on any eating plan or diet is this: Can I do this for the rest of my life?
And if you can’t do it for the rest of your life, then don’t take it up in the first place because what is going to happen when you come off the diet? You are going to go straight back to where you were before and potentially gain even more weight because you may have messed with your metabolism.
You can download my free diet plan here to see what you should eat if you would like to lose weight in a more sustainable way and keep it off for good!
Here are the three reasons why I think Keto sucks for women over 40:
- You need carbohydrates to fuel your body for exercise. If you don’t eat carbohydrates you will not have enough fuel in your body and therefore energy to do any resistance or weight training. And I highly recommend that all women over 40 incorporate weight training into their routine. You will not get bulky but instead get a ‘toned and lean’ figure. You will also not have the energy to perform any other type of exercise like running, swimming or biking to your best, but walking or other low intensity exercise will be ok. I know as I have been down the route of low carbs and I did not enjoy it one bit!
- It will make you crave carbohydrates even more. If you deny your body a whole food group, it will only make you crave it even more. Then there will be the times when you are going to events like barbecues, meals out, family get-togethers and weekends away. Do you really think you can avoid all carbohydrates on these occasions? If you eat carbs your body will be kicked out of Ketosis, so this is not something you can do when it suits you. You have to do Keto all the time!
- You cannot do this diet for the rest of your life. As I have stated above you need to find a diet and lifestyle that will work for the rest of your life and think about what you can do in the long term. I am not a fan of ‘quick fixes’ like drop ten pounds in a week or 30 day diets for example. Its about creating a lifestyle plan that fits around your life so that you can enjoy foods with your family and eat sensibly without going to extremes. A healthy whole food diet with carbohydrates like whole meal bread and pasta, oats, potatoes and rice will not make you gain weight. And you can lose weight while enjoying all those foods. I am in the best shape of my life and I eat all those things – in moderation! You can download my FREE nutrition guide and 14-day meal plan here to see what you can be eating and still lose weight.
Have you had success with Keto? Did you lose weight and keep it off? Did you find it had other health benefits? What diets have worked for you in the long term?