4 Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet for Women Over 50
“Eat healthier and get more exercise” is the go-to advice for just about any weight or health concern today. The question is what “eat healthier” means to each individual. A lot of that has to do with hormones, and perhaps no one knows it better than women over the age of 50.
One lifestyle change, in particular, is to introduce what is known as the Keto Diet. It’s not really a diet, but a state of the body, induced by a protein-rich menu. And it has some unique features that are reported to have a positive impact on health as well as weight.
Very similar to the Atkins diet, many have used it to lose weight and make other health improvements simply by restricting the amount of carbohydrates in their diet. There’s a lot of a buzz about it, so let’s see if we can shine some light on what that buzz is all about.
What Is Ketosis?
Normally, the body derives energy by “burning” carbohydrates. Some carbs, like fiber, are good for the body because they help with things like the digestive process. But carbs in the form of sugar can slow down and even overload the process. By reducing the amount of carbohydrates consumed, the body is forced to “burn” existing fat for energy. This results in a state known as “ketosis.” So when you hear someone ask “is that keto?” they aren’t really asking if a food is “keto.” What they are asking is if that food will help them remain in ketosis.
Benefit #1: Fast Hassle-Free Weight Loss
As we age, our metabolism typically slows down around age 50, making it harder to lose weight. One of the best benefits of the keto diet is that many people start to lose weight right away. By restricting the amount of carbs taken in, our bodies can then use fat reserves for fuel.
Initially, a lot of water weight is lost, but the good news is, after getting past the first phase of the diet our bodies adjust. Sugar cravings subside, energy levels rise and many even report more focus and sharpened mental acuity. There are no strict point systems to follow or expensive kits to buy. If this plan sounds good to you, get started by stocking up on specific foods on your next grocery run. Pick up things like:
- High protein meats like chicken, steak and seafood
- Breakfast foods such as sausage, bacon (yes, bacon!!) and eggs
- Full-fat dairy, such as heavy cream and cottage cheese
- Fresh spinach greens and non-starchy vegetables
Avoid all processed foods like bread, chips and cereal. Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. To get more information, check out this list of keto-friendly foods and the basic rules of the ketogenic diet. Of course, as with any diet or exercise plan, always consult with a medical professional before you begin to make sure it’s a wise choice for you personally.
Benefit #2: Reportedly Helps Manage Type 2 Diabetes
For those diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes in their 40s or 50s, the ketogenic diet may help control blood glucose levels moving forward. Because of the reduced sugar intake, it’s easier for a body to regulate blood glucose levels. This allows them to avoid sugar spikes and makes it easier to produce and regulate insulin levels.
Benefit #3: Combats Fatigue
Getting older and having a slower metabolism often leads to feeling tired more often. A good way to combat fatigue is to exercise and keep excess weight off. With a keto friendly diet, you can snack as much as you want (on the right foods, of course) without feeling dragged down after eating a meal. Being in a state of ketosis, or fat-burning mode, specifically targets stubborn belly fat. Belly fat leads to visceral fat, which squeezes internal organs and prevents them from functioning properly.
Benefit #4: Improves Neurological Health
Aging can put us at an increased risk for dementia and certain forms of it, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Studies show a possible link between a keto diet and a delay in the onset of Alzheimer’s. This could be because an overload of glucose in the bloodstream can make concentrating difficult, which can affect your memory. Keeping levels steady and in the normal range improves cognitive function almost immediately.
Weight gain is common for many women in their 50s and beyond. The ketogenic may be a helpful tool to improve health and lose weight too! If the pros outweigh the cons in your book, talk to your doctor and see if the keto diet is right for you.
~Here’s to Your Financial Health