Keto for Women Over 50: 5 Tips To Make the Diet Work for You
Turning 50 is nothing to fear, though plenty of people unnecessarily fear it. While it’s true that it can be harder to maintain your overall health, it isn’t impossible.
Have you thought about giving keto a try? Keto can have many potential health benefits for women over 50.
While the rules are the same for everyone, women over 50 may need to make a few adjustments to maximize their results. Read on for some tips on how to make the keto diet work for you.
What Is the Keto Diet?
The keto diet is the ultimate low to no carb diet. It encourages your body to enter a state of ketosis, which is when the body turns molecules into ketones. It relies on heavy protein and fat consumption, especially with healthy and whole foods.
There are a few reasons why keto is incredibly popular. Many people have enjoyed various health benefits on keto and swear they’d never go back to a “normal” diet.
Traditional diets rely on calorie deficits and may not require you to eliminate certain foods. They may even require you to meticulously count calories, which can be time-consuming and irritating.
To go into ketosis, you must consume a very low amount of carbohydrates or avoid them altogether. You may also want to limit foods with significant carbs eliminated for consistent results.
Limit Carb Intake
The keto diet recommends eating little to no carbs. On keto, your diet should consist of five to ten percent carbohydrates, though less is better to ensure your body stays in ketosis.
If you’re a big fan of bread, pasta, and other carb-heavy foods, there are keto alternatives that are just as tasty. There are carb-conscious bread options made with almond flour and pasta alternatives like chickpea pasta and “zoodles.” Plus, switching your go-to carb-heavy snacks to tasty, protein-packed options can help keep you feeling fuller longer.
While you can search for low or no-carb options, it’s much easier to browse keto-friendly products for peace of mind. Plus, avoiding reading everynutritional label is a big plus.
Load Up on Healthy Fats
Healthy fats do exist! You can find them in plenty of delicious foods you probably already love. Healthy fats are essential for maintaining your metabolic, hormonal, and cognitive functions, so including them in your diet is a no-brainer.
You can enjoy healthy fats by eating foods such as:
- Meats (fish and chicken)
- Animal fats (lard and tallow)
- Nuts and seeds (walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, and macadamia nuts)
- Cheese (parmesan, blue cheese, feta, cheddar cheese, and cream cheese)
- Olive, avocado, and canola oil
You can eat some of these foods as simple snacks or use them as ingredients in a delicious meal.
Cut the (Processed) Crap
Processed foods are often stuffedto the gills with unnecessary sugar, fat, refined carbohydrates, and additive ingredients, which can make sticking to any diet tough. They can also be low in essential nutrients.
It’s worth noting here that not all processed foods fit into this category. In fact, there are many foods we can’t eat without processing! For example, wheat must be processed into flour, and meat must be processed into specific cuts.
However, it’s important to draw the distinction between ultra-processed foods and whole foods. Whole foods are foods that don’t need an ingredient list because you know exactly what they are. For example, fresh veggies, fruits, and dairy products count as whole foods.
Eating these foods can help the body get as many valuable nutrients as possible since they’ve undergone the least amount of processing. It just makes sense, doesn’t it? To get into the whole foods groove, try taking a trip to the local farmer’s market and shop more from the produce section at your local grocery store.
What Are the Benefits of Keto for Women Over 50?
In their 50s and 60s, women can experience muscle loss, bone loss, and a slowed metabolism. If you’re in that age range, you’ll need to pay extra attention to your body’s needs and notice where things are starting to slow down.
From supporting metabolic health to encouraging efficient weight loss, keto may be your biggest fan and supporter.
Promotes Balanced Blood Sugar Levels
Maintaining an exercise regimen and a good diet are some of the best ways to support overall health, especially as we age. Women over 50 can be at higher risk of developing blood sugar imbalances, so exercise and a proper diet are essential. Evidence also suggests that menopause may be a factor that can affect blood sugar regulation, though further research is needed.
Women going through menopause also tend to have lower estrogen levels, which can make blood sugar levels unstable.
The keto diet can support the body’s blood sugar levels thanks to its ability to make the body rely on fat and protein instead of carbs. Without carbs to turn into glucose for energy, the body relies on already-stored fat and ketones to support metabolism. This can help support proper insulin sensitivity in healthy individuals.
Supports Weight Loss
Maintaining a healthy weight and losing stubborn body fat can become even more difficult as you age. Women after 50, even women in greatshape, may lose lean muscle mass, making it harder to burn off extra calories. Women who have struggled with exercise may face new challenges trying to maintain their weight.
When the body is forced to no longer rely on carbohydrates for energy, it turns to its fat supply instead. This is why keto can support steady weight loss. This is good for the waistline, but it can also be good for your overall health.
May Help With Energy
Age can suck away the energy we used to have when we were kids and young adults. But after 50, things like night sweats, changing hormone levels, and sleep disruptions can be why your energy may not be up to par. Additionally, blood sugar levels that are constantly rising and falling due to carbohydrate consumption can also make you feel tired.
By entering ketosis, your body constantly pulls ketones from fat and no longer relies on sugar for energy. Keto may also support cognitive function and focus, which can decline with age.
Remember that when you start the keto diet, you may feel more fatigued than usual. As your body gets used to switching its energy source, it’s not unusual to feel more tired. But with patience, you should notice your energy levels return to normal — and possibly even higher.
How Can You Make the Keto Diet Work for You?
If you’re over 50, combining keto with high-quality exercise and the right combination of foods is vital.
Prioritize Nutritional Density
Women over 50 have different nutritional needs. If this is you, you may want to eat plenty of foods rich in protein, omega-3s, antioxidants, vitamin D, and calcium. Luckily, many of these foods are keto-friendly. Plus, by cutting carbs, you’ll have more room in your diet for these nutrient-dense foods.
By experimenting with ingredients, herbs, and spices, you can find fun and delicious ways to ensure you’re getting all your nutrients. If you’re still concerned you aren’t getting enough vitamins or minerals, consult your doctor to see if supplements may be a good way to bridge the gap.
Hit the Gym (or the Sidewalk)
Exercise is an essential part of everyone’s routine. For women over 50, it’s even more important to maintain a consistent workout routine. Even a simple walk down the sidewalk every day can help boost results.
It’s generally best to combine several kinds of workouts for the best results. Cardio workouts can support heart health, while resistance and strength training can target your muscles to keep them in shape.
Before your workout, make sure you grab a protein-packed snack to support muscle growth. Above all, ensure you stay hydrated so your body can properly recover from your workout.
If you have trouble holding yourself accountable, consider hiring a trainer or joining a class at the gym designed specifically for women over 50. Having like-minded gym buddies can help you commit to your goals and provide support at the most challenging moments.
If you’re just starting the keto diet, take your workouts slowly. Your body is adjusting to its new energy source and may need additional time to adjust to your routine. Don’t go overboard, and listen to your body if your muscles are extra achy or you’re feeling extra tired.
Don’t Forget the Protein
Protein is vital for anyone’s diet and can also support satiety so you don’t have constant cravings. When we don’t get enough nutrients in our meals, our bodies can convince us to go on the hunt for sugary or salty foods, ruining our efforts to eat better.
If you don’t have time (or the patience) to make protein-packed meals, you can replace meals with protein shakes or add protein powder to your daily regimen. Just make sure you don’t overdo it on the protein — your body can only handle so much protein at a time, and too much can actually kick you out of ketosis.
Make Time To Relax
Are you stressed out? We’ve all experienced normal amounts of stress, but unfortunately, stress can encourage extra pounds to stick around. Cortisol and betatrophin are stress hormones that make it even easier for body fat to overstay its welcome.
Stress can also tempt us to fall back into unhealthy eating habits. If you have a snacking setback, don’t let it discourage you. Simply reset and start another day committed to your health and happiness.
Making time to relax is not a luxury. You may feel bad for not being “productive,” but there’s nothing more productive than prioritizing your health. Making “me time” is the farthest thing from being selfish. So watch a few episodes of your favorite show, enjoy a quick walk out in the sun, and time with friends.
The Bottom Line
Keto can be an effective diet for people, especially women over 50 who need to keep their health in check. If you’re a woman over 50 looking into the keto diet, there are a few ways you can adapt it to support your unique health needs while also reaping the benefits.
If you’re trying out keto, remember to load up on healthy fats, cut processed foods, and limit carbs while prioritizing protein. You may also want to start up an exercise regimen that targets your muscles and heart health.
Here at Dr. Kellyann, we understand how important it is to look and feel your best, even as you age. That’s why we have a set of meal plans and keto-friendly products to help you keep that youthful glow throughout these golden years.