Keto for Women Over 50: 7 Tips to Make It Work

Keto for Women Over 50: 7 Tips to Make It Work

Keto for Women Over 50: 7 Tips to Make It Work

Posted 2 months ago

Brian Stanton

Brian Stanton

The Keto diet isn’t age-specific. It’s a way of eating that has fueled humans of all ages since prehistoric times. 

But that doesn’t mean that Keto can't demonstrate it's potential benefits to specific age groups. It can. And in this article, you’ll learn about Keto for women over 50. 

Most women over 50 are completing, or have completed, a series of hormonal shifts marked by the cessation of the menstrual cycle. This is called menopause. Combine menopause with the natural aging process, and you have a slew of often frustrating changes hitting the fan. 

Let’s review that topic first. Then we’ll talk about how Keto may help. 

Health Issues for Women Over 50

Most women enter perimenopause (the period before menopause) in their late 40s to early 50s.[*] During this time, women may experience symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, low libido, mood swings, irregular periods, insomnia, and weight gain.[*

When the menstrual cycle has ceased for a full 12 months, that marks menopause. On average, it usually happens around age 51.[*

As a woman transitions to menopause, her pattern of weight distribution often changes. Instead of storing fat predominantly in her thighs and buttocks, she may start storing fat around her abdomen. This shift is driven, researchers believe, by falling levels of the female sex hormone: estrogen.[*

But the changes that occur aren’t just related to body composition. Due to estrogen deficiency, menopausal and postmenopausal women also have increased risks of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.[*

Along with menopause, women over 50 must also contend with the natural aging process. As humans pushing into our later decades, we may experience:

  • Accelerated muscle loss (sarcopenia)[*]
  • More chronic inflammation[*
  • Higher rates of every chronic disease: heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, etc.
  • Declines in athletic performance[*]
  • More trouble regulating blood sugar[*]
  • Reductions in deep, restorative sleep[*]
  • A broader perspective on life and love
  • The benefits of an AARP membership

Let’s be clear. A Ketogenic diet isn’t going to prevent menopause or aging. But there are a few mechanisms by which it may help. 

How A Keto Diet May Help

Keto is most commonly known as a weight loss diet. Lots of studies support this claim[*][*][*]—including one on obese postmenopausal women.[*

What’s going on? Probably a couple of things. 

First, Keto reduces hunger hormones.[*] Less hunger means you eat fewer calories and gain less weight. (Fun fact: the hunger hormone ghrelin is elevated during menopause).[*]

Keto also influences fat metabolism. When blood sugar and insulin levels stay low on a low-carb diet, more fat gets burned.[*] This may help offset menopause-related fat storage. 

Here are some other potential health benefits of the Keto diet for women over 50:

  • Being in ketosis may reduce chronic inflammation by preventing high blood sugar and suppressing inflammatory signaling molecules.[*
  • The Keto diet is a promising therapy for Alzheimer’s disease and certain cancers.[*][*]
  • Keto has been shown to improve heart disease risk factors in obese and diabetic populations.[*]
  • Keto-adapting (running on body fat) can stabilize energy levels. 

For more on Keto health benefits beyond weight loss, check out this blog

Keto for Women Over 50: 7 Tips to Get Started

The best tips for healthy aging are also the simplest. We’re talking about the basics: sleeping well, exercising regularly, managing stress, not over or undereating, and consuming nutritious food.

Let’s cover some of these tips in more detail, with a special focus on Keto. 

#1: Get enough protein

The older you get, the harder it is to maintain muscle. This progressive muscle loss—called sarcopenia—is a major cause of age-related disability.[*]

Getting adequate protein can help prevent sarcopenia. Why? Because the amino acids in protein (especially leucine) provide the building blocks for muscle synthesis. 

For most people, 100 grams of protein per day is a good target. If you want to get more nuanced, read this blog about protein on Keto and download the Carb Manager app to dial in your macros. 

And no, protein won’t derail your Keto diet. But avoiding it will derail your health. 

#2: Strength train

By itself, protein isn’t sufficient to maintain lean mass. You also need resistance exercise. 

The formula looks something like this: A high-protein Keto diet + strength training = muscle maintenance.[*

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Doing push-ups (or knee push-ups), pull-ups (or assisted pull-ups), planks, and air squats 2-3 times per week is a simple but effective routine.  

But assuming you use proper form, feel free to lift some weights. Please read our guide to exercise on Keto for more on this topic. 

#3: Consider intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting (IF) is the practice of taking regular breaks from food. 

It’s nothing new. Humans evolved over millennia to oscillate between fasting and feeding. It works well with our biology.  

The most obvious IF benefit is weight loss. When you compress your feeding window, you eat fewer calories and may lose weight. This has been shown in both men and women.[*][*][*]

Other potential IF benefits include heart disease risk reduction[*][*], blood sugar control[*], longevity promotion (via autophagy)[*], and lower inflammation.[*

But try not to be overly aggressive with your fasting regimen. Compared to men, women appear to have more negative effects from longer fasts. (These concerns apply mostly to women of reproductive age). Learn more by reading this guide to IF for women

#4: Take electrolytes

People talk a lot about staying hydrated on Keto, but they often forget about electrolytes

Electrolytes like sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and chloride keep your nervous system functioning, your energy levels up, and your bodily fluids balanced. They’re important. 

Sodium is the big one for Keto folks to focus on. Not only do whole food Keto diets cause increased sodium loss through urine[*], but they also contain very little sodium to begin with. Keep the salt shaker handy. 

#5: Eat Keto superfoods

Here’s a partial list of nutrient-dense Keto foods to support healthy aging: 

  • Eggs. High in protein for muscle maintenance and choline for liver health. 
  • Dark leafy greens. High in magnesium and potassium for heart health. 
  • Meat and fish. Good sources of protein, B vitamins, and iron. 
  • Beef liver. Nature’s multivitamin—especially high in vitamin A for eye health, copper for immunity, vitamin B12 for energy, and choline for liver health. 

The bottom line? Eat nutritious low-carb foods, and your body will age more gracefully. 

#6 and #7: Manage stress and sleep well

These tips are deeply intertwined. If you’re stressed, you won’t sleep well. And if you aren’t sleeping well, you’ll be stressed. 

Both sleep deprivation and chronic stress increase the risk of most chronic diseases.[*][*] Plus they don’t help with weight loss efforts. 

Like diet, sleep and stress management are habitual behaviors. Handle your habits and the rest will handle itself. 

The Best Diet for Women Over 50

We don’t know if Keto is the best diet for women over 50. 

However, based on the available evidence, Keto is worth considering if you're struggling with weight gain, high blood sugar, chronic inflammation, or other age-related problems.

Do a month-long experiment. See how low-carb affects your body, mind the above tips, and adjust if needed. This article will be here if you forget anything. 

Comments 19

  • StellarArugula738810

    StellarArugula738810 12 days ago

    I’m 53 and I am enjoy this journey. It’s been almost a year and I have seen wonderful results. This app has helped me a lot!

    • UpbeatCauliflower772945

      UpbeatCauliflower772945 15 days ago

      I have set my weight lost goal I’m 55 and give myself a year to achieve a new me.

      • UpbeatArugula355923

        UpbeatArugula355923 a month ago

        I’m 56, I started keto July 4th, 2020…..I have made it my lifestyle. After menopause I gained weight, no energy, and hated how I looked, so my friends talked me into trying keto with them. I’ve lost 20lbs and have kept it off. I still use my carb manager and input daily. Once a week I eat what I want and move on. I work out at least 2 days a week, I dance about 5 hours a week, walk my fur babies and still work 3 days a week. I feel great and plan on continuing this forward. Hang in there, I didn’t really start losing weight until I had been on keto for about 10 days, then the scale started to move. Only weigh one day a week and always first thing in the morning and the same clothes (optional). Good luck everyone.

        • Doreen

          Doreen a month ago

          I am going to give this app and Keto diet a try. I have menopause symptoms, inflammation, and sometimes low energy. Thanks for the info.

          • SplendidMacadamia426977

            SplendidMacadamia426977 a month ago

            I am 55 years old. I decided to give up sugar and stuck to 5% veg carbs a month ago 25/09/2021 and today 23/10/2021, when I saw a picture of myself I didn't like. I went for a health check and my weight was 115kg. Today I got on the scale and I weigh 8 kg less in just one month! It is absolutely amazing. I am also doing fasts, mostly 16:8 and sometimes 20:4 without pushing myself too hard. What I eat in a day: 8h00 - 1 cup coffee with cream OR butter and cinnamon 30 ml MCT oil 12h00: 2 or 3 eggs & low carb mayo OR Guacamole AND big green salad (oiled) and 4 seed crackers 16h00: Chai with cream and cinnamon 18h00: Chicken thigh & broc&cauliflower curry OR can of sardines & olives OR Pork chop with visible fat OR lamb OR beef and big green salad with olive or avo oil 6 to 8 glasses of carbonated water. I add mint leaves and lemon slices (do not squeeze). I love Woolies or Bene unsweetened flavoured water especially Pineapple which is my favourite fruit. Look for water with NO artificial sweeteners.

            • FabulousAvocado416853

              FabulousAvocado416853 18 days ago

              That's fantastic. To me it sounds like we are Aussies

            • ZDeb

              ZDeb a month ago

              that's awesome! I am in 3 days and have lost 2 so this is EXCITING!

          • Iowastate93

            Iowastate93 a month ago

            Very informative! Thank you

            • SuperKetone611434

              SuperKetone611434 a month ago

              I’m 63 Years old, I find I am having a hard time eating enough food to reach my daily intake. I end up having leftover carbs I could’ve ate and the same thing with the Fats. Proteins seem to almost make it to where it supposed to be. Help!

              • Catkelly

                Catkelly 21 days ago

                When I started I had to make the keto breads and sweet snacks so I didn't crave them and I find that all the different recipes they have now are amazing.... bagels that taste like Einstein's and lemon pound cake that taste just like Starbucks... I chose Swerve products for the sugar replacement and I'm amazed, I feel like I'm rebeling against the diet demons and I'm finally winning! For me, just making sure I didn't have to deprive myself has kept me digging this whole keto thing!! You can do it too!!

              • SuperKetone611434

                SuperKetone611434 a month ago

                Well I’ve lost 10 pounds in 12 days. Of course I got a Covid shot that made me sick and I couldn’t eat for a day and a half. Totally excited to continue on my journey.

              • eatingcleanketo

                eatingcleanketo a month ago

                I wouldn’t worry about reaching my carb goal. I personally eat 10g or less. To reach my fat goal I drink bulletproof coffees for breakfast with 3T butter and 2T of heavy cream in each. I also drizzle olive oil on my chicken breast to make it fatty. My macros are 85 protein, 130 fat and 10 carbs. I lost 20 pounds in eight months. I dropped from 28% body fat to 14%. My goal was to lose no more than one pound a week. I’m 5’6, 125 pounds, 52 years old. I exercise five days a week with my focus on weight training since I have osteoporosis.

            • StupendousMacadamia344717

              StupendousMacadamia344717 a month ago

              I’m 78 praying I can make this work

              • Pjrussell

                Pjrussell 25 days ago

                Of course you can make it work!! The only one who could prevent you from making it work is you. We can do what we tell ourselves we can do. I'm 65 & am learning more every day. Keto is definitely a way of eating i can live with! So let's do this!!!

              • FantasticArugula921074

                FantasticArugula921074 a month ago

                I’m sure you will!

            • RemarkableMacadamia630134

              RemarkableMacadamia630134 a month ago

              I am 59 years old, and have MS and just diagnosed with Diabetes. Yikes! I lost 10 lbs on my own the past 6 weeks, and I am going to start the Keto Diet to reduce Carbs, Sugars, etc. Wish me luck!

              • StupendousAvocado916659

                StupendousAvocado916659 21 days ago

                I am 68 years old and have been doing Keto since the end of March 2021. My specialist for Diabetes and thyroid recommended the Keto diet and I have lost a total of 100 lbs so far (was 290 lbs when I started), After the first month he was able to take me off of the Diabetic medicine and he has requested that I keep my carb intake under 5% of my total food intake and it seems to be working so far. Just keep at the diet and don't give up.

            • Phoenix9

              Phoenix9 a month ago

              I've been doing the Keto Diet with Intermittent Fasting since 8/29/21 I am 59 yrs old. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and couldn't take my medication for 6 weeks and DEFINETLY noticed that, luckily, Keto/IF helped a great deal with decreasing inflammation and helping me avoid a flare up while not on medication. My Rheumatologist agrees Keto/IF with healthy whole foods/fats will help decrease/control chronic inflammation which causes so many additional health problems. So while I may have started Keto/IF to lose weight (lost 20lbs so far), I am THRILLED to learn of all the other health benefits to this lifestyle and I am now sticking with it more for health benefits, and fitting into smaller size clothes is just a plus :)

              • ZDeb

                ZDeb a month ago

                That is a great drop! Congratulations!