The keto diet has long been known for its beneficial health bonuses and quality weight loss. The main rule of this diet is avoiding carbohydrates and switching the body’s system to fats as an energy source. You can learn more about basic keto rules and benefits in our complete keto guide. However, will these rules be the same for everyone? We are all different; in men and women, metabolic processes are complex. Moreover, they change with age.
For example, it is very common for women over 50 to develop hormonal changes, insulin resistance, diabetes, high fasting glucose, raised blood pressure, and excess weight. The keto diet has benefits for these body conditions as well. There are a few rules that can help women get the full advantages of keto after 50.
This article will tell you how you can use the ketogenic diet over 50 and what you need to do for maximum results. These tips can work for any woman with a weight loss plateau problem, not just women over 50. Let’s figure them out together!
Keep track of Carbohydrates
People in stable ketosis usually do not monitor every gram of carbohydrates because their body is fully adapted. The extra 5-10 grams per day do not interfere with the weight loss process. However, this does not apply to women over 50, especially if they have insulin resistance. In this case, one extra carbohydrate intake can interrupt your ketosis for 1-3 days, and you have to start all over again.
So if your weight loss is slowing down, avoid that couple of extra nuts and berries between meals, extra cream in your coffee, and extra sauce on your steak. These foods are easy to overeat and harm your ketosis, so don’t eat more than 15-20 grams of carbs per day.
Eat Moderate Amounts of Protein
Women over 50 should avoid overeating protein if they want to lose weight. The optimal daily amount of protein is 1.0 to 1.7 grams per kilogram of ideal body weight. You can count the number of nutrients consumed using various apps. It is a very quick and easy way to track your nutrition. Moreover, you do not need to do this all the time – just one week is enough to intuitively understand your required amount in the future.
It is often difficult for women to reduce the amount of food because their appetite depends on too many factors. And often, the body cannot recognize hunger and satiety in time due to old habits. Try an experiment – take a smaller serving for breakfast, eat and listen to your feelings. After 15-20 minutes, ask yourself if you still are really hungry.
You must pause to learn how to determine if you are full or still hungry and need to eat something else. Over time, you will learn to immediately understand if you have eaten enough to feel satisfied. You do not need to count calories but only listen to the needs of your body.
Don’t Overeat Fat
One of the pleasures of switching to a keto diet is adding fat to every meal after years of avoiding it on strict diets. But keto isn’t about overeating fat out of control. For weight loss, you must burn your own body fat stores anyway.
You may not limit fat during the first week of keto-adaptation, but then you should reduce the amount. You will feel fully adapted when you have a prolonged feeling of fullness after each meal.
Therefore, if you cannot lose weight after 50 years, I recommend that you estimate the amount of fat you are eating and try to reduce it. Don’t starve yourself, but remember to avoid excess fat. Consider absolutely all the food you eat. Remember that every spoonful of cream in your coffee is liquid calories. If you enjoy drinking bulletproof coffee for breakfast, reduce the amount of fat at your next meal.
Try Intermittent Fasting
Once you adapt to the keto diet, hunger decreases, and this allows you to be full for longer periods of time. The most important rule of the ketogenic diet is to eat only when you are hungry. If you feel your ketosis is stable, use your satiety as a supplemental weight loss tool and try intermittent fasting.
Often people in the crazy rhythm of the modern world skip breakfast – try to use it to benefit your figure. Let your first meal be lunch at noon and then dinner at 8 pm, for example. So you give your body 16 hours of rest from food and use up fat stores. I have already talked about intermittent fasting plans, just choose the one that is comfortable for you and get all the benefits.
I recommend that women over 50 do not stick to one intermittent fasting scheme but alternate between different intervals and times for eating. This will make your metabolism more flexible, and it will be easier to get rid of excess fat. Eat only when you are hungry, do not eat when you don’t feel hunger, and stop eating when you are full. That’s the main rule of a keto diet for all ages.
Add Strength Training
Muscles lose their tone faster with age. So you should add good strength training to your walking and cardio workouts. This will help you build muscle and speed up your metabolism if your weight loss has slowed down.
One of the great benefits of the keto diet is losing weight without losing muscle mass and effectively engaging in strength training. They will help you fight insulin resistance and age-related hormonal changes in your body. The more muscle mass you have, the better your body reacts to insulin. That’s why strength training is so beneficial for women in their 50s. Don’t be alarmed if, after your first workouts, you see a couple of extra pounds on the scales. This is how the body reacts to increased stress and provokes slight swelling. They will go away, and you will see your weight decrease again.
Get Enough Sleep
Many women often experience sleep disturbances during age-related hormonal changes due to nighttime hot flashes and increased sweating. Poor sleep increases cortisol levels and lowers melatonin levels, causing excess fat to be stored in the waist.
If you want to shed those extra pounds, you need to take care of your nutrition and try to ensure yourself a comfortable night’s rest. Stick to your sleep schedule and don’t stay up after midnight. Don’t eat before bed or drink too much alcohol, even if it’s a keto-friendly glass of wine. Sleep in a ventilated room and use earplugs if something is preventing you from falling asleep quickly. Try to avoid caffeine in the afternoon and increase your water intake.
As has long been known, stress also affects cortisol levels, which trigger hunger and abdominal fat accumulation. If you feel like your life is quite stress-free, then even switching to a new diet and worrying about being overweight can cause a spike in cortisol if you are in your 50s.
Try yoga for weight loss, light meditation, and walking before bed. Consider your stressors and how to deal with them. And do not overestimate your weight loss plan, be realistic and take care of the harmonious state of your entire body and soul.
Excess weight after 50 years becomes more difficult to get rid of than in youth. And that’s okay. Do not set yourself high expectations because losing weight may take longer than you would like. Use a keto diet to improve your health, deal with hormonal changes, and fight insulin resistance. You will get more energy, and your body will change for the better.