Does The ketogenic Diet Actually Work For Women?

The ketogenic diet is often used to lose fat. Naturally, ladies want to try it out too. 

Some women feel proud when they limit their carbs and guilty when they give in to their carb cravings. Others can’t imagine giving up their daily bread, morning oatmeal, fresh fruit, or potatoes.

This article aims not to judge whether ketogenic diets and diets are good or bad but instead to take a thorough look at their benefits and drawbacks for women. So if you’re a woman, you should continue reading.

What’s All the Fuss About low Carb

The Atkins diet first appeared in 1972. Since then, The “low carb” trend has been a staple in the headlines, challenging the low-fat, whole-grain diet. 

The keto diet has become popular again, with proponents of this diet claiming that we humans are designed to use fat as the primary energy source. 

A typical ketogenic diet consists of 60- fat, 20- protein, and less than carbohydrates.

Although a low-carb diet or nutrition has its critics, scientific research shows that ketogenic diets can have several benefits:

  • Cancer treatment
  • Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Diabetes management
  • Increased athletic performance
  • Increased metabolic rate
  • Heart health

With all of these benefits, a ketogenic diet seems to be the answer to improve your health, brainpower and have a lean body mass.

Low-carb for the rest of your life?

Does The ketogenic Diet Actually Work For Women?

A low-carb, ketogenic approach can work for fat loss if you cut out excessive amounts of sugar, which promotes water retention and is stored as fat.

If you cut sugar from your diet, your body will make positive adjustments. You’ll get rid of your cravings. 

As with most things in life, if you focus on it, you can do it. But it can be challenging, especially because you’re eliminating an entire food group (carbohydrates) that currently makes up about of the Western diet.

It is no secret that eating healthy fats will not necessarily make you fat. Healthy fats make you feel fuller and more satisfied, reducing the roller coaster of blood sugar and insulin levels (which is also known as the fat-storage hormone). 

Also, fat takes longer to digest, which boosts metabolism for digestion as part of the process.

But what about a long-term ketogenic diet? Or in phases where the targeted fat loss goal has been achieved? And what if you plateau in your efforts to improve your body composition with the ketogenic approach? And what about long-term health in women?

Science is Biased

 However, when it comes to studies on the ketogenic diet, the problem is that at least of the research studies have been conducted with men.

It’s not rocket science that the anatomy and biological makeup of women and men are completely different. 

So we can’t look at the benefits that most studies show in men, much less apply them to women. Why not? One word: hormones.

And that’s where we women might run into problems with a long-term ketogenic diet.

Hormones and the ketogenic diet 

Ladies, your carbohydrate intake could be an important part of the equation when it comes to maintaining hormonal balance, supporting your thyroid function, feeling energized, improving your mood, losing weight, burning fat, and more. 

Increased cortisol levels:

Low-carb diets and eating patterns have been shown to increase cortisol levels, completely messing up your other hormones. 

Unlike men, women have a more delicate hormonal balance. When cortisol levels reach high levels and our estrogen and testosterone join in on this round dance (rising and/or falling levels). 

Then precipitating menstrual cycles, infertility, PMS “run amok,” reduced libido, premature menopause, poor mood, reduced energy, reduced appetite, and unexplained weight gain can come into play.

Unintentional dieting:

Without realizing it, people who are convinced they are following a ketogenic diet are following a low-carb diet with moderate amounts of protein and fat. 

Eating fat liberally and in abundance is part of the ketogenic equation, and if you don’t consume enough energy, your body will go into a starvation state. 

And if you’re not eating enough fat to truly in your ketogenic diet, your cortisol will do crazy things, which can lead to hormonal imbalances in many areas.

Emotional Deprivation:

lack of pleasure and joy in the food you eat and feeling completely disconnected from your food can be a severe problem.

Suppose you view another plate of chicken breast, broccoli and coconut oil, salmon, and avocado as a chore rather than a delicious and nutritious meal. In that case, you’ll be affecting the following:

Digestion: instead of chewing food thoroughly and tasting your food, you choke it down, resulting in an insufficient food breakdown.

Inner peace: You are constantly stressed by having to stick to your diet or achieve your goals.

Peace with food: You may have erratic eating habits or behavior patterns, including occasional binge eating or excessive thinking about food.

It’s no secret, our brains affect our bodies – through stress – and when we’re stressed, our hormones take a hit.

Find Your unique approach.

women on ketogenic diet

So the big question is this: Is the ketogenic approach right for you? Only your body can give you the answer to that question. However, there are some key components you should consider before following a ketogenic approach long-term:

Understand the short-term benefits:

As was mentioned earlier, ketogenic is for you if you have a consistency in fat loss or body fat goals. And you don’t dread healthy fats are incorporated into your diet.

Don’t make the ketogenic diet a matter of morality (good vs. bad):

Thinking of it that way will set you up to fail in the long run, as it disconnects you from how your body feels and what it needs and instead makes you base your dietary decisions more on what your mind is telling you.

Make sure you are following a ketogenic diet:

This means that about 60- of your diet is made up of healthy fats and that you are eating enough.

Enjoy your food:

The world is still yours with options for healthy and delicious foods that fit your ketogenic approach. Chew your food thoroughly and start digesting as you eat.

Find your balance:

Just as you need a balance of hormones, your body needs a balanced diet. Some women find for themselves that they need more carbohydrates. In comparison, others will find that they don’t need as many.

Indication of a good or bad ketogenic diet

Here are a few “barometers” you can use to determine if the ketogenic diet is right for you:

You probably need more carbs if:

  • Period irregularities
  • Struggling to get pregnant
  • low thyroid function
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • lack of energy
  • You often think longingly about foods you are missing
  • Struggling to eat so much fat

You probably need fewer carbs and more fat if:

  • You have a hyperactive thyroid
  • Trying to lose weight or body fat for some time with little or no success
  • The feeling of being woozy
  • Suffering from a fungal or bacterial infection
  • You love eating fat


There is no “universal” diet approach that fits everyone! But if you are a woman, then it could well be that a long-term ketogenic diet is not optimal. 

And a few sweet potatoes, some rice, or some fruit won’t hurt you. At the end of the day, life is all about balance – food, hormones, sanity, and everything in between.