I bet a lot of you like me wonder why it seems Men lose weight faster then women do on a keto diet. In this article on comparing the sexes I am going to explain why this might be happening and if there is anything we can do about it.
In all of my articles I like to have a bit of science to back me up. So as far as research goes the only study comparing male and female results on a keto based diet was done in mice. They compared male and female mice, one group eating a keto diet (75% fat, 8% protein & 3% carbs) and the other controlled group eating 7% fat, 19% protein and 47% carbohydrates.
The conclusion over a 15 week period was that estrogen plays a big role in the effectiveness of a successful keto diet. I normally don’t let mice or rodent testing weigh my opinion too much as they are not human and I am unsure about what types of fats they were feeding them. So I’ll tell you what I do know for sure about human men and women.
Women On Keto – contributing factors
Women are naturally more complex than men in so many ways, we are run and controlled by hormones.
A study done on 18,555 women showed that high amounts of carbohydrates greatly reduced fertility by 78%. Most cases of infertility is linked to hormone imbalance
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Another study on 11 women that had polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS showed that eating a keto diet or low carb (20 grams or under daily) over six months reduced their body weight by 12% and a reduction in testosterone by 22%.
This is when the body has low progesterone (sex hormone), less ovulation frequency and lower estrogen levels. It also results in an increase of insulin as well as the hunger inducing hormone called grehlin.
When you combine all of these factors you can see how a woman who is either on the way to menopause or experiencing menopause would have a much harder time losing weight than that of someone who is not going through menopause.
The Keto diet however suppresses that hunger inducing hormone resulting in less caloric intake. We also know that higher levels of insulin can cause inflammation as I discuss in my article Benefits of a Keto diet. As a result of reducing inflammation it helps us with brain fog as it reduces the inflammation in our brains.
As I spoke about the thyroid in my article Why Is Keto Not Working For Me, thyroid also plays a big role in keto responsiveness. So it’s very important to have your levels checked and to know what specific tests to request.
One thing women can do to help support thyroid function is to eat foods high in iodine such as:
- Cheddar Cheese
Another thing women can do to optimize the effectiveness of Keto is to slowly ween into the lifestyle change. For women it can cause more unpleasant symptoms while adapting if they dive into the the diet quickly. This is because it is too drastic of a change for the hormones and can actually set you behind, I would suggest slowly taking away sugars and increasing your fats over a two week period. Another word of advice for women is to wait until your adapted and have reached ketosis before implementing intermittent fasting.
Men on Keto
Men are hormonal too but not quite as complex as women. So they have less symptoms if they dive right into cutting sugars and lowering carbs. Men don’t experience hormonal problems such as polycystic ovarian syndrome or menopause but they can have a thyroid imbalance.
A study done on 12 male subjects for six weeks on a Keto diet compared to a control group of eight males showed that the male subjects on the keto diet lost 3.4 kgs of fat. Their insulin leveles were reduced and their T4 thyroid hormone increased but this did not affect the T3 levels, another reason I stress the importance of requesting specific thyroid levels in my article Why Is Keto Not Working For Me.
My conclusion is yes, Men lose more efficiently on a keto diet and this is because they do not have as many contributing factors or obstacles to overcome as women do. So comparing the sexes, men definitely win at progression faster than women but that is not to say women can not catch up.
Although there are many more contributing factors that can compare the difference of progression between the sexes on a keto diet I believe these are the most prominent. This article is not to say Men or Women are better than each other in any way, this is just to compare the differences on why Men seem to lose weight faster than women on a Keto diet.
As always I welcome your comments, questions or suggestions, your opinion matters to me. Please leave me your opinion of this article in the comment section below and feel free to share.
Be well and Keto on!