During the 40s, a woman’s body begins to change. From a hormonal perspective, we enter menopause, a transition that is very gradual and involves fluctuating hormone levels and a wide range of symptoms, sometimes up to several years. For many women who are embarking on a new health journey to become their best self; This can be a daunting time, as achieving weight loss and fitness goals can be a real challenge during this stage of womanhood. However, if you are one of the 40 women who is wanting to lose weight, these tips for a low carbohydrate diet may interest you.

40-year-old women and their body changes

Many women experience weight gain during menopause , a stage that is already beginning to appear in women in their 40s; and some even notice changes in the perimenopausal years. This transition is more than just physical for women, it also transits us mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

You should know that this stage is full of opportunities for you to reinvent your life. There is no better time than now to create positive change. Just as we celebrate events that mark an important stage in our lives, which are birthdays, graduation and marriage. Menopause is another rite of passage, really.

While there are countless “why’s” for weight gain, such as nutrition and lifestyle, the role of hormonal changes in women in their 40s cannot be underestimated . As estrogens decline at menopause, this change in hormone levels can throw other hormones out of balance, these hormones include:

Cortisol : While cortisol production can make you feel like a rock star with the temporary rush it provides, the repeated elevation of cortisol can lead to weight gain and a host of other symptoms.

Insulin : responsible for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels after ingesting carbohydrates. When our pancreas cannot keep up with the demand for insulin, excess glucose can build up in the bloodstream. When less glucose enters our cells, it causes strong carbohydrate cravings, a voracious appetite, and increased fat storage potential due to high circulating blood sugar.

Thyroid hormones : Thyroid hormones control how much energy our cells and our body metabolism produce. When these hormones are out of balance, the ability to use stored carbohydrates and fats for energy is reduced, leading to weight gain.

Leptin : This is your “satiety hormone” that is produced by your fat cells. Leptin works to signal your brain that you are full. When leptin cannot produce its normal effects, which naturally stimulate weight loss, this is known as leptin resistance. With leptin resistance, your food intake can be in excess because your body literally tells you to continue eating.

Hormones can be a tricky business. But with this, there is good news! A growing body of research is now showing that a ketogenic diet can be very effective for weight loss and for menopausal women.

How Ketosis Works

Ketosis is a natural state that activates your body to help you survive when your food intake is low. On a ketogenic diet, the end goal is to encourage the body to enter this natural metabolic state. On a keto diet , our circulating ketone bodies become our main source of energy.

Whereas ketosis is a natural state that kicks in during starvation. A ketogenic diet does not involve starvation of calories, but starvation of carbohydrates. By following a macronutrient ratio of around 70% fat, 25% protein and 5% carbohydrates for 2-7 days, with your daily net carbohydrate intake limited to 50g or less, your body will begin to use these circulating bodies. ketones for fuel.

Benefits of ketosis for menopause:

  • Reduce or eliminate your sugar intake
  • Control cravings and keep you satisfied
  • Allows you to eat more healthy fats that keep you full
  • Helps reduce swelling and inflammation
  • Promotes Weight Loss and Increase in Lean Muscle Mass
  • Add more quality whole food nutrients to your diet
  • Mood stabilization and cognitive enhancement

How to start a ketogenic diet

By reducing carbohydrate intake and focusing on obtaining healthy fats as the main

Before energy, the body is forced into this state of ketosis, also known as “fat burning mode.” For women in their 40s , a good macronutrient ratio would be 70% fat, 20% protein, and 10% carbohydrates.

You can use this handy keto calculator to calculate your custom macronutrient breakdown for each day (for example, how many grams you need to eat of what).

What to eat on a keto diet


Fat will make up the majority of your daily caloric intake (70%) when you are on a ketogenic diet. There are a few different types of fats that are involved in a ketogenic diet and different foods generally have various combinations of fats, here is your guide to the best fats to include:

  • Saturated fats – you really want them. Some examples are free range animal butter, ghee, coconut oil, and lard.
  • Monounsaturated Fats – You’ll want this too. Some examples are olive, avocado, and macadamia nut oils.
  • Polyunsaturated Fats: The naturally-occurring polyunsaturated fats in animal proteins and fatty fish are great for you, and you should eat them. Polyunsaturated fats processed into “heart healthy” yellow vegetable oils are bad.
  • Omega-3: You should strive to maintain a balance between your omega-3 and omega-6 intake. We need to include more sources of omega-3, which are naturally anti-inflammatory and we must limit omega-6 rich foods that are pro-inflammatory when consumed in excess. The optimal ratio for omega-3 to -6 is 1: 3. Include more omega-3 rich foods such as wild salmon, trout, grass-fed beef and seafood for their rich content of omega-3s and antioxidants!


When it comes to protein sources, it’s best to choose high-quality, organic, grass-fed options. You should be aware of protein intake on the keto diet, as too much protein on a ketogenic diet can lead to lower levels of ketone production and higher glucose production. Remember that your nutrient intake should be around 70% fat, 20% protein, and 10% carbohydrates.

You should include a small amount of protein (20%), such as:

  • Pasture-raised and organic meats
  • Pasture Raised Poultry
  • Organ meats
  • Sustainable fish and seafood
  • Free range organic eggs


    For carbohydrate intake, less than 50g net carbohydrate (10%) is recommended for daily diets – the lower you keep your carbohydrate intake and glucose levels, the better your overall results. It’s a proactive idea to track your total carbs and net carbs (net carbs are your total dietary carbs, minus total fiber) for successful weight loss on a keto diet.

    Carbohydrates on the keto diet should come primarily from vegetables, nuts, and dairy products. On a ketogenic diet; grains, sugar, most fruits, potatoes, and yams are avoided. Include a small amount of vegetables that are very low in carbohydrates (10%), such as:

    • Green leafy vegetables
    • Brasicáseas: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage
    • Asparagus
    • Cucumber
    • Celery
    • Tomatoes
    • Peppers
    • Mushrooms
    • Zucchini

    Foods that are not included in a ketogenic diet

    • Most dairy products (except high-fat items like butter and certain cheeses)
    • Sweeteners
    • Fruit
    • Grain
    • Beans and legumes
    • Starchy vegetables (such as potatoes, yams, and sweet potatoes)
    • Slightly sweet vegetables like winter squash, beets, or carrots
    • Most processed foods (trans fats: avoid completely. These are processed fats that are chemically altered (hydrogenated) to improve shelf life. Avoid all hydrogenated fats.

    5 vibrant tips for women over 40

    While diet plays the most important role in finding and achieving your best health. There are always other pieces to the puzzle. In addition to starting a keto diet, here are 5 final tips to make you look even more vibrant:

    • Take the time to recharge
    • Sleep better
    • do exercise
    • Avoid triggers of menopause symptoms such as processed foods, meat with hormones, refined sugar, trans fats, sodas, alcohol.
    • Get relief for menopause by following the following natural recommendations:

    Adaptogenic herbs : These plants work to create balance in the body, they adapt to what you need, adaptogens include ashwagandha, medicinal mushrooms (Chaga, reishi, lion’s mane, Cordyceps), maca, rhodiola and holy basil.

    Black cohosh – Works to prevent menopausal symptoms, which include hot flashes and night sweats. Black cohosh can also help improve sleep quality, reduce hormonal imbalances linked to diabetes or fibroids, and even help women with fertility before menopause. The recommended dose is 80 milligrams 1-2x a day.

    Natural Progesterone Cream – A natural way to reduce menopausal symptoms such as loss of bone density, vaginal dryness, and fibroids. It has many benefits for even the youngest women (for example, those going through perimenopause) including protection against infertility, endometriosis, and PMS. Using progesterone in a topical cream form allows you to control and vary the amount of progesterone that is applied to your body with each use. Apply approximately ¼ teaspoon or 20 milligrams to the skin and forearms 2-3 times a day.

    Vitex (Chasteberry) : Vitex has been clinically proven to relieve hot flashes. It also has many of the same hormone-balancing properties as black cohosh, helping to regulate hormones related to sleep problems, fibroids, skin changes, and irregular periods.

    St. John’s Wort – This herb has been used safely for over 2,000 years. Commonly used for anxiety, depression, and sleep-related problems. St. John’s wort can also help stabilize your mood, reduce inflammation, improve sleep, and ease the emotional / mental transition through menopause.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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