Continuing to study the benefits and harms of the ketogenic diet, nutritionists decided to find out what effect it has on the sex life for both men and women.
How keto affects sex drive?
The ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate diet with 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day, relatively high in fat, and moderate in protein. The main problems associated with the ketogenic diet are potential side effects such as changes in hormonal balance.
According to Lily Souter a nutritionist, the keto diet can negatively affect sex drive – reduce libido and cause other problems with a dieter’s sex life, as well as provoke bad mood and fatigue.
Several studies show that a low-carb diet can cause a decrease in thyroid function. This, in turn, leads to chronic fatigue, bad mood and decreased libido. .
Souter’s opinion was also shared by her colleague, Dr. Marilyn Glenville, a nutritionist specializing in women’s health. She believes that due to a lack of carbohydrates, a person can stop experiencing sexual attraction:
“ People who follow a keto diet can experience a dramatic drop in energy due to a lack of carbohydrates in their daily diet, which in turn can negatively affect their sex drive. Carbohydrates are foods that usually give us energy, so when a person changes their diet to follow the basics of the ketogenic diet, they can feel very tired and exhausted. In addition, flu-like symptoms may appear, including severe headaches” she notes.
Feeling tired and low in energy isn’t the only reason a ketogenic diet can negatively affect libido. In particular, according to experts, the keto diet negatively affects hormonal balance and, as a result, reduces sexual activity.
Moreover, there is some evidence that low-carb diets can increase the production of stress hormone cortisol and alter hormones in general. Carbohydrates containing glucose contribute to the production of serotonin, the hormone of happiness.
Without carbohydrates, serotonin production decreases, and this negatively affects libido.
Does Keto Lower Your Sex Drive?
Nutritionists and doctors have noticed that people who persistently follow a diet like keto begin to suffer from low libido.
Thousands of followers of the keto diet confirm this, although they say that in the long term the libido returns to its normal level or even rises a little more than normal.
Any negative impact of the ketogenic diet on libido, both in men and women, will invariably occur within the first week or two of transitioning to the ketogenic diet. During this time, you will feel lethargic, tired, and dull as your energy level drops (keto flu).
This is when your body shifts from a blood glucose burning system to a fat burning system and weight loss sets in.
However, these lagging energy levels will soon recover. When they do, your libido will overload – and you’ll be very glad you switched to the ketogenic diet.
There are other things to consider
Many people have expressed that the simple act of losing weight and feeling better in their body makes them want to have more sex so this could be another explanation for the long-term effects that are reported.
Now you have a better understanding of how keto can affect your sex drive.
You can start by lowering your alcohol consumption and consuming more healthy fats. Incorporate libido-boosting foods into your ketogenic eating plan, and remember to always hit your calorie and macronutrient goals.
If you don’t stick to these goals every day, you won’t get into ketosis or increase your sex drive according to keto experts.
As always, remember that you should not go on any diet before consulting with a health professional, and make sure ask to keep an eye on your libidio levels when following the keto diet.