Today’s not the day to be shy. That’s because we are going to explore whether the Keto diet can affect your libido.
This diet has become famous for the past years because of weight loss benefits. It is also believed to bring positive results to our overall health.
But what about your sex drive?
It is understandable if you are curious about how the diet can affect your sex drive. More so if you are experiencing a shift in libido yourself.
Will a ketogenic diet make your sex drive take a hit, or is it the ultimate secret to a better sex life? Let’s take a more intimate look.
A Rundown on Libido
To learn how keto could affect sex drive, we first need to understand what sex drive is and how it is controlled.
Sex drive, also referred to as libido, is a person’s impulse or desire to have sex. It’s part of the sexual response sequence, consisting of four stages: desire, arousal, orgasm, and resolution.
The first stage has the sexual drive as one of its elements, with motivation and sexual wish being two other components. Desire and drive to have sex depend on a wide array of factors, just some of which involve:
- Sex hormones
- Overall health
- Stress levels
- Relationship satisfaction
- Body image
- Social influences
As you can see, sex drive relies on internal (e.g., hormones) and external (e.g., relationship satisfaction) factors. The interaction between these different factors will conclude how high or low your sex life will be.
And since these factors are not static and change over a person’s lifetime, changes in sex drive happen and are normal.
In a Nutshell
Haven’t got time to read the entire article? No problem, here is a snapshot of what we learned about the keto diet and sex drive.
The keto diet will probably influence your sex drive. However, for many of us, that impression will be more positive than negative.
Transitioning to keto boosts your levels of sex hormones – estrogen in women and testosterone in men. This will help to improve your sex life. Of course, when you work out and lose weight, you will naturally develop your sex drive.
Any negative keto diet result upon sex drive will invariably happen in the first week or two of your transition for both men and women. You will feel tired, sluggish, fatigued, and lackluster throughout that period as your energy levels drop.
This is when your body switches from blood glucose burning to a fat-burning energy system, and weight loss hits in. However, those lagging energy levels will soon bounce back.
When they do, your sex drive will supercharge itself – and you will be delighted that you turned over to the ketogenic diet. Your sexual desire and the pleasure of you and your partner will both go through the roof!
How Dietary Fat and Sex Hormones are Linked?
Most people are astonished to learn there’s even a connection between dietary fat intake and sex hormones.
Not only that, the link is much more vital than people realize. Here are some of them:
High Fat Diets Lead to an Increase in Estrogen
One little research found women who ate a low-fat diet (think: 20% of their calories from fat) had a significant decrease in estrogen levels. On the other hand, high-fat diets gave the opposite effect.
This is particularly important for women right before menopause. That’s because estrogen levels are already falling during this time.
Low levels of the female hormone can lead to a low sex drive and other unwanted symptoms. This includes vaginal dryness and disruptions in both your sleep and your mood.
These are not supporting your libido.
Another related, small research also found that low-fat diets lead to drops in two more critical female sex hormones, as we’ll discuss next.
Low-Fat Diets Lead to Decreases in Estradiol and Testosterone
Menopausal women also suffer a drop in other hormones like estradiol and testosterone.
While estradiol’s main job is to produce the female sex hormones, it also plays a crucial role in fat placement and sexual desire. These are two things any woman, no matter her age, can be impacted by.
As for testosterone, although it’s considered more of a male hormone, it’s just as significant in females.
Not only does it support a woman’s body to produce estrogen, but it also affects her libido, among other functions like keeping muscle mass strong.
As you age, there’s a spontaneous dip in these two essential sex hormones, so you don’t want your diet to add fuel to the fire by going low-fat.
These reductions in testosterone don’t just affect women either.
High-Fat Diets can Enhance Testosterone Levels in Men Too
For men, testosterone declines lead to low sex drive and erectile dysfunction, plus a reduction in energy levels, muscle mass, and hair loss.
It can also cause men to increase weight, specifically in their chest area, leading to gynecomastia, or “man boobs.”
Another little research found that when male participants ate a higher fat diet (minimum of 40% of their calories from fat), they had higher testosterone and free testosterone numbers.
Yet, the opposite was correct when participants consumed a low-fat diet.
One study verified low-fat diets could drop testosterone levels by as much as 12%. On the other hand, a high-fat diet may increase T levels by 13%.
How Fat Make a Difference
Now that we know that a low-fat diet can affect your sex hormones and libido let’s talk about another dietary concern.
And that is the type of fat you eat and how it can make a difference.
High Consumption of Trans Fat can Reduce Sex Drive in Both Men and Women
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can increase your sex drive. However, the fatty trans fat that’s found in fried foods does not act in your favor.
And this negative effect is shown in both men and women.
In men, trans fat can lead to irregular sperm production. Women may have difficulty with gestation anytime there’s an increase in trans fat intake.
The message is clear here: Avoid trans fat and stick to healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Your sex drive will thank you for it.
Since dietary fat can change your libido, the logical next step is to know how the fat you may carry around each day affects it.
With Fat Loss Comes Hormonal Changes
Consuming high-fat diets comes with the natural benefits of weight loss. But did you know that weight loss, in general, could also point to a boost in your sex drive?
In one research of over 275 overweight post-menopausal women, scientists discovered an average of 17-pound weight loss. This triggered a drop in free estradiol, estradiol, and free testosterone.
We’ve mentioned that low levels of estradiol and testosterone can lead to a low sex drive. So, what makes it a good thing?
The extra baggage of being overweight can lead to hormonal overdrive. And it has the same outcome as having a hormonal deficit, which is a low sex drive.
In this case, however, losing weight helped women manage their hormones to normal levels.
The key is finding the right balance where your body has just the right amount of hormones and nothing more. Luckily, a ketogenic diet can help do just that.
There’s also one more extra benefit to weight loss that can help your sex drive.
Weight, Confidence, and Sex Drive
Sure, the excess weight you’re carrying around influences your hormones, and that’s a bummer. But it probably strikes your self-confidence way more.
And when this is low, you can essentially bet your sex drive will be too.
When you look good, you feel good. When your clothes fit a little snugger than you’d like, this can alter how you feel both inside and out.
Researches have shown this exact situation can lead to insecurities, particularly ones that surface in the bedroom. This makes you less likely to be in the state to bare all.
In another research, it was discovered that men with a waist size of 40 or above doubled their chances of having erectile dysfunction, another major mood killer.
Lucky for you, a high (healthy) fat, moderate protein, and low carb diet practice like keto can help you stop all these issues simultaneously.
You’ll be able to enhance your hormone’s natural balance while also losing weight and boosting your sex drive. That will build your confidence in and out of the bedroom.
Even still, aside from your dietary fat consumption and weight loss efforts, there are a few more reasons your libido could be less than active.
Secondary Reasons for a Low Sex Drive
If your sex drive is still not-so-hot and you’re already adding healthy fats to your diet while losing weight, here are some possibilities:
You’re Still Transitioning Toward Ketosis
For readers who have already begun transitioning to a ketogenic diet, you may not be feeling your best.
As your body adapts from using carbs and glucose for energy to fat and ketones, you may encounter unwanted and uncomfortable symptoms.
The most obvious is the keto flu, but it’s a low libido for a small handful.
One of the causes your sex drive may be low during this time is simply because the change can affect your energy and mood levels.
When these are down, you won’t seem like doing anything — mainly having sex.
So if you’re encountering this, it’s essential to stay patient and stick with it. This won’t remain forever.
And once you enter ketosis, you’ll obtain all the positive benefits I mentioned earlier.
The same will occur with this next issue.
You’re Not Eating Enough Calories
Keto or not, you must eat adequate calories each day.
This guarantees your body has a sufficient supply of fuel to run all your essential bodily functions efficiently.
It’s also necessary for reaching ketosis.
See, without sufficient calories, your body goes into starvation mode. This is a critical thing for your health, weight, and sex drive.
When this occurs, your body holds on to your extra fat since it’s uncertain of when it will get adequate energy again to perform optimally.
This can also upset your hormones.
That’s why it’s essential to determine how many calories you need each day and then ensure you’re catching them every time.
Our final libido-lowering error may be one you haven’t thought of.
Alcohol Lowers Your Sex Drive
While some alcohols are safe to drink on keto, they’re a total buzzkill when it comes to your keto sex drive.
While alcohol may give you liquid courage, it won’t help you climax.
Some study even shows alcohol can lead to erectile dysfunction and less stimulation. This means that your orgasms will undoubtedly suffer if you can even get to that point.
And men aren’t the only ones hit by the bottle.
Women also encounter fewer sensations down there and can impact their chances of fertility long-term.
So just because your favorite tequila drink has virtually no carbs and clicks into your macros doesn’t suggest you should go overboard here.
Not only will doing so cause you to increase in weight, but it will also cause your sex drive to take a big hit too.
If you intend to enjoy a cocktail, cap it at two and be smart about it.
Remember, drinking adds useless calories to your daily budget and can slow your fat-burning potential.
Plus, being on keto indicates there’s a good chance your tolerance is no longer where it used to be. So watch out because it’s going to take fewer drinks to feel their impacts.
While you’re avoiding or cutting back on your alcohol, it won’t harm to add in a few libido-boosting foods to your diet either.
11 Foods for a Better Sex Drive
These keto-friendly foods may provide you the natural lift your sex drive needs to kick back into gear:
- Dark chocolate (get as close to 100% cacao to be low carb)
- Pumpkin seeds
Dairy, processed foods, sugary drinks, and fried and carb-laden meals can cause your sex drive to diminish. Your best bet is to restrict your consumption of such foods.
Better yet, avoid these foods altogether.
Improve Your Sex Drive with Keto Today
By now, you have a better knowledge of how dietary fat and weight loss can impact your sex drive. So you’re ready to fix your situation starting today.
You can start by reducing your alcohol consumption. Next is to increase your healthy fat consumption by adding the 11 libido-boosting foods listed above to your recipes.
And if you’re just adjusting to keto, give your sex drive some time. Once you pass the first stages, you’ll be able to take advantage of all the positive perks previously mentioned.
Just keep in mind to always meet your calorie and macronutrient goals. If you don’t hit those targets every day, you’ll kiss both ketosis and your sex drive goodbye.
The keto diet has many adherents, but some take the time to look past this diet’s weight loss benefits. But as far as your sex drive goes, a keto diet can transform a multiplicity of factors directly linked to your sexual health. This explains why it might influence your sex drive in a variety of ways.
Although the diet might initially decrease your sex drive, it will result in a greater libido level once you adjust to the diet.