By now, you’re probably feeling pretty clued up on the benefits of following a keto diet. But of course, the number one question many men really want the answer to is: How are keto and sex drive linked?
Whether you’ve been exploring the many reasons why people decide to follow a ketogenic diet, or you’ve recently taken the leap, your curiosity surrounding switching from carbs to fat is a totally normal one. And more importantly, why keto and libido is a hot topic.
So, will a keto diet cause your sex drive to plummet? Or is it the total opposite?
The connection between fat and sex hormones
For some people, it can be pretty surprising that there’s a link at all between your fat intake and sex hormones. It’s also much more than that. In fact, consuming a high amount of fat in your diet can lead to an increase in estrogen.
In acknowledging how a high-fat diet can affect women, we gain a greater understanding of how diet can affect testosterone, too. One study revealed that women who consumed a low-fat diet showed a significant drop in estrogen levels, while high-fat diets produced quite the opposite effect.
Since estrogen levels already nosedive right before menopause, this is worth paying attention to. Much like testosterone’s impact on sex drive, low estrogen levels can have the same effect on women. So let’s see how a keto diet and your sex drive can go hand in hand.
Improving testosterone levels and high-fat diets
When testosterone levels drop, you may experience symptoms such as erectile dysfunction and low libido. Alongside these popular signs of low T, you can also experience a drop in energy, muscle mass and even dreaded hair loss.
A drop in testosterone can also impact other areas of your physical appearance, causing weight gain in your chest – resulting in dreaded man boobs (gynecomastia).
One study of male participants found that a higher fat diet resulted in higher levels of testosterone and free testosterone. The opposite was found when participants trialled a low-fat diet. But that’s not all.
Now we’ve covered fat’s impact on your sex drive and sex hormones, let’s dig a little deeper. So, before you go getting the pizza in, it’s important to note that the type of fat matters.
Trans fat can reduce sex drive
Sadly, not all fats are good for you. Although polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats can improve your sex life, fatty trans fat that is commonly found in fried foods will definitely not have the same effect.
As well as potentially cause weight gain, trans fat can also lead to abnormal sperm production. To help keep your sex drive in check, stick with the healthier fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
Now we’ve covered the type of fats you need in your diet and how they can affect your sex drive, now let’s talk about the fat you may already be carrying.
Fat loss and sex drive
It has been shown that alongside a high-fat diet comes weight loss. But this weight loss can do more for your body than help your favorite clothes fit better.
One study of 275 overweight postmenopausal women revealed an average 17 pound weight loss triggered a decrease in free testosterone. We mentioned earlier how low testosterone levels lead to a low sex drive.
So why is this finding a good thing? Being overweight or obese can cause hormone production to soar in women. So the key is, finding the right balance. Having too little or too much can both result in low libido.
Yes, low T levels can result in a depleted sex drive. Carrying a little extra weight, or obesity, can do more than damage your health. It can impact your self-confidence. And when you’re not feeling so sexy, the chances are, your sex drive will take a hit.
Put simply, losing weight can improve your health, hormones and your confidence. Finding a hormonal balance can kickstart your libido once again.
One study showed that men with a waist size of 40 and above increased their risk of suffering from erectile dysfunction. Now that’s a mood killer.
Thankfully, a diet high in healthy fat, moderate protein and low in carbs – such as keto – can help you overcome these obstacles.
As well as improve your overall health, keto can help you lose weight and increase your sex drive. It comes as no surprise that a keto diet and erectile dysfunction is a hot topic.
If we put weight loss efforts and your fat intake aside, there are other reasons why your sex drive may feel low.
3 Things that may be impacting your sex drive
You may have started keto already and your libido hasn’t quite picked up yet. Chances are, you’ve shifted a few pounds, added healthy fats and it’s just not happening.
One of the following could be to blame:
1. Your body is adapting to keto
If you’ve recently switched to a keto diet, you may not be feeling as fantastic as you’d expect.
It’s natural for your body to need time to transition into ketosis. As your body changes from seeking energy via carbs and glucose to fat and ketones, there may be some uncomfortable symptoms.
Some report symptoms of what has been nicknamed the keto flu. But for a smaller number, they’ve experienced low sex drive.
While a keto diet and sex drive have been linked in a positive way, the transition to keto may impact your energy and mood levels. When both of these feel a little low, you’re probably not going to want to do much – let alone get your dick wet.
If you’re feeling a little under the weather, be patient. These symptoms are only experienced as you transition to keto.
2. You’re not consuming enough calories
Whether you’re following a keto diet or not, you need your daily calorie intake. This is crucial for giving your body the fuel it needs to run efficiently.
It’s also incredibly important for reaching ketosis. Without the right amount of calories, your body will go into starvation mode. This can be pretty bad for your overall health, weight and libido.
To ensure you’re not causing damage to your health – or your sex drive – it’s important to determine your daily calorie intake and hit that figure each day.
3. You’re consuming too much alcohol
While there is certain alcohol safe for a keto diet, they can still be a total buzzkill when it comes to keto and libido.
A quick swig or two may give you some self-confidence. But too much alcohol can cause the inability to climax. Studies have shown links between alcohol and erectile dysfunction and less stimulation – meaning your orgasm is going to suffer. If you get that far, of course.
Although pure distilled alcohol is the best keto option, we definitely advise against going overboard. Yep, guys. Whiskey dick. Too much alcohol can do more than cause your dick to flop, it can cause you to gain weight and kill your sex drive there as well.
If you’re utilising keto’s ability to help burn fat, adding unnecessary calories via alcohol can also slow down your fat-burning possibilities. Being on keto may affect your alcohol tolerance, too. So while a drink or two may feel harmless, you could be feeling its effects far quicker.
While you’re cutting down on alcohol, there’s always room to add in a few extra foods to boost your libido.
Foods to power up your sex drive
Don’t worry, guys, they’re keto-friendly. For a better sex drive, try adding these foods into your new diet plan:
- Dark chocolate (as close to 100% cacao as you can)
- Pumpkin seeds
As previously mentioned, fatty fried foods are going to cause your sex drive to take a dive. Dairy, processed food, high carb and sugary drinks can also impact your libido. Although it’s best to avoid these foods completely, limiting them can also help.
Get started with keto to improve your sex drive
Now you’re in the know surrounding the keto diet and erectile dysfunction, it’s up to you to take the leap.
While we’ve shown you the benefits surrounding a keto diet and sex drive, it can always feel a little daunting. Like any new diet, you have to expect some changes.
A low carb diet can give your libido a boost and improve symptoms of erectile dysfunction. If you prefer, start slow by lowering alcohol intake and increase those healthy fats. Get started with the above list of 11 foods to boost your sex drive.
If you’ve recently started transitioning to keto, be patient with your libido. Once you’ve pushed past the initial stages, you’ll soon begin to see the benefits of keto.