Although many turn to the keto diet for health reasons or as a weight-loss solution, the low-carb, high-fat diet could also result in a higher sex drive. In addition to helping your libido naturally by boosting your energy and providing more mental clarity, reducing your intake of refined carbohydrates and sugars provides more hormonal stability, according to Molly Devine, RD, LDN, and advisor to Ketologic.
"Excess insulin has been shown to increase mood swings or irregular cycles in women," Devine told POPSUGAR. "It also has been shown to decrease testosterone production in men and women, which can then lead to increased belly fat in men, decreased muscle mass, and erectile dysfunction. So it does have this trickle-down effect onto your hormones."
But keep in mind that it's not solely the low-carb aspect of keto that helps you generate more energy; it's mainly due to your cutting out sugar and replacing carbs with a large source of dietary fat. Not only does that keep your body's insulin level in check, but it can also help with your stress level as a result. Devine shared how huge insulin spikes cause more cortisol, a stress hormone, to be released, which increases inflammation, moodiness, and of course, stress.
Going on the keto diet may lead to decreased body fat, less bloating, and better mood and sleep. And though some do report experiencing a higher sex drive, it may be more of a result of better overall health and body confidence than a direct influence on sex hormones. More research on the effects of keto are needed, but Devine said women who may be more at risk for hormonal imbalances — including those with infertility issues, PCOS, or endometriosis — may most benefit from a ketogenic diet.
In the first couple days to couple weeks of starting keto, expect to feel the complete opposite of sexy. But allow the keto flu to run its course and see if your sex drive is impacted positively in the next several months! As always, before you make any drastic changes in your diet, speak to your doctor.