I have a keen view on the difficulties that many women have reducing body fat without hindering lean body mass and wanted to share some information for our ladies. I am a married man of three grown daughters so I lived in the house of estrogen much of my adult life.
You ladies have some very complex hormone activity that is very gender specific so I hope you can find some benefit and new found knowledge in the below information.
I am a keto junkie. I have seen the positives effects and many of the negative effects of this diet. My conclusion based on personal experience (me and my wife) and seeing it first hand used by professional athletes (not bodybuilders) is that there is no better diet in the short term that will reduce overall body fat and retain lean body mass better than a ketogenic diet.
Here is some research for your consideration-
Resistance training in overweight women on a ketogenic diet-
THE EFFECT OF AN 8-WEEK LOW CARBOHYDRATE HIGH FAT (LCHF) DIET IN SUB-ELITE OLYMPIC WEIGHTLIFTERS AND POWERLIFTERS ON STRENGTH, BODY COMPOSITION, MENTAL STATE AND ADHERENCE-
Body composition and hormonal changes to a carb restricted diet-
“we conclude that a carbohydrate-restricted diet resulted in a significant reduction in fat mass and a concomitant increase in lean body mass in normal-weight men, which may be partially mediated by the reduction in circulating insulin concentrations.”
Ketogenic diet for obesity-
Can Keto diets help exercise performance?
“Surprisingly, a recent study (Volek et al., 2016) revealed that ultra-endurance athletes who had consumed LCHF diets (<20% energy from CHO, >60% from fat) for at least 6 months achieved higher peak exercise intensity supported by fat oxidation than athletes on HCLF diet.”
Conclusion of the above study-
LCHF (low carb, high fat) diets provide a promising way to help control body weight and fat mass while maintaining lean body mass in athletes engaged in weight-sensitive sports. There is emerging evidence that LCHF diets could be beneficial, particularly for performance in ultra-endurance sports.
And one specifically for our male athletes-
“Total testosterone increased significantly from Weeks 0-11 in the KD diet (118 ng/dl) as compared to the WD (-36 ng/dl) from pre to post while insulin did not change.”