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Pregnant - Appetite Out of Control

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  • Pregnant - Appetite Out of Control

    I've been following a semi-primal diet for some time now - with some brown rice, barley, yams, and occasional ww bread in my diet. I decided to stop all grains and grain-based foods earlier this year and was doing fine, until I turned up pregnant. I've done my best to stick to the diet and stay primal, but my food cravings are out of control.

    I have extreme hypoglycemia while pregnant - with my last pregnancy, a three-hour fasting GTT (glucose tolerance test) revealed a blood sugar profile that went from about 60 at baseline, spiked to over 180 at 2 hours, and then plummeted to around 35 within an hour of peaking. I had to have someone pick me up from the lab, it was so severe.

    Normally, I can manage my hypoglycemia by eating protein and grazing versus having meals. I know the rice and yams were throwing me, hence my decision to eliminate them from the diet. But since second pregnancy made itself known, I've had an out of control appetite that no amount of bacon, salads, eggs, salmon, or other meats can stave off.

    Today was a rough day. I was almost falling asleep on the short ride home from work and had a gnawing pit in my belly, even after eating a hefty amount of food (see below). I gave in to a craving for ice cream despite my best intentions, and paid for it by falling asleep for over two hours on the couch. I felt terrible.

    Here is my food intake for today:

    2 eggs and 4 slices bacon, eggs cooked in bacon fat

    2 slices tomatoes

    lettuce wraps with turkey, red peppers, and cucumber (3 wraps, about 1/4 lb turkey)

    one apple, one banana, generous handful sliced strawberries

    4 oz. salmon filet with sauteed mushrooms and spinach dressed in olive oil and lemon juice

    1/2 pint B&J Creme Brulee ice cream

    BAS with salmon and avocado

    This looks like an outrageous amount of food, pregnant or not! What can I do to help fight the cravings and keep my energy up? Pregnancy carries its own special set of dietary "rules" and I think there is ample anthropological evidence that pregnant women can follow a primal diet and maintain personal and fetal health, but I find myself losing control too often and too easily.

  • #2

    If you were a 37 year old guy, here's what my advice would be: The apple, banana and strawberries (nature's candy) are likely causing your cravings. Also, your fats (especially saturated), seem low.

    But, because you're pregnant, things are probably a bit more complicated, so I'm sure others will chime in with their thoughts on your menu today.


    • #3

      Honestly, your food sounds fine to me. (well other than the ice cream. haha)

      I've been eating ridiculous amounts of fruit, and also craving more carbs in general since being pregnant - so I've added back white potatoes (I only eat them with LOTS of fat though - butter/cheese/sour cream/whatever), rice (which I cook in chicken stock and load up with butter), and sourdough bread (which I almost always "toast" in a pan by frying in butter on both sides). Those things haven't affected my digestion negatively and they don't make me "crash" or anything so I figure it's fine for now.

      What do you consider "losing control"? The ice cream? Or eating so much? I wouldn't worry about eating a TON (or eating not very much) as long as you are listening to your body and your hunger signals right now, and as long as you are conscious about choosing nutrient-dense foods, or making non-nutrient-dense foods (like rice) more nutritious (by cooking in stock / smothering in butter, to use my example).

      Congratulations on your pregnancy too! How far along are you?

      You're in good company here - LOTS of pregnant primal ladies right now.

      Eating lots but still hungry? Eat more fat. Mid-day sluggishness? Eat more fat. Feeling depressed or irritable? Eat more fat. People think you've developed an eating disorder? Eat more fat... in front of them.


      • #4

        PS I agree with brian that it seems like your fats may be low - I know I personally try to get fats in at any occasion possible, and it seems to help when I do.

        I don't worry about the fruit though... I figure if the baby wants me to eat fruit, then fruit is what it should get. I don't buy the whole "pregnancy cravings" for burritos and tater tots and crap food... but when it's for something w/actual nutrients I'm ok with "giving in."

        Eating lots but still hungry? Eat more fat. Mid-day sluggishness? Eat more fat. Feeling depressed or irritable? Eat more fat. People think you've developed an eating disorder? Eat more fat... in front of them.