I can't wait to read responses! You have some of the same questions I have for my next pregnancy.
Hola! I know there have been a few women here who are or were pregnant and doing primal and I have some questions, since I'm pregnant and brand new to primal.
Just a quick overview - I'm 15 weeks pregnant tomorrow. I've been exhausted and lethargic this whole time, which is kind of par for the course for me being pregnant (this is my third). But the last month I'd been having some violent blood sugar swings and so last week when I started actually reading about paleo and primal (and giving it a chance in my head) it all made sense. My body is DESIGNED to carry a child, and there's no reason why I should be practically an invalid out of exhaustion, lethargy, dizziness and feeling faint all the time. Knowing this, I was so frustrated so I think it made switching pretty simple.
I went cold turkey last Saturday cutting out all grains and sugars and I'm feeling increasingly better and haven't had the blood sugar issues. This is awesome! I'm surprised at how easy it has been, considering I'm cooking meals that can do "dual purpose" primal for me and regular for the family, I haven't been tempted and my constant craving for sweets has gone away. It's as if I know "in my head" that bread and sugary foods taste good to me, but I don't *feel* like eating them. It's been wonderful, and just what my body has been asking for.
I am totally sold. It just feels like the "easy" button. Not to mention... I'm one of those "I lost half of my excess weight on a CW diet and then stalled." I lost 60 lbs and have about another 60 to go, though I'm not worried about that right now, not until after the baby is born. I currently weigh 218 and I weighed in at 219.5 on 6/6 so I may have already dropped some weight. I think I weighed between 210-215 when I got pregnant. I'm 5'5.
Oh and just for the record, I am seeing my doctor on 7/1 and I will check with her, though I imagine I'll most likely get a lot of the regular CW nutrition stuff. I wanted to ask you guys first since you've been there/done that.
I started tracking my calories yesterday because I was curious where I was at - I came in WAY short. It came dinnertime and I would have needed to eat a 1300 calorie dinner to eat all my "maintenance" calories. That didn't happen, though between dinner and an evening snack I ended up at almost 2000 with all the nutrients that I needed, and about 110g of carbs. That's about a 300 calorie deficit.
So I guess at this point I have 2 main questions (for now!):
1. Given the fact that I am already obese, is it going to be harmful if I end up with a calorie deficit and so then take in less than I use? I'm okay with eating the max until the baby is born, it's just going to take a lot of careful planning. Eating primal has kept me very full and so I don't feel as hungry. I could have very easily had a 1500 calorie day yesterday and felt super full because of all the fat, my fat was at 57% for the day. I'm not going to purposefully limit my calories in any sense, and I'm going to continue to track them to make sure I'm getting sufficient nutrients. So, I'm not concerned about say a 1000 calorie deficit, but if I end up a couple hundred calories under and I end up losing weight, will I be okay? I had to really push for that last dinnertime snack last night to bump it up to 2000.
2. I'm curious about carb intake. I was at 110g yesterday and I have no clue if that's enough. I have a feeling when I ask my doctor she's going to tell me the RDA and not what the minimum to be safe is. I am just feeling such a drastic difference in my body that I don't want to eat more if I can help it. So for those of you who did a primal pregnancy, did you try and get a certain minimum # of carbs? How did you deal with that?
And of course, any other primal pregnancy wisdom would be greatly appreciated! This isn't my first time, but my two prior pregnancies were very "cw" in the diet and I was miserable the whole time. I'm starting to wonder if it wasn't a big part due to my diet and not so much that I personally just don't do well with pregnancy like I always thought.
LOL I'm wanting to get pregnant soon too. I'm 38 though. Might be a bit harder.
If you go on the main primal page and type in pregnant on the search engine, ou can find all kinds of great information written by Mark. From what I've read as long as you keep the carbs around 100g you should stay out of ketosis. Which some "expert" say could be harmful to your baby.
Personally I think you should eat when you are hungry and never try and stuff yourself. That just makes no sense.
I know they say pregnant women should never try to lose weight, and I'm not really TRYING but I know a big part of the reason "they" say that is because a lot of girls will try and starve themselves to avoid gaining baby weight. That's definitely not the situation I'm in. I know my body has enough stored calories to feed me and baby, so if I'm short on CALORIES is that a big deal?
I think I need to write these down to ask my doc next week. Wouldn't it be wonderful if she says "Oh yes, actually I eat a primal diet and that would be SO GOOD for you!" lol. I think just in the way I'm feeling, the results speak for themselves.
Pshaw... the second I find out I'm knocked up, I'm totally exploiting my natural HCG! I'm a mean, selfish mom though :P
Not starving, but totally going strict paleo and staying active.
A healthy pregnancy is an easy one!
One thing to be a little bit wary of in terms of losing weight during pregnancy is the accumulated load of toxins in your adipose tissue - things like DDT, PCBs and BPA, for example. Just by living in the 20th and 21st century, we all have a certain amount of these industrial products in our bodies, and because most of them are lipid-soluble, they are stored mostly in body fat. Nobody really knows the rate at which these toxins are liberated from the body and where they go when you start to mobilise your fat stores during weight loss, but the unfortunate fact is, all these things can cross the placenta.
I'm not trying to put you off going Primal (quite the opposite! It'll make you and your baby healthier by far than SAD) but if you find yourself losing fat quite quickly, maybe bring your calories up a bit, particularly the dietary fats (coconut oil, olive oil, organic grass-fed butter etc.)? That way, you'll be burning fat calories that won't be from so high in the food chain (these toxins all bioaccumulate - because humans are so high up on the food chain, we tend to have a lot of them stored). Again, I'm not an expert on this, or trying to put you off eating what feels natural - it's almost impossible to know on balance what'll be better for your health and your baby's, you having a lower weight and a healthier metabolism, or a slightly lower dose of industrial chemicals in utero. Both have risks associated, at the end of the day.
Sorry if all that sounded scary; I just thought I'd better mention one of the reasons the "experts" say you're not meant to lose too much weight during pregnancy. At any rate, I suspect a pound or so or a week of weight loss will not be anything to worry about, and will most likely make you both feel better. Best of luck!
Last edited by Thespianpythia; 06-23-2011 at 05:09 PM.
Thank you for that information. I do remember reading that losing fat does put a lot of garbage in your system. I just didn't realize that there was that much.
Also considering how much gargbage I ate last 2 pregnancies ummmm yeah buckets of ice cream and chocolate cokes. I am a binger who is out of control when not low carb. I'm going to be walking a tight rope.
Very good point! I will need to tread carefully then. I didn't even think of accumulated toxins though I have heard that. I would agree that fast loss would not be a good idea. I think 2000/day is pretty realistic and won't let me lose more than a lb/week. Today I'm going to hit 2300 so that's good... but that's because of 2 cups of milk I drank that I don't normally, so I think I'm going to average around 2000/day.
I was obese for all of my pregnancies. I naturally lost, maintained for a long time or didn't gain much. I was down about 20 lbs from pre-pregnancy weight by the time I hit 12 weeks with my fourth baby. I wasn't trying to lose weight and I didn't have morning sickness. I wasn't Primal yet, but I didn't consume a lot of carbs and sugar. As with previous pregnancies, I craved a lot of food high in fat. I was in ketosis quite a bit throughout my pregnancy and my midwife would tell me to eat. I ate when I was hungry. I've never ate for two.
I didn't gain any fat with any of my pregnancies. It was all baby/pregnancy weight. With my last, of the 20 lbs I lost I "gained" 12 of it back, of which he was 9. I weighed myself the following morning and was down 16 or so pounds. Lost an additional 10 lbs within days.
I also never had high blood glucose or high blood pressure. I have fairly easy, straightforward pregnancies (and births).
I am 6 weeks pregnant, and I even started a pregnancy journal and I have a lot of the same concerns you do. I have been reading a lot, and it seems like if you are overweight, losing some weight while pregnant is not a bad thing. As long as you are eating a good diet with lots of quality nutrients, the baby will get everything it needs.