Can You Eat Low Carb While Pregnant?

MichaelFoxQ&A2400

Can you continue to eat low carb while pregnant? And how can you successfully lose weight if you have PCOS?

Here are the answers, from the fertility specialist Dr. Michael Fox.

Pregnancy and LCHF

Hello Dr. Fox,
My question is, I’m currently 9 weeks pregnant and would like to continue eating lchf, but here in the states they look at me crazy. I just want to do what’s best for me and my baby, in the past I have gained as much as 50 lbs doing what everyone else said. Thank you for your time, Dr. Fox,

Jeanettah

 
Dr. Fox:
Yes you are correct, Jeanettah. Interestingly though, if there are no problems in pregnancy the vast majority of OB practices would never mention nutrition to their patients. Therefore, they would not really know what you were doing nutrition-wise. However, if you announce that you are doing LCHF they will jump up and down. Primarily though, this reaction is due to lack of understanding. Maybe give them a copy of Gary Taubes’ “Why we get fat…”

I would certainly support the use of LCHF in pregnancy and see no adverse outcome in those who continue in pregnancy, but as a rule I can’t give medical advice online. You could choose to keep nutrition to yourself, or better yet challenge your physician to learn about what you are doing. Best of Luck!

PCOS and Weight Loss

Hi Dr. Fox,
Dr, I am at my wit’s end. I am 33 and was diagnosed with PCOS as a teenager. I have lost 100+ pounds twice in my 20s. First thru starvation and then with a raw vegan diet. I became pregnant and had a child who is now 2 and I’m still breastfeeding her. I am on no medications. I have been doing lchf for almost 2 months. I lost 25 pounds in a few weeks, got my period and gained 13 pounds. It’s been a few weeks since my period and that 13 pound gain isn’t leaving. I’m ranging from 353 to 358. Up and down.

I don’t know what to do but I just keep at the diet. But I never know how much I should eat and my weight going up and down is so demoralizing. I’m beginning to second guess everything I eat. I’ve been eating less than 20 g carbs every day and tried a breath-ketone test that keeps coming back negative. But I have a distinctive bad breath taste in my mouth constantly on this diet.

I am so tired of being obese and not seeing the scale move. I just need to figure out how to start really losing weight again, but I’m so confused.
Anne

Dr. Fox:
For patients who are over 300#’s it is clear the the carb restriction needs to be much tighter. That said, even at 20 grams of carbs per day you should be losing weight. The weight loss might level off at some point but you should be losing. There must be something in the diet that you don’t realize as carbohydrate.

Other factors include sleep apnea that you would almost certainly suffer from. I would seek a sleep study and treatment for that process. It is a strong inhibitor of metabolic healing. Secondly, stopping all caffeine is a must as well.

Long term though, you will need to limit carbohydrates to a much greater extent than the average person doing LCHF. This may range from 5-10 CHO per day and require significant limitations in vegetables. Your fat % may need to go to 85-90%.

You should look up the following two people who have lost 200+ pounds and have kept their weight near ideal since. Tommy Runesson has a blog where he photographs his meals and discusses the foods he eats. Sten Sture Skaldeman has written several books and i think at least one has been translated into English. They are both Swedish. Good Luck!

More Questions and Answers

Read all earlier questions and answers – and ask your own! – here:

Ask Dr. Fox about nutrition, low carb and fertility – for members (free trial available)

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Women, Hormones and Nutrition – Presentation by Dr. Michael Fox

2 Comments

  1. matrissa
    I was overweight before I got pregnant, was told by my doctor  that I needed to lose weight if I wanted to get pregnant. So I did that, ate healthy and exercised regularly. I lost a lot of weight and I felt great about myself. I gained a new lifestyle, started taking my fertility pills from pregnancytips .org and few cycles later, my PT came back positive. I still ate healthy and exercised regularly during pregnancy. Gave birth to a very healthy baby boy. It kept my weight gain to min and lowered the risk of getting any kind of complications. Almost no stretch marks too.
  2. nyasha
    Hi dr

    I just found out I am pregnant and I was on a NO carb diet and losing weight. I would like to continue on this diet but I have read that it's not good to stay on this diet for the baby's development. Is it at all posible to stay on the diet and take supliments for the nutrition that are missing in the diet.

    Thank you

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