low carb + pregnancy

The minute you get a positive sign on your pregnancy test, you'll likely experience a tidal wave of emotions and questions. Your excitement and giddiness will probably be accompanied by questions:

"Am I mentally and physically ready to take care of a tiny person?"

"How am I going to maintain optimal health to avoid excessive weight-gain during pregnancy?"

"Is my diet providing all the necessary nutrients for my baby’s development?"

"Is it safe and healthy to start or continue with your low-carb way of living?"

These are all fantastic questions!


Pregnancy is a beautiful and exciting time where your belly starts to round out in a tell-tale sign that you’re expecting, and your skin glows with the expectation of your new arrival.

But you're probably also going to crave random things, likely high in carbs, and it'll seem like you have an insatiable appetite that threatens to undo everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve.

How do you manage these cravings amidst hormonal and physical upheaval? Consider these tips:

  1. Remember pregnancy is only for a short duration of time and will be over before you know it.

  2. Eat as healthy as possible.

  3. If you fall off the wagon, get back on as soon as you can.

  4. Exercise as often as you can.

  5. Just do your best! And enjoy this time before your baby’s arrival. Pregnancy is hard, try not to stress unnecessarily!


Although the low-carb diet has recently been in the spotlight, it certainly isn’t new. The low-carb lifestyle has been around for ages!

It might surprise you to know that many women actually turn to the low-carb lifestyle to enhance fertility and the likelihood of conception. Many women who struggle with PCOS and other fertility issues have successfully conceived while eating low-carb, and many attribute their pregnancy to their diet.

While it might be helpful for getting pregnant, is it safe to continue with the diet once you’ve conceived?

Remember, low-carb, and being in a state of ketosis, is a natural state of health. A woman’s body is functioning optimally in a state of ketosis. In fact, pregnant women might even be at an advantage when it comes to being in ketosis.


In the early stages of pregnancy, women who experience nausea and morning sickness tend to eat small amounts of food, keeping them in ketosis and getting them back into ketosis quickly if they briefly drop out.

In the later stages of pregnancy, a woman’s body produces more ketones. Babies are in ketosis in the womb and after birth. During pregnancy, women also become slightly insulin resistant. So you could correctly surmise that a healthy pregnancy is the perfect environment for a low-carb lifestyle.


Some things not to do during pregnancy include:

  1. Focusing on weight-loss

  2. Discounting proper nutrition

  3. Intentionally cutting calories to promote weight-loss

  4. Eating processed and refined foods

  5. Fasting

Despite the major health benefits fasting offers, pregnancy is not the time for it. Babies need consistent nutrition to grow and develop. Your body will also be in a more fragile balance, which can be negatively impacted by fasting.

Fasting can also lead to weight-loss during pregnancy which you want to avoid as cells carry toxins which are released into your bloodstream during weight-loss.

Your best course of action for weight-maintenance during pregnancy is consuming a whole-foods diet with minimal processed foods, particularly grains and sugars.


Some benefits of a low-carb pregnancy include:

  • Healthy weight gain

  • Optimal metabolic functions throughout pregnancy

  • A healthy developmental environment for your baby

  • Rapid return to normal weight postpartum

  • Optimal mental and physical states during pregnancy

While it certainly might be easier to eat cinnamon rolls every day for breakfast, because,"what the heck,? I'm going to gain weight anyway," it certainly will have negative effects during and after the pregnancy. Keeping with your low-carb way of living during pregnancy will give you and your baby the best health will pregnant and for years afterward.

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